Whoo! We've reached the double digits in out MOTW, and so that's reason for celebration [party, party, party...]. Anyways, a second one in the out of town MOTW's is being written in Las Vegas on this fine Saturday morning. This week's artist is Sanders Bohlke who's gonna continue the hopeless romantic tradition established 2 weeks ago by The One AM Radio and followed through last week by Mat Kearney. Sanders Bohlke is going to be singing us 'Lovesick Misery' and you know where this is going with the title already :)
Another acoustic track, this was the first I ever heard by Bohlke sometime early last year. Bohlke's lyrics are so honest that you can't help but feel exactly what he's singing about. Every time I hear this song, I almost want to cry because of just how beautiful it is, and because I've been there plenty of times myself:
And I wait for my angel to come, You're breaking my heart but I'm holding on, Oh, if I could just make you see That my heart is deep in lovesick misery...
His voice that's tinged in southern gospel and soul adds so much more to the song, and is worth the song all in itself. Honestly, I lack the words to describe this song, and so I'm just going to let you guys take a listen and decide for yourself. And if it depresses you, I apologize in advance.
Also, if you're in the LA area, he's going to be playing a show in a week and a half at the Hotel Cafe. I've seen him live twice now, and I can't even begin to describe how his music comes to life then. So if you can make it, come out, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed!
Full Lyrics: Got a smile on, look at me, While I stand and I watch in lovesick misery, You starin me down but you can't see While I stand and I watch in lovesick misery Oh, and I find that love is hard to come by, Oh, and it gets hard to breathe, yeah When I stand and I watch in lovesick misery
You're waving goodbye and I watch you leave, While I stand and I watch in lovesick misery, You're walking away with all my beliefs While I stand and I watch in lovesick misery
Oh, and I find that love is hard to come by, Oh, and it gets hard to breathe, yeah When I stand and I watch in lovesick misery
And I wait for my angel to come, You're breaking my heart but I'm holding on, Oh, if I could just make you see That my heart is deep in lovesick misery
I'm screaming inside and I fall to my knees, Cuz my heart is deep in lovesick misery...
Gellie's first post: What are YOU wearing tomorrow?
(UPDATE @ 7:40pm:) Jamie just posted another blog with some inspiring words from Jon. Here's an excerpt from what Jon had to say:
Love is, as far as I can tell, the most mature response to any situation - the pinnacle of what it means to be truly human. Love is a wrench in the wheels of cause and effect, of reactionary living, of casual imitation. Yes, speed and events are all around us in the information age, but motion, true motion, is rare. Love is the movement. Keep moving, amigos.
Greetings, readers! (or if you just come for the pictures, that's cool too). This is your friendly neighborhood Gellie, here to give you your daily dose. Some of the news is a bit old, but since Phil has been busy, he hasn't posted it. So now it's become my job. Today we have a blog mention, some videos, and an update on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
First up, Jamie from To Write Love On Her Arms posted a blog on their Myspace asking those of us who own TWLOHA shirts to wear them tomorrow (3/30/07) in commemoration of the first time that someone wore one of the shirts. That someone just happened to be Jon Foreman.
"I'm wearing this tonight."
I remember my friend Jon saying those words. It was a year ago this Friday. We had just opened the first box of TWLOHA shirts. We were in south Florida for a Switchfoot show. Florida Atlantic University. Sold out show. 2500 people. Band Marino opening, on about eight hours notice.
At the time, the shirts were a simple attempt to help a friend. I had ordered a few dozen. No plans of becoming a non-profit organization. It was simply an attempt to tell a story, to share something that felt important, and to invite people to help write the ending.
I smiled as Switchfoot's Jon Foreman took the stage that night, proud to call him both a hero and a friend, and so proud of that new black shirt. Jon mentioned TWLOHA between songs that night. I remember him saying "You can check this out on the internet", and I remember thinking that no one would know where to find it.
To Write Love On Her Arms is an amazing movement that I am proud to be a part of. And since seeing Switchfoot's t-shirts is what informed me of it in the first place, I will gladly do the same for others by wearing my TWLOHA shirt. (Confused as to what all this is about? Visit TWLOHA and click on "The Story" on the left).
If you don't own a TWLOHA shirt and would like to, you can order them HERE.
katty_4 from the official message boards posted a thread about some video interviews with the guys on MuchMusic.com. Follow this link, and click on "search for Switchfoot videos on AXS." There are 4 videos, but unfortunately you can't view the last 2 unless you're from Canada. (Darn IP address...) Thanks, katty!
Also, a recent acoustic radio show with Channel 103.1 has just been brought to our attention. It features Jon playing "Sorrow" (the Bad Religion cover), "Dirty Second Hands," "Oh! Gravity.," "Betrayal," and the other 3 guys being lazy. Go check it out.
I know many of us were excited to see Switchfoot perform on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tomorrow night. Unfortunately, that will not be happening. Christina, one of our readers, obtained the information from a rep at the Late Late Show, that Switchfoot cancelled their appearance and to date it has not been rescheduled.
So much for getting to hear "Oh! Gravity." said with a Scottish accent...
That's all for now, friends. Hope you weren't too disoriented by my first post.
P.S. Andy Barron just put up PODCAST 21. ("our little podcast can go into a bar now. it's 21!"). It features Jon's painful fall, Tim destroying a sandwich, Aaron from Copeland on a skateboard, and more...
It's been 4 months since I set out on this journey, and with all you guys' support, we've had a great run, and it's been a pleasure serving the Switchfoot community. But for the first time since we started, I'm gonna need a little break from the driver's seat, for at least a little over a week: I'll be leaving for India tomorrow, spending the weekend in Toronto en route, and also a couple days in Mumbai (where I grew up), before I reach home in Bangalore. (So exciting!)
During this time, I didn't want to leave you guys unfed. :P So one of my best pals, Gellie, will be taking over. I don't need to say this (since she's gonna prove it), but she's clever and capable, with a writing style I like, so my mind will be at peace while I'm away. Besides, she's a lot like me (we joke that we're twins - that our parents discarded one of us, who ended up getting adopted, and that that's why we're in separate families, though we're still working on figuring out the big differences in skin and hair colour ...ANYWAY *end dorky rant*) - so my point is, you won't miss me too much, hopefully. :) Probably, even through the summer, Gellie and I will be doing this together, so I get to spend more time with my family. So, let's hear a warm welcome for Angelica Tambornino! [applause]
Another thing, some of our Toronto switchFeeders were suggesting that we get together when I'm in Toronto, and I thought that'd be a great idea, especially since I was looking for ideas on how to keep myself entertained in Toronto. So if you'd like to be part of a switchFeeders' night out in Toronto this weekend - email switchfeed AT gmail.com, and I'll keep you posted. We could maybe go to a concert or do something fun like that, ya know?
While I'm busy packing up and making last-minute preparations to leave for my summer in India (hence no update today - sorry), let's see who can come up with the wittiest caption for this picture. :D (click to enlarge)
I thought this was pretty awesome. Thanks to Jeanna from LOBH for posting about it on the officials, and for the scan!
I've set up a General Discussion forum on the lowercase people boards, one more reason for you to join! Now you can talk about stuff other than art, music, words or justice.
"Awakening" officially released to radio (i.e., is available to stations), so call and request! Here's a list of stations, if they don't have the song, tell them to get it!
"Oh! Switchfoot" on the boards found this cover of "Lonely Nation" at clark-studios.com (which I'm guessing they got made because they planned to release it as a single, but then plans changed.)
Eva on the official boards posted about a Switchfoot biography, along with scans. Check out the thread here.
(( WHAT PEOPLE SAY ))
I loved how the lead singer of a band I really dig right now, Stephen Christian of Anberlin, so casually called Jon Foreman a "philosopher". To quote:
When sprituality arises in a Christian interview, inevitably and redundantly people still want to know if Anberlin is a Christian entity; and once again, I answer and have to explain myself with the high hopes that this will be the last time we ever have to answer the question. I leave it to the listener to call it what they must. For me, though, I adhere to Colossians, when Paul said, "and as you sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (sing) with gratitude in your hearts to God." I always find the question of "Christian band" a bit perplexing to say the least. At moments, it feels like people are more concerned with the product that they consume than the souls behind the music. No one has ever asked me about my relationship with God, they simply want to know if we classify our songs neatly into the sub-genre known as "Christian rock." I personally agree with philosopher Jon Foreman when he said, "God is much more interested in how I treat the poor, broken, and hungry than the personal pronouns I use when I sing."
Read full interview here. Thanks to Dan from the official boards for posting about this.
I'm taking a bit of a break today to focus on some other things going on (you'll see the fruit of it soon). Meanwhile, here's a couple things that I felt should be brought to you guys' attention. First off, as the new admin on the lowercase people boards, I'm trying to rally people to rebuild/reunite the community that got broken up because of heavy spamming. I could really use you guys' help with that. Here's a post I made on the official SF boards that explained it:
As you probably already know, lowercase people is a movement that is very close to the hearts of the Switchfoot guys, and (though that's not the reason why) it's very close to mine. I see it as the part of the Switchfoot experience where, once you become part of the family, you can't just sit and watch TV all the time, but you gotta do the dishes and mop the floors. I mean to say, we all like to call ourselves #1 fans and enjoy the music, the videos, and all the other good stuff that comes with fandom, but do we look for ways to give back? Are we about the form or the substance - do we take sufficient interest and participate in the guys' efforts to turn their message into a living, breathing thing? Everyone wants to listen to the "Ammunition" remix that was put out on the Footsoldiers site, but how many of those people check the Footsoldiers section of the boards and take part in supporting the movement? How many found out about the song through the thread I made here a few days after, versus how many found out through FS headquarters' post in the Footsoldiers forum? I'm afraid the former is a bigger group, because you and I both prefer checking this forum to that one. Because that sounds like work, and this sounds like fun. Well, I know that's how it normally goes, and I don't mean to get self-righteous on ya'll, I have no right to, but this is just a humble request to us all to rise a bit above the normal: to get on the LP boards and get the conversation going. The conversation beyond the music. It's fun, too, trust me. I know those boards were down with spam for a while, which drove away many users (much to the guys' dismay), but it's not like it was as active as it should've been before that either. Where are all the people who call themselves huge fans? Why aren't you on those boards? Does your fanship only extend so far as enjoying pretty pictures and funny interviews and unreleased tracks? Does a movement have to catch on and become "cool" before you take part in it? Maybe for most, but we are supposed to be the fams, so I'm hoping you think otherwise. Or that you will from now on. For all they've done, the least we can do is support their vision - support what's close to their hearts, and in the process help bring those songs to life. Please head over to those boards, join up if you haven't, and let's make conversation. If spammers care to litter the place, we should care even more to litter it with legit threads. But the spam is gone now, thanks to the great voluntary work Katers has added to her already-crushing schedule. Let's follow her lead. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you there, friends:
Thomas Parker, a buddy of mine, is part of the Concert Committee for the Campbell University show (Buies Creek, NC) on April 13th. He's in charge of hospitality--i.e. making sure the guys have a smooth stay. He's a boardie, too (Tparker). Through the boards, he's been rallying a "massive boardie reuinion" - there will be a whole bunch of boardies (including some of us from switchFeed), and I'll just tell you this: it'll be a special evening, if you attend. He invites your emails at Tparks86 AT hotmail DOT com, if you plan to attend, wanna know who else is going, are wondering about accomodation (if you're driving from out of town) or have any other questions. Here's the promo poster for the concert:
[What's cooking: An mp3 of "Somebody's Baby", and some of my thoughts/ponderings on the song.]
MOTW #9: Mat Kearney - Where We Gonna Go From Here?
This week, you guys are getting your MOTW from Madison, Wisconsin, where I happen to be in the middle of a sudden weather drop and glad that I'm working indoors. The artist this week happens to be one of my favorites of all time: Mat Kearney. Need proof? Well, I saw him this past week in concert for the tenth time. Yeah, if that's not proof, I'm not sure what is. :)
I've been listening to his music for the past 3 years now, ever since I got my hands on his West In November EP. Since then I've enjoyed his Inpop release, Bullet, and his Aware debut, Nothing Left To Lose, and obviously his live performances. As I was going through his latest album, I got stuck on one song. I was in a friendship whose bounds were unclear to some extent, and I always kept wondering where things were headed. It was a long distance deal, and so as I counted down the days to her return to California, I had 'Where We Gonna Go From Here?' on repeat.
I just love this song for a number of reasons, the first being that Kearney's voice accompanied by the acoustic guitar and various filler instruments makes this the perfect night-driving song (which is ideal for any hopeless romantic). The lyrics obviously resounded what I was feeling and so made this song perfect:
All of your ways and all your thunder Got me in a haze running for cover, Where we gonna go from here? Where we gonna go from here? The back of your eyes look like my mother's, When we talk, you're like my brother, Where we gonna go from here? Where we gonna go from here...?
Whether it was seeing him play that song in concert again this week or something else, I'm not sure, but I just started feeling this song all over again. It's absolutely beautiful, and if you're in the shoes I was in, then it's perfect for ya. So check it out, and if you want some other Kearney song recommendations, just ask - I've got some other great favorites.
Full Lyrics: All of your ways and all your thunder Got me in a haze running for cover, Where we gonna go from here? Where we gonna go from here?
Car lights in the driveway, I wonder who's going, coming my way, Tomorrow we're turning down the highway, With another bright state on a weekday, Green grass and a radio, Watching it fly past and away we go, Seven hundred places, seven hundred faces more
All your haze and all your thunder Got me in a haze running for cover, Where we gonna go from here? Where we gonna go from here? The back of your eyes look like my mother's, When we talk your like my brother, Where we gonna go from here? Where we gonna go from here?
Time is moving on our side, How could I miss you to another guy, Pull of the ocean and the roaring tide, Is bigger than my eyes or my design, Father, got a best plan, Saving his daughter for the best man, Seven hundred places, seven hundred faces more
All your haze and all your thunder Got me in a haze running for cover, Where we gonna go from here? Where we gonna go from here? The back of your eyes look like my mother's, When we talk your like my brother, Where we gonna go from here? Where we gonna go from here?
I've waited and I'll wait some more, Won't see me knocking on another door, But all this is crazy and amazing, There's only one half of us that I'm saving, So I'm praying just to let it go, Watch from a distance just to see you glow, Seven hundred places, seven hundred faces more
All your haze and all your thunder Got me in a haze running for cover, Where we gonna go from here? Where we gonna go from here? The back of your eyes look like my mother's, When we talk your like my brother, Where we gonna go from here? Where we gonna go from here?
NEW unreleased song: Jon Foreman - "Somebody's Baby"
Previously unheard. Painfully poignant. Unsparingly honest. A song that Jon played at the aftershow in Asheville on 3/18/07 (he also played it at Charleston on 3/17).
Introduction: (cleaned up--the irrelevant ums and uhs removed--to make it an easier read)
"I saw this woman this one night and she was brushing her teeth, [she was] this homeless lady down by the beach, and I was walking on the beach late at night. And I remember thinking that brushing your teeth when you're homeless must be a real act of hope, and a real act of courage, y'know: just the fact that there's--you're gonna make it through the night and--the need to take care of your teeth, y'know? And I just remembered thinking to myself, um, y'know it kind of bothered me all night and, that's when I wrote this song."
she screams. she screams, well if you're homeless, sure as hell you'd be drunk, high or trying to get there, or begging for junk. when people don't want you, they just throw you money for beer.
her name's November, she went by autumn or fall, it's been 7 long years since the autumn when all of her nightmares grew fingers and all of her dreams grew tears.
today was her birthday, strangely enough when the cops found the body at the foot of a bluff the anonymous caller explored and tipped off the police. they got her ID from the dental remains claimed fully intact, with the same nicotine stains... [cuts off]
[Credits: Taped by Vicky, for switchFeed. Lyrics transcribed by Vicky and Gellie, with minor corrections by Phil. Introduction transcribed by Phil, corrected by Gellie.]
Switchfoot will be "awakening" on The Late Late Show this month!
(( NEWS ))
...okay so that title for the post was corny, right? Anyway, Switchfoot will be playing "Awakening" on Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show on the 30th of this month! I can't wait. I was thinking the other day, it'd be pretty awesome if they got to sit down sometime with one of these late night talk show hosts. I mean, the guys can be really funny, so why not?
(( INTERVIEWS ))
Confront Magazine posted on the boards about an interview they did with Chad (who's mistakenly "John" in the article) and Jon (who's words are mistakenly attributed to Chad). It's a fine interview, though - there's some great stuff in there. I've always wondered about the point of the whole webcam exercise (minus audio) during the recording of "Oh! Gravity.". (Confession: I never really watched the webcam, but then again that's not surprising coming from someone who never finds time to read the Daily Foots except when someone points out something in it. Forgive me, Andy, for being such a disgrace to fandom, in spite of your radness.) Anyway, it was good to read Jon's explanation for that:
JON: I think as far as the webcam is concerned it was kind of a window in for people but it was also a window out for us, to kind of, avoid the pitfalls that’s common to the studio process of just being lost in your own dark, little cave, forgetting about the fact that you’re going to be playing these songs in front of people in a few months and wanting to keep the communication going.
CONFRONT: And I suppose it also means that you’re more conscious in the studio of your public image too, and so you want to bring that good behaviour into the private time as well?
JON: You know there’s a lot of lucky times when no one was picking their nose or that type of thing…basically it was kind of Russian Roulette because every eight seconds, every ten seconds the photo was delivered to the website. We thought about what would it be like if somebody runs through the studio naked; you might not see it or you might!
CHAD: Luckily we had no streakers in the studio.
The "switchGoogler" points to this new and fabulous article/interview with Cross Rhythms UK. Jon said some really great stuff on it. I especially liked his take on a common complaint (usually from Christians, or from 13-year-olds - though I don't mean to unfairly generalize or stereotype) that some songs are too vague. He found the words to say what I've always wanted to say to those who rate songs like "Dirty Second Hands" or "Oh! Gravity." or "Let Your Love" low because they don't have spoonfed lyrics that can be easily understood or nailed down to a specific meaning. The accessibility of a song's lyrics doesn't have to have anything to do with it's awesomeness. In fact, vague or stream-of-consciousness lyrics can be beautiful in their own right, as Jon explains:
I think we've always been probably, almost to a fault, a little too outspoken about things. If anything that's what we've gotten flak for. Every record I've delivered within Switchfoot has included a song-by-song explanation of where these things have come from. For the American public, especially in faith-based communities, there's very little creativity. There are very few people that are looking at a metaphor and actually diving into it as a pool and swimming around in it and exploring. I think songs are, if nothing else, they have to be a metaphor. Because when you write a song you're not attempting to write a song, you're attempting to explode the Atomic Bomb. You're attempting to make people float and cry and explode and disappear. You don't write a song to write a song, you want to change the world. And yet every song comes out and it's just a song. And I guess that's what keeps you coming back.
If you rob the song of its metaphor and tear the fangs and the claws off it and put it in the zoo and explain it: 'That's a lion. That's what it is!' it tears the very essence of what the song is supposed to be when it's out in the wild - unexplained. I feel like the mystery that surrounds us is something that is many times lost by the modern mind. The idea that, we want to explain it. We want to put it in our back pocket. Fold it up and bring it out and show it to friends on our command. It's something that we do to our detriment with our faith as well. I don't believe in a God that I can put in my back pocket. So in the same way I don't want songs that I can just use on demand. For me music is something that goes much deeper than that.
Coralee quoted some Jon-related stuff from an article on Relient K in the latest CCM Magazine, on the official boards.
About the new album:
Switchfoot front man Jon Foreman, a mentor of sorts to Thiessen, sees the new collection as a great example of Thiessen's deft touch as a writer. 'I am always struck by how clever Matt is', Foreman tells CCM. 'This record has hidden gems throughout'.
About "Deathbed", a track on RK's new album on which Jon does guest vocals (listen to it here):
A beautiful instrumental climax represents the character's ascent to Heaen, and a stunning coda sung achingly by guest vocalist Jon Foreman wraps the whole thing up with a bang. 'When Matt asked me if I wanted to sing on a tune,' Foreman explains, 'I told him that I would be honored to be involved. I enjoy singing notes I wouldn't write that approach subjects that I don't write about--it's like a vacation, or a trip overseas. If I were to hire a voice to play the part of God, I would shoot for a voice like Johnny Cash or maybe Lou Reed. So I tried to dive into it and make even the high notes feel authentic and strong'. That he did. Foreman's falsetto evokes feelings of a gracious and gentle God ushering the weary and broken protagonist into His rest.
About Matt Thiessen and his songwriting:
Foreman appreciates Thiessen's approach and sees a unique ability in him as a songwriter. 'Matt's a fighter', Foreman says. 'The inner fight is something that he sings about with honesty and conviction'.
Thanks for sharing that, Coralee.
(( etc. ))
Two of the girls starring in our tattoo archive, Vicky and Erica, met and took a picture of their tats next to each other, for switchFeed! (Did I make that sound like they met just for switchFeed?)
And lastly, Krista commented yesterday suggesting that I link to the new MuteMath music video. It's pretty awesome, check it out.
PS: Since people have been asking me about it - "Somebody's Baby", a previously unheard song, will be our next post, complete with video and lyrics. :)
Justin Wallace emailed me this rad clip. The singer may be bad, but the "musicians" are pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing, Justin.
Another clip that Mabel thought I should post. It's been around for long, so this is old for the longtime fans, but here it is anyway, for the newer folks. It's worth it - Switchfoot covering N'sync. Yeah, you read that right. Ladies and gentlemen, "The Cheat":
Corey Vidal emailed me this clip he'd just uploaded, of Jon playing "24" after the show in Toronto. It's pretty awesome, the video quality is impressive, too. Thanks, Corey.
Thanks to Caitlin Jaynes who sent me her video, and Clifton's remix of the official bootleg, I was able to put together this great clip of "Yesterdays" from the Cincinnati show, the first time they ever played the song in concert. Enjoy!
Becca from the official boards posted some pretty good pictures of the Ashville show. Here are a few that particularly tickled my fancy (no, it's not that I have a soft spot for Tim, I just picked 4 that I thought looked best):
switchFeed's Vicky Chiri got some amazing pictures from Ashville and Columbia (and a video of a previously-unheard story-song from Jon that left me uncharacteristically speechless and teary eyed), but there are too many good ones, so I'm thinking of making a switchFeed flickr account so you can see tons of pictures without me having to post each one. We'll be releasing that video too, soon.
Lastly, switchFeed's Arpit Mehta, who heads the "mp3 of the week" section, and interns for Filter Magazine, is now famous - he scored an article with them. Congrats, Arpit! We're proud. We hope you don't leave our tiny little site, on your path to world domination. ;)
The call to de-lurk got a whopping 73 comments, and I somehow managed to keep my promise to reply to each one. Thanks once again to everyone who responded! Hopefully commenting on that post has emboldened some of you to comment more often - which would make this place even more fun, y'know. ;)
(( NEWS ))
Our MOTW guru Arpit Mehta got to go help Switchfoot with the "Awakening" video yesterday, in LA. He also got to see the whole video (except for the part he was working on, which is going to be a very minor part of the video). Some of the adjectives he used to describe it: "awesome", "brilliant". Some hints he provided: Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, Buster...
The video should be released in 2-3 weeks. According to FMQB, the song will be available to HOT Adult Contemprary (AC) radio on the 26th of this month. But that hasn't stopped some stations who seem like they can't wait to get the song playing, and as a result the song has seen 30 spins already this week, taking it to #82 on the Hot AC charts. Most of these plays are from Salt Lake City's 107.9 FM - they've played it 24 times this past week. :) Come 26th, don't forget to call in and request (here's the list of stations), as often as you can! But if you live in SLC, Norfolk (94.9 FM) or Albuquerque (100.3 FM), you don't have to wait - 'cause they're playing it on these stations already!
Switchfoot played "Yesterdays" live in concert for the first time at Cincinnati. I've put it up on our MySpace. Visit switchfootbootlegs.com to access/download these bootlegs. In a few days, we will be bringing you a good-quality video of this performance.
(( HUMOUR & RANDOMS ))
Check out this funny setlist image from the Cincinnati show, courtesy LOBH. Sin City?
(( SITE UPDATE ))
Lastly, one of our readers, Mukta, had brought up a problem I've been trying to combat for a while with no success - that is, posts being ordered in RSS feeds according to the "latest updated" instead of "latest published", which meant that if I made an edit to an old post, it would pop up in your feed readers, RSS widgets, or in your emails (for those who've subscribed for email updates). I think we lost a few subscribers because of this, too, especially during the last few days where I had to make changes to a handful of old posts. Anyway, I finally managed to fix the problem today! (Today's email will be the last time you get older posts.) And needless to say, this makes me happy, because it was quite an annoyance. That's all. Have a great day, everyone.
PS: Now that the email-delivery is fixed, I can say without holding back: feel free to sign up for the email updates where we link you to new posts - it gets sent out once every day (well, only if there have been new posts, which is pretty much every day.) Signing up is quick and easy, all we need is an email address - scroll down this page and you'll see it on the sidebar to the left, under "switchAddicts".
MOTW #8: The One AM Radio - 'The Echoing Airports'
Alright, so Phil and I can appreciate this artist more than most anyone else here because he hails from our native land. Well, he was born in Boston, but he's from India, and has family in Mumbai where both Phil and I are from. And not only is he Indian, but he makes some pretty impressive music, which, of course, should be the case for any artist showcased in this section.
The song that I've picked is 'The Echoing Airports' off his newest release, This Too Will Pass. I don't know why, but I enjoy songs about airports. Such was the case with John Mayer's 'Wheel', even though the airport reference was only in one of the verses. But you get my point. And it's not just the idea behind the song, but the instrumentation, the vocals, and the lyrics, all combined that make it one of the more beautiful songs I've heard as of late.
The music itself will remind you of a mix between The Postal Service and Iron & Wine (sort of). It's mellow but it's got just enough beats/samples to remind you of Ben Gibbard's electronic foray. The song is Hrishikesh Hirway's (the singer) reflection of past relationships and all that encompasses that word. The emotions, the fights, the makeups, and all that goes into making a relationship just that:
I go to airports wait by the gates for arriving flights, I go to airports to see the lovers reunite...
He obviously regrets the love he's let pass through his hands and so sits at airports and hopes for a reunion some time in the future. Every aspect of the song is perfect, as far as I'm concerned, and I can't help but listen to it over and over. Alright, I'm not going to build this up anymore. I'm just going to post the song and let you reach your own conclusions. Enjoy!
Sorry for the short notice but Switchfoot is in urgent need of people for the "Awakening" video shoot, TODAY (Monday, 3.19). It's shooting in Los Angeles and probably starts around 9am. If you live in the LA area, or if you have any friends who might be able to help in the LA area - please call Michael McClellan at 818.635.8006. We would appreciate any help we can get. Thank you!
(Update @ 11:55am:) I put up Jon's little Jimmy Eat World cover on YouTube, here. Hopefully it'll help some J.E.W. fans notice Switchfoot. And make some people on your MySpace (or wherever else you embed it) laugh. --
My buddy Jill at "Ears to Hear", an indie music podcast, gave us a great shoutout: "one of the coolest blogs I've ever seen". (That made my day, Jill. You're awesome. :) Nice new layout, by the way.) She also played a bootleg of "Fatal Wound" on the show, which I loved. This gives me the perfect opportunity to urge you guys to go over to her podcast site and treat yourself to some great music every week. She does it purely for the love of art and supporting good artists, and for music fans like you, so make use of what she does and show her support!
----- RANDOM -----
Jessica, one of our regular readers from Argentina, who did some great drawings that we featured on the site a while ago--she's really talented--got her first Switchfoot CD in the mail, after years of waiting, from a kind fan in Guatemala (fam-love, I tell you.) This left her understandably elated and the result of it was a cartoon strip which made me smile. I remember having to wait a few years until I got to Canada, to own my first Switchfoot CD, so I know how that feels--the wait, as well as the pleasure of finally owning it and being able to read the liner notes and stuff. Us North Americans are blessed, let's not forget. Anyway, have a look (click to enlarge):
Justine Stehouwer brings an interview with Tim to my attention (that I don't think I've posted before). It's pretty good. Thanks, Justine.
----- PICTURES -----
Vicky Chiri, after a great show in Cincinnati the other night, continued her great behind-the-scenes contributions to switchFeed. Tim, kind enough to help us out with an interview we wanted for the live DVD/mini-documentary I'm planning (with John Clarke, who's commented below), furnished Vicky with an aftershow/photo/video pass, and she did a great job - the interview turned out great. Tim said some lovely stuff, both deep and funny. We can't wait to release it when it's time. (See Vicky's picture with Tim.) Here are a couple pics she got for us (do not steal):
Keep up this spirit of sharing, guys. Feel free to email stuff to switchfeed AT gmail DOT com, I might take a while to reply, but I will. Thanks.
Holly C. emailed me this... (the first picture is Chad in the latest Daily Foot, and the second is Edna Mode from The Incredibles). :D
I have this strange feeling it might've been intentional and not a coincidence. Hahah. If so, good one, Chad. And thanks for pointing that out, Holly.
PS: We've replaced "Spirits In The Material World" on our MySpace with a "Clifton mix" live bootleg of "American Dream" that features a great quotable from Jon. And I wanna thank all 736 of our MySpace friends for adding us.
...or is it one of his sharpie antics that people have fallen for in the past? Andy Barron brings you the latest Daily Foot, with this picture:
So the official Footsoldiers site has finally gone live at it's brand new home! Seth has done a great job with it, and the sFeed RSS widget I did for it can be added to your MySpace profile, blog or website, too - just click "get widget"!) There's also a remix of "Ammunition" on the page, released for the first time, it's amazing - full of industrial genius. I'm guessing Jerome masterminded it. And the "C'mon, C'mon" remix which I recently took down from our MySpace is up there, too! :)
Breaking news on ESPN: "...Andy Barron makes new SF podcast, wows public..."
----- NEWS -----
That's what the newsflash on yesterday's ESPN Sportscenter said. Think I'm kidding? Check it out for yourself. To quote Andy, "it's pretty much the sweetest thing since sliced bread. jon even said it's his favorite ever." And I think I'd agree.
Megan posted the following on the official boards:
The Freedom Project: Event in OC April 28 Event Date: 04.28.2007
thegluenetwork.com announces the next chapter in the fight to educate and prevent the trafficking of human beings: The Freedom Project; a benefit supporting International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, and slavery. Join us for an enlightening evening on Saturday, April 28, 2007 at 7pm. Hosted by Hotel Menage in Orange County, there will be a film screening where you'll get a chance to see the issues through the eyes of rescued victims, a silent art auction, a fair-trade tasting room, a guest speaker from IJM and live music by Jon Foreman of the band Switchfoot. Come learn more about what you can do to make a difference. This is an evening you won't forget.
If you live near a Mandee Store, keep your eyes and ears open. Switchfoot will be crisscrossing Mandee Stores nationwide to play in-store sets, between March 11th and April 11th. You can also enter to win a contest with prizes including the opportunity to watch a soundcheck, backstage passes, etc. More details here.
----- ARTICLES -----
Tim Foreman answers the oft-asked question as to why "Oh! Gravity." was released on December 26th, an unusual release date.
"We definitely got a few puzzled looks from the record company when we proposed that date," admits Switchfoot bassist Tim Foreman. "We figured that we're not a big hip-hop band and it's easy to get lost in the shuffle in the holiday madness. We really believe in this album and these songs and we wanted them to have their own spot."
An interesting article that ponders the tightrope between the "Christian" and "secular" music worlds that Switchfoot so skillfully walks.
----- ART -----
LOBH posted an incredible piece of fan art that brings a fresh perspective to the "Nothing Is Sound" cover art. I don't wish to steal traffic, so please visit the artist's blog (where more of his/her work is featured), to see the enlarged version (it's the second image in the second row). Here's a preview:
----- DOWNLOADS -----
Clifton, a talented audiophile, posted on the Switchfams forums about how he used all the bootlegs (courtesy switchfootbootlegs.com), ran them through a mixer, and tweaked them to significantly improve the sound quality. He's taken the recordings from good to perfect. I am very impressed with his work (though I've heard it only on my earphones, not a bass-powered stereo system), and I suggest you check it out.
----- SITE NEWS -----
I've been talking to Jamie from To Write Love On Her Arms (I urge you to go read their story if you haven't already, it's powerful). He's a great writer, and more importantly, a great guy. I am extremely excited to announce that he's graciously agreed to write for us, and we'll soon be bringing you the first installment of jamie writes...for switchFeed. He said he would "like to write about music and people and pain and hope and life..." Soon, mi amigos.
The stats on the just-concluded poll show that 24% of 103 voters were either unsure about this, or were freaked out by it / it made them cringe.
Well, I'll just say I'm glad the majority laughed, and move on. Thanks to everyone who voted.
A new poll is up, and, it's self-explanatory. I'm just trying to figure out where all you lovely folks come from to read my untrained words (wait, no, that might be my ego speaking, you came here for the downloads, didn't you? :p) EDIT: Uh oh, I forgot to add "Google Search" as an option.
So I felt like taking an off-day (apart from the poll), and decided why not celebrate De-lurking Day today? I got the idea from Veerle's pretty blog. If you're a lurker, i.e. someone who visits the site but is too shy or lazy to comment, or you've just had nothing to say, I kindly invite you sirs and madams to step up, say hello, tell us your name and a little bit about yourself, so I have a better idea of who I'm writing for. :) I know I haven't exactly been exemplary on that front - so allow me to rectify that: The one thing about me that you all didn't know and are waiting to know, of course, is that I love Switchfoot. The rumours are true. I'm 20, I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and I've lived here for nearly 2 years now. Before that, I've briefly lived in Singapore (I was with YWAM), and grew up in India. Being an international student may be a pain financially, but it's quite an adventure to be in a foreign country with no family or good ol' friends around. I will be going back home to India on the 30th, for a few months, for the first time since I moved here, so I'm pretty excited about that. I started out wanting to major in Cognitive Science, but now I'm planning to switch to Journalism. 'Cause I like writing, it's fun. Why? Because I can fool gullible people into thinking I'm actually a good writer. mwahaha
That's enough about me, your turn now. Happy De-lurking Day! (Now go on and wish me the same, you lurker, you.)
Looking forward to seeing your first comment on this site, I promise I will reply. And yes, I will take it personally if you don't comment (even though I wouldn't be aware of your existence.) :D
Tattoo update, new site-launches, great live videos!
The post showcasing Switchfoot tattoos has been updated with images of sarajane's "Beautiful Letdown" tattoo, which she emailed me - she had the "Learning to Breathe" one (which we'd already posted) on one of her wrists, now we learn she has another tat on the other wrist. Pretty cool, I must say.
Tim saw her tat before the show she went to, and got Jon to have her pulled up on stage during the show. Girls often complain about the guys letting only guys up on stage (for obvious reasons), so this was a pleasant sight: Thanks for sharing, sarahjane. Good on you for being so composed - a reminder that there are female fans who are in it for the music.
The talented Cassie, who's our resident graphic-designer, just opened a new graphics-focused Switchfoot site alongwith her twin sister, called "Deficiency Of Love" aka DOL. Check it out. (Added to "switchFriends" link-list.) Update: I just checked out their graphics section..um...wow.
LOBH launched a pretty sweet Switchfoot picture gallery. Go take a plunge! And bookmark it as an answer to all your Switchfoot picture needs.
Canadian fans are continuing their legacy of quality video bootlegging of Switchfoot shows, as evidenced by these two great YouTube finds from LOBH's Jeanna. The first is a performance of "The Shadow Proves The Sunshine" in Toronto, and the second is "The Blues" in Ottawa. Enjoy:
In other news, Jon Foreman shares a montage featuring Switchfoot's favourite podcast moments, here.
And lastly, I did a couple things to make this site load faster - do you guys notice any improvement?
I'd updated this week's MOTW post with a note saying Jerome Fontamillas produced a track for Starflyer 59, but we have a post-worthy correction to make (courtesy Andy Barron): he didn't just produce one track, but that whole album "Silver" was produced by him. It's great to know that, especially 'cause it's one of my favourite albums by them. Thanks Andy.
Starflyer 59, this week's artist, is arguably the most underrated band in the current music scene. They're from California and have been making records since 1993. In spite of being so underappreciated, thanks to the support of a devoted underground following, they've been around for 14 years, 11 albums (I own 10 of them), 6 EPs, and 3 live albums--and these indie-rock / shoegaze / dreampop / surf-rock veterans are still making amazing music. Well, it's mostly just Jason Martin - SF59 is almost entirely his work - with the help of a constantly-evolving line-up of guest artists. On their latest, My Island (an apt name, considering Jason's introspective, inward, stream-of-consciousness lyrical style), a notable guest is Steven Dail, the bassist from the hard-rock outfit Project 86 (yeah, another band name with a number in it - forgive them.) It's probably his influence that has resulted in this album being SF59's most upbeat, fun, "rocking" album to date (though the track I've featured in this post doesn't fit that description.)
This new one, My Island, is yet another album by them that manages to outclass most popular music these days. It's an irony that though these guys are criminally unknown, Jason Martin has the keenest sense of pop melodies. The man knows how to write a gorgeous pop tune as well as anyone else.
The song I picked as MOTW is called "W.S. 2005" (though I don't know what the initials stand for). It's just a beautiful, spacey, dreamy song - classic SF59. I don't have much to say about it, except that if you think this track is amazing, these guys have even better songs in their catalogue - songs that will just blow you away. Songs that are the perfect soundtrack for when you're driving along the coastline on a lonely night, with your windows down. Their intoxicating music transports me to a different plane. For example, the climax in this song.
I hear you when you cry...
I must've given this album 865823576 spins ever since I got it about a month ago. So yeah, you should check these guys out, and buy the album if you like it. They could use every bit of your support, so they can keep putting out great, real music. That is all.
(If you like this song, I've also included another track from the album... I guess, to make up for that one week when we didn't put up an MOTW? Yeah.)
Here's a pretty awesome work of graphic art based on "Shadow Proves The Sunshine" (click on the image on the site to enlarge it, it's really good.)
A while back I'd posted about a book called "Be The Change" by a 15-year-old called Zach Hunter, because Jon Foreword had written a foreman for it. Well, Hailey bought the book the other day and uploaded pictures of it for us switchFeeders. It's amazing how much Jon can convey in so few words. Here it is:
See the double entendre in the last sentence of his letter? (except the second meaning in this case isn't bawdy or sexual like double entendres usually are.) Compassion meets genius. You don't just dare me to move, Jon, you move me.
Thanks for that, Hailey.
MK on the official boards posted that "On Fire" played during a scene in "The Ultimate Gift". That gives me one more reason to go watch that film.
LOBH posted about a slightly-funny, slightly-creepy magazine appearance by Jon, and they've got a scan too.
That's it for today's "morning coffee". Oh, and, I think I'll have "Where overeating is healthy." go official as our site's tagline! Thumbs up or thumbs down? The thought process that lead to it was inspired by you guys' suggestions, especially Sobe's. Thanks to all who responded.
[Part Deux:] Switchfoot in Vancouver: The ultimate conce-- er, shoeshining experience.
A little introduction: In Part 1 of this entry, I tried to be poetic (a little too much?), but in Part 2 I tried to keep it more narrative. I've hesitated to finish this post for fear of seeming like I'm bragging about my experience (which, of course, isn't my intention. None of this feels like an achievement, but a privilege, simply because these guys are role models to me - inspired by them, I'm learning to crawl. So I'll wear my heart on my sleeve: meeting them, hanging with them, and watching them work was a huge blessing.) I don't think I'll review future concerts in such detail, but I promised a detailed review of this one to many people, so here you go, an honest account.
/Part 2/ (Part 1 is at the bottom of this post)
After Tim invited me into the venue at around 4pm (4 hours before the concert, to attend soundcheck), I was exchanging pleasantries with Jerome, etc. for a few minutes, then Tim said "let's go inside, Phil". I followed him, walking proudly (and dazed-ly) past the security guards, and as we approached the entrance to the concert hall, someone was standing right there at the door. Hailey. Hailey Gillen, from Seattle - I met her on the message boards, and we talk on IM often. I didn't expect to see her at soundcheck, but turns out she got some love too, and deservedly so - doing merch and following the band for 4 shows in a tour should have its perks, right? So we had a quick hello-hug. We knew we'd meet that evening, but the last thing we'd expected was to bump into each other at soundcheck, with Tim leading the way and me following him. Not in a position to give her the attention I wanted to, I took a few quick strides and caught up with Tim's heels.
This is where my memory gets a little hazy. The next thing I remember, the guys are up on stage getting ready for soundcheck, and I'm at the foot of the stage, an audience of one. Jon was facing Chad's drums, but then he turns around, sees me, and his face lights up. Breaking into one of those unrestrained smiles, I go "Hey Jon!" and he goes "Hey Phil!" at the same instant, and paces down towards me. Hug. He asked me how things were going, and once again I was amazed at how friendly and genuine he was. We talked for a bit, and most of our conversation had little to do with Switchfoot or Switchfeed. In fact, Switchfeed wasn't mentioned by anyone yet. We were just talking like long lost friends, and somehow I was completely at ease, not nervous or starstruck at all. I asked him if he was up for an acoustic set after the show, and that I'd got the manager at a nearby cafe to agree to let us. He was visibly excited at the suggestion, saying something like, "That's a great idea, man! We don't have a show tomorrow so I can afford to get rid of my voice! [laughter]" So I asked him what time we could get to the cafe, and then phoned the manager to let her know, but turns out the cafe would be closed at 11. Jon didn't seem affected by that: "Who cares if we can't get into a cafe, we could do it outside or something!" Me: "Yeah man, that'd be awesome!" Him: "Alright, let's do this, Phil! *insert fist-punch*" At this point, I think one of the other guys--who were waiting up on stage as Jon finishes talking to me--called out to him, so he says, "Excuse me Phil, gotta get back up there, we'll talk after soundcheck! :)"
Then Hailey left the merch table to join me, and we got a mini-concert right there, for just the two of us. :) They played "Betrayal", "4:12" a few times, "Life and Love and Why" a zillion times, and I got a whole bunch of recordings but my camera sucked. Oh well.
After soundcheck Jon skated around the concert hall. When he'd skate by me he'd look at me with the most childlike grin on his face - he seemed to be having so much fun in the moment, without a care in the world. It reminded me that the man and his message were very alike - just like it should be. The guys soon got away to the dressing room, while Chad stuck around, demonstrating their Do-It-Yourself ethic in spite of becoming as big as they have - he was getting stuff done at the merch table, setting up price tags with sharpie and paper, and stuff like that. He was there for a while, doing menial tasks, during which I caught a few words with him. I remember he said Mew is in his CD player.
Vicky Chiri (who did the tattoo post and comments here often) called me around that time, so I put her on the phone with Chad. Maybe this has something to do with me being Indian, but even though my accent is Canadian in most ways, I can't seem to get some things straight: like, the difference in pronunciation between a "v" and a "w". So turns out I introduced Vicky to Chad as "Wicky". Chad gets on the phone and goes, "Hello Wicky!" and giggles. (While I have no clue he's making fun of me.) I later found out he was, when Vicky brought it up on the phone with me afterwards. And apparently she'd responded, "Yeah, Chad, he always butchers my name!" I was like, "but you've never told me that!" Funny stuff. Anyway, Vicky then put me through a detailed how-to on pronouncing my Vs and Ws properly, so with much practice, I've got that straight now. Phew!
I chatted with the security guards a bit to kill time, and soon it was time for the doors to open. Hailey and I rushed to the front row and stood with elbows stuck out, to hold a spot for Cookie, another boardie who drove down from Seattle. Soon we saw her come into the hall, running, and Katie (another boardie friend) was alongside her, so it was the 4 of us "internet friends" (with Switchfoot fans it's not a weird concept), right up front. Amanda/~ali~ who's a mod at the officials, was a few rows behind us, but the guys right behind us (who had meanwhile become my new friends) very generously let her move up front with us. So from 2, our boardie army was now 5-strong! And boy, we were ready to watch the guys let rip their guitars. The crowd then breaks into the national anthem "O Canada!" in unison, which left the security guards very surprised and amused (they looked like they'd never seen something like that before). One of them, with a smirk on his face, told the guy behind us to take his hat off. And I remember wondering, "is it just me or is O Canada! slightly reminiscent of Oh! Gravity.?" Anyway.
Copeland sounded like a talented band, but in my opinion they have a long way to go in putting up a consistently interesting show. Not the best opener. But still, decent. I guess if you're already a fan, it would be different, but that show was my introduction to these guys, and I didn't come away feeling like I needed to get their CD. They seemed like nice guys, though. Aaron Marsh cracked a joke about how they get to see the Switchfoot guys in their underwear but we don't.
No comments, Aaron.
Soon enough, after surviving some torturous squeals, my ears were graced with the familiar guitar opening of "Oh! Gravity." This was it. The new songs, live, for the first time. I dropped all guard. Which was fun for me, but unfortunate for the young kid next to me (who had violently squeezed into the front row earlier), because there was no stopping me from jumping up and down with my arms flailing in the air as he slowly got pushed back out into the second row. Blame it on Switchfoot. Poor Amanda on my left, she must've borne a bit of it too. What can I say, the animal in me surfaces at Switchfoot shows. Jon and the guys seemed to enjoy watching me (and some others) rock out without any inhibition. I remember last time around, I was in the second row, and these girls at the front row stood through the show like statues - I remember it slightly annoyed me - I mean, ladies, you're not at a zoo, if you're gonna be at the front row, rock out or get out. (Sorry, couldn't stop that little rant from slipping into this.)
There was a truly special, transcendental moment at the show. It would have been the highlight of the evening for me if not for all the love I got from the guys. Shadow Proves The Sunshine. The song begins. It's one of my favourite Switchfoot songs, and I eagerly start singing along. Jon gets off the stage, walks to his right, singing. He turns left, and disappears into the back. The security guards have a priceless look of confusion on their faces, I'm still singing, they're wondering if they should follow Jon or stay put. This isn't business as usual, for them. Switchfoot is a little different, it seems. I'm singing. I still hear Jon singing. A thought slipped into my head: this song is the only prayerful song on their set. Maybe Jon felt it was more appropriate for him to be one among the crowd and belt it out with us, rather than be on stage with our arms oustretched towards him. He probably didn't want all the attention on himself when 2000 people sang "Oh Lord, don't be far away...". With renewed vigour, inspired, keeping the tear swelling up in my eyes under control, I shouted it out, my hands raised in the air. We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight. And Jon was one of us.
It was a moment and a half. A girl who was at the back later recounted how she randomly turned around during the song to be shocked at the sight of Jon standing right there with his mic, singing it out.
Soon enough, a dozen crowd-surfers later, an amazing show had come to it's end and the guys were gone. Or so I thought. The crowd cried "ONE MORE SONG!" repeatedly, and in a few moments, out walked Jon, acoustic in hand, and performed "24" (I was hoping for "Let Your Love", but you can't complain about "24".) Soon he began to play "Dare You To Move" on the acoustic and, in the darkness, the rest of the band had slipped back into their gear. All of a sudden, after the first verse and chorus, the light show came back on, and the big guitars kicked in. It was glorious. Now here comes the part regarding which I'm not sure how to put my feelings into words. So I'm just gonna go ahead and say it matter-of-factly. "Dare You To Move" had come to it's end. Jon thanked the crowd and as he began to turn around to the rest of the guys for their customary huddle at the end of shows, he turns back and walks straight towards me. My mind is racing, "What did I do? What's he gonna do?" He stops right in front of me, bends over from the stage, looks me right in the eye with the most sincere, approving look, and gently throws his guitar pick at me, making it the easiest catch. I was so stunned, I didn't even think of thanking him. And as if that wasn't enough, when the guys huddled and waved at the crowd, Tim looks at me and raises his arm to point right at me, nodding with his trademark smile. A shout-out from the stage. Is this just a dream or really happening? As the guys began walking away, Jerome looks me in the eye and smiles for a good few seconds. This turned out to be worth way more than 40 bucks. And to think they got me in for free.
Yeah. Even though there's a lot more to say, I feel like ending the review right there because writing about it feels like diminishing it a bit, besides I'm at a loss for words to describe how amazing they are for doing that, or how thankful I am.
But I'll continue for you guys. Wait, no, that's it for now, I'll do a (final) Part 3 later, alright? Thanks for reading!
* * * * *
/Part 1/ (posted on 24th February, 2007): The 19th of February, year 2007, will not be a day I forget easily. It was a day when I got to witness in person, from close quarters, the truth of every good thing about Switchfoot I'd heard, read, or seen on film over the years. It was a day that sealed the fact that I'd forever be uncomfortable about having a picture of them hanging on my wall. By the end of the night, I realized that (besides the show) I'd spent a total of around two hours with some or all the guys hangin' around me, yet I hadn't thought of getting anything autographed by them, and the only picture I got with any of them was the one with Jon that I posted here (which I didn't think of taking until I spotted the other boardies having a "photo session" with him)... and I wasn't one bit disappointed about either. Rather, I felt happier than I have in a long, long time. Well, joyful, to use a less yuppie word.
Allow me to retrace a few steps. When I first started switchFeed under a blogspot.com sub-domain, it was because I needed something to do, because I wasted too much time wallowing in laziness and apathy, and I didn't feel too useful in life. But initially it was just a casual venture, I didn't think much of it, I just wrote, and tried to write as best as I could whenever I did. It was mainly for myself, I didn't think someone was listening, or that someone was telling another fan about it. I didn't even make it public or advertise it - not even a post on the official boards... not until some people somehow landed on the blog and started leaving comments, and I suddenly realized I was playing with an idea that could be the next best addition to Switchfoot fandom. Long story short, by grace alone, here we are now, the only fan site/blog/whatever to ever get an official plug from the guys. But I'd never imagined it would've gotten to where it has today - not within less than 3 months of starting it! (Which reminds me, we'll hit the 3-month mark in 2 days.) So why am I saying all this? No, it's not my head getting bigger, my point is - I didn't do this so I could win cool points in the Switchfoot world, or get in the guys' good books. I never thought or hoped that one day I'd be standing in the queue for a Switchfoot concert 4 hours before showtime, alongwith 30-odd other fans who love the band just as much as me if not more, only to find myself being instantly recognized the very next minute, by Tim Foreman, who greets me with the most genuine smile spreading wide across his face, pasted over the pleasant sound of a how-have-you-been-phil, and asks me twice if I wanted to "waltz in for soundcheck", after which he escorts me into the venue and introduces me to Jerome, who's never seen me before, yet, to my utter surprise, his face lights up the room with a "Hey Phil! How you doing man?! Good to see you! *insert hug*"
But that's exactly what happened.
Later on, in the dressing room, I asked Jerome, "dude, how do you guys manage to do that? I mean, we haven't even met before!" His response: "You're famous, Phil, you're famous!" But this couldn't be about me, no--even last time around, before switchFeed happened, Tim had "listened like a hawk", and Jon had treated me like his brother, like an equal.
So my response was accentuated with a gentle pat on Jerome's tummy with the back of my hand, as if he needed to be reminded: "Hahah, no man, you're the famous one!" I mean, do they even realize that they're famous? They seem to be completely oblivious to it. Are these guys really rockstars? Who on earth are they?? No, seriously...? How many other bands' members go out of the way to make a fan feel more like the rockstar between the two of them? I would like to know.
...oh, no, I forget. Things work a little differently in this band's "last of the last finish first" Kingdom: We're fams. They're not Switchfoot. I'm not Indian. And having an unbelievable concert experience with Switchfoot isn't your American Dream.
A real one sounds more like it. That realness exuded by the guys is what helped me realize that an autograph is just a scribble with a pen, nothing more, nothing less.
(to be continued... watch this space for more on the shoeshining thing, etc.)
I was planning to finish the Vancouver concert review for today's posting (buoyed by repeated requests to finish it), but something came up so I had to save that for later, hopefully tomorrow. Sorry. That, and finishing the "Revenge" post, are on the top of my mind, I assure you. :) On to today's not-so-time-consuming post... So I was thinking, why doesn't switchFeed have a tagline? There was no good reason why. So I came up with "Feeding you tHE wRONG fOOT", as a play on "Switchfoot" being the name for a surfing move executed on your weaker/wrong side, further underlined by the wrong capslock-ing. But this needn't be final. Got a great idea for a tagline? Try me. Leave your tagline in the comment section, and if we love it, we'll make it ours, and you get all the bragging rights. ;) Tip: besides being descriptive, it has to be catchy. Thank you.
Here are two top picks from my selective collection of Switchfoot images... each with an amazing quote by Jon. I picked this up from different places that I stumbled by (but don't remember where) and saved it onto my computer, so if you made either of these, please let me know so I can credit you!
Many Switchfoot fans are known to share their love for another band: MuteMath. They've toured with Switchfoot and are friends with the guys, so that's my excuse for allowing myself to post about this rare treat I found somewhere a while back that can't be missed by anyone who likes worship music to any degree. Paul Meany and his boys (except Roy) used to lead worship at their church in Louisiana, and they put together a live CD of an evening back in '05. Then MuteMath happened, and Katrina happened, which meant this CD got shelved indefinitely. It's arguably the best worship album I've ever heard - imagine the creative monster that is MuteMath, rocking an otherwise-generic genre. (I don't usually listen to worship music, but I LOVED this.) Note: This band technically isn't MuteMath, but "Elevator music". Download it here, I would think it's legal since it's not available for sale to the public.
The church doesn't have the CD on their website, but I hear they sell it at their bookstore for 13 dollars, so if you feel like you owe them, you could send them a donation. They're still doing Katrina relief so I'm sure your money will be for a good cause.
I'm sorry that wasn't so Switchfoot-related, nor is everyone here religious, but it was very exciting for me when I first heard it, and many of you love MuteMath too, so I thought I had to share it with you guys.
One of our readers, Krista, sent me an email that began with, "I was at jon's little coffeehouse performance that happened after the show in ottawa..." Those kind of emails are always good, so here's a previously-unheard lyrical gem from Jon called "Moon Is A Magnet", which she put up on YouTube for switchFeed. This song was in the initial pool of songs for "Oh! Gravity." (it could be seen on the list displayed in one of the podcasts). Thanks for sharing, Krista, this is great!
Here are the lyrics, as best as I could decipher them:
the moon is a magnet everyone's at it everyone's had it
love is a sadness love is a madness we are the addicts
what are we if we're not in love? what are we if we're not in love?
these are the cages a kiss is contagious it'll betray us all a kiss'll betray us all
somebody told me that everyone's phony somebody's lonely i hope that you're lonely i hope that you're only waiting to phone me
what are we if we're not alone? what are we if we're not alone?
these are the cages a kiss is contagious it'll betray us all a kiss'll betray us all
the moon is a magnet everyone's at it everyone's had it...
I don't care if you want to call me a pop-geek, but I can't help myself when I hear a pop song done well. I just get addicted to it. The latest pop addiction? 'Dream' by Priscilla Ahn. I saw Priscilla Ahn open for Alexi Murdoch this past Friday, and grabbed her EP after the show since I enjoyed what I heard. What I didn't know was that I was about to put one of her songs on constant repeat for the rest of the weekend!
The acoustic sound has always had a special place in my heart, and complemented by her beautiful voice, I can't help but enjoy this album. What made this song stand out above any of the others on the EP is that it has this beautiful journey portrayed in its lyrics that really tugged at me for several reasons. First of all, the lyrics are amazingly honest. Although I never played house as a child, I can feel like I'm right there doing all that she narrates in the first verse. The second verse brings me to the verge of tears every time I hear it because it's so close to where I've often found myself:
Long walks in the dark, Through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be. The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie, I said a prayer and fell asleep...
Her songwriting is truly amazing, and so it's no wonder that I kept listening to it over and over until I'd figured out all the lyrics and all her vocal nuances in all their beauty. She's not touring right now, but she is playing a show at the Hotel Cafe in LA on the 24th of this month. If you're in the area and can make it, I'd highly recommend it. Also, grab the album - it's only 5 bucks, and totally worth it! Oh, and she has a new song, 'Lullaby', on her myspace page available for download. Another great song.
I was a little girl Alone in my little world Who dreamed of a little home for me. I played pretend between the trees, And fed my houseguests bark and leaves, And laughed in my pretty bed of green.
I had a dream, That I could fly from the highest swing, I had a dream.
Long walks in the dark, Through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be. The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie, I said a prayer and fell asleep.
I had a dream, That I could fly from the highest tree, I had a dream.
Now I'm old and feeling grey, I don't know what's left to say, About this life I'm willing to leave. I lived it full and I lived it well, There's many tales I've lived to tell, I'm ready now, I'm ready now, I'm ready now to fly from the highest wing.
One of our readers, Mukta Wad, graciously sent me an email with a review of the Toronto show she went to, and reading through it made me feel her joy - which not all reviews do. So if you wanna live it through her, here it is: Oh! Happy.
Ok....granted, I haven't been a fan for a very long time, but still it doesn't make me love them any less. I think the first time that I really started to listen intently to their music was when 'A Walk to Remember' came out in theaters. I'd heard Dare you to move, and thought it was amazing....and heard it in the movie. I went home and looked them up, and thought, hmmm, Switchfoot, interesting name. And, it sort of grew from there really. Grew, grew and grew some more, and then, at the pinnacle of everything awesome, there was Feb, 28 2007, a night which I doubt I'll ever forget. The show happened at the Kool Haus, in Toronto, and unfortunately, I had a class that day, 2 hours before the concert, so my dreams of lining up 4 hours early were crushed...oh well...
Copeland came on first, and although I'd never heard their music before ( and actually, I couldn't hear it then either...the words sounded really garbled to me...) it was alright. I felt bad at one point however, because some guy in the crowd yelled out 'We want Switchfoot' in the middle of Copeland's performance...and although admittedly, I was just as anxious as him to see Switchfoot, I felt sorry for them....but anywho
Once Copeland were finished, there was a half hour wait while Switchfoot's guitars and general equipment were being tested. The wait felt really really long, but finally when the lights went off, and the screaming started, you could feel the energy rise in the room, and what a start it was! Stars, followed by Politicians and Oh! Gravity in a row without a break, it was breathtaking! I couldn't believe how awesome it sounded live, in some cases, I think some songs were better live. Jon just has an amazing stage presence, he makes you feel like you're part of the effect, not just a bystander. Singing along to all the songs that I love, and surrounded by people who share the same feelings, and at the cost of sounding cliche and lame, I think, in those moments, when the entire room was belting out the much loved lyrics, we really were all 'One tonight'.
There was a point where being situated at the back had it's advantage...because half way through the show, Jon decided to take a little trip, which happily ended up being on top of the sound box at the back of the room. Standing there, so close to him and his mic, and watching him sing and singing along, when it was clear that both he and his audience were having the best time, was spectacular. One of the highlights of the evening was screaming 'Gone' at the top of my lungs with one of my good friends....that will forever be our song. Another good memory was when Jon attempted to create a song on the spot involving the disco ball hanging on the ceiling above us. It actually was pretty good seeing as how he sang it as he made it up ( It had to to do with not knowing where the song was going, but that it would be getting there pronto, rhymes with Toronto). And even though the music video featuring said disco ball and Jon in a sparkly disco-ball matching outfit will never be produced, it will always have a very special place in my memory!
Once they left the stage, and a chorus of 'one more song' was taken up by the audience, Jon came back out and did 'Only hope' which sounded awesome, and then the whole band trooped back out for a smashing finale of 'Dare you to move' which has a special place in my heart because it was the song that introduced me to the band.
After it was over, there was a sense of complete and total happiness, but also sadness that it was over. However, more Switch-related excitement was to come..oh yes! After picking up a copy of that night's official bootleg ( I love that oxymoron) we trooped outside.
Soon, much to the excitement of devoted fans, out came Jon from the back door. And it was a spectacle....I felt sorry for him initially, because had he been claustrophobic, he would have suffered a sever attack...but he didn't seem to mind that there were 30-40 people tightly packed in around him, all waiting to talk to him...I marvelled at his patience, and also at the fact that he truly seemed to be enjoying it. I got my autograph, and I got my picture, and I got my happy! lots and lots of happy. But, hands down, my favourite moment of the night came, when I finally got to the the front, and introduced myself, at which point he said, 'Hi, nice to meet you, my name's Jon'....in my head I was thinking...bloody hell...that's so cute, to think that you think I wouldn't know who you were... ( I seriously don't think he realizes that he's famous) I wanted to hug him, but I restrained myself. But gosh, he's really down to earth, so easy to talk to, and just, an all around nice guy. He made you feel like you mattered, and weren't just a fan, but a part of the experience. It felt great to be honest!
And although I was happy, really really happy at that moment, life would have been just that teensiest bit greater if I'd gotten to see Tim, not only because his attempts to get onto Canadian Idol were one of the funniest things I've ever seen, but also because he's funny, and plays bass like a god. But...right when I thought that the night couldn't get any better, out he came too. I told him about my greif over his failed attempts at landing a spot on Canadian Idol ( he laughed)...truly, I think he and Drew would have made it till the end!
I missed the rest of the band though, but at least Jon did a little mini-aftershow out there in the cold on someone's guitar. He did 24 and Revenge, and nothing warms you up on a cold winter night like being huddled around Jon Foreman listening to an acoustic version of 24. It's true!
That about ended the night...and when we were leaving we passed by Jon again and he waved, and again I felt that feeling of camaraderie which I hadn't really expected. Although from the podcasts and the videos and the amazing depth and character of the music they make, you could tell that they definitely weren't your average plastic band, I was amazed at the friendliness that they showed. And props to Jon, he really does enjoy his music; he only played 2 songs because his hands were getting cold, but when someone commented that he was a trooper for doing it out there in the cold, he replied by saying that he loved singing and it wasn't an issue. I got the sense that as long as there were people there to enjoy his music, he'd sing it to the world simply because it made him and the people listening happy. So, truly all around an amazing band on and off stage, and an amazing night!
Our hit counter reports: January: 14,177 hits February: 28,656 hits
Considering this is a blog and not a full-fledged site with many pages/sections, I thought those numbers were worth sharing. As you can see, the hits have more than doubled in February, a month shorter by 3 days. Thanks guys, it's you who power those numbers.
SwedishSwitchfootFreak from the official boards posted about a Switchfoot concert review occupying the whole front page of a Swedish newspaper. She even got us pictures. Pretty sweet, huh?
One of our readers, Raph, informs us about another concert review (with pictures) of the Vancouver show, by an e-zine.
Another faithful reader, good ol' Ro-Jo, brings us the good news that AMG has finally reviewed "Oh! Gravity." A much awaited review by a much respected site - check it out. But...Switchfoot...emo?? As if the "Christian" label weren't unnecessary enough. It's a pretty good review otherwise. A rating of 3.5 usually means "very good album."
I hope you guys aren't forgetting to help yourselves to the great stuff Mike's been putting up at switchfootbootlegs.com
One of our readers, Em, won this rad surfboard from the HearItFirst.com contest. Congrats, Em! LOBH uploaded some pictures of it:
And, this is offtopic but I have to say it anyway, the new Anberlin, Cities, is...wow. Wasn't a fan before, but this one's won me over. Fans of arty modern-rock (a la Switchfoot, though this is more epic than "Oh! Gravity.") might wanna check it. out.
I'm not too surprised at the results, I guess it's a healthy sign that there are people willing to question and/or disagree with the band's decisions - it would be strange (or a bit too fanatical) if everyone said it was a great idea. I personally enjoyed their take on the song, and thought it was a good move - it sure cracked some boxes, maybe the ones labelled "Though shalt not cover a Top 40 artist because thou art snobbish indie kids" or "Thou shalt not have such a bold sense of humour", and especially the one with the sticker that reads, "Thou shalt not cover a half-naked woman because thou art good Christian boys." I meant cover her song, of course.
I like loving a band that doesn't take itself too seriously.
As for this week's poll, a big majority seems to think the new boards I set up are pointless (maybe it's because I forgot to enter a voting option for those who didn't think it was pointless, yet weren't interested in joining). No hard feelings, of course, I appreciate the honesty. I understand why it must be a bit confusing to understand the need for forums other than the officials. I just wanna point those who voted against it to a previous blog post where I explained the reasons for this in more detail (in case you haven't read it), and an update on how the forums have now become merely a part of a much bigger community project that Mike Stecker and myself have undertaken. It's cool if you still disagree, no love will be lost, but we just hope you'll have a look at the site when it's ready, and then let us know whether the social-networking package we're setting up is more than merely a better alternative to Sony's terrible forum software (which the official boards are based on), or not. Some have asked me why I think the officials are "terrible" - I understand why you wouldn't think that, maybe we've just gotten used to it - but I also know a handful of fans who haven't joined up because those forums are a pain. I remember when I first joined how much of a pain it was, and I remember some of you complaining about it back then, too. So I hope it's not just my geeky side expecting software to hold up to my high standards, but actually a need (maybe a luxury) to be met.
A new poll is up. I invite you all to vote.
Remember I said the other day that an RSS feed of switchFeed was to go on the Footsoldiers site? Well, Seth (a great guy, who's in charge of Footsoldiers) told me that he's now talking to the guys about transitioning the whole FS site into MySpace, so he said he'll be in touch with me about trying to get that feed on their new site in the near future. Just thought I'd update ya'll if you were wondering why it isn't up yet.
In this wooooorld of newws, I found some things neww... ok, lame, I know.
Well, Mike Stecker (admin at switchfootbootlegs.com) and myself have finally arrived at a clear plan for a pretty ambitious but doable community project. As we invest in this, we're choosing to worry more about quality than expenses, so we can give you all the best we can. The domain switchfams.com is now ours - I have detailed the project here - it's the latest update on what I blogged about in my previous post. I will keep you guys posted on the progress.
Jeanna of LOBH did a pretty sweet interview with a band called Verra Cruz, who opened for Switchfoot on their Europe tour. After reading this interview, I think I'm gonna check them out. Here's an excerpt...
The Switchfoot tour was definitely the best tour we've ever done. ... Switchfoot were very generous with our show times and gave us around 40 minutes a night, which is pretty unheard of for a support band. ... Also Switchfoot is probably the nicest band we've ever toured with - on the first night Jon came into our dressing room to say hi and they were always very cool to us. And hey, you get to watch Switchfoot rock every night for free which is awesome!
...on the last night of the tour in Derby, we got Drew from Switchfoot up onstage during our set to play a ropey, but rocking, version of 'Johnny Be Good' with us which was really fun. He and Marc doing over the top ripping blues solos, it was really fun and I think the crowd loved it.
Gotta love any guy who answers to "What is one song you wish you had written?" with "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Read full interview here. Good job, Jeanna.
Check out Switchfoot's new MySpace profile picture, if you haven't noticed yet.
A new email update from the guys in which they unintentionally repeat themselves a bit (#2 and the last paragraph)... forgivable, of course:
well hello there, friends and relatives!
we have now been immersed in snow-infested terrain for nearly a month (starting in Europe, and now in Canada), and it's been a fun change for us San Diego lads. the tour has been incredible so far -- thank you so much for coming out and singing along. these have truly been some of our favorite shows ever. besides touring, we've also been busy with other things of intrigue such as:
1. new music video! we're shooting a new video for Awakening, involving several of our heros -- one named Tony Hale (AKA Buster from Arrested Developement)! the new single, Awakening, has become a favorite of yours and ours, and it feels good to have you involved in helping us chose this single. thanks!
2. live bootlegs: we've been recording and manufacturing a live bootleg every night after the show. we press about 100 copies every night, and they're always gone at the end of the night. It's a fun way for us to keep the evening going, and you can drive home listening to the concert in your car.
3. podcasts! in case you haven't been keeping up on your podcasts, there are 2 new podcasts up and available for free. the first one is from Europe, and the second is from Canada. although both podcasts are from different parts of the world, they are both equally ridiculous. You can catch them on iTunes or on our website.
however, i would be amiss if i failed to mention that you have also been busy... busy like busy bees.
4. setlist voting: we were absolutely floored when we recieved over 75,000 votes in just the first few weeks alone. you have been making us work hard. you have been choosing the wildcard song of the night, and you've forced us to re-learn some really old songs, which has actually been quite enjoyable. "Life and Love and Why" was especially fun to play in Vancouver last week... we hadn't played that song for at least 7 years or so. if you're coming to a future show on this tour, make sure to go http://www.switchfoot.com/tv.htm and let your voice be heard.
5. bootleg sharing: we posted on our boards last week, encouraging everyone to freely trade/share their bootlegs with one-another. with just a few hours, you all created a new website, http://www.switchfootbootlegs.com that continues to grow everyday, and is completely run by you guys. we think it's pretty fantastic. to keep up with the shows on this tour, go here to download/contribute bootlegs.
And that brings me to my final point: canada, you have been absolutely delightful. we love your country, hospitality, and yes, even your cold weather. and as for the US, here we come! we are a mere 5 days away from re-entering the country, and we can't wait to rock the northeast. Check out the list below to find a show near you, and don't wait til the last minute to get your tickets, because this tour has been selling out quickly, and we don't want to miss anyone.
Another thing that we've never done before: sell bootlegs of a few songs from the show at the end of the night. See for a lot of us, the end of the night comes too soon. This way, you could actually be listening to the show in your car on the way home from the gig! So we're still trying to figure this one out logistically, but where there's a will there's a way. This is the closest we've come to a live cd. At the end of the tour I suppose we'll have 39 of 'em!- only available that night. We'll keep you posted.
Thanks for listening to our music! Much love amigos,
Some exciting things have been keeping me busy. Once this "upgrading" phase is over, I'll be back to focusing more on writing. But here's what's been up.
To make this community complete, I've been thinking of a system where you all can be more involved. I mean, what makes me any more worthy of being on the platform, compared to you guys? Meanwhile, Mike (of switchfootbootlegs.com) has had similar ideas, so we've been talking about how to bring all this together (bootlegs, blog, fanspace, forums). So I came up with a MySpace-like community section (which was Mike's idea), where you guys can blog and be heard too in the Switchfoot community, have your own profile page, and you can post your own videos and audio! (The only limitations being 25mb for video files, and 8mb for audio files. If you have something good that's bigger and you don't know how to compress it, we'll help.) This is not the official launch of this service (which is why you don't yet see a "log in / join" box on this page), but this is a sneak preview. I wanna see how well this thing actually works, and for that I need people - beta testers. So here's the link to it, folks. It's like a YouTube (but with audio and blogging) that's just for our community - you can tag, comment, rate, and there's also rankings like "most popular", "most viewed", etc. It will be further customized and improved (the text in the header graphic will be changed to "community" instead of "weblog", for one) - we'll also be working on finding a way to tightly integrate the community section, bootlegs, the forums, and this blog, so you can use the same login/password for both the vBulletin forums and for the community section. I hope this experiment proves a success so we can officially set up a login widget on this page.
Anyway, enough of the techie mumble jumble, there's even more exciting news. On the very date we hit our 3-month mark, Tim got in touch with me about having switchFeed republished (through RSS resyndication) on switchfoot.com and on the Footsoldiers site. Of course I gleefully agreed and got the code for the Footsoldiers site ready, and hopefully it will be up today. Meanwhile, "they're working with their webmaster on getting the feed on their main site as well." I didn't see this one coming - it's such an incredible honor, and I just wanna thank the guys once again for being like no other band. And I wanna thank you all for supporting this venture and for reading regularly - a special thank-you to those who comment and contribute - without all of you this wouldn't have been possible! Congratulations, I love you all.
As a token of our appreciation, the extremely talented John (who's the other admin at switchfams) and I are thinking of putting together a live DVD of the Vancouver show that Switchfoot played on the 19th - complete with menus, chapters, etc. To do this, we need your help, if you attended the show! If you have ANY footage of that show, whether good or bad, we would greatly appreciate it if you could send it to us (switchfeed AT gmail DOT com). Ofcourse, we'll credit you. The more video footage we get, the more camera angles we'll have. The DVD will be of decent quality (we already have some quality footage and the 6 bootlegged audio tracks, and not to mention, John has major skills). We plan to send it out to whoever's interested, for no profit - all we'd ask for is the cost of shipping. So please send us your videos! If you need help getting it across to us, send us an email anyway and we'll help you out.
Lastly, Vicky found me a cover of "Let That Be Enough", done in a bedroom on YouTube, and it's actually good.