Songcrafting, October swimming, and Christian rocking on Columbus day.

Here's me and Svea and Paavo wrestling.

Whew, I'm spent. I should be booking my November East Coast tour but I don't feel like it. I should be cleaning the bathroom and putting away clean laundry, but I'm too tired. I should be sending out song-licensing reminders, but I'm unmotivated. After I blog, I may go make myself my first post-tonsil PB&J sandwich.

Nothing too monumental going on these days...just a random series of small events. Here are some details:

I was up 'til 1AM last night recording an acoustic demo of a song I've been commissioned to write for Augsburg Fortress Publishers. They need a theme song for a series of curriculum for adults that corresponds to the lectionary readings for the season of Lent 2008. The series is about "Questioning" so I wrote a Celtic-inspired folky tune about faith and doubt and questions. It's one of those "work for hire" gigs that songwriters sometimes get, and you have have to just craft the song (like a carpenter building a chair) rather than sit and wait for some natural inspiration. So, lots of slight adjusting of melodic direction, experimenting with chords, finding lyrics that are meaningful but not cheesy, and still sound like a song that I would write. The demo turned out pretty we'll see if my editor wants me to fire up the computer and record a big rock-band version of the song. Oh, and I still need to write the first verse.

How 'bout that heatwave, eh? This past Saturday, October 6th it was 86 degrees in Minneapolis, so Paavo and I went to Lake Harriet South Beach in Minneapolis and we went SWIMMING. In October! Yes, it was pretty darn cold, but I'm a Finlander, and i've swum colder. It actually felt quite good and refreshing, once I numbed myself. Comfortably numb, as Pink Floyd would describe it.

Last night I went to a real Christian rock concert. Now, I know a lot of you actually think of ME as a Christian rock musician, and assume that this is a situation I'd be in all the time. Well, in reality, the Jonathan Rundman music experience is really quite removed from what is called Christian Rock, and although I do occasionally play music at a Christian Rock Festival or something, I haven't personally attended a Christian Rock Concert (as an audience member) for about a decade. A local Minnesota musician who I've gotten to know a bit, Jason Gray, is on tour with a couple other bands who are signed to a big Nashvillian Christian record label, so I went out to hear 'em. I must say, I was very impressed. Thankfully, the performers were ultra-professional, classy, non-manipulative, light-hearted, theologically responsible, insightful, funny, and just plain cool. And wow, what a production! Lights, smoke, video, sound effects, set changes, huge fancy PA, tech crew, etc. This is not shoegazing indie rock, dear readers, this is like U2 playing in a gym or something. And musicianship: holy cow, these folks could sing like crazy, play like total pros, and tie it all together effortlessly. It's a whole different way to do the "touring artist playing church gigs" routine, compared to the way I do it. I'm just showing up with a guitar case, plugging in to some 1960s era Radio Shack speaker bolted in the rafters, and playing "Meeting Nixon" and "Children of the Heavenly Father."

What else is going on? I got a haircut. I love my stylist at the JC Penney Salon out at Ridgedale Mall. I downloaded some cool Genesis songs on iTunes. Been listening to lots of Bob Dylan this week, too. Havin' fun with the kids. Trying to stay mentally afloat. I'm alive and sleep-deprived.


Bridget Delaney said…
Belive it or not, as well as the Lutheran musicians tend to know me, I've actually been to Christian Rock Concerts. The main one that could really be classified as such is one when Avalon was on tour. I remember they, Anointed, and another band came and were at our local Civic Center. I've seen plenty of others as at least once during the year, we have a band come during a time known as "Contraband Days" and they have a family night. There's a also a huge Assembly of God church under the freeway for little St. Paul. They have musicians and really used to before Newsong broke up. (There are other "entertainment churches" so I've seen more bands, too.) I've seen Jaci Valasquez, FFH, Superchic[k], KJ-52, Eleventy Seven, Plus One, Hawk Nelson, Telecast, ZOEgirl (before their first album was even produced!), and so many others that at times I really can't remember unless at times people ask me if I've seen the band. . .

Still, I love the indie musicians!


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