Favorite Indies and Other Fun Music

I love music. I love listening to it. I love being moved by it.

I love great lyrics that reveal new meaning upon each hearing. I heard someone say once that a great song can remind you of a place you've never been.

I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite indie artists with you and I hope you'll share some of your favorites with me. Please do….I just love finding new music.

My absolute favorite right now is an artist named Kendall Payne. I've always loved the line from Chronicles of Narnia when Mr. Beaver replies to one of the children's questions as to whether Aslan is safe. Mr. Beaver says,"Oh, no. He's not safe…..but He's good." I think that's such a great and mysterious description of God. Apparently, Kendall thought so too, and wrote a phenomenal song called Aslan. Love it. I also love another song entitled Pray. Superstar and Backward are also great songs. Those are all on her latest CD – Grown. It's on iTunes. Her first CD was called Jordan's Sister and I've listened to it constantly since it came out 5 or 6 years ago. Perfect by Thursday and Modern Day Moses are my favorites. I saw her perform live about 5 years ago when she opened for Third Day. It was just her and her guitar and she was simply amazing.

Another favorite indie is Dave Barnes. "Brother, Bring the Sun" is the only one of his cd's I have right now, but I plan to remedy that really soon. I love the songs Nothing Fancy and On A Night Like This.

Dave Barnes came to town a few months back and Andy Davis opened for him. I was mesmerized during his whole set. His first studio album won't come out until '07, but he has a "homemade" cd out now that I really like. It's very acoustic – which I like. I like to hear raw talent.

If you're up for something a little different, I think Katy Bowser's songs are quite fun.

Of course, there's also, our very own Five Cent Stand… 

That's it for now. I'll leave you with the lyrics from Kendall Payne's song Pray:


I will pray for you now for you have been my faithful friends
While the road we walk is difficult indeed
I couldn’t not ask for more than what you’ve already been
Only that you would say these prayers for me

May your heart break enough that compassion enters in
May your strength all be spent upon the weak
All the castles and crowns you build and place upon your head
May they all fall come crashing down around your feet

May you find every step to be harder than the last
So your character grows greater each stride
May your company be of humble insignificance
May your weakness be your only source of pride

What you do unto others may it all be done to you
May you meet the one who made us
And see him smile when life is through

May your blessings be many but not what you hoped they’d be
And when you look upon the broken
May mercy show you what you could not see

May you never be sure of any plans you desire
But you’d learn to trust the plan he has for you
May your passions be tried and tested in the holy fire
May you fight with all your life for what is true

I have prayed for you now all of my dear and faithful friends
But what I wish is more than I could ever speak
As the way wanders on I’ll long to see you once again
Until then, would you pray these prayers for me?
Oh that you would pray for me.

So who are some of your favorite indie (doesn't have to be an indie, I guess) artists?


11 Responses to “Favorite Indies and Other Fun Music”

  1. 1 FancyPants
    May 12, 2006 at 1:33 am

    Hey, Dave Barnes just hasn’t seen my Pants yet! HA!

    Umm, fav. artists: As far as indie goes, Five Cent Stand is definitely top of my list.

    Others, to name a few: well, she’s not indie, but I LOVE Imogen Heap. Going to see her tomorrow night! Woo hoo! Sufjan Stevens is out of this world amazing. And Johnny Cash is currently my hero.

  2. 2 Kat
    May 12, 2006 at 7:55 am

    I’m sure Dave Barnes “meant” to name the song Nothing FancyPants, but it just didn’t fit on the cd….I think I may have trouble listening to that song now without mentally adding “Pants” to the end of every line…


    I’ve heard a lot about Imogen Heap. I’ll have to give her a good listen. Likewise for Surfjan Stevens.

  3. May 12, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    Hey! thanks for the plug there kind lady. I listened to the rest of your suggested list and I like!

  4. May 12, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    Kat – I listened to all the artists you listed, and they’re all great.

    Of course, Five Cent Stand is absolutely freakin’ rad. Seriously. That is some of the most truly creative, genuinely original, and engaging stuff I’ve heard in a long time. And I tend to listen to a lot of progressive rock and other similar genres, so for me to call something “creative”, well… that’s saying something. I can’t possibly rave about them enough.

    But, here’s the thing about me and music… These days, I don’t even know which way is up. It’s hard to explain. I feel so overloaded, so saturated, I don’t even know what I like any more. There’s really no style of music that I just can’t listen to any more. I would have said “Country Music” for many years, but since I’ve been in Nashville, I’ve actually developed a tolerance for that, especially because of the history and talent behind it (seeing the artists perform it live here, is quite impressive and entertaining).

    So, I still listen to music, lots of music of all kinds. But I always feel like there’s so much more out there, I can’t even begin to take it all in. And add to that that everyone here (and I mean everyone) is either in the business or knows somebody who is. I can’t even tell you how many demo CDs I have, just from the people in my home group, let alone everyone they know, and people you meet on the street, and on and on. It’s completely overwhelming.

    I don’t mean to make this sound like a complaint, because it’s not. In the past, I had a few narrow genres I tended to listen to, and that was enough. Now, I can never keep up with the latest and greatest from my favorite artists, and I hear so many new things constantly that it’s hard to focus.

    This is all somewhat ironic too, because there was a time (years ago) when music was a HUGE idol in my life (both playing it and listening to it). I’m almost afraid that if I had been forced to choose between music and the Lord, I would have chosen music. Of course, the clever solution to that at the time was “my music is for the Lord”, but it was still an idol nonetheless.

    And that’s a whole other conversation…

  5. May 13, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    I think I need to say something here, just for my conscience’ sake, because it bears clarification (I think)…

    I know that Seth visits here, so I don’t want me saying such raving things about Five Cent Stand to come across as schmoozy or pandering. I really mean it, that is fantastic music.

    Put it this way: If Seth and Amber were uber-cool, snobby, elitist artists, who lived in giant mansions in Europe and were too rich and famous to mingle with us “little people”, and I happened along one day and heard their music, I would still think it was great music, and would still rave about it.

    The fact that they are genuinely nice folks, enjoyable to dialogue with, is just icing on the cake.

    There. Does that make it better? (Asking myself, not you guys)

  6. May 13, 2006 at 3:12 pm

    Well as a matter of fact we do live in a GIANT mansion in Europe and are too rich and famous to mingle with anyone who doesn’t use grey poupon and drive a R.R. No seriously that comment made us feel REALLY good. During this time of fighting the urge to go begging at record labels and trying to be ourselves and write who we are, God sends the right people at the right time to encourage and uplift. So my friend C-Hammer, no Schmoozing was detected and even if you were schmoozing we would probably enjoy that as well.

  7. 7 Kat
    May 13, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    I like the moniker C-Hammer. So, C-Hammer, can we call you that? You know, just when our fingers are tired of typing and we need a break? If not, I understand. Gee, it might even be very important for you to have the “The” at the front. My husband and I used to live in a city north of Houston called The Woodlands and it would always bug the heck out of me when people called it “Woodlands.” So…just let me know what you want to be called and thus it shall be.

    I think I come from the opposite end of the musical spectrum. My grandfather bought Amy Grant’s Age to Age album for me when I was about 5 and until I was in jr. high, I don’t think I listened to any other artist. (slight exaggeration – very slight, though). I then listened to MWS, because he’d been in AG’s band. I moved on to Rich Mullins because he wrote Sing Your Praise to the Lord. So on and so forth.

    Just in the past year or so have I discovered “indie” music. Now I’d heard some indie stuff in college, most notably Caedmon’s Call (indie at the time), but once I got back into the real world it was back to being spoonfed by the labels.

    I’m sure I’ll feel overwhelmed soon enough, but right now I’m just like a kid in a candy store.

  8. May 14, 2006 at 2:29 am

    I think feeling like a kid in a candy store is the best way to feel.

    Kat, your musical upbringing sounds almost identical to mine. Except that before Amy Grant was a group called Acapella. I grew up in the Church of Christ church, and since no musical instruments were allowed, the only group the church would bring in was called Acapella (which, I’m sure you know but, just to clarify…the word actually means “without instrumental accompaniment.”) It was four guys who sang (and they could REALLY sang) and they’d make the sounds of the beats and bass and stuff with their voices. Pretty much like Take 6 if you’ve heard of them. ANYWAY, we moved alot when I was little, which was fun for me, because at each new church, there was always a concert, and it was always…Acapella. I had posters and t-shirts signed and everything. Had a crush on the guy that sang bass. A real groupie at age 8. And then, wow, how I wanted to be Amy Grant…

    All that to say, I feel alot like my childhood was void of musical variety. For a while it bothered me, and then I realized that it helped shape me and make me who I am. Which, is part of me as an artist. I now make it a point to listen as much as possible and find what I like.

    I feel alot like a kid in a candy store too sometimes. I love it.

    Oh, and C-Hammer. Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement. It brightened my day! (Especially since you used the word “rad” which is actually one of my favorite terms of expression. Seriously.)

  9. May 14, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Kat — C-Hammer is fine. Hammer is fine. CH is fine. With or without the “The” is fine. You can call me whatever you like, just don’t call me late for dinner (baddum-CHING!).

    I think my family almost moved to the Woodlands. From the time we moved to Houston until I was in Jr. High, I lived in Sharpstown. At that time (long time ago) Sharpstown was the southwestern suburb of Houston. Even Alief was just being built. Bear Creek was only a park, where our Little League teams would drive way out into the woods, to have picnics and stuff. Yes, we’re talking a long time ago — think “men still actively going on missions to the moon” (althought nobody took much notice of that after Apollo 11).

    Anyway (that was a huge rabbit trail, sorry), as Sharpstown started getting overrun by “inner city Houston” and all the bad things that entailed, my parents sought a new place in the new suburbs. Among the places I think we looked were The Woodlands, Kingwood, and Katy. As I’ve mentioned before, they ended up choosing Katy, so that’s where I finished Jr. High and went to High School. And my point was… hmmm. Not sure. I guess that my point was “Hey, I almost lived in The Woodlands”. Oh well.

    Hey, Amy Grant. Cool. Always liked her a lot. I saw her and Smitty in concert at AstroWorld back in the day. I’m thinking I saw her play somewhere else back then too, but I don’t remember where. I used to go to a lot of shows back then.

    And I like your “kid in a candy store” analogy. I’m the kid who hid in the bathroom and got locked in the store overnight, and tried almost every kind of candy in the store, and ate way too much. And so I got a tummy-ache…

    But I’m feeling a lot better at the moment anyway, thanks to…(hey, was that a great segue or what?!?)…

    Thanks to…

    Amber and Seth — Glad I was able to encourage you guys, but I should really be thanking you… I’ve had some of your songs bouncing around inside my head for the last few days, and it’s great. You know what I mean, when you hear a song, and you just can’t get it out of your head, and you hear it playing over and over, and it sort of becomes your internal sound track. It’s been a while for me since something new I’ve heard had that effect on me. So anyway, thanks.

  10. May 14, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    C-Hammer, yes, The Woodlands. Katy was probably a good choice by your parents. The Woodlands is beautiful and I enjoyed living there, but I found materialism a very real tempation there. It was hard not to get caught up in the wealth and lose focus on what really matters. My husband and I were fresh out of college when we moved there and between our entry level jobs and paying off college loans, we certainly brought in the low end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

    Amber, was Acapella still around as of a few years ago. I seem to think I knew I guy who used to be in Acapella. I think his name was Scott Beelin, or something like that. I might be getting that confused with another group. So, what’s some of your favorite music these days?

  11. May 15, 2006 at 11:41 pm

    Does Scott perhaps work at Second Baptist West? I think Seth knows him… And yes, I think Acapella is still around. I’m not sure though. I know the four original guys are definitely not singing together anymore. It started branching off into all kinds of “Acapella”s.

    Favorite music these days: Well, I’m late in the game on this one, but I’m listening to Radiohead alot right now. Some of the most beautiful and intriquing sounds and melodies, but still very rock. And I have the Beatles bug as of late. Listening to the “Seargent Pepper” record and The White Album. Here’s a guy you would like I think: Josh Rouse. Ever heard of him? He’s pretty acoustic. Really fun. And I love Imogen’s new record, and Sufjan Stevens. And actually, I’ve just read Johnny Cash’s autobiography. Once you start listening to him, you can hardly stop…very addicting. I’m with Fancy on those, all the way.

    Thanks for your listening tips! I like them very much. Especially Dave Barnes and Andy Davis.

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