Deas Vail in concert


Most of the time, when I go to see a concert I have to drive pretty far from quaint little Powder Springs. This past week, however, the concert came to me. I saw Deas Vail in concert at Cornerstone Festival a couple years ago and I enjoyed their show. When I found out that they were playing around the corner from my house, I couldn’t resist checking them out again.

The show was opened by White Collar Sideshow and Corey Crowder. White Collar Sideshow was, to put it lightly, unusual. It was live drums and bass. The whole thing had a creepy vibe to it, but as I understand it, that was the purpose. The purpose of the performance was to compare a horror movie to an addiction to pornography and the band achieved the comparison with pig masks, horror movies playing in the background, faceless women, random percussion, and more. The leader of the band was impassioned and spoke about the redeeming power of Christ to rescue people from their addictions. The music was strange, but the message was powerful.

Corey Crowder performed next. I have to admit I don’t really know his work well. I had heard his name before in local shows around the area, but I couldn’t figure out where I had heard of him before. Nonetheless, he was enjoyable, playing acoustic guitar and harmonica for a short set of songs.

Deas Vail, the band I came to see, played next. Lead singer Wes Blaylock’s high-pitched voice commands the most attention, but I particularly enjoyed watching the joy-filled bass guitar work of Andy Moore as he bounced around the stage with a smile on his face. I thought Deas Vail were ok when I saw them at Cornerstone a couple years ago, but I think they’ve really improved and tightened up as a band since then. They played a great short show featuring most of the tracks from their new EP White Lights. I’m still getting my first impressions of the EP, but so far I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit. I think it particularly benefits from some experienced engineering and production (the album is produced by Mark Lee Townsend and mixed by JR McNeely.)

Being an old man, I didn’t stay late for the last band, High Flight Society (out of fairness, judging from their tracks on myspace, they aren’t too bad) but headed home. I do enjoy going to the big arena shows, but there is something special about going to a concert in a small room with tickets cheap enough that you dn’t even think twice about picking up a CD or a t-shirt. There’s an energy there you can’t replicate when a band is getting on their feet and starting to take off and its even better when it’s around the corner from your house.

10 Albums I Should Probably Be Ashamed For Owning

Another meme from Facebook, but I liked this one quite a bit

It’s easy to list albums that have changed your life. You might as well be asked to list the reasons that you’re cool. But honestly, no one is impressed by your love of the Velvet Underground or your profound appreciation for Howlin’ Wolf. No. What people want is a list of reasons why you’re an idiot. Tearing others down makes us feel better about ourselves.

So, cowboy up and admit your musical faults. Think of 10 albums or singles that you would be embarrassed to let other people know you’ve enjoyed. It’s not fair to list something that you like just because hipster popular opinion says it’s lame.

No. This list is for music that actually makes you embarrassed to have ever like/purchased/rocked out to.

I gotta admit, I own a lot of shameful stuff. I mean, I pretty much exclusively bought CCM music from about 1991 to 1996, so I’ve got a whole lot of bad music. Truth be told, though, I’m not ashamed of a lot of it. It’s a part of my history and still draws fond memories from that time of my life. I should probably be ashamed that I own Petra’s entire discography, even the last couple of albums that weren’t very good, but … I’m just not. Not only that, but the really schlocky stuff I own is on single MP3’s. I don’t own the entire album for a lot of one-wonder type bands from the 80’s and 90’s.

However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some cringe inducing stuff in my collection. Before you read, don’t judge me. I’ll bet there are some stinkers boxed away in your closet, too.

Newsboys – Boyz Will Be Boyz
Before the Newsboys started cranking out album after album of bland praise and worship music, they had a passable string of albums (Going PublicStep Up To The Microphone), but before that they had some truly awful stuff. “Nothing compares to smooth sound of funky Christian house-beat.” *cringe*

St Elmo’s Fire Soundtrack
I bought this for the Jon Anderson and John Elefante tracks (yeah, that’s not embarrasing at all.) So super schmaltzy and embarassing in an 80’s way. Yeah, you probably cried when they played the theme song and showed all the pictures from your senior year of high school at some end-of-year banquet, too. *cringe*

Whitecross – In the Kingdom
Whitecross was like a Christian version of RATT. The worst part was that the last song was some mix with a rap artist and oh, *cringe*.

Bob Carlisle – Hope Of A Man
I liked Allies a lot in high school, so I bought Carlisle’s first and second solo album and they are so lite-rock CCM. I mean, at least it’s not the album with “Butterfly Kisses”, but, *cringe*.

Guardian: Fire and Love
The volume of my hair doubles just thinking about this album. I’m not a fan of grunge music, but maybe stuff like this shows why it was necessary. *cringe*

Rock Power Praise – Volume II: Christmas Hymns
When it comes to Christmas music, I’m even more shameless. I mean, I’ve got tracks by Hillary Duff and Britney Spears in my Christmas playlist. But this goes too far. It’s Christmas songs done by Christian hair-metal bands, and yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. *cringe*

Kansas: In the Spirit Of Things
It’s not so much that Kansas is something to be ashamed of, but this album was the nadir of their career. I think every 70’s band was shoehorned into hairspray and lots of reverb with cheesy lovey-dovey lyrics in the 80’s. *cringe*

Yes: Open Your Eyes
Kind of the same thing as Kansas, the nadir for Yes. *cringe*

Creed: Human Clay
The sad part is that I bought this for Adriene. *cringe*

Michael W. Smith: Change Your World
I thought this album was the greatest ever in 1992. I’ll be honest, though, I’m only slightly ashamed of this album. It’s got it’s moments. *slight cringe*


Both Adriene and the girls were sick last week and I said it was only inevitable that it would come my way soon. Well, yesterday was when the chickens came to roost. It was only a matter of time as I have been pushing myself extra hard for about a month now and pretty soon my body was going to say “no more.”

Oddly, as awful as it was to go through fever, chills, a visit to the doctor, antibiotics, and just in general feeling horrible for a couple of days, it was actually nice to have a day off. I can’t remember the last time I slept in as late as I wanted and spent all day in bed. I don’t remember the last time I said “I don’t want to work” and I didn’t. It’s been a long time that I let my mountain of responsibilities just sit and pile up for a while.

Even though we had snow blow through here this weekend, I think winter is almost out and I couldn’t be happier. I think the times I usually feel the lowest are in March at the end of winter and August at the end of summer. Maybe it’s just fatigue from the cold, but I am over being stuck in the house all day every day. I’m ready to take the girls to the playgrounds, out for walks, and take pictures of something other than us stuck in a house.