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[ How to Kill and Be Killed (DVD) ]

Track One: I Want a Broken Heart... and away we go... the stage is dark, there's some random electronica sounds here and there and the crowd is eagerly anticipating the beginning of the show... and as the lights are panning the stage, the band comes into view and Derek takes his place at center stage... and the intro to the song is underway... Derek begins singing... and they have only him illuminated, standing there with his guitar... oh and some guy walking to the back of the room... WHY ARE YOU LEAVING?... anyway... they've lit up more of the stage now, but the focus is still on Derek and he's playing his guitar now too... the lighting is kind of weird in that there's one light pointed out into the crowd from right behind Derek and when he moves you get it right in the eye... which is exactly where Derek cannot look at you... anyway... this song translates pretty well to the live setting... which is one of the questions i had about the new album... i wasn't sure how a lot of it would translate... but it works... and we're moving on... Track Two: Thankful... i've always liked this song... this is a weird camera angle... right up Derek's nostrils... and off center... anyway... this is a pretty rocky version of the song with the electric guitar and all... it works really well... that guitarist looks like that muppet from the rock band... doctor something, right?... daddy?... um... well anyway, the dreads sticking down out of the hat and all he just has a mysterious aura about him... this song by the way, is working really well... and i'm liking the sound quality etc quit a bit so far... some of the camera angles as i've mentioned are a little strange... Track Three: Saint and Sinner... this was off of the censored debut release and features a nice bluesy sound to it... i really liked this song and the album as well... very honest and open... oh... he certainly isn't going to make any friends with that kind of language... so the live show isn't edited fortunately and Derek used to be a "damned mess" which is good... while i will admit that some censoring is certainly worthwhile for radio play or whatnot... this song is a perfect example of using a word the way it was meant to be used, in a perfectly acceptable fashion, but you know, it gets blown out of proportion and people freak out... can i say "freak out"?... okay... Track Four: Reputation... another new song, well from the newest disc... well, released disc... i hear that there's a new one in the works called Mockingbird... and i'm pretty excited about it... i know that i will constantly confuse it with the Shaun Groves song Hummingbird though... that's just how i am... by the way, i looked it up and google says that it's Dr. Teeth... but i guess he really doesn't look that much like that character... you know, no big teeth or anything and i guess the hat is more akin to that of the sax player, Zoot... anyway... just wanted to clear that up... i also found out that season one of the Muppet Show is coming out on DVD soon which is pretty exciting... so Track Five: Medication... Derek has changed guitars and he's continuing the set despite my talk of the Muppets... this song is really powerful lyrically as can be expected... i just love how it takes that common notion of free and easy Christian living and replaces it with the reality that Jesus spoke of... we will be ridiculed, cast out of society, persecuted and that kind of thing will happen if we actually follow Christ and his teachings... because the world hated Him... they will hate us as well... but we shouldn't want it any other way... if we share in the love and grace that God offers us, why shouldn't we share in the suffering and pain that Christ bore for us as well... "even when the living feels just like death to me"... if you remember, Jesus refused medication on the cross that would've helped numb some of the pain he endured... not that i'm big on pain, but i think pain is important to developing character... so the ending features some nice guitar solos and such... really like that... though, poor Zoot has the camera zoomed right up at his nose... Track Six: Somewhere North... so off of 40 Acres... which is really one of the fan favorites... i really like this song too... Derek turn around... NEVER turn your back to the crowd, that's when they slip out the back on you... muggy night in Houston... it's been muggy all week... driving me crazy... anyway... i'm always driving in my mind... and wearing out the road that gets me there... i've always loved Derek's writing... it tends to speak right to you as you listen... good performance of the song... Derek is introducing the band... his friends... not hired guns... Zoot is actually Paul, but i'll probably still call him Zoot, though he has lost his hat... Track Seven: Can't Lose You... you know... i don't think i could segue this nicely if i tried... Zoot lost his hat, but I know I can't lose you... craziness... anyway... Long Line of Leavers... i've said it many many times, but one more won't hurt... love this album... i think it's the underrated release for Caedmon's Call... "I'm just the hammer helping to nail that future down"... i don't totally relate to this song since i'm more one of the friends that has moved on i guess, but i do really love the lyrics... and the falsetto... and my favorite line is coming up "maybe I have that gift that everyone speaks so highly of... funny how nobody wants it"... ha! totally understand that... another cool guitar solo... Track Eight: Blood of the Lamb...this song has started off and is continuing with a quirky little rhythm...wow, wide angle shot there... woah, then a really tight one... anyway... the backbone to this song feels like something from maybe the Monkees or something... i mean that in a good way... somewhat of a whimsical feel to it... driving beat... maybe somewhat like what i'm currently remembering Keith Green's "So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt"... i don't think it's recorded yet, so i'll just assume that it's on the Mockingbird project... pretty cool stuff... oh... silly me... it's a Woody Guthrie cover... i probably should have known that, but i think my knowledge of Woody's includes "Woody Woodpecker" and Woody from Toy Story... maybe there's more, but you get the idea... perhaps i'll check me out some Woody Guthrie while we take a little break and i hide my face in shame...

*** INTERMISSION (maybe it's cheating but i'm falling behind on this typing and i need to go stretch) ***

Track Nine: Not the Land... okay, i'll try to redeem myself (though i'm sure Derek would correct me in that thought)... i do know this song, though my first encounter of it was from the self-titled release... always loved the growl to his vocals on the chorus... i've noticed that a lot of Derek's songs "take place" on the road... or have something to do with driving... i wonder if perhaps he was the only one awake on long trips and inspiration came to him as he stared out the window of the tour bus or van or whatever they were traveling in... anyway... the bridge really builds a nice sense of angst before spilling out into the chorus which simply rocks straight forward... on and they're going with a little guitar standoff... the band is doing a spectacular job with this one... i wonder why Caedmon's decided not to play it live... Track Ten: Ballad in Plain Red... speaking of well, i guess i used a different word ealier... but the intro for this song features a whole lot of dissonance with all the parts fighting before they combine like a group of children lining up to leave class fighting to be the first in line... and as it continues that dissonence works pretty well to create the confusion or attention deficit disorder that the song kind of describes... just like a flash bang buy this buy that buy buy buy... yeah, oopsie on the camera... gotta watch out for those music stands blocking your view... it has been a rather odd set of camera angles... like that one has a delay effect on it so that as Derek moves his head you see like 10 of them... weird... anyway... that was a good song... i think it worked really well on stage... Track Eleven: Wedding Dress...switching guitars... this one is another new classic song... and another one that earned Derek the gas face in the Christian music stores... oh, for the non-hip-hop folks... that simply means a dirty look or a disapproval... sorry... anyway... this song has a whole lot of great imagery... and really convicting points... which obviously doesn't sit too well with most people... but really correctly presents the message of the Bible... see, we aren't redeemed from nothing... anyway... i really liked it... Track Twelve: Nothing Is Ever Enough... changing guitars again... i guess one is for the first album and one is for the new album... works pretty well... the albums do have completely distinct sounds... though this song is a bit more laid back and less experimental... it's an older song, recently recorded... so that makes sense... man... what is up with that camera... some of these shots are so random... shakiness and out of focus... at least it's straight concert footage... anyway... this song... man... i'll find myself just randomly breaking out with this chorus... i love the way the chorus drags out the ending... "she's leaving you with no way out"... very nice tune...Track Thirteen: Lover Part 2 ... interesting that they would put part two earlier than part one... oh, that opening line is brilliant... "i'm living in a car graveyard, my heart is up on blocks"... you know i pulled this album out a little while ago... well, not physically, i mean, i picked it from my playlist in iTunes... but anyway, i pulled it up to listen to it because, with all the music i listen to, i rarely get a chance to listen to the albums i enjoy the most... this is one of them actually and i stole time away from the present to relive the album... anyway... i just talked through a really fabulous guitar solo... good job Zoot... Derek had his back to the crowd again... oh, there he goes again... very cool stuff... that's one great thing about live performances... the solos and the flair and spontaneity of it all... where did this piece of tape on my hand come from?... oh, see, i should've known that... "Lover" is part of an encore... Track Fourteen: I Repent...this is supposed to be the last song... and man... if ever there was a song that should convict you or even move you to tears... just reading these lyrics, listening to them sung, or singing along... man... that's deep stuff right there... "[I repent] of living like i deserve anything"... i remember a few years back i was sitting across the table from a salesman and we were sitting there listening ot him try to sell us a timeshare... we really weren't interested, but we went to check it out because they gave us free stuff... but i remember distinctly that he said numerous times... "you deserve this type of vacation" or "you deserve to relax"... and i remember thinking, man i don't deserve anything... i don't deserve the air that i breathe... it's all a gift... my entire life is simply because God has shown me grace and mercy... and i remember that's the first time i really started tinking about the American dream... and the lies that it promotes... i could've easily written the first verse of this song and maybe that's why i relate so well... Track Fifteen: Lover... so without all the silly theatrics of a traditional encore... Derek just went ahead and began playing this song... i remember hearing him somewhere... some recorded concert somewhere... and he went into a whole big schpiel about encores and how silly artists are when they make the fans beg for a few more songs that they had already planned on performning... so it makes sense that he didn't do the whole "hide backstage for a few minutes while they clap and stomp their feet" thing... anyway... yeah... part one... you will be set free... and he's launching into the final song, written by Sandra McKracken, Derek's wife... Track Sixteen: Awake My Soul... okay... it's on the first album... i was wondering why it was so familiar... sadly, i have no Sandra McKracken albums, though i know that i should... i tried to get the latest one but i think it was only available in England... "no one is good enough to save himself"... see that goes against my hopes of redeeming myself... and alas, with no Sandra McKracken albums, i suppose i have ended this second half on the same, unfortunate note as i ended the first... anyway... this DVD, i believe was recorded during the release party of I See Things Upside Down and gives you a good taste of Derek Webb and the music he records... not much talking in between songs, however, but if you were looking for that... there is an interview tucked away in the special features... thanks for sharing this time with me and for not laughing too hard at my lack of Woody Guthrie knowledge... and i've seen this show before too... jeepers...

Derek Webb became very well known with his work writing and performing with the group Caedmon's Call, but also has been carving out a healthy solo career. This DVD captures a sixteen song concert and also features an interview with Derek as well as a slideshow of stills from the show set to another song, "We Come to You" from the latest release. The DVD should be available everywhere you can buy DVDs of this sort on 11 Oct. Derek is currently working on his third proper release which is due out sometime in early 2006.

for more info: Derek Webb - INO Records - .net [fan site] - The Muppet Show

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