Archive for June 2008

Everything Sucks

June 27, 2008

I’m really tired of the “everything sucks” mentality of our culture right now. People’s taste and appreciation for anything outside of their little niche is narrowing. This is the downside to the “playlist society”. The ability to pick and choose has ultimately crippled people’s ability to grow as music lovers, movie buffs, readers, art appreciators,gamers, diners, shoppers, writers, bloggers, listeners…

Think about it:

It is now possible to visit 27 different restaurants and get breaded chicken strips and fries at each and every one of them.

It is possible to live your entire life without having to experience a new musical genre if you don’t want to.

It is possible to go through your entire adulthood and never be challenged emotionally by a great film.

It is possible to never again read a book once you leave high school.

It is possible to live in Kokomo your entire life and never see a play, never see a symphony, never hear an opera, never even see a print of a Van Gogh, Picasso, or Mon├ęt, never visit a jazz or blues club, never experience any other cultures but your own.

I have heard people say:

“All country music sucks.”

“I hate jazz.”

“I only listen to _____ music (or band).”

“I don’t like _____ movies, they’re too _____.”

“___________ (type of art form) is gay.”

“Reading is for geeks and nerds.”

“I hate _________ (type of food).”

This way of thinking, my friends is why your life “sucks”. It is why you see the world through a lens of “suckiness.” Humans are happiest when we experience new things, when we grow beyond our current capacities, when we feel something new, when we hear something new, when we see something for the first time, when we agree with someone or disagree with someone because we’ve engaged the debate instead of sitting on the sidelines. We come alive when we take risks, when we are daring, when we are entrepreneurial.

But sadly, living life that way is out of style now. We are cubicle-inhabitors. We are slaves to our own playlists. We are whiny. We are spoiled. We are shallow. Everything that is outside our existing frame of reference, “sucks.”

God help us.


“Luke” in Indy!

June 27, 2008

One of my favorite guitarists of all time – Steve Lukather – is going to be at the Music Mill in Indy on Aug. 20! For those not familiar with his work, he is simply one of the most versatile rock guitarists of all time. He’s got it all – speed, finesse, fury, passion, taste, melodic sensibility, diversity of style, and he can flat out make you cry or melt your face! Here’s a sample (watch the whole thing in its entirety to get a sense of his diversity):

Steve Lukather, most famously known as an original member of the band Toto, is also a world-reknown studio musician and gun-for-hire by such acts as Boz Scaggs, Alice Cooper, Hall & Oates, KISS, Pointer Sisters, Barbara Streisand, Cheap Trick, Earth Wind & Fire, Elton John, Cher, Aretha Franklin, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dan Seals, George Benson, Peter Cetera, Peter Frampton, Quincy Jones, Chicago, Herbie Hancock, Don Henley, Michael Jackson (That’s him playing all the other guitar parts on Thriller except the famous solo by EVH), Kenny Loggins, Michael MacDonald, Joni Mitchell, The Tubes, Warren Zevon, Christopher Cross, Randy Newman, Kenny Rogers, Joe Cocker, The Jacksons, Chaka Kahn, Paul McCartney, Chet Atkins, Neil Diamond, Dave Weckl, Richard Marx, Wilson Phillips, Bette Midler, Bob Segar, Rod Stewart, Van Halen, Spinal Tap, Whitney Houston, Meat Loaf, Lionel Ritchie, and Miles Davis. Of course that’s only a partial listing!!!

This Makes Me Feel Old

June 23, 2008

The original pic is below if you don’t know what “Nevermind” is…

The Nephilim?

June 12, 2008

[Picture credit: I found this pic online. The signature says, “Impressions Games” which makes me think this picture was commissioned and used in the marketing of the game, Zeus: Master Of Olympus. A 1024×768 version can be found here.]

Have you ever read the passage from Genesis 6 about the “sons of God?” Is it possible that fallen angels took human forms, and intermarried with the daughters of men, creating giants – men of superhuman strength, intelligence, and supernatural abilities? Could this be where the Greek myths come from? Could this be where the “giants” came from that the children of israel had to expel from the Promised Land? Could the sons of men have so contaminated the human gene pool that it caused God to wipe them all away with the Great Flood?

WARNING: You non-literal interpretationists are going to have some trouble with this study.

To read the study I’m referring to, go here:


June 4, 2008

This past Sunday service was the last of our “FamilyMap.Info” series. The day’s topic was, “Beyond 18: Setting Your Kids Up To Win For Life”. So for a fun number to set up the topic that day, we did the Jamie Collum song, “TwentySomething”.

Note: the IMAG quality is not great – sorry about that. But the audio’s pretty clean – and sounds pretty darn good if you’ve got some BASS in your speakers ­čÖé

Vocalist: Collin Obremski
Drums: Morgan Young (on a super small kit: triggered kick, snare, hat, 1 tom, and 1 cymbal)
Upright Acoustic Bass: yours truly walking the dog
Guitar: Sam Burke (our student ministries guy playing my Dad’s Aria 335 hollow body copy)
Piano: Dave Bottomley
Saxes: Stephen Fox (tenor), Adrian Bottomley (Alto), Monty Sanders (Soprano

Tech Roundtable at Granger

June 2, 2008

Here’s a few pictures from my trip to Granger last Friday. Click on an image to see the full version (of course these were taken with a cell phone so they’re not great resolution to begin with.) More information about this event can be found on Anthony Coppedge’s blog. Anthony’s MindMap thing is on there in addition to some more pix (including some of yours truly!) More tech info about Granger can be found on Technical Director Adam Callender’s blog. My CSC buddy Mark Wyse from Blackhawk Church in Madison WI was there, too.

One great thing I came away with was how clearly defined the roles of the various teams are at Granger. They are basically “one word definitions.”. For example, the Production and Technical Teams are the “HOW.” The Programming and Creative Teams do the “WHAT”, and the Senior Management Team’s role is the “WHY”. How simple is that? How often do your programming team meetings get bogged down discussing the “HOW?” How often do your Strategic or management teams get bogged down in the “WHAT?” Having clearly defined roles helps the process so much.

Stage Look 1 Alternate view of the stage drumkit setup
In the first two pix above, you can see the main stage area with the 43′ wide center screen, and the two smaller screens to the side. The little tables in front of the stage is where the Tech Roundtable took place. In all, there were about 12-15 participants. In the thrid picture, you can see a small Canon GL camera to the right of the drumkit. There are several of those around the stage. I think they use these instead of a roving stage cam.

Marshall Amp Marshall Amp 2 Buttkicker
This big Marshall half-stack sits on the main stage at Granger almost every weekend. But if you take a close look, you’ll see its just a dummy cabinet held together with duct tape and shoe polish! On the right you see the “buttkicker” low frequency shaker attached to the drum throne.

Monitor mix position Studer closeup Studer Digital Snake
The monitor mix position is handled by ONE of their THREE Studer digital mixing consoles. On the right pic, you’ll see the Studer Digital snake rack. Every input and output can be routed anywhere on the campus with 2 fiber cables.

Truss LightingColor Scrollers Rear Screen View
Each truss light has a DMX-controllable color scroller mounted to it. This means they can select the gel color via DMX at any time. No more changing gels! On the right you have the perspective of looking out to the main stage from the backstage area.

Rear Projectors Screen from stage Pedalboards
The rear projectors for the center screen are mounted on the 2nd level of the backstage area. There are four projectors total (2 positions double-stacked.) The middle pic is an on-stage perspective of the screens. The third pic shows the simple shelving supports used to store guitar effects pedalboards when not in use.

McGyver Mic Holder Vox and Line6 Vox and Orange
On the left you see their MacGyver setup for organizing wireless transmitters – a clear ladies shoe organizer! And poor Granger. They can’t afford to have top-of-the-line brand name solid state amps. They have to settle for these off-brand, antique-style tube amps to get their sounds. (sense the sarcasm:-)

Screen Control Lighting Control View of the booth
The left pic is of the video screen control station, which constrols which image is displayed where. They can move images from screen to screen in real time with the Spyder system. The middle pic is a great shot at all the WholeHog PC stuff Granger uses for lighting control. BONUS: Granger staff member and recent high school graduate Jonathan Bartkowiak. And the third image is of the upper booth which contains all the tech except sound, which is down below on the floor.

Broadcast Mix Position IMAG switching AV Racks
On the left is the Studer which is used for the “broadcast mix” which is what you hear on the website. In the middle is the IMAG camera switching station. On the right are the video racks, which house switchgear, the Spyder, Hard Disk playback, and more.

Yamaha SubKick
Notice the yamaha “SubKick” microphone on the kick drum. Inside the shell is a 6.5″ speaker which is wired to operate as a low frequency microphone.