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FLYNN ADAM Rootbeer Bluetree Delirious?
An action-packed love story, FIREPROOF will have audiences laughing, crying, and inching toward the edge of their seats as they are drawn into the world of a firefighter, his wife ... and a marriage worth rescuing.
The Love Dare, the book featured in the movie Fireproof is a 40-day guided devotional experience that will lead your heart back to truly loving your spouse. Each day’s entry discusses a unique aspect of love, presents a specific “dare” to do for yourspouse, and gives you a journaling area to chart the progress that you will be making. I dare you to take the dare!
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Just when you thought
thoughtful penmanship, party music, and business savvy were on the wane, in comes the legendary Flynn Adam to revolutionize the game, reclaim what’s been lost, and reposition himself as one of the most avant-garde recording artists of the iPod generation. Loath to conform to the status quo and convention, Flynn Adam is turning industry standards on their head. By sidestepping the brick-and-mortar approach to music-making and label deals, he’s offering audiophiles what they’ve long longed for: a steady stream of sounds—unbound by deadlines, distribution channels, or corporate red tape. As a founding member and the outspoken, unspoken leader of the mythical L.A. Symphony crew, Flynn Adam knows a thing or three about such restrictions. Now that the sky is the limit, he’s primed to take his artistry to the next level, furthering one of the most tireless and prolific careers in rap music and beyond. One caveat: his new solo output is the most un-hiphop repertoire he’s recorded in his storied run—a night-and-day makeover that stands in stark contrast to the rhymes and rhythms he’s been known for over the years. When IM had the chance to connect with Flynn he expressed just how much fun he is having at this stage of his career and what he attributes it to. “ I am definitely having a good time making the music and performing the new material that’s for sure… Life is always full of hurdles but I’m just trying to be more optimistic with everything now… I tend to be a pessimistic and cynical person by nature and I’ve just been challenging myself to see things differently and “believe” life can be great despite the curveballs.” In a move that’s unheard-of in music, Flynn Adam and Gotee Records plan to keep a continuous flow of new music coming. Avoiding the traditional full album
release and opting instead to release three dual singles digitally over the next six to eight months Flynn says “I think it’s just such a different time in the record business that we all have to be open to trying other ways of pushing our “product” you know… I think this is a cost effective and forward thinking strategy for really trying to embrace the marketplace and predict where that marketplace will exist within the next few years and it seems that digital is definitely the main market at the time…when considering the “future”. At any rate, I am always writing and recording material and it just makes sense to continually release stuff and be able to provide for the marketplace more often and on a regular basis.” First up in this sturdy streak of records is the revolutionary “Such a Time” (b-side: “Just Don’t Get It”), a guitaranchored conflation of hip-hop, alternative, and new-wave sensibilities in the vein of Gnarls Barkley, Beck, and TV on the Radio, plus a healthy dose of Flynn Adam’s own idiosyncratic lyrics and hooks. At IM we’ve been listening to this song in our offices non stop. It’s just such a killer party jam. “Heck yeah man! “Such A Time” ’ll melt your face off with hard drums and razor sharp synths!” Beyond it’s infectious nature, there is a really strong message in “Such A Time” that seems to be a perfect soundtrack for the nation and perhaps world at this point in history, which Flynn says was both serendipitous and purposeful. “I was just inspired by the track to make something powerful yet entertaining and for whatever reason “such a time” kept ringing through my head… for personal reasons I felt like it was for “such a time” that I really come out of the box with a completely different sound from anything expected from me and then obviously there is scriptural reference to esther and I relate a lot to her story in that she had significance in her world and continued to stay grounded in her faith you know.”
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But Flynn Adam don’t sleep; the sequels are already all planned out (and two more videos for the upcoming EP releases have just been shot). With only a few weeks in between to take a breather, Flynn Adam hopes to issue the “Inside Out” (b-side: “Adios”) and “500,000 Boomin’ Watts” (b-side: “Dishes”) singles, collectively a body of work that is not your mother’s Flynn Adam. Now that he’s enjoying a small reprieve from touring and creating alongside L.A. Symphony, Flynn Adam is loving every minute of his new lot in life. With a broadened sound for this series of releases, Flynn should find new fans with a myriad of tastes from Gnarls Barkley, to G. Love & Special Sauce, Beck, Outkast and Gym Class Heroes. “I believe that this is a direction I have always wanted to go for a while and I knew this music was in me but working in the LA Symphony dynamic never really allowed for me to go out in this direction too much… I think that once I allowed myself to see that I truly could put out the music I wanted to put out… well, that’s when I finally grabbed onto the notion and did it.” Unafraid of the unknown, Flynn Adam credits this foray into uncharted waters to a temporary relocation to Orlando, Florida. He chooses not to delve into
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specifics—he only says it was an interesting period of his life—but he says the sights and sounds he encountered there inspired him to think outside the hip-hop box. “I regained an appreciation and love for so many other musical forms that I picked up during my teen years,” Flynn Adam says. “I kind of kept in touch with that, but not as much as I would’ve liked to.” He continues: “I was going to a lot of clubs that weren’t just hip-hop,” adding that the change of scenery, coupled with the rigors of the daily grind, in turn pushed him to dig deeper and expand his stylistic palette. Best of all, his amigos in L.A. Symphony approve. “They’ve actually been really supportive,” Flynn Adam says. “It’s been really cool. They’re like, ‘Flynn’s going to get rich!’” In a way, Flynn Adam was always the most likely to break out of his shell and do the unexpected. After all, he’s worked as an artist and producer with some
feature of the greatest innovators in hip-hop and alternative pop, including the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am, Mario C., Prince Paul, Posdnuos, Madlib, Evidence, GRITS, Pigeon John, Mars ILL, and dozens more. On the touring front, Flynn has shared the stage with heavy-hitters such as P.O.D., Dilated Peoples, Jurassic 5, Talib Kweli, Public Enemy, and Relient K—all associations that, in one way or another, laid a foundation for diversity in the rapper-slash-singer. All of that, of course, is on top of his world-class work with L.A. Symphony. The crew had a habit of wowing critics and fans alike, often gaining comparisons to the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and Black Sheep. Together, the conglomerate became
an underground titan, releasing a slew of acclaimed recordings that quickly became classics in the annals of underground hip-hop. But aside from the validation he may get from his brothers-in-arms or his lengthy résumé, Flynn Adam concedes that he’s never been more cognizant about his spiritual standing than now. It’s almost as if he was made for such a time as this. “A lot of that comes with age,” Flynn Adam says. “I’ve gone through a lot in the last decade. When you’re pressed hard, you find out who your friends are. I have a better picture of who God is by just being honest and upright with him through this journey. I’m not ashamed about it.” n
Flynn Adam also has teamed up with the legendary Pigeon John to reform Rootbeer. Flynn says “This has been
“Under Control” to the insanely fun “Girlies”, Rootbeer deliver a pop culture infused, adrenaline injected, undeniably charismatic and entertaining soundscape that is guaranteed to make every head bob. “We seriously have been getting wonderful feedback and love from everyone so far…I think the show response is always incredible and seems like everyone enjoys themselves.”
Who or what was the “Hitch” that brought the guys together once more you might ask? “Well I guess it was around September of 2007 when John and I were like “hey, let’s do a rootbeer album”… so we just started writing songs… by June 2008 we had about 18 songs and our management was like - hey, this stuff is amazing… we gotta get this out there… and that’s pretty much how it’s happened so far ;-)” Rootbeer are generating a cool buzz all over the west coast as well popping up at SXSW and doing appearances on Mania TV etc. to which Flynn comments “Thanks to Pigeon John and my contribution to LA Symphony I think we’ve already established a good following on the west coast and in the college market… it also helps to have the “team” all on the same page… with the rootbeer equation we are blessed to have booking agents, management, label and publisher all on the same page with the vision and potential for rootbeer.”
What should become the most epic and memorable of underground releases of ’09 also happens to feature a perfect summer jam in “So Good” that keeps the pop culture references coming over top of the smoothest of hooks, that we promise will stay with you for hours and should go a long way in helping Flynn ‘n John reach their ultimate goal of “Global Domination”.
a long time collaboration in the making! We actually started stuff in 1998 and rootbeer was actually part of the whole squint record deal back in late 1999 with LA Symphony… I think once that squint situation went bad we just went on a 9 year hiatus ;-)”
As the boys unleash the Pink Limousine EP to burn up our ear holes, we get a sweet sneak peek of what is to come on their fall full length. From the tasty
Ultimately Rootbeer slaps a smile on your face that you simply can’t contain. Like some of the lyrics remind you: “It feels so good, feels so great, feels so wonderful,” so tune in and dig it!
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delirious?’s Martin Smith Exclusive Q&A: Charities and Royalties, Living in Harmony by Marc Jolicoeur Did you know that, according to some estimates, the song Happy Birthday generates close to $2 million in royalties every year for its publisher? Next time you’re at a birthday party, keep your eyes peeled for guys in dark suits with sunglasses and earpieces who might say “Pay up”. Whether or not you agree with the methods of the music business, it is the framework in which musicians, music lovers, and music executives/entrepreneurs must operate. Often, when musicians decide they’d like to be charitable, they end up being stifled by the system (deciding to “donate the proceeds” of a song to cancer research, only to find that there aren’t any proceeds left after the industry gets its slice). When Deliriou5? front man Martin Smith felt it was time to act on the poverty issues he had seen all over the world, it was natural to try and do it through music. It’s his native language. But, not content with marginal impact, Smith decided to try and reinvent the wheel in terms of these types of projects. Enter CompassionArt. Nearly a year ago, Smith invited 12 of the most prominent songwriters in Christian music (including Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, and some other artists who may/may not have middle names) for a weekend retreat in Scotland. During that time, the group wrote 22 songs, 14 of which were recorded at Abbey Road Studios the following month. With the first CompassionArt disc in hand, Smith then spent months contacting management companies, record labels, and publishers, hoping to get them all to donate their portion of the record’s proceeds to the cause. The end result is an album that has unparalleled potential to generate substantial and ongoing resources for some very worthwhile causes. Every time a song is heard on the radio, sung in a church, or sold anywhere, money is making it’s way into the hands of those that need it most.
Inspired Magazine had the chance to catch up with Martin Smith while he was on tour with Deliriou5? in Texas. Inspired Magazine- Let’s get right down to talking about where your passion has been living this last little while; CompassionArt. Our readers will already know the nuts and bolts of how this project works, so I’d like to start in with this question: Do you think the disc that is about to be released will be the only release from CompassionArt, or will this become something recurring? Martin Smith- I don’t think I can definitely know the answer to that, but the hope is that it will develop into something that lasts for years and years. Time will tell. But for now, we’ve got a record coming out and it’s very exciting to see people captivated by it. IM- Did you think this would turn out the way it did, or are you just as surprised as anyone else? MS- I think we have been surprised. But I think the moment that everyone showed up in Scotland to give their time and write these songs, I think that was the point that we all looked at each other and thought “Wow, this is something quite extraordinary!” IMtune
What is your on the record
MS- Well, my favorite tune is probably a song called Highly Favored that Amy Grant sings. It works on the record and it also works in a very simple setting (in church). I like that song. It’s quite unusual. IM- Do you think many of these songs will end up being played in churches? MS- I think there’ll be half a dozen songs that will find their way into the church scene, and I think that’ll be great for the project because obviously that will release royalties and finances towards a project that we’re involved in...trying to help people across the world regain dignity and release people from the oppression they’re in. It’s gonna be great! IM- How did you guys arrive at the decision to split the money amongst so many different charities, rather than just piping it all into one or even a few? (Note: 50% of the proceeds from the project are distributed between 4 main charities, and the other 50% are distributed
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between 12 charities, each nominated by a participating songwriter. To view a list of the charities, refer to www.compassionart.tv) MS- We wanted to cover a wide cross section of different needs. We felt it was right that each songwriter had ownership over the project, and we wanted to sow into things that they had involvement in personally. So there’s Hope Rwanda which is Darlene Zschech, and Shaohanna’s Hope which is Steven Curtis Chapman. Now, they could see fruit from their labors going into their own project. With the other half of the money, we wanted to do something together as a team. IM- In conjunction with the release of the album, you’re also releasing a compendium book featuring a variety of writings from the people involved in the project. Were you pleased with how the book turned out? MS- Yeah, The Art Of Compassion is a real personal take on how everyone as a writer was pulled together. We wanna do something. We wanna make a difference. We don’t just wanna write and sing songs. So, it’s quite a personal journey, if you read it through, of every one’s life story so far and how it engaged in CompassionArt. I think people are gonna really enjoy that. IM- The only part of the book I’ve had the chance to read so far was the section where you and your wife Anna presented snippets from your journals that outlined the process of this project, from inception to completion. I found it quite enlightening. Do you guys both keep a fairly involved journal?
I’m sure many of our readers are, as well): The press release that you put out back in June said that the band was going to be “taking a break” at the end of 2009, but the rest of the text seemed quite terminal. Is this actually the end of Deliriou5? MS- Well, I think the press release is correct in that we don’t really know the future, but for now we definitely feel like we need to stop what we’re doing. There’s a new season ahead for all of us, and new visions and dreams. I think it’d be unlikely if we never played together again. But for now...it’ll be 17 years, and that’s a long season. I think we’re always keen to keep going on and pioneering new things. IM- So, 4 months into this being public knowledge, how are you feeling about this supposed “end of an era”? MS- I think for all of us it’s sad and happy, you know? We’re in a great band. There’s a lot of love between us. Fantastic music! But sometimes that’s not enough reason to carry on. You’ve got to have a great reason to be away from home and your kids. For my wife and I, we didn’t feel like that was everything. It was a tough call. We’re all working out how the future will unfold. Sad and happy. IM- Any solo projects in the works?
MS- We’re too busy at home to journal, to be honest <laughter>, but we did that specifically for this project. I’m glad it was able to help. IM- Did you know all the songwriters involved in the project prior to getting together in Scotland? MS- Obviously I knew everyone. That’s the reason it worked. But I’d never really worked with Paul Baloche and he turned out to be an absolute star, and I’d never really worked with Israel Houghton and he was fantastic too. IM- Just touching on your work with Deliriou5? for a few moments (‘cause I’m a big fan, and
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MS- There’s no solo projects planned. I think this is really about space, but that’s just me personally. I don’t know about the guys. Maybe there’s some things coming out of the woodwork, and that would be fantastic. I’m sure Jon has got an Eno-esque record that he needs to make <laughter>, so i can’t wait to hear that. IM- That would be very interesting, indeed.
The latest (and possibly last) Deliriou5? album, Kingdom Of Comfort, deals directly with your wrestling over the issues that you’re attempting to improve with CompassionArt. Would you consider that more than coincidence?
I think that she exposed us to a lot of travel around the world that has changed us. I, for one, want to honor that with her. She’s a very inspirational lady. So, there are these interesting connections that take place along the journey.
MS- I think we were all experiencing those things together, after 2 or 3 years of traveling very poor countries and really being impacted by what we’d seen. That was a very natural thing to write about, and another expression for me was to see if we could actually change people’s lives instead of just singing about it. Hence CompassionArt. You don’t really plan these things, but definitely something was going on in our lives and this is the fruit of it. IM- I’ve noticed that the majority of your remaining Deliriou5? dates are all at Joyce Meyer conferences. Now, I’m not overly familiar with her ministry, but from what I do know, this struck me as just a little odd. What is it about you both that seems to make this a good working relationship?
IM- Martin, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us today. Is there anything else you’d like to convey to our readers about CompassionArt?
MS- I’d agree with you thinking those things. But sometimes there’s a bigger picture, and
Get out of here . . .
MS- If this project fascinates you, please go the website which is www.compassionart. tv and check it out, and pick up the record when it comes out on January 27th, 2009. Thanks! For more information on CompassionArt: www. compassionart.tv For more information on Deliriou5?: www.delirious.co.uk For more information on Joyce Meyer: www.joycemeyer.org
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— “For Greater things are yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city.” Even with an ocean separating the United States from Bluetree’s home of Belfast, Ireland, the band definitely identifies with the common struggle of desensitization to a seemingly constant stream of bad news. With bombings, a long history of bloodshed between those who actually claim to love and serve God, and random acts of violence the stuff of daily headlines in Belfast, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist Aaron Boyd admits that “you eventually grow so numb that when you hear that a car bomb killed 10 people, you immediately go on with the mundane business of the day without as much as giving it a second thought.” That’s precisely why Boyd and his bandmates, which includes drummer Johnny Hobson and deejay Pete Kernoghan, have never been interested in writing feel-good worship songs that may incite a few goosebumps on Sunday morning, but don’t exactly inspire change and action once the church service has ended. “What we often forget sometimes is that we’re the solutions,” Boyd says. “Jesus Christ has already done everything, and now, we are His hands and feet in the world. Let’s not just ask God to change everything, but let’s be a blessing and speak words of life into people’s difficult circumstances. That’s where I’ve been writing songs from—the simple truth.” Driving the message home is Boyd’s emotive vocals and the album’s lushly crafted soundscape that brilliantly underscores the very real hope that’s alive and well when we actively pursue a relationship with God. While an unabashed attitude of worship runs through all of the songs on God Of This City, even a sunny track like “Each Day” wasn’t inspired when life was leisurely coasting along. Instead
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blueTREE by Christa A. Banister
these songs reflect the highs and lows that inevitably come with the journey of faith. While “Each Day” is ultimately an upbeat declaration of a believer’s unwavering trust in God, when Boyd sings of “You never leave me alone/Even when storms cloud my way/And I can’t see the breaking day/You never leave me alone,” the lyrics were actually born out a season of struggle when his daughter Lily was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis not long after birth. “When I first heard the news, I freaked out. I didn’t even know what cystic fibrosis was,” Boyd shares. “This thing just rocks your world because you really begin to look at what you believe. God is a loving God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And I know He does not bless you with an incurable disease to teach you a lesson. He does not do that. So I suppose I got to a place where I struggled, even when I knew that God is a good God.” And that’s exactly what Boyd hopes that listeners will experience when listening to Bluetree—hope not necessary dictated by circumstance—the moment when God does some of His best work and shaping. Armed with encouraging words for a hurting world, Bluetree has made it a priority to live missionally, which eventually led them to a lifechanging gig in the Red Light district of Pattaya, Thailand, a beautiful city badly tarnished by sexual slavery. Known as the capital of the world’s sex trade, Boyd admits he was “a bit frightened” by what he’d gotten himself into. But “the intense darkness” the band “simply couldn’t miss” inspired Bluetree to lead worship in the most unlikely of places, a club which doubles as a brothel known as the Climax Bar.
Proving yet again that “God works in mysterious ways” something special began happening during one particularly memorable two-hour set. As the band worshipped and prayed, a message of hope for the people of Pattaya emerged—a revelation that even in that darkness, God was still the God of these people. Despite all the depravity and darkness, whether they were the victims or even those who chased after the darkness, God loved them and pursued them—even if they weren’t even aware of it. And before long, it became apparent that this “prophetic shout over the city” wasn’t just for those living in Pattaya, but for the whole world. You’re the God of this city You’re the King of these people You’re the Lord of this nation You are The simple lyrics for what became Bluetree’s “God Of This City,” the title track of the album which releases in the States on March 3, not only blessed those listening in the Climax Bar that night, but also deeply resonated with another fellow worship artist, Chris Tomlin. In fact, when Tomlin first heard the words during the band’s 4 o’clock set in Northern Ireland one afternoon, he knew there was something particularly special about this anthemic cry for God’s intervention in every city on the planet. After connecting with the band later on, a partnership was eventually forged, and “God Of This City” was not only covered on Tomlin’s critic and commercial smash Hello Love, but it played an integral role in the Passion’s recent world tour—something that Boyd still can’t believe.
“It has been one crazy journey,” Boyd confides. “It felt really amazing to be part of speaking into the Passion movement. I remember standing on a stage at a Passion event in Los Angeles, and I still couldn’t believe this was happening. Here this group of Irish guys were playing alongside David Crowder Band and Matt Redman, and I wondered ‘What is going on?’” Since then, the band’s momentum has been nothing but fast and furious. “Everything has gone so crazy so quickly, and it’s only going to get crazier,” Boyd says. “But it’s all been so much fun, and we’re up for the challenge. We have a common goal and a great camaraderie as a band. And it doesn’t hurt that we’re all a wee bit crazy.” But when Bluetree plays in a city near you, don’t expect them just to play a show and hit the road. “We don’t want to just roll in, do our thing and leave people with the Bluetree spirit or whatever. We want to build relationships with people,” Boyd says. “We want to be able to come back and see people we know. That’s what I love about my guys in the band. They absolutely love meeting people.” And that community spirit is befitting of the band’s name, which is all about being unique in a world that often reveres conformity. “If you’re in a forest and there’s nothing but green trees —everything being as you’d normally see it—but then you see a blue tree with blue bark, blue leaves, blue branches, well, it would catch your eye,” Boyd says. “And as Christians we’re called stand out, to be different—like blue trees.” For more information about Bluetree, check out www.bluetreeonline.co.uk.
reviews U2 No Line On The Horizon 2009 9/10 “Only love, only love could leave such a mark” Bono declares on Magnificent, a stadium-ready anthem speaking of hope and enduring love. Not uncommon for the U2 frontman to pen, but on their twelfth studio release, No Line On The Horizon, he sings as a man who really believes what he is singing. Written mostly while on retreat in the Moroccan city of Fez, No Line On The Horizon, is not so much a record, but more of an epic adventure. On the Irish quartet’s first record in five years it is clear that simply being the biggest is not enough for U2; this band has never been comfortable to remain as they were. U2 are seemingly less reserved, less careful on this record. The band enlisted Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, and Steve Lillywhite as production staff on this record - the same giants used for The Unforgettable Fire (1984) and Achtung Baby (1991). Like those, No Line On The Horizon is a sharp re-imaging of the band’s sound, while providing an almost perfect marriage of old and new U2. Much like the band early 90’s albums, No Line sees U2 as less scared, and willing to step away from the mold - not always an easy task for a band with a 30 year history. But U2 have built their empire on change. They’ve continued to remain relevant, pushing themselves and their listeners to grow with them. “Get On Your Boots”, the album’s lead single, picks up where “Vertigo” left off, full of electronic fuzz and radio ready power chords. Bono ironically sings “I don’t want to sing about wars between nations”. In “Stand Up Comedy”, a Led Zeppelin infused riff - rock track, he beautifully asks us to”stop helping God across the road like a little old lady”. Amid the joyful anthem, U2 continue to cause us to question. They write, as they always have, with a definite purpose. It is evident that U2 have been affected by their time in the Middle East. “White As Snow” speaks of a soldier dying in Afganistan and beckons the melody of the 12th Century hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, while “Fez - Being Born” is a haunting picture of the crossroads between the Western world and Eastern tradition. No Line On The Horizon sees Bono as the reflective, soul-searching poet and less of the global changing, soap-box preacher we have seen him as in the past few years. He sings as a man who believes he is lucky and blessed to be where he is, and he causes you to feel the same. His once shout is more of quiet hush, chilling in it’s effect.
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U2 have always had an amazing talent for harkening the best times in life, making you feel alive and in love with life itself. As absolutely cheesy as that sounds, you all know that it’s true. ~ Dennis ~ Mute Math Spotlight ep 2009 6/10 The release of Spotlight will delight the salivating masses awaiting a new full length Mute Math record (available later this year). As well as hordes of new fans thanks to the title tracks inclusion on the sound track to the blockbuster film Twilight. Paul Meany and company bring their now familiar energy to the um “ep”, which really should be referred to as an A/B side digital single featuring “Spotlight” and “Clockwork” with two bonus remixes “Earlylight” and “Son Lux Remix”. “Clockwork” stands out as the most refreshing and innovative song of Mute Maths repertoire (but that may simply be because it is fresh and new). Catchy guitars, signature drumming from Darren King and Meany’s soaring vocals make this track immediately a memorable favourite. “Spotlight” shines as it did when we first heard it and is perhaps made even better through Son Lux remix. If we rated Spotlight on our anticipation or based on individual songs it would get really high marks but on a whole we came away still wanting (which isn’t altogether a bad thing, cause it means we want more). Though the ep is slightly repetitive due to three versions of the same song it still satisfies those of us who are looking forward to something more from the guys and gives us hope that they will avoid any sort of sophomore slump. Mute Math geeks, fan-boys, and those late to the party should all strap in as ’09 looks to be full of sweetness. ~ Frank-Lyn ~ Fiction Family Fiction Family 2009 7/10 “Americana”, as a genre in music, is defined simply as classic American music. There are many styles that serve as influences to the genre, from bluegrass to folk and blues to country. All of these sounds make it distinctly related to the American culture, hence the title “Americana”. Jon Foreman (lead singer of Switchfoot) has
been immersing himself in this genre recently. It started with his Fall & Winter EPs, continued with the Spring & Summer EPs, and now his new project Fiction Family. Jon has joined creative forces with Sean Watkins (lead singer of Nickel Creek) on a project that reminds me of The Beatles or Bob Dylan. The album starts with “When She’s Near” and prominently features Jon’s vocals and an extremely catchy Beatlesque chorus making it the second best song on the CD. Fiction Family remains strong with the second, and best song, “Out of Order”. This song may never get radio play, but because of the unique guitar line and lack of a distinct chorus, this song is worth a listen. Jon and Sean use many “mountain” instruments to make the remainder of Fiction Family just enjoyable. As I finished the album I couldn’t help but wonder if Jon is over saturating the “Americana” genre by releasing too many projects in the same vein and in such a fast time frame, thus making Fiction Family fall a bit short. Switchfoot, this is not, but if you are a fan of “Mountain Man Music”, old style instruments and strong musicianship, then you will find enjoyment in Fiction Family. ~ Luke ~ Cool Hand Luke The Sleeping House 2008 6.5/10 It really is amazing when you let your passions guide or influence your direction in life. Cool Hand Luke have never been afraid to allow their passions to shape the music. The Sleeping House, like their first release Wake Up, Oh Sleeper and the amazing Fires of Life, has retained a huge sense of creative freedom. Those convictions have made their music unique and set them apart from mainstream trends. Calling this album a “concept project” is not completely accurate, but “Fast Asleep” serves as an introduction to something reoccurring. You see, a “concept album” will introduce a theme and, in some way, highlight it through lyrics, an instrument, or narrative. The Sleeping House doesn’t necessarily dwell on one theme, but instead creates a mood. The mood created gives a feeling of being submersed and makes the listener feel like they’re sinking. “Cast Your Bread” expands more on this feeling with soft piano notes and eerie vocals, while “The City Prevails” manages to kick things up a notch in the form of quicker drums and faster timing reminiscent of Mutemath or Thrice. ”Wide Awake” finishes the album well with an effective piano build and creative distortion, making the listener feel something new; like floating.
While The Sleeping House succeeds in the music and creativity, it is lacking energy. Somehow the production has not captured a full sound that I know this band is capable of. But don’t let that stop you from experiencing this album. And for a whole new experience, put the disc in your computer and check out the story behind the art. ~ Luke ~ NHL 09 7.5/10 What is the best way to capture the intensity of the best sport in the world? Is there a gaming system that will translate the action from a cold hockey rink to a TV set? Can a video game make the NHL more interactive or more addicting? And most importantly, will a company step up and make a video game that my dad can finally play? Tough questions to answer in a world full of sports video games, but I believe that EA Sports has come very close. NHL 09 is the newest title in EA’s yearly hockey series for the XBOX 360. Graphically this game is the best yet and runs very smoothly on Microsoft’s system. Let’s start with the hitting; it is much more realistic and believable in comparison to last years installment, which really lacked that smooth “run the player through the glass” feeling. This year the energy and fluidity of the game have been pushed to a whole new level. You believe the game, you feel the game. The menus are great and the ability to tweak almost every gameplay setting is also a good feature. A gameplay editor allows you to customize any portion of your experience, making the game more personal and making you the next Colin Campbell. In addition EA has kept the “Skill Stick”, making the controls amazingly simplified and a million times more enjoyable than the ”button-mashing” of old. Even though the controls are brilliant and the gameplay is much more realistic, I still don’t think my dad could play this game, but that is not EA’s fault. He’s just too old to play video games. This game comes close to getting high marks but still falls short. There are a few annoyances in the game that hinder its playability. The camera angles available are not the best, there are some glitches in the realism of player deeks, the fighting could be much better, and the physics of certain shots sometimes make the instant replay feature needed so you know the answer to, ”how did I get that shot off?” Xbox will hopefully release a game patch to solve some of these things, but if EA Sports is taking note and read Inspired Magazine, they will know what to change for NHL 10. ~ Luke ~
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previews WATCHMEN is a big movie. But given that the source material is one of the most epic and celebrated graphicnovels of all time, the films’ magnitude and depth shouldn’t come as a surprise. Imagine a version of New York in 1985 where superheroes, once famous and appreciated by society, have been forced into hiding by the government. The Watchmen, a team of heroes not entirely unlike Marvel’s X-Men, used to protect the city but now they have to watch it crumble into fear and paranoia. The film begins with the murder of team member The Comedian, and follows the estranged teammates as they work to unmask the killer. The film opens with an epic, poetic and funny first hour. Director Zack Snyder triumphs in re-creating the feel of a gritty comic book, taking his time to develop and detail his ideas. The most enjoyment in the film was delivered by Nite Owl II, the depressed hero-turned-everyman played by Patrick Wilson; Rorscharch, the vigilante with the creepy mask played by Jackie Earle Haley; and, to a lesser extent, Silk Spectre II, the ... attractive girl played by Malin Akerman.
Every other character was passable, except Dr. Manhattan, the blue-glowing superhuman, whose character design should have been different from day one. Let me just say that if you happen to be a inter-dimensional being that can conjure up any matter, try conjuring up a pair of pants once in a while! But after that first glorious hour had elasped, WATCHMEN started feeling more like an R-rated Saturday morning cartoon: campy, cheap and silly. The violence and sex was so fierce, graphic and excessive that I actually said “Okay, I GET it!” out loud on a number of occasions. WATCHMEN reunites many of the production team from the 2006 blockbuster “300”: Director Zack Snyder, director of photography Larry Fong, editor William Hoy and composer Tyler Bates. The connection to “300” is very evident: The sound effects are hyper-intense and the visuals are rich and elaborate, two things that made “300” such a wonder to behold. Besides being loud and visually bold though, WATCHMEN had me checking my watch. Maybe I’m missing some kind of magical connection to these apparentlybeloved characters since I’ve never read the graphic novel but I simply couldn’t bring myself to care about anything that was happening on the screen. WATCHMEN raises a lot of questions about power, humanity, responsibility and God, but with so much happening on the screen, it was nearly impossible to really process any of it. The Comedian has a recurring line of dialogue in the film: “It was all a joke”. Driving home from the theatre tonight, I was shaking my head and saying the same thing. ~ Francois Goudreault Jr. ~
COMING SOON What movie are you most excited to see? KNOWING March 20 // I LOVE YOU, MAN March 20 // FAST & FURIOUS April 3 X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE May 1 // STAR TREK May 8
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Call + Response
is more than Google, Starbucks, and Nike... combined. This is the call. What will be our response?
“Justice is what love looks like in public.” Cornel West, Call and Response (Fair Trade Pictures)
The idea behind Call and Response is to declare this truth and wait for us (an audience, a nation, a generation) to respond. Once we become aware of these facts, we have no choice but to respond. Our only choice is how to respond. We can
By Marc Jolicoeur
As I write this article, the top 3 grossing films in America are High School Musical 3: Senior Year (they made a THIRD one of those?), Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and Saw V. Now, I like dancing and decapitation as much as the next guy, but I figured I’d take a few minutes of your time to talk about a decidedly different type of film. Call and Response is billed as “The first feature rockumentary to expose the world’s 27 million most terrifying secrets.” It’s been called “eye-opening” (Seattle Times) and “noble” (Variety). The Washington Post called it “a documentary with its heart and its outrage in the right place” and the LA Times said the film “deserves attention”. The movie features exclusive performances from a wide variety of artists like Moby, Switchfoot, Matisyahu, Imogen Heap, and Five For Fighting, as well as commentary from such modernday luminaries as Madeleine Albright, Kevin Bales, and Cornel West. Produced by firsttime filmmaker Justin Dillon, this independent movie is showing in major theatres in over 22 American cities, coast to coast. What is the movie about? Slavery. Perhaps now you can see why it didn’t make the Top 3. Should you consider yourself in the more sheltered section of society, there’s a chance that the topic of slavery puts you in mind of the American Civil War and the Underground Railroad. You might think that slavery is as outdated as Abe Lincoln’s beard. If that’s the case, and you want it to stay that way, do not read the following section. There are more than 27 million known slaves in the world today, more than at any other time in recorded history. The slave trade made over $32 billion last year alone, which
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respond by justifying this as a needed trend in global economics. We can respond by pursuing further education on the issue. We can respond by joining the modern-day abolitionist movement, or we can respond by ignoring the issue completely. In any case, we must/will respond. I know that this film is both impacting and insightful, but I know this only through the eyes of others. I haven’t been able to see anything but the trailers on their website. Understandably, it hasn’t played in my hometown of Moncton, New Brunswick. But it could. It could play anywhere that people express the desire to educate themselves and others. If you happen to be reading this article and live in the Moncton area (and you want to help bring this film to town), email me at CallAndResponse@marcjolicoeur.com. If you’re interested but you live in another part of this great land of ours, you can send an email directly to the producers at bringit@ callandresponse.com. Even if you’re not
interested in bringing the film to your town, I urge you to visit www.callandresponse.com to familiarize yourself with the issues. Warning: Once you go to the site and click on links like “33 Responses” or “Take Action”, it’s very possible that your life will never be the same. You may stumble into a virtual spider web of information and opportunity on sites like www.chainstorereaction.com (a site dedicated to getting pledges from brand names guaranteeing their products are “Slave Free”), www.slaverymap.org (a site that allows people to post noted incidents of slavery revealed by the police and news organizations), and www.betheresponse. com (a social networking site with a much larger goal than sharing pictures). You may find that you’re no longer willing to turn a blind eye. Of course, many of us will continue to ignore this issue. Some of us blatantly so. Others will start off with the best of intentions, signing all the petitions and trying to watch any film they can get their hands on that exposes
the issue. They’ll tell all their friends about it, but, in time, they’ll tire of the scene. They’ll become frustrated by the lack of perceived progress, or by the idea of paying twice as much for their sneakers. I may find myself in that lot, though I hope and pray that’s not the case. We should never become tired of doing good. I’d like to leave you with the quote listed at the top of this article. “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Isn’t that what we want? Love? Dr. Martin Luther King, Dr. Phil, The Beatles, The Jonas Brothers....whoever you’re listening to. They’re all talking about Love. But Love is often a naked idea, difficult to distinguish. This movement is about dressing Her up and showing Her off. The movies and the websites aren’t end results in and of themselves. They’re merely tools, empowering society to put Love into Action. Remember: The call has been placed. Our only remaining decision is how we’ll respond. How will you respond?
God is coming out of the locker and into the hallways of schools across Canada. Schools are hotbeds of youth culture, a culture now largely disillusioned with church. So, Christian students are taking ownership of evangelism on their campuses, sharing the Gospel in a setting and context their peers can grasp. campusﬁre training and teaching materials help start the conversation.
campusﬁre.com ©2009 BGEAC INSPIRED | ISSUE 9 | 23
We live in a fastfood culture. Regardless
of whether or not you’re hammering back double-cheeseburgers like a champ on a weekly basis, no one is exempt. Remember the last time you were waiting in line for an entire minute at Tim Horton’s, or waiting for your drink to get called at Starbucks, and you grew impatient? Or how about just yesterday when Facebook took 3 seconds instead of half a second to load someone’s profile, and you complained about the connection. Whether it’s driving home from work or enduring the wait for your latte, these daily experiences of impatience and frustration are indicative of the attitude of our culture, and more importantly, us. The irony is that we live in the easiest, fastest society in the history of humanity. The time it takes to cook a ‘slow’ homemade meal is miniscule in comparison to an equivalent meals’ preparation only a hundred years ago. And of course life is more complicated these days, but we’ve made it that way. A recent American pollster cited that nearly ¾ of the US population moves an average of once every 5 years. The top four reasons that contributed to re-location were economic shift, divorce, job transfer, and status change (graduation, retirement, marriage etc.). Even though the cultural patterns and trends change, God’s patterns do not. Sadly, many Christians have become conformed to the cultural pattern instead of being conformed to the Biblical pattern. I think that people misunderstand God and His ways because they try to interpret the Scriptures through their modern context and personal experience. People don’t generally understand the 40 years Moses spent tending sheep, David’s decades in process, Joseph’s 13 years of hell and trial, Paul’s decades of obscurity, Abrahams delay, Noah’s ship-building schedule, or the preparation of any other pinnacle leader used by God. The concept of waiting doesn’t compute, and when there is a delay, we think it’s demonic or that God has rejected us. The truth is simply that God uses time and circumstance. They’re His favourite tools to perfect people.
So how do we co-operate with God’s plan? Rather, how should we occupy our time between promise and fulfillment? God wants us to dig wells, not chase clouds. Wells sustain us, our families, our friends, and our communities. Impatient and selfish people chase clouds. Clouds are the hope of quick rain, something we didn’t work for, and a temporary solution often times outside of the context of our conflict. The will of God for our lives has a specific geography to it, just as Canada has a determined geography. We can’t wish for American rain to nurture our crops and water needs. We dig wells, create public works and reservoirs in hopes that people can settle and be nourished here. God wants us to wait with a shovel, and to dig where we are. Don’t be conformed to the image of this scatterbrained, wishful-thinking, ‘grass-is-alwaysgreener’ world. Dig. by Nathan Finochio
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TOP 5 radio singles Camp 1 Jeremy There Will Be A Day
top 5 albums 1
Michael W. Smith A New Hallelujah
Battistelli 2 Francesca Free to Be Me
Various artists WOW Hits 2009
Day 3 Third Revelation
Chris Tomlin Hello Love
Maher 4 Matt As It Is In Heaven
Brian Doerksen It’s Time
5 Needtobreathe Streets of Gold
Jeremy Camp Speaking Louder Than Before
IM’S FAV 5
Saadiq 1 Raphael The Way I See It Family 2 Fiction Fiction Family
3 U2 No Line On The Horizon Adam 4 Flynn For Such A Time
Of Leon 5 Kings Only By The Night
Radio Charts based on reported airplay at Canadian Christian Radio
Retail Chart based on reported sales in Canadian Christian Retail
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And where ever digital music is sold for more info visit www.myspace.com/promisemusic
Inspired is a nationally distributed publication with a readership of over 50,000