MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

Archive for April, 2009

updated american idol power rankings – the fav five


So what does your fav five look like?  Don’t even get cute by putting Charles Barkley and Dwyane Wade in the mix.  

It was a very good show last night, if not the best of the season, with the theme being songs from the Rat Pack era.  I thought everyone stepped it up in a big way, including the ever-too-consistent Danny Gokey; he reached new heights this week and it was actually very refreshing to hear.  

Let’s hear it for my boy Matt Giraud who managed to stave off elimination last week!  I’m not so sure the news will be as good for him this week…. (spoiler alert)

As you could tell from previous weeks, I normally don’t care for the celebrity mentors they bring in to coach these young artists but MAN, Jamie Foxx was on FIRE was he not?  I knew he could sing but I underestimated his ability to speak into people and bring out the best in others.  I don’t know if it’s because he’s coming off the high of the release of the Soloist but my goodness, I want him to be my vocal coach!  He was feeling the music, stared intently into the eyes of the artists, and challenged them to be better singers and at this stage of the game, he was exactly what everyone needed!  I feel like I became a better singer by simply watching Jamie coach!  

Finally, a little something on Simon Cowell.  I have a new nickname for him and it’s “Swing Vote Cowell”.  No matter what the other judges say, it’s what Simon says that sways the votes of the American public.  The in-studio audience can boo him all they want but America listens to him.  This is nothing new, of course, but I’m realizing that this show is very easy to rig because of Simon’s clout with the public.  As long as Simon pimps Adam Lambert like he does every week, Adam will win.  On the other side of that, because the producers would like to see Allison go next, he unfairly declared that she was in danger last night.  Bogus stuff. 

In any case, I’m getting excited about the finish line that’s approaching.  I think it may be safe to say that this is the best final 5 that Idol has ever had.  Would you agree?  Now to my rankings…

The top 5:



our deepest fear

One of my favorite quotes of all time is mentioned in Coach Carter and Akeelah and the Bee, (both, btw, are good films you should see):

“Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘who am I to be so brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?‘ Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God: Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  

–Marianne Williamson

It took me a while to digest this paragraph the first time I read this in its entirety– and if you’re like any normal person, you were also feeling a little unsure of what to make of this upon the first read.  For those of you who grew up in the church like me, this quote may even be contrary to what we were taught in our youth groups, Bible studies, and interactions with friends in this subculture.  


updated american idol power rankings – disco, redemption, and a new #1

STAYING ALIVE. Just when I thought it was the end of the line for my boy, Matt Giraud, the judges decide to invest their one and only save on this chosen one and he lives another week! It made for great TV, didn’t it? I loved that the audience and fellow contestants got into it and made sure the judges did the right thing!

But before we go any further, let me say that there is a new #1 on this week’s list (GASP! Can it be?!); not because I don’t believe in Matt but because I believe this person has earned the right to be on top, at least for one week. My choice may surprise you . . .

I had my doubts about disco week because things could get really cheezy but overall, I thought this was a good show and the contest is definitely heating up! I can tell that the candidates are putting in more work and it’s starting to get really serious! What great timing, given that the NBA playoffs started this week and the Lakers have begun their quest towards the championship. It’s game time folks, and if you don’t bring it, you’re going home! and since Matt was spared last week, TWO will be going home this week! Get ready for some drama fo yo mama!

Oh! And let me also add that I think these Idol contestants are reading my blog since they took my advice this week… Matt went with the Fedora, Gokey went back to his glasses, etc. Coincidence? Perhaps, but let’s just imagine they read this blog since that’ll make us all feel better.

The top 7:


artist spotlight – Matt Shockley

This is my buddy Matt.  He currently plays electric guitar for our band here at Newsong Irvine but he is a full-time singer/songwriter and a dang good one at that!  You gotta watch his live shows, especially to get a taste of his chops on the guitar and hear some of his unique melodies and sounds!  I had the privilege of writing out a new bio for his website recently and thought I’d let you all read it and then encourage you to visit to purchase his music and show your support for another quality artist!  This was my first stab at doing an artist’s bio but I had a lot of fun doing it.  Hope you like it and I hope it motivates you to give Matt Shockley some love!  Check it out:


artist spotlight – vaughn thompson jr., third culture worship

hey dudes.  so check it out!  I’m part of this crazy Third Culture Movement and one of my buddies, Vaughn Thompson Jr. recently released his first ever EP.  I must say, I was ready to love this album no matter what, just because he is my friend and friends need to love each other’s albums!  BUT, I’m so glad that I can pimp this thing with full integrity and say, this album is the bomb!

Vaughn is at the forefront of trying to define what third culture music/worship is — not just because he happens to be biracial (Korean and German) or because he sings and talks like a black dude — but because he feels that it reflects Kingdom and that’s what he’s about!  

Once again, whether you’re a Christian or atheist, my blog is all about spitting truth and I hope you’ll join me in purchasing a good piece of work.  5 bucks, 5 tracks, what a deal!  Get it here:





Check out this quick interview I did with Vaughn as he talks a little bit about his EP.

You can also take a listen on his stuff through myspace: