Thursday, March 30, 2006

Struggling to do Nothing

I heard someone say one time that an atom is mostly made up of space. So if atoms are made up of mostly space and they make everything else up then space is a fundamental part of our existence, not to mention the universe in general. So why is it that we as hard working Americans try and cram every last piece of space in our lives with stuff. Whether it's the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, or my ipod, or the closing hours of the day, I find that I'm always trying to pack a little bit more in. Part of my problem is that I'm typically a bit overly-optomistic and bite off more than I can usually chew, but the other part of my problem is wanting to experience as much as I can, to live a day to it's fullest. Whatever factors into it I find that at some point you start getting deminishing returns in all areas. No place is this more evident than art. I've been thinking that I'd like to write some new songs, but I don't have time to devote to my craft. I don't have enough time to get inspired. I don't have enough time to be quite, to enjoy the beauty of the creation all around because i'm too busy trying to cram my life full of stuff that I can't even rightly appreciate. Often times we talk of discipline as it concerns eating right or working out or praying or meditating, but I think discipline can very much be about making time and space in our live to just stop. I know there's nothing productive about stopping and sitting quietly at a park or by a lake or whatever, in fact I'm already feeling guilty about what i just wrote. But the truth is that space is fundamental or should I say elemental to our existence. I find i have no shortage of songs waiting to come out but they will only come when I eliminate the noise and chaos I have set about me. Yes, doing nothing is one of the hardest things to do. It takes a lot of effort to do nothing but the rewards are great. So what are you doing reading this go outside and enjoy some sunshine if you got any. That's all for now. I'm going to try and do nothing after I take care of a few more really important things...
-Crispin

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ezekiel Bread



I meant to blog about this a while back but I forgot and just remembered when I saw my wife eating Ezekiel Cereal the other night. One of the hottest selling items at your local Whole Foods Market is Ezekiel 4:9 bread. While I like the stuff and it's sure to have some good health benefits it is a fine example of taking scriptures out of context. The makers of Ezekiel bread would have you believe that it is some sort of God given recipe to health. The problem comes when you read the next verse about cooking the bread over human dung to symbolize the judgement that would come on Israel for turning it's back on God. ALl of the sudden it doesn't sound so healthy.

check out the verses for yourself:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%204:9-13;&version=31;

So my wife has been kind of creeped out that the makers of Ezekiel Bread may be baking the stuff over pooh.

Which reminds me of a good quote I came across in a book I'm reading called "Heaven is a Place On Earth" by Micheal E. Wittmer. While I don't care for the title because it always conjusrs up that cheesy Belinda Calilse song, the book is quite good. In it Whittmer critiques Christian culture, particularly christian T-Shirts with the following words:

"...We don't need to stamp Christianity on something before we can enjoy it. In fact, our feeble attempts at baptizing creation tend to cheapen both it and the gospel. Printing "Cross-Training" or "Cross-eyed" on a T-shirt trivializes both the cross (do we really want to compare Jesus' suffering to a type of exercise or a stigmatism?) and ordinary T-Shirts. The same holds true for spill proof cups emblazoned with John 4:14 "Whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst"; key chains that parody milk advertissments with the probing question "Got Jesus?"; dinner plates that claim to be "Home Grown and Heaven Bound"; and stuffed ducks wearing rain gear on account of recurring "Showers of Blessing" (Honestly i could not make this stuff up). Rather than improve creation, such silliness only distracts from the goodness that is already there while mocking the gospel it seeks to advertise."

you can find the book here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0310253071/sr=8-2/qid=1143137405/ref=sr_1_2/102-4824642-6757749?%5Fencoding=UTF8


all for now
Crispin

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Side Effects of Watching Too Much 24




I was interested in 24 when it came out a few years ago, but having children isn't very conducive to watching it during the week. So I was thrilled to have a friend loan me season one back in January. Watching 24 is something very addictive. So I've been strung out on the stuff for the last 2 and a half months as my friend has loaned me the next 3 seasons as well. Th side effect is that everything in the news is starting to seem pretty suspicious to me lately. For fans of the show you know what I'm talking about.

Sure that story of Dick Cheney shooting his friend was a "hunting accident."
Sure Milosovic just died of heart failure in his cell.
Those of us who follow the national crises thwarted by Jack Bauer know better. The truth is that Dick Cheney's friend was trying to tell the president something that would endanger Cheney's position which he and his jezebel of a wife have been vying for all these years and he tried take him out. And we also know that Milosovic is really not dead but being shuffled around from one secret prison to another which are run by an elite team of NSA agents of whom there is no record of their existence or what they do.

And they call 24 entertainment. I call it enlightenment. I've got to go unravel some more high level conspiracies.

later
-C

Monday, March 20, 2006

Mary's Den Tribute Page

Many of you are familiar with the band Mary's Den that I was in for about 6 years of my life and some of you don't know what the crap Mary's Den is. So with both groups in mind I created a Mary's Den tribute page at

http://www.myspace.com/marysden

For those of you who have never heard of Mary's Den you can go by and download some free Mary's Den songs. And pretty much everybody else who knew us either has the music or doesn't want anything to do with it.

-Crispin

Monday, March 13, 2006

Crispin Schroeder Music at Your Local Goodwill

This past weekend I was made known of a bit of a threshold in the music industry which I have now crossed. A friend of mine approached me at church this weekend holding a copy of my first CD- Through These Pinholes (1994). My very quick reponse was "Where did you get that?" knowing that these CDs have never been available online or in many stores and the fact that I still have a couple hundred of them in my possession. Her response was that she found the CD in a Goodwill thrift store in Denham Springs Louisiana. In a way I kind of feel like I've achieved a higher level of success in music. The very fact that my CD was not thrown away lets me know that it still had some value. So now I've joined the likes of Jermaine Jackson, Pogo, and Men Without Hats - Discarded CDs in your local goodwill store. The next level from here is finding my CDs on Ebay. From there would be finding my CDs on sale in a convinience store (come on, a guy can dream!).

So if anyone out there wants my first CD - Through These Pinholes, email me and I'll send you as many as you want for the low cost of shipping or you can pay the standard Goodwill price of anywhere fro .75-$4.00.

-Crispin

Sunday, March 12, 2006

MY SPACE Friends

The reason I dropped my first MY SPACE account after a few days is because the place seemed to me to be too much of a meat market. So I decided to register as a music site and it's going better. What's funny is that I started to notice that many of my friends had some really famous people listed as friends (folks I know they've never met). So I figured I try soliciting some mildly famous folks to be my friends. So I am happy to announce that my new semi-famous friend is Bill Mallonee, lead singer and songwriter of Vigilantes of Love. I am awaiting requests from the likes of Brian Eno and expiramental funk/jazz supergroup Garage A Trois. I am finding this whole My Space thing quite amusing. It does have it's uses I guess. I am using it to post songs which the public may download for free, so pay a visit if you dare. Well that's all for now, I'm going to go solicit more famous friends.

-Crispin

Friday, March 10, 2006

MY SPACE MUSIC

I tried MY SPACE once before as an individual and dropped it after a few days, but I am trying the music aspect out now so you can visit and get some free downloads of songs and have another way to keep up to date with stuff:
http://www.myspace.com/crispinschroederband

MUTEMATH Live in NOLA












I got to catch a great live show at the Howlin' Wolf last night in New Orleans. Mutemath was the headline of 3 bands which included a friend of mine's (Jonathan Fast) band The Hush and another group called Working Title. All the bands were good, but Mutemath freakin rocked it! For those unfamiliar with Mutemath they are a New Orleans band that was formed of members of Earthsuit after Earthsuit broke up a few years ago. I had heard their EP about a year ago and while it was good it wasn't enough to hook me. Last night changed things. I'm hooked. I have been friends with Paul Meany, their lead singer/key master, for years since we spent about six months doing some gigs on Bourbon St. on Staurday nights back in '95. Paul is a real creative and innovative songwrite/performer. His work with Earthsuite was impressive but he is really coming into his own as Mutemath progresses. This is a great band to see live. Their show is energetic and tight with many surprises along the way. I bought their new CD last night and it's killer. The production on this CD is much more raw and has a more indie vibe which really suites the band better than their last EP which in my opinion was a bit too polished in the production. So if you get a chance go check these fellas out and you won't be dissapointed. Their new CD is only available at their live shows so you have another reason to check them out. It's only a matter of time before these guys blow up nationally. You can check their stuff out at

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Vineyard Playlist - Sweetly Broken Releases 3.14.06



I know I haven't been updating stuff as much lately. It's because I've been incredibly busy this last month or so. So here's some news:

1. Sweetly Broken Release - Next Tuesday March 14, Vineyard Playlist - Sweetly Broken will release nationwide. This will be the first nationwide release I've ever had a song on. Pretty cool! What's even cooler is that the song I sing is a bit of a black gospel take on Casey Corum's We Need Your Touch. It's got a good vibe to it. In my opinion this Vineyard project is one of the best one's they've released in a few years (I'm not saying that just because I'm on it.) It's got some really great songs on it all around. I really dig the couple of tracks by Ryan Delmore and Chris Lizotte, but those guys haven't turned out much that i don't like. So you can check the CD out at http://www.vineyardmusicusa.com/usa/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=779 My song is track 3 -"We Need You Touch"

2. A Gig - The unintentional casualty of all this Katrina reflief business has been my live gigs. In 6 months I've played maybe 3 gigs and one was severly hampered by Hurricane Rita. Well I will be adding some gigs in the next couple of weeks. But here is the first:
Wed. March 29
10:00 p.m.
at the Neutral Ground Coffee House (New Orleans)

This will be my first gig at the Neutral Ground in about 7 months. If you haven't made it to the Neutral Ground before it's a pretty cool place. It's one of the only spots in New Orleans that boasts a line up of 3-4 different artists every night of the week. For me it's a bit of a test kitchen. I like to try out new material on the crowd which ranges from hippies to college students to professionals.

Friday, March 03, 2006

My Quest for New Music (New Years Resolution Part 2)









Well buying music online does not always work. I started off this year saying I was going to try some new stuff out and get back with you on any good finds. I promptly went to amazon.com and ordered 2 CDs from one off the market place sellers called Raiders Music. After 6 weeks of not getting them I had to get a refund but never fear I've checked out some new stuff from various other outlets. Ebay still seems to be a good way of getting CDs but you just can't beat ITUNES for impulse buys. So here are some new finds:








1. Grizzly Man (Soundtrack) by Richard Thompson - While the movie/documentary was pretty wierd the soundtrack is killer. Richard Thompson plays some beautiful compositions which combine electric guitar sounds reminiscent of Mark Knopfler, with haunting cello parts and a handful of apalachian instruments for a very cinematic soundscape. Very good music to study to, or smoke a pipe to, or to just have playing in the background.

2. Plans by Death Cab For Cutie - I will admit that I resisted this band initially because of thier name. I automatically assumed they must be a punk band or some kind of hardcore industrial outfit. I bought this album after reading about the making of it in Mix magazine. I also like the philosophy of the band on making music. This band is a fine ilustration of what I wrote about in my November 13th blog on the importance of the band in music http://crispinschroeder.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_crispinschroeder_archive.html
These guys have been together for years as friends who enjoy creating music together. And what they create is real nice. Plans has some very emotive music that a;most has the same effect on me as Coldplay but in a different way. More on them later.

3. Lonelyland by Bob Schneider - Hailing from Austin Texas, Bob Schneider is a really good find. I first came across his song "The World Exploded Into Love" on the soundtrack to Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood produced by T-Bone Burnett. It was a very cool song and made me want to hear more but somehow I just forgot to get anymore of his stuff. So I bought his Lonelyland CD off of ebay and I really dig it. His music is somewhat in the vein of Jack Johnson but a little more soulful, edgier, and musical. Very well written songs that are performed and produced nicely. This dude has got a good thing going as a singer/songwriter. That said I wich T-Bone Burnett would produce a whole CD for Schneider because the version of "Exploded Into Love" that he produced was much cooler than the version on Lonelyland.

4. Summerteeth by Wilco - It's kind of funny the way that I've gotten into Wilco. A friend of mine turned me on to their last album - A Ghost Is Born last year about 2 weeks before I saw them live as the first date of their tour to support the album. Their live show was one of the best concerts I've been to. So I have been buying their stuff in bits and pieces ever since. I picked up this CD not realizing that I had already heard many of the songs when i used to live in Hammond. This CD came out about 4 years ago I believs and they played it alot on the college radio station. This is probably the most accessible of Wilco CDs I've come across. It's not nearly as expiramental as their most recent outings which makes it easier to listen to in an everyday sense. I haven't met a Wilco CD I haven't liked yet and this is no exception though it is vastly different from their other CDs. It's great to hear bands that are constantly evolving and constantly turning out good music.

5. The Pearl - Brian Eno, Harold Budd, And Daniel Lanois

I seem to quite often want something very chilled and unobtrusive playing in the background when I'm studying or reading. However I never remember to try and buy anything like this when I'm in a music store. Well thanks to Itunes I came across this Album which is a pleasant surprise. I've been a big fan of Lanois and Eno for quite some time but I'm new to Harold Budd, the pianist that teams up with them. The trio make great music together. Eno, by himself can get a little too out there for me so having the likes of Harold Budd in the forground with his minimalist piano playing works well on grounding the compositions a bit. The songs are beautiful and work great as the backdrop to a good book.

Well that's music news for now. More updates to come.




Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New Orleans 6 Months After Katrina







These are some photos my dad and I took of parts of New Orleans 2 days ago. Keep in mind these pictures are of how things are at the present. Many people just assume that New Orleanas is getting back to normal. You will see that normal is a long way off.