NEW AK: “A MIDWEST SUMMER” JUNE 2013
We’re independently releasing your next project from AK. We have a full length written, and a grandiose story to go with it. We’re going to share part of this story in June with a shorter project entitled “A Midwest Summer” so you guys know where we’re headed. We’re back in the studio with producer Dustin Burnett. You know him from his production on Turn It To Gold, and production/mix on Do You Hear What I Hear. These are jams that we can only picture having the most unforgettable summer of our lives to, so we had to get them out in time for your playlists by the pool and on road trips to music festivals. These new songs don’t sound like any of our releases yet, we’re starting something new, which has made for a difficult process of moving past what we’ve done up until now.
Listen to a full interview with Jeremy on @RadioU! Follow link below for a bundle of exclusive news and explanations on why we left the label and more changes to come: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/abandon-kansas/id212079316?i=137874164&mt=2
It’s not an April Fools’ prank, we promise. Only reason for the ironic timing is because April 2nd Gotee Records is releasing an EP with Turn It To Gold, Chariot, rare b-sides and a new song too. We’re proud of the songs on that EP, and you should download it from iTunes or here on Amazon: http://bit.ly/akgoldep when it comes out, because these songs won’t be on our next album. Support the songs we wrote and recorded, and support Gotee, we had 4 great years over there.
We don’t hit the road again until the end of May in support of the new material and until then we’re going to be keeping to ourselves, off the grid as much as possible. There’s 7 years of pent up inspiration and frustration going into this project and we think you’re going to love it. But we’re paying for this one ourselves so there’s a lot that needs to be taken care of and planned out. We would like to avoid doing a fundraiser as much as you guys would. You guys are smart music fans, and we can put out a successful release with you behind us. Here in a month or so we’re going to need you to be paying attention closely though. Start talkin! Now is when it get’s exciting…
I’m completely confident that God blessed me with a few doses of talent to perform music through years of frugal living in a van to prepare me for missions. I love soaking in the sounds and landscapes all over America and enjoy the diversity of Western culture. A touring artist must be adaptable. You never know where you will sleep, who you will meet, what or when you will get to eat, and safety is never guaranteed. With this in mind, I was excited to go India and get down on some curry.
What I didn’t expect were hundreds of temples and shrines dedicated to gods all over the country. The city of Visakhapatnam was littered with trash, cows having the right of way in the street, complete poverty bound by the caste system, and ugly elephant or monkey statues sitting in colorful temples. We went to the beach one day and a woman ran at me with an actual monkey she used to either bless people or have them pray to it or whatever. All I knew is that I freaked out and nearly knocked both her and the monkey out. It was engrossing to see a beautiful race worship these animal gods. We saw an actual chicken sacrifice executed with deep reverence and were told that some tribes still perform child sacrifices to the gods. Fascination and heartache is what I believe my group felt for these people who put their hope in statues made of animals that play with their own waste.
Through investigation and reflection, it didn’t take long to began to breakdown the gods of American culture, specifically ourselves. Born consumers, we are grown using material things to manipulate the forces of our surroundings in hopes of constructing a certain perception for the world to applaud us. If not praise us, then to make others around us feel inferior either through physical means (such as fashion, beach bodies, and cars) or through intellectual methods. I don’t think I will disassemble my argument due to the fact that I’m not a popular blogger but being what scripture calls a “scoffer” is a method that can be used to belittle others and is carried out easily through blogs. You worship your own ability to retain information and use it to argue with others or display your unapproachable “uniqueness,” namely through right teaching. In an age where sarcasm, irony, and quarreling are praised through blogs, I can’t help but notice that scripture labels scoffers as fools who make themselves the standard of authority and find their pleasure through antagonism.
An area of struggle for me is self-expression. Through music, one is commended for “being a true artist that doesn’t sell out” but in the end what you get is a prideful artist who competes with everyone else and strives to prove their worth. All of these examples are avenues through which we exploit good things to parade around with our bodies, minds, and American toys to serve our desires.
I’m sitting in an empty classroom where young people filter in and out in frantic search for happiness. I can’t help but see young boys with no responsibility who can master video games, whine when its time to do work, and chase vulnerable girls in pursuit of satisfying physical desires. Moreover, young ladies trust their hearts and bodies with these little boys to feel treasured because daddy didn’t do it. Perhaps its not too much of a stretch to say that parents pursuit of promising careers leading to child neglect is a form of child sacrifice? Heartbreak is a broken record in these classrooms because these young people keep shoving finite material where only eternity will fit…
to be continued…
I WENT TO INDIA A FEW WEEKS AGO.
Landscapes, sounds, scents, and faces will soon transition to memories but there are a few blessed moments that God marked as surreal for me in India. Standing upon the rooftops of the orphanage overlooking the city I found a great place of solace where I could retreat to pray, reflect, and partake in thanking God for the beautiful scenery I couldn’t help but drink in daily. A dirty rooftop where the ladies of the orphanage would hang out their clothes to dry and where the little girls would run around and play is where God showed me a glimpse of something eternal. Reflecting our experiences with a few friends one morning under the heat of the Indian sun, I was besieged by a band of beautiful little brown girls hugging on my arms. “Dance with me brother! Chase me brother!” is what I could make out of the eager excitement. Of course the girls heard that I could dance a little like Michael Jackson so I busted out some moves for these girls and they all wanted me to show them how to dance. I tried to teach a handful of these girls how to spin and naturally they would mess up and fall over but every time they would pick themselves back up fervently and look up to me in hopes of nodded approval. As might be expected, my heart rose in attachment to these girls who sought to be delighted in through engaging laughter, song, and dance. Another little orphan girl just wanted to be chased and caught over and over again. Every time I caught her she exploded in laughter and though I grew weary of our little game of tag, her joy escalated as I begged for a chance to catch my breath. Simultaneously, another girl ran up and asked me to dance again and in my minute of exhaustion I pleaded “you dance for me.” There she closed her tiny eyes, raised her bony arms, tilted her crown back and gracefully began twirling in sheer smiles. Joining in unison, the rest of the girls stole my heart as they began twirling under a canopy of smog in a country over populated and filled with untouchables.
I came undone. Every sensibility of mine was violently attacked with the promises of the Gospel here in these unguarded moments I could never recreate. I saw myself in these orphaned girls as they twirled together beautifully weak, needy, hungry, vulnerable, and chosen. I heard…
”You see these orphans? I made them. You see how they long to be cherished, loved, and wanted? That is you before me every day of your life in your famished search for freedom, satisfaction and place of identity. I see you, know you, chase you, woo you, and love you stronger than you could ever feel for these children of mine. Sons, daughters, cowards, and failures find their perfect father in me.”
In their starving for affection, these fragile girls were a direct reflection of my soul’s position before God. If my thirst for elation is directed anywhere else then I dehumanize myself and thus become my own god using every relationship and circumstance to serve my self. Similar to the savoring of the Indian landscapes, our souls were fashioned to indulge in the rivers of living waters that God promises. Our soul needs are to be satisfied only in the offer the Gospel promises. The richest American and this helpless twirling orphan were created to run on the same stuff and to be filled with joy forever through the Gospel.
“Give and Take” live from Florence, South Carolina on The Living Room Tour 4. This song means a lot to our band and we’ve never had a live video capture the vibe of this song like this one. Brought to you by our friends over at Radio Free Florence.
Dear AK fans:
We just finished a very successful 50+ acoustic tour. Nobody could tell us we don’t have an amazing fan base; YOU made the Living Room Tour 4 an incredible experience for us. What has been your favorite part of any of the four living room tours? You can share it with us on our https://www.facebook.com/abandonkansas. There’s nothing cooler to us than hearing from you!
I know you guys think it’s really cool we do unplugged sets in fan’s living rooms, but it’s still surreal to us that we have enough fans to pull something like this off the last four years! Some of you have been on board for a week, some for 7 years, but regardless, our fans are hardcore and we don’t take that lightly. THANK YOU.
You opened your home and shared your lives with us, and we came just as we are and shared our lives with you. I love that we can be ourselves around our fans. To me that takes the word fan right of the equation, because now we’re friends. We learn from each other, we inspire each other, we love each other. That’s the kind of atmosphere we want to create, and we did, almost every night of the tour. Despite all of our communication through social networks, it’s easy to feel disconnected from you guys. Never have we been able to have so many face to face convos with true Abandon Kansas fans. We have confidence going into this next album because we know you have our back.
Thanks to all of the hosts for helping us put on a special show each night and fans, new and old, for showing up to a stranger’s house not knowing what to expect, but hanging out anyway, listening and singing along. Thanks to Aaron Lee Martin for supporting us the 2nd leg, what a powerful songwriter. Here’s to the rest of the year… wait til you see what we come up with next!
Have good pictures or video from The Living Room Tour 4? Feel free to post them or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spread some Christmas love from Abandon Kansas in your tumblr world… Merry Christmas y’all!
It’s 12.12.12 which is cool, but it’s Wednesday too, so we’re spreading some Christmas cheer to brighten up your week. We will be releasing a video for this christmas cover in the next week or so. Stay tuned.
“Can you restore what’s been taken? Can you restore what’s been given away?”
These are some heartfelt lyrics we sing on our record and lately the answer has been shrieking down the corridors of mind down to my heart. My community group and I have been reflecting on the gospel lately by holding our reading at pause in John 19.
In our backyard we have this towering telephone pole and sometimes I close my eyes to imagine this pole as the cross Christ bled from. As I open my eyes I get just a taste of what the empty cross could look like. What really strikes me is the fact that Jesus never cried, screamed, or even lost composure through the flogging, verbal abuse, or false accusations. As his body was torn apart and closest friends bailed, Jesus kept his hope in glorifying his father. For years he had taught people and revealed the state of our crooked hearts, but again he was going to take the back door and do something unheard of by showing the heart of God before the world. A heavenly agreement is soon to be carried out.
What makes me tremble is the only moment where Jesus screams out “Father, why have you forsaken me?” Its here that the most unbearable pain takes place. As his strength depletes and his mouth runs dry as the outer darkness his must taste, he looks up for the loving face he knew from outside of time and sees nothing. The indescribable bond between the father and son takes the blow for all of humanity as father turns his face on his son who now bears the past, present, and future sins of mankind. The earth quakes as the most beautiful, and loving bond more intimate than human lovers could know must taste death.
Crazy how hours before Jesus sweats blood in praying that if it could be done any other way then let it be so. He wasn’t celebrating the cross by any means but pleading for the cup to be passed on. Yet, he is brought back to the desire of God’s heart to draw us wicked beings unto himself and forsakes his own wishes to glorify his father. So he takes the plunge to be drowned in our molten sin but he isn’t found holding his breath or clinging to a moment of reluctance. No he goes headfirst breathing in and swallowing wholeheartedly all of mankind’s monstrosities, guilt, and shame. The father roars as his heart’s delight willingly swallows gulp after gulp the hell we deserve.
As I ponder over these things while staring at this telephone pole I’m reminded that he chose me to be an object of his affections. He chose me, rescued me, cherishes, and desires to lavish his grace in pursuit of me. What motive have I to leave such truth? What’s more is he asks me to follow him. In essence, to take up the rope and follow him up the gallows steps and die with him. That I may find ultimate joy and satisfaction in him.
So if God can take care of my biggest problem with sin and eternity away from him what propels me to even entertain any notion of doubt? If he can reconcile humanity what makes us think can’t help us with our finances, addictions, worries or fears? Of course he can restore.