The Beautiful Compassion Of The Record Store (A Post For Record Store Day 2016)

View More: http://jbltphotography.pass.us/alexandkateA trip to the record store these days is an act of compassion. 

Sure there are plenty of new releases out on vinyl. In fact vinyl records are the fastest growing sales segment in the music industry.

But most record stores fill the majority of their shelves with vintage LPs. These are the records that get traded in by people who have no use for them anymore.

Maybe they inherited a collection from their parents or grandparents and they’re just not that into music. Or maybe they’ve played the records a million times and just aren’t into the bands anymore. Or maybe they thought vinyl died out 30 years ago.

For whatever reason they don’t see any use for the old Cat Stevens or Doobie Brothers albums. They look at vinyl records as an outdated format just taking up space in their attic.

Yet when I and other collectors come in to a record store we see the value in the classic pieces of wax. Continue reading

Going Beyond God’s Greatest Hits

queen greatest hitsEverybody loves a good Greatest Hits collection.

Whether it’s The Eagles, Garth Brooks or Guns ‘N Roses, a Greatest Hits album can make for the perfect soundtrack for any group of people.

That’s the reason why Greatest Hits collections are some of the highest selling albums of all time – everyone can relate to them.

These are an artist’s biggest chart-toppers. Not necessarily their best work, but clearly their most populist and successful.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a Greatest Hits album.

I think though if you asked any of these artists, their hope would be for you to go beyond their Greatest Hits to discover their Deep Tracks. Continue reading

POP GOD POPcast: Episode 22 – Steve Swanson of WAFJ

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Welcome to the POP GOD POPcast – an exploration into the lives of people seeking God in the present tense.

This week’s guest is Steve Swanson. Steve is the Station Manager and Program Director of WAFJ 88.3 FM in Augusta, GA. WAFJ is celebrating their 20th anniversary serving the CSRA with Family Friendly Music. But as Steve shares, WAFJ is about more than music. The station has truly been a ministry, building a family and community across the country. Steve shares his story and what led him to radio at a young age, as well as the story and the impact of WAFJ. We talk about the incredible power of music to connect people, some of his favorite guests to come in the station’s doors, the beauty of a Vinyl record, and much more. Enjoy this deeper look inside the life of someone truly seeking God in the present tense.

Listen to the podcast here:

Or Download on iTunes Or Listen on Podbean

Check out the WAFJ website to listen live, download the app and support the station

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, rate it, leave a comment, listen to all the other episodes, share it on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

I love sharing stories of people seeking God in the present tense. Let me hear your feedback. Leave me a comment and let me know how to improve things, what you’d like to hear discussed, and give me your ideas as to who you’d like to see on the next episode of the POPcast.

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What This Dog Knows How To Do Better Than You

A viral video is floating around now with a dog that’s mastered something that a lot of humans don’t know how to do: Say No. 

(credit to Gawker)

This dog has figured out a way to say no to his owners. The dog knows what he doesn’t want.

The dog hates being put in his kennel. After being dragged into it against his better wishes too many times, the dog stands his ground.

This dog says no to what sucks the life out of him. We should do the same.

A dog is meant to be free. Dogs are made to run and jump and explore, not be confined to a kennel or a cage.

What were you made to do? Are there things that are stopping you from being who God made you to be? Why not take a lesson from this dog and Say No?

This weekend is your weekend. Instead of getting bogged down by busyness, try saying no this weekend.

Say no the projects, the activities, the relationships which suck the life out of you. Do something you’ve been meaning to do, been wanting to do, been dying to do but haven’t made the time for it.

Here’s my challenge to you this weekend: Say no to at least one opportunity that comes your way. Whether it’s an invitation to hang out, or a call in to cover someone’s shift at work, just say no.

Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person. You need to rest. You need time to do what gives you life.

When God created the world, He took a day off. He took time to rest. How quick we are to forget this!

We think we need to work to feel worth. We think a day off is a day wasted. But your soul needs to recharge. You need to fill up before you can pour yourself out.

Whatever it is that fills you up, do more of that. 

Rest looks different for everyone. For some people it’s staying in bed and bingewatching the first season of “Scandal”. For others it’s getting in the backyard and gardening. For others it might be scouring record stores in downtown Athens.

Take a day of rest. Say no to the things of life that make you feel caged in.

Happy Friday.

You Should Expect More

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I’ve never had the chance to be disappointed by a Bruce Springsteen album.

As a relatively new Springsteen obsessive – I’ve only been on board this train for about 5 years – I still feel privileged for any new E Street release in my lifetime.

After all, the wrecking ball will find it’s mark at one point or another on every life. Even Bruce Springsteen will succumb to time. So I’m usually giddy with any news of new Springsteen music.

So, as Bruce’s latest album High Hopes is released worldwide today, why am I so underwhelmed? Continue reading

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

bob dylan press 1 .jpgWhat’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and does what he wants to do. – Bob Dylan

When the world expects Bob Dylan to play he acoustic, he goes electric.

When the world expects Bob Dylan to rage against traditional values, he becomes a born-again Christian.

When the world expects Bob Dylan to be out of surprises, he releases a Christmas album 40 years into his career.

When the world expects Bob Dylan to go quietly into the good night, he tours harder than ever and continues to put out 5 star albums in his 70s. Continue reading

What Your Vinyl Collection Says About You

photo (19)Did you celebrate Record Store Day?

Saturday, April 20 was the seventh annual celebration of all things vinyl. My girlfriend and I were proud participants. We drove two hours to Criminal Records in Atlanta to dig through crates of used records and seek out limited edition new releases from some of our favorite artists like Bob Dylan, The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors.

At the end of the day we ended up with just about everything we were looking for. What amazed me though was just how many other people did as well.

When we arrived at Criminal Records on Saturday morning, we saw a line coming out of the store and stretching around the next block. We ended up waiting an hour to get in the store, and then another hour or so to get out of the store.  Continue reading