Well, by the time y'all are reading this, I will be celebrating the end of my next-to-last semester as an undergraduate college student (oh, happy day!). But as I write this column, I'm slogging through finals and looking forward to having my wisdom teeth removed, so needless to say I'm in some serious need of cheer! Luckily, there's enough interesting new music coming out this month as well as some cool concerts to report on that I can at least know that when I come up for air in May that there will be some great stuff to catch up on.
First, let me tell you that the NEXT BIG THING (read: Jars of Clay crossover replacement band) is an acoustic band called Caedmon's Call. The more I listen to this CD, the more I like it--sweet harmonies, catchy pop hooks, poetic lyrics and a college coffeehouse sensibility. It also has (so far) the pleasantly surprising quality of becoming more enjoyable with each listen, which might protect me when this is seriously overplayed on college and Christian radio in the upcoming months.
Next, I can feel the beginnings of a smile playing about my face as I just think of it: Carolyn Arends has released a new album project titled -Feel Free-. The very idea of 10 new songs by this talented singer-songwriter is enough to get me through finals, I think. Fans of Arends will remember her debut release, -I Can Hear You-, as one of the most literate, listenable projects to come out of CCM in years, and -Feel Free- is worth a listen based solely on the merits of her debut release. Arends will be on tour with Steven Curtis Chapman and Audio Adrenaline this spring, so I will be letting you know any dates when you might be able to catch her in Louisville.
By now the lucky few have returned from Icthus in Wilmore, KY, and there is no need to write in and tell me how wonderful it was because I already know AND I wasn't able to be among the chosen few so glowing reports would only fuel my jealousy! Some of my favorite artists such as Sarah Masen, Sarah Jahn and the Newsboys were reported to be floating around there, and I can guarantee that I'll be first in line next year to get my tickets to the festival.
Joy Jam, however, is still coming up and though the day's roster is probably more mainstream than Icthus, I have it on pretty good authority that Caedmon's Call will be making their Louisville debut there and that alone should be worth the price of admission.
And if you're looking for some alternative to the Derby hoopla, may I suggest the Guardian show on May 2 at the Iroquois Ampitheater in Indiana. Local act Crystal Flight will be opening the show and the buzz I'm hearing makes me think the show will be well worth your time. In fact, keep your eyes out for some cool, out-of-the-ordinary bands coming in to the area this summer like Starflyer 59 who showed up on Bardstown Rd. April 15th last month. Local promoters like Nathan Quillo are bringing in some great alternative bands and if you throw in the festivals, etc.--well, there's some great music starting to stop by Louisville! As always, please keep me posted on any upcoming shows you hear about, and have a great month! (I'd tell you guys to have a good Derby, but I'm still not exactly sure what that is--we never had one of those in my home state of New Jersey...)
"Seize from each moment its unique novelty, and do not prepare your joys". --Andre Gide