A Soundtrack for a Life

I am six days away from my 25th birthday; therefore, I will soon be celebrating my first quarter-century on this earth. With my penchant for any number that is a multiple of 5 and my tendency to extract some great meaning or lesson from every potentially important day, is it any wonder that I’m experiencing some sort of quarter-century crisis?

By crisis, I mean those lingering questions: am I the person I want to be? By now, my moral character and personality are pretty unchangeable, I think. Do I have fatal flaws that will doom me in the future? Have I accomplished enough? Am I reaching my potential?

These are ridiculous questions. The logical part of my mind (small though it may be) understands that I’m probably ahead of the curve compared to even my own expectations. After all, just this past year, I was hired to teach college freshmen just two months after I turned 24 years old. I’m well on my way to earning a Master’s degree in English. I’ve begun traveling much more often than usual. I’ve lived on my own and managed to pay rent, bills, and necessities for three years now.

Still, the questions remain. I have a List full of unaccomplished goals (but, as I keep adding to the List faster than I can accomplish those goals, I realize that the List will always be lengthy). I am single, and many former close friends are married and raising families, making me wonder if I’m missing out on that important aspect of life. (Don’t lecture me in the comments, folks. I love my life, and I’m not ready for a family just yet. But a girl wonders sometimes.)

In light of all these emerging questions and my impending 25th birthday, I’ve found myself listening to a certain playlist on my iPod recently. I’ve got dozens of fun playlists filled with great music, but this one is special, and it’s not one that I play for others often. It’s one that I just call “The List,” one that corresponds to The List of Things to Do Before I Die. I save this list for the moments when I let my mind wander through those questions, when I think about all I want to accomplish in the next quarter-century of my life, when I let myself reflect on those desires and goals that I truly have: not the ones others have for me, but those times when I ask myself what I truly want. It’s essentially a carpe diem playlist. And I thought I’d post it on here. Don’t be surprised by how often Switchfoot shows up.

1. “I Am,” Train, from their self-titled debut album.

This one is the opening track because the song seems to be about a list of unaccomplished goals:

“I never been on a railroad / So many times they pass me by / I never crashed in the desert or seen a rodeo / Don’t know much about the world wars or Vietnam / I’ve yet to read about Uncle Tom / Never climbed a real rock or seen Colorado / Am I the son I think I am? / Am I the friend I think I am? / Am I the man I think I want to be?”

2. “Let It Be,” The Beatles.

Because, really, who doesn’t need a reminder not to worry so much?

“When I find myself in times of trouble / Mother Mary comes to me / Speaking words of wisdom / Let it be”

3. “Burn Out Bright,” Switchfoot, from Oh! Gravity.

Sort of a cautionary tale against an average life:

“Does it have to start with a broken heart? / Broken dreams and bleeding parts / We were young, and the world was clear / But young ambition disappears / I swore it would never come to this / The average, the obvious / I’m still discontented down here / I’m still discontented / If we’ve only got one try / If we’ve only got one life / If time was never on our side / Then before I die, I want to burn out bright”

4. “Bullet Soul,” Switchfoot, from Hello Hurricane

“I wanna sing one for all the dreamers / I’m singing this one for the sparks / Here’s one for the friction makers / We are the bleeding hearts / Don’t care whoever you are / We rise and fall together / Our hearts still beat below / Oh, you can’t stand by forever / You’re a kid with a bullet soul / Are you ready to go?”

5. “Without Reason,” The Fray, from Reason EP.

Sometimes, a little spontaneity helps:

“I do it on a whim / It’s rhyme without reason / Whatever comes to mind, I’ll pull it from thin air / I’ve learned to improvise, to fill my time / I don’t want to live this life without reason”

6. “This is Your Life,” Switchfoot, from The Beautiful Letdown

Essentially, the most important song on the playlist…and one of my all-time faves.

“This is your life / Are you who you wanna be? / This is your life / Is it everything you dreamed that it would be / When the world was younger and you had everything to lose?”

7. “On the Bus,” Evan and Jaron, from Evan and Jaron.

Probably the first song I claimed as one that inspired me to simply live.

“Never say never / And don’t wait forever / It’s the perfect time to see that now is the time / To take a chance, take a shot, take control of the situation / I can’t stand around here telling you / About the things I’ve done and what I’ve gotta do / So are you on the bus or not? / ‘Cause we’re leaving the station.”

8. “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey.

Everyone’s favorite anthem. Plus, it’s about a small town girl. Also, do I really need to quote the lyrics? 🙂

9. “Up Around the Bend,” Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Exciting things happen around the next bend in the road. Just ask CCR:

“There’s a place up ahead and I’m goin’ / Just as fast as my feet can fly / Come away, come away, if you’re goin’ / Leave the sinking ship behind / Come on the risin’ wind / We’re goin’ up around the bend”

10. “Butterflies & Hurricanes,” Muse, from Absolution.

Seriously, I should wake up to this song every morning. It’s an epic anthem:

“Best / You’ve got to be the best / You’ve got to change the world / And use this chance to be heard / Your time is now”

11. “The Journey,” Dolores O’Riordan.

I found this one a Paste sampler last summer, and it’s a perfect closing track for the playlist!

“When I was lost / I saw you pointing toward the sun / I know I am not the only one standing here / And in the darkness, I was walking through the night / I could see your guiding light very clear / This is your life / This is your moment”

Your love is a symphony.

Friday, I headed down to Charleston for what was sure to be an epic adventure. I met up with my favorite Georgetown girl, Jessie, to see my two favorite bands, Civil Twilight and Switchfoot, play on the same stage at The Music Farm, this really awesome venue in downtown Charleston.

The fun began as I was driving down King Street, and I spotted Andrew McKellar walking down the sidewalk. Andrew is the guitarist for Civil Twilight and, therefore, awesome.

Jessie and I met up, parked in the visitors’ center parking garage and wandered around briefly. We then went back to the visitors’ center, and decided to kill a few minutes after realizing that if we moved our cars to the parking garage, we would only have to pay a flat fee of $2 for parking the rest of the evening. Just after 5 p.m., as we each drove into the parking garage, we spotted a man holding a camera standing on the sidewalk just inside the garage. Kneeling on the ground nearby was a shaggy-haired, blonde man writing with a black marker on pieces of cardboard.

The man with the camera was Andy Barron. The kneeling man was Jon Foreman.

I’m shocked Jessie and I managed to pull into the garage and find parking. I was literally jumping up and down seconds after I climbed out of my car. We rushed down to the lower level, where I high-fived Jon Foreman and Jessie chatted with Andy (friend of and photographer for Switchfoot) about his camera.

It was a beautiful moment and the show hadn’t even started yet. What followed was a delightfully simple few hours: walking up and down King Street, coffee at Starbucks, and a wonderful dinner at this tiny Italian restaurant where Jessie’s friend Luke is a waiter.

The show was magnificent, of course. Few members of the crowd knew anything about Civil Twilight, but by the time they started playing their cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop,” the crowd was totally hooked. I loved watching the reactions of people around me–I could see people texting and updating Facebook statuses about Civil Twilight, and when people began to recognize “Teardrop,” the excitement was palpable. I love this band. 🙂

And Switchfoot just keeps getting better. It was my 6th time seeing them live (and my 10th seeing Civil Twilight!). One of the best moments came when Jon introduced the song “Your Love is a Song,” which is my favorite song from their latest album Hello Hurricane. He said he’d never tried to explain the inspiration for the song onstage before that night. Sadly, the video isn’t the right file type to upload to WordPress, but if decide to upload it to YouTube, I’ll be sure to post it on here later.

This isn’t a great photo, but it’s the only one I got of the whole band. Also, while it’s great to be in the middle of a crowd, it’s less great when you’re only 5’2″ and can’t actually see more than the hairstyles in front of you.

The Tension is Here

On Friday, Chris and I will be driving to Lexington, Kentucky, to attend a school for conversion at a new monastic community called Communality.

New Monasticism is a movement among Christians to live in intentional community with one another, to share resources, to encourage one another, to help the poor and oppressed, and to bring the Gospel of Christ to this world in a real, tangible way.

The seminar, if you will, that we’re attending is called “Introduction to Christianity as a Way of Life.” It’s called a “school for conversion” because they believe that conversion is not a one-time event. In order to fully live the Christian life, we must constantly be in a state of conversion. Changing, adapting, renewing ourselves.

We’ll be studying the 12 marks of a new monasticism (see the link above for a full list). These marks are essentially the tenets of the new monastic movement. Each community is different in how they function because each community exists in a different environment. What works for Communality may not work for The Simple Way in Philadelphia or Rutba House in Durham, NC.

This week has been tension-filled as a result of this impending trip. The tension has been incredible. This week, as I’ve been reading for the school and as I’ve been almost constantly reflecting on community and new monasticism, it seems as though years of my life are converging all at once.

For instance, the Greek work for community is koinonia. It’s meaning is vast, but the word is often translated as fellowship or communion. The first time I ever heard the word was six and a half years ago, in my first English class at NGU. Dr. Bruce wanted our classroom to be a community–koinonia. It is his voice I hear as I read about community. That first mention years ago was already setting me up for the life I’m attempting to live now.

Three years ago, I read Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution, and I was intrigued and terrified by his experience and discussion of new monasticism. I desperately wanted community, but I wasn’t ready to devote that much of my life to it yet. This week, as I’ve been rereading part of that book, I realize that my life moved in that direction anyway. I’m living in community, attending a church that seeks to live deliberately in community, to live life together. I recognize threads of my own life in Shane Claiborne’s experiences.

Additionally (yes, there’s more!), this week, Valerie, Harvin, and I (and perhaps others) will begin meeting weekly, striving for community together. I haven’t been a part of a consistent small group in about 8 months, and the absence has caused me to realize how desperately I need people to fight alongside. Tuesday night, we’re going to have dinner and intentional community. It’s gonna be awesome.

Even the Scripture readings for Lent are aligning with what I’ve been reading to get ready for the school for conversion. This week has been huge in the way that God has revealed to me that my search for community has been in his plan all along. Seven years. And it’s all converging on an otherwise ordinary week in February.

I’ve had a few discussions this week with people who want to know why I’m visiting a new monastic community. What is new monasticism? Am I converting to some extreme religion? Am I gonna come back from Kentucky? (I think that person was joking…)

Some of the discussions have been wonderful. A few people have been really interested in this journey, this idea. Others have questioned my sanity. One friend was even offended, believing I looked down at her because she didn’t accept that I believe this intentional search for community is the life that God has created us for. We had a long discussion about the American dream and cultural Christianity and faith; the conversation did not end well. I’m hopeful that we can revisit the conversation one day, but I don’t anticipate changing her mind. She likes her life and doesn’t think anything is lacking in her faith. That’s fine. We each have our own journey.

These conversations, however, have raised a huge tension in me. I want desperately to seek community, but I also want seclusion at times. My selfishness often gets in the way of the life I should be living. Questions about my future have been arising. Are my dreams and ambitions selfish, or are they legitimately the path God has planned for me? What are ways that I can bring the Gospel to people who need it…without getting too uncomfortable?

My selfish nature is battling with my spiritual nature. It’s terrifying, to be honest. The tension, however, is honestly great. Because it’s on my mind so often, I’m conversing with people about it. I’m seeking answers that may not arrive for a long time. My life cannot change, and my faith cannot grow, without this tension. God will teach me incredible lessons and reveal Himself to me in so many ways because of it. It’s impossible to be complacent when I’m constantly reflecting and considering how God is working in my life.

So for now, as Switchfoot tells us, “the tension is here”…between who I am and who I could be, between how my life is and how it should be. (Thank you, Jon Foreman, for once again being entirely relevant.)

I’m praying that this trip will be life-changing. In many ways, it already has been.

“This is the sound of a heartbeat.”

Friday night. The Orange Peel. Switchfoot. Incredible.

My fifth Switchfoot concert was the best I’ve been to. It would have been even better had I actually been able to see the stage. Sadly, being 5’2″ means that unless I arrive at the Orange Peel several hours pre-show, I won’t see most of the stage. However, when the musice is that intense, seeing the stage didn’t matter as much. I know what they look like by now. 🙂

The show was broken up into two sections. First, the band played the album Hello Hurricane from start to finish. As amazing as that album is, it’s so much more epic in a crowd of people who are screaming the lyrics and pumping their fists.

[Note: it was so intense, and I was so into it, that when I went to scream after the seventh song, “Hello Hurricane,” my scream was a hoarse cry that moved to a high-pitched squeal. I definitely lost my voice a mere 30 minutes into the show. Fortunately, I recovered by the end.]

After they finished “Red Eyes,” the final track from the album, Jon announced that we as an audience would choose the next song. We were all supposed to start singing the song we wanted to hear next. Eventually, the crowd would be singing the same song, and that’s how we chose. Of course, the song ended up being “Meant to Live.” It’s always a great one to hear live.

The set list for the second half of the show:

“Meant to Live”


“The Shadow Proves the Sunshine”

“Oh! Gravity.”

“Learning to Breathe” (my all-time favorite Switchfoot song–this is the third time I’ve heard it live)

“Twenty-Four” (a girl in the audience was celebrating her 24th birthday…fitting)

“Company Car” (from their first album The Legend of Chin. This song is so much fun live. Jon instructed the whole audience to put our arms around the person next to us and sway.)

“Dare You to Move” (a staple at any Switchfoot show)

They left the stage then, but they always do an encore. This time, it was “This is Your Life” and “Awakening,” two of my favorite songs to hear live. When Jon sings “This is Your Life,” he sings directly to the crowd. I always feel like I can conquer the world.

After the show, we headed outside in the bitter cold to hover around the tour bus. As we walked out, a group of people was singing Christmas carols to Jon Foreman. It was such a beautiful thing. Eventually, every guy from the band came out, so I met them all for the first time, took pictures with them, and they all autographed by deluxe edition of the album. I’m pretty sure it’s now my most prized possession.

Here’s me (and Candace and Jess) with the guys from Switchfoot:

Jon Foreman, of course, with me and Candace.

Tim Foreman, the bass player and Jon’s younger brother, was actually the first one we met that night.

Candace, me and Jess with Drew Shirley, the guitarist.

Us with Jerome Fontamillas, who rocks the keyboards. After Sam mentioned that I’m the biggest Switchfoot fan he knows, Jerome gave me an extra hug. It was pretty great. 🙂

Chad Butler, the drummer, was the last one to come off the tour bus, but we waited around in the freezing cold long enough to meet him.

I love Switchfoot. 🙂

“You can’t silence my love.”

hello hurricaneFriday afternoon, I found a medium flat-rate box in the mail with a return address of San Carlos, CA. Inside, encased in bubble wrap (that was quickly tossed aside) was the deluxe edition of the Switchfoot album Hello Hurricane–four days before the official release date (today!). The 84-page hardcover book contained lyrics, notes, and a story written by Jon Foreman about the album; photos of the band on tour, in-studio, and surfing; a full-size poster; a DVD detailing the making of the album, as well as live recordings; a CD of alternate mixes; and the 12-track album, the first album full of new material Switchfoot has released in nearly three years.

Before I listened to the album in its entirety, I had only listened to the song “Mess of Me” once. I wanted to wait and experience the music only when I had the CD in my hand, when I could read the lyrics as I heard them, when my focus could be almost totally on the music (which explains why I almost forgot about the cookies I was baking at the time).

I want to proclaim that this album is their best yet, and although I’ve initially believed that about every album, this one actually does blow my mind in how incredible the music is. The reason why Switchfoot is my favorite band is evident on this album: the music always meets me where I am. As my life evolves, so does the music, it seems. I listen to Switchfoot and wonder how Jon Foreman makes poetry out of the jumble of thoughts in my head. How do his words always seem to reflect what’s going on in my heart?

This album reveals the cycle of one’s life, or even one’s day. “Needle and Haystack Life,” the opening track, greets the new day, while “Red Eyes” seeks the rest that comes with hoping for a new beginning after the night is over. The progression from high-energy anthems to slow, introspective songs mirrors the triumph and tragedy of life. And through it all, one purpose is revealed: the world is wrong, messed up, but we fight for love anyway. Love is what drives us, frees us, redeems us.

So, song by song, here are my impressions of the album:

Track 1: “Needle and Haystack Life”

“The world begins / With newborn skin / We are right now”: it’s a great way to open the album. The song immediately presents the theme that is so prevalent in nearly every Switchfoot song: purpose. Life is no accident, even when it’s difficult.

Track 2: “Mess of Me”

This is the first single from the album. I’m really not surprised by the choice. It’s loud and energetic–much like “Oh! Gravity.” was for the album or “Meant to Live” was for The Beautiful Letdown. Thematically, it also works with those two songs: Yeah, we screw our lives up, but we must strive for a better life. My favorite lyrics for this song: “It’s hard to free the ones you love / When you can’t forgive yourself.” Truth is right there. And this is one example of how Switchfoot is so relevant to my life: so much of what we work through in Radius, what pervades my life as a  believer, is how to be free and free others.

Track 3: “Your Love is a Song”

This third track slows the tempo down to almost a rock-ballad-like feel. After my second time through the album, I’d already pegged this one as my favorite on the album, and I was listening to it on repeat. If “Mess of Me” shows that we make mistakes, this track reminds us that redemption is available, and perfect love can conquer all. Hope is here. Thematically, this works perfectly with “Let Your Love Be Strong” from Oh! Gravity. and “Your Love is Strong” from Jon Foreman’s Spring EP. My favorite lyrics would be the whole song, so I’ll just post the chorus: “I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open / Your love is a symphony / All around me / Running through me / Your love is a melody / Underneath me / Running to me / Your love is a song.”

Track 4: “The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)”

[If you’re wondering who John Perkins is, check out his foundation’s website.]

This song picks up the tempo and blends the ideas of the two preceding tracks, while adding some incredible guitar work (and other stuff). The world is fallen and messed up: “This is the sound / From the discontented mouths / Of a haunted nation / We are the voice of breaking down.” What’s the cure? “Love is the final fight / Let it rise above / Rise above / There is no song / Louder than love.” When I start a revolution, this song will be on the soundtrack. 🙂

Track 5: “Enough to Let Me Go”

This is a quiet, aimless, melancholy tune, a nice break between the epicness of tracks 4 and 6. I want to know if there’s a story behind it, but it seems to be about the difficulties of relationship. “Do you love me enough to let me go? / To let me follow through / To let me fall for you?” While love might be what we’re fighting for, it’s not always easy. Sometimes, it hurts a lot.

Track 6: “Free”

Another anthemic song from the very first notes. I cannot wait to hear this song live–it’s gonna rock so hard. And, thematically…well, duh. Freedom again. This picks up where “Mess of Me” left off–we have to be free–from the chains we lock ourselves. The chorus: “Free / Come set me free / Down on my knees / I still believe you can save me from me.” When I see them play this live, and I’m in a crowd of fans screaming these lyrics, these words are gonna come from that desperate place deep inside all of us that desires to completely overcome the sinful, enslaved nature that prevents us from living the glorious life God has designed us to live. “There’s a hole in my heart but my hope / is not in me at all / I had a dream that my chains were broken / broken open / Free.”

Track 7: “Hello Hurricane”

This song is perfect for the album title. If “Free” gets our fighting spirit riled up, “Hello Hurricane” reminds us once more what we’re fighting for. We have to fight through our sufferings through the storms of life (or, you know, hurricanes). The song echoes the apostle Paul: “Everything I have I count as loss / Everything I have is stripped away.” How do we survive? The answer is always the same: “Hello hurricane / You can’t silence my love.”

Track 8: “Always”

Jon’s notes in the book describe this as a song about love “from the upstairs perspective.” We know that we’ll have to overcome adversity, and this is yet another reassurance that we are not alone in that battle. The last few lyrics of this song are the most beautiful. The words have my crying out that this is Truth: “Hallelujah! / Every breath is a second chance / And it is always yours / And I am always yours.”

Track 9: “Bullet Soul”

This will also be on my revolution soundtrack. It will also be incredible live. It’s so intensely anthemic–I want to be a “kid with a bullet soul.” And what will we be aiming for? Of course: “I want to turn up the radiation / I want to glow in the dark / Love is the one true innovation / Love is the only art.” Anyone else feel utterly consumed?

Track 10: “Yet”

Passion and intensity can’t be all of life, though. We have to slow down, which is evident in this much slower track: “I’m losing ground and gaining speed.” Even when we know what we’re fighting for, we lose sight and get caught up in confusion. This phase won’t last, and you’ll learn from it and come out stronger: “If it doesn’t break your heart it isn’t love / If it doesn’t break your heart it’s not enough / It’s when you’re breaking down / With your insides coming out / That’s when you find out what your heart is made of / And you haven’t lost me yet.” This song is going to be such an encouragement on days when I lose sight and forget what really matters.

Track 11: “Sing It Out”

And the story continues: “I’ve lost the song of my soul tonight.” Jon’s notes describe this as an “apocalyptic hymn in first person present tense.” It begins with a lonely, ethereal, longing question. This song haunts me. This could be the story of anyone’s journey: crying out for the Father and grasping for the Truth that He is all we have. “I need your breath in my lungs tonight / Sing it out / I’m holding on / I’m holding on to you.” This is a song that’s gonna make me cry–in a good, cathartic sort of way–just when I need it most. It’s the most emotionally intense song on the album. Raw and genuine.

Track 12: “Red Eyes”

It’s fitting that the last track should reflect the close of the day when “Needle and Haystack Life”  reflected the dawn. “What are you waiting for? / The day is done.” At the end of the day, when we’re exhausted and “nowhere feels like home,” we always have the hope of the next day to look ahead to. We have to keep moving. We must have hope.  And, as a perfect way to end the song and the album, Jon’s voice echoes “In this needle and haystack life / I’ve found miracles there in your eyes / It’s no accident we’re here tonight / We are once in a lifetime.” He’s already reaching ahead, beginning the cycle over. We must join in.

“Mess of Me”

Switchfoot’s new album was supposed to have been released in August/September. Because they’re producing it on their own, and are dedicated to releasing their best album yet, it’s been pushed back several times, and the new release date is November 10. I’m saddened by this because it’s been three years since we’ve gotten a whole album’s worth of new Switchfoot; however, I can wait a little longer if they promise it’s going to be the best yet. 🙂

They’ve done some fun things to get fans ready for the album, though. They set up a scavenger hunt of sorts through Twitter, where they hid copies (or had fans hide copies) of their first single “Mess of Me” around the world. They also debuted a video for “Mess of Me” two days ago, featuring footage from their last tour.

I’m sitting at the branch library in Greer, attempting to watch the video on YouTube for the first time. This computer takes decades to buffer, however, so I’m really only getting the song in short clips with long pauses in the middle. However, although this is a crappy first experience with the song, I’ve gotta say that what I’m hearing sounds pretty darn good. I cannot wait until the album comes out, and they announce new tour dates, and I can be obsessed with new Switchfoot music once again.

And now, for your listening and viewing pleasure…”Mess of Me”:

#32: Actually speak to Jon Foreman.

fiction familyI love every bit of music that Jon Foreman has anything to do with. Seriously. So when I discovered that Fiction Family would be playing the Grey Eagle in Asheville–the day after my birthday, no less–I was super excited (which pretty much goes without saying, right?).

The show was wonderful. Sara Watkins (sister to Fiction Family co-founder Sean and fellow member of Nickel Creek) opened, and she did a fantastic job. And as her set neared its end, the rest of the band slowly joined her on stage–the drummer and bass player, then Sean Watkins, and finally Jon Foreman for the last song.

Side note: we sat on the far left side of the audience, about three rows back from the stage–I had a perfect view of the profiles of all the band members, and the stage was only a few feet away. Also only a few feet away? The door backstage. The door through which Jon Foreman came. The door next to which he stood (mere feet from my chair) when he wasn’t playing. 🙂

Okay…back to the show…

I really love the Fiction Family album, and they’re even better live. The venue is small, which lent itself to a more informal mood and allowed Jon Foreman to talk to individual people in the crowd–not me, but some people were lucky. The music was INCREDIBLE, of course. And Fiction Family covered Jon Foreman’s “Resurrect Me,” which they have recorded, but Jon also sang two other of his solo songs–“Behind Your Eyes” and “Your Love is Strong,” which is my favorite song from the seasonal EPs. Admittedly, there were tears in my eyes. So wonderful.

After the show, we chatted with Tim and Betsy Hendrix (Tim is a huge Nickel Creek fan, so he brought Betsy mostly to hear Sara open for Fiction Family). Then I bought a FF t-shirt, of course. Then I stood with Jess, Harvin, and Chris and admittedly lost it a little bit when Jon Foreman walked into the room.

Then Jess stood in line with me as we waited to get pictures, and I actually spoke to Jon Foreman this time. Not a long conversation, and I certainly said nothing brilliant, but he shook my hand and asked my name, and I told him the show was amazing and asked for a picture. MUCH BETTER than the last time I met Jon Foreman outside the Bi-Lo Center in November 2007, when I couldn’t even open my mouth to say “Hello” or “Thank you.” Improvement was all I was really looking for. 🙂

I know I’m ridiculous and fanatical. I know he’s just a musician, and I shouldn’t get so excited. But it’s Jon Foreman–the man who wrote the lyrics to most of my favorite songs, the frontman to the only band I don’t think I could live without anymore. He’s amazing, the music is incredible, and he’s a really swell guy. I’m glad I have a decent photo now, and I’m glad that I’ve improved enough not to be rendered completely speechless in his presence anymore.

And, of course, I’m glad to have marked something else off my List.


Can I just tell you how EPIC this week has been musically? Oh. My. Gosh.

First, new music:

1. Civil Twilight announced the release date for both their new single and their new album. If you follow my blog, you’ll notice that my last post is about this very subject.

2. While they haven’t announced an exact date, Switchfoot has mentioned (On Twitter, I think. Or maybe an email. Somewhere.) that their new album will be released in August/September. Only a few months away, as well!

Second, live music:

1. Harvin and I will celebrate our birthdays by going to Charlotte the weekend between them to see The Fray live! We shall be occupying the very same venue space as Isaac Slade and his piano! It’ll be sweet.

2. The MOST EPIC: Harvin bought our tickets to see U2’s 360 Tour in October in Charlotte…which MUSE is opening for! Oh, geez… Earlier, I spent six blissful minutes spaced out in the writing center, listening to “Knights of Cydonia” and imagining what it will be like to see Muse singing it live. Oh. My. Freakin’. Gosh.

It will look something like this:

Perhaps this is why I’ve been sick this week. I’m so pumped right now. Imagine if I’d been feeling well. I’d have spontaneously combusted at this point from sheer exhilaration.

Is there a word for “beyond epic”? Because that’s totally what the next six months of my life are gonna be. 🙂

A Plug for Fiction Family

I’m using my blog shamelessly to plug Jon Foreman‘s newest side project, Fiction Family, which is a collaboration with Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek. The first single (“When She’s Near”) is spectacular, and the album will be released on January 20. Additionally, Fiction Family will be in Atlanta on January 29, so if you live near here, then you should consider going with me.

Also, for Hope, my faithful friend in NYC, Fiction Family will be at the Bowery Ballroom on Jan. 20, the day of the album release. If you can manage it, you should go because I totally would if I were there!

And now, for your viewing and listening pleasure…the video for “When She’s Near”: