What Matters More

I have been anxiously awaiting Derek Webb’s new album. Looks like he had released a new single from it today. Wow!

The Long Fall Back to Earth


I’ve been a fan of Jars of Clay ever since college, but their last few albums have been very exciting. Their latest, ‘The Long Fall Back to Earth’, released today and it is very, very good. You have to check it out. If you want to try only one song from it, I’d recommend Closer (which was released a few months ago on an EP) or The Long Fall. But every song on the album (there are 14 of them!) is awesome.

Updated 4/22/09: So, the more I listen to this the more I’m struck by different songs.  “Hero” and “Weapons” are both must listens.  “Headphones” is pretty much the only song I could do without.  It sounds like he wrote “Boys” for his kids, which as a father really strikes me.   Anyway, just wanted to add a couple of the songs I listed above.

Rue Royale is certainly something to write home about

Rue Royale

Back in September of 2007, I had a post talking about a new band that I had found named Rue Royale. They are a husband and wife duo that features beautiful smooth melodies, acoustic guitars, and artistic lyrics. A couple of weeks ago my iPod came across them again while I was listening to a random playlist, and was started wondering what they were now up to. Not only did I discover that they had a full length album out now, but it has been out for over a year!

The self-titled album includes 10 songs, three of which are from the EP – Parachutes and Lifeboats, Even in the Darkness, and U.F.O. You really ought to check out their MySpace page and, if you like the music, pick up the album. This quickly replaced the new U2 album at the top of my playlist.

U2’s new album is Magnificent

I’m a pretty big fan of U2, and as such, I had to pick up their album, No Line on the Horizon last Tuesday as soon as it came out. Actually, my morning was like this: get up, shower, get dressed, open the computer, download the album from Amazon. That was especially cool since Amazon had it for only four dollars!

So, how is the new album. I love it! I’ve been listening to it almost constantly since Tuesday during the periods of time that I have been in my office. I enjoy it more and more with each listen. Two songs in particular stand out to me: “Magnificent” and “Moment of Surrender”. The title song, “No Line on the Horizon” and their first single “Get on Your Boots”, I would have to say are actually two of the weakest songs on the album.

Musically, this album strikes me as being more similar to some of their older stuff, like Achtung Baby, than the more recent ones. Lyrically, it’s hard to miss the religious overtones. Being a Christian myself, I’ve always loved that facet of their music. You feel like you are in the middle of a worship service lead by one of the greatest rock bands ever. You just can’t beat that!

So, I would highly recommend this album. It looks like you can still pick up the MP3 version of it for $3.99 from Amazon here.

My Dear Machine

Sixpence None the Richer has long been near the top of my list of favorite bands. So, I was very excited today to see that they have released a new EP! This after about 4 years of being split up. And, according to wikipedia they are planning a tour, but their official site doesn’t seem to be working.

The EP has four songs on it: My Dear Machine, Amazing Grace (give it back), Sooner than Later, and Around. I’ve listened to them several times so far today and have really enjoyed it. The first song in particular is awesome. It’s so good to hear Matt Slocum and Leigh Nash making music together once again.

If you go to NoiseTrade.com you can name your price and download the EP.

More music

In my effort to spread the word about independent artists, here are two more that I’m really enjoying these days.

Kendall Payne – Paper Skin

Kendall Payne recently came out with a new independent album named Paper Skin. I really enjoyed her “Jordan’s Sister” album several years ago, and heard her stuff on several movies and TV Shows. But I lost track of her until I saw her interview on Relevant. She’s come a long way since that first album. “Paper Skin” is just her singing with a piano and it is amazing. Being the daddy of a little girl, the song “Daddy” especially moved me. You can read an interview with here on Relevant, listen to her music on MySpace, or buy in on iTunes.

Rue Royale – The Search for Where to Go EP

I found Rue Royale after reading an interview with them on Infuze. They are a husband and wife duo with simple guitar rhythms and amazing melodic harmonies. They remind me of the sound of Coldplay or Sufjan Stevens. You can also grab their EP on iTunes.

August 28 – Overdressed

Exciting news! New Caedmon’s album, new tour, and Derek will be working with them.

CAEDMON’S CALL ANNOUNCES BIG YEAR WITH NEW ALBUM, NEW LABEL AND FORMER MEMBER DEREK WEBB RETURNS FOR PROJECT AND TOUR

NASHVILLE, TN…May 22, 2007… INO Records’ announces the signing of award-winning Christian group, folk-pop sensation Caedmon’s Call. The group will be releasing their 15th project Overdressed on Aug. 28.
Caedmon’s Call invited former member turned solo singer/songwriter Derek Webb to take part in this project and upcoming tour.

“It was definitely a no-brainer to record with Derek again, especially when we [Caedmon’s Call] joined INO, which has been Webb’s label for years,” says Cliff Young. “We all sat down one day and thought ‘I wonder what it would be like to make an album together’.” “We have all grown so much over the past six years, and I know for me [and I’m sure the others] it was a natural process to switch to INO and then have Derek re-join us for this project and upcoming tour.

Overdressed is an 12 song cd collection that is unlike any other Caedmon’s Call record, being organically acoustic with emphasis on rhythm while maintaining cleverly-written lyrics. All songs were co-wrote between Andrew Osenga, Randall Goodgame, Derek Webb and Webb’s wife, musician Sandra McCracken.

“The title Overdressed comes from lyrics in the song ‘Trouble,’” says Derek Webb. “It talks about how, if I’m honest, all my best attempts at being good are a real mess. Just like the Garden of Eden, I try to cover myself with so many different things. So, when I’m with Him, I feel so overdressed.”

Formerly with Essential Records, Caedmon’s Call switched to INO in 2007. “I have long been an admirer of Caedmon’s Call rich musical legacy,” says president of INO Records Jeff Moseley. “Now with the addition of Derek Webb for this record, it just feels like a natural fit. I am thrilled they are a part of the INO family and that we can share in the future of Caedmon’s Call.”

Caedmon’s Call will head out on a promotional tour in late summer before headlining a Spring tour. These dates will be announced at a later time.

To check on all of Caedmon’s Call news, go to http://www.caedmonscall.com or their fan run site http://www.caedmonscall.net.

The current soundtrack to my life…

These are the current albums I have constantly running on shuffle on my iPod. Great stuff — you’ve got to check them out.

– The Morning by Andrew Osenga
– Gravity | Love by Sandra McCracken
– The Far Country by Andrew Peterson
– How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2
– Mockingbird by Derek Webb
– Good Monsters by Jars of Clay
– A Collision by David Crowder Band
– Between the Dreaming and the Coming True by Bebo Norman

Chances are you have heard of most of the people near the bottom of that list. The ones at the top, Andrew and Sandra, are independent artists who are amazing. It constantly surprises me the wealth of talent you can find among musicians who have not been given big recording contracts. Why record companies pass over these people and pick up others is beyond me. But, fortunately for these guys, the internet is leveling the playing field. For more great independent musicians, check out The Square Peg Alliance.

Essential Podcasts

(This post is not complete and is marked private, but it seems that lifejournal is still sending it out in the RSS feed)

Tech
– This Week in Tech
– Hanselminutes
– .Net Rocks
– ARCast

Religious
– Internet Monk
– Desiring God
– Relevant

Gaming
– The Dice Tower
– Boardgame Babylon
– Garrett’s Games and Geekiness