Archive for July, 2007

Christian Music Part 3: It’s Really All About The Lyrics

I was remiss in getting Part 3 of the Christian music series up quickly on my site… would love for you to check out the entire post!

“We want to look at two different songs, similar in style and intent – one from what we would call a “typical” Christian artist, the other from an artist we feel conveys the message of Christianity in a more compelling way… These two songs (one by Audio Adrenaline the other by The Normals) both tell the story of life, grace, and forgiveness through a song, but they do it in different ways. Stated briefly, Audio Adrenaline’s song tells it’s story abstractly while The Normals’ song uses concrete imagery.”

Check out more here….

words i wish i never had to hear again in the context of work

Crossover Potential
5000 Pound Elephant
Value Add
Drill Down
Core Competencies

What annoys me even more is that I find myself using these ridiculous phrases in conversations during meetings…. WHY OH WHY?!? I disappoint myself.

some things i just don’t understand

The thing to drink down here in the South during a hot summer-time meal is “sweet tea”. For the Yankees, this would be known as iced tea with sugar. It is truly one of the most fantastic elements brought by Southerners to the world of cuisine. It’s addicting, and I could probably drink a gallon of it at a time if left to my own devices. The difference between sweet tea and iced tea with sugar is that the sugar is added to sweet tea immediately after brewing before it is served. For sweetened iced tea, the sugar is added by the drinker after it has been served – this is not sweet tea – this is a waste of time.

In my opinion sweet tea is the one and only way to drink cold tea (with the exception of an iced chai, which is something completely different). Of course the option is always available to you at a Southern restaurant to get unsweetend ice tea, but I believe this to be the most god-forsaken beverage known to man. It does not taste good. There is no redeeming quality to the unsweetend iced tea, and the Southerns know this.

Were you to walk into a restaurant and you wanted good old-fashioned sweet tea, you would simply say, “I’d like some sweet tea”, and they would know exactly what you mean, done deal, and your beverage is on the way.

But were you to walk in and say, “I’d like some iced tea”, they would immediately know they are dealing with a moron. Next they are forced to ask the question, “Would you like that sweetened or unsweetend?” Each day they set aside a few gallons of their brewed tea and leave it unsweetened for idiots. So you order your “unsweetened iced tea”, and what happens next – as soon as it’s brought to the table, you start dumping packet after packet of sugar into it. That’s just an excercise in foolishness if you ask me. And as for the unsweetend iced tea (left unsweetened)… why in the world would you take a wonderful meal and finish it off with a nice tall glass of crap? Why don’t you just blend up some chalk and drink that?

Sweet tea goes particularly well with certain types of food: Burgers, fried chicken, BBQ, catfish, etc…. you know, Southern food. Unsweetend iced tea is good for, oh, I don’t know… pouring down the sewer, dumping on your cat… water balloons. Some things I just don’t understand, and unsweetend iced tea is one of them.

Christian Music Part 2: What Can We Do Better?

I mentioned last time I’m partnering with Tim to write a series about the Christian music industry. Here’s a bit from our latest post…

“While musically a Christian album is often tolerable, if one were to actually dissect the lyrical content of your average Christian song you’d be left with a pile of feel-good anecdotes, spiritual cliches, interspersed with a healthy dose of “Hallelujahs” and other standard worship words… Reading a Christian song is almost like watching a Brady Bunch episode: Catchy intro, problematic situation, tension, feel-good resolution. These songs are easy to write. It’s the same plot line with the characters switched around, and ultimately it cheapens the Gospel.”

Check out more here….

Christian Music Part 1: What Makes Good Music?

My friend Tim and I are co-writing a blog series together about the woes of the Christian music industry… me from the perspective of someone in the industry, he from the perspective of a consumer and fellow musician. I invite you to check out the rant, give us your thoughts, and share hateful comments. Here’s an excerpt from the first post…

“… We need to remember that it’s ultimately God who leads people to Him, and it’s with the interaction and relationships of people that He generally uses to bring people towards Him. Music is a tool and a gift for us to use in aiding this process, but it it dangerous to view it as the means. God is the means, and we are often His method – the things we have influence over are merely devices at our disposal… There are undoubtedly people that have become Christians via songs like “Blindman” or “Humble Thyself” or even “Days of Elijah”… but that in itself doesn’t deem those good songs. One thing we’re tiring of is Christian artists being given an excuse not to write innovative or pioneering songs….”

Check out more here….

pyrokinesis (redemption edition)

I’m happy to say, following my July 4th “fireworks”, that I’ve honed my burger grilling skills somewhat. Thanks to Tim for the helpful tips, I followed his advice and made my burgers “thinner than you would think necessary” and added a splash of Gate’s BBQ sauce to “help them hold together”. Of course my traditional spice package included Lawry’s, paprika, and red pepper flakes.

The key to the whole process I found was to keep the burners on as low as they go and to embrace the flames. Grease fire? Bring it on! You won’t terrify me no longer.

So while the end result of the 4th of July was a little to much carbon, the 8th of July were quite likely the most fantastic burgers I have created in quite a long while.

pyrokinetical fiasco

It wouldn’t be the 4th of July without a little bit of fireworks, so in true American fashion Steph and I had Justin and Hannah over for a little pre-evening-celebration hamburger cookout. Steph’s brother, Theo and Joey, are staying with us over the next couple weeks, so we figured we’d go ahead and grill a bunch of hamburgers that they could eat while we’re at work the next couple of days.

So we get the big tub of meat – 4lbs of ground beef. And I’m feeling good that this is going to be a great grilling day… I’ve got my Lawrys, I’ve got my parika, I’ve got my red pepper flakes, and I start making some of the most beautiful hamburger patties I’ve ever seen. Got about 14 of them ready to go, fire up the grill, let it warm up for a bit, and then start just stacking on the most wonderful array of meat ever to lay across a 4th of July grill.

Things are going well. I step inside for a bit to talk and…..

* disaster strikes *

Something happened in the 30 seconds I was in the kitchen, because when I looked out the back porch window moments later, my entire grill was engulfed in smoke. The porch area is filling up quickly with toxic fumes, so I run outside, grab the lid of the grill and throw it open. Flames are spewing forth like a flamethrower. Helplessly I grab my BBQ utensils and start shoving meat around. Smoke has clouded up the porch door now – my family and friends are peering out in stark horror. Even the cat is unsettled. I truly don’t know what I’m doing at this point – something has gone terribly wrong. I do the only thing I can think of and start turning off burners. This doesn’t help. The entire inside of the grill is on fire and every time I touch meat more grease drips off and sets off a new wave of smoke, flames, and chaos. I pull Justin outside with me… not because he can necessarily help, but because I want to be in this together with someone, and when the girls start ridiculing me later and I need him on my side.

I start moving burgers around, stacking them on top of the other, sacrificing the bottom burgers to the raging inferno to give the other burgers a chance. There are no grill burners on now – I’ve got a perpetual conflagration of grease that is going to burn these things to a crisp. Somehow I finally get to the point where I am managing mass chaos and get a system going where I am cycling all the burgers through a warm area of the grill to cook while the rest of the fire burns down. Before each one goes through I have to use the sharp edge of my spatula to chip off charred cow in an attempt to get a decently even cooking experience.

Drama I tell you, drama.

The majority of the burgers turned out fine, save two that ended up looking like charcoal lumps that I literally had to pry away from the grill. Happy 4th of July.