a mention in the new Paste Magazine, and a decade of support

As if inclusion in Daniel Radosh's New York Times list of "10 Great Christian Rock Songs. Really." wasn't cool enough, I was surprised and pleasantly warmed to receive a mention in the editorial found in the current issue of Paste Magazine.

Josh Jackson is the editor-in-chief of Paste, and he's taken the mag from a suspiciously-spiritual homey-yet-glossy 'zine in 2002 to its current state as the coolest and sharpest of the Barnes & Noble/Borders music/culture publications, all while competitors like Harp, No Depression, and even CCM have all recently folded (no pun intended).

This month Josh writes his editorial column reflecting on the past decade, stretching back to the pre-magazine era when Paste was primarily an online music retailer. Along with co-founder Nick Purdy, Josh gathered a bunch of bands online who shared his artistic (and maybe even spiritual) values, and and attempted to create a new marketing niche, with the tagline "connecting music to the soul." I'm thankful that I was invited to be a part of Paste from the very beginning.

My friend Beki Hemingway knew the Paste guys somehow, back in 1998, and they had invited her to join them on this new invitation-only online retail site, as well as on the debut Paste Music sampler CD. Beki kindly introduced Josh and Nick to my music at that time, and they enjoyed the album Recital that I had just released. My song "Tape," Beki's "Sinsick," and cool tunes by Pedro the Lion and Vigilantes of Love appeared on that first Paste sampler. Funny how a decade later, a good number of those early Paste artists would show up on Daniel Radosh's list from my previous blog posting! (Speaking of that first Paste Sampler...I just looked downstairs in my retail stash and I still have 5 unopened copies of it! Beki and I used to sell it along with our own albums at our shows back then.)

Later, as Paste launched the magazine and began to really ramp up their media empire, I stopped by their offices in Decatur, GA, back in 2003 when I was on tour in the area. It was fun to see behind the scenes at Paste, and Nick and Josh took me out to a good Mexican place for lunch, but the thing I'm happiest about regarding that visit was this: as I drove over to the Paste office, I had a strange idea for a song, so I pulled my car over on a busy Atlanta street and wrote, almost in its entirety, the lyrics for my song "Librarian." There was no library or anything nearby, but I got the lyrics of what would be the centerpiece song on my next album, which Paste featured in their magazine the following year.

Anyway, in the current editorial, Josh mentions some of the artists that have become celebrities since their earliest days on the Paste online retail site (Sufjan Stevens!), and gives some nice props to those of us from back then who are still out there driving, gigging, recording, and lurking on the fringes. Again, it's always a compliment to share a mention with folks like Bill Mallonee, John Austin, Christopher Williams, Jason Harrod, Annie Quick, and Jennifer Daniels.

Many times a year I meet people who know me 'cause of Paste. In fact, just last Saturday at my show in Milwaukee I met somebody who knew me thanks to my song "Front Row at the Fashion Show" being featured on the December 07 CD Sampler. I truly am thankful for the support of everybody at Paste, and the credibility, visibility, and community they've given to me for the past ten years. I take nothing for granted, and every baby step along the way is deeply appreciated! Thanks Paste, and write on.


Micah Taylor said…
Wow! These are two huge mentions. Congrats on both.
mellowman said…
I discovered you via Paste a few years ago when "Smart Girls" was on the sampler (if I recall correctly). I couldn't believe it when I found out you lived in the Twin Cities, like me. Since then, I have been to a handful of your shows, and hope you can keep doing this for as long as you want to!
Bluecanary said…
I am one who was introduced to you by Paste. I downloaded "My Apology" and "Carol of the Bells" from their website, and really enjoyed them both. I bought Sound Theology through their clearance and I love the album. I especially love listening to someone who has a respect for their heritage, but is also willing to question the status quo. I particulary connected with My Apology, Easier, and Xian Bookstore. I also enjoy the songs about normal life, which is generally the kind that I have.

I just put a review of Sound Theology on my blog if you want to check it out.

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