In Support of Jennifer Knapp

Jennifer Knapp

Years ago — it must have been around 1999 or 2000 — when I was the youth pastor at Colonial Church, I brought Jennifer Knapp in to play a concert. She was just being discovered as a potent Christian singer/songwriter, and we had her perform just before her career blew up (in the good way). Suddenly she wasn’t playing solo acoustic shows in church sanctuaries, but instead playing the Lillith Fair and the National Youth Workers Convention with a full band.

The show she put on at Colonial was astonishing.  She held the room spellbound with her powerful lyrics, strong voice, and strumming that seemed like an assault on the guitar.  But backstage, she admitted, even then, how tired she was.  She wore a brace on her right (strumming) arm to combat carpal tunnel, and she admitted that she couldn’t practice guitar because it hurt too much.

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David Bazan in Concert

David Bazan

Although David Bazan was all the buzz last summer when I was at Cornerstone, I paid the buzz no heed since I’d never heard of him and had only vaguely heard of his former band, Pedro the Lion.  However, enough people mentioned to me the power of his latest album, commonly referred to as his “break-up with God album,” that I purchased it.  In the Chicago Reader, Jessica Hopper wrote,

Bazan’s Curse Your Branches, due September 1 [2009] on Barsuk, is a visceral accounting of what happened after that. It’s a harrowing breakup record—except he’s dumping God, Jesus, and the evangelical life. It’s his first full-length solo album and also his most autobiographical effort: its drunken narratives, spasms of spiritual dissonance, and family tensions are all scenes from the recent past.

Bazan and his current band are powerful in concert, as witnessed by Chris Scharen and me (and a couple hundred others, including not a few Porchians) last night at the Turf Club in St. Paul.

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$3 Free in Amazon MP3s

You’ll see that I have a little ad in the right sidebar for Amazon mp3s.  That’s because I buy most of my music at Amazon in order to avoid the iTunes encryption.  Well, there are lots of excellent albums at Amazon for $5.  And, for a couple days, they’re offering a Black Friday $3 coupon, which means those albums are $2.  I thought about Johnny Cash or Charles Mingus, but ended up buying Regina Spektor.

I plan to observe Buy Nothing Day on Friday, so I grabbed my coupon today.