Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The amazing Jimmy Depoy the boy
Hey! Jimmy Depoy is on the WRAL-TV website! Look at the "Featured Video" section, and then click on the "10 year-old singer/guitarist..." link. It's streaming video.

Jimmy is a kid from Cary who I've seen play at the Six String before. Plays classic country, has the whole cowboy look, boots, hat, etc. A born performer if I ever saw one. Very confident on stage, good stage presence, knows how to play a crowd. A tough act to follow if you're next in line ;).

Time to Clean House
This news article is a good reason why you should not let junk pile up in your home......

Monday, December 22, 2003

Six String Cancelled
Well, I'm cancelling playing at the Open Mike Nite at the Six String this Tuesday. Unfortunately, some family Christmas stuff has come up, and that takes priority, so I won't be there.

However, it's likely that I'll be there next Tuesday, the 30th, since otherwise that would mean missing more than two weeks at the Six String...


Found an interesting link about the history behind Christmas. Did you think that Jesus was born in 0 A.D.? Well, think again! How about those 3 kings? Whoops, 3 isn't specifically mentioned, but a group of them IS. Is December 25th really the day that Jesus was born?

Have a very Merry Christmas!!! Take some time to remember that Jesus was born amidst angels proclaiming "Peace on Earth, and good will towards men..." He was hope born into this world, the physical manifestation of God's promises and proof that we were not abandoned to our own self-destruction. Wise men still worship him.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Okay, I've decided not to go to the Six String tonight. I really need the rest, and besides... People are dropping like flies from the flu all around me. And rest is needed if I'm going to fight off the flu, and since it's likely I'll get the flu, I might as well start getting as much rest as I can before I get the flu.

However, I'll be at the Six String for Songwriter's Night this Thursday, to hear my friend Rebecca Lynne play. It should be awesome, she's a fantastic musician. There will be three songwriters sharing the stage, rotating through their songs throughout the night.

Whoa!! Just found Mark William's link on Koo Chung's site! Cool! I went to college with Mark Williams! He's a great guy. I'm gonna drop him a line and see if he responds. Unfortunately the MP3.COM site is down, so you can't hear his music right now. MP3.COM got bought out by CNET's Download.com, and is reorganizing for a re-launch next year. Michelle Hunter and Rebecca Lynne both had their MP3's hosted on MP3.COM. Bummer.

Sean Wen (Audiobiography in Seattle) said to check out Koti Hu, a Seattle Asian Christian musician. So check him out!

Monday, December 15, 2003

Song Writing
I sat down and scribbled a list of songs I've written, and I think I came up with something like 20 songs that I've actually completed. A frightening number of them being quite recent. There are a couple of songs that I'm working on right now, that are in various stages of song-written completion. One is for a friend of mine who died shortly after I graduated from high school. Another one is... well, I guess it's going to be a love song.

I've thought about the songs I write, and why I write them. I realize that many of my songs are really at heart stories about people I've known, or myself-- although more often, people I have known.

I've come to the conclusion that I feel compelled to write the songs I think others would have written for themselves if they could write songs. Many of my songs are stories that should have a voice, and be heard, except the people involved in the stories have never voiced them before. And so, I do, because some stories scream to be heard.

Six String
I think I'll play at the Six String tomorrow night. Yeah, why not. I'll do three weeks in-a-row, so next Tuesday I'll play as well.

Got to pray for someone outside of the Six String last time. Will respect privacy, so no details here, but if you're reading this, I'll keep praying for direction in your life, and for God to make himself known to you.

Guitar Strings
Have just put on a new set of strings to replace my old beat-up ones. Busted my Elixir E-string this past Sunday, playing for youth group at CBCNC. Installed "S.I.T." strings. Thats the brand, and it stands for "Stay In Tune". They GUARANTEE they will stay in tune! And so far, I've been quite pleased with them. My guitar sounds much fuller right now, I've been experimenting with new tunings (DADGAD), and so far they're holding up very well, and maintaining their pitch remarkably well too. Not perfect, but there are a lot of other factors besides strings that make tuning a nightmare for my guitar. I'll find out over time if the SIT strings hold up to their promise, but right now I'm very pleased with them. Cheap strings, too, since they're just now breaking into the acoustic guitar market. Check 'em out sometime, so far they're only online at places like Musician's Friend .

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Six String
Was very cool. Not as many people, but a good crowd, just fewer performers. Ended an hour earlier than usual. Kudos to Josh and the "Cadillac Stepbacks" bluegrass band, who closed the evening with an impromptu bluegrass jam that could have been a trainwreck but turned out well.

Thanks, Franco and Bill, for coming out and staying til close.

I opened with "The Jewelry Box", which was requested by Shelby except he was absent this time, then did "Shopping Mom" the correct way, having botched it the first time I played it two weeks ago, and closed with a medley of "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger". Rough recordings of "The Jewelry Box" and "Shopping Mom" are up on my website.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

The concert was awesome. I opened with a 4-song set, then Koo Chung put on a great performance. Eight songs, I believe. I really feel like a lot of the youth at the concert connected with Koo. He shared the story of how he ended up pursuing music full-time, and his experience dealing with asian expectations and family conflict resonated with a lot of the youth. It's an amazing story, that's still in the process of being written. An amazing story about how God worked out all the details when he stepped out on faith and took the plunge.

Sean Aitken was the sound and stage contractor for the event, and he did a fantastic job with the stage lighting (cool color spread across the back of the stage) and the sound system. Incidentally, the sound was actually run as a stereo mix, which added a very nice subtle sparkle to the overall sound.

The bubble tea was excellent, with the whole range of flavors you'd expect from a bubble tea shop in a major metropolitan city. A real treat!

At the end, Koo led in some worship songs for an intense time of praise and worship. Shortly before the concert, I agreed to back him up during the worship set, and dove right into an unknown song set for which I was unpracticed and unprepared. Very comfortable backing him up, though. I found it easy for me to "read" where he was leading the songs, and follow his musical lead. Intense. I was dripping sweat by the time we were done.

It's possible that a live recording of the concert will be posted at some point, if the recordings came out okay. Several sources were used to tap live feeds from the board and also crowd mics.

Afterwards, I got to hang with Koo, and found that we share a similar philosophy to song-writing and music and ministry. And since we were both starving, having both eaten only one meal the entire day, we ended up at "Crabtree Diner" eating a full meal... Thank God for 24-hour diners! Everything else was closed. I'm wiped, but it was a good concert. Thanks to all the people who came out, and sorry, but I don't have a CD produced yet. But it's only a matter of time before I have one out...

Six String Cafe
I'll be playing the Open Mike Nite at the Six String Cafe this Tuesday. Performances start at 7pm and run into the night. I usually try to squeeze into a time slot between 8pm to 10pm. It varies due to how many performers sign up. Come on out! See Six String Cafe's Website for directions. Six String Cafe serves dinner there, burgers (my recommendation), salads, wraps, some pastas...

Shout out
Oh yeah, a shout out to Bill, fellow Vienna Teng fan, who showed up at the TYF concert. Good to finally meet you face-to-face! I'm sure I'll catch you at the Six String on one of your regular nights there...

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Opening Performance at TYF
I'm opening at Triangle Youth Fellowship this Saturday, Dec 6th. Koo Chung from New York is the headliner. See the TYF website for more details. Location is Duraleigh Korean Presbyterian Church, event starts at 6pm, music starts at 7pm, Bubble Tea (aka Pearl Tea) will be served, and canned goods will be the entrance fee.

Six String Cafe
I'm playing at the open mike nite at the Six String Cafe next Tuesday, Dec 9. Time is tough to determine, since it's just a big long list of people. Great venue for acoustic performances.

Power Tools
Survived the pre-Thanksgiving wood-chipping, and I must state that a wood-chipper is an awe-inspiring and a fearsome machine. It's also downright dangerous, but lots of fun to use with the proper eye and ear protection. Eye protection saved me from certain injury when a large wood chip ejected from the feeder and ricocheted off of the lens in front of my right eye. Thanks to all the students who came out to help with the project!

I was sore for two days from the vibrations of the wood-chipper and the chainsaw, and I think I twisted my left knee tromping in the large wood pile. Headache from the low-frequency vibrations took a day to go away. But, no one got injured, thank God. We did not encounter any snakes like I expected to, so didn't have to break out the .22 .

If you ever need to rent vehicles for towing, Capital Ford in Raleigh is practically the only place in town. Rent a Ford F150, or an F250, or other larger behemoths, but you must provide your own tow ball and mounting plate.

For a homeowner, a wood-chipper is the ultimate power tool. I haven't been inspired to write any songs about a wood-chipper yet, but maybe someday I will. ;-)

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