MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

Archive for September, 2010

Then and Now. Ever hear of Katy Hudson?

Watch this video below and let me know if you recognize the singer.  (You probably see who it is by the heading on the video)

Excuse me if I’m a bit late on this (or you’re welcome if you’re mind is blown like mine) but could it be?

That was a video of a teenage KATY PERRY performing at the Glasshouse in Pomona, CA as a —  *gulp* — Christian artist some 9 years ago!  I had no idea until I came across this hilarious blog post from Jon Acuff.

Before she bust out on the scene with wholesome anthems like “I Kissed a Girl” and “California Gurls,” Katy real name Hudson was making her pastor parents proud by writing and performing songs about Jesus, playing out in public venues, and releasing CDs to stock the shelves of Family Christian Stores the world over (although apparently she never had a successful album release in this arena)

I know what kind of path a blog post like this one can take but I’m not here to bash on Katy or talk about how I wish she was still doing Christian music (I don’t), blah blah blah.  I’ll leave that sentiment to the youtube hate comment brigade.  Rather, I’m just simply intrigued by all this, that’s all.

It’s not just that she used to do Christian music. It’s that she used to have a real singer/songwriter vibe with some really decent acoustic guitar sensibilities and versatile vocal delivery.

It’s not just that she was small-time then and she’s big-time now. It’s the evident shift she has made from a somewhat shy, unassuming, teenage coffeehouse performer to a full-blown pop icon who commands the stage and the attention of all who would care to watch and listen.

It’s not just that her and Jesus were BFFs back in the day.  It’s that today, somewhere underneath the scanty “what the heck is she wearing?!” fabric lies a woman who occasionally thinks back to the days of her Youth Group past with either disdain or nostalgia.  Which is it?

It’s also intriguing to think that Katy would never have had the magnitude of influence she has right now had she stayed with the music she was doing cerca 2001.  All her videos right now on youtube have an average of 20 million hits.

These are some semi-inconclusive thoughts I’m simply throwing out.

Right now, I’m simply intrigued and fascinated by the extreme conversion that Katy Hudson has gone through to become Katy Perry. Change to this degree, whether “good” or “bad,” is always worth a little investigation, a little thought.

For the record, I admit that her songs are pretty dang catchy… California Gurls. that’s my jam.  Her acoustic stuff from the past are pretty cool too.

What do you think?  Are you more fascinated now than before?  Or could you care less?


Katy Perry = Katy Hudson


the funny thing about compassion

We see it all over the place. It bombards us seemingly every time we surf the web, log onto facebook, glance at our tweets (or just the @-replies for you popular folk), check our email, turn on the TV, or walk to class.  We just can’t escape it!

What am I talking about?

You: “Sex, of course”

Yes that applies too, but right now I’m talking about things like COMPASSION, CAUSE, JUSTICE, CARE, ADVOCACY and any other buzz word you can throw into the mix.

I guess you can say that caring for people has suddenly become… TRENDY?

These days, we even see it in the clothes people wear.  You’re rockin’ a TWLOHA t-shirt, wrist lookin’ fly with a ONE campaign bracelet, and your feet look and feel sexy with the latest pair of TOMS shoes.  Your illuminant Apple logo is eclipsed by the One Days Wages sticker on your Macbook Pro (sorry Mr. Jobs).  For extra credit, you even got a photo of Scott Harrison tattooed unto your forearm for a potentially awkward but cause-driven conversation starter.

Some people look at this and refuse to buy into the “fad”It is perhaps in an attempt to keep it real and go against the grain.  You’ve never been known as the “giving or caring type” so to start now would seem like you’re a band-wagoner. Besides, you just joined the Laker train last year so your lifetime allowance of jumping on ONE band-wagon has been used-up, never to return. (good investment, by the way)

Well, this may or may not be news to you but this fad, trend, or whatever you want to call it is here to stay.

Poverty is not a fashion statement. “The poor will always be among us” is as true today as it was 2000 years ago.  The buying and selling of human beings is still wrong and unacceptable. People need to value African lives. Not everyone has access to a Sparkletts delivery man.  You get the idea…

What’s my point?

Whether from good motives or bad motives, by way of trend or out of  genuine care, the thing that matters is that something is being done about the issues involving the poor, the destitute, and the hopeless.

I’ve never been known as the “compassionate” guy or the “activist” type while I was growing up.  It wasn’t until recently that my heart (and actions) have been growing (and still growing) in this area.  Just ask my friends.

I realize that I may be speaking to just a few of you (maybe more!) but inaction in this area due to a resolve in ones heart to be anti-trendy is wrong.  Yes, I went there.  This is wrong.

Who cares about the hype? If the advent of technology and media increases the awareness of need, then so be-it.  If “cause paraphernalia” informs the world around me of issues otherwise unseen, awesome.

If helping people is COOL, why is this a bad thing?

Buy the hype.  As everyday, ordinary people we can make a difference.  Even if you’ve been voted “Most Unlikely to Care About People” by your senior class in high school, who cares?

Jump in.

Dealing with apathy?  Let’s save that conversation for another time…


Book Review: Gracenomics

I just read the electronic version of Gracenomics by my friend Mike Foster in one sitting.  One sitting! That’s good news for us borderline ADD-having, multiple internet tab-browsing, I-hate-reading-books-confessing, students of life!

The entire book is under 70 pages but if you count all the cool pages of graphics and creative writing space, you’re actually doing less reading and more absorbing– which saves you time to actually start living out a life where GRACE is the currency you acquire and spend. What an idea!

Something that stood out to me right away was that this book seems like it was written for EVERYBODY in an all-inclusive style and that is something that is hard to achieve with a concept like grace.  Grace is clearly a common buzzword thrown around in church/religious circles but what I loved about Gracenomics is that it is 100% jargon-free.  I think even people like Kim Jong Il and Tila Tequila could read this book and think, “hmmm… I guess you’re right, Mike.”

I got to sit down with Mike several months back, shortly after his latest book at the time had been pulled off the bookstore shelves due to an unfortunate series of events.  It was a very chaotic time and he was transparent with me about the amount of pain and disappointment he was feeling.  The amount of internet banter and backlash with the entire episode was very reminiscent of a SCANDAL.  Everyone had an opinion, people were taking sides, and while many were proponents of peace, the Ugly had already made several guest appearances and the damage was done.

Fast forward to today.  Out of the pain, comes a new beginning.   How appropriate that Mike heads up People of the Second Chance, a grassroots SCANDAL of people who are declaring their allegiance and commitment to radical forgiveness and new beginnings.  Yes, the common word for something like this is “movement” but I love that Mike is challenging us to be a part of a SCANDAL instead.  Radical grace is scandalous because it isn’t what’s “normal” in today’s world and in it’s purest form, it disrupts the normal flow of the way things are.  Gracenomics has and will change the world.

Check it out!

Be on the lookout for the book to be released in October at the POTSC website.

Latest song

Hey friends,

it’s really raw and unrefined but I invite you to take a peak at my latest song: “Greatest Story” and let me know what you think.

You can hear it HERE


image courtesy of a google search of "football sucks"

I know this is a terrible, blasphemous, un-American thing to say but– who gives a rat’s booty about FOOTBALL anway?

THERE, I said it!  Don’t get me wrong, I can sit down and enjoy a nice match-up but I’m just not one to get all geeked out about a new season. I’m also not one to shout (or tweet) “OoOoOh!  My life is complete now that college football is starting up again!” or “The NFL is God’s favorite league!” (I made that one up)

Perhaps I’ll change my mind when:

1.  Football acknowledges how shamefully imperialistic it has been by snatching the name of a world sport (known in the U.S. as soccer.  We’re the ONLY country in the WORLD that calls it this) and making it its own.  Have you thought about how inappropriately named the sport really is?  It needs to be called something like “Tackleball” or  “Helmetball” (in fact, I’m going to use “Tackleball” for the rest of this post… and my life). The foot is actually only used for kick-offs, punts, and field goals– the rest of the game consists of running, throwing, man-handling, dancing in the end-zone and getting taxed by Roger Goodell.  I am appalled that we applied the Manifest Destiny to a sport and the poor people around the world need to learn another name for their game.  In the words of our social media youth: EPIC FAIL.

2.  When L.A. finally gets a team. I’m really hoping Ari Gold (or Jeremy Piven, it doesn’t matter) lands a team and gives the world’s largest media market what we’ve been waiting for since the Rams and Raiders arrived and jumped ship: a winning Tackleball Team.

3.  When Shaq finds a second life as a center… for an NFL squad.  Wouldn’t that be something to watch?

It’s fine by me if you’re a die-hard Tackleball fan.  It’s all about the NBA for me and the Lakers’ quest for a 3-peat.  I do love football, though, as in The English Premier League.  Go Manchester United.

As for the NFL, wake me up in January when it’s time to “root” for another non-L.A. team in the Super Bowl.  (Go Saints)

America - In God and Football We Trust

(Note: this post was not meant to offend anyone and was mostly written in jest.  If you are now planning out the size of the cross you want to burn in front of my house, you have missed this entirely and I’m sorry.  Save yourself the trip to Home Depot)