Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yukon Blonde + C.S. Lewis + The Bible = Whatever You Want It To

I got into the car, put the key in the ignition, turned it, rolled down the windows, opened the sun roof, and drove. This is my usual procedure when getting into the car, except this time something pleasantly peculiar happened. Once the car started up a sound filled my ears, a rather pleasant sound reminding me of far off places I have dreamt of yet never seen.

My years were filled with the joyous noises of Yukon Blonde. Yes, another BC band that has once again expanded my musical library. I encourage you to take a listen, I'll pop out a extremely positive review of this album within the coming week.

As for now, take a listen...

Anyways, it has been a rough week on about 50% of the frontlines. While one part of me is celebrating being done school, officially starting up my summer, another part of me is sad. Yup, sad is the best way to describe it. This week has been a whirlwind of constant poor news amongst my friendship circles. Throughout everything I have been holding on to a few quotes and scripture passages, allow me to share.

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” - C.S. Lewis

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails..." - 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Electronic Pop Prayers

I have to say, this song pretty much blows my mind.
I was doing some searching of "electronic pop" tunes on YouTube in the hopes of helping one of my brothers develop some of his music and I came across this track.

It makes me speechless to a degree, I see the tune almost as a prayer, a beautiful electronic pop prayer.

Boom! Take a listen, you won't regret it.

God hears your prayers, even the electronic pop ones.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love Wins - The Carly Henley Project

I was browsing the good ol' internet before class the other day and was reading some book reviews on Rob Bell's new(er/est) book titled Love Wins. The internet, being the internet, can lead to some pretty ridiculous rabbit trails sometimes, but this time, through a series of clicks it put me on a path of sorrow, despair and eventually joy.

Allow me to explain. After reading some book reviews/interpretations (which you should not read until you have already read Bell's book) I stumbled upon a page which was selling "LOVE WINS" shirts. I saw that it was the page for a musician, but being in the library without headphones it was not the perfect time to start playing the jams. Anyways, I found the contact information and sent off an email, making sure someone would reply before I tossed my money out to the internet.

Sure enough, within minutes I got a reply, confirming that shirts were still being sold and that the profits were going to a rock camp for girls. The email was sent to me by a lady named Dede. The mother of the musician, Carly Henley. Dede had asked me if I knew the story behind The Carly Henley project and I said no, but being the inquisitive individual I am, I vowed to do my research when I got home.

Sure enough, there I was listening to Carly Henley's YouTube videos. A lovely lady with a lovely voice.

I tried searching her website for where she was from, with no luck. But when I popped her name into Google a swarm of overwhelming information was sent my way...

It turns out that Carly Danielle Henley took her own life on October 6, 2010 at the age of 20.

You know those moments where you say "Why God?" Yeah, this was one of them. This girl had a bright future and seemed incredibly joyful... I'm not here to try and guess why people do the things they do, but rather to accept decisions made and do my best to use them for good.

Through my conversation with Dede (Carly's Mother) she made a remark that captured what I have been struggling to say for quite some time now.

"Carly was a bright light our world. She shines on still. Her "motto" was "Love Wins." She had this on every guitar she played, written on her wrist, on the bumper of her car. And now, we all must hold onto this. Somehow, through it all, Love Wins, period."

Love Wins has been a personal mantra of mine for a while now, but when attached with this story is gains so much more value. The story of Carly, although tragic, is beautiful. The legacy she left will not soon dwindle away and her life story has already and will continue to change lives.

I encourage you to check out this website, established by Carly's family, making sure Carly's legacy lives on.

Here is one of the last video's Carly posted to her YouTube page.

And last but not least, I need you to remember... That somehow, through it all, Love Wins, period.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Opportunity, Take It.

I need to tell you something.
When a window opens, pop out the screen and contort your body until you fit through it.

Why no door analogy you may ask? Because I am not talking about the opportunities that you are thinking about. Not the typical things like different jobs, items on the lunch menu or anything else that while being somewhat important, happens routinely.

I am talking about making the most out of those little moments. Those moments that you would usually pass by and not think anything of. It happens a million times a day, missed connections. You have the chance to make a difference in someones life, but because of social norms or your own insecurities you don't.

Take a chance, do something you don't usually do and jump on those minute, fleeting opportunities. You won't regret it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Wanna Borrow the Light, Use it On You When the Sun Goes Down

A few weeks ago I downloaded the iTunes pick of the week. A free song, who wouldn't download it? The artist who was up for grabs this particular week was Sean Rowe with his song called Surprise. When I clicked the download button I didn't know that I was clicking yes to a flood of beautiful emotion.
Sure enough, Surprise rocked my world.

The song seems to speak of some form of reflection mixed with an element of starting anew.

This song suits my point in life right now, having just come off a graduation ceremony for a bunch of my friends, meeting another host of new friends and simply knowing that no matter what - life continues to roll on.

Well friends, enjoy this tune.

"You were nothing but the fragrance of an old dream, That was just time playing tricks on my mind. You've escaped from all the pictures that I remember, You come back as a bottle of wine. In your letters, I can see your mouth was moving, Your voice was at the tip of my recall. Then your ghost could only brush against my t-shirt, And now your body shows up to take it all. And your movements, I could match before your maker I know them deep enough to paint them in the air. Life is a liquid, and I stretch far past its boarders. I have a feeling you'll be waiting for me there. And my city shakes its head at my wilderness, And my heart has built a mind for itself. And I have found a little shelter inside of a sickness. I'll be waiting for the icicles to melt. But I want to borrow the light, Use it on you when the sun goes down. Let's lead the rusted old folks back in the city Where they belong. Where they belong. And your children, like little wolves that go unnoticed, As the diamonds play their gimmick against the sand. And I have found an ocean in the doorway of your body, I know the secret, but I haven't got a plan. And I want to borrow the light, Use it on you, when the sun goes down. Let's lead these rusted old folks, back in the city Where they belong. There was a cloud in my face And now I gotta wash my eyes. 'Cause I though love was just a strip mall, Baby, you are a surprise. You are a surprise."

Oh, and one more thing. I need to link you into a blog, one that I enjoy reading so much and am sure you will as well.

This is a girl from BC I met incredably randomly, the meeting story can be read here.
Her blog is a solid list of personal thoughts mixed with Serious West coast music. You can read that here.

Love and Peace, or else.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Album Review - Said the Whale - Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia

My exposure to Said the Whale happened about 2 years ago on the beautiful website known as CBC Radio 3. I listened intently as their music seemed to capture my attention and interest like few had done before. It was not long until I went to one of their shows and bought myself both of their records, Islands Disappear and Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia. After listening to these albums I was sold. Almost as sold as Dan Mangan. Every song was a unique and beautiful experience.

Said the Whale have recently come off a Juno victory for New Group of the Year. After that impressive victory they headed off to play some shows in Europe, living it up, and tweeting about it as they traveled across the beautiful countryside in the United Kingdom. I am sure all of Said the Whale's followers and friends are looking forward to a new release, but as for now, I'll let you know what to expect on their original album - Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia.

The first thing that you will notice on this two album sandwich is the repetitive chants. Opening up with This Cities a Mess the anthemic themes play right on through the album, eventually ending off with the wonderful, melodic chant that is Taking Abalonia.

Amongst this 15 track record you will find a whole lot more than chanting, while the majority of these tunes are upbeat, Said the Whale takes a unique approach to their slow tunes. A fan favourite, Curse of the Currents, was played live with simply an unplugged acoustic guitar, and this very mellowed out approach carries through on the album as well. Other tunes such as the Real of It take on a special uniqueness as they are played acoustically, but on everyones favourite instrument, the ukelele!

One of the reoccurring factors that keeps me running back to Said the Whale is the references to beautiful British Columbia. I consider myself a mountaineer living on the prairies and each time Said the Whale fills my brain waves I picture myself back in Victoria, looking over the city and the ocean from the top of Mount Douglas. But I can assure you, it doesn't take a love for the West Coast of Canada to fall in love with this marvellous group, simply a love of good music will suffice.

As you know, I am a very strong supporter of Bandcamp, so here is Said the Whale's Bandcamp page. The album featured here is their most recent release: Islands Disappear. Take a listen, love it, buy it and then see them live!

Followed is a link to Said the Whale's website. Be sure to look for free EP downloads around Christmas time!

Love and Peace, or else.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Lesson in Music Appreciation

Dear Western Culture as a whole,

I have a bone to pick with you.

Today marks the internet release of Every Teardrop is a Waterfall by world renown band, Coldplay. A pretty big day for Coldplay fans as they, like any fan, thrive off new material. Last December Coldplay released a tune called Christmas Lights, fans and critics both enjoyed the song as it was described as sticking to the "traditional Coldplay sound."

But with today's release comes a lot of negative feedback, "too upbeat", "too poppy", too this and too that. This is where I draw the line and where I believe that we need a valuable lesson in music appreciation.

Lets stick with our current example of Coldplay for a few minutes... These dudes are some of the most successful musicians on the face of the earth, they have been playing music for years and continue to grow in popularity. Now, when they release a song that you don't like, what do you do?

You can take a whole list of approaches to this new music, but here I am going to encourage you to take an understanding that needs to be more prevalent in our society.

Music evolves. It is a 100% natural progression.

Don't believe me?
What did you listen to when you were 10? Backstreet Boys? The Soul Brothers? Spice Girls?
What do you listen to now? PitBull? The Soul Brothers? Lady Gaga?

What I am trying to illustrate is that your musical preferences have evolved as you have evolved in age. In the same way a musician, with age, maturity and a host of other characteristics evolves the music that they produce.
We need to start building a collective understanding that just because "I" don't like it, it is not rubbish. The beauty of music is that it reaches out to everyone, it can be interpreted in 100 different ways and therefore it creates a broad spectrum of enjoyment.

I happen to know a bunch of guys that love their metal. Personally, I am not a fan. It doesn't really strike a cord with me, but does that mean that all metal music is terrible? Of course not, I will be the first one to admit that a lot of those musicians have serious talent.

So, this is going to require a group effort... Stretch out a hand to music and musicians that you may not necessarily like. Instead of bashing music, try to understand it.

Peace, Love and Coldplay