We’ve been posting pictures from the cities, reviews of the shows, and our playlists for each drive on the Living Room Tour 3 blog HERE
Bookmark the page and keep up with the tour from here on out!
“Life on the road” videos from major artists are so compelling. How do they find time to talk to the camera between four catered meals and a full night’s rest in a bunk? How do they have the energy to give a tour of the bus after someone else set up and tore down all of their gear? How do they balance staying on schedule, managing their business, operating merchandise tables, and putting on a great performance with a management team, staff, and drivers on the road to do the majority of the work for them? How do they manage the stress levels that come along with a steady income and a successful career with something to show for it. How DO they do it?
I mustache you a question:
Here’s a list of things you could bring to a living room tour show if you want to help me out. I do not post lists like this because I expect everyone to chip in nor do I expect to see everything on the list; that would be supremely lame. In fact, I would finish the tour fine if none of you brought any extras, so don’t do this out of pity! Many of you, because you’re naturally awesome, have asked how you can help out, and I am grateful for your willingness to help me, so this list is for you…
Hard to believe the Living Room Tour 3 starts in a week! 60+ unplugged shows in people’s houses. Whew. Did you ask off work, invite your significant other, wrap up your homework and mapquest the location? The majority of the shows are open to the public. If the address is posted online, you’re welcome to come. If it’s not posted, you can e-mail me (email@example.com) and talk your way into the show. Let’s do this!
All dates/details listed HERE
“I can’t get out of what I’m into with you”
All We Ask - Grizzly Bear
Those things are pricey! You can hear it blatantly used on John Mayer’s Heavier Things and most of Muse’s records. It may take awhile but I intend on doing posts like this for each of the songs.
Original notes for Heaven Come My Way:
This song has the most blatant imagery of the ad astra theme, and for all intensive purposes could easily be the title track. I knew exactly what I wanted to say before I wrote this song, which doesn’t always happen. The record was missing a deliberate invitation into the concept and I wanted to take one song and make the concept very obvious. The imagery here is of a storm that has to be passed through before the clearing on the other side can be reached.
In a general way, this song is about following through on what you said you would do; even when that means saying goodbye to opportunities and people you love. It’s about braving a serious season of pain and sacrifice (which in many cases is our entire life) in hopes that the end will justify the means. The stars are whatever is that you’re aiming for above anything else. You can decide what the stars are for you.
More specifically I wrote this song about leaving my “plan” behind to follow God wherever he may lead. For me, the stars are communion with God, in this life and the next. It’s a willingness to face discomfort and pain if it means finding true purpose and communion with God in the end. It’s a proclamation of faith, counting on God to hold up his end of the deal when I step out of the boat and into the water.
I set the bar high on the people around me, just ask my band-mates. I can be hard to work and live with. My strengths are my weaknesses. Aren’t yours? As much pressure as I put on the people around me, you can’t imagine the level of expectation I place upon myself. “I’ve always aimed higher…”
I read some Psalms to find inspiration for some of the phrasing in this song. I think King David is really someone to look up to. He messed up, a ton, yet he was known as a man after God’s own heart. He was a great songwriter, and he came to God with this incredible balance of humility and confidence. He looked up to the heavens when he was afraid, convinced that the same God who formed the universe could protect him from anything he would face. He didn’t ask for an escape, just an assurance of aid in time of need.
There is tension between me wishing I didn’t have to leave, but refusing to stay, and there is tension between heaven coming my way and me being taken that direction. It’s that dynamic that I think makes our God unlike any other deity. He chases after us and woos us after him. It’s a constant metamorphosis towards a closer and more intimate relationship with our Creator. I keep the image of life as a storm in mind, as beautiful, scary, and unpredictable as a storm is. We have to get through this life before we can rest amongst the stars. There is a lot of tension in this song, because there is a lot of tension in doing music full time for a career. There is a lot about this job that is illogical and scary and I can’t find the confidence to answer my call in anything and anyone else but the One who is calling me.
Lyrics for Heaven Come My Way:
I’ve always aimed higher, don’t let me off the hook
We wrote a chapter, haven’t finished the book
The high road’s the hard one, but doesn’t it feel right?
I wish I didn’t have to leave, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stay
I’ve heard the call, and I’ll answer anyway
Heaven come my way, come my way
I’ll go through the storm, if I can hear you say
Help is on the way, on the way
It can’t be that far, take me to the stars
You brought me this far, don’t bid me farewell
Give me the courage to finish it well
Keep my feet moving forward and my eyes above
Take me, take me where you are
Take me, take me to the stars.
To the stars oh, where you are
To the stars oh, take me home where you are
To the stars
There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few dollars, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street and they think, “Business as usual.” But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.
These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush.
- Yann Martel The Life of Pi
Take the pulse of the universe with your stethoscopic mind.
Getting a lot of questions recently about what different songs mean on Ad Astra Per Aspera. I’ve considered doing a series of blog posts on the songs and the story behind the writing of the lyrics and the creation of the music. Interested?
Convinced I’m writing some of our best tunes yet this month. Hope ya’ll are on board for this wild ride to come.
Speaking of wild rides, the acoustic tour starts soon. Wondering if I’ve stretched myself too thin booking two solid months of living room shows. I have no doubt you guys will make it worth it, I just want to make it through in one piece and put on a great show every single night. It helps me press on to keep playing and writing music for a living, despite being broke and owning almost nothing, when you guys come out to tour dates. I have no real way to gauge if AK’s music is impacting people until you come out and sing along and share your stories with me.
Of course I want to be successful, but if my calling is to impact a few people in a big way rather than a bunch of people in a general way… then I am okay with that and I can rest easy at night knowing I am “successful”. I’ve posted a lot of blogs about what success means to me, so I won’t ramble on that subject here today.
I just want to remain faithful in the little things and let the big questions answer themselves. I don’t think “to be happy” is the answer to “what’s the purpose of life?” and I hope the light comes on for the rest of you in that regard too. We are not here to further our domain and strengthen our legacy for our own good. Still learning what that looks like. Show me something.
Possible covers for The Living Room Tour 3. Any preference out of these or other suggestions?
- Talking In Code by Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s
- You Have Me by Gungor
- The Cure For Pain / Your Love Is Strong by Jon Foreman
- House of Cards by Radiohead
- Chinese Translation by M. Ward
- Keep No Score by Sleeping At Last
- Ship of Promises by The Villagers