Thursday, September 27, 2012
So true, ain't it? But we'll get to that.
As you may recall, we were destined for a big jaunt across corn country, or what used to be corn country. This year it seems more like a lot of plants that someone forgot to water. I think the technical term is, "drought." But, as planned, we played in Williston OH. Our new friend Ellie played some songs before our set, and that was awesome. And during our set, we were presented with balloon hats. And just as a presidential candidate must don the T shirt over the necktie, we wore the hats . . . and we'll appreciate your vote in November.
After that concert, we had to hightail it west, because we were scheduled the next afternoon in Decorah IA, which is a goodly distance away. We did in fact make it in time, and played for Rally Day at a local park, which was great fun, despite the keyboard's tendency to need to be rebooted from the blazing sunball in the sky.
We both went home, and then regrouped for the third outdoor concert of the month in Grass Lake MI, which is quite close to Jackson, which claims to be the birthplace of the Republican party (though it should be noted that Madison WI, Exeter NH, and Crawfordsville IA, all make this same claim). Anyway, we had a great time, and then hung around in town to play at a worship service in the morning at the sponsoring parish.
We both went home, and then Michael came out my way yet again so we could head down and play in Columbus OH, where everybody seems to wear red on Saturdays, in anticipation of shouting out the cleverest cheer known to human kind. We stayed at my house that night, and then the next day headed to our stomping grounds of western New York to play at Holy Ghost Church, in Bergholz. Saw all sorts of people from our past, and took in the stunning display of pastors' photos in the narthex, where we watched the Evolution of the Smile.
We stayed in downtown Niagara Falls, just to ramp up the nostalgia, and then bright and early headed back to Bergholz to play for a delightful group of grade school students from Holy Ghost school. Then, obviously, we had to go to Viola's for a sub, and DiCamillo's for a loaf of bread, and then I dropped Michael at the airport, and drove on home to the second largest city in Ohio.
Which brings us to the ancient maxim regarding blog posts and our neighbors to the north:
In the morning, we're both flying to Calgary so we can drive on down to Lethbridge Alberta, which is the commercial, financial, transportation and industrial centre of southern Alberta. And I believe it is also the center of those things, if I'm not mistaken.
Don't forget to welcome October when it comes around. (October has a long memory when it comes to being slighted in such matters.)
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
So, let's see . . . as expected, we had a great time in Saskatchewan. As it turns out, Saskatoon is a lovely city (at least in the summer), and we spent several days hanging out with the people of CLAY. Though that sounds like I'm talking about Davey and Goliath, it's actually an acronym, as you can see. Met some great folks, and we're looking forward to visiting our Neighbors to the North for concerts in the months ahead.
After our Canadian excursion, I met my family at Michael's house in California, and then my family embarked on the august Great California Road Trip, which took us from Los Angeles to San Francisco, visiting all the important vistas along the way, and being welcomed by this spry fellow who came out of the water to greet us.
Once we reached San Francisco, we dutifully left our hearts there, and headed back home, so that I could repack and go to Kansas City.
After Delta decided that a blinking light in the cockpit was cause for getting it turned off, my flight was delayed enough that I missed my connection, so Michael sat around waiting for me in Kansas City, chatting with the locals and whatnot. Once I finally arrived, we headed off to Missouri, which loves company, and we billeted in Clinton, MO.
We played songs for a couple worship services in the morning in Clinton, and then had a lovely lunch with the youts at a local restaurant, and then headed back for a happy afternoon concert in town there. Then it was back to Kansas City for a little sleep before flying home in the morning.
Next up, Michael will become a year older than I, and on that same day my three-year church job comes to an end. Then, Michael comes to visit me in Ohio, as we embark on the august Great Midwest Road Trip from Toledo OH to Decorah IA, and all points in between.
See? An august month indeed!
Oh, and don't forget, our new double live album is available for your purchasing and listening pleasure. You can find it here.
Friday, August 3, 2012
So, since we last checked in, we were launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund our new album. Because of the overwhelming support of our supporters in supporting us, we raised far more than we had hoped, and we were able to take a little bit of time off while Michael recuperated and regained his strength. Though he will continue a chemo-therapy regimen until December, the doctors have done a marvelous job of limiting the side effects. That treatment, by the way, is preventative in nature, with the aim of preventing a return of the cancer they removed in the surgery.
Since all that, we've played a few concerts, and the band has fared quite well. The day after the 4th of July (a.k.a. July 5th), we played in a town called Minerva, OH, which sounds like a mispronunciation of maneuver Ohio, which sounds political, but we all know better than to mix politics with A Update. The next day we returned to Camp Mar-Lu-Ridge, in Maryland, where we had a very fun time playing for campers and parents.
Then, in mid-July, we headed to the city of New Orleans for a large gathering of Lutherans and had a marvelous time being "citizens with the saints." It's a good week when you can play the Superdome twice without having to be tackled by some 300 pound linebacker. The youts who gathered accomplished some amazing things that week, including donating almost 1,200 pints of blood, collecting enough money to build over 100 wells in developing nations, and--though it sounds kind of weird--donating a lot of hair. Amazing what 33,309 people can do together . . . for instance, be equal to the population of New York City in 1790.
Next up, we're returning to one of our top 10 favorite provinces: Saskatchewan! Looking forward to some summertime in the True North. Meanwhile, hope you're staying cool, will consider coming to one of our upcoming concerts (or even hosting one!), and if you're looking for some summertime reading, there are liner notes in our new album, which you can buy here.
Consider your date to have been upped.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
On to updating . . . which won't take long.
Things in Lost And Found world have taken some dramatic turns in the past couple of months. We've been working on a live album . . . well, technically, a double live album, because we grew up in the 70's. We recorded all the tracks, and were moving along with post-production stuff when Michael went in for some pretty serious surgery.
This put our album production plan on hold to some extent, since touring is what makes us able to finish the project, and we're not sure how much we want Michael getting on airplanes and sitting in the van for endless drives around the country.
So, we started a fundraising effort through Kickstarter in order to finish the project. If you go to that link, you can see the full explanation, plus you can jump on in to help us fund the project and--hopefully--raise a little extra cash to live on through the end of the year, without having to add more gigs to the calendar.
The bottom line is, our current focus is on keeping Michael as healthy as possible through this six months of treatment, and then busting back out in full force in 2013.
If you're a person who has been blessed in some way by what we do, and would like to help us get through the challenges that the next six months will present, we ask you to please surf on over to our Kickstarter page and help us out by taking advantage of some of the groovy options there.
As always, we appreciate your prayers and support, and we look forward to coming to your town in the months ahead!
Monday, March 19, 2012
From there, Michael headed home, and I popped over to the World's Capital to take in a little conference on Architecture and Worship. With March marching along, it was time to head to Oklahoma, where we haven't been in a long while. Played a really fun gig, with lots of people in attendance, then headed back to Michigan so we could begin Lutheran Schools Week with 3,500 middle school students in Saginaw. Now THAT was fun! In the afternoon, we played the local Lutheran High School in town, and then headed back to my house in Ohio.
Then, we spent a couple days hatching our new plan, which I'll tell you about in a minute. At the end of the week, we drove south to Columbus, where we played for the Ohio District Lutherans, and the weekend's speaker was out old pal, Famous Actor Justin Vetrano. Had a fantastic weekend, and then headed back home, where I dished out corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, and Michael took in a little Los Angeles Marathon activity.
And, as promised, here's our new big idea:
Starting the day after Palm Sunday, which you obviously know is April 1st (no kidding), we will begin posting videos every Monday on our new Youtube channel. If you go there now (go ahead, I'll wait), you can subscribe to the channel, and then every Monday for many months to come, you'll be able to see a new video of us talking about one of our songs, and then playing the song.
We're very excited about this project, and we hope you'll enjoy them and comment, and come to concerts, and visit our website, and buy our new album, which will be released at the beginning of summer. (As you can see, we've got some seriously high expectations of you.)
But, first things first: Go to our youtube channel and subscribe.
Seriously, I'm still waiting. And I've got other things to do, like finish watching season 2 of LOST, for instance. So get going, would you?
Thursday, February 16, 2012
All of which is to say, I'd better get busy with fulfilling my own resolution, which was to occasionally fill in this big white box on my computer screen with a brief history of our goings on . . .
So, January 1st I preached at church, and then made my 13th Annual Moroccan Cornish Game Hens. I don't know what Michael did that day.
January 2nd, we slept in and then spent some time cleaning the house and . . . what? Am I going too slow for you? Okay, let's jump ahead to actual gigs then . . .
The first weekend of the year, we flew down to Houston, where our pal JD teaches music at a local school. As everyone knows, January 6th is Epiphany, and we spent the day at . . . wait for it . . . Epiphany School. Can you believe the coincidence of that? Michael says he and JD planned it that way, but that would be way too clever, if you ask me. We had a great time sharing songs back and forth with the students during the day, and then had a super fun concert in the evening, which was preceded by a fine selection of grilled meats in the parking lot. (AKA "burgers and dogs.")
Then it was back home for us both, until we flew down to Asheville (where I once lived, btw) and had a delightful return engagement at the Cove, playing for some local Methodist youth who were braving frigid temps and having great fun it seemed. From there we both headed home for a bit, until it was time for Michael to come to the midwest, where I met him and we headed off into the Land of Lincoln.
Aurora, IL is the home of Wayne and Garth, as everyone knows. And we had an excellent time there, partying on by way of playing a concert. We got to see some old friends that night, and that was especially cool.
From there we asked ourselves, Hoosier State? And then headed off into the most confusing assemblage of time zones, known locally as Indiana. More locally, we were in the capital of the state, which is named after the state with the addition of the Greek suffix for city, since as you know, Indiana was settled by Greeks escaping the invading Trojans, who tricked them by using a giant basketball filled with soldiers. But, enough of me and my history-buff showing off . . . While visiting the city of Greeks, we once again got to hang out with some old friends, and that was great. Played two nights there, and then headed back to our homesteads because the Superbowl was about to roll into town, and you don't want to receive a roundhouse to the head from one of those bad boys, I tell you!
Before you know it, along comes February, and on the 2nd day we all take a few moments to remember Bill Murray, who is still waking up to Sonny and Cher every day, somewhere in Pennsylvania. Speaking of that topic, the next Sunday was my Parish's Annual Meeting.
The next weekend, I was looking forward to our trip to Florida, given that I drove through a blizzard to get to the airport that morning. Of course, it was obviously therefore the coldest weekend of the season in the Sunshine State. Nonetheless, we had a great time hanging out with some old friends, and posing beside their new mascot, which Michael insists is a big chicken, but Michael's just full of stuffin', as his movie idol might say. That night, because of the high-tech hosts, we experienced our first streamed concert! Well, I suppose we didn't experience it, but people watching online did. It seems to have been a smashing success, and we're going to be looking to figure out the process and stream more concerts in the future.
And with Jacksonville being our final pre-Lenten concert, you are now brought all up to date and what not.
Good luck with your resolutions. But keep in mind, December is coming, so don't be too hard on yourself, okay?
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
You know, it's like they say: reduce, reuse, and remember your baptism, right?
Remember Your Baptism
Today, I noticed that my two-year-old daughter seems to be rejoicing, and, judging by her sheer delight in the tiniest of activities and sights, that her heart perhaps finds wonderful comfort. To be honest, to watch her running around, today is not much different than most other days. She seems to do a lot of rejoicing. One thing to know about Geneva, too, is that specific anniversaries are not her forte. She’ll sing “Happy Birthday,” as heartily on any random day to almost anyone at lunch as she would on someone’s actual birthday. So, I don’t think her zeal is a result of her remembering that today is the anniversary of her baptism.
But, I think the extra little zip in my step this morning, despite a late night, is. I know that at dinner tonight, we’ll invite Uncle Mark over, and we’ll light Geneva’s baptismal candle. We’ll pray—certainly her favorite, “Come Lord Jesus be our Guest…,” which we are learning to say in German, “Come Herr Jesus sei unser Gast, und segne, was du uns bescheret hast.” She will shout “Amen,” and clap her hands a bit, as she always concludes a prayer. Along with our daily bread, we’ll also thank God for one another, for the gift of family right across the street, for neighbors and friends, for fulfilling work and supportive colleagues, for faith communities, and for belonging.
And as we sit and chat we’ll remember Geneva’s baptism. We’ll talk and laugh and reminisce about our trip to Germany in November 2009, with the ten-week-old Geneva. We stayed in Berlin a bit, visited the museums and the Christmas Markets, walked throughout the beautiful capital city, and enjoyed long breakfasts. We went down to Erfurt for a couple of days. We visited our close friends the Utpatels and learned how four little boys make Christmas cookies and how their mom makes the house feel like the perfect intersection of Europe, the North Pole and Anthropologie. And, we spent a day in Eisleben, where Geneva was baptized by our friend Rev. Scott Moore, who was serving the St. Peter and St. Paul Church.
In this very church Martin Luther was baptized. Get this—the original font survives (with repairs). That is, on November 29, 2009, Geneva was baptized in the very font in which Martin Luther was baptized on November 11, 1483. Those in the congregation who had them, brought their own baptismal candles and lit them for the service (something it might be fun to see here), and Geneva received a candle from the congregation and one from a German friend on the occasion. She giggled and smiled, while Scott mixed hot water from the kettle in the sacristy with the water already in the font (which had been amply chilled by the November air filling a medieval nave) in order to reach a “room temperature” that would not shock the baby. As he swirled the waters, he reminded us of God’s presence through the ages and also in that place, of God’s promises, and of the community of saints including Geneva that knows no limits of time or national borders. And that’s what we want Geneva to know when we tell her about her baptism—she is part of something Big. God’s love and the community of saints.
Martin Luther said, “Remember your baptism,” and while I only remember mine in faith and theory and times of trouble, my wife and my brother and I, along with some friends in Germany, remember Geneva’s baptism quite well. And we’ll remind her of it, tell her the stories, and show her the pictures every 29 November for as long as we can—even after her candle, a very large pedestal one—has burned its last. And I hope that in celebrating and marking this anniversary each year, she will be reminded of this sacrament of belonging, and she’ll simply know, as sure as she’ll know there is gravity, that she is claimed, marked and sealed. She’ll know that despite the ups and downs of her feelings, the strength and weakness of her convictions, or the good and bad of her behavior, she belongs to the one from whom and from whose love nothing can separate her. And somehow—initiated in Eisleben in the chancel of a fifteenth-century church, continued this evening around our favorite yard-sale-purchased dining room table, and hopefully for years to come (even without her mom and dad) in a college dorm, a first apartment, a home of her own one day, or maybe, who knows, on a mountain in Tibet or in outer space—this little candle ceremony will be something to remind her that this is a special day, and that she is part of something Big. Life, one might say, is a journey of faith, from loneliness to having a home; and Baptism is a sacrament of belonging.
Join us at the Luther500 Festival in 2013. Remember your baptism. Let your faith be revitalized as you walk where Luther walked, and as you learn, serve and celebrate with friends. Take the day trip to Eisleben and visit the birthplace of Martin Luther, the church where he was baptized, and the pulpit where he preached his final sermon. While you are there, you’ll also have the chance to serve the Eisleben community with a special project that will leave a sign of God’s love in action and remind you that you are part of something Big.