Monday, November 17, 2008

Lincoln braves the theater again

I told you about this fascinating documentarty in a previous post. This is your second chance to see it first (before everyone else sees it on the big screen or on PBS, or both).

~At the Belcourt Theatre, Hillsboro Village (near Vanderbilt)
~Wed, Nov 19th @ 7pm
~Tickets $6.00 (includes $1 Belcourt Preservation Fee)
~Buy your tickets at the box office after 4pm or buy online (click here then click the listing on the calendar)

"A documentary. A tall tale. BEING LINCOLN is an upbeat, up close quirky look at one man's quest to become Abraham Lincoln. Visit to learn more."

As a bonus, you can, as the Belcourt site promises, "meet the director and producer." That would be my fellow high school alum Elvis Wilson and his wife Vickie Radford. And if you can't get near them because of the adoring crowds and hangers-on that evening, let me know and I'll introduce you later. You can tell all your friends you saw Lincoln at the theatre AND met Elvis and his wife, and not be lying (though they still might give you funny looks).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kids, music, Africa and fame

I've been a little distracted by my ongoing job search (see the resume life is an open webpage already anyway).

Had a great time visiting the music class my friend Ronda Armstrong teaches at a local elementary school. She invited a few friends to come by and play a couple of songs and talk to the kids about songwriting. They were precious. And asked some really good questions. I could do that kind of thing every day; maybe not all day every day like a real teacher...especially the mornings...but I definitely enjoy passing along what I've learned to the young 'uns.

I attended the African Leadership fundraiser banquet on Thursday. This organization is headed by Larry Warren, the man who introduced my church (and me) to Living Hope in Cape Town (and who, as I recently discovered, was in a picture I took about 9 years ago--4 years before we met). They do work in many other areas of the continent, though. One notable thing at the banquet: they showed a multimedia presentation on missions that used a Pink Floyd song. Unprecedented in my own experience...and very effective.
No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It's not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there'll be
No more turning away?

Enjoyed my round on Saturday at the Commodore (as much as can be expected, given my perfectionistic tendencies that are of course seldom satisfied). Unfortunately, Brandon had to back out due to a "scheduling conflict" (let's just say he learned that when one gets a new phone in which one puts one's appointments, one should be careful to transfer all said appointments). But Joni Bishop and I "soldiered on" with the extra stage time (and extra space for her instruments). Everyone was clearly impressed with Joni's talents (and I made sure to take credit for inviting her; I call it "talent by association").

And finally, here's a blog post I have to recommend (it was the original reason I started this post), by professional Nashville songwriter Regie Hamm:
(Don't worry...the emphasis is on the "legends" part. And it's not about graffiti).

Monday, November 03, 2008

Pizza night at Safe Haven

I've had plenty of time on my hands lately, due to being "set free" (I like that better than "laid off") to pursue new sources of income (e-mail me if you want to see a resume; I'm not shy). So I was glad to offer some of it to Safe Haven. This Nashville organization offers temporary housing to families who are homeless, along with training and help toward a better situation. My singles group volunteers time with the kids during a weekly class for parents, so I was there on Wednesday evening.

On Friday I dropped by the Safe Haven center and restrung a guitar that had been missing a couple of strings. There's always at least one kid who gloms onto that instrument during the time at the shelter. I mentioned to a staff member I had seen Danielle Peck, celebrity spokesperson for Safe Haven, in an especially good writers round the night before (you feel almost guilty enjoying so much great talent in Nashville, often for free--but you get over it). This is how I heard about the pizza and movie night planned for the next evening, provided by Danielle. Based on Wednesday, I suspected they might need an extra hand, and given the aforementioned wealth of time on my hands, I offered to drop by, help out, take a few pics for the website, etc. And, hey, if I got a hot tip on an industry job, so be it (I didn't). And of course I can't deny the appeal of the chance to get to know a music artist as a "real person" as opposed to the stand-in-line-to-say-hello situation after a show. And, on top of that, a free meal. So much for pure motives. But, ultimately, it's for the kids, right?

Anyway, when I got there, Danielle's mom was cooking up a batch of delicious pizza, while Danielle and her dad stood by ready to help. Danielle freely admitted that where food is concerned she's more useful in the washing up than in the preparation; I can relate. Everyone has a place to serve! I had thought it would be a pretty wild night based on Wednesday, but it turned out to be a lot quieter than I had expected; the presence of the parents made a big difference. But I made myself useful during the movie by playing with the kids that weren't so much into Indiana Jones (the dads and older boys loved it).

It's amazing how kids reveal in their playtime what they're hearing from the world around them. Like the age-inapproprate cheers the little girls did (hey, what can you do but show support and pray they learn better ones later!). But on the positive side, one little girl did a dead-on imitation of a teacher reading to her class (I was the class); and because she couldn't read yet, she made up a story based on the pictures. And then reviewed it with me when she was done: "Now, what happened here? What animal was this?" So cool. A teacher somewhere in Nashville deserves a raise; heck, most of 'em do.