Laptopless

Sorry Funseekers, but the laptop is getting an upgrade to the operating system, so it will stay quiet around here for another day, because posting via iPhone is a pain…

In the meantime, go outside and get some (cold) fresh air…

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Rehearsal Recap – Jan 31, 2008

Boys and Girls, I think we’re in for a treat this week!!

We’re doing an acoustic week, and unlike what we’ve attempted before. We’ve never really reached that true “Coffee House” vibe that I longed for. Instead, in the past we’ve compromised and made the rhythm electric an acoustic, and replaced the drum kit with a bunch of percussion stuff and trash cans that just poorly emulated a REAL drum kit.

Well, I think we got it right this time, and I think (ok – HOPE) that people are going to dig it and that our leaders will really be able to lead people into worship with passion! It’s certainly not the same-old-thing, and if you’re at North Point this Sunday, please let me know what you thought by replying to Monday’s “Sunday Summary.”

We also approached the rehearsal differently by having all the guys bring in their instruments into a comfortable room, and sat around and worked out parts and arrangements (for both auditoriums at once). We’re doing Son of God, Let Me Sing and All Because of Jesus (all available HERE).

WOW, that ended up being a really special experience! Check out the horsepower sitting around this circle!

Yeah kids, that’s (clockwise) James David Carter (in the blue ball cap), Ryan Stuart, Mike Gleason, Brad Gage, Wayne Viar (purple shirt on percussion), Steve Thomason, Ashley Appling, Todd Fields and Earl South. You also see Bill DeLoach in the background with the black shirt.

When that rehearsal was over, we all looked at each other in awe, each guy commenting on how special that was. I hope we can do THAT more often, even just on our own time, worshipping with other great musicians.

Here’s a sneak-peak at the cool new set for the upcoming series “Text:_

Now if you ask real nice we might be able to keep that nice orange lift on stage for you……

What excited YOU yesterday?

Technology and Creativity Quote

My car radio’s still broken, so I continue to “enjoy” several podcasts on the iPod (iPhone really, but I don’t want to sound pretentious…)

I heard a great quote on a “LOST” Podcast by J.J. Abrams – the guy behind Alias, Lost, Mission Impossible 3 and Cloverfield. You writers and Apple lovers will dig this:

He’s been talking about “the blank page” and “magic box” concepts…

“In the creative process, technology is mindblowingly inspiring to me. I realize that that blank page IS a magic box – it needs to be filled with something fantastic…. I love Apple computers – I’m obsessed. This (Apple laptop) right here, it challenges me. It basically says, y’know, “What are you going to write, worthy of ME?”

I love that. It’s almost as though us Apple users have an OBLIGATION and RESPONSIBILITY to use these works of technological art to their fullest potential.

Or rather – that they are designed and created to assist us in reaching our creative potential.

Sing with me, the Napoleon Dynamite love theme, “I love technology….”

What technology helps YOUR creativity?

Mainstream Chord Charts

People ask us all the time if we have Chord Charts for the “mainstream” tunes we do. Obviously we’ve created a great resource with North Point Music, but that only covers worship songs. And that’s not about to change, because the licensing for mainstream, or “secular” tunes is a nightmare we won’t soon tackle.

Anyhoo – I found two great Web sites a couple years ago that are my go-to sites for mainstream chord charts.

**NOTE: Before I tell you what it is, you MUST KNOW that if you want to become a better musician and learn the songs deep into your long-term memory, you should chart them from scratch with minimal to no assistance!!!

If, however, you are facing a deadline and a gauntlet of tunes, such as I am for the upcoming Married Life Live, this site is a great cheat. I mean “help”….

Check out SheetMusicDirect.us (my personal fave because of the great user interface) or Musicnotes.com

These sites include the great Sibelius Scorch plugin which allows you to see the first page of the long chart (piano, vocals, lyrics, chords, etc.) and transpose to any key you’d like.

You buy the tune, print it out, and presto – a 7 page chart. WAIT – a 7 page chart?????

Ahhh, then comes your turn. I still take that 7 pager and condense it into a 1 or 2 page Rhythm Chart, including (or omitting) whatever elements will help the band the most. Usually just Chords, important Rhythms, Dynamics and playing instructions, and, of course, Form (verses, choruses repeats, etc). There’s still work involved, but a whole lot less!!

Many times I’ll use NUMBERS (Nashville Number System) instead of CHORDS if they’re basic chords, that way a guitarist can capo and not have to transpose in his head, or we can change the key if it’s just not working for the singer.

For anything we do on a Sunday, or may wish to transpose in the future or export to another campus, I’ll do a Finale chart, but I’ll often just do a handwritten chart for special-event tunes. Here are a couple examples:

Changes Shreck.pdf

Take Me There.pdf

What have YOU transcribed lately?

Apple vs. Microsoft – CEO Hoedown – err, Showdown…

Nope, I think hoedown will be more accurate. LADIES: Before you tune out, hold on – this is some funny stuff!

I’ve been giddy all day. All I’ve been able to think of is a collection of YouTube videos Jennie and I watched last night that has completely, and utterly shattered any last bastion of hope for Microsoft. Yep, you heard me right – the software mega-giant Microsoft.

Are you running Windows right now? Bummer…

But, don’t take my word for it. Let’s hear from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. First, before you’re confused, Bill Gates has semi-retired to do charity stuff. Great for him. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how much Apple stock you own), Bill left this crazy psychopath in charge. Here’s Mr. Ballmer at a recent conference….

Yeah, you heard him right. Half way through he shouts “give it up for me!” Ahhh, the art of subtlety.

Next, let’s study Mr. Ballmer’s unique choice of anti-perspirant…

Yes, that shirt is available in 3 sizes: damp, moist, and extra soggy. Nice.

Mr. Ballmer now goes on to abandon those beloved “Developers, developers, developers, developers” for a new crowd – one that puts money in his pocket without him doing a thing (oh, like exercising and dieting).

Poor, poor developers…

Now, Mr. Ballmer, what was your reaction to Apple’s iPhone? (from January 2007)

Hmmm. Well, Mr. Baldmer – sorry, Ballmer, Apple has sold over 4,000,000 iPhones in the first 200 days. That’s 20,000 iPhones sold PER DAY! As of mid-December, 2007, iPhone’s 27% market share of smart-phones had already overtaken ALL Windows Mobile devices. ALL of ’em!!! And that was before Christmas!

This is turning into an episode of Scooby Doo! “I would have ruled the world if it wasn’t for that pesky Steve Jobs and his fruit computer!“.

Speaking of Apple‘s CEO Steve Jobs, I wonder what he’s got to say about Microsoft – circa mid ’90’s, or whenever this hairstyle was in en vogue…

Steve, what do you think about Microsoft’s taste?

Well I guess that pretty much sums it up!

How much taste do YOU have?