Tag Archives: Switchfoot

7 Quick Takes on Grammar, My Favorite Saint, and My Favorite Band

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I have a new grammar pet peeve. It turned up several times on completely different websites I was reading yesterday. It’s the word “as” when used as a correlative conjunction without its other half. Correlative conjunctions are phrases which must use both parts in the same sentence to make a comparison.

I lost not only my wallet but also my whole purse.

You can choose either chicken or fish.

Whether he walks or runs, he’ll be late.

You can’t use one part of a correlative conjunction without the other. This real example was the last straw for me:

*After downloading the app on my iPhone, I simply logged in and immediately had access to download as many pictures at once from my [Pinterest] boards.

“As many” as what? As many as you could? That’s pretty circular. As many as you wanted? That’s great! As many as you had time for? Then how long is a complete download going to take?

This goes right up there with comma splices and then/than in my Contemporary Grammar Hall of Shame.

— 2 —

I am a card-carrying member of the Apostleship of Prayer. I also get the monthly e-newsletter with links to the reflections for each month. I don’t like the new content of the email (there’s basically nothing in it except a link to the actual information, which is on the website), but I did like this month’s reflection questions for the evangelization intention:

What are some ways that “the light of the Gospel” can be brought “into public life, into culture, economics and politics” without being rejected as the imposition of religion on non-believers?

Those are quotations from Pope Benedict from the Aparecida meeting in 2007. It’s an interesting question to consider, and it’s basically the story of my life outside the parish grounds. How do you preach the Gospel at all times? (Don’t attempt to quote St. Francis to me. He was a preacher! He found words pretty necessary.)

— 3 —

My week was pretty quiet. I didn’t get a project done on Monday like I wanted to, but I did get my book finished for this week’s ATX Catholic review, so that was pretty good.

I’ve also been working on finding a diagnosis for a specific health problem I’d rather not discuss now except to ask for your prayers. I don’t take very good care of my physical health, so it’s especially challenging for me to work on something that has not been a quick fix.

— 4 —

The feast of my favorite saint, Maria Goretti, was this week! I almost missed it. I have electronic reminders set up for all kinds of things, but somehow I forgot to set one to start my novena. Even my Weekly Review failed me. Then I missed a day somewhere and wound up really far behind. I prayed all nine days’ worth, though, and it gave me some time for reflection on my spiritual life.

St. Maria Goretti is usually known as a patroness of chastity, but she’s gaining a reputation as a patron of mercy as well, particularly in this Year of Mercy. I am especially drawn to her courage and fortitude. I don’t know if I could forgive the guy who just tried to rape and murder me, whether he was about to succeed in the murdering part or not. I don’t know if I could resist the attack for the sake of his soul. I don’t know if I could actually risk death for what I believe in. Could you?

— 5 —

I read a little bit of the Bible every day by way of Night Prayer and Evangelio del dia. It just occurred to me that the latter absolutely counts as the spiritual reading I feel guilty about never doing. Why didn’t I realize that before? I love it when things double-count! (Well, except for that one time with the Immaculate Conception, I guess.)

— 6 —

Switchfoot’s new album is out today! I know, nobody actually buys music anymore these days, but they’re my favorite band. My blog went viral when I reviewed a concert of theirs, I met Jon Foreman and he said he liked my upcycled shirt, and they are the only band besides *NSync I have ever seen in concert. (And I am not ashamed.) So I bought it. I might even text them to say how much I like it.

Yep. And then:

That is so punk rock.

— 7 —

That’s it for this week. Here’s a picture of a Corgi doing yoga (or maybe pilates?)


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Fan Mixes FTW! (Review: “Vice Re-Verses”)

When Amazon MP3 offered its most recent free music credit, I jumped on it and finally got around to purchasing Vice Re-Verses, Switchfoot’s remix album of songs from last fall’s Vice Verses. Between the drive to work on Thursday and some downtime on Friday, I finally managed to listen to it. Nevertheless, I declare that my Switchfoot passion remains strong.

Here’s my track-by-track review:

  1. “The Original” (JT Daly Remix): I love “The Original,” but I found myself annoyed by this remix. It was too high-pitched and tinny. Switchfoot’s music has grown more bass-driven and layered over time. This stripped too much of that away, so it totally lost the original sound.
  2. “Selling the News” (Photek Remix): I didn’t like the techno driving this remix. When you don’t like the bass line, it’s hard to get into a song. (Contrast this with “My Sharona,” by The Knack, which has possibly the best bass line ever.)
  3. “Blinding Light” (Adam Young of Owl City Remix): I can handle Owl City. I love Switchfoot. Trying to make Switchfoot sound like Owl City is not a good idea. The subject matter is too intense to sound right with such a lighthearted background. If I didn’t know, I might think this was Jon singing for Owl City, and that sounds like an awkward combination at best.
  4. “Darkest Horses” (JT Daly of Paper Route Remix): Now this is what I look for in a remix. One of the things I love most about Switchfoot is the lyrics, so I love remixes that leave good solid chunks of the lyrics intact. I also liked that the title was changed just enough so that you can tell it’s a remix without needing to read inside the parentheses. Second-best song of the album.
  5. “Vice Verses” (Darren King Remix): I liked Darren King’s remix of “Yet” from Hello Hurricane okay, but I think “Vice Verses” works best in its original form. It needs to be acoustic.
  6. “The War Inside” (DnJ Remix): Sorry, Drew and Jerome, but I’m not feeling it. I liked that the acoustic line reminded me of “Boys of Summer” at the very beginning, but that’s the only part I liked. Maybe I just love the chorus too much to ever really enjoy a version that doesn’t use it enough.
  7. “Afterlife” (Neon Feather Remix): The beginning was startling after the soft and smooth ending of the previous track, but I found myself jolted into awesomeness. I was half-napping while I listened to the last four tracks, but I started basically dancing while lying down when I heard this one. I couldn’t tap my toes from my position lying there, but I certainly tried. I loved that an entire verse was played intact. I have a soft spot for techno dance music. It sounded as though Daft Punk had decided to feature Jon Foreman’s vocals, and it was fantastic! I’m so glad this won the remix contest, and I can absolutely see why it won. They saved the best for last and didn’t even know it.

Remixes can be tough. It’s tricky to balance references to the original while making something that is justifiably new. This was a good step in that direction, though. I can’t wait to see what Switchfoot has in store next.

7 Quick Takes Friday: Vol. 171

Aha! I knew that last one was incorrectly numbered. A victory with numbers? For me? Inconceivable!

— 1 —

I have a skin condition that makes modesty not only desirable but also necessary. Although it is convenient that the arrival of this condition dovetailed with my modest conversion, it is inconvenient that it makes my pursuit of modesty much more troublesome.

Enter the world of shells. How did I not know there’s a small but mighty market for exactly the style of undershirt I’ve been seeking? I enjoy wearing cap sleeves as a happy medium between Jewish-style tzniut modesty and the bare shoulders I don’t feel comfortable with at church (which is almost every day of my life). The tricky part is that a lot of my undershirts have cap sleeves, so the layering looks ridiculous, and trying to safety-pin short or cap sleeves into submission is so uncomfortable.

Click for product page.

Earlier this week, I ordered three sleeveless shells from Funky Frum, like the one pictured above. I just got them yesterday, and I’m reasonably sure I’ve never been so excited to try on clothes before, especially not ones I had to order online. They’re exactly what I’ve been looking for: a crew neck without sleeves. If only I’d known sooner that I just needed to dress like an observant Jew.

— 2 —

I think I mentioned that I’m preparing to work with marriage preparation at work. I read a new book about marriage preparation last week and reviewed it here. I think I’ve just been single for so long that I’m getting jaded. I don’t know if I would want me as a FOCCUS facilitator if I were getting married. People have enough trouble with celibate priests for marriage prep. At least they have experience with successful discernment and commitment. I don’t.

— 3 —

I found another good Catholic tumblr series, Catholic Problems!

I'm pretty sure I did this one at work on Thursday.

— 4 —

I seem to struggle with finding all seven Quick Takes from week to week, so I’m going to post another Catholic problem and call it two.

Sometimes I wear heels to work. I'm already 5'8" without them.

— 5 —

I am always late for my holy hour. This week, however, I managed not to try to get up in the middle of a REM cycle, so I was relatively alert throughout the hour. It’s amazing what a bit of energy directed at getting up on time and going to bed on time can do. I’ve been putting in the effort since Holy Week, and I feel better overall. Imagine that.

— 6 —

I plan to have a new template up for my blog at least by my tenth blogging anniversary (I know!) this August. In my quest for design tips, I stumbled across a link to Cupcake Ipsum, and my day was frosted with a little extra joy. (See what I did there?)

For those of you who aren’t into design, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet” are the first few Latin-sounding words of dummy text that designers sometimes use. The words don’t mean anything, so you couldn’t read them if you tried. Since you can’t read the words, you have to focus on their shape, their typeface, their size—everything but their meaning. Cupcake Ipsum generates dummy text that includes delicious filler words like “cookie” and “lemon drops” and “gingerbread.” I don’t remember who tipped me off, but thanks, whoever you are!

— 7 —

In the course of catching up on my life since Lent, I skimmed the last month or so of posts at Land of Broken Hearts and realized that Switchfoot released Vice Re-Verses already! So that’ll be a good music review coming soon, along with my reviews of October Baby and The Hunger Games movie. I still suffer from “I Should Blog about That” syndrome. My summer freedom should be a good treatment for that.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

New Switchfoot Lyric Video: “Afterlife”

Recently, Switchfoot (my favorite band) decided to reorganize their fan club. Previously, a membership in the Friends of the Foot earned you a Best of Bootlegs autographed CD, a t-shirt, other special downloads, ticket pre-sales, and meet-and-greet passes before shows. Now, Friends of the Foot is free, but you can still buy individual meet-and-greets. The last time I went to a show, I got to meet and greet Jon and Drew without even buying a regular ticket (because I worked before, during, and after the show), so I joined the free fan club.

Today, I got a pretty awesome Leap Day fan club perk in my email inbox: the first link to Switchfoot’s new video for “Afterlife.” They’re calling it a lyric video. I call it love.

It helps that I love the song by itself. What I hear in the lyrics is a desire to be united with God completely and totally here and now rather than waiting for heaven. Life is so hard; let’s skip to the good part after life. The video’s black-and-white color scheme, the hands pounding against and breaking a mirror, and the first two verses with little instrumentation really express that all-consuming desire for heavenly union and the bleakness and futility of demanding it right now. (I’m almost getting shivers.)

It’s been a while since Switchfoot did something different with a video (all the way back to the 80’s motif and stop-motion performance in “Awakening”). I’m glad to see this direction, and I can’t wait to see what surprises turn up in the remix album, Vice Re-verses.

7 Quick Takes: Vol. 164

I’ve never been a regular follower of 7 Quick Takes Friday, but I realized last night that every single post currently on my blog’s front page is a meme or a review I’ve written for ACNM. That’s not good. I need some normal posts, but those seem to take so much time. I often come across blog-worthy things that just aren’t long enough for a whole post. Unless they’re sweet videos, it doesn’t seem worth it. Then I decided, and I said to myself, “Fear not, self! This just means you need to start doing 7 Quick Takes!” So, listening to myself, I will play. I think I’m going to move it to Saturday, though, and try to pick up another meme during the week (I think I’ve scouted out a good one for Tuesdays), and maybe I’ll get this blogging show on the road again.

— 1 —

It’s no secret that I love Switchfoot. In the latest email newsletter, they announced that they’re finalizing a remix album and that they’re running a contest for a fan to remix their next single, “Afterlife.” This is good for four reasons.

  1. There will be new Switchfoot music in April! Sweet!
  2. My love for “Afterlife” has been validated.
  3. I will get yet another copy of the Oh! Switchfoot EP, so I’ll potentially be able to introduce someone else to the band. (I think I’ve gotten about four of those things.)
  4. I got to hear what individual instruments (“stems”) from a finished track sound like. That’s pretty awesome. I know nothing about mixing music, but I knew it had to be mixed, and now I see how. Who says listening to rock music isn’t educational?

— 2 —

An acquaintance from college posts links to articles from Cracked on Facebook all the time. Their article titles are compelling (people like shocking information and numbered lists), so I often click through. The other day he posted an essay (language warning) on the problems with women’s clothing. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with anything about fashion so much! The lanyard I wear at work every day is a nice conversation point, but can a girl get a pretty dress with pockets, please?

— 3 —

After I finally finished the Hunger Games trilogy (see my reviews of books 1, 2, and 3 at ACNM), I meandered on over to Forever Young Adult to gather their take. It’s nice to not have to run wistfully every time I see the word “hunger” in an effort to avoid spoilers. Their assessments were similar enough to mine, but I must admit my favorite HG post of theirs is the Find Your Hunger Games Name! quiz. It brings back the good old days of reading Seventeen cover-to-cover. For the record, my name would be Colmet A. Yellily. Nice to know that not even Panem could kill my affinity for L’s (although I’m not sure if I’d still love them if my name—and now my blog title—didn’t have them).

— 4 —

I don’t comment a lot over at Betty Beguiles, but I was drawn to it this week when Hallie posted about her essential make-up items. I realized that not only is Lip Smacker my favorite lip gloss, I’ve been wearing it at least since middle school. Something about pink lemonade flavor (previously cotton candy or vanilla) at less than two dollars a pop still gets me even in my twenties. You don’t mess with a good thing, right?

— 5 —

Work was tough this week. I had to focus so intently on my projects this week and last week that I don’t think I’ll ever use the phrase “work was busy” in the same way again. I had to go in this morning until lunchtime, which means that by the time I have a full day away from work again, I will have worked thirty-three days in a row. 33. The lowest number I can hope for is 26, and only if I skip a Friday event I really ought to go to. I love my job. It gives me great joy. But joy is not the same thing as happiness.

— 6 —

Last Saturday, I attended a book club discussion about How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul (which I reviewed for ACNM in December). It was so invigorating to be around other young women who share similar struggles to mine and really just want to love God. I haven’t been that open and honest with people in a very long time. I even met another young single female campus minister. It’s nice to know that we’re not all engaged or married-without-kids.

— 7 —

My pub quiz team won second place last week, which was pretty awesome. I’ve never placed before, and I’ve been playing since June. I walked away with an extra five bucks, so hooray for us. Teamwork makes the dream work!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
(Although this week, Hallie’s hosting over at Betty Beguiles.)

The Night I Met Jon Foreman

Tuesday, October 18, 2011, was the best and worst day I’ve had in recent memory. The first word out of my mouth was, “No!” The last word was a song…but I’ll get back to that later.

Tuesday is when I have my holy hour at 7 a.m. I live just minutes from the church, but it takes me a while to get ready in the morning, so the best case scenario puts my wake-up call at 5:30 a.m.

I am always late for my holy hour.

Tuesday morning, however, I managed to hit not the snooze button, but the off button. My early-morning stupor wore off, and I reopened my eyes to see 7:07 on the clock. Seven minutes into my first appointment of the day and still in bed, I yelled, “No!” and laid flat on my back trying to decide what to do. I reasoned that showering, throwing on clothes, and driving to the church would only leave me about fifteen minutes in my “hour,” so I stayed home and did the same prayers I would normally have done at church.

Getting up so early usually makes me very on time for work, even when I need a catch-up nap. This time, I still had to get ready and make a grocery run before my 10:00 meeting. Moving like the wind, I whirled into the meeting room at work at approximately 9:55. The meeting went fairly normally, except that I was quiet because I’d had such a rough start. I was noticeably having a bad day as I tackled a stack of emails and catch-up work from the previous night, when I’d been in the office until almost 9 p.m.

Daily Mass was fine; I ate lunch at 2 because I wasn’t hungry before then. I did manage to wrap up all my loose ends in time to duck out before close of business (with permission) to drive the few blocks to Stubb’s BBQ, where I had volunteered to work selling merchandise. The lovely ladies at Land of Broken Hearts passed along the call for workers, and I answered because it gave me a good reason for attending alone. Little did I know it would help my day take a dramatic upward swing.

I hadn’t bought a ticket, so I cautiously approached the Stubb’s security man (whose shirt actually said the nonmenacing “safety” on the back) to ask for Bobby. He let me inside the gate, and Bobby showed up a few minutes later. I helped him unpack and sort some shirts. Other volunteers showed up over the next hour, and then Bobby briefed us on how to use the credit card machines and the different jobs we could do. I was excited. Switchfoot always gets me excited.

The gate opened around 7 p.m. The merch volunteers who’d bought tickets were released to go get close to the stage. I stayed behind with a few other non-ticketholders to cover pre-show sales. Atomic Tom opened; I’d never heard of them, but I enjoyed what I half-heard of their music. They had merchandise as well, so they seemed more legit than most opening bands I’ve seen. As Anberlin played with their fill-in singers from Story of the Year, Bobby dispatched me to walk among the crowd on foot selling full-band autographed copies of Vice Verses. They go for $10, which is less than an unsigned CD retail. I pushed that selling point so hard and frequently that I almost talked myself into buying one! My most productive spot was just inside the gate. I realized after some circulating that I probably seemed really sketchy to a lot of potential customers: I was wearing my hipster chic fedora (in honor of Jon; I can’t lie), I’m black (which is not super common in Austin), and my offical worker sticker was at my waist so as not to obscure my shirt. I could have been a creeper selling fake CDs. I did sell five of them, though, to people who realized that I was legit.

When Switchfoot took the stage, the four of us left at the merch table (me and three guys) shifted to the very end of the table so we could see the stage. We were in the back, but we were there, and being in the back worked out well for me last time. Switchfoot started off strong and kept the hits coming: “Stars,” “Meant to Live,” and “This Is Your Life,” along with “Dark Horses,” “The War Inside” (with Jon’s additional drumming), and “Where I Belong.” Jon, ever true to self, climbed all over the speakers and the balcony stairs as he sang. I feared he would climb into the tree, but he managed to stay on lower ground. One thing I distinctly missed was the commentary Jon has made at the other shows I’ve been to. There were no introductions of the band members (not that most of the crowd seemed to need any), there was no cover song, and I’m guessing the city-specific “Cowboy Song” is long gone. We got “The Yellow Rose of Texas” from Drew, but cowboys are cooler than synchronized clapping.

After an encore that surprised no one, all seven of us merch kids went back to work. I commented to a woman patiently waiting for service for her and her two boys that we were running the table much like a bar: find a space in front, figure out what you want, and wait until you catch a worker’s attention. It calmed down eventually, and we began to clean up and tally the remaining inventory.

After the crowd had all cleared out and equipment was being cleared from the stage, one eagle-eyed merch worker spotted a familiar shape: she knew it was either Drew or Chad among the instrument cases on stage. Bobby radioed over and asked Drew to come back to meet us. The aforementioned girl was stoked. She’d made a poster (“You can’t silence my love for Switchfoot!”), a t-shirt (“Concrete girl, don’t fall over,” which I’m pretty sure is actually misquoted), and driven five hours from west Texas to see her first show in six years of fandom. I was excited for her! Drew was very relaxed, albeit unimpressed when I proudly told him I’d personally sold five CDs.

“That’s not that many,” he said.

“It’s more than zero,” I replied. That philosophy has so very many applications.

“That is true. I have sold zero CDs,” he mused.

I realized that was awkward, so I admitted, “Well, you were involved in the production.” Then I figured I should just stop talking.

Pleased and satisfied with that mini meet-and-greet, I went back to work. Most of the other volunteers left. I had just pulled out my phone to check Twitter for news of an aftershow when I heard one of the remaining workers say something about “the big man himself.” I looked up, and Jon Foreman was standing at the table.

This was probably the best idea of my entire life.

I managed not to panic as I leapt across the distance and shook his hand. He noticed my shirt quizzically, so I explained my adventure at Goodwill and my attempt to breathe “new life into old merch.” I can’t remember whether he used the word “awesome” or if that’s what I remember because I say “awesome” all the time, but I am 100% sure he said he liked it. My night was made.

If I’d had a real camera, I’d have asked for a photo of him and me in my shirt. (By the way, it’s true that he is not a tall man.) On the other hand, I would have only brought my camera if I hadn’t been working, so I could keep an eye on it. And if I hadn’t been working, I would never have gotten that kind of attention, not even if I’d stayed for the aftershow. He did eventually play one in that very tree I’d wondered about.

But ifs and maybes are inconsequential because, as I sang on the way back to my car (to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”), “He said he liked my shirt, he said he liked my shirt, that was really awesome, ’cause he said he liked my shirt!”

Best. Tuesday. Ever.

New New Switchfoot: “Dark Horses”

So many people have been wandering through looking for “Restless” that I feel compelled to also post this video. “Restless” is being promoted to Christian radio, but this Switchfoot song, “Dark Horses” is aimed at mainstream alternative rock stations. (“Mainstream alternative” sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but if Air1 is Christian alternative, there has to be a term for non-Christian alternative, right?)

If this is still part of the “new sound,” I am still loving it!

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