Who will care for my soul?

Where to begin?…Is often a question I ask myself. Living in such a cold world; its desperation for attention; never waking up the dead. Who are the dead? I find myself helpless and alone. The ongoing toil of finding and defining myself within a society that has no care for my soul.

These are some of the thoughts I found myself contemplating, when I too, ( thinking of Chris’ recent blog-”Finding the meaning of things you wrote”) did experience words of a song, that had revisited my mind, and had an even more, present day profound meaning to them. I speak of the song Need You Now, which actually had its conception about 4 years ago.

Recently, I was deepening my thought process on the power of fear, and the layers that it holds, in one’s own being; my own being. The very vivid fear that I had experienced in my life; a wide range of phobias; and the fear which is more obscure; the relational fears. Fears that seem to drive and motivate the will, for a returned moment of feeling loved or accepted. The struggle to see myself as someone with great value, as opposed to someone that will never be enough. And by “great value”, the notion that we are all ‘prized’ by our Creator, is the thought driven essence for this phrase.

There is a sense within, that beckons me to be better; to think more positive. And yet the on going thoughts, or ‘ghosts’ as one lyric expresses, continuous like a broken record, seem as though they’re always playing; always feeling a suffocation in thought, whether from past hurts or a negative mental pattern that’s been created.

So, I found myself on a journey and started to think opposite of another lyric and what it could mean to be ‘crowned’ and placed on a throne. To me, this is a royal thought! Something to be proud of; an honor; a privilege; a great responsibility. There is a certain joy, a sense of purpose and being loved] that fills my being as well. It means elevation; a status of no lack (not just monetary); and a position that is maintained with humility. l realize there is much more to this idea, but it is enough for me to see that the impact of fear, and all it’s layers, really has had a dethroning effect in my life.

There is a scripture passage that states, “There is no fear in love, because perfect love drives out fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.”

I have come to the point in my life that the need for such perfect love is imperative! And the quest for peace of mind, received from such love, drives me to the hope of its existence. That amidst the darkest of thoughts, there is a still small light, guiding me; making the darkness yield to it’s fruit.

As in the 2nd verse: Love does remake; It rebuilds and shapes in ways that are sometimes never thought possible. It frees the soul, and frees from the sense of control of time, that isn’t just our own. Love establishes greatness, within and without, making it’s impact and leaving it’s mark.

I continue this quest to understand the dramatic power that this four letter word holds; love, that is. I am secure with the notion of needing something more than myself to feel the fullness of what this life has to offer.

Who will care for my soul? God holds the breath of my existence.

-Nicole

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Chris’ Rig Rundown

So guitar gear is a cult-like interest to a very small class of society known as electric guitar players. For any guitar players out there who are just dying to know what I’m running my guitar through, here’s a rundown!

Amp- Traynor YCV40- This is actually a fairly new acquisition. I dig it. Kind of in the family of the Fender Hot Rod series, but smoother sounding to my ears, and most importantly, takes pedals very well. And it’s loud with plenty of clean headroom which helps the pedals retain a consistent character when pushed to louder volumes. Image

 

Pedalboard

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Barber Unlimited 2 channel OD- nice very tweakable version of the Barber Ltd SR (with more gain on tap) with switchable channels. I have this set for low-medium gain applications.

 

Barber Dirty Bomb- Killer high gain pedal. Somewhere in tone range of early Mesa amps. I use it with toggle set to mid boost. The perfect distortion pedal. Period.

 

Fulltone Soul Bender- Fuzz pedal based on 3 knob tonebender from 60′s. Jimmy Page in a box. 

BBE Boosta Grande- opamp based for super clean boost. Used for solos and making cleans pop out. While transparent, it seems to thicken everything.

Road Rage TB loop- built like a tank. Goes into ->

Ibanez AD-9 – All knobs dimed for self-oscillating noise making

Boss TR-2 (modded)- Modded for rate sync blinking LED and volume pot for boost. Used for pulsey effects and in conjunction with AD-9 self-oscilllation for noise making.

Returned to TB loop.

Boss TU-2 – standard. Keeps me in tune

Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay- awesome two channel analog/digital hybrid delay with tap tempo that syncs both channels. Simple. Covers my needs. Also has great VS buffer built in. Keeps signal clear and strong when other buffered pedals are out of loop.

TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb- Set to Church setting all the time. Used for medium to heavy pad-like sounds. Creates washed out sound that can sustain forever. Used for clean, pretty, ambience.

Guitars- Currently using a modified Epiphone Les Paul and a Fender Telecaster with Seymour Duncan humbuckers with switchable tapped coils (switches buckers to single coils). Now that I feel pretty set on my amp and pedals (till tomorrow that is lol) I’ll probably be exploring some guitar options. I’m thinking a Fender Jazzmaster is in order. 

That’s the rig. Thanks for checking it out. 

-Chris

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Finding the meaning of things you wrote

Tonight’s a strange night. As I ran out for a late night pack of smokes (I know, awful habit), I was welcome by a melancholy, warm breeze and warm rain. After arriving home successfully from my venture, I sat in the car listening for the first time since it’s release to our new album ‘Abstraction.’ It’s tough listening to an album that I’ve literally picked apart a million times over the last year. It’s funny how you really give an album away after it’s been made. (I recall Thom Yorke talking about this.) Give it up and away to those you’ve made it for, to anyone who finds it enjoyable, moving, challenging, or otherwise worth listening to. I don’t think I’ve listened to anything we’ve released more than a handful of times. They’re not ours anymore. Their value belongs to others now.  I found myself turning to two songs in particular, “This could be” and “Save Me” which share the unique commonality of being songs that we’ve re-released. In fact, they were probably written between 6-8 years ago, but we thought the message at the heart of these songs was worth repeating; that they were worth taking another shot at, and that they still represent who we are as a band. We live in strange and dark times, and the world has only gotten stranger and darker since I wrote these two songs. Sometimes I wonder if I even understood the full implications of what I was writing when I scribbled them down. I think that time has made these two songs more real to me. The plea for salvation, and the struggle for hope. It’s clear the world has lost its way, and that there is real darkness to be reckoned with; probably clearer than ever to me now that I am a father. I realize with a certain solemnity and gravitas the world my son inherits, and my duty to still find it worth saving and to resist despair. I realize deep in my bones that “we are left with broken hearts, broken glass, and scattered shards of a life we’ve lost the point of and grown to hate.” Even at 26 I weary of the world. I weary of the evil on TV (even more of the evil not on TV) and of the war within my own heart. I realize this could truly be the end of “everything we used to know”. But as I sat in my car, the rain drizzling on my arm stretched out the window, it occurred to me that none of us are exempt from such times. That the tension between despair and hope, between despair and salvation, have always been before us. They are before me now in ways that I didn’t understand when I wrote those two songs. The wars continue; The wars abroad, the war in this country, the war in our very souls, as we ask ourselves the fundamental and existential question of what sort of people we want to be for ourselves and for one another. I ask myself the same. The image of the sun rising red has always represented war to me. Bloodshed, exhaustion, rage. But there’s still hope. I think hope’s the sort of thing that persists as long as we allow it too. If there’s a vision left in our hearts of a world as it could be, of people as they could be, there’s still hope. I went out for a pack of smokes tonight with the looming cloud of despair hovering nearby. And what I found was I am as committed to the promise of salvation and the relentless cause of hope as ever before. 8 years ago I was so committed to this cause I had the word HOPE engraved in ink on my right arm.  I think if Pointe Blank has ever stood for anything, it’s that. I’m glad that message has found it’s way into this record. I for one believe it more now than ever before.

-Chris

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