Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back to Texas

This has been a really good week. We got to spend a few days in Nashville meeting with some friends and meeting some new ones. Every time we visit Nashville I feel at home. Thank you, Nashville, for being an absolutely awesome place. 
Now we find ourselves in the glorious state of Texas. The weather has been so nice in Houston today! I even got the chance to nap outside on a lounge chair next to a glistening pool. If I even tried this in Michigan the sentence would have panned out something like, "I even forced myself to shiver in the freezing cold next to a frozen above-ground pool". David's parents are taking us to a joint called "Incredible Pizza" tomorrow. Pizza is my favorite, so as you can imagine I am more than excited to visit said pizza place. I bet the pizza there is incredible. 


Saturday, February 26, 2011

We've been in Nashville (or NashVegas as they call it) for a few days. Our friend Michelle has been kind enough to house us for the duration of our stay.
Nashville is a neat city full of cool shops/restaurants and filled with history. I really enjoyed Fido coffee, Noshville Deli, and a Thai restaurant called PM. Good stuff.

It's rad being in a town that loves music and surrounds you with it. A lot of my favorite musicians live or have lived in Nashy. I'm told that Robert Plant is planning on moving into East Nashville very soon. How cool is that?


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Arcade Fire

I totally think this band-deserved album of the year. There’s always a complaint about pop-garbage on the radio. Sadly though, garbage sells. However, I think what they are doing is refreshing. They have created an album that is creative, melodic, and inspiring. Seeing other bands succeed in doing what they are aiming to do is really encouraging. It seems they are simply trying to be themselves.

Honesty & hard work pay off.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Toast For Mother

I know it's not mother's day, but I would just like to take a moment and recognize the fact that I have the greatest mother in the world. She is my best friend- it's been that way since I can remember. She is the kindest, most selfless, caring, compassionate, loving, wonderful, and [insert any well-meaning adjective here] person I have ever known. She's always been there for me and supported me in everything I've pursued- especially music. When I was young and first starting to play the piano I would often get discouraged and rather watch Power Rangers than plunk on the notes of a piano. However, she saw something special inside of me and continued to push me to learn other instruments and creative arts. Because of her commitment to be the best mother she could to me, I've been learning music for over 14 years and now I'm living me dream. It's amazing- sometimes the people we love see much more in us than we could ever see in ourselves. Thanks, mom. You're an amazing woman. I cannot wait to hang out with you in March. I love you. 


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Beard Less Traveled.

I wish that my beard as long enough to tie up the hands of criminals when I catch them in the act of a robbery. I wish my beard was long enough to braid into a trampoline, to save children who are falling to their deaths. I wish my beard was long enough to weave into a basket, in which I would store Granny Smith apples, preserving them, keeping them at their ripest for days. I wish my beard was long enough to feed Africa. But alas, it is not.

Alas, criminals will run free. Alas, children will likely plunge to their deaths. Alas, apples will become mealy. Alas, Alas... My apologies, Africa.


Friday, February 18, 2011

william the cat

We are now leaving Salisbury, NC. We were there for a couple days and played a show at a church there.
Our friend Paul let us stay at his home for the past two nights. He has a new pet cat that the band all fell in love with. His name is William and he is awesome. He is only a few months old. His fur is gray and super soft.
Some good times were had and William discovered that my fingers are great chew toys. He also scratched me quite a bit. Needless to say I have something to remember William by. I hope he remembers me too!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Road, Road, Road

It has been a while since I last made a blog entry. We have seen Texas, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina since my last entry. I must say, it is incredible. The amount of places you get to see while you are out on the road- not only the places- but the people you get to meet. Every single person has a story- every night we play we get a few moments to share conversation. Over the course of time, many relationships build and soon the road becomes several homes and friends spanned across an entire country. We share small fragments of time together framed inside of musical sets and the exchange of words while van trailers are packed with equipment. 

This is my dream. This is what I have longed to do since I was a child. I grew up in front of a boombox playing The Cranberries, Tom Petty, Neil Young, etc.. While doing farm chores I was dreaming of sitting in my room trying to figure out how to play my guitar. I realize that this isn't something that I just decided to do one rainy day. I have to do this. It runs in my veins. It makes me tick. Not just the music, but the people that I have the honor of sharing it with. Home is not a geographical location to me as much as it is the people I am around. Not just the band but all of the wonderful people I have met along the way. 

Yes, the road has it's up and down's. Yes, there are times when I miss the idea of a bedroom and a shower. But overall, I am grateful to be doing what I believe I am called to do as a job. Many people settle for less than what they believe. You can always make more money. You can never re-make memories. Time is moving forward. I hope we as a band can encourage people to follow their dreams and become successful while doing so.

Thanks to all who support and believe in us.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Goodbye, cold.

It seems we have finally escaped the monster known as winter. This beast has cancelled several of our shows, snowed us in (even in Texas and Mississippi), and left our toes very cold. My hope is when we get back to Michigan at the end of March I won't have to see snow again until next year. This may be wishful thinking, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 
We were reunited with so many friends the past week or two. Texas has some very awesome people contained within its state lines, as well as Georgia. We also picked up some dear friends in Mississippi and brought them with us for a few days until we arrived in Atlanta. It is an ever-occuring thought in my mind that home is not a place, but the people you find scattered across the world who make you feel appreciated and loved. We've come across bits and pieces of home this week and will only be experiencing it more as we finish off this tour. Thank you to all our friends and family who help make this a little easier with your hospitality and kindness. 


Friday, February 11, 2011

There’s something about bow ties. Boy, I tell ya, nothing better. I don’t know what it is. I don’t even feel super cool wearing a bow tie. I don’t do it in the hipster way (at least not intentionally!). I just feel like bow ties connect my neck to the history of manhood. I am not just wearing a plaid, oddly shaped and mostly useless accessory. I am sharing in a tradition with our forefathers. I am partaking in the same senseless custom of so many great men who have worn this badge of honor before me.

I think my generation has given up on needless traditions without giving them a fair shot. Mankind cannot maintain the fullest measure of its sanity adhering only to practices that make sense. In fact, I contend that it is necessary to engage in things that do not make sense (without harming anyone), in order to blame the unexplainable on the unknown, which I think is a crucial part of coping with apparently senseless suffering.

I’m not saying that my bow tie saves me from experiencing all of life’s suffering… only some of it.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


We've been on the road for 1 month and 8 days now. I've seen and experienced so much. Landmarks that I'd only seen pictures of or heard about were right before my eyes.  It's hard to believe that a couple of years ago, touring like this seemed impossible. Our band has come a long way and worked really hard to make these dreams of touring possible.
By the end of February we will have covered over 5,000 miles of road. That's hours and hours of late night drives and long day drives to make it to the next town. But hey, it's what we want. During the long drives I take time to look at the countryside. Each state has it's own beauty and attractions. By the end of this tour I will have been to 39 states.
Wikipedia is my best friend. When we visit new cities I like to pull up Wikipedia on my phone and learn about the town. What to see there, the history of the place, geography. It really interests me and makes touring more exciting for me. I'm sort of a history and geography buff. Each town has it's own story!
For instance: We are in Corinth, MS right now. Did you know that Corinth was founded as a cross city? It served as a junction for the Mobile & Ohio and Memphis & Charleston railroads. It was named Corinth after the town in Greece that also serves as a crossroads. Neat huh?


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Darns and Cookies

We just finished watching some big-deal football game. My name, along with David & Mike's, got put on the losing team's bet-list. Since we lost our bets, David get cat whiskers drawn on him, Mike gets to be punched by a seven-year-old, and I get to eat cat food. The thing about cat food though is that I have a strange, irrational fear of pet food. This is going to be awful. I tried to find a scientific name for the phobia of pet food, but I could not find one. If anyone happens to stumble across the name, let me know. 
In other news, I forgot to post pictures from when we went to the Hoover Dam. It was a pretty incredible place to visit. Our trailer got searched by homeland security before we were allowed to get close to the dam. Even though we're good kids, it still makes me nervous getting searched by intimidating looking people in well-ironed uniforms. I mean, what if I missed the memo that chocolate was now illegal? I would be in big trouble if that happened.  
We got to meet some really neat people in Arizona that had tangelo, lemon, and kumquat trees in their yard. How cool is that? I wish we could grow fruit trees in our van- especially banana trees.

We're leaving Texas tomorrow morning (like, reeeaaaally early in the morning). I'm pretty sad about it- there are so many wonderful people here who feed you cookies, treat you like family, and have really awesome cats. I can't wait to get back at the beginning of March.


Snow in Texas?!?!?

As I write this the Steelers just completed a pass and got another first down. Don’t let my previous statement fool you. I know very, very little about football.  However, this week has been interesting. There was a record setting amount of snowfall this last week in Texas. Attendance at our shows was damaged due to bad roads, and we even had a cancellation. I can either be upset about it or look on the brightside. Although we had a cancellation and not everyone could make it out, these last couple shows have been some of the most encouraging to me.

            It’s really strange to be playing songs and hear words that you put on paper being sung back to you. Yet I don’t view these songs as my own or our bands or property of anyone. I view them as something I have the privilege of sharing with others. They are the songs of all the individuals who have listened. They are the stories of so many people who tell us their lives have been changed by what we are doing. This is far more rewarding in comparison with a turnout or a snowstorm. 

            All in all, I am thankful for the life I have been given. I am encouraged to have the opportunity to be traveling the country and meeting new people everyday. After church, Shannon & I had lunch with Mike & Brenda William’s family. They are, in my opinion, an incredible portrayal of an American family. Mike has been an inspiration to me over the last couple years. He is an avid reader and encouraged me to do the same. He is one of those folks you just have to listen to. I am thankful for the words we have shared and the valuable lessons he has taught me. Being unwilling to learn from the experiences of other’s is extremely foolish. I count it a privilege to know such men, and to be taught by them.

            While at their home today Shannon and I walked around on their property and eventually sat on a dock overlooking a small pond. It was there that I convinced her that alligators live in it and that they ate one of the William’s grandchildren. She believed me, until I started laughing.  So I confessed my tall tale and she was not the slightest bit impressed. We had a good time though. Her company is sweet and refreshing. She is most certainly my best friend. I enjoy the time I spend with her on the road.

            After walking back inside we where treated to a Texan style meal. It was fantastic! Shortly after eating we retired to Mike’s den where I listened to Shannon and him discuss the development of the early church and Plato. Of course, I am impressed with Mike, but Shannon really blew my mind as well. She is incredibly talented and extremely intelligent.  Her knowledge on literature is beyond her years. I always tell her that if she started her own band I wouldn’t have a shot at music. Which is the truth. Bottom line, I am so thankful for her and her encouragement these last couple years. Thanks to every one of you who has supported us! Stay in touch! Leave a comment or sent a message.

Walk in Love.

- Mike

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Okay people. Here’s the thing. I know we haven’t blogged in like 4 days. Guess who’s fault that is… Mine. You know why? Because we are in Texas. And my girlfriend is in Texas. Alright, alright. Get those minds out of those gutters. We were just hanging out. But hey, I haven’t seen her in a long freaking time. And I like her, okay? I like her a lot. But I do owe you guys an apology for neglecting you in the mean time. I clogged up our whole system here. But hey, life is great.

As my mother says, I’m as happy as a clam. I’m so pleased with this life of mine. I feel so privileged to be alive and care free. And I guess my point with all of this is that we all have the potential to be carefree. I don’t have a house or money or stability. But I also don’t have the burdens that come with those things. I think maybe I’ve struck a gold mine here. I’ve finally learned to be content in whatever situation I’m in, and grateful to be there. Even the tough parts of life are just growth in the making. I hope this doesn’t sound too much like a Dr. Phil episode. I’m just so pumped on life right now, and it seems to all be uphill from here. Chances are, my next blog post will be bizarre ramblings about nature or something. I. Feel. Awesome.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Texas Snow

We are in the Lone Star State now. It is oh so good to be back home. I lived here in Gainesville, Texas for 19 years of my life. I only moved away in October of '09 to pursue the band further.

Anywho, it's great to be back for a few days. Only problem is, the current weather is very uncharacteristic for Texas. It's freezing cold outside! Snow, sleet, icy-rain, ICE, whatever you want to call it, it stinks. Especially in Texas, everything shuts down. No one is driving and almost all businesses are closed. I just received word that our show tomorrow is cancelled due to this madness. Bummertowns.

It's so sad to finally be back to a state that is known for its typically warm climate and it be so cold. Honestly, it's a big downer. I had never really experienced weather like this before I moved to Michigan. I had only experienced snow a few times in my entire life, now it seems like I can't escape it! Spring come save me!