Sunday, September 30, 2007

jon black

I have a friend. his name is jon black. and he plays guitar and sings. and friday night, he did so at workplay, which is a nice place to play guitar and sing, or hear somebody else play guitar and sing.

you can catch jon at smith's olde bar in atlanta in october and november, or check his site to see when he plays birmingham again.

in the meantime, just look at my photos (I have no idea where my photos of jon went) (dang you, blogger) and you will get a sense of his greatness and simultaneously know that you missed out on friday night.

p.s. jon and I re-did an old hymn together, a few months back. I was going through some hymns earlier tonight and remembered that I really liked this one.

Friday, September 28, 2007

this breaks my heart of stone

so, it seems that this has become a photo blog. and from time to time a spots update blog. the thing is, I’m obsessed with photography. I really am. I get like this. last night I was up late editing audio, and listening to paul edit audio, and falling asleep as I was sitting there, and paul said “brian, go to bed” and so I did, and on my way to bed I stopped by the other computer and edited more photos.

paul is in town, and I am so happy about this. for those of you unfamiliar with paul, he is my friend and engineer from nashville, and he’s in town to help me finish the next red mountain record. we started writing these songs I guess about a year and half ago, and been working on this record on and off ever since. we’ve been calling the record “the pocta sessions” due to the fact that all of the songs have been written or co-written with our 2nd favorite texan, benj pocta. (sorry benj – but my good friend chrissy boone reminded me that she is actually my favorite texan). anyway. we are now calling the record “this breaks my heart of stone” and it looks like that might be the title we go with. I’ll probably be writing and talking about this record a lot, I am sure - but for now - suffice it to say that lately, in small tastes and moments, I’ve felt my heart breaking, and it’s been beautiful.

About a month ago, I’m in albuquerque, new mexico. we were out there playing some music for a wedding, a church service, a concert, and this man looks at me, tears running down his face, and says “brian – when we get to heaven – it’s going to be you, clint, ashley, leading us in worship.” now those of you who know me know that I’m a jaded man. I walk into churches and I’m scanning for the exit doors. people call me "brother" and tell me that they are praying for me, and I tell them to keep their prayers to themselves. and this man in albuquerque tells me this and I have no idea what to say. I look back at ashley, and look back at the man and say “you are now going to have to give me a hug.”

I keep reading these hymnals. I keep writing these songs.

Just this past weekend, two new friends were in america, visiting from england. dan hames and tom slinger. they stayed with me for several days, and we had long talks, good meals, long visits with some of my best friends here in birmingham. we drank good wine and good whiskey. I took them to my parents house for lunch and my dad made his piano sing for them. I sat around with dan and tom and we worked through the gadsby hymnal, finding texts we liked and writing music for them. and one of their last nights, clint and evan joined us, and altogether, the five of us wrote a tune to an anne steele text that I think may be one of our best songs yet.

And last night, I’m sitting there watching paul dig through the tracks clint and I have compiled over the past 15 months. there’s so much work done, and there’s so much work still to do. and all the while I can’t help but feel my hardened heart mysteriously breaking. I can’t avoid this feeling that I really do believe. and when I admit that it kind of shakes me somewhere in my core. belief is a scary thing. I don’t understand that.

When the man in Albuquerque told me I’d be leading people in song in heaven, I so badly wanted to say “man – I just hope heaven is real.” I wanted to tell him that if it is real, there is no way I’d be doing anything. I’ll probably be cleaning the toilets. the most amazing people in heaven will probably be the homeless people I avoid eye contact with every day on the streets. and the thing is - I’m just a musician – trying to say things with music – and I’m fortunate to be surrounded by inspiring, lovely musicians that make it all bigger and better than I could ever make it by myself. and I’m fortunate to be immersed in unavoidable hymn text – old songs that connect me with people across the new mexican desert and the altantic ocean.

It was night time in albuquerque, and clint and I were riding together in the back of a truck, staring up at the stars and talking about how beautiful it was to be with christians and not feel guarded, not feel jaded, not feel attacked. we had an entire weekend of feeling receptive to christianity, being open to our beliefs. sharing these old hymns with new friends, finding pieces of our own souls along the way.

I don’t know what I’m saying. other than that from time to time, I feel my heart breaking. and it feels good.

I’m going back to my photos now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

more photos from italy




Thursday, September 20, 2007

spots, this saturday night, speakeasy

(design by hunter barrow)
our ep, recently reviewed by fleabomb, is available online here.
also available for $5 at our shows. music starts at 10pm. see you there.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I went to Italy. I took some pictures.








I'll post more soon.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

spots photos by leslie treece

leslie treece photography

new cd available exclusively at laser's edge (now shipping)

look for us on good day alabama, october 11.