Home from Mexico Wednesday, and I’m just going to outline some of the things I noticed while travelling.
- I sang the new Five Star Crush jam to myself at least twice a day. Joel’s knocked this one out of the park. I can’t wait for you guys to hear it – if we’re lucky, in a couple weeks at recordBar with Roman Numerals.
- You Minnesota high schoolers listen to so many club jams! Seriously, we were five days in to the trip before I heard anything but urban dance-rap joints from your battery-operated iPod+speaker thing. That surprised me. You guys don’t listen to rock at all anymore, or even straight up hip-hop? Do you like the new Maroon5 uptempo stuff? I sure do. I hope that’s a hit.
- I think I have my recording process for …Boots figured out now. The secret; felt guitar picks. I may be hooked.
- A Tijuana rock band, Libre 3:20, played a plugged-in set at our campfire after our last day of work. Libre 3:20, you did a Herculean task; you breathed some life into 20- and 30-year old “comtemporary” Christian worship songs. But the *one* original Latin tune you played was eight million times better! Do your true thing, men, and know that there is a huge US market for good Latin music! (Good job Victor, drum substitute! You’re going to make a living on the drums, I can tell.)
- Waking up slowly in the hotel room Wednesday, I wrote a new thing that matches with my “Hiplife” stuff from Africa a couple years ago (it’s all un-recorded) with a little of that Ventura spice. That’s fun; it’ll really be something someday.
- Christian high school groups and leaders (my teammates excluded!) – we can do better than singing “I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever” endlessly and thinking we’re edgy or even relevant. I was dissappointed as I walked around the AMOR campsite and heard the same old stuff. It’s become rote and empty. Let’s have some imagination and artistry and truth reflected in our music! Discover Mike Doughty or Derek Webb, or (if you have some extra time) check out my “Hawaiian Bells.”
- Young women: thank you for bringing knee-length shorts back in fashion. You look great and we’re all more comfortable. Keep it up.
- New CDs That I Will Try To Review In More Detail: Phoenix It’s Never Been Like That (3 stars), Secret Machines Ten Silver Drops, The Decembrists The Crane Wife, The Roots Game Theory (4 stars), Elliott Smith Figure 8 (4 stars, with the potential for five if I grow to love it that much).