Thursday, December 28, 2006

What I didn't get for Christmas

OK, it's not the worst case of Jesus Junk I've read about, but this review of the Left Behind: Eternal Forces video game puts it in the Top Ten.

It's a real-time strategy game, but, as the game's web site FAQ says: "The difference is that our game features fictional battles set on the stage of an apocalyptic world. Our game includes no intestines, no blood spatter, no severed limbs, no vulgar language, no sexual conduct, no morally reprehensible conduct – such as cop-killing, prostitute-bashing, or other criminal behavior ..."

An excerpt of Kamp Krusty review:

Does Left Behind: Eternal Forces let you kill people?

Yes. But only in self-defense.

With a tank?


But you're protecting others, so it's morally good, then.

No, it costs you Spirituality Points. It's still bad. But sometimes, you have to kill bad guys, but it's still morally bad, but you should do it sometimes, but it's morally bad, but sometimes you just have to, you know? But it's bad.

Hat tip: Letters from Kamp Krusty

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sundry links and excess bloggage

Here's what I've been looking at on the Internet lately:

Our trip to Chicago: Day One

Hi! Hey, you can check out photos from the first day of our family's recent trip to Chicago at my Shutterfly page.

Pictured at right: Street view of the Sears Tower.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

New 'River' lyrics

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything, but November is Birthday Month here at the Swerens household, as some of you know. So we've been busybusybusy with birthdays for Sarita and Caleb plus that surprise party for Mary.

She was surprised.

But here, I want to post the new lyrics for my song "River." Thanks to the ministrations of my dear Mary and of the fellow songwriters who met at Mimi Burns' place the other night, I've amended the lyrics. And here they are:

By Jon Swerens

River, you carve the valleys in two
River, you bring new life into view
River, you prove your promises true
River, o River

River, an island stands in your way
River, you simply wear it away
River, even the rocks must obey
River, o River

Flood my walls and flood my ceilings
Flood my reckless thoughts and feelings
Soak me through like laundry in the rain
Flood my cellars, flood my rafters
Flood all my befores and afters
Leave no place where dryness can remain

River, bleach me whiter than snow
River, until my heart overflows
River, take me wherever you go
River, o River


River, sweep me far from this place
River, to an ocean of grace
River, where I can look on your face
River, o River

©2006 Jon Swerens

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Best local campaign ad

In honor of election day, listen to this short radio ad put on the air by a local candidate:

That's John McGauley, who's getting my vote.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Free music (and good, too)

Now here's a deal for you, and there are very few strings attached. A talented Christian folk-pop singer by the name of Derek Webb -- formerly of Caedmon's Call -- is offering his new album, Mockingbird, for free.

Why? He simply wants to make sure people can listen and take part in the conversation he's starting. As he says on his site:

one of the things that excites me most about the future of our business is how easy it is becoming to deliver music to people who want to hear it. i heard a story once about keith green caring so much that people were able to hear and engage with his music that he gave it away for free, which was a very difficult and expensive thing to do at that time. it's actually never been as simple as it is today to connect music with music fans. and i want people to have a chance to listen to mockingbird and engage in the conversation.

The catch? You just have to list five emails of friends who you think may also be interested. That's all.

So, if you have five friends (heh heh!), click on the little birdie link to the right or just go to

PLUS! Perhaps you've heard me mention and rave about Andrew Peterson. Well, he's set up a place online where you can listen to two entire albums free. He's not giving them away, but it's a great way to try before you buy.

Click on the following links to listen to 'em!

The Far Country
Behold the Lamb of God (his Chriatmas album)

Off to Angola

Well, we'll be leaving for the gig up in Angola in a little bit. If you want to join us, we'll be at Cahoots Coffee Cafe, at 218 W. Maumee Street right in Angola.

Thanks for your support! And northern Indiana fans: Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Diagnosis ...

Went to the doctor because of my cough. I've had it for a few weeks.

He look in my throat and listen to my lungs and, before a minute was up, diagnosed bronchopneumonia.

Not as fun as a broncoburger, I'll have you know.

So now, big time medicine for me, including horse-pill antibiotics and stupor-inducing cough medicine.

But I should be better in a few days.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mocking the devil

This is a repost from about this time last year.

Soon after my wife and I became Christians, the first holiday out the window was Halloween. It was obviously devilish, and we wanted our children to have nothing to do with it.

Back in the '80s and early '90s, Satanism scaremongers like the now-discredited Mike Warnke saw nothing but evil in the celebration of Halloween, and American Christians, steeped in the belief that the end times were upon us, were all too eager to believe the worst about any subject.

As my wife and I grew to understand more fully the sovereignty of God, our views on Halloween relaxed. But we were never completely comfortable with the idea.

Until (2004). Funny how one well-written article can dismantle all manner of faulty prejudices.

You must read the whole article. For one thing, it's short. Well, kinda short. For another, it's rare to find someone with this opinion of what is so commonly believed to be a Satanic holiday co-opted by the church. The truth may very well be the opposite:

(M)any articles in books, magazines, and encyclopedias are written by secular humanists or even the pop-pagans of the so-called "New Age" movement. ... These people actively suppress the Christian associations of historic customs, and try to magnify the pagan associations. They do this to try and make paganism acceptable and to downplay Christianity. Thus, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc., are said to have pagan origins. Not true.

Oddly, some fundamentalists have been influenced by these slanted views of history. These fundamentalists do not accept the humanist and pagan rewriting of Western history, American history, and science, but sometimes they do accept the humanist and pagan rewriting of the origins of Halloween and Christmas, the Christmas tree, etc. We can hope that in time these brethren will reexamine these matters as well. We ought not to let the pagans do our thinking for us.

Read the entire article. (This is a slightly different link than what I had last year.)

BONUS: Carve your own online pumpkin.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Apple Store update

Fort Wayne student (and former News-Sentinel intern) Andrew Welfle left a post down below telling me that, yes, there do seem to be plans to open an Apple Store right here in Fort Wayne, at the somewhat-chic Jefferson Pointe shopping mall.

(Photo is of the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.)

King Tut photos online

No one is allowed to take photos of the King Tut items. Sorry 'bout that.

But instead, as you wait for us to post our own photos from our trip to Chicago, you can see many of the items we saw at the Field Museum's own web site. Check out the wonderful photos of the traveling exhibit.

Tutankhamun and The Golden Age of the Pharaohs

It's in Chicago only until January 1. After that, the exhibit visits The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, so if you're reading this from out east, you still have a good shot at seeing these priceless pieces before they return to Egypt forever.

Friday, October 27, 2006

We're back from Chicago!

Hi! Our trip to Chicago and The Field Museum went great! We left Wednesday morning and got back Thursday night. Wow, we were tired by the end of it. The drive back seemed to take twice as long as the drive there.

This is our photo of the Sears Tower. I'll post much more later, but we have a busy day today, with me meeting a friend for coffee this afternoon. Plus, we're going to be carving pumpkins with another family this evening. Then, I work tomorrow morning, and Mary has a craft show tomorrow, too!

So, stay tuned for more photos, maybe in a few days.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

New song: 'Still Beautiful'

And here is another song that I intend to perform at The Anchor Room on Novermber 3.

Still Beautiful
By Jon Swerens · Sept. 30, 2006

What if no one believes? What if no one perceives?
What if everyone leaves at the sound of His voice?
What if nobody fears? What if nobody hears?
If they plug up their ears like it’s nothing but noise?

The Word of God is still beautiful
The Word of God, still beautiful

What if everyone hates? What if everyone fakes?
What if everyone takes just the parts that they like?
What if they break the rules and establish the schools?
Teach a nation of fools that darkness is light?

The Word of God is still beautiful
The Word of God, still beautiful

What if every setback were an utter defeat?
Could we rest in the promise it’s all under His feet?

What if Christians behave as if Christ couldn’t save
Unless they become slaves to the law that oppressed?
What if grace were passé and a shackle the way
To show how we obey and deserve to be blessed?

The Word of God is still beautiful
The Word of God, still beautiful

©2006 Jon Swerens

Photo by Steve Linsenmayer

New song: 'We Simply Forgot'

Here a new song that I intend to sing at my next gig at The Anchor Room on November 3.

We Simply Forgot
By Jon Swerens · September 2006

We promised our lives, we promised our gifts
And everything short of the moon
We entered the race then slackened our pace
It seems that we rested too soon
Father, remind us how quickly we tend to forget, with little regret
Father, forgive us for giving ourselves incompletely, and so weakly
I guess we got hooked on a fat pocketbook
And the treasures and trinkets it bought
We heard what You said but we’ve been so well fed
That it seems we simply forgot

With lips that tell lies and with covetous eyes
And with hands over unbroken hearts
We pledge to obey and in less than a day
Our faithfulness crumbles apart
Father, remind us how often we sink in defeat and beat a retreat
Father, forgive us for thinking we still deserve credit, we don’t get it
We tend to lose track ’cause we’re not looking back
At the parables You always taught
The stuff we ignore when we’re keeping the score
Are the things we simply forgot

So Father we thank You for telling us frankly
That thoughtlessness mars all we do
The only things You have forgotten
Are all of the times we forgot about You

You laid down your life, You laid down Your gifts
And you captured each one that You sought
We’re acting like squatters but we’re sons and daughters of You
We simply forgot

©2006 Jon Swerens

Photo by Steve Linsenmayer

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Starbucks takes over Fort Wayne

Just to prove how much corporate hipness Fort Wayne has, we now have 10 Starbucks locations in town. With two more opening soon.

Starbucks in Fort Wayne

That counts one apiece in our two Targets, which also adds hipness, come to think of it.

Let's hope that rumor that we're getting an Apple Store is true. We'll be so hip we won't be able to stand ourselves.

But to mitigate, we have four Wal-marts, with two more to be built over the next year or two.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

How I spent my last two evenings

Creating posters for my next gigs:

I think they turned out well -- after I figured out how to print a color photo on my ink jet printer.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It snowed today!

Jack Frost likely to make first visit to NE Indiana tonight

But today's snow was by no means the earliest Fort Wayne has received snow.

A trace fell Sept. 25, 1942, according to the National Weather Service. The snowiest October was in 1989, when 8 inches fell.

link to News-Sentinel story

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Miso soup update

The verdict:

Two country miles beyond gross. Salt water with a delicate bouquet of Spic and Span.

original post

"Thy Word is a light..."

This is not a parody.

When was the last time your class saw how "HOT" God's Word is? Open this authentic looking "bible" and begin to share the scripture for the day as real flames are seen coming from your "bible". This full size book comes with a battery operated ignition system. All you supply are the batteries, lighter fluid and composure as your class gets excited. (special note: Fed-Ex shipping is available if you absolutely have to have the Fire Bible for this Sunday!)

Only $44.95!

"Wow, the preacher was on fire this mornin'!"

HT: Between Two Worlds via Blog and Mablog

"The Play"

Have you seen those ads for a Sony HD TV with "Lo-Def" sports? It featured what's called "The Play," the shocking, unbelievable ending of a football game between Stanford and University of California in 1982.

Here's a seven-minute video of the ending of the game. If you like football at all, you'll love this:

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A comic for my dad

The cultural critic: Where my dad and I are way too alike!

Click to see a larger version:

UPDATE: I neglected to mention that this comic is called Arlo & Janis, and is a favorite of mine and my wife's. The cartoonist, Jimmy Johnson, also has his own web site that he updates a few times a week with comics from his archives.

Monday, October 9, 2006

The industrial organic complex

Organic food is better, bucolic and just the right thing to do, right?

BusinessWeek begs to differ in its story: Exposing the organic myth.

(Stonyfield's) main facility is a state-of-the-art industrial plant just off the airport strip in Londonderry, N.H., where it handles milk from other farms. And consider this: Sometime soon a portion of the milk used to make that organic yogurt may be taken from a chemical-free cow in New Zealand, powdered, and then shipped to the U.S.

I feel somewhat sorry for the purveyors of organic food, because it seems they're the victims of their own success, with too much business and not enough organic food:
For some companies, it means keeping thousands of organic cows on industrial-scale feedlots. For others, the scarcity of organic ingredients means looking as far afield as China, Sierra Leone, and Brazil — places where standards may be hard to enforce, workers' wages and living conditions are a worry, and, say critics, increased farmland sometimes comes at a cost to the environment.

It seems the term "organic" is about to become even more slippery.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Making a (wee little) living

Since I'm home nursing a head cold -- feels like an ice pick in my ear -- it's a good time to get all philosophical on y'all.

But first, if you haven't done so yet, go over to my MySpace page and listen to the first song there, "River." It should open in a new window and start playing the song automatically. Note that you can read the lyrics there, too.

Then come back here.

I'll wait.


Now, what if I made such home recordings available for free downloads, with the request for a donation if you like the song? Would you give up a buck or five for the starving musician?

Or do you think more old-school? Do you need to have a CD in your hand for songs to have real worth?

Because, face it: I will likely never even be offered a record contract, nor would it be a sure thing that I'd accept one if offered. But technology has made a contract increasingly obsolete.

I can now record music, including vocals, on my little eMac computer, create cover art and such on the same computer, send the music files and art files through the Internet to a CD printing company, and get my CDs in the mail in a couple of weeks.

Then, I can set up a Web-based store though which I can sell my wares via credit card or PayPal.

Plus, I can send my songs to iTunes and other online music stores and sell them there. (Not that I've actually *sold* any songs on iTunes, but still.)

And then I can sell related merch for exorbitant prices.

I'm not trying to figure out how to make gobs of money with this hobby/calling of mine -- although if anyone has a spare gob, ask for my mailing address. But I am trying to figure out how to make this perhaps pay for itself a little more. (The monitor speaker we just bought? $300.)

So anyway, don't be surprised to see me try some stuff online in an attempt to raise awareness of my music and to raise some cash to support it. Let me know if you have any ideas or comments along the way.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Michael Card, in concert

Anyone who has paid attention to my list of "musicians who have influenced you" would see Michael Card at the top of the list. So when we found out Michael would be performing here in Fort Wayne, Mary and I knew we would be there.

I have ten of Michael's albums on CD, plus another one on cassette somewhere. So I am not just a casual fan. But I haven't kept up with some of his more recent CDs, like his album on the life of the apostle Peter, or on the book of Revelation, or on the book of Hebrews. His songs are intensely biblical and he brings an intense level of scholarship to them.

The concert was a celebration for local church Wallen Baptist's new sanctuary. So Michael brought his album of new music -- full of songs of lament.

But although Mary and I were afraid the concert would be full of music we didn't know, he put everyone at ease very early in the evening by performing perhaps his most well-known song, "El Shaddai." The two-hour (!) concert was a pleasing mix of older and new material. He was even unashamed to play the first song he ever wrote.

Needless to say, we bought his newest CD, which considering the subject matter, has a more bluesy-jazzy flavor to it in parts. Michael natural melancholy now has a home -- especially now that he's not a major label telling him things like he has to follow up a dark song with a happy-snappy song, which happened on his "Poiema" album. Gah.

OK, I've rambled on a bit, but it was a sweet and funny and sad and moving concert. Well done and thank you, Michael.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I can sing in key!

Hey, the gig at The Anchor Room went pretty well, in my humble.

Not only did a good number of people show up, which is a nice change. Also, my dear wife says my vocals sounded better, and we think it's all thanks to the Galaxy Hot Spot PA5X140.

Simply speaking, when you're performing on stage with amplifiers, you can't hear yourself very well. You can hear the echo off the back wall just as well as the original sounds from your amp. So you need an additional speaker pointing back at yourself so you can hear all of the music at the right time and the right key. A monitor helps a vocalist not go out of tune.

Thanks to everyone who showed up! Next gig on November 3.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

433 photos in 45 seconds

My friend and coworker Steve Linsenmayer came over Saturday morning, and we went around the neighborhood, taking pictures of me. I needed some professional shots of myself for flyers and posters and stuff like that there.

Instead of picking a few photos and posting them here, I thought, why not show them all? But who has the time to look at 433 photos?

Well, you do! Here are the photos, all in less than a minute.

433 still photos as a 45-second video on Vimeo

Thanks to Steve for the great photos. Thanks to Apple's GarageBand for the groovy music loops. Thanks to Vimeo for hosting the video. (Fort Wayne native Zach Klein is one of the guys who created Vimeo.) And thanks to Scott Greider for, unbeknownst to him, giving me the idea to post video.

Also, you can click here and download a high-quality version!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Our trip to the zoo

I've been having some fun with Shutterfly, and here are some photos from our recent trip to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.

To see our photos, just click on the alligator -- if you dare!

Monday, September 18, 2006

What is happening to me?

Honestly, this is what I brought home from the store tonight:

  • 1 package Kikkoman instant tofu miso soup
  • 2 Thai Kitchen rice noodle bowls
  • 1 300ml bottle Aji-Mirin sweet cooking rice wine
  • 1 bag Beneful dog food. The kind with salmon and rice

What kind of yuppie list is that?

P.S. I planned on posting some photos tonight, but instead my wife and I watched "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." Because "that TV remote is a crack pipe!"

UPDATE: The Thai rice noodles were delicious!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Really rough 'River'

Well, I finally did it. I recorded a song with (shudder) vocals and have posted it online. So you can hear it.

You can go to my MySpace page to hear "River," my newest song. The lyrics are slightly rough in a couple of places, but you can hear the song with what I think is the right emotional timbre.

And don't forget my next gig, coming up at The Anchor Room. Get the details.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

'Busco gig on Saturday

Come check out the new coffeehouse in Churubusco and hear me play and sing! La la!

It's called the Mountaintop Coffeehouse. I believe the mountaintop refers to the coffee, not to the location.

I'll begin at 6:30 p.m. Hope you can make it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Gig tonight in Auburn

Here's your reminder: I'm in Auburn, Ind., tonight, playing at the Cupbearer Coffee House. (Strange... some of the links on their web site, like More Upcoming Events and Special Drink of the Month, don't work. Hm.)

The directions are easy peasy: Get off the interstate, drive toward Auburn, turn left on Grandstaff, find said coffeehouse on left.

If you don't show up, you won't get to hear my new song, "River," with lyrics right below this post.

For more information, you know the drill: Go to my engagements page on my web site.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

New song: 'River'

Here are the lyrics of the song I wrote this afternoon and performed this evening at the Concert at the Campground in Fremont, Ind., sponsored by Lake Area Christian Church.

By Jon Swerens

River, you carve the valleys in two
River, you bring new life into view
River, you prove His promises true
River, o river

River, you smooth the rocks and rough planks
River, and so I stand on your banks
River, I offer my humble thanks
River, o river

Flood my walls and flood my ceilings
Flood my reckless thoughts and feelings
Soak me through like laundry in the rain
Flood my cellars, flood my rafters
Flood all my befores and afters
Leave no place where dryness can remain

River, bleach me whiter than snow
River, until my heart overflows
River, take me wherever you go
River, o river


River, sweep me far from this place
River, to an ocean of grace
River, where I can look on His face
River, o river

©2006 Jon Swerens

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Concert in Churubusco

I'm happy to announce I have yet another gig to put on the schedule. I received a phone call from the folks at Mountaintop Coffeehouse in Churubusco. 'Busco is northwest of Fort Wayne in the next county.

So, a roundup of my out-of-town gigs:

  • August 20, Fremont, Ind.
  • August 26, Auburn, Ind.
  • September 9, Churubusco, Ind.
  • November 4, Angola, Ind.
Plus all of my gigs here in Fort Wayne at The Anchor Room Cafe, including my next gig on Friday, August 18.

Check out my engagements page for all the details!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

New gig in Aubun

Hi! There's now a new gig for me at the Cupbearer Coffee House in Auburn (not Angola). It'll be Saturday, August 26, starting at 7:30 p.m.

More details are on my engagements page.

If you're in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Auburn gig canceled

Hey, everyone. My gig that was scheduled for this Saturday at the Cupbearer Coffee House in Angola Auburn has been canceled. I'll be working on rescheduling sometime later this year.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A quick thanks

I just wanted to publicly thank Mitch Harper of Fort Wayne Observed for his link to my blog. He speaks about my CD and baklava video here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"Wordlessly" on iTunes!

Hooray! Now you can download my entire instrumental album, "Wordlessly," from iTunes! Just like all other albums on iTunes, my album costs 99 cents a song or $9.99 for the entire album.

Click on the button below to find my album on iTunes, if you have iTunes installed.


Click below to download iTunes, which is free and available for both PCs and Macs. (Of course, when you buy music, that's when you pay!)

Download iTunes

Three gigs in August

Check out my engagements page to get the scoop on my gigs in Auburn, Ind., Fremont, Ind., and right here in Fort Wayne.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Jon's music on the radio

Exciting news! The local public radio station will be playing a couple of cuts from my CD, "Wordlessly"!

The songs will be played a little after 3 p.m. Saturday (July 1) on WBOI, 89.1 FM. It'll be played during WBOI's "All That Jazz" show.

If you live somewhere other than Fort Wayne, and you have a decent Internet connection, you can listen to the radio station live online: Go to and click on the little WBOI logo in the black bar near the top of the page. Or just click this link.

And remember: if you know of anyone who would be interested in receiving these occasional emails, just direct him to my website at, and follow the simple link, "Sign up for email newsletter." Or just click this link! And you should get no spam!

And thanks for your interest!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The CDs are here! The CDs are here!

I heard the familiar rurr-rurr-rurr of a diesel engine. I looked through the upstairs window and, behold! A UPS truck was trying to negotiate the tricky corner at the end of our street. (Why did he even try that alley?)

Are there any songs about the UPS truck coming to your house? I think I could write a couple about now.

And don't think I'm too weird. In the musical "The Music Man," an entire song is sung about The Wells Fargo wagon a-comin' down the street.

And by reading the lyrics, you can also find out how exciting it was in the not-that-distant past just to get unusual produce via wagon.

Unusual stuff like grapefruit and raisins.

So I took the 18-pound box from my friend, the UPS man, and of course opened the box right away.

(There were three smaller boxes inside the big box, in case you think that the small box to the left could possibly weigh 18 pounds.)

I've gotta hand it to the folks at TuneCore, who reproduced the CD for me. The CDs look awesome. I am stoked, as the kids say. (Not my kids. Other kids.)

I am right now listening to the CD, keeping my ears open for technical glitches. I'm up to track 9, "Conner Prairie Air." Everything is fine so far.

I just really want to thank everyone who has been in any way supportive of my music. It was your support, even in little way like with comments after I played the hymns at church, that gave me the confidence to even attempt this project.

And certainly thanks to my brother Jeff who asked for this music for his wedding reception. I think you will like.

Oh, and of course, I'm looking for venues to play, especially in Northeast Indiana. For example, I'm trying to find a place to play up in Angola, Indiana, but the coffeehouse I've played before has moved and no longer can host musicians. Write me if you'd like me to come to your neck of the woods!

Baklava to the future

This is a strange post, only because it has nothing to do with my CD.

But it does have a lot to do with my first video voiceover.

Photojournalist Steve Linsenmayer at The News-Sentinel put together a great three-minute video of local women putting together baklava for the Greekfest. But it needed some descriptive audio to go along with it. So yesterday at work, I cajoled information from coworkers, took a crash-course in iMovie, spent 60 minutes writing three minutes of yadda yadda, recorded the voiceover and saved it in some QuickTime-friendly format.

You can see and hear the video here. Opa!

The CDs are coming

Sometime today, a box of 75 "Wordlessly" CDs should arrive on my front porch.

If not, well then, I'll get them later, I guess.

Details as events warrant...

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Waiting for Minnesota

The "Wordlessly" CD is out of my hands.

I shipped a CD from my own computer yesterday to a company in Minnesota to press the CDs, print the tray cards and booklets, pack 'em together, shrink wrap them and ship them to me. Hopefully, all before my brother's wedding on June 24.

This has been a fun, but tiring, project. There was a real rush at the end to get finished because of my total lack of experience in mastering a CD. That's the last part of getting a CD ready to get pressed.

And now, all there is to do is wait. I'll let everyone know when the CDs arrive!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

'Wordlessly' CD cover

There are hundreds of little details that need to be ironed out when putting together a project like your own CD. One of them is the design of the CD cover.

Here is the front and back of my upcoming instrumental CD, "Wordlessly." With photos and typography by little ol' me.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The songs just keep on comin'

Edging closer and closer to the end of recording...

Three more songs have been recorded:

  • Conner Prairie Air
  • Lilies of the Field (working title)
  • A Girl With Root Beer Eyes
That gets me up to 47 minutes of music. But I still think I have one or two more songs in me for this project.

After that, I am still going to have a lot of work in front of me. The mixing, the burning, the printing ... wow.

In the meantime...

Gig on Friday! And my dear Mary will sing some backing vocals for a few songs, such as "Widow Moon," "Relentless Love" and "His Mercy Endures Forever." Please join us. For more details, visit the engagements page.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Great gig in Angola

I wanted to thank the wonderful folks at Angola United Methodist Church for their hospitality last weekend. The turnout was wonderful, with at least 50 or 60 people in the pews. The best part was that they really sung out their part of "His Mercy Endures Forever." They didn't need much encouraging at all.

Plus, they were kind enough to take a few photos while I performed, plus the sound man recorded the entire gig, and I'll be receiving a CD in the mail pretty soon. Thanks!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Two more songs

I've added two more songs to the list for "Wordlessly." Here's the countdown so far:

That's 36 minutes, 38 seconds of music, but I feel this project must have at least 45 minutes of music.

So, back to GarageBand I go!

(And be sure to check out my real home page.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

'Wordlessly' available for preorder

Now you can go to my home page, find the web store, and preorder the upcoming "Wordlessly" CD!

If you order it before the end of June, you'll save two bucks. And if you order three or more, you get free shipping! "Wordlessly" would make a wonderful gift...

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Three more songs complete!

For those keeping score at home, I've now in my back pocket three more instrumental songs for my upcoming instrumental CD, "Wordlessly." The titled assigned to them are thus:

  • Gethsemane
  • A Covenant Between Them
  • Home Is Where You Are
Ah, but maybe you're thinking, "'Gethsemane!' I've already downloaded that from his nifty download page at!" Well, you'd be only partly right, because I've completely re-recorded the song with some additional instrumentation, plus I've beefed up the song and made it along the lines of an ABA song structure.

This is not the same as an ABBA song structure.

ABA song structure just means that the song is in three basic parts: The first part is your main theme (A), the second part is a second, complementary theme (B) and then the third part is a repeat of the first part (A again), perhaps with some slight variation.

Verse-chorus-verse would be an ABA structure. It's really that simple.

So, for "Gethsemane," I took the short song as originally recorded, used that as the A part, and wrote a B part for the middle, between the two As. The song's now more than four minutes long -- like a real song.

If "A Covenant Between Them" sounds familiar to you, perhaps you attended my sister's wedding. It was one of the songs I played during the prelude of her wedding.

And if "Home Is Where You Are" sounds familiar, you're crazy, because it's brand spankin' new.

Don't forget to visit my new home page, where you can play a snippet of the song, "First Frost of Autumn."

Monday, March 20, 2006

New home page

I've redesigned my original home page in preparation for my upcoming instrumental CD, "Wordlessly." Take a look!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

'Wordlessly' CD status report

How do you give a title to an instrumental song?

Except for some minor mixing tweaks, I've completed five songs for my upcoming instrumental CD, "Wordlessly." But coming up with titles for songs without words has been a challenge. All I have to go on is a vague emotion that I've attached to the song as I've written it. My fear is I'll come up with titles that are either pretentious -- "The Danse of the Foxe Hollows" -- or ridiculous -- "Minuet Rice."

But I'm swallowing my fear and releasing the names of the five songs I've recorded so far:

  • "Still Waters"
  • "The Cascades"
  • "Joy of Simple Things"
  • "First Frost of Autumn"
  • "How Long Wilt Thou Forget Me"

Alert fans will recognize the last one -- it's the tune I've used at Providence Presbyterian Church for our singing of Psalm 13.

And please note that a version of "Still Waters" is available on my downloads page.

So, only nine or ten songs to go!

And don't forget to click here to sign up for my email newsletter, by which I'll remind you of events and updates.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The new floor

Click on the photos for a larger view.

Due to popular demand (i.e., the haranguing of my siblings) I present to the world these photos of my new laminate flooring in my living and dining rooms.

Here, our friend Cecil, in white, helps me, in orange, try to figure out how to get started doing the new floor.

The actual laying of the floor was the easiest part of the project. The hard parts were moving the bookcases out of the dining room and installing the quarter-round around the nooks and crannies of our living room.

Our cat, Violet, helpfully demonstrates the difference between the yucky old floor on the left and the fabulous new floor on the right. (That may be the first time the adverb "helpfully" was ever applied to a cat's actions.)

The old floor was what was left after we tore out the hideous, dusty carpet when we bought the house seven years ago.

But the worst part about the old floor wasn't the looks of it. It was soft and unfinishable, and we were eternally pulling splinters out of our socks and feet.

Ah! So now, when you walk in the room, here is the floor that greets you. The living room is noticeably brighter with the new, bright oak-like floor.

This is the view from the living room into the dining room, complete with silly daughter.

Here is some of the quarter-round that was especially, um, challenging to install. The pieces that were only 3/16th inch were stuck to other, longer pieces with super glue.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Music for 2006

So, what's up with me musically this year?

Instrumental CD: My brother Jeff has asked me to create some instrumental music for his upcoming wedding. So while I'm at it, I will compile the music into a CD I hope to have for sale sometime this summer.

Gigs: I will continue my gigs at The Anchor Room, with my next ones on Friday, March 10, and Friday, May 12.

Three-song demo CD: Maybe after my instrumental album is done, I'll be putting together a three-song demo CD that I can send to potential venues in Northeast Indiana.

I'll keep posting updates and links to downloads as they become available.