Friday, February 12, 2010

Winston's Last Name

Winston Churchill once said, “From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.” This quote makes almost as much sense as the reason I chose to put it at the beginning of this post. It has nothing to do with anything…besides the fact that I went and saw a band last night that shares its name with this really dead Prime Minister. Churchill is a folk-rock band that hails from Denver, Colorado. The two founders of the band, Mike Morter and Tim Bruns, got their inspiration from me at Baptist Bible College as the spent many sleepless nights recording anthems of their college experiences in my dorm room. I taught them everything they know just like I taught Tiger Woods everything he knows about golf and Chuck Norris everything he knows about being awesome. Mike and Tim chased their dreams of super stardom to Colorado where they began to form something that comes around far too infrequently…a band that writes and performs good music.

Last night Churchill made its first stop on their current tour in Grand Rapids, MI at Cornerstone University. When Jessica and I arrived for the concert we realized this wasn’t just a concert. It was a Shelner family reunion/BBC alumni reunion/Churchill concert/Morter Family reunion/Crawford Family reunion/Zuiderveen family reunion/and the public reinstatement of mullets, leg warmers, and polyester vests as acceptable fashions. The opening act was two local girls with their guitars who were a mix of Jack Johnson, Colbie Caillat, and Jane Fonda when she did exercise videos with leg warmers on. They were definitely talented but theirs songs about singing like dirt and dancing like summer made me want to fall asleep, plant a tree, wear a beret, and snap my fingers a lot.

Churchill hit the stage at about 8:30 and despite the short comings of some sound guys and their ancient equipment put on an awesome show. Their unique sound is hard to nail down but I’ll try anyway. It was like Jon Foreman’s voice (lead singer for Switchfoot) and Chris Thile’s mandolin playing (from Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers) had a baby with a delightful sounding acoustic guitar. Then the family adopted an old African Spiritual (like ‘swing low sweet chariot’) and threw in some second hand clothes and a cellist (that plays so well she makes you cry on the inside and cheer for more on the outside) to create a melody that pleases the ears, livens the soul, and kicks up the feet.

If that didn’t make any sense at all don’t worry about it. All I’m trying to say is that they are awesome and deserve a listen on their myspace page (the link is available in the bottom of my blog page).

They ended the concert with a song that incorporated some guest musicians. One of them played a cow bell that rivaled Will Ferrell on SNL playing “Fear the Reaper” with the Blue Oyster Cult. Churchill is a band that will make it big not because they want the money but because they love making music and do it well.

By the end of the night I had learned two things. First, when his barber accidently gave my father-in-law a mullet she accidently put him in style. Second, God uses people of all types to accomplish his purposes. Last night he used a band from Colorado to show a room full of people that Christianity isn’t about being boring, prohibiting dancing and music with a beat, and avoiding movie theaters but instead about loving God and serving Him not matter what you do in life. Third, Winston Churchill also said, “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” And that guy helped lead a whole country…Thanks for Reading!

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