New Music: The Backstrokes

Melissa Nicklowitz (Vocals) Rob Antecki (Piano & Keyboards) Justin Dore (Guitar) Kyle Tomczyk (Drums)

The Backstrokes: Melissa Nicklowitz (Vocals), Rob Antecki (Piano & Keyboards), Â Justin Dore (Guitar), Kyle Tomczyk (Drums)

A friend of mine named Rob Antecki is in a band called The Backstrokes. He asked that we all share this if we wanted to. I figured I would.

Rob writes:

To the friends and fans of The Backstrokes:

We are happy to announce the release of our debut E.P., “Things to Come.” We have included five songs on this release: “Reflections,” “Haunted Landscape,” “Broken Bicycles,” “To Alina,” and “The Secret.”

For those of you who have been following us, you know that this recording represents a very large investment of time, work, finances, and emotional involvement. With this in mind, we would like to ask you for a favor.

Right now, we are at the ground level of our work together. Everything we have done, we have done on our own and with the generous help of family, friends, and acquaintances who believe in our music. We do not have the luxury of major label (or ANY label) support. This means we are fully responsible for recording and promoting our material.

If you like our music, support our material, ideas (detailed below), and plans for the future, I ask you to please spread the word about us. The best advertising you can give us is to tell your friends, for them to tell their friends, and so on. This favor will only take seconds of your time but would mean the world to us. Almost as important, we encourage you to purchase a copy of our E.P., for which we have provided a convenient and secure link. These will also be available at our concerts. We think $5.00 is a reasonable price for your own convenient, CD quality copy with liner notes. Therefore, please pass our music around to friends and spread the word, but also encourage them to purchase the E.P. if they like it and listen to it. We have many plans for the future, which include a debut album, releasing our work on vinyl, concerts, music videos, and short films. All of us are in school and work, so our time and financial resources are very limited. Anyone seriously involved in music understands how expensive studio time, equipment, CD pressing, and promotions are. Any support you can give us is very much appreciated.

With this said, we would now like to introduce some general principles which guide us in our work.
Read the rest of this entry »

Song: Walking Her Home

Here are the lyrics, so far, of a song by Mark Schultz that he performs live, but hasn’t yet finished writing. It’s supposed to be on his next album. I can’t wait to hear the final version of it.

Walking Her Home
Mark Schultz

Lookin back
he sees it all
it was her first date the night he came to call
her dad said “Son, have her home by nine.
Promise me you’ll never leave her side.” (they go out on a date)

He was walking her home
Holding her hand.
Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah (etc)
He remembered where he was the night he fell in love
He was walking her home
He was walking her home

(years pass, because he’s hitting the highlights)

Nursing home
At 92
it was their first night alone in separate rooms
at three am, shook by a storm
and when he awoke, she stood outside his door.
Nurse came down, she’d heard it all
She looked in the room, then down the hall

He was walking her home
to room 103
He needed to be with her so that she could fall asleep
Just for a while
They were 18
She was still more beautiful to him than anything
He was walking her home
He was walking her home

Hurricane Katrina Reactions

Praise You in this Storm
Casting Crowns

I was sure by now God,
You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
that it’s still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain,
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away. Â

Chorus:
And I’ll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
that You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry You
raised me up again
my strength is almost gone
how can I carry on
if I can’t find You.
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
and as your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Chorus

The Blame Game

Right now, what angers me more than most anything else, is just how much people are throwing blame at the President for the “slow response” after the Hurricane.

Look, I know that most people that are blaming him have only gotten word on what’s been happening down there from the news. I, like many others, got word of it from people that live in Louisiana. Close friends of mine, one of whom had a father that worked Fire Rescue for nearly a week in New Orleans, helping to rescue people and just came home on Sunday. People in surrounding areas were able to get in and start helping out on day one.

The problem with this, isn’t that ONE MAN didn’t respond to the tragedy by sending aid after five days. The problem came with groups of looters and rioters mobbed the streets, hijacking cars, busses, shooting at people, killing people, and this scared off many of the relief workers who were being shot at. So the National Guard had to be brought in.

Another fact is that the damage of this storm was much worse than predicted. Yes, people were able to make it out on foot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that rescue vehicles could make it to where they were located.

Here’s a couple things from my friends that are down in Louisiana:

From my friend Ashley: I first wanted to let everyone know that I know of one other place to volunteer in Lake Charles. Supposedly, the Burton Colliseum will also be uponed. If you are a member of a church, also check there. Many churches are opening up their doors. Praise God!

BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!!!!! especially for girls…There have been reports of weapon smuggling into the Civic Center, theft, & car break-ins. Please, I don’t intend to discourage you from volunteering…I only wish to encourage you to please be cautious! Bring a gentleman with you or go in groups. I have not, repeat HAVE NOT, heard reports of rape in Lake Charles yet, but…please be always aware of your surroundings.

From my friend Allison:

My take on the looting….so sue me…

1.I feel that survival is key. If you need to steal food or water…or even supplies to keep you clean (towels, soap, etc.) so be it.

2.There is no need to loot the houses on Canal and St. Charles Avenue (may lightening strike you dead one day or soon).

3.There is no electricity, nor will there be for months, to watch your brand new big screen tvs, just leave them in the store.

4.Its sad that a bunch of mean ol New Yorkers can get it together and act more civilized after a disaster then their good ol’ southern counterparts. Evidently even if it were a bunch of terrorists that caused this they find a reason why “they deserved to take it all for themselves cuz we owe um.”

5.These ‘Gangsta’ families are making it easier to find themselves now. They didnt head to the Super Dome because they couldnt bring in their guns and drugs. Keep it up…now you’ve made the Mayor so mad that you idiots have the cops stopping most of the rescuing of innocents so they can come after you! Stupid bastards.

6.Looters going into homes of where the owners are dead should at least have the decency to bring the bodies out so the rescuers have an easier time finding them instead of just trampling over them to find what little the storm didnt destroy…then when you come out may lightening strike you dead.

Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20. Everyone has made a mistake at one time or another, but not everyone has the entire country saying “he took too long.” I don’t care if it was five days or two days, any amount of time would have been “too long.” If it were only two days, then we’d be saying “It took us only two days to send aid to the people after the Tsunami, and our own people on our own land took just as long?”

A Tsunami is a completely different storm as a Hurricane… a Hurricane takes some time to discipate(sp?) before anyone can do much.

NEW ORLEANS FLASHBACK: OFFICALS WARNED RESIDENTS ‘YOU’LL BE ON YOUR OWN’
Mon Sep 05 2005 18:57:15 ET
Before residents had ever heard the words “Hurricane Katrina,” the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE ran a story warning residents: If you stay behind during a big storm, you’ll be on your own! Â

Editors at TIMES-PICAYUNE on Monday called for every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be fired. In an open letter to President Bush, the paper said: “Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.”

But the TIMES-PICAYUNE published a story on July 24, 2005 stating: City, state and federal emergency officials are preparing to give a historically blunt message: “In the event of a major hurricane, you’re on your own.”

Staff writer Bruce Nolan reported some 7 weeks before Katrina: “In scripted appearances being recorded now, officials such as Mayor Ray Nagin, local Red Cross Executive Director Kay Wilkins and City Council President Oliver Thomas drive home the word that the city does not have the resources to move out of harm’s way an estimated 134,000 people without transportation.”

“In the video, made by the anti-poverty agency Total Community Action, they urge those people to make arrangements now by finding their own ways to leave the city in the event of an evacuation.

“You’re responsible for your safety, and you should be responsible for the person next to you,” Wilkins said in an interview. “If you have some room to get that person out of town, the Red Cross will have a space for that person outside the area. We can help you.”

Developing…
http://www.drudgereport.com/flash3kt.htm

So please, send aid, do something to help, but stop complaining. A lot of us are very fortunate to be in areas that are not effected so badly by natural disasters, but that doesn’t mean that we’re simply not effected. Tornados have destroyed whole towns. I know because I’ve been there. I saw it happen in the late 90s. Did the president send in aid at all? How quick was our response to help them out..? Oh, that’s right…most of the country had never heard about the F5 tornado that destroyed that small town in Kansas.

My point is, there’s nothing we can do to fix the problems of how this was handled. All we can do now, is CHOOSE to be more well prepared for the next one, and try our best to help those in need RIGHT NOW, because all that we have is the present, and that’s all we’re ever going to have.

Song: Prodigal

Prodigal
Casting Crowns

Living on my own, thinking for myself
Castles in the sand, temporary wealth
Walls are falling down, storms are closing in
Tears have filled my eyes, here I am again

And I’ve held out as long as I can
Now I’m letting go and holding out my hand

Daddy, here I am again, will You take me back tonight
I went and made the world my friend and it feft me high and dry
I drag Your name back through the mud
That you first found me in
Not worthy to be called Your son
Is this to be my end
Daddy, here I am
Here I am again

Curse this morning sun, drags me into one more day
Of reaping what I sow, of living with my shame
Welcome to my world, and the life that I have made
Where one day you’re a prince, the next day you’re a slave.

Song: This Man by Jeremy Camp || Lord of the Rings

A song today… it’s been a while since I’ve posted lyrics, and after a long long long post, I think it’s time for a short one. This song, although simple, is very deep at the same time.

This Man
Jeremy Camp

In only a moment truth was seen
Revealed this mystery
The crown that showed no dignity he wore
And the king was placed for all the world to show disgrace
But only beauty flowed from this place

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands

He held the weight of impurity
The Father would not see
The reasons had finally come to be to show
The depth of His grace flowed with every sin erased
He knew that this was why he came

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands

And we just don’t know
The blood and water flowed
And in it all He showed
Just how much He cared

And the veil was torn
So we could have this open door
And all these things have finally been complete

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands,
from his hands, from his hands, from his hands…

————————————————————–

And here is a great explanation I found for those that consistently get the Lord of the Rings WAY wrong. It always ticks me off as Sam is my favorite character. So eat this:
“Samwise and Frodo Aren’t Gay; yes, I have had that argument many times with my friends. No, they certainly were not gay (J.R.R. Tolkien, a lifelong Catholic, would be shocked that people think so). But there is a quintessentially British class relationship known as “master and man.” It is a relationship that no longer really exists in the modern world, but up to World War II there is a body of literature that depicts the relationship between a hero (usually but not always, upper class) and his faithful servant (usually, but not always, lower class). It was assumed that the lower classes were ignorant of, and possibly immune to, the “finer feelings,” and that it was the duty of the upper class to provide examples for them to live up to. And it was the duty of the lower classes to demonstrate loyalty and provide a practical grounding for the hero. After all, you can’t expect a hero to slay the dragon and also polish his own sword or think about such mundane matters as tonight’s dinner. That’s what the faithful servant was for.

Later, between World War I and World War II, this was twisted into the comedy routine of the bumbling upper-class twit and the (much smarter) servant. See Jeeves & Wooster or more recently Spamalot, with its hilarious number “I’m All Alone,” sung by King Arthur as his servant visibly wonders, “What am I, chopped liver?” Arthur, of course, means that there is no one of his own social rank present to share and understand his (upper-class, kingly) feelings. In a class-based society, this counts as “alone,” even if there are a hundred servants standing around.

Anyway, to return to the point, the relationship of “master and man” is not a gay one … it is simply two people who would be best friends, if it were not for the limitations of their different classes.

And it is a symptom of our modern-day cynicism that we can’t see deep friendship and respect between any two people without assuming that sex is involved.

Jessica S. Lucens
http://www.scifi.com

Song: Things I Prayed For

Artist: Eli

Things I prayed for when I was young
That my father would love me like his only son
That my mother would be patient with me
And my sister would not leave
And if my grandpa could see me beyond his grave
That he’d think his little man was so great
That my hair would not stick up in weird places
And I’d be someone someday

Years go by so easily that sometimes I forget
Years go by and make me see that there’s no time for my regret
No time for my regret

Things I prayed for in my teens
That God would forgive all my evil deeds
That my father and my sister would come home
And mom could meet our needs
And if my grandpa could see me beyond his grave
That he’d say a prayer for his family’s sake
That my hair would stick up in weird places
And I’d be someone someday

Years go by so easily that sometimes I forget
Years go by and make me see that there’s no time for my regret
No time for my regret

Things I pray for now in my twenties
That God would still love me
That my dad would like his new family
That I could hug my sister, that my mom could rest
That my wife would still melt every time we kissed
And if my grandpa has seen me beyond his grave
How cold and silent he has remained
That my hair would not fall out in weird places
And I’d be someone someday

Years go by so easily that sometimes I forget
Years go by and make me see that there’s no time for my regret
No time for my regret

These are the things I prayed for
That I’d be someone someday