If the world could just stop turning so I could take a moment to catch my breath...

Today I am going to review some music for you.  I've been thinking of directions that I could take this blog, and I think that focusing on music would be a really neat thing to do from time to time, in addition to the regular talking about my life type stuff.  I'm just going to tell you about this really great band that I think you should definitely check out.  We'll see if I ever do this reviewish thing again, but for now, here's my first attempt!

If the world could just stop turning
So I could take a moment
To catch my breath
If I could just speak the words my heart has longed to say
I wouldn't be where I am today

I have become a huge fan of Alex Arthur's music over the last few months as he's emerged with this new acoustic project, recently formed of Alex Arthur, Justin Carmichael, Griffin Landa, Joseph Farrell. Last night the group, called The Still Sound, had a release show for their new 7-song self-titled EP.

I'm pretty used to going to shows where three or four local high school and college bands play and open for some other little-known midwest punk band.  I've learned how to live with bad music for the sake of a fun show.  I like to see people I kind of know playing on stage, I like to support the often short-lived musical endeavors of the members of the small opening bands (I was one of them not too long ago) and I like to see what glimmers of talent can sometimes (hopefully) be found in them.  So, when I first heard that Alex Arthur was going to start playing acoustic music, I wasn't too sure what I would experience when I heard it.

The first thing that Ben Wiedenhoeft, my friend and the drummer for Ames ska band Atombender, told me when he mentioned that Alex was going to start writing and performing acoustic songs was that it meant that he (Ben) was going to be crying a lot more often.  I immediately raised my eyebrows and thought to myself, Hmmm, this must be good stuff.  Before I knew it, my email inbox contained a copy of the first Alex Arthur song I'd ever heard (besides the songs from his hardcore band, local favorite Keep and Confess) in raw, unedited form.  Breaker instantly became one of my favorite songs, and within days it had moved to the top 25 or so of my Last.fm most-played songs list.

Months later, The Still Sound was formed, and 6 more similarly fantastic songs were written and recorded with the full band.  It's honest, real, and totally marketable.  Everyone would listen to this music if they had good taste.  Alex's voice is incredible both on stage and in the studio, the instrumentals are well-crafted, and the lyrics are beautiful.  Combined, these things make seven songs that constantly leave you wanting to listen to another.  Breaker has been re-recorded with the band, and although I'm still partial to the original version that Ben sent me some months ago, it's still a beautiful song about the search for happiness after a broken heart.  If I Could is definitely a close second to Breaker as far as my favorites go, which might be because it was the second raw, unedited Alex Arthur song I heard, but it's such an honest song that I can barely listen to it without closing my eyes and singing along.

The rest of the songs are just as awesome, and I encourage all of you to click the link below and buy the EP.  If they ever do a concert and you have the opportunity to go, do it.  And when they are famous, just remember that I reviewed them first.

Mara Tenille


Because when I arrive, I, I bring the fire, make you come alive, I can take you higher...

I don't condone roughly half the lyrics of that song.  But, let's face it, the other half is just awesome.

Prom was Saturday night, into Sunday morning.  It was lots and lots of fun.  We went to Centro for dinner, and we rode in Michael's dad's awesome Hummer.  I am fairly certain that the Hummer was actually a Transformer.  Dinner was lovely, and the Hummer was very loud and awesome and everyone wanted to be our friend while we were riding it.  The subs in that baby were pretty boss.  So, we went from dinner to the Grand March, did our thing there, and then headed over to the actual prom.  The dance wasn't as good as last year, but post prom was way more fun.  The music at the dance was lame and boring.  It was all either weird rap or country songs.  There were more slow songs this year, which was nice.  Not that there were a lot, but last year there were probably only three songs that you could even slow dance to.  So yes, that was kind of nice.  Post prom was at Perfect Games in Ames, which is a bowling alley/arcade place.  That was lots of fun, because we got a free $20 game card.  I was pretty addicted to winning those tickets.  I was like a little kid in Chuck E. Cheese.  I won some tickets, and I also pwned at Laser Tag. *coughnotreallycough*  Then, after post prom, we went over to Jessica's house for post post prom.  We watched (sort of) Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and ate a delicious breakfast prepared by Mrs. Wollaston.  Then we all went to church and half-slept through the sermon and then we went our separate ways.  I took a six-hour nap.  Mostly everyone else napped, too.  It was good stuff.  Pictures of stuff will come :)

I'm church shopping.  I have visited Immersion at Lutheran Church of Hope several times, and I'm eventually going to visit the regular service at LCoH, and I'll also check out Walnut Creek Community Church.  Immersion has been pretty cool so far, but I'm still kind of trying to figure out if it's something I really want to go to consistently.  I have kind of gotten the impression that the few people that are there are not really going to be easy to become friends with, or that they wouldn't be the type of people I'd really want to form lasting friendships with anyway.  But I am totally aware that I'm quite possibly being overly critical, and I don't want to assume things about people or make judgments on their character before I have even really been around them, and I don't want to lump them all together and assume that they're all shallow when that is really only the case with a few.  So, anyway, long story short, I'm still not sure on the whole Immersion thing.  But it has been fun to go to, and I'll keep going for a while and checking it out.

I'm tired and this blog is ready to be done for now.  Goodnight.

Mara Tenille