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An Ethereal Escape
10/30/09 at 09:46 AM by inthemidst
Music has become a hiding place from everyday mundane, repetitive life for me. As long as the music is good, I escape into a world filled with rhythms and melodies that coax my aching soul. This, I believe, is the reason for my undying passion and love for this median. Without it, I'm not quite sure where I would be. I'd still be here, but my identity would probably be found in less beloved entities, and perhaps more tragic ones.

I made a playlist yesterday after receiving poor news of one of my favorite bands' breakup, Copeland. I decided to reminisce by sorting through my favorite songs of theirs, and adding some bands that I started to love directly after I fell for my boys from Lakeland. Their artistic demise under this moniker is unfortunate, but I'll always have the four (five if you include Dressed Up & In Line b-side collection) albums, particularly one of my favorite albums of all-time Beneath Medicine Tree.

I'm obsessed with music, and this infatuation will not quickly fade.

Much love,

Tags: Life, Music, escape, thoughts
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Thank God This Week Is Over!
10/23/09 at 07:23 AM by inthemidst
I mean, really, thank you God. These last few weeks have been hellish to say the least. I'm so psyched that the weekend is almost here. Time for some relaxation Saturday then some bro time with my bros, football day Sunday to watch my Steelers play the undefeated Vikings. Finally, a good game.

I'm also psyched for next weekend. I get to see my favorite artists in the entire universe, Sleeping at Last play at my favorite venue, Murray Hill Theatre in Jacksonville. I've been trading e-mails with the main songwriter, Ryan O'Neal (such a great guy), getting some much needed advice on songwriting, overcoming adversity, sparking creativity, the process in general. It's been very encouraging to hear that he's just as insecure as I am, and that he was at the same place I was before. Hopefully, those words will sink in. Can't wait until next Friday for that. Seriously, if you haven't listened to Sleeping at Last, you're missing out!!!!

Also some good news, the site I write reviews for, reviewrinserepeat.com, just achieved an exclusive contest with one of my favorite bands, The Dangerous Summer. I'm very excited for that also, and hopefully this gets some page hits for the site!

So, work sucks, but I'm living, and God is good, despite all of the negativity thrown in my way.

"If only worry could make a change, then suddenly our world would take new shape."
~Sleeping at Last

Much love,

Tags: Weekend, Sleeping at Last, hellish weeks
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First Impressions: Cartel - Cycles
10/21/09 at 10:39 AM by inthemidst
After the first listen, I wasn't impressed, but it's definitely growing on me. It's definitely a major step up from their self-titled album. "Let's Go" and "Deep South" are catchy songs with powerfully poppy (power-pop?) choruses. The more I listen, the better it gets! Look for the review on the site soon!

Much love,

Tags: Cartel, Cycles
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First Impressions: This Time Next Year - Road Maps & Heart Attacks
10/12/09 at 02:38 PM by inthemidst
Awesome. Certainly a return to form. I seriously defy any pop-punk lover who says this is not a good album. It has all of the elements that make authentic pop-punk great. Look for my review soon at the site: www.reviewrinserepeat.com.


Tags: this time next year, road maps & heart attacks, equal vision records
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You Gotta Have Faith
10/07/09 at 09:07 AM by inthemidst
Without boldness and confidence, faith is wavering. I've come to grips with this. There are people that try to take my faith away, but I won't let it happen. God is bigger than my circumstances, and I believe this. Without God, nothing quite adds up for me. My faith is what makes my everyday life tolerable. It is the core of my being. Without it, I will perish, and so will you.

I feel compelled to ask you, what do you have faith in? I have faith in God. I have faith in his son Jesus Christ; that" he humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Phillippians 2:1-11), and took the burden of all of our sins (past, present and future) for the forgiveness and salvation of his people. There's much more to it of course, and even summarizing it in one succinct sentence does it no justice whatsoever. You'd have to make that decision yourself. This is the most important thing in life, but we distract ourselves to the point that it becomes pointless. Many people shove it off and procrastinate by saying "I'll worry about it when I'm older". But let me ask you:

What if something were to happen where you were to lose your life? What did you have to live for? What is your purpose in life?

All of these questions surface, and if you don't have an answer, then it's time to really contemplate. What are you here for?

This isn't a religious quarrel. I hate religion/division/segregation, but I love Jesus. That's it. He's the center, and I declare myself absolutely nothing without him. You can write me off if you want, but I beg you to ask yourself these questions, and truly think about it on your own terms.

Much love,

Tags: Christianity, serious questions, life, love, people, faith
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My Renewed Faith In the Dying Industry
09/29/09 at 07:59 AM by inthemidst
We all have had doubts about the music industry, and the morally remiss execs behind the sheets, pulling the strings and ultimately attempting to take us for all we're worth. Before, I thought this was just in the secular industry, but now I believe that it's in the Christian music industry, also. Corruption. It hurts as a devout Christian and aspiring songwriter which causes me to lose faith; until now.

Lately I have been browsing, quite frequently, what is now one of my favorite websites, noisetrade.com (check it out if you haven't yet). Among the many artists I've found on the website are on the same label by the name of "Come&Live!". Out of curiosity today, I decided to check out their website hub for more information. Apparently, they're a label that inspires their artists to donate their music for free for the gift of God to be heard by as many ears as possible. I guess you could call it "spreading the love". What a faithful journey that must be! There are so many ways to (legally) download their artist's music for no cost, and the label and the bands are run off of mostly donations via touring, and paypal online. That's a beautiful thing for me to hear. I want so much to be a part of that, my chair is about to fall over from me being on the edge of my seat. It truly is inspiring, and may also be difficult to understand for those who don't know the heart of God.

God wants his people to hear the sound of his glory through music. These bands are what they refer to as "musicianaries". I love that, more than I can explain. I want to be one of them. I want to give my music for basically free, and just run off of what the Lord will bring. I want to shout to people the love that they could have with Jesus. I want to be that guy. Thank you Come&Live records for your ultimate inspiration. Maybe one day, I can work with you in extending the heart of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Love all of you,

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First Impressions: Inhale Exhale - Bury Me Alive
09/28/09 at 11:15 AM by inthemidst
Eh, not very impressed as far as originality goes, but however, I am impressed by the talent of their guitarist. It's very Norma Jean-esque with its rapid tempo changes, and they do a pretty good job of mixing finesse with brutality. I'm not a huge fan of much metalcore these days, just the ones that provide something new to the mix. Inhale Exhale, unfortunately, aren't providing anything new to the table; it's been done before. The first song on the album "Rooms" is the best track so far, and it's not even a metalcore song. I think if they stuck to the pattern their lead-off track provided, then this album would be a pleasant surprise, but they quickly shift into the predictable after those three wonderful minutes pass. I'll continue to listen for something better to say about it...
Tags: Inhale Exhale, metalcore, Bury Me Alive
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First Impressions: Relient K
09/22/09 at 08:20 AM by inthemidst
Catchy yet ambitious. I love it. I absolute love this album so far. It's impressive how much this band has grown since their self-titled album nearly ten years ago. They went from writing silly (albeit funny) songs such as "Sadie Hawkins Dance" and "Hello McFly" to solid band during the span of what will be their sixth full-length. I'm happy I got this assignment after the horrible Hawk Nelson review. Can't wait until the Oct 6th so I can pick this up for myself!

Favorite songs so far:

1. Forget and Not Slow Down
2. I Don't Need a Soul
3. Therapy
4. Sahara (look out for the All-star guest vocals from Tim Skipper, Aaron Gillepsie and Matt McDonald)
5. This is the End
Tags: Relient K, Forget and Not Slow Down
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Aaarrgghh! Bad Music Irritates Me!
09/18/09 at 07:17 AM by inthemidst
Yesterday was spent in an asinying fashion. At first, I was quite intrigued, but later, I was rather disgusted. Once through the new album for the new Hawk Nelson, and I flat-out can't stand it. What disgusts me is that there are people that actually listen to this! I mean, really? I've confided to a couple people that I really don't know what to say for it without straight up bashing it. There's really nothing good I can say about it; it's just awful. The fact that this is a bad album does not really bother me; it's the fact that there are people out here, more than I can fathom, that think this is actually good quality! I've never been one to poke at other people for listening to crappy music, to each his own, but even most releases, there's some shred, at least, of redemptive quality or talent. But Hawk Nelson just doesn't have it. They might have some time ago, but they don't now. It's like they're playing as simple as they possibly can in order to please their fans.

I was reading the "PReview" of this CD on Jesusfreakhideout.com, and they had nothing but good things to say...excuse me? Did you say "good things"?! **Rubbing eyes to make sure they're not blinded by fiction** I mean, is it me? Am I that snobbish and stuck-up about music? Is art really not based off of an overall communal viewpiont, but only a personal one? If so, who's to say that this isn't "good" to someone else? In other words, who am I to say that it isn't good? I hate bashing someone else's art; I never used to have a problem with it. As an amateur reviewer (hopefully one day, a professional one), I have no choice but to base it off of the comparison to other art within the same genre based on skill, overall lasting value, musicianship, etc. Ah, subjectivity, say it ain't so!
Tags: Hawk Nelson, ReviewRinseRepeat.com, bad music, pop/rock
7 Comments | Add a CommentPermalink | Share | Mood | Music
Stained By All of The Negativity
09/16/09 at 06:38 AM by inthemidst
I've meditated upon the lyric from The Dangerous Summer song "Weathered", when Perdomo sings "Well, I'm an optomist but only in a perfect world; I think I'm too stained from all the negativity from all the people in my way."

It scares me to think that this is my view on humanity at this moment, and TDS had to make me realize it. My best friend Sean even quoted this song when we were just hanging out, and after a hopeful sentiment, he replied with the all-too-honest lyric. I used to be such an optomist seeing the better in everything, then there are these awful moments of distress that causes the opposite reaction. Maybe this just comes with growing up and getting older. The world is not the way it should be, the way I believe that God intended, and it's up to this generation of believers to reveal an ultimate optomism. Is it possible to achieve a changed world before it's first destroyed?

I choose to hold fast hope.
Tags: The Dangerous Summer, revelations, epiphanies, truth, optomism
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Like a Villain...
09/11/09 at 07:45 AM by inthemidst
I am so flippin excited for the start of football season! My Steelers won opening night in exciting fashion. OT for the first game of the season is pretty sweet, although I almost pissed my pants when Hines Ward fumbled on the 3-yard line...
Tags: Steelers, football, weekend
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First Impressions: Moneen
09/10/09 at 11:41 AM by inthemidst
Moneen's album is insanely good. I can't get over how good it is, and how much I want it at this moment. To those who haven't listened...CHECK IT OUT!! For those who have streamed it on AP, what do you think in comparison to The Red Tree??
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