Category Archives: switchfoot

From the Archives

The following is a post I originally wrote on 11/11/2009. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. I’m re-posting it for a couple of reasons.

1. If you are new to my blog, you may not know it’s title “Life and Love and Why” is a Switchfoot song.

2. While the following post was written 6 years ago and (due to busyness of life, two little boys, and not listening to music much) I haven’t listed much to their newer albums (“Vice Verses” or “Fading West”), I’m super excited that their 10th album titled “Where The Light Shines Through” will drop in July. With a theme of Hope, I’m hopeful it will be a well timed musical ‘pick me up’ during recovery.

3. If you are bored, all of my posts that mention Switchfoot can be found here.

When Parallel Lines Collide…

…with a hurricane, there must be some kind of resolve.

What do I mean? I think that I mean I see the world in lines. Intersecting lines of intellectual thought, theology, emotion, creativity, spirituality, philosophy, scientific calculation, and mathematical exactness to name just a few.  These lines run in many directions, until they swirl around in a seemly abstract jumble – giving the appearance of both mysterious chaos and understandable structure at the same time.

From this – I like to see the connections and draw more lines between the lines that already exist. Integration. That’s how it is for me with the music of Switchfoot. The lines that I draw between, through and around the songs, the parallel (and sometimes perpendicular) lines of my life, the planet I tread on, and that which I cannot see – though hope for.

Let me go back about 9 years:

I first heard “Dare You to Move” in college – off of a friend’s mixed cd, playing in his truck. Nice. I liked it. I thought they were from Canada, because up until this time, none of my US friends had told me about this band full of surfers. Through the school year, the song played, and the debate raged, which is better, the chorus or the bridge (everyone knows it’s the chorus after the bridge).

And so my introduction to Switchfoot was complete.  I picked up “Learning to Breath” and I was on my way.  Many an evening was spent studying to the cd, or taking a study break to practice my simple beginner’s beat – drumming to the title track.

And so I went on with life, time went by, and I spent my hours studying and jamming to Switchfoot. Through the course of the year (after I was thoroughly hooked) the rest of the world started hearing about them because of the soundtrack of a little movie called “A Walk to Remember”.  I also went to the Edmonton Switchfoot concert for about 2 bucks, the definition of College: good music on a budget.

At the end of my college career, I participated in a trip (long story – supposed to be teaching English in China – ended up painting in Philadelphia).  While I was slapping blue paint on Nursery walls, singing my heart out to “Playing for Keeps,” thinking about how This is for real. Life is all in.

We went on a field trip day to NY City.  6 hours. One huge place. My main memory, Virgin Records store, Second floor of 4. The brand new Switchfoot Album “The Beautiful Letdown” which I purchased and then convinced 4 of my other 5 team mates to also buy.

As the trip ended, I head back to E-town for two final weeks with friends before I ripped my heart out, returned home from the frozen tundra and grieved the end of my childhood, and the death of college friendships that can not be kept up from afar.

You may recall the song “Meant to Live” the break out single. I remember track 2 “This is your Life” – from the opening sounds. Hearing, and  closing my eyes take me back 6 years to sitting in front of a computer, playing Roller Coster tycoon, waiting for my friends to come home from work.

This is your Life, Are you who you want to be?

This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be

when the world was younger, and you had everything to loose.

That’s it. The question. The abyss of future starkly in front of me. This song, and this cd became the definition of the notes I was living. It paralleled the world I was walking in.

Over the years, I’ve caulked it up to the fact that Jon Foreman (lead singer, frontman and song writer of Switchfoot) is a couple of years older than me. So naturally, he writes a song, it gets on an album, and by the time the album comes out, it’s a couple of years later. The song breaks into my world at approximately the same age and life stage that Jon was living when he probably wrote it.

On that note, I went home.

I spent three years working for a construction company. Digging back in time, listening to old school Switchfoot.

Albums like “the Legend of Chin” and “New Way to be Human” got me by with their punk rock youthful spirit, a good dosing of fun and an occasional song with more sobering questions and pleads.  Particularly off of New Way to be Human — Let that Be Enough.  When I was feeling like life was NOT what I thought it would be – I would drive, run errands for work, listen and cry along to this song.  At the age of 22, a college grad, slightly having lost my way in regards to career, missing my friends, and wondering “is this it,” I was signing

I wish I had what I need
To be on my own
‘Cause I feel so defeated
And I’m feeling alone

And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I’m a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land

And all I see
It could never make me happy And all my sand castles
Spend their time collapsing …

…It’s my birthday tomorrow
No one here could now
I was born this Thursday
22 years ago

And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a kid who knows he’s needy

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
Let that be enough

Beyond those sad and sometimes, simply dark, times – Switchfoot followed up with “Nothing is Sound” – in my discouraged world, occasionally sick and worn out — The rocking album, though not one of their best, was dark and with a touch of anger.  Yes there was a little hope – but in my world, most of the “Sunshine” emphasized the “Shadow” Not the other way around.  All I saw was shadow. And in my world “Happy” was most definitely a “Yuppy World.” Happiness seemed shallow, empty, and unattainable.

I didn’t stay completely stuck in the mud. I went back to school. Grad school at that. Though in many respects, my attitude and outlook was equally as torn down. My “Lonely Nation” of just me – was going to classes, starting to soak up some life, but it wasn’t how I wanted it to be.

With a new degree in hand, but no job, and a harsh break up of sorts freshly added to my resume, the end of Grad school looked to be similar to undergrad. Not what I wanted – because I wasn’t what I wanted. How had I bought the lies?  After all this time – I had the truth for so long… Again, not the highlight of the Switchfoot repertoire, Oh Gravity! but it brought some new tunes, and new ways for me to scream my lungs out to something I knew I believed in.

When success is equated with excess
The ambition for excess wrecks us…

…I want out of this machine
It doesn’t feel like freedom

This ain’t my American dream
I want to live and die for bigger things
I’m tired of fighting for just me
This ain’t my American dream

Here I am – about 9 years since the words and melodies, the disonent, minor chordes of grity guitar started weaving its lullubies in and out of the themes of my life.

Today is my 29th Birthday.

Am I out of the dark forest completely – no probably not. I still struggle with things like “being tired of fighting for just me” – I see a bigger world, bigger things, I want to be a part, I want to jump in head first. But the song I’m singing has changed for brighter tones. Not without discord – not entirely. But with a bit more hope. With that I leave you my current Switchfoot anthem

Hello Hurricane – Your love is a song:

I hear you breathing in
another day begins

the stars are falling out
my dreams are fading now, fading out

I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open
I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open

your love is a symphony
all around me
running through me

your love is a melody
underneath me
running to me

your love is a song

the dawn is fire bright
against the city lights

the clouds are glowing now
the moon is blacking out

I’ve been keeping my mind wide open
I’ve been keeping my mind wide open

your love is a song

with my eyes wide open
I’ve got my eyes wide open
I’ve been keeping my hopes unbroken

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Filed under cardiology, music, switchfoot

Not sure how I missed this video

With my favorite song playing in the background.

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Filed under switchfoot, wedding

When Parallel Lines Collide…

…with a hurricane, there must be some kind of resolve.

What do I mean? I think that I mean I see the world in lines. Intersecting lines of intellectual thought, theology, emotion, creativity, spirituality, philosophy, scientific calculation, and mathematical exactness to name just a few.  These lines run in many directions, until they swirl around in a seemly abstract jumble – giving the appearance of both mysterious chaos and understandable structure at the same time.

From this – I like to see the connections and draw more lines between the lines that already exist. Integration. That’s how it is for me with the music of Switchfoot. The lines that I draw between, through and around the songs, the parallel (and sometimes perpendicular) lines of my life, the planet I tread on, and that which I cannot see – though hope for.

Let me go back about 9 years:

I first heard “Dare You to Move” in college – off of a friend’s mixed cd, playing in his truck. Nice. I liked it. I thought they were from Canada, because up until this time, none of my US friends had told me about this band full of surfers. Through the school year, the song played, and the debate raged, which is better, the chorus or the bridge (everyone knows it’s the chorus after the bridge).

And so my introduction to Switchfoot was complete.  I picked up “Learning to Breath” and I was on my way.  Many an evening was spent studying to the cd, or taking a study break to practice my simple beginner’s beat – drumming to the title track.

And so I went on with life, time went by, and I spent my hours studying and jamming to Switchfoot. Through the course of the year (after I was thoroughly hooked) the rest of the world started hearing about them because of the soundtrack of a little movie called “A Walk to Remember”.  I also went to the Edmonton Switchfoot concert for about 2 bucks, the definition of College: good music on a budget.

At the end of my college career, I participated in a trip (long story – supposed to be teaching English in China – ended up painting in Philadelphia).  While I was slapping blue paint on Nursery walls, singing my heart out to “Playing for Keeps,” thinking about how This is for real. Life is all in.

We went on a field trip day to NY City.  6 hours. One huge place. My main memory, Virgin Records store, Second floor of 4. The brand new Switchfoot Album “The Beautiful Letdown” which I purchased and then convinced 4 of my other 5 team mates to also buy.

As the trip ended, I head back to E-town for two final weeks with friends before I ripped my heart out, returned home from the frozen tundra and grieved the end of my childhood, and the death of college friendships that can not be kept up from afar.

You may recall the song “Meant to Live” the break out single. I remember track 2 “This is your Life” – from the opening sounds. Hearing, and  closing my eyes take me back 6 years to sitting in front of a computer, playing Roller Coaster Tycoon, waiting for my friends to come home from work.

This is your Life, Are you who you want to be?

This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be

when the world was younger, and you had everything to loose.

That’s it. The question. The abyss of future starkly in front of me. This song, and this cd became the definition of the notes I was living. It paralleled the world I was walking in.

Over the years, I’ve chalked it up to the fact that Jon Foreman (lead singer, frontman and song writer of Switchfoot) is a couple of years older than me. So naturally, he writes a song, it gets on an album, and by the time the album comes out, it’s a couple of years later. The song breaks into my world at approximately the same age and life stage that Jon was living when he probably wrote it.

On that note, I went home.

I spent three years working for a construction company. Digging back in time, listening to old school Switchfoot.

Albums like “the Legend of Chin” and “New Way to be Human” got me by with their punk rock youthful spirit, a good dosing of fun and an occasional song with more sobering questions and pleads.  Particularly off of New Way to be Human — Let that Be Enough.  When I was feeling like life was NOT what I thought it would be – I would drive, run errands for work, listen and cry along to this song.  At the age of 22, a college grad, slightly having lost my way in regards to career, missing my friends, and wondering “is this it,” I was signing

I wish I had what I need
To be on my own
‘Cause I feel so defeated
And I’m feeling alone

And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I’m a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land

And all I see
It could never make me happy And all my sand castles
Spend their time collapsing …

…It’s my birthday tomorrow
No one here could now
I was born this Thursday
22 years ago

And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a kid who knows he’s needy

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
Let that be enough

Beyond those sad and sometimes, simply dark, times – Switchfoot followed up with “Nothing is Sound” – in my discouraged world, occasionally sick and worn out — The rocking album, though not one of their best, was dark and with a touch of anger.  Yes there was a little hope – but in my world, most of the “Sunshine” emphasized the “Shadow” Not the other way around.  All I saw was shadow. And in my world “Happy” was most definitely a “Yuppy World.” Happiness seemed shallow, empty, and unattainable.

I didn’t stay completely stuck in the mud. I went back to school. Grad school at that. Though in many respects, my attitude and outlook was equally as torn down. My “Lonely Nation” of just me – was going to classes, starting to soak up some life, but it wasn’t how I wanted it to be.

With a new degree in hand, but no job, and a harsh break up of sorts freshly added to my resume, the end of Grad school looked to be similar to undergrad. Not what I wanted – because I wasn’t what I wanted. How had I bought the lies?  After all this time – I had the truth for so long… Again, not the highlight of the Switchfoot repertoire, Oh Gravity! but it brought some new tunes, and new ways for me to scream my lungs out to something I knew I believed in.

When success is equated with excess
The ambition for excess wrecks us…

…I want out of this machine
It doesn’t feel like freedom

This ain’t my American dream
I want to live and die for bigger things
I’m tired of fighting for just me
This ain’t my American dream

Here I am – about 9 years since the words and melodies, the disonent, minor chordes of grity guitar started weaving its lullubies in and out of the themes of my life.

Today is my 29th Birthday.

Am I out of the dark forest completely – no probably not. I still struggle with things like “being tired of fighting for just me” – I see a bigger world, bigger things, I want to be a part, I want to jump in head first. But the song I’m singing has changed for brighter tones. Not without discord – not entirely. But with a bit more hope. With that I leave you my current Switchfoot anthem

Hello Hurricane – Your love is a song:

I hear you breathing in
another day begins

the stars are falling out
my dreams are fading now, fading out

I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open
I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open

your love is a symphony
all around me
running through me

your love is a melody
underneath me
running to me

your love is a song

the dawn is fire bright
against the city lights

the clouds are glowing now
the moon is blacking out

I’ve been keeping my mind wide open
I’ve been keeping my mind wide open

your love is a song

with my eyes wide open
I’ve got my eyes wide open
I’ve been keeping my hopes unbroken

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Filed under art, switchfoot, theology

Hello Hurricane

epic.

the end.

I’m almost my second time through the album and I love it.  I’ll try to break it down a bit more in the next few days, but for the moment, here is the general overview.

It’s a wonderful return to the gritty, rock & roll punch of the past.

It is the indie punk that I fell in love with oh, so many years ago.

It is only needing to listen once to know I can’t imagine life without it.

Unlike the last two albums (Oh Gravity! and even Nothing is Sound) Hello Hurricane meets meet the bar set by “The Beautiful Letdown” (and the bar is high on TBL for me because it  has specific moments and memories locked in time forever linked to the melodies).

11/10 when it drops, buy it.

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Filed under music, switchfoot

Blog worthy Music.

Ok, I have been cutting back on music purchased from itunes, but yesterday, I HAD to get this new cd. Relient k just released a cd “Five Score and Seven Years Ago” It is Fantastic!!!!! if you like Relient k, I completely recommend this cd. It sounds a bit different then some of their older stuff. Most are calling it more “popish” then punk, but either way, it is great. I guess they have two new members so now everyone in the band can contribute vocally. And as we have come to expect their harmonies are tight. I wish they would put together an cd of just a cappella songs.

The itunes version has a bonus song, a cover of Sloop John B (which I think was a beach boys song) I cant help but grin through the entire song because it brings back memories of elementary school music class.

So far, my favorites are:

“The Best thing”
“Must Have Done Something Good”
“Up and Up”
“Sloop John B”

I love the guitar intro on “Bite My Tongue”
And to top it all off, “Deathbed” an eleven minute epic song has a solo by Swithfoot’s Jon Foreman. And anyone reading this should know by now that I love Switchfoot.

So there ya go, my two favorite bands working together.

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Filed under music, switchfoot

One month done!?!?!?

I am now one month into the semester. This means my “A” Quad class is half done. This week was definitely a doozie with all three of my night classes having papers due. Now I am a little behind on my reading, but I can catchup.

I was supposed to work on reading all afternoon. Instead I spent time looking for some clothes to wear while watching the Superbowl tomorrow. That took quite a bit of time. Then I spent some time burning cds with music I have purchased over the last few months. Which is sweet because I can finally listen to Oh! Gravity. in my car. That, plus, I have had the same 6 cds playing in the car since I started out on my road trip to move out here. Seriously in need of some new tunes in the car. Now that it is 6 in the evening, I really should go read.

Have fun watching the game!

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Filed under grad school, homework, music, reading, switchfoot

smash-ups

Ok, there is the cd that takes different CCM songs and mixes them together. I got one, Yours vs. Pressing On (Toby Mac & Relient K). It has a very interesting sound. I don’t know if all of them are any good at all, but I like this one. Perhaps if you have time in your day, I recommend taking a listen on itunes. Just search “smash-ups” and the album should come up.

Some of the other selections are Jesus Freak vs. Dismissed (dc Talk & ZOEgirl), Colored People vs. Entertaining Angels (dc Talk & Newsboys), TN Bwoys vs. You Already Take Me There (Grits & Switchfoot).

These might not be actually considered true “smash” songs because so far I have found that It is the lyrics from one song and the music the other, (not music & lyrics of both combined), I am not quite sure if there has been any “technical” definition created yet for such an remix attempt. Either way, a couple of them are quite interesting to be sure. It looks like one song is even a mix of at least 3 songs.

Oh, yeah, I should mention there is a throw back to the good ‘ole days of “who’s in the House?” (J.C.) from Carmen mixed ZOEgirl.

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Filed under music, switchfoot