A Brief Update Re: the Banned Band

Ok, so last week I started something here on Spin when I eluded to the fact that the blog has its first official banned band.  (For more details, go check out my previous post about Live 4:1 playing the Allen County Fair).

Shocking, indeed.

This band is so banned from Spin for the foreseeable future that I won’t even dignify their existence by typing out their name in this post; I’m half tempted to go back and take down every blessed post I’ve ever written about them previously, but my BFF says that may be a bit overly dramatic.  (Of course, she’s right.  I am nothing if not overly dramatic!)

Since I’ve received a large influx of e-mail, Facebook messages, Tweets and even a few texts wanting to know the scoop (and of course the identity) on the banned band, I am going to make a brief comment and then never talk about it again.

Basically, the banned band has ended up in the Spin: the Blog no fly zone because the band, who shall remain nameless, broke my little boy’s heart.

Before anyone freaks out, no I AM NOT talking about for King & Country.  They remain in my good graces because they have the common sense NOT to make grandiose promises to a 6 year old that they don’t intend to keep.

I mean, who does that?  (Well, I guess I know the answer to that one!  Grrrrr. ..)

So, that is my brief official statement.  You all now know the one and only way to get blacklisted here on Spin:  mess with Alex, and we will speak of you no more.

On the flip side,  if you get Alex to love ya, I will no doubt write about you all the time (a la for King & Country)!

Pick your poison 🙂

Awesome FREE Christian Music Events in Indiana!

If you are here on Spin: the Blog, I can only imagine that you probably like Christian music. (What a coincidence!  So do I!)

You may or may not live in the great state of Indiana, so if you don’t happen to be a Hoosier, then I feel for you in more ways than one; particularly because you are going to miss out on some awesome FREE Christian music events coming up in August!

Here are the details:

WORLD PULSE MUSIC FESTIVAL

The City Harmonic II

The City Harmonic!!!

WORLD PULSE MUSIC FESTIVAL–Seriously, this music festival has THE BEST line-up of any free Christian music festival I’ve ever heard of, and I’ve pretty much heard it all at this point. Coming to South Bend on Saturday, August 10th, 2013 the line-up includes, check this out: Tricia Brock (formerly of Superchick! Rock What You’ve Got! I Love her!!), Jason Castro (Uh, hello? Who doesn’t like Jason Castro? I think it would be impossible NOT to like Jason Castro!), the City Harmonic (I LOVE this band to the moon and back. Seriously, you have not lived until you’ve seen the City Harmonic in concert. Trust me on this!), Natalie Grant (No, I’m not kidding. I said ‘Natalie Grant’ and ‘Free’ in the same paragraph!!), Audio Adrenaline (Again, I am not joking. I paid $50 two months ago to see Audio Adrenaline and I thought it was a deal!), and…wait for it…SWITCHFOOT! Switchfoot! Can you believe that?

Jason Castro

Jason Castro

Like I said, this is THE line-up of free line-ups and it is coming to South Bend on Saturday, August 10th, 2013!

Tricia Brock

Tricia Brock

PLEASE NOTE you do HAVE TO HAVE a ticket to get in, but like I said, the tickets are free and still available over at iTickets.com. (For more information and/or additional places to pick up tickets, visit the festival’s website at http://www.worldpulsefestival.com). Of course, you will have to pay for parking ($25) and food (a complete list of what’s available and the prices are on the festival’s website).

I would happily pay these prices for parking and food any day that I get to see the City Harmonic play a live show, but when you throw in Tricia Brock, Jason Castro, Natalie Grant, Audio Adrenaline, and SWITCHFOOT to the mix…well, you know I’m gonna be there, and you should definitely be there too! In my opinion, this is going to be THE Christian Music event of the summer in Indiana so go grab some free tickets now while there are still some left!

CHRISTIAN MUSIC DAY AT THE INDIANA STATE FAIR

I swear I know nothing about these guys.  My son, however, is an expert on them!

I swear I know nothing about these guys. My son, however, is an expert on them!

CHRISTIAN MUSIC DAY at the INDIANA STATE FAIR–Again, another free event (although you do have to pay admission to the State Fair venue. Discount admission tickets are available at all Indiana Wal-Mart stores, CVS Pharmacies, and Indiana Farm Bureau Offices for $7. Kids under 5 are free! Gate admission is only $10.) The line-up for this festival taking place on Sunday, August 11th, 2013 from 2-9 pm is Brianna Caprice (I don’t have a clue who this is, but I intend to find out!), Jason Castro (he’s a busy guy this weekend!), Love & The Outcome (I’ve seen this duo and they are AMAZING!), some band called for King & Country (don’t know why anyone, particularly my 6 year old son Alex, would want to go see these guys. HA! 🙂 and Matthew West.

Matthew West’s kind of a slacker, but the rest of the line-up is decent. 

(Of course, I’m just kidding!  Matthew West is one of if not THE BEST entertainers in all of Christian Music.  You have to go see him if you haven’t yet!)

If those names aren’t enough to get you down to the State Fair on Sunday, August 11th, then I don’t know what will. (The World’s Largest Popcorn Ball? A 4,500 square foot barn made out of glass? An outdoor ice skating rink in Indiana in August? Just a few suggestions!)

Love and the Outcome

Love and the Outcome

The website for the Indiana State Fair is http://www.in.gov/statefair

I’ll be at both of these festivals the weekend of August 10th and I hope to see you there! Should be a rockin’ time 🙂  Let’s just hope the weather is not too sweltering hot…if I have another weekend where the temps get up like they did at LifeFest when my nail polish literally melted off of my nails, I don’t know if I’ll live to tell the tale!

The Story Behind Fuze Music’s ‘By Your Blood’

Fuzed Worship Group Shot
Story By Christa Banister

In every Christ-follower’s journey of faith, there comes a point when he/she makes the important discovery about God’s sense of timing, namely that our heavenly Father’s wristwatch definitely has a tick-tock all its own.

But what often feels like lateness to oh-so-impatient mankind, however, is always right on schedule with God, a theme that runs particularly deep in the story of Fuzed Worship.
Co-founded by Daniel Meyer, CEO of U.S. Operations for Joyce Meyer Ministries, and Nate Edmonds, a worship leader and songwriter, Fuzed Worship includes a revolving lineup of like-minded musicians unified by a singular cause. Rather than simply playing music for music’s sake, they want to write songs like “Lost in You,” “Forever You Reign” and “My Heart Burns For You” that inspire a generation to not only serve Christ, but also demonstrate His love in tangible ways.

Emphasizing a life centered around worship where justice is upheld and compassion is lived out, these core beliefs are naturally what fuel the songs from the group’s stunning new album By Your Blood. Produced by Tedd T (Newsboys, Mutemath, Rebecca St. James) and featuring a bevy of talented musicians, the soundtrack itself may be diverse and full of intriguing textures, but the heart of the project is what Fuzed Worship has always been about.

“If the focus becomes more about building our momentary kingdom than uplifting the Kingdom of our heavenly father, we’ve completely missed the mark and settled for less than He intends,” Nate shares. “For us, it’s always been about taking the music and allowing it to breathe and encounter people on a daily level. We just create, stand back and watch God do what He wants.”

The Origins of an Unlikely Partnership

In what’s truly a testament to the mystery of God, Fuzed Worship began rather unexpectedly. Daniel Meyer had written lyrics about the injustice he’d seen while traveling around the world, while God was working in Nate Edmonds’ life in a completely different way. After stepping away from Joyce Meyer Ministries to pursue his own musical dreams, Nate felt the call of God not only nudging him back to the ministry, but also asking him to lay down his own desires by fasting from the very thing he loved so much—music.

One Sunday afternoon, Daniel asked Nate if it was possible to put what he’d written to music. Even though Daniel wasn’t a musician, he felt that song might be the right vehicle for expressing what he had experienced; an avenue for sharing what, in some ways, was too powerful for words alone. And sensing God’s blessing in this unlikely partnership, Nate was more than willing to give it a try.

As strange as it seemed at the time—a guy who didn’t have an outlet for expressing what was on his heart and the guy who hadn’t sung or touched an instrument in a year—Daniel and Nathan started making music. Later that night, the duo had already written their first song, “Revolving Love.” Inspired by a sweet five-year-old girl named Ababa who was suffering from malnutrition and countless others like her that Daniel has met along the way, it was a defining moment in Fuzed Worship’s journey.

Since then, Daniel and Nate have been joined by numerous others in their vision for Fuzed Worship as an organization and collective specifically created for God’s glory.

Looking Ahead

While it hadn’t been part of Daniel and Nate’s plan to connect Fuzed Worship with Joyce Meyer Ministries, it was a natural marriage that was “God’s plan all along” even if they never saw it coming.

“We made it a point to have no lofty goals at all. We simply wanted to write songs from our heart to God,” Nate says. “But when Joyce heard some of our rough demos, she felt God wanted to bring Fuzed Worship under their wings.”

Now with the release of their third project, By Your Blood, Fuzed Worship will continue to lead worship at several Joyce Meyer Ministry conferences, but will also share their songs of hope and renewal in Christ in other capacities as well.

“Every song on By Your Blood focuses on the very tenets of our faith and has a message about worship,” Nate concludes. “As we continue to focus on worshipping from the heart, we’re always seeking God for what He has in store. In the meantime, we’ll continue to create music to unite and inspire a generation to serve Christ and demonstrate His love.”

For more information on Fuzed Worship, go to http://www.fuzedworship.com. To buy their music, please visit http://www.joycemeyer.org/bookstore, iTunes and your favorite digital retail outlets.

Highly Recommended Listen: “Home” by Kim Walker-Smith & Skyler Smith

This project is AMAZING!  If you haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, what are you waiting for?  Go check it out!

From Press Release:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

KIM WALKER-SMITH & SKYLER SMITH RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM,

HOME, AMIDST ACCLAIM ON JESUS CULTURE MUSIC

 Kim and Skyler

HOME Becomes A No. 1 Top Seller On Multiple Retail Charts

 

“HOME is nothing less than refreshing, and lovely… With this creative and authentic endeavor the Smiths

have created something special.” – Worship Leader Magazine

 

Eighteen months in the making, Kim Walker-Smith and Skyler Smith released last week (July 16) their highly anticipated and first musical collaboration, HOME, a worshipful, modern folk-pop collection from Jesus Culture Music.  Already gathering critical acclaim, the album spent all week on top of the iTunes® “Christian/Gospel” chart while climbing all the way to No. 8 on the iTunes overall “Top Albums” chart. The album also lands this week at No. 1 on the overall Christian/Gospel Current Digital Albums and Worship Album Billboard retail charts.

Produced by Jeremy Edwardson and Jason Borneman, the music of HOME was carved out of Kim and Skyler’s unique love story, the worship life they’ve aspired to as individuals and the ministry they’ve shared as part of Jesus Culture.  HOME explores the intimacy of time alone and together in the presence of God, and that sense of belonging as a universal metaphor for our relationship God pursues with his children.

 

“Calling this album HOME took on so many meanings as the project progressed,” explains Skyler. “We’ve always traveled so much, we’ve known that ‘home’ would have to be wherever we found ourselves. We didn’t want to force anything, but we wanted to come together as a couple and say something personal and honest about our lives in relationship with each other and in relationship with God.”

 

“From the beginning of our marriage,” Kim adds, “we’ve been very intentional about blending our lives, taking every opportunity to be 100% completely together, so this album really is a defining moment for us, a creative endeavor that represents who we are as a couple and as worshipers who desire intimacy with our Creator.”

 

A studio recording where eleven of the twelve tracks were written collaboratively by Skyler and Kim, HOME is a departure from the live, corporate worship experience captured on the Jesus Culture records, on which Kim’s voice is most often associated.  This more intimate offering is already resonating with critics.  Worship Leader Magazine says, HOME is nothing less than refreshing, and lovely… With this creative and authentic endeavor the Smiths have created something special…worshipers will be led to an outpouring of adoration, as well as receiving the life-changing love that is directed back towards us from the creator of everything.” Breathecast.com adds, “Kim Walker-Smith brings to the palette her bold, intense and dynamic stage-presence of pop worship.  Skyler Smith…brings to the table an Americana rootsy folk vibe.”

 

Widely known for her passionate and contagious pursuit of God’s Presence in worship, Kim, along with her husband Skyler, lead, teach and impart worship around the world. Named one of the “Emerging Leaders of Tomorrow’s Church” by Charisma magazine (2010), Kim’s rendition of the John Mark McMillan song, “How He Loves,” has been viewed over 9.5 million times on YouTube, while her version of Brian Johnson’s “Where You Go I Go” has over four million views.

 

For more information about HOME and Kim and Skyler, go to www.jesusculture.com, www.onlyloveremains.com.

 

About Jesus Culture Music:

Jesus Culture worship was formed organically through the momentum of a movement whose focus is to equip a generation to transform society by bringing people into an encounter with God’s love through worship and discipleship. Jesus Culture Music albums capture the heart of this movement of young people who are passionate for God and seeking an encounter with His presence.

 

Directed by Banning Liebscher, Jesus Culture is known as one of the most influential youth and young adult movements around the world.  Its current album, Jesus Culture With Martin Smith:  Live From New York, released in November 2012 and features Walker-Smith and Chris Quilala, joined by Martin Smith (Delirious?), singing Smith’s classics and new favorites.  Additional information on Jesus Culture music and events can be found at www.jesusculture.com, www.facebook.com/jesusculture and www.twitter.com/jesusculture

City Harmonic to Release New Album, Heart!

I am beyond excited about this!  Since my words alone cannot convey how awesome this project is going to be…you should read the press release below and mark your calendars for September 3rd!

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

THE CITY HARMONIC RELEASE HEART GLOBALLY SEPT. 3

 

An Album On Being, And Becoming, Human, HEART Poetically Shares Band’s Personal Joy,

Suffering, Wrapped in Grace, Discipleship, Centrality of Christ

 

The ‘Heart’ of Album, “City On A Hill,” Releases To Radio This Month

 

Band Relaunches TheCityHarmonic.com, Adds Tour Dates, Photos, More

 

Internationally acclaimed band, The City Harmonic, is set to release globally its highly anticipated sophomore album, HEART, September 3 through Integrity Music.  The 14 songs on HEART are underscored by the cinematic and communal aesthetic prominent in all of the band’s music while building from where the band left off with its widely acclaimed, JUNO Award-winning I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home).  Reflecting life lived by the band members since their full-length debut, the new album shifts from the dream of what could and should be to the complexities of how to follow the true humanity of Christ’s example in the world.

 

Co-produced by the band – vocalist/songwriter and pianist Elias Dummer, bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan – and Jared Fox, HEART places Christ at the center while delving into themes of grace, discipleship and being, and becoming, truly human, all the while giving the listener permission to sing out in hope, in hurt.

 

“We set out to write an album ‘on being, and becoming, human,’ but, in a way, it’s about image bearing,” says Elias.  “By that I mean that yes, we’re human — and the Bible tells us that we’re made in the image of God and each and every human has an inherited dignity as a result. But there’s more to it than that…God made this universe around us and often refers to the cosmos as a temple. I mean if you stop and think about the role an ‘image’ or ‘statue’ might play in a temple, you begin to see that we humans have quite a role to play. Whatever our present circumstances, the biggest challenge before us is to recognize that in Christ we’ve been given the responsibility and capacity to become like Him, and as we do, we are becoming exactly the kind of humans we were meant to be from the beginning. 

                                                 

“People have always talked about ‘the square’ representing the physical, the tangible, and the circle representing the spirit, God,” continues Elias, making reference to the new album cover artwork. “How do you square the circle? How do you make these things connect?  Jesus was the perfect man and God.  Only in Jesus do we have the ability to say, ‘I’m a whole person, not a broken apart thing, whole but broken.’ On HEART, we try to unpack what it means to be fully human.”

 

At the core of the new album is the first radio single, “City on a Hill,” which is steeped in the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5.

 

“‘A City On A Hill’ takes the high concept view of Christ and brings it down to earth in the form of the very things he said in the Sermon on the Mount,” says Elias.  “It also forms a natural transition into the balance of the album which attempts to marry the ideals with our real lives.

 

“In Christ, God has given us the perfect example to live by, and the means to live that way,” adds Elias. “For the Christian, discipleship isn’t simply adding knowledge to our lives, but it’s to become increasingly more like the human example we’ve been given – to become ‘little Christs,’ and carry our cross through the mud and mire of a broken world in the knowledge that by the grace of God we arise brand new.”

 

In the past two years, life has hit The City Harmonic ‘square on.’ They went from working day jobs to recording and touring full time. Aaron had his first child, Josh was married, Elias had his fourth child and Eric was diagnosed with cancer. In a very real sense, life set the context for HEART.

 

One of the songs on the album, “Strong,” written by Elias and Eric, grew from a place of vulnerability in the middle of Eric’s battle with cancer. “I wasn’t really in a place to write anything,” Eric confesses. “Emotionally, I felt like a child who had been let down by his parents for the first time.  I just couldn’t see [my illness] as a blessing.  I couldn’t connect with God. To confront that stuff and write, ‘I am strong in my weakness,’ was really difficult because I couldn’t deny how I really felt…” 

 

Near the one-year anniversary of the stem cell transplant that saved his life, Eric’s cancer is in remission. “Being on the other side of it, my emotions now line up with what I believe. God really has been there the whole time, using this for the good. It’s a clear picture of God’s people coming together, working together… a profound experience.”

 

With Eric planning to rejoin the group on the road, having been sidelined since his cancer diagnosis early last year, The City Harmonic launches their headline tour with special guests Shawn McDonald and The Royal Royal in October.  Watch the recently relaunched site, www.thecityharmonic.com, for all the latest tour dates and more as the band is about “getting people in on the act—hearts pounding and feet moving.”  Listeners continue to resonate en masse, instinctively joining the chorus while the band’s music dynamically bounces from sparse intimacy to soaring celebration and back again.

 

Forming nearly three years ago, The City Harmonic went from anonymity to widespread acclaim, headlining tours across North America and gathering numerous awards along the way.  In addition to the Juno Award, the band has a Gospel Music Association (GMA) New Artist of the Year Dove Award nomination, four GMA Canada Covenant Awards and nearly 3,000,000 YouTube channel views. The band’s “Manifesto” has sold well over 100,000 copies, marking the only song from a new artist in 2011 to break into the top 10 of the SoundScan Top Current digital singles sales chart.

 

All the latest detail on the band and its touring can be found at:

 

Details on Jamie Grace’s New Single, Beautiful Day!

Have you heard the new single from Jamie Grace yet called Beautiful Day?  I love it!  Following up “Hold Me” was no doubt a daunting task, but I think she nailed it with Beautiful Day!

From Press Release:

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Jamie Grace

Jamie Grace Follows Impressive Debut and GRAMMY®-Nominated Hit “Hold Me” with New Single “Beautiful Day” on Gotee Records

Less than 24 hours upon its debut, “Beautiful Day” peaked at No. 1 on the iTunes® Christian & Gospel Songs Chart

Jamie to join TobyMac, Colton Dixon, Mandisa and others on

HITS Deep Tour 2013 this fall

 

Nashville, Tenn. (July 24, 2013) – GRAMMY®-nominee and Best New Artist GMA Dove Award winner Jamie Grace has released her follow up single to the smash hit success of “Hold Me.” The single, titled “Beautiful Day, is available from Gotee Records beginning now at all digital outlets. The song reunites Jamie with producer/songwriter Christopher Stevens under the direction of TobyMac and will be a part of her forthcoming new album to release later this year. Less than 24 hours upon its release, “Beautiful Day” jumped to the No. 1 spot on the iTunes® Christian & Gospel Songs Chart. Accompanying the single, Jamie has also released a lyric video for “Beautiful Day” that combines her performance of the song with animated hand drawn lyrics and imagery here: http://smarturl.it/JGBeautifulDay.

 

“I’m still having a hard time processing the response to ‘Hold Me,’ the song I started in my dorm room,” says Jamie. “The past few years have been absolutely incredible and I feel so blessed to have the privilege of sharing even more music. ‘Beautiful Day,’ although a fun song, has a message saying that in spite of what we’re going through, every day is a good day and an incredible gift because God made it. In my young life I’ve learned that every day can begin with worshipping my Creator.”

 

The breakout success of her previous GRAMMY®-nominated, No. 1 smash hit “Hold Me (feat. TobyMac)” assisted in propelling Jamie to win her first GMA Dove Award—for New Artist of the Year—last year, in addition to a Billboard Music Award nomination. As a result, in part of the huge success of “Hold Me,” she has experienced a major wave of acclaim and popularity in the last few years, that is evident in her YouTube’s channel combined 13 million views and even finding her making an appearance on ABC’s hit talk show ‘The View.” This fall, Jamie will appear on the silver screen with the release of the LIONSGATE® film GRACE UNPLUGGED, an entertaining story of a talented teenager rising in the music industry led by AJ Michalka (Super 8, The Lovely Bones), James Denton (Desperate Housewives), and Kevan Pollak (A Few Good Men).

 

Jamie Grace will be a featured guest on TobyMac’s “HITS Deep Tour 2013,” making stops across the country in November and December. The “HITS Deep Tour” 2013 will also include Brandon Heath, Mandisa, Colton Dixon, Chris August and Capital Kings. To view her complete tour schedule, visit www.jamiegrace.com.

 

About Jamie Grace

21-year old singer-songwriter Jamie Grace hails from outside of Atlanta in Lithonia, Georgia. At age 11, she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and has since traveled the country sharing her story and faith through music and speaking. Her career made a remarkable debut with the help of multiple GRAMMY® winner, TobyMac who signed her to Gotee Records. During the time of the release of her debut project, One Song at a Time, Jamie balanced her time between her career as a touring artist and college. While her album propelled her to win her first GMA Dove Award for New Artist of the Year and receive her first GRAMMY® and Billboard Music Award nominations she also performed on the Women of Faith’s REVOLVE tour, TobyMac’s HITS Deep Tour and the highly attended 44-city Winter Jam Tour Spectacular. She has since graduated from Point University with a degree in children’s ministry.

 

[Get Connected with Jamie Grace]

Web site // www.jamiegrace.com

Facebook // www.facebook.com/jamiegraceh

Twitter // www.twitter.com/jamiegraceh

YouTube // www.youtube.com/jgracepro

Instagram // www.instagram.com/jamiegraceh

 

iTunes link // http://bit.ly/bdayjgit

AmazonMP3.com // http://bit.ly/jgbdayaz

Spotify // http://spoti.fi/15dKoex

Rdio // http://on.rdio.com/1bcZFSJ

When Haters Love You…

I’m having one of those weeks when it seems the world is really trying to bring me down. 

I’ve been talked about negatively, put down, lied about, and otherwise unfairly treated in the last week largely because I share my faith in such a public way, and while this isn’t anything entirely new, it was really getting inside my head this week.

Normally,  I don’t pay any attention to those I lovingly refer to as my “haters”.  I totally get that my brand of Pollyanna sunshine and Jesus isn’t for everyone…at first.  Usually, negativity, if anything, motivates me to work harder, smile bigger, shine brighter.

Except for this week.

This week, I was ready to throw in the towel and quit. 

Then again, I’m no quitter.

As I was shopping yesterday afternoon at the mall, I came across the perfect shirt that summed up my situation this week,  and reminded me of a Bible verse my friend Darlene had shared with me from Matthew 5:11-12 (NLT):

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it!  Be very glad!   For a great reward awaits you in heaven.”

So from now on when you see me wearing the following shirt with the biggest smile ever on my face, you’ll know why:  I have a fresh new outlook on haters!  I love ’em, and I welcome the opportunity to give them a reason to hate me for my Lord and Savior,  Jesus Christ.

Maybe I should have bought more than 1 shirt?

image

Live 4:1 to Play Allen County Fair!

This week I am a very busy girl covering the Allen County (Indiana) Fair for the Local News Network.  Today marked the opening day of the Fair, and as I perused the grounds and schedule for the week, I noticed something I wasn’t expecting to see.

My favorite local worship band, Live 4:1, is playing the fair on Wednesday night at 8 pm!

(Side note: I swear,  nobody ever tells me ANYTHING! )

Of course, I texted my friend and member of the band,  Darlene Bush, the following to give her a hard time: “I see my favorite band is playing the Allen County Fair! ”

Her reply? “Wow! I didn’t know that the (insert name of my former favorite Dove award winning band that we no longer speak of here on Spin: the Blog because a certain member of the band is a big meanie! ) is going to be at the Fair!”

Somehow, I knew she was going to say that.  She, however, didn’t know that my former favorite (and currently unspeakable band) had fallen from my good graces.

This fall from grace has opened the field wide up for me to name a brand new favorite, and luckily for Live 4:1 I picked them.  Bwahahahaha! !!

So, be sure to come out to the Allen County Fairgrounds on Wednesday night for the show at 8 pm!  Admission to the fair is $5, and kids under 5 are free.  Of course, I’ll be there and you can come hang out with me (just as long as you promise not to bring up that one band!  You know, my old favorites 🙂

FYI-the unmentionable band still totally loves me.  As if you had any doubts!

Everfound Release Update and DVR Alert!

From Press Release:

EVERFOUND RELEASES WORD ENTERTAINMENT DEBUT ALBUM TODAY

 

Scheduled to Make National TV Debut on Fox News Channel’s “Huckabee”

July 27

Everfound

Everfound

Nashville, TN – (July 16, 2013) – Everfound, a band comprised of four Russian-born brothers, released their self-titled label debut today to critical acclaim (iTunes link: http://smarturl.it/everfound). The band celebrated the release this past weekend at Saddleback Church in Southern California. Earlier this year they played there for a massive kick-off for “The Bible” mini-series, as their single “What Love Means” is featured on the companion CD, with Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Pastor Rick Warren in attendance. Immediately following the performance Warren declared via Twitter: “Mark my word: This band is going to be HUGE!” Everfound will continue the celebration on July 27 when they will make their national TV debut and perform their current Top 13 hit single, “Never Beyond Repair” on Fox News Channel’s “Huckabee.”

 

Everfound, co-produced by Seth Mosley (Francesca Battistelli, for KING & COUNTRY, Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline) and Pete Kipley (Phil Wickham, Matthew West, MercyMe), features 14 tracks all written or co-written by the band. The band’s goal when creating this album was to write songs that could serve as the soundtrack to people’s daily lives. “Every song on this record is about something that we’ve gone through ourselves,” said lead singer Nikita. “The struggles, the defeats the victories, peaks, valleys and everything in between – all written with the goal of reaching people with the love of Christ.” Everfound’s songwriting fused with a rock sound that mirrors their musical influences which include The Killers, U2, Coldplay and 30 Seconds to Mars, results in a debut release that is garnering praise from critics in early reviews.

 

“Everfound is the top alt-rock album of the year. I can’t get enough of this album, which is loaded with catchy and hope-filled emotional rock songs. This album will stay in heavy rotation for me all year.” –NewReleaseTuesday.com

 

“Everfound’s self-titled debut is one to savor over and over again…now is the time for Everfound to shine and show the world that a new rock band is in town! And I suggest you all jump on the bandwagon, they’ll be the band on everyone’s lips pretty soon!” – Christianmusiczine.com

 

“…this popularity is only going to soar with its self-titled debut album.” – HM Magazine

 

“Of all the new bands that I’ve heard over the past couple years, I don’t know if I’ve been personally pulling for one harder than this one.” JesusfreakHideoout.com

 

If you only buy one new CD in 2013, make sure it’s the new release by this band.” – Spin: The Blog

 

The band recently wrapped up touring with the Dare 2 Share youth conference and spent last fall opening for Matthew West on his “Into the Light Tour.” They can be seen this summer throughout the country at various festivals:

 

July 18:                      Sonshine Festival – Willmar, MN

July 21:                      Roosevelt Baptist Church – Roosevelt, UT

August 3:                   Spirit West Coast – Salinas, CA

August 4-5:               Kingdom Bound – Darien Center, NY

August 7:                   Unity Fest – Muskegon, MI

August 10:                 Creation West – Enumclaw, WA

August 12-18:           Drift Creek Camp – Lincoln City, OR

 

Everfound is a band comprised of four Russian-born brothers who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1990’s. Their Word debut album’s lead single, “Never Beyond Repair,” is currently No. 13 at Hot AC/CHR. These multi-instrumental and classically-trained musicians have played more than 800 shows throughout both the U.S. and Europe and released four albums independently. For further information and for listing of tour dates, please visit www.everfoundmusic.com.

Win a Capital Kings/Colton Dixon Prize Pack!

I know there are a lot of Capital Kings and Colton Dixon fans out there who also read Spin: the Blog.

What can I say, Capital Kings, Colton Dixon and I have a lot of really awesome fans in common!  (We do!)

So, for Totally Trivia Tuesday today, I have a question that IF you know the answer it’s gonna snag you a grand prize package that includes (drum roll please…) an 8×10 Capital Kings autographed poster, an autographed copy of their self-titled debut full length album on Gotee Records, a Colton Dixon ‘Messenger’ dog tag style necklace, an autographed Colton Dixon ‘Messenger’ CD, an official Colton Dixon ‘Messenger’ poster, and a life size cardboard Colton Dixon stand-up figure (a perfect decorating accent to any home if I do say so myself!)

The trivia question this week is going to be a little bit more difficult than usual because the ante is HIGH when we’re giving away a cardboard life size Colton Dixon replica.  First, I will give you the question, and then I will give you two clues.

Also, please be aware if you are a close friend, employee, or relative of Beth Stauffer you are ineligible to attempt to win this prize.  (Yes Sarah, I’m talking about you.)

Here is this week’s Totally Trivia Tuesday question:  I (Beth) have one word tattooed on the inside of my left wrist along with a single symbol that I designed myself.  When I am at appearances and events, I am frequently asked for the pattern because everyone likes it so much.  What is the word and symbol?

Here is your 1st clue:  The word comes from a lyric in one of my favorite Sanctus Real songs, ‘The Redeemer’.  I (Beth) am frequently told I am a dreamer, which is totally true, but I consider it no greater compliment than to be called this other word, which is also mentioned in the song.

Here is your 2nd clue:  My (Beth) favorite hard rocking band, who I can’t name by name or it will totally give it away, has a single currently out simply titled with this word but it is also the title of the band’s most recently released album from 2012.  When I shared a pic of the tattoo with the band, they loved it so much they shared the picture on their website and social media feeds!

If you think you know the answer, e-mail me at Beth@BethStauffer.com!  The first correct answer wins 🙂

 

And the Everfound CD Winners Are…

Woo-hoo!  I have winners to announce from my Everfound debut release CD bonanza giveaway I announced yesterday!  Hurray!  And the winners are….

1.  From Albuquerque, New Mexico….Darlene K.

2.  From Crawfordsville, Indiana…Hunter S.

3.  From Chicago, Illinois…Misty L.

4.  From Lexington, Kentucky…Carol H.

5.  From Sioux City, Iowa…Vanessa B.

These lucky winners answered the following question correctly–What is the only other band/artist that Beth has have ever offered a “Buy Back Guarantee” on that is also an award-winning Word Entertainment label mate of Everfound’s?  Which CD release from which one of Beth’s favorite bands/artists was it?

A few of the incorrect answers we received in spades–Matthew West: ‘Into the Light’, Kutless: Believer, Mandisa: Stronger, Sanctus Real: Run, Josh Wilson: Carry Me, and Plumb: Need You Now.  All good guesses, except for one thing.  None of these artists are Word Entertainment artist label mates of Everfounds!  That was a BIG clue, people 🙂

If you guessed any of these artists, you were a lot closer to being right:  Jason Castro’s ‘Only a Mountain’, Chris August’s ‘The Upside of Down’, for King & Country’s ‘Crave’ or Big Daddy Weave’s ‘Love Come to Life’ CDs you were very close.

If you answered the Sidewalk Prophets ‘Live Like That’ release from 2012, you nailed it.  While I’ve given away quite literally at least 50 of these CDs, and had probably another 25 “borrowed” (and never returned), I’ve never had anyone ask for me to buy ‘Live Like That’ back.

In fact, just tonight my neighbor was belting out ‘Wrecking Ball’ as he mowed the lawn compliments of one of my previous CD giveaways.  Unfortunately, it sounded atrocious (and I hope none of my other neighbors are ever able to trace his vocal stylings back to me or else I’ll ever hear the end of it) but I’m sure it sounds beautiful just the same in God’s ears.

So, my lovely winners Darlene, Hunter, Misty, Carol, and Vanessa are all receiving brand spanking new copies of Everfound’s debut release AND autographed copies of the Sidewalk Prophets Live Like That CD from my personal stash, with one stipulation—if they are gonna mow the lawn while singing any one of the tunes from either of these great CDs, they better be singing it loud and proud!

Congratulations winners, and, if you didn’t win and are a Colton Dixon/Capital Kings fan sit tight because I am about to post another giveaway trivia question here on Spin: the Blog in about 10 seconds!!

Everfound’s Debut A Torch For New Gen of Christians

7 pm on November 9th, 2012 sort of marked a pivotal point in my life.

(Side note:  if my BFF Sarah is reading this right now, I know she is rolling her eyes because she knows where I’m going with this.  Let me explain…)

This was the night, exactly 250 days ago today, that Sarah and I headed out to Auer Hall at IPFW in Fort Wayne, Indiana for the Into the Light Tour concert stop featuring (as far as we knew) Lindsay McCaul, Mikeschair, and Matthew West.

The evening was freezing cold for early November, and as I recall, I had to walk what seemed like a mile across the frozen Indiana tundra in my as-yet-unbroken-in-heels to get to the venue.  When Sarah and I finally got there, I realized I had grabbed the wrong camera bag and I didn’t have my Press Pass.  (And to think, I was just complaining about walking a mile in my shoes…little did I realize running 2 miles in the same  pair of shoes was not going to be any more pleasant!)

Needless to say, I was not a happy camper when I returned to the venue.

“Hey, what’s with this Everfound band?”  I vividly remember Sarah asking me, pointing at her ticket stub.  “Are they any good?”

“Never heard of them,” I replied.  “I didn’t even know they were on the billing tonight,” I added, shrugging my shoulders.

With that, I briefly debated leaving my seat to go out and peruse the array of colorful  t-shirts for sale in the lobby, because, really, how good could a band named Everfound that I’ve never even heard of before be anyways?

Right on cue, the lights faded and Everfound’s set started.

To answer my own question: Quite simply, Everfound ended up being pretty darn good.

I was hooked within the first 5 seconds of their energetic, wildly crowd pleasing set.  (Now that I mention it, I never did buy a t-shirt that night.  Oh well!)

In all seriousness, however, before 7 pm on November 9th, 2012, I had never heard of a band called Everfound.

After November 9th, 2012, I haven’t stopped talking about that very same band, Everfound.

Yan, Everfound's drummer

Yan, Everfound’s drummer

I know I’ve written previously on Spin: the Blog how I happened to accidentally meet the Everfound brothers later that November night, and, I’m pretty sure I will not soon forget Nikita’s reaction to seeing my official press credentials dangling around my neck because he literally jumped over the band’s makeshift merchandise table to talk to me.

After inspecting my badge, Nikita began asking me a series of questions as if he was the chief investigative journalist for the evening (instead of me):  “Are you a writer?  Who do you write for?  Do you write about music?  Have you ever met anyone famous?  Hey, Ruslan, Larry, she’s a writer!  Come talk to her!”

Personally, I was a lot more interested in hearing their story than my own.

Ruslan, Everfound's guitarist/keyboard player

Ruslan, Everfound’s guitarist/keyboard player

The lively and engaging brothers told me briefly about their compelling story, which began in the United States after they emigrated here as young children from the Soviet Union.  “It’s hard for us to imagine what it was like to be a Christian for our parents and grandparents,” Nikita told me that night, telling me the story of his great-grandfather who spent 20 years in prison simply for owning a Bible.

It seems to me that the courage and conviction that Nikita, Ruslan, Illarion, and Yan’s ancestors so boldly displayed on a continent thousands of miles away so very long ago is now plainly evident in Everfound’s debut full length album on Word Entertainment.

Everfound

So, without further adieu, here are my track by track thoughts about the self-titled project, which I’m told the classically trained band of brothers originally whittled down to 12 from 75 pieces that were either written or co-written by Everfound.  According to Nikita, “Each of the songs that made the record are deeply personal and hand-selected favorites.  This album has been more than two years in the making and we are very proud of it and excited to see how the songs will connect with our fans!”

Track 1, Pyatigorsk—A luminous, big sounding instrumental intro befitting the musical feast for the ears that is to come.  Don’t sweat what the word looks like or how you would say it; a quick Google search seems to indicate that ‘Pyatigorsk’ is a Russian city, so if I were to guess, perhaps this is the place where Everfound’s story originally begins.  I think if this is true, it’s quite fitting that it’s the name of the first track of their self-titled debut CD, too.

Track 2—Go—I am immediately struck by Nikita’s sparkly bright, clean vocals on this track.  There is something about Nikita’s tone and style that is reminiscent of Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North (which, coming from me is a huge compliment!).  At other times I hear elements of a young, fresh Ryan Tedder and company from One Republic (again, major kudos as I love One Republic.) 

Yet, even with these lofty comparisons, Everfound doesn’t wait around leaning too heavily on comparables, waiting to establish their own unique sound;  quite literally, they go to work right away showing listeners the full gamut of what they are capable of musically.

As a result, I thought Go was a rocking and refreshing, hip young tune; however,  I do recommend getting vaccinated prior to listening to Go due to its downright infectious hook.  Go is so good, I’m concerned it might just start a pandemic.

Track 3—Unless—This track had me at ‘catastrophe’.  Lyrically, Everfound’s album is consistently all-around brilliant.  As a writer and self-proclaimed word girl, I feel well qualified to comment on just how good these lyrics are.  In fact, I liked the lyrics to this album so much that I had to request a copy of them from Word because they are so good.  Consider Unless my “Everfound’s album is all-around consistently brilliant” Exhibit A.  Check it—

Stuck in a catastrophe /Life is tearing at the seams/There’s no way that I can hold it in/Sinking in the ashes of/Everything that I once loved/I’d give it all to get it back again/Stuck on a wire/And it feels like it’s over 

CHORUS

Unless/A miracle/Takes control/And rescues my fallen world/I confess/I’m such a mess/I’m already dead/Unless”

Now, listen to how they pair up these lyrics with the music, and your mind will be completely blown.  You haven’t heard a stylistically savvy blend of punk-infused modern rock at its finest until you’ve listed to Unless.  Seriously.Good.Stuff.

Track- 4—Never Beyond Repair—If there is one thing I want you to remember about this review forever, this is it: the song Never Beyond Repair is a life-changer.

I have loved this song since the first second the very first notes touched my ears for the very  first time.

If your heart isn’t touched by this song, you might need to see a cardiologist because there is seriously something wrong with you.

Perhaps the reason I love this song so much is because it describes my past life experiences to a perfect T.  I have so been there.  I have so felt like I was beyond repair, and wasted so much time living like I was beyond repair.

If there was ever one song I could go back in time and play for me as teenage Beth, maybe even younger, Never Beyond Repair would be the one.

“You’ve done what you promised that you’d never do/Your innocence gone and your fears coming true/

How did you end up like this, feeling so lost/Like your life is in pieces too broken to fix/

And shame’s got you tied to a weight you can’t lift/But the biggest mistake that you made isn’t too big

 

CHORUS

You’re not beyond repair/Grace meets you anywhere/And the mess of your heart/Is where love’s gonna start/‘Cause you are/

Never beyond repair”

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Nikita, Ruslan, Yan (and Seth Mosley!) for writing this song.  If I could reach thru the computer and give you a big hug right now, I most certainly would.  In fact, would somebody please put these lyrics on my tombstone when I die because this song right here is where it’s AT!  I LOVE this song, and this message.

Track 5—Count The Stars—So, following the first four stellar tracks, I figured “Well, that has to be about it, right?”  Wrong.  Bring on a hopefully haunting, soaring vocal performance by Nikita, more solid lyrics, and more spot on music and I have to say, I continue to be impressed.  I honestly thought at some points during Count The Stars I heard some old school circa-Peter-Furler-Newsboys-Spirit-Thing-days throwback vibes.  How awesome is that?  (Those were the good old days!)

Track 6—God of the Impossible—This song is destined for great things.  I love the lyrics, and I love the fact that this morning I heard my six-year-old son Alex in his bedroom banging away on his drums and singing:

Here I am, Lord, send me/I won’t look back ‘cause I was made/To be a part of the impossible/You’re God of the impossible

Here I am, Lord, send me/I won’t back down ‘cause I believe/You are the God of the impossible/Here I am, send me”

 

No matter who you are, after a listen or two of this song, you will undoubtedly feel like Mel Gibson in Braveheart: not only will you feel totally sick (in a good way) like your face is painted half blue and your bad self’s pumped up and ready to run into battle against the enemy,  you will also have an amazing new battle cry in your heart to listen to as you fight the good fight.

Plaid kilt and spear completely optional, and sold separately.

(Also on a side note, in case this is the first time you’ve read my blog, my aforementioned son Alex has impeccable taste in music, and he is also the world’s leading expert on for King & Country, Everfound’s label mates at Word Entertainment.)

Track 7—Hallelujah—This track, which was co-written by Nikita and Ruslan,  totally made me smile.  In my head, every time I listened to this song I kept picturing Hallelujah as a fabulous music video because it would very easily translate to a Family Force 5-esque video in the vein of Wobble, Cray Button or Chainsaw.  I mean, who wouldn’t love Hallelujah as the next punkified rock music video/ internet sensation?  I know I’d watch it at least a few thousand times!

Nikita

Track 8—Somewhere New—This is the only track on the album written exclusively by one person:  Nikita.  Beautiful in its simplistic fragility and innocent intimacy, there’s just something special about this one.  The result is a poignant, heartfelt track that is impossible to ignore or forget about.  I double dog dare you to try.

Track 9—Hurt—Here is where Everfound begins to reveal the true essence of what I believe they are one day capable of accomplishing musically.  Up until this point, Nikita’s vocals are nothing if not consistently fresh, young, and perfectly suited to each musical composition.  Then, in Hurt, Nikita just leaves all his previous delivery methods behind.  He walks away from what is comfortable for him, completely stripping away his typical vocalizations and delivering for the first time a raw, mature, elemental performance.

If you knew nothing about Everfound and track 9 happened to be the first song you ever heard by the band, you would have no idea how old Nikita is, and it wouldn’t even matter to you because his voice is everything that is right about this song.

Track 10—Lubit hristos bezmerna—Another shout out to Everfound’s homeland.  Again, do not fear the spelling or pronunciation; just enjoy the short instrumental piece, and if you know what ‘Lubit hristos bezmerna’ means, by all means post it below in the comments section!  I’d love to know.

Track 11—Torch—Light it up, boys and girls, because Everfound’s in the home stretch and they’re gonna end this debut release with a bang!  I love the energy in this song, and can only imagine how fantastically well this number would translate to a live Everfound performance (have I mentioned how amazing Everfound is to see live?  Because they are!)  The lyrics are spectacular on this one as well: “And if it rains or pours / I’m screaming I am Yours / And no one will ignore who I’m living for / I’m carrying the torch.”  I have to give up some mad props to Yan on the drums on this one, too.  So stellar, I’m betting even Stellar Kart would approve 🙂

Track 12—Take This City—One of my personal favorites of among slow jams on the album, the song Take This City should be a focal point of the entire album for Everfound fans.  If this CD was a book, then this would be the scene right before the climax and falling action where tensions are rising and everything has to go just right or it all falls apart.

Everfound delivers big, playing the part perfectly with that succinct blend of vocals, perfectly timed crescendos, and instrumentation that I am ever so fond of.

(Oh, and if you think you’re hearing a little bit ‘o resemblance to Alex’s favorite band, for King and Country on track #12, you have a really good ear, my friend—Joel Smallbone of for King & Country fame is credited as a co-writer this go round.  As my Grandma’s Australian friend Tania would always say when she didn’t believe something was true: “Stone the crows!”)

Track 13—We Are Alive—Once again, a more mature sounding Nikita emerges, breaking through and outright nailing this anthemic whopper of a song.  This song is upbeat, it’s memorable and appealing, just like the rest of the album.  It put a song in my heart, and made me want to come back for more of Everfound’s music again and again.

Track 14—What Love Means—What Love Means ends the album on a truly high note.  I found myself getting a little emotional listening to the following lyrics (which, coincidentally, is totally unlike me):

“You gave away Your life/The greatest sacrifice/You did it all so I can know what love means

There’s nothing good in me/But You see what I can’t see/And through it all, Your cross shows me what love means 

Love comes with a price/You paid with Your life/So I give You mine 

There’s nothing good in me/But You see what I can’t see/And through it all, Your cross shows me what love means”

I think it is pretty clear not only what love means, but what Everfound means, too.

I think it should also be pretty clear what I mean when I say that I love this album:  it has helped me to reconnect and reinvigorate my faith, simultaneously allowing me to reflect on where I’ve been (Never Beyond Repair, Unless), where I’m going (Go, Somewhere New), and why I’m going there (Torch, What Love Means).

Illarion

Illarion, Everfound’s Bassist

This morning, I asked my 6-year-old son if he wanted me to give him $7 to buy a CD of the music he’s learning at Vacation Bible School this week.

“No thanks,” Alex replied, shaking his head.  “I’d rather save my money and buy some good music like the new Everfound CD tomorrow, Mommy.  I really like it!”

I tell you this not to reiterate that fact that my son not only has awesome taste in music like his mom, but to point out just how important the bonds of family are no matter who you are or where you are from.

As I reflect on this very highly anticipated (by me) album from Everfound, I can’t help but think about that night last November when Nikita, Ruslan, Yan and Larry talked with me so openly about their own family, particularly about how their ancestors couldn’t even openly talk about their Christian faith prior to emigrating from Russia.

To be able to listen to Christian music like the album Everfound is releasing today on the radio probably would have sounded like a pie in the sky dream to the Odnoralov’s great-grandfather who once went to prison for owning a Bible.

Somehow defying all odds, today the great-grandsons of that same prisoner have a top 20 radio hit in the form of Never Beyond Repair.  They also have, at least in my opinion, the standout full length debut album of 2013.

With this release, Everfound lights a torch for a new generation of Christians to follow while inspiring and encouraging those believers yet to come to Christ with their music and compelling story that spans an ocean and multiple continents, time and several generations, heaven and earth.

Truly, the God of the impossible has made what likely once seemed impossible for the Odnoralov brothers possible by sending a family with a band of musical brothers to Denver, Colorado.

Now, how amazing is that?

My signed Everfound EP.  I've been carrying this around in my camera bag since I met the band in November when they were on the Into the Light Tour with Matthew West.  I knew then they were going to make it big!

My signed Everfound EP. I’ve been carrying this around in my camera bag since I met the band in November when they were on the Into the Light Tour with Matthew West. I knew then they were going to make it big!

Since I met the Odnoralov brothers back in November, I’ve been carrying around their autographed EP in my camera bag and showing it to everyone I meet with the advice, “If you only buy one new CD in 2013, make sure it’s the new release by this band.”

That’s just a sampling of how much I believed in these guys after seeing them perform once and meeting them; however, after listening to a pre-release copy of their full length debut, I’m fully prepared to up the ante—if you are a Spin: the Blog subscriber and buy Everfound’s new release and aren’t totally WOWED by it, send me an e-mail (Beth@BethStauffer.com) and I will buy it back from you. 

Seriously, I will (but I am confident  that once you hear this CD, you aren’t going to want to part with it EVER!  The only other time I ever did a buy back guarantee like this with another band, I had no takers so I do know what I’m talking about!)

Also, if you are one of the first 5 people to e-mail me at Beth@BethStauffer.com the correct answer to the following trivia question, I will send you a free copy of the brand new Everfound CD!  Here’s your clue:

The only other band/artist that I have ever offered a “Buy Back Guarantee” on along with her Must Buy recommendation is an award-winning Word Entertainment label mate of Everfound’s.  Which CD release from which one of Beth’s favorite bands/artists was it?

You must correctly name band/artist AND the name of the band/artist’s CD to win.  If you are one of the winners, you will be notified by e-mail and asked to provide your mailing address; you must respond within 48 hours to this request, or you will forfeit your prize and it will be given to the next correctly answered entrant in the queue.

Oh, and what the heck…just for fun, I’m going to throw in autographed copies of the mystery CD by the mystery band/artist  since I happen to have a few copies in my stash 🙂 

So, the top 5 winners will get 2 of my nuevo favorite CD’s this week….woot-woot! 

Good luck….and, can I win?