My First Blog-SWC and Family Force 5

Dear Blog,

I have always been rather leery of you. After all, the Bible says that many words are bad and even a fool is thot wise if he keeps his mouth shut. I know that if I write long enough, I am sure to offend everyone, but that is a statistic I will have to risk.

I pray it will be exciting and helpful to many. I will be using my own spellings for some things that I really think America should think about re-spelling, like the word thot (thought). It's too long. Sometimes we need to take a long hard look in a long hard mirror.

So here we go:
Spirit West Coast Music Festival and Family Force 5

I have been wanting to tell y'all about the great time I had at SWC 2007, one of the largest Christian Music Festivals in the nation. I went up to Monterey on Weds, 8/1/07 and loaded in at buddy, Dave Lula's Spark Shirts T-Shirt booth. I'd been praying that the sweet spirit of God would be there as it had not been two years prior (or maybe I couldn't feel it too good). It was.

Spent some time visiting with Dave and then turned in to sleep in my Rav-4, which was on a maddening incline. My new air mattress did not help and sleep was quite elusive. I didn't think to move it, being so tired. Slept bad, got up late. I got to see a bit of the band "Red" (Breathe Into Me), who I was really excited about. They were having an off-day as they tried in vain to fill shoes they don't yet own. I thot about it a bit and how the pressure to be superstars must be tremendous. They were trying toooo hard. Let's hope they recover, because they have tremendous potential.

The height of the show was my nu buds Family Force 5! What a buzz. They are reminiscent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers in their hungry youth, think "True men don't Kill Coyotes."

The singer, Soul Glo Activator even looks a bit like Anthony Kiedis, RHCP singer. But he's a much more versatile singer and no slouch on guitar. The other band members are Crouton, Phatty, Nadaddy, Chap Stique, and not-at-all-professional dancer who looks like Carrot Top, Xanadu.

The joy of my beer-soaked, mosh pit youth came screaming back, sans beer & sans mosh (neither is allowed at SWC). I had kissed the youthful exhileration goodbye, since the Pixies and the Violent Femmes got old. But here came that grande old feeling again! And what did Soul Glow (SG) say? We can do it better than the world?? Then I remembered where I was.

They played their catchy pop pfunk (that's gots both kinds of music--punk and funk) in such a karazy kind of way, that the the jam-packt crowd had to get down.

Love Addict, Kontry Gentleman, Ugly People Put your hands down, Drama Queen, etc. They ran thru a set of songs, most of which I have never heard, but I instantly accessed because of all the hooks. Disco, meets punk, funk, soul, hip-hop. These guys are truly original in the way they build their sound and their persona. See http://www.familyforce5.com/.

Their listed Influences: Jesus, Beastie Boys, Rage againstst the Machine, Kraftwerk, Public Enemy, Prince, Led Zepplin, Outkast, James Brown, Rick James, Debbie Gibson, hee hee, MJ aka the Baby Dangla, Pete Rock, New Order, Kool and the Gang, Dr Dre, Vanilla Ice, and Elvis.

I would add RC Mob to the list, white men who did James Brown proud, God rest his soul. I remember the "humidor dance parties" in my native Ohio in the severist of August heat at Stache and Little Brothers Bar on High Street at OSU. Bliss.

Like Gwar without the rubber masks, FF5 is comfortable rockin' out with props like giant metal fists that have a hole in them where a mic conveniently fits. And giant (farm-raised) trouts.

Near the end of the set, SG said that they came all the way from Cinci, jumping off the Warped Tour to do SWC. Very cool.

Then they asked for prayers for them as they continued with the Warped Tour environment and all that rock & roll is famous for.

I actually counted at least 8 Christian bands on the Warped tour. Wow. Seeping into culture or is it seeping into us??

Regardless, things sure have changed for Christian Music. I NEVER could have listened to it growing up. Yeech.


FF5 did an encore-an a capella rap with all of the band rapping except Chap Stique the guitarist. But, he looked cool and seemed to Kronk.

The bass player served as chaplin and prayed for all at SWC to be open to the calling of the Master, Jesus. What a way to end a rock show!

I went to meet them at the autograph signing, but the line was too long so I had a snooze on the giant squid ride. They were still there signing when I woke up. Nice guys, even with a great deal of jet lag. Superheroes? Time will tell. Stay off the drugs, call your mom's a lot, pray and eat green leafy veggies. You might grow up to be like TobyMac.

One last thing. My friend Dave Lula has started a thing I call "the culture of the hug. " He made shirts which say"Free Hugs (available here)." They sold like greased hotcakes at $12 each and caused random Christians to hug like, well Christians.

There's a covered bridge at Monterey's Laguna Seca Raceway (where the event was held) that goes over the racetrack so people don't get killed by the racers. It was like a victory lap going up the stairs and thru this covered bridge. Dozens of young and old lined up to hug and hi 5 you as you passed through. Gotta love trendsetters on the positive side.