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Roundtable discussion

Posted: April 23, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Uncategorized

Boyce Avenue concert

Posted: March 19, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Lexington and beyond

With two large black x’s on my hands, I waited outside Marathon Music Works in Nashville.  The cold, smoky air could not quench my excitement to see what I had been waiting for since Christmas. “When you reach the door, have your ID and tickets in hand,” yelled the gateman. It was time.

This past Christmas, my boyfriend gave me two concert tickets to a band that I knew very little about: Boyce Avenue. I had listened to a few of their covers before then, and didn’t realize that I had mentioned them to him.  But like with any music that I am introduced to, I did my research. Boyce Avenue is an up-and-coming band of three brothers that reaches their audience mainly through YouTube, and is gaining popularity with their unique, acoustic covers of popular songs. I fell in love with the songs, such as my favorite and popular pick, Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”

When Jeremiah (my boyfriend) and I walked into the venue, I anxiously made my way to the stage. Ensuring that we were in a comfortable and close spot, we waited and stood while the show was getting started. The opening act was a band from Kansas, called The After Party, a pop/skater band whose band members were apart of the 2010 high school graduating class. They played cute, poppy songs that dealt with the same “boy-meets-girl” love and high school romance.  Secondhand Serenade followed, as one-man band man, John Vesely sang his set.

In between songs, Vesely would say non Asbury Appropriate words and even dared someone to bring him a beer, which was very entertaining to watch the toast happen on stage.  I was mildly amused, but was even more anxious to see the next and final act.

Then, the lights dimmed.  The first chords of the song “Daylight” were strummed, and I was in heaven.  Boyce Avenue came onto the stage and jumped right into their original music, songs including: “When the Lights Die,” “Every Breath,” and a big hit, “Find Me.” I was surprised at this action, thinking that they would perform covers rather than their personal set list.  Though this longing was fulfilled by covers of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” and Rihanna’s “We Found Love.”

Though I did not stay for the encore, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert, and can bet that I will be looking for another chance to see Boyce Avenue live. It was an experience that any music lover would crave to have. I can’t wait to have my moment, when a certain song comes on the radio, and I will be able to say “O Boyce Avenue? I saw them before they were mainstream.”

Asbury features…Joshua Bracken

Posted: February 28, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Asbury features

When we hear the organ play in chapel, some may think it’s a lost art. Others, such as Joshua Bracken, deem it his calling.

Bracken began to play the organ when he was a junior in high school. He was first introduced to the organ when the organist at his church went to Paris, France (but he is originally from Tennessee.) With no previous experience with the organ, much less the piano, Bracken began to familiarize himself. “I started to mess around and I found it came easy to me,” said Bracken. “Well my parents invested in lessons for me and I took off.” Since then he has practiced and succeeded. After five years of playing and lessons, he has gotten a lot farther even without piano lessons, which the norm is for most people to have skill in piano first before organ.

Besides having fun, Bracken has said that the organ has taught him many things. “The main thing the organ has taught me is discipline. I have to manage my time very carefully so I can have time to practice and time for school.” Bracken usually practices 12 hours a week to keep his skills sharp and in tune. He has also learned a bit about friendships as well. “Since I spend my time alone, I have learned to really value my friendships outside of practice time.”

The skill and art of organ playing has taken Josh on many adventures. He has played in churches, some even across the world! “It gives me the opportunity to play many different organs and many different rooms. I think the coolest organ I have played on is in Austria.”  This experience has been a highlight of Bracken’s organist career. “I had the privilege to play an 111 year old organ!” Bracken has also played in Cincinnati, Chicago, Czech Republic and various other places.

Bracken has many goals about where playing the organ will take him in his future. “My goals, thus far, are to go to grad school in Wisconsin to get a Masters in church Music and [I’m] planning to be a minister of music,” he said. He also has a goal to play a very specific organ in the future. “One of my goals is to play the organ in Westminster Abbey in London, England,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite organs and by far my most favorite church building!”

Asbury features… Josh Krieder

Posted: February 14, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Asbury features

When you hear a hearty laugh on campus, one can always assume it is Josh Krieder. Proud Asburian, Josh has a radiant personality that can make anyone around him smile even on his or her darkest days. But not everyone knows of his musical gift of guitar playing.

Josh began playing guitar since his junior year of high school with one of his buddies. “He had started playing and I wanted to as well, so I used [my friend’s] dad’s guitar and learned the basics from him,” he said. After this, Josh began to play on and off through high school, not really committing to it just yet. But the real influence to start focusing on the guitar has been his coming to Asbury. “My roommate was a pretty good guitar player, and just watching him play made me want to go from a casual player to a real guitarist,” said Josh.

Josh has learned a lot from learning to play an instrument. “Guitar has taught me that in order to be good at something you need to practice, and it will probably be hard and take a long time,” he said. “But it has also taught me that hard work is worth it.” Josh has not only learned about dedication but also about artistic expression through music: “I’ve always loved music, but until I started playing guitar, I didn’t have a way to create it myself. It provided a way for me to get me feelings out that I couldn’t necessarily put into words.”

Josh not only plays in his free time, but he also has opportunities to share his talent and use it for worship. “Anytime I play for people it’s usually for church or a small group,” he said. Josh has admitted to having a shy streak when it comes to playing in front of large groups, but he is finding courage. “I’m beginning to come out of that fear and looking for more opportunities to perform,” Josh said.

When asked about future opportunities concerning guitar playing, Josh revealed a possibility of wanting to maybe pursuing a career in worship ministry. “I would like to play in church and small groups more, and I hope to someday be a worship leader of some kind,” he said. Josh has also utilized the GarageBand app on Apple computers and recorded his own songs, and hopes to someday make a CD.

Though Josh has been emerging as more of a serious guitar player recently, he realizes how much progress he has made. “I’m not a virtuoso now, but I am much better than when I started!” he said. Like many of his friends, I know I am looking forward to what the future holds for him.

Josh Krieder playing guitar

Asbury features…Sean O’Connor

Posted: February 6, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Asbury features

Sean O'Connor playing cello at Illuminated Freshman Formal

Sean O’Connor; most of the time when people hear that name, they think of the tall, media communications major that plays cello in chapel and in the orchestra at Asbury. A sophomore, Sean is a talented musician who honored me with the title of being called his friend. I got the chance to sit down with him and ask him about his gift.

Sean first started playing the cello in middle school during a “tryout day” for various instruments. “I tried the violin, cello and drums. [The] violin was too small and I could keep a beat on the drums, but I really enjoyed the cello.” Sean had been interested with the cello ever since he saw it on a Steven Curtis Chapman music video. “It was the song ‘When Love Takes You In.’ I saw it and thought, ‘that’s a cool instrument,” said he. And he has been playing ever since.

In the ten years that he has been playing (this coming September), Sean has learned a lot: “It’s really taught me to be committed to something… I guess it’s easy to put it off and not practice.” Sean struggled when he first began, not practicing as much as he could. “[I] got older and got more interested.” Sean says playing the cello became a bigger part of who he was, and helped him understand commitment and how practice can really make perfect.

With the cello, Sean has come from playing in fundraisers to chamber groups to playing solos for his church back home. “The first time I ever played other than the orchestra was at church four years ago.  [It was] an all worship service and I got to play a piece,” said Sean. He has played many classical pieces, one that I am extremely fond of which is the first of Bach’s six cello suites, which can be heard on the movie “Master and Commander.”

Although Sean is extremely skilled at the cello, he has decided to put his love of film first. “I love being able to play the cello, but am called to do Media Comm. in writing and directing film.” He would love to still be able to keep playing, either for pleasure or part-time gigs. “It would be really cool if I got to play for movies.” Maybe someday…

Who’s on Cassie’s iPod?

Posted: January 30, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Who's on whose iPod?

By Shelby Weakley

Cassie Dobbs is a member of the Awakened class and a pre-physical therapy major. She is on the World Gospel Mission cabinet and is also in charge of PR and greeting. Cassie is the SLA of First Glide, but home to her is also Woodstown, New Jersey. Cassie and I have known each other for a while, but I have never known what her musical style has been until now.

Cassie: “Most of the songs that I love are songs that I associate with a specific event or person in my life. I tried to give some other reasons.”

1. “Satisfy”—Tenth Avenue North

“I may be biased, (I know them!) but I love anything by Tenth Ave. This song is especially my favorite because it just begs God to reveal to me that he is everything I need. He satisfies my every desire.”

2. “Girl Named Tennessee”—NeedToBreathe

“NeedToBreathe is another band that I just love every one of their songs. ‘Girl Named Tennessee’ is just a fun song that reminds me of the spring of my freshman year at Asbury. It’s a good ‘sing along with your friends in the car’ song.”

3. “Right as Rain”—Adele

“I mostly just like the sound of this song. The lyrics aren’t really all that meaningful, but it’s upbeat and different.”

4. “Hurts like Heaven”—Coldplay

“A lot of my friends really like Coldplay, but it took me awhile to get into them. Their new album ‘Mylo Xyloto’ is awesome! I actually run to this album, which might be weird, but it gets me all excited when I listen to it.”

5. “Brightly Wound”—Eisley

“Eisley has a really different sound that I really like. ‘Brightly Wound’ is about being a kid and never wanting to grow up, which I think everyone can relate to, to some degree.”

6. “Your Love is Strong”—Jon Foreman

“I love the lyrics of this song and the direct influence of scripture. It almost reminds me of a hymn. It’s simple, yet it has so much meaning.”

7. “Awake My Soul”—Mumford and Sons

“I don’t know if Mumford and Sons are a Christian band, but this song definitely has a Christian theme. I love when the part that says, ‘Awake my soul…For you were made to meet your maker.’”

8. “Sadie Hawkins Dance”—Relient K

“This song just reminds me of Delanco Camp when I was in middle school. My roommate and I still listen to it and have a blast!”

9. “Trust”—Seabird

“This song is about living in the moment and leaving behind all our scars and worries: ‘The world is ours, ours for the moment.’ We are only here for a short time. We can’t let our past hold us back.”

10. “Never Let You Go”—Third Eye Blind

“I think this song is just another one that I love singing in the car with my friends. Third Eye Blind is great!”

Who’s on Anna’s iPod?

Posted: January 23, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Who's on whose iPod?

By Shelby Weakley

Anna Phillips, a freshman at Asbury, is also the Secretary of the Unshakable class. She is a theater and cinema performance major who grew up in Bolivia. Anna’s taste in music always impresses me, so I decided to see what she would call her Top Ten favorite songs.

1. “Cosmic Love”—Florence + the Machine

“The message in this song really connected with me. Girl meets guy. Blinded by love. Doesn’t like being blind. But decides to stay in the dark anyways. It’s a classic mishap love story.”

2. “Trouble”—NeverShoutNever

“I absolutely love this guy’s voice. It’s beautiful. Also, I think it’s pretty fantastic that he’s playing a ukulele. I love the uke because of its unique, pitchy sound.”

3. “5 Years Time”—Noah and the Whale

“This is such an optimistic song. I love it because it’s upbeat, lighthearted, silly and it makes me think of senior year in high school.”

4. “Rain”—MIKA

“OK, I might like his voice even more. He’s got an incredible range and I like his story. But I like that this song is about bad days, but it’s not depressing.”

5. “The Perpetual Self, or ‘What Would Saul Alinsky do?’”—Sufjan Stevens

“It’s so chill. Enough said.”

6. “Bohemian Rhapsody”—Queen

“Classic rock. Freddie Mercury. And a quartet of British men. My life is so good.”

7. ‘’La Vie en Rose’’—Louis Armstrong

“I really don’t like saxophone. But this song kills me every time. It’s so beautiful and I have a soft spot for jazz. It touches the soul, and this song is so adorable.”

8. “A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left”—Andrew Bird

“I truly love how Andrew Bird tells stories in his songs. They’re not about him, but just narratives. It’s unique.”

9. “Marry You”—Bruno Mars

“Soooo cute. I think he’s got a great voice, and this song is every girl’s dream.”

10. (I’m ashamed of this one, but who cares): “You Smile”—Justin Bieber

“I think Justin is actually really talented. And this is such an innocent, romantic song.”