Posts Tagged With: music

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You don’t know me.

And I don’t know you. I mean, not really.

You may know the things that I choose to reveal about myself. It’s usually the best parts of me (though I’ve been known to be quite transparent with the not-so-best parts of me as well) that I share. But if someone were to ask you to tell them about me, you really wouldn’t be able to rattle off much more than what I’ve listed in my profile. Sure, you could browse my blog or stalk my Facebook account, and maybe make a few guesses about what my taste in music or movies must say about me. But they would only be guesses. And more often than not, you’d be wrong.

For the longest time I’ve been rather careful about getting to know people and allowing them to get to know me. See, I have a history that includes a pretty severe wounding of the heart. So I’m not very keen on putting myself out there in a way that might reopen that wound. Unfortunately, my passions run deep and I tend to be, what one friend calls “emotionally progressive”. Rare in men, so I’m told. Among other things, this means that my heart can become vulnerable to the inconsiderate actions of others if I make an effort to get to know them. I’ve done that with very few people over the years. It amazes me how the pursuit of friendship can be liberating on one end, and weaponized on the other.

Interpersonal relationships should come with a standard label that states, “WARNING: Result may vary.”

Some of these people have become like siblings. Some of them are like my kids. And some of them are… well, something altogether different. But all of them have had an impact on me to varying degrees. My affections are at times painfully genuine. Sometimes to my own detriment. So I’ve learned to protect my heart a little bit more fiercely than I did before. It’s not that I don’t want people to know me, but sometimes I’m not entirely convinced I can afford to allow them.

I’m not a fan of heartache, confusion or misunderstandings. To avoid such calamity, it would make more sense to just keep everyone at arm’s length. It’s sad to me because many people I’ve met are deeply intriguing and I’d love to discover more about them. But this has brought me to the dispirited conclusion that the further away from them I stay, the less likely I am to get hurt if/when they implode.

I don’t know what bevy of circumstances has made them the way they are. They could’ve grown up in abject poverty, or could be the spoiled product of wealthy hands-off parents, raised by a bilingual nanny. They could be a recent parolee from a botched extortion attempt, or an as-yet-to-be-captured professional con artist. They could literally live across the street, or across the ocean. My point is that I won’t know them all that well, and they won’t know me. Unfortunately, past experiences have a tendency to make people gun shy. So I may never know them the way that I wish I could.

Hmm… I don’t even know what the point was of this post. Venting? Purging? Meh. That’s all I’ve got for today.

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lights Out


As you can imagine with six (6) children, my wife and I are no strangers to sudden, unexpected situations. Whether it’s a flooded bathroom, the smell of burning LEGOs, or the sound of shattering glass (and subsequent crying children), it usually means that we can pretty much forget whatever plans we THOUGHT we had for the day.😏

Even so, there are still those rare occasions that surprise us. Times when something really catches us off guard.

Such was the case yesterday.

Countdown Timer

As we prepared for worship at our 5:00pm main service, there were a few technical difficulties that, while not earth shattering, caused the service to be ever so slightly delayed. With the countdown timer nearing zero, we were all on stage awaiting the familiar sound of the tempo click in our in-ear monitors that signaled the beginning of the first song.

With enthusiasm and lots of energy, the team began to sing in earnest from the top of our lungs and the bottom of our hearts! 😃

Worship Team

And then, in what seemed like an instant, everything in the building shut down with a loud “THUNK!”. All the lights, monitors, microphones, computers, and instruments went dead. It was like someone hit the breaker and cut power to the entire building. We were plunged into darkness. 😳

What happened next was nothing short of amazing and awe inspiring.

The worship leader, thinking quickly, signaled us and had the singers continue singing the current song without missing a beat. He then encouraged the congregation to join in. Before I knew it, most of the musicians had left their instruments and joined us at the front of the stage. And without instruments or amplification, we filled the room with the sound of magnified worship! It created an atmosphere of immersive praise that emanated from every part of the room! 😍

Pastor on platform.

We finished a couple more songs a cappella as the operations team sprung into action and setup flood lights through the sanctuary. Once we had a decent amount of light, our senior pastor took the stage to address the congregation. He thanked God for those who were gathered in the sanctuary, for the church staff who attended to the children, insuring all security protocols were met, and for the willingness of everyone to help where needed.🙏🏽

He then encouraged the crowd to move forward toward the stage so that everyone would be able to hear him. and with none of the usual fanfare or elaborate video introduction that typically transitioned us from worship to the sermon, he began his message.

What followed was one of the most undeniably intimate and impactful moments I’ve ever experienced at our church.

We found out later that there’d been a car accident that damaged a transformer and knocked out power to the entire area. Our pastor prayed that everyone involved was safe, and before he was halfway done with his sermone… the lights came back on. 🤩

We ended the service with an original song that was written by our pastor and one of the worship leaders, appropriately titled, “Trust In You”. 

Categories: music, personal, religion, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FATCAP (A Fatherhood Capsule Story): Discombobulated Dad


When it comes to social media, I often have moments where I feel like I can’t focus on one thing. I mean, for the most part I think I’m known for my music and for my writing. 😎 And lately I’m probably becoming known for my attempts (#AnotherDay1) to get and remain in shape. 🏋🏽‍♂️
 
But most days I’m just out here like, “Oh lordy… is this suppose to be a fitness profile? I’ve posted MAYBE two photos from the gym in the last three weeks.” 😬 Because let’s be honest, there ain’t a ton of angle variety to be had in men’s locker room that’s fit for public consumption. And it’s a special kind of contortionist with 3 arms who can take a selfie while doing hammer curls. 💪🏾
 
So then I fall back on the old saying, “Do what you know.” And what I know, after more than 24 years of it, is fatherhood. Which makes me just barely qualified to explain how best to help keep small children alive, despite their best efforts to the contrary. 😇
 
Of course, the other part of me is like, “But isn’t fitness also a part of parenting? I mean, shouldn’t it be?” 🤔 I certainly don’t want to be the unhealthy dad that is suffering from wholly preventable conditions because I couldn’t be bothered to pick up a weight or take the elliptical for a spin.
 
So I’ve decided that I won’t try to figure out my “niche” other than to say that, for now, my niche is ME… and all of my topical inconsistencies that come with me.🤪
 
However, I am super thankful that there ARE people out there who really know what they want to do, how to do it, and have put together solid plans to make them happen.
 
People like my son, Micah.
 
If you’ve never seen him, bro legit looks like an olympian. 🏅He’d be scary if he wasn’t so darn relatable, charming, and always smiling. He’s a good looking guy too, and that’s not just dad smoke. lol Real talk… he could probably do 50 squats with me on his shoulders and not break a sweat. In any case, he’s planning to compete in the upcoming 2020 AZ Open Mens Bodybuilding competition in the spring, and I couldn’t be more proud.🏆
 
I look at him and imagine that I probably would’ve looked exactly like that at his age. Sorta, maybe… almost..? 🤨
 
Anyway, you should follow his journey and can check out his new YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/dh8yq4n3u3Q. You can also follow him on Instagram @micahwelchfit.
 
So, don’t be discombobulated like me.
 
Be focused, like him. 😉
Categories: family, FatCap, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Complex T.O.N.E.z – One


Part I – The Journey

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I thought it never rained in SoCal?

It was an unusually heavy downpour that dreary Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles. Unusual in the sense that this was the most significant amount of rain we’d had in L.A. County since drought conditions were declared just a few months earlier. I was on my way to meet T.O.N.E-z at the studio where he was shooting the video for his latest single, “My Baby Girl, ft. Alicia Witt”.

My oldest son, Maurice Jr., and I drove under ominous looking gray skies – and among even more ominously questionable drivers.  We marveled at the transparent sheets of rain as they drifted across the highway, casting a thick layer of water against the windshield with a dull swoosh. My frantically swinging windshield wipers were desperately – and sometimes ineffectively – trying to push away the water and provide a safe field of vision. Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I’ve seen my fair share of rain. I was pretty confident of my ability to get us from the South Bay to our final destination – an unmarked studio tucked away in the small upscale neighborhood of Windsor Square.

40 minutes into what would normally be a 15 minute drive, I asked my son if we should trudge on or turn back and head home. I called Joel and asked him if the shoot was still happening. Yeah, the rain was coming down THAT hard. But he assured me that everything was still a go, and to be honest, the rain was actually fascinating. There was so much water everywhere that we almost felt like we were in a submarine. Plus, I wanted to meet T.O.N.E-z, whose family includes pioneering MCs T La Rock and Special K of the Treacherous Three. And so, we pressed on…

I was able to expertly navigate the flooded intersection of Western Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard before coming to a stop on 3rd Street. I turned to my son and watched him as he shot brief glances through the water pouring down the passenger door window before turning his attention back to his marathon texting,  while also periodically checking to see if he’d had any increase of followers on Vine.

When we arrived at what I thought was our destination, we couldn’t find the building. A quick call to Joel and we discovering that the address he was initially given was wrong. So after a little finagling, we figured it all out and finally pulled up to an unassuming, brick, storefront building just as there was a break in the rain.

Getting out of the car, I saw a guy leaning against the stone wall of an inset door frame. “Is that the guy you were talking to on the phone?”, my son asked pointing out the window. “No,” I said. “That’s not Joel. That, is T.O.N.E.-z,” I said, recognizing him from his Facebook page

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Check out his Facebook page! Click the photo!

“T.O.N.E.-z?,” I said as we approached him. “Yeah,” he said coolly, with a friendly nod. “Glad you guys made it. Come on in.”

And so, we did…

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Death Comes To Award Shows


Music is the biggest passion in my life. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I scrutinized the American Music Awards in a way most people probably would not. Most probably wouldn’t care in the first place. But I can’t help it… I care. 🙂

Okay, enough of the babbling. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the fact that there is a very real possibility that music awards as we’ve known them will become obsolete. They’re dying a slow death. What makes me say this? Partly because there’s been a trend in the music industry where the lines between genres are routinely blurred to the point of being nearly unrecognizable.

floridageorgialine_nelly_video_hFor instance, long ago there was a clear distinction between country music and pop music. So much so, that the country music industry felt the need to establish its own awards ceremony, the CMAs, in 1967 (there are currently 4 major awards shows specifically for country music). But let’s be honest, the crossover of modern country music into mainstream is pretty much a done deal. Aside from the occasional slide guitar or a lively fiddle, a lot of what is considered to be “country music” sounds a great deal like “pop music” (hello Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift).

Of course, the same can be said about R&B/Soul music. If Justin Timberlake can win the AMA for BOTH Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist, it really makes you wonder how those genres are actually defined. If one person is simultaneously a Pop/Soul/R&B/Rock artist, then what really is the point of having a category at all? 2013_11_25_AcsfrXBMWMjevnp1ocVtd1

As it is, the whole thing seems rather farcical to me when you’ve created genres and award categories, like “Gospel” and “Contemporary Christian”, that are based solely on subject matter. If that were to hold true across the board, we would have to add categories like “Favorite Misogynistic Single of the Year” or “Best Sexual Exploitation by a Band, Duo or Group”.

Personally, I think the days of Awards ceremonies are numbered. I give it another 10 years before it gets to the inevitable point of being discontinued. Besides, when it’s all said and done, good music is good music, regardless of any box society may want to place it in. 😉

Categories: commentary, current events, music, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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