Category: Writing

Read More

Rise Above It: Jon Foreman’s Lyrics and My Fight Against Fear

“How this works is that it’s like busking, except there’s no money involved.”

IMG_1796
Jon Foreman’s solo aftershow on the steps of Grace Cathedral. San Francisco, CA – July 9, 2015

From the front steps of Grace Cathedral, Jon Foreman addressed the fans gathered to see his aftershow performance. Minutes earlier at The Masonic, a venue just steps away from the cathedral, Foreman’s band Switchfoot kicked off the second leg of the Tour de Compadres along with Needtobreathe, Colony House, and Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors. Foreman began playing “Only Hope,” and I was overcome with emotion as two realizations hit me: one, that I was in California, and two, that I was finally attending one of Foreman’s famous aftershows. As I sang softly along with the crowd, I hardly noticed the chilly air and occasional raindrops; a welcome change from the crushing humidity of Virginia.

Favorite Albums of 2015

Here are my favorite albums of 2015 in no particular order. You can click the album covers to enlarge them and read my thoughts in the caption. Full reviews are forthcoming for some albums. Do we have any […]

Read More

Interview: Trenton Wheeler of Seryn on “Shadow Shows,” Faith, and Life Through Death

seryn - promo photo
(from left): Aaron Stoner, Scarlett Deering, Nathan Allen, Trenton Wheeler, Jenny Moscoso, & Jordan Rochefort

Since their 2011 debut, This Is Where We Are, Seryn has undergone changes ranging from their sound and lineup to the place they call home. In late 2014, the band’s home became Nashville when members Trenton Wheeler (lead vocals/ukulele), Nathan Allen (guitar), Jenny Moscoso (guitar/vocals), Aaron Stoner (bass), Jordan Rochefort (drums), and Scarlett Deering (violin) relocated from Denton, Texas. Seryn released their sophomore album, Shadow Shows, on February 17, 2015. The album retains Seryn’s signature vocal harmonies and folk roots while expanding the musical groundwork laid in their debut.

The band graciously allowed me to sit in on their soundcheck during a stop on the Shadow Shows tour. As they played through “The Fire,” sound swept through the venue and filled it to capacity before any attendees had arrived. I had no doubt that I was in for a gorgeous performance later that evening. But before that performance, I sat down with Trenton Wheeler to discuss Seryn’s latest album, the band’s spiritual dynamic, and the evolving meaning of “We Will All Be Changed.”

More Thoughts on “Upstream Color”

Note: This post contains spoilers and is intended for those who have seen Upstream Color. This is not a review of the film, but rather, some of my thoughts on it as well a place for discussion. If you’re looking for my non-spoiler review of  Upstream Color, you can read it here.

I’m going to be completely honUpstream Color_couchest. I’m putting myself under feeling the pressure to make this post amazing. I’m still amazed by the response to my first review and I’m not sure this post will be anywhere near as articulate. Still, I hope you’re able to find some sort of meaning in these words. For inspiration, I’m listening to the soundtrack as I write this. I need friends. Please buckle your seatbelt and prepare for a long series of thoughts and a few Biblical references. Shall we begin?

“Upstream Color” is a Masterpiece. Period.

UpstreamColor

Whew. Where do I start with the masterpiece that is Upstream Color? *cue run-on sentence* This has to be my favorite film of Sundance 2013, and spontaneously deciding to stand 87th in the waitlist line for this film in the Library Center Theatre on a snowy Saturday afternoon in Park City, Utah will forever be recorded in my personal history books as one of the best decisions I have ever made, second to accepting Christ. *mouthful over*

Directed and written by Shane Carruth, and starring Shane Carruth, Amy Seimetz, and Andrew Sensenig, this film shows the aftermath of Kris’ (Amy Seimetz) life and psychological state after she is kidnapped and drugged by a thief. While trying to make sense of it all, a subway ride introduces her to Jeff (Shane Carruth), a banker with whom she shares a mysterious bond. They fall in love and try to figure out the supernatural force that is ruling their lives. It’s not entirely clear who, or what, this force is, but the pig farmer, played by Andrew Sensenig, looks a little suspicious, and I’m still not 100% sure of his role. However, his performance is captivating and downright wonderful, as are the performances of Carruth and Seimetz.