Monday, July 19, 2010

My New Blog



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship with Reading

Hi, my name is Matthew Moore, and I don't read... as often as I should.

I'm not sure how big of a percentage I fall into compared to the rest of the college community, but I am the kind of person who HATES reading during the school year. I'm the kind of person who enjoys reading, but only what I have a desire to read, not what I'm told to read. So reading textbooks or books for classes is something that really turns me off to reading as a whole.

However, it's summer now. Summer means no school work, no required reading, and time to do whatever you want. Summer is usually when I try to find something I know I will enjoy to read. My selection for this summer is A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. I loved Blue Like Jazz and how it challenged my beliefs and made me realize what I do and don't believe, and I'm hoping for great things from this book as well. I'll be sure to let you guys know how it's going.

On a side note, my wonderful girlfriend Nicole Graham has started a blog of her own, and it would be awesome if you guys went and took a gander at it when you finished here.

3:34 pm
Sweet Disposition
The Temper Trap
Album - Conditions

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Music Business: What I Learned Working for AgapeFest

Disclaimer: Due to the sensitivity of the certain situations given, I'm going to keep names of non-Agape staff folks out of this blog.

Earlier this school year, I was asked by Micah Chapman to be the his assistant as the Director of Artist Relations for AgapeFest. From about October on, Agape quickly ruled my life. Whether it was calling band managers, collaborating with the production company and deciding what was needed, or planning a theme for the hospitality pavilion, I stayed quite busy for about 7 months.

Come April, it was go time. We got all of our bands lined up and we had our catering done. On the 10th, we had the Battle Of The Bands in the Blackroom, and I was the guy who spearheaded that. I spent that morning running around setting up the sound gear, getting the bands rolling, and keeping things on time. Things went very smoothly and it was one of the most successful Battle Of The Bands we have ever had.

Then came the festival.

Wednesday, we show up, set up the staging. Thursday, the entire staff shows up, we finish setting up stage and do audio work as well.

Friday comes, day 1 of the festival, and stress starts to take it's toll pretty quickly. We have to send two folks to the airport to pick up an artist. The two runners wait for approximately an hour and a half trying to find the artists, but have no luck. Despite our phone calls and text messages, we get no reply. So we send the runners back to campus and hope that word will eventually get to the artist so we can get them going. Finally, I get a text from one of the members saying their flight was delayed and that they had already gotten rental vehicles anyway, so our runners were useless. Despite all the worry, everything worked out great for all parties and things went on without a hitch.

Our next Friday near-crisis was the end of the day. We knew a huge storm was coming, and so we were trying to plan accordingly. We had talked to the headliner and told them that if they were interested, we could put them on Second Stage and they could play their set there. They told us that they would gladly do that if the storm hit. And sure enough, the storm hit. So we scrambled, moved their stuff there, set up the mics, and they helped us out with a huge smile on their faces and were just happy as could be to do this for us. So they played to 600-800 folks in a tin can. And it was incredible.

Saturday morning came quickly and harshly. We started the morning with two artists, and they weren't exactly easy to work with. They came in knowing what they wanted, and they treated us like we were little kids and that we did not have a knowledge of what was going on. We, especially Micah, was treated with absolutely no respect at all, and it was very frustrating to see. We even heard them talking over their radios about Micah. At one point they said:
Manager - "Have you seen Micah?"
Band Stage Hand - "No, which one is that?"
Manager - "The kid who keeps telling me no."
BSH - "Oh, no I haven't seen him."
Manager - "Figures. He's probably off somewhere crying."

Saturday for Micah and I was by far the most stress inducing day of the festival. There were more than a few times where we both felt like we were just going to vomit we were so stressed. It just seemed like every tiny thing was just building and building exponentially and there was nothing we could do to stop it. Once we got started, the first several bands went on and off with zero hitches thanks to the great work of Dallis Garber. It didn't get stressful again until the end of the night again. One of the managers, the one giving us the most trouble, was all over Micah trying to tell him how to run the stage and how to run the festival. When Micah continued to tell him no, the manager got pissed, and told him he was a useless kid who couldn't do his job. Micah took the high road, said he was done, and left. The manager said "Yeah, you better leave. And don't you ever come back!"

So here are just a few things that I have learned from this weekend:
1) If you are a music business major, it should be required to work for AgapeFest. If you want to have the business revealed to you, this is a great place to start.
2) AgapeFest staff is filled with wonderful folks. Whether they were on Main Stage, Artist Merch, Ministry, or Staff Services, everyone had a crucial job and this festival couldn't run smoothly if one job was missing.
3) As much as I love doing what I'm doing, I couldn't work with live production. I'm sincerely glad that there are people out there who love doing this kind of work, because this line of work is necessary. But I have quickly realized that this is not the part of the business that I want to work in.
4) I had the opportunity to work with lots and LOTS of wonderful bands. I feel like there are a lot of genuine folks that played in the bands that were at AgapeFest this weekend and that they sincerely do what they preach. It's people like this that make me glad to be involved in this festival.
5) Conversely, there are a few bands that I lost a LOT of respect for after this weekend. Their management was incredibly terrible to work with, and they made our lives a living hell.
6) I realize that to an extent, the bands don't have a whole lot of control over what their managers do. But whether they know it or not, every single aspect of their entourage represents every single member of their band.
7) I would not be where I was if it were not for Micah Chapman. He did a spectacular job of showing me the ropes and plugging me in as often as he could. I hope that two years down the road I can be the kind of leader that is willing to step back a little bit and show someone what this is all about and encourage them to be a great leader.

Do I still want to be in the music business? I think now more than ever. I know that I have a lot of ideas as to how I can improve it, and I know that I wouldn't be in that position if it weren't for AgapeFest.

If you are reading this and wondering whether or not you should get involved with AgapeFest: Give it a shot. I will admit, it's pretty time consuming. But it is such a great feeling of accomplishment to see all the hard work and all the time you put into it come together so beautifully and to realize, "Wow, I was a part of this." I realize that AgapeFest isn't for everyone, but if you have any interest in it at all, please come talk to me about it and I will try my best to sway you one way or the other.

4:37 pm

My Sweet Escape
Run Kid Run
Album - Love At The Core

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Friends? Friends are awesome.

Growing up, I was a loner for the most part. When you have a brother with Autism, you learn to just entertain yourself. And it didn't help that I grew up in the country, so I had no neighbor kids to play with. In school, I had a fair amount of acquaintances, but once summer came, I was a loner again. When I was finally old enough to drive, I got closer to Ryan and Keelan, but that was about it.

Then I went to college, and living in a dorm really changed all of that. I was constantly surrounded by people, and it was something that took a little getting used to. Freshman year I made a lot of acquaintances, but I feel like this year I have made a lot of friends. I could go on for days about the people who I would call my friends, but I think I'll stick to an overview of what makes these people my friends.

I have people here at school who are willing to listen to me whine, listen to my stories that take forever to tell, pray for me, pray with me, listen to my songs, sing songs with me, allow me to listen to their stories, make random McDonald trips at midnight, invite me to their house for a weekend, invite me to stay with them all summer, and everything in between. When I think of being a friend, I think of it in these terms: "What can I do for this person to put them ahead of myself and show them that I care?" And when it comes to my friends, they do a wonderful job of showing that.

If you fit into any of those categories listed above, thank you. I love you all and I will not soon forget any of you, friends.

11:07 am

Matt Pond PA
Album - The Dark Leaves

Monday, April 19, 2010


I love concerts. One thing I love about them is that it really brings to the limelight whether a band who has a good sound on record can pull it off in real life. Sometimes I'm very impressed (Between The Trees). Sometimes... I'm disappointed (Hit The Lights). Nevertheless, I love seeing bands live. Here is a list of bands I have yet to see live and really, really want to.

In no particular order:
The Classic Crime
John Mayer
The Fray
Death Cab For Cutie
The Fray
Sufjan Stevens
The Dangerous Summer
Matt Hires
Jack's Mannequin
Jimmy Eat World
City And Colour
Foo Fighters
Snow Patrol

If you want to make my day, buy me tickets to a concert featuring one of these guys' shows.

11:18 am

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The new album from The Classic Crime is really good. I love the lyrics in this song. This is the title track of their new album, Vagabonds.

9:56 am

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Music

Jakob Dylan recently came out with a new album called Women And Country, and it's really been stuck in my head. Here's a video of him, Neko Case, and Kelly Hogan playing live for NPR.

12:29 am

Friday, April 9, 2010

Song writing

I love writing songs. I just finished writing a song, and I'm really excited about the potential it has.

I started writing songs out of necessity, really. When I first started playing guitar at 16, I wasn't skilled enough to cover songs. So instead of just giving up on guitar, I started making up my own chord progressions and putting words in with them. Like most songwriters when they start, my songs were absolutely terrible. You know what I mean, the kind of songs that have rhyme schemes like "me" and "be" and "us" and bus." But my Mom thought I had potential and encouraged me to keep writing. Once I got a couple buddies to join me, I started writing more frequently and slowly improving my rhyme patterns and schemes. But trust me, my songs were still pretty pitiful. I enjoy looking back on them every once in a while and getting a good chuckle out of them.

It was probably around my senior year when I started writing songs that I was confident in. Songs like "You're Not Alone" and "Hit And Miss" are songs we still play today, and they still mean a lot to me. I also started writing some singer/songwriter style songs, too. One of my favorite songs I've written is "I'll Always Love You," a song I've described as 'a love song to no one.'

Since I got into college, my songwriting has gone to a different level. In high school, I would often sit down with a chord progression in mind, a pen in hand, and just write the song in one sitting. Now, I tend to spread my songwriting out over a few days and give the lyrics time to soak in and resonate until I like them.

I'm certainly in no position to give songwriting tips, but if I could give three tips, they would be this:

1) Write often. Songwriting is just like any other skill; it takes lots of practice and patience. Do your best to write as often as you can, whether it's a whole song or just a little verse.

2) Have someone critique your music honestly and brutally. You'll never get better as a songwriter if your critic tells you "This is great!" after every song. I'm thankful to have a friend like Mike who isn't afraid to ask "What are you trying to say with this line?" or say "I don't like how it flows right here." If you have someone who can help you in that way, you can see what you are doing wrong so you can not only fix the problem, but strengthen your writing ability.

3) Have fun! Songwriting can certainly be stressful sometimes, but don't be afraid to step back from the process and remember why you are writing songs. For me, I write songs because it's a great challenge and it's fun. Enjoy doing it.

11:54 pm

Jack's Mannequin
Album - Everything In Transit

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Song Lyrics

Song lyrics are something that have always been a huge reason as to why I love music. One genre of music that portrays lyrics in a very beautiful way is folk/acoustic music. I feel that the simple instrumentation of this music immediately puts the focus on the words instead of the music, and I love that. A great example of that is City & Colour's "Body In A Box".

There's a funeral procession on the highway
Traffic screeches to a halt
There's people searching for a better way
To live their lives, oh

Johnny lived a good life
You'll hear them say
As tears of sadness soak the ground
The reaper crept in
Took his breath away
In the middle of the night, oh

We celebrate the lives of the dead
It's like a man's best party
Only happens when he dies
We gather round
To pay our respects
While their souls are still searching for the light
Searching for the light

So please don't come to me
On my dying day
Just let me go in peace
With all the things
That I've forgot to say
Racing through my mind, oh

And don't you bury me
Six feet underground
Just burn my body in a box
And let my ashes
Blow with the wind
Out into the night sky

We celebrate the lives of the dead
It's like a man's best party
Only happens when he dies
We gather round
To pay our respects
While their souls are still searching for the light
Searching for the light

5:59 pm

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Album Review for Newspaper

I was recently asked to write a review for our college newspaper, The Papyrus. Here it is:

I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart
Butch Walker And The Black Widows
One Haven Music

Whether you know it or not, you’ve heard of Butch Walker. Butch Walker has produced albums for artists like Pete Yorn, The Academy Is..., Katy Perry, All Time Low, Weezer, and so many more. My first experience of Butch Walker involved YouTube. My friend called me into his room one night and said “Dude, you gotta check out this video.” (Something that happens frequently on a college campus.) It was a video of Butch Walker walking into the studio, making coffee, peeing, making funny faces into the camera, and recording a cover of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” including a rewrite in the lyrics to match them from a guy’s perspective. I knew after watching this video that this guy was good.

On February 23rd, Butch Walker dropped his newest album, I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart. A lot has happened to him in recent years: the birth of his first child, the loss of his home in the California wildfire disaster, and even turning 40. Life changing events like this are a songwriters dream, especially if you’re someone like Butch Walker.

Walker’s songwriting skill is immediately noticeable from his opening song, “Trash Day.” He paints a very descriptive picture from a layman’s view of Beverly Hills, Nashville, and Atlanta, and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. My personal favorite songwriting lyric is in the final verse of the last song, “Be Good Until Then,” which was written for his newborn son:
Everybody loves a hero
Not so much when they fall short so
Try to keep your cape on underneath
You don't have to try so hard
To be the best, just know you are
And that's all that'll matter to me.

As the album progresses, it seems like the next song is just as catchy as the song before it. Whether it’s a stripped down song with luscious strings like “Don’t You Think Someone Should Take You Home,” or the super catchy and upbeat “She Likes Hair Bands,” Butch Walker knows the music industry well enough to know how to make these 11 songs sound great. Popular music website describes this album as “The Beatles playing in a Nashville bar with Ryan Adams & Electric Light Orchestra while Brian May makes a few cameo appearances.” and I don’t think it could be any better put than this.

3:20 pm

Friday, February 5, 2010

Be Joyful Always; Pray Continually.

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

Who knew five words could be so demanding?

It's February 2010, in my second full week of the semester, and to be honest, I'm struggling. I feel like I have a pretty good right to feel bogged down, too: I'm taking 17 credits this semester. I'm very involved with AgapeFest this year and have 5 different hour-long meetings each week for the festival. I've been searching for a job within a 20-mile radius since August and still haven't found a job. I'm almost never making time for Bible reading and I rarely make the trip to Whitlock to try and write music. I'm struggling on a few other levels, too, and it's really starting to get to me.

Is it easy to get in this position? Absolutely. I've been in this rut for quite a while, quite honestly. I've done a pretty decent job of hiding it up until recently, but I think I've finally realized I have to just come out and say it.

It all started before school started back up. Back in August, my old car's transmission was falling apart and I knew it wouldn't last me through college. My mom and I decided we were gonna see about getting me a new vehicle. We found a very nice car at a very reasonable price, but found out that because Mom is still making car payments on her vehicle that she couldn't cosign on a loan for me. We decided to try and talk to my grandparents (father's parents) and see if they would be willing to give me a hand. They wanted nothing to do with it, and insulted both me and my mother very harshly. They told me that I was not responsible and that it was obviously my mom wasn't responsible either because she was going to let me get away with another huge expense like this. We calmly walked out of their house, and on the way home, I managed to use every single curse word I possibly knew. I love my mom more than anything (evidence), and to hear someone make these accusations about her, especially my own grandparents, put me in a rage. They never apologized for what they said, and I have not spoken to them since then. I know that there were better ways to handle that, but there isn't much going back now. Maybe one day my grandparents and I will have a real talk, but they haven't respected me since the day I told them I was going into the music business, so I don't think that is going to change anytime soon.

So ever since that day, I've been trying to prove my grandparents wrong and show them that I'm responsible enough to pay for a car. Show them that I'm not a little kid anymore. Show them that I'm worth something. And so far? I haven't done much towards any of those three. And that's been tough to swallow.

One thing about me is that I'm a person that loves relationships. I love having close friendships with people. I thoroughly enjoy spending one on one time with people and trading stories. I feel like that's how I best interact with my friends. But I've struggled doing that this school year. So if you are my friend and haven't seen much of me this school year, please let me know. I'm sorry for not spending time with you and I want to fix that.

So how do I get away from this? Be joyful always; pray continually. Sounds easy, right? I mean, five words doesn't sound like too difficult of a mantra to live by. But I've never been hit harder by five words in my life. I think I have to realize that life is not always going to go as smoothly as I wish. I also have to realize that God's plan is exponentially better than mine as well. I just have to let it go, be joyful, and pray.

Sorry for the length.

1:20 am
City Of Black & White
Mat Kearney
Album - City Of Black & White