Posts Tagged ‘music’

Good Fridays: March 7

07 Mar

Lent started this week. Though I don’t really celebrate Lent in the sense most people do, it seemed like a good time to get back on my habit of blogging about Good Fridays. Each Friday, I will try to make a list of only good things.

For March 7, 2014:

  • Abby & Leah conquered RSV, broncholitis & ear infections!
  • Two healthy girls & a healthy Mommy meant that we made it back to Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) and Babytime at the Round Rock Library for the first time in at least 6 weeks.
  • Matt & I saw Switchfoot at Emo’s on Wednesday night. I think we’ve seen them at least a dozen times and they are still bringing out new/crowd-pleasing content (though, seriously, people, can’t we let them retire “Meant to Live” yet?). The first opener, Penny & Sparrow is a local act fronted by Andy Baxter, who I used to work with. But, even before I realized who it was, I liked the music. So, that definitely means they’re worth checking out – if you’re into thoughtful, melodic, rootsy rock. (I’m horrible at describing music — so why not just visit their website or check out some tunes they have available for free/tip on Noise Trade for the next week or so.)
  • I got a pedicure.
  • We worked substantially on our raised-bed garden and other backyard planting areas. There’s still work left to do, but we’ve set a good foundation for growing green things (and purple flowers) for years to come.

Quality Music

21 May

Musically-speaking, it’s been a depressing 7 days. Thinking about the end of Cornerstone Festival has weighed me down a lot — and I know I’m not the only person who’s feeling the “Post-Cornerstone Depression.” One of my friends summarized his thoughts here.

To try to make myself feel better, here are two sources of quality music that I am excited about:

New album from Seabird

One of my favorite bands — and longtime Cornerstone attendees — Seabird, is looking to independently release their 3rd full-length album. They put up a Kickstarter campaign (soliciting donations in exchange for rewards) to help make it happen. I’ve paid-up-front for a few albums in the past, but this is the first time I hopped on the Kickstarter bandwagon. If you like good music, I hope you’ll check it out.

Lots of freebies from Come & Live

I discovered Come & Live through Cornerstone Festival, too. They’re a music label (more or less, I think) that focuses on worship music. The styles their bands play cover every possible end of the spectrum (with some of the more unexpected sounds coming from Sleeping Giant, White Collar Slideshow, and Men as Trees Walking). I’ve been listening to We Are Creation, The Ember Days, and Ascend the Hill lately. Good stuff & free songs available to download. (or make a donation)

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Cornerstone Wrapup

10 Jul

We’ve been home from Cornerstone for almost a week. Unfortunately, that little thing called “work” has prevented me from blogging about the fest here. I’ve posted quite a bit to (I’m one of the volunteers who writes content there).

Even with the other great vacations we’re able to take at this season of our lives, our week at Cornerstone Festival in the cornfields of western Illinois remains my favorite week of the year.

When I explain that Cornerstone is a music festival, people generally assume the music is what makes it my favorite week. Actually, that’s not it at all.

Some people wonder if it’s my favorite week simply because I’m not at work. Well, after just having had 8 weeks off, that’s not it either.

Cornerstone is my favorite week of the year because of friends. The music may be the outward excuse we give for driving 1000 miles one-way. But, the friendship is really what keeps bringing me back.

It was an awesome week, hanging out with friends shown in the photo. They come from Chicago, Grand Island, Atlanta, and Austin. The weather was great other than the last 24 hours or so when we had rain, but that just added to the experience. The big best show for me was one down at main stage in the rain – seeing Anberlin (and having the sound guy working in their favor this year, rather than a few years ago when it was nothing but bass). The best smaller show was probably Seabird. We picked up quite a few albums – I’m sorting thru them to find out which are keepers.

But, alas, I’m now back at work and no longer laughing & hanging out with great friends in what used to be a cornfield. Oh well… Next year, just outside Bushnell!

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Becky’s Shoes: a 4-part photo saga

05 Jul

Part 1: Despite muddy grounds at Cornerstone, my shoes held up pretty well. Why I wore perfectly white shoes that day, I don’t know.

From Cornerstone 2009

Part 2: By Saturday evening, the mud had become a quagmire, attempting to suck off your shoes with each step.

From Cornerstone 2009

Part 3: Improvised booties in the web trailer.

From Cornerstone 2009

Part 4: I bet you never saw anybody using plastic bags as socks before.

From Cornerstone 2009

I think the fact that I’m posting these photos proves just how sleep-deprived I am. I’ll write a real summary to Cornerstone after we get home. For now, visit the photos & blogs at

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My favorite week of the year

03 Jul

Even with our recent trip to Hawaii, this is my favorite week of the year. We’re at Cornerstone Festival in western Illinois. Matt & I met here in 1998, but that’s just one reason this place is so special. We meet up with Steve & Sara (my brother & sister-in-law), Jerry (from Atlanta), Jeff (also from Atlanta, though without his lovely wife this year), Scott & Heather (from Chicago) and Brian & Angela (now from Austin, so it’s not as exciting to see them). We’re missing some of our group this year, but you should get the picture. This is a reunion of sorts for us.

Cornerstone is hard to define, especially during the middle of it. It’s music, community, worship, arts, and more in the cornfields of western Illinois. I’ll write more post-fest, but for now, check out the daily updates we’re writing at

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Cornerstone Again

18 Jun

After 2 years off do primarily to lack of vacation time (time spent on our honeymoon two years ago and in Europe last year), we’re getting ready to go back to Cornerstone Festival next week.

Check it out at — during the fest (mid to late part of next week), look for live coverage with photos, concert footage, and perhaps more (last year, a bunch of our friends contributed to a blog on the official site, for instance).

We’re really looking forward to going back. Even then 1000+ miles and hot temps expected aren’t diminishing our excitement to get back to Bushnell, Illinois! Any week off is better than a week of work, but this particular week off is always a good one.


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No Cornerstone for us this year

24 Jun

I just posted a message to our little mailing list which contains so many of our friends who usually go to Cornestone Music Festival with us each summer. I thought I might post some of those thoughts here, too, because Cornerstone occupies a significant spot in our lives and our relationship.

Cornerstone is a music festival put on by a bunch of Jesus-Freak hippies out of Chicago. The fest is in outside the tiny town of Bushnell, IL in western Illinois and draws tens of thousands of people every year. From Austin, it’s a two day drive, but it’s worth it!

We’re not able to go this year, mainly because of the need to take vacation time for wedding planning and a honeymoon this fall. But, we’re both missing it incredibly.

Steve and I went to our first Cornerstone in 1998. Matt’s been doing the trip since he lived in the midwest — about 10 years now.

We met there, really, for the first time in 1998. I don’t think Matt and I took much notice to each other that first year (or at least not I to him — it was just so overwhelming to finally be in Bushnell for the festival at all!). By the time 2000 rolled around, though, I was at the fest while back home we were packing for me to move to Austin and Mom & Dad to move to Connecticut. The story goes on from there. But, this year, no Austin contingency (or at least not *this* Austin contingency) in the “hiz-house” (or however you spell that phrase!).

Steve will still be at the fest, along with quite a few dear friends. But, many of the usual crowd will be missing, including us, for one reason or another. I hope those who do go will enjoy the fest a little bit on our behalf.

I’ll be here: working, planning a retreat, planning a wedding, preparing for nasal-reconstruction surgery on the 7th, and so much more.

We’ll be missing stoping enroute at Andy’s Frozen Custard in Springfield Missouri. I’ll be missing joking with Matt about every single sign to the Precious Moments Chapel — but I bet he won’t mind me not jokingly wanting to stop (get that, I don’t really want to stop!) We’ll not be seeing the Meramac Caverns billboards that take you across Missouri, nor the “Den of Metal Arts” along the interstate, nor all the places that sell walnut bowls. And, we won’t be stopping at as many QTs as possible (for icy cold drinks).

We’ll be missing eating a yummy rib-eye sandwich at the fest, cooked up by the Bushnell Locker. Austin needs a real midwestern meat locker and a nice small-town style bakery, but that’s another story.

We’ll be missing out on the sunburns, the showers that smell like sulfur, the porta-poties, the silly t-shirt vendors, the kids in temporary mohawks, the sore feet after walking too far, the strawberry-lemon shakeups, the funnel cakes & elephant ears (no, we don’t exactly eat healthy there…), the crazy golf-cart drivers, the unending game to come up with new band names, and everything else.

We’ll be missing the concerts — staying awake through & loving Over the Rhine, managing to sleep through some a screaming “band” or two, discovering something new, wanting The Violet Burning to play in Austin sometime, and all the rest. (We will not, however, be missing ApologetiX, who for some unknown reason are playing the fest this year — but that’s also another story only appreciated by a few of you, so I’ll stop!)

But, mostly, we’ll be missing the friends and what that place means to us. Silly to think of something like that in such sentimental terms, but there you go. :)

I hope to see everyone again next year, if not sooner…


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