I’m Ba-ack! And Some Great News!

I bet y’all thought I’d fell off the face of the earth of something, right?  It’s been awhile (okay, 19 days!) since I’ve posted here on Spin: the Blog, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who took time to e-mail and Facebook and Twitter me sweet messages asking if I was okay.

The truth is, I wasn’t feeling very well for for a week or two and had to have some surgery.

In the grand scheme of things, no big deal, not really, and I’m doing much, much better now (and I’m ready to take on the world!)  So thanks for your positive thoughts and prayers, they mean the world to me and I am 100% certain that they made all the difference in how quickly I recovered.

With this being said, I have some good news and some some, well, I won’t say bad news, but more like unfortunate news to share with you.

Let’s start with the unfortunate news.

While I was laid up on my couch for 2 weeks, I missed writing reviews on what was some of the very best new releases in Christian music in 2013.  Yes, you read that right, and yes, I am completely bummed.  I’ve been mulling over some ways to rectify this situation, and while I haven’t completely come up with a totally rad solution yet, I have a couple of ideas that have potential.

Make no mistake about it–I fully intend to keep you informed on all the latest and greatest in the world of Christian music!

Now, for the super-exciting good news!  Hold on to your hats, my friends, because this is a BIG announcement!

Spin: the Blog’s Beth Stauffer (that’s ME!) is super pumped to be partnering with RemedyLive.com as their first ever Artist Liaison!  What that means is, I will be the “talent guru” so-to-speak, looking for awesome artists with great music and compelling personal stories to Skype in to RemedyLive’s GONG Show and chat with the show hosts.  Of course, as the Artist Liaison, I will get the first crack at the artists, doing  preliminary interviews and writing about them here on Spin.  RemedyLive will then share the live web content with me to post here on Spin, so you can enjoy the live interviews with the artists as well–how FUN will that be?!

If you don’t know much about RemedyLive.com, please feel free to head over to their website to learn more about their ministry to 12-25 year olds.  RemedyLive’s motto is, “We chat.  We listen.  We love.” and I LOVE that about them!  I also love that they help young adults work through a lot of tough issues including faith, depression, self-harm, suicide, abuse, pornography, sexual identity, and eating disorders by using modern Christian music and interviews with artists to connect with them.

I am so excited about this new venture between Spin: the Blog and RemedyLive.com, and I hope you will partner with me in my excitement over what amazing things God has in store for the future!

Of course, if you are one of my much-loved readers here on Spin and are struggling with any of the above mentioned issues, I want you to know that you are not alone, and there IS hope to be found in Jesus Christ.  I know this to be true, because I was once in the very same place you now find yourself; in fact, I have, at one time or another, fought intense battles with 6 of the 8 issues that RemedyLive helps young adults overcome.  I would like to encourage you to visit RemedyLive.com if you are need of someone to talk to by chatting anonymously with a Soul Medic today.  If you have a prayer request, I’d love to hear from you, too–drop me a line at Beth@BethStauffer.com anytime!

Coming up on RemedyLive.com, you can catch Brad Dring of Rapture Ruckus at 4:30 pm EST on the GONG Show talking about the band’s new song, ‘IN CROWD’ and fall plans to tour with the Newsboys and For King & Country on September 17th; on September 19th at 4:30 pm EST, crazy talented rapper K-Drama will Skype in to the show.  K-Drama has produced for such iconic artists as Lecrae, Tedashii and Flame and been featured vocally on songs with Sho Baraka, R-Swift and more than 100 artists all over the world.  K-Drama has a compelling personal story to share, and this will be one interview you won’t want to miss!

Caught Dreaming–Andy Mineo featuring for King & Country

So, I recently sort of discovered a new (to me) artist that I really kind of like by the name of Andy Mineo. According to the essential reference guide known as Wikipedia, Mineo is a Christian hip hop artist, producer, minister, actor, and music video and TV director from New York City. He is signed to Reach Records, and his first mixtape was released in 2009 and has what I’m thinking is the best title EVER…Sin is Wack (vol. 1).  Mineo has sang background vocals for Lecrae and collaborated with both Tedashii on his album Blacklight and Lecrae on his award winning album Gravity.  His first full length release, Heroes For Sale, with Reach Records hit stores on April 16th, 2013.

One of my favorite songs on the album is the song Caught Dreaming, which features my favorite Australian born dynamic duo, for King & Country’s Luke & Joel. You can check out the YouTube video for the song below, and the entire album is for sale on iTunes (and for previewing on Spotify!) Check it out and let me know what you think!

 

Wobble!

As many of you may have guessed, I currently have an obsession with the group Family Force 5.

It makes no sense to me, other than the fact that their music and music videos are a whole lotta fun.  (Also, their live shows are epic.  If you don’t believe me, go check them out on the Rock & Worship Roadshow when it stops by a town near you this winter/spring.)

I am especially obsessed with the song “Cray Button” featuring Lecrae, which I have previously featured here on the Spin: the Blog during my “YAWN!  This Super Bowl is Boring” video series back in January.

My other FF5 song obsession at the moment is the song “Wobble”.

Now, I personally cannot Wobble, at least not on purpose.  I suppose I’ve been known to inadvertently Wobble a time or two because I’m amusingly lacking in the coordination and grace department; yet, I love this song anyway.   Since it recently passed over a 1,000,000 views on YouTube, I thought I would share it this morning to get the party started right.

While the Harlem Shake may be the dance craze of the moment, just remember that the Wobble came first, which sort of makes it the Granddaddy of the Harlem Shake.

Enjoy!

 

2013 Grammy Winners!

February 10th, 2013 was a big night at the Grammy’s for Christian Music!  Here’s a quick run down of the winners:

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance–Matt Redman. Such a well-deserved win! I also love Matt Redman’s response to his win on Twitter. He said, “We wrote this song for the glory of God, so He gets all the glory today, too.” Beautiful!

The category for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song of the year was a tough one. So many great songs to choose from in this category! Nominees included 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin, Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Mark Hall and Matthew West, Your Presence is Heaven by Israel Houghton and Michah Massey, When Mercy Found Me by Jeff Pardo and Rhett Walker, and White Flag by Jason Ingram, Matt Maher, Matt Redman, and Chris Tomlin. (Side note: I wonder how Matt Redman must have felt to be competing against himself for this category? That’s awesome!) I have to admit, I was kind of pulling for my home boy Rhett Walker’s When Mercy Found Me, but the award was given jointly to 10,000 Reasons and Your Presence is Heaven. Both are truly great songs, and very well deserved wins for the songwriters. If you aren’t familiar with Your Presence is Heaven (To Me), check out the lyric video below on YouTube:

The winner for Best Gospel Album this year was Gravity by Lecrae. If I’m being very candid, of all the well deserved awards given out last night this one is probably tops. I’m not typically a big fan of rap music, but for a solid couple of months last summer I was completely hooked on Gravity. Couldn’t get enough of it! Lecrae is an amazing man of God, and you can check out his inspiring testimony below:

Another tough category at the Grammy’s was the Best Contemporary Christian Album. Nominated for the award was Eye On It by tobyMac, Come to the Well by the Casting Crowns, Where I Find You by Kari Jobe, Gold by Britt Nicole, and Into the Light by Matthew West. All of the nominees in this category had stellar projects and stellar years last year, but my one of my own favorites, tobyMac, walked away the big winner. Congratulations to Mr. Mac on the win and to the nominees! (As Matthew West said on Twitter, “I’m getting pretty good at saying ‘It’s just an honor to be nominated.’ Ha! Congrats to @therealtobymac on a well-deserved Grammy!”) You can check out tobyMac’s video for Eye On It featuring fellow nominee Britt Nicole below:

*YAWN* This Superbowl is Boring…

So I’m going to post some of my favorite videos!  First up is Family Force 5 featuring Lecrae–Cray Button.  Monster trucks, mud wrestling-style dancing, and one of my favorite fun lyrics–“I will show you crazy, I’m a maniac”–in one fan powered, over the top video.  Love it!

Enjoy:

Tuesday Tunes Playlist

Dear Readers:
I’ve received quite a few e-mails lately asking me about what my music playlist sounds like lately. Yes, I’m aware that I have been somewhat negligent in writing about music lately, and I do apologize for that.  So for fun today I thought I would post a Tuesday Tunes Playlist of what I have been listening to lately and what has been speaking to my heart. Enjoy!
#15—The Words I Would Say (Sidewalk Prophets)—Yep, I realize that this is kind of classic.  It’s by far the oldest song on this list. Lately, this song has been popping up in my life in weird places when I need a boost.  For instance, I was in a real foul mood at Gordon Food Service shopping for a picnic at church last weekend, and sandwiched in between songs by The Cure and Bon Jovi was ‘The Words I Would Say’.  Very strange, but in a good way.  It definitely brought a smile to my face and turned my attitude around in record time.
#14—Obsolete (Sara Groves)—I really like Sara Groves.  She has a haunting quality to her voice and the lyrics to her songs are just flat out brilliant.  This song just kind of hits my feelings on the head lately, and in a way that I don’t think even I could describe as well as Sara does in this song.  Highly recommended listening, along with the rest of the her album ‘Invisible Empires’.
#13—Redeemed (Big Daddy Weave)—This song just touches my heart every time I hear it, which fortunately is quite frequently as it’s getting a lot of radio play these days in my neck of the woods.  I think this may be my all-time favorite BDW song!
#12—Higher (Lecrae featuring Tenth Avenue North)—I have to admit, when I first saw this song listed on Lecrae’s newest album, Gravity, I did a double take.  Lecrae…and Tenth Avenue North?  How exactly would something like that work, anyway?  Well, let me say for the record it works quite beautifully.  Great song, I totally love it.  Further proof (at least to me) that Tenth Avenue North makes everything better!
#11—Gold (Britt Nicole)—There are a lot of really good songs on Britt Nicole’s latest project.  If I had to pick one, I’d say ‘Gold’ is one of my favorites.  Without fail, it brightens my day and gets me going no matter what else might be going on.
#10—Pushing on a Pull Door (For King & Country)—Yes, for those of you in the know, this is my theme song.  I have written an entire short story based upon inspiration derived from this song. Luckily, I haven’t actually been hanging upside down lately like I was in the story I shared, but I’ve definitely been pushing on some pull doors lately. 
#9—Good Morning (Mandisa featuring TobyMac)—Here’s a no fail recipe for a song that I will love:  Have Mandisa sing something positive and upbeat, and toss in some TobyMac for good measure.  Seriously, that’s a no fail recipe for a great song.  These two together are like peanut butter and jelly (well, that might not be the best example since I’m allergic to peanut butter). Anyway, I think you get the picture.
#8—For the First Time Again (Jason Gray)—I’ve just recently discovered Jason Gray, and I’m quickly becoming a fan.  This song really hit me the other day while I was driving along in my car, as it very accurately described a place in my life I’ve been feeling lately.  I’ve listened to it a lot in the time since then.  If you are feeling a little run down, I would recommend listening to this song for sure!
#7—Opposite Way (Leeland)—I had a strange experience with this song over the weekend.  Honestly, if I’ve listened to this song once, I’ve listened to it a hundred times  as I love the CD Opposite Way.  Yet, as I was driving along the highway on interstate I-469 on Sunday, Opposite Way came on the radio and it was as if I heard it for the first time.  I was struck by the lyrics, and I swear it was like I never really heard what was being said in this song before.  I would encourage you if you don’t have this CD to get it, or at the very least look up the lyrics to this song.   Beautiful, poignant, touching.  Definitely go check it out!
#6—All I see is You (Trevor Morgan)—I really like Trevor Morgan’s CD, The Blessed and the Broken. If you don’t have it, you should. It’s really, really good.  I’ve been listening to All I See Is You a lot lately, and it has become the prayerof my heart these last few weeks. Another highly recommended song, and CD.
#5—Angel By Your Side (Francesca Battistelli)—Her name maybe difficult to spell and kind of hard to say, but definitely worth the effort.  I love this song, as it has been both an encouragement and comfort to me lately. 
#4—Even If (Kutless)—I’m a longtime fan of Kutless, and as such I have to admit that their latest project “Believer” is one of my favorites.  What I like about Kutless is that they sing the truth.  They aren’t compelled to make everything tidy and neat, and they tend to cut straight to the heart of what really matters.  I really admire them for that.  Even If is one of those songs that is a brilliant amalgamation of hard truths amidst a unifying hope in the Lord.  For sure, if you haven’t yet, you’ll want to give this song a listen.
#3—Center of It (Chris August)—I posted a review on my blog awhile back about Chris August’s new CD, The Upside of Down.  It’s been in a continual state of replay since I got it back in August.  It was hard to pick just one song off of the album to include on this playlist, but I decided to go with Center of It because of the reminder it provides me that no matter what is going on in my life, God is in the center of it all.  Worth a listen (or a hundred!)
#2—Never (Hyland)—Okay, here’s my rant for today.  I think Hyland is one of most underrated groups in Christian music today.  They have some really great songs and I so enjoy listening to their CD, Weights and Measures.  They also have a single out called “Beauty in the Broken,” which I think is spectacular.   Their song, Never, is also a standout in my book.   The lyrics are so relatable and heartfelt that I find myself coming back to listen to this song over and over. 
#1—Banner of Love (Luminate)—This is such an awesome song it should be mandatory listening for everyone.  If everyone listened to this song, and then attempted to live by the lyrics, the world would no doubt be a more beautiful place.  Truthfully, if you haven’t heard this song yet, you need to listen to it and you’ll see why it’s my #1 pick on my playlist this week! 
And there you have it!  You can view pins of all of these videos on my Pinterest Board, Tuesday Tunes Playlist!
Much Love,
Beth