We are in Lower Hutt at an Anglican community. Our truck is parked outside and we are listening to Nic Cave's new record Push The Sky Away as it spins around on Josh's 1957 Astor. Nice album. Reminds me of Jonny Cash, gospel, blues and Proverbs, especially those struggles around relationships and temptations of Mermaids.

There were 14 people in out truck coming away from Passionfest. Most of those people are still with us. Headed north. Hoping to find some work in the vineyards for the Germans among us.


Jasmin Jones in the house

No relation, but musician/surfer-chick Jasmin Jones from the band Triplet is in the house. Make that IN THE YURT, because a few days ago we managed to fix up a storm damaged yurt and move into it.

Jasmin is the Ozzie-born daughter of a Kiwi dad and Portuguese mum and is in NZ for a month. She has a new album called Lost in Rainbows that is less hard-core than her earlier Triplet stuff and more chilled indie-folk-surfer music. I think so, anyway. Watch her on Youtube.


Saw a bunch of bands last night at Freakstock Festival in Germany. Triplet, our friends from Portugal, did their final gig after 10 years. Lead singer Jasmin Jones is also performing solo. Psalters rocked everyone again. I saw them in 99 at Cornerstone when they first started. A crazy band who give everything away for donation and travel the US in this old school bus [below]. DJ Kenny Mitchell spun at the Artland. Kenny was with me in Japan years ago. Nice to be reunited with old friends . . .

Psalters bus

Violet Burning: The Story of our Lives

One or our favourite bands, The Violet Burning, arrived in Prague in preparation for Colours of Ostrava, Czech Republic's largest music festival. We often meet up with this band on various occasions and various countries and always have a great time. Last night, the band came over to our 'van down by the river' for our regular Friday Pizza Party and i talked to Michael Pritzl (pictured left) about the new album, The Story of our Lives.

Violet burning at jones pizza party


The Violet Burning is one of the bands I admire most for their integrity, something that undergrids their music production and distribution and every aspect of what they do.

Violet burning red

THE STORY OF OUR LIVES:Liebe über Alles, Black as Death, and TH3 FANT^5T1C MACH1N3 was dreamed for 5 years and took 3 years to create, Michael told me. 34 original songs in a concept album containing 3 discs. The artwork is stunning. Some of the black and white photos were taken with out-of-date film to achieve a uniquely goth-industrial look.

Violet burning story of our lives

We played it all through today. Absolutely amazing. I am not a music critic but to me, the softer songs carry shades of Bowie, Joseph Arthur, Neil Young (Where do we belong?). The harder songs are Cure-like with shades of Floyd [original concept album] and typical of The Violet Burning passion.  All amazing music but placed in a concept album, it becomes a musical journey, a pilgrimage of sound and words, an experience.

Violet burning tv screens

Philosophically, Michael has thought a lot about our interaction with machines, the internet, and how are minds are being shaped by a new big brother. There is a lot of deep thinking that backs up the lyrics, music and art. It's music for thinking people. Totally recommended.

- If you want to support their European mission this summer, you can donate here.

- Other reviews by people who know more about music than me: Every Note Noted, JesusFreakHideout, DowntheLineZine,

- At Colours of Ostrava Festival 2009, Violets also did a gig in a church venue after their big stage set and apparently it was amazing. Video here.

3 Top Albums on our Playlist

Good to see Mumford and Sons win the Best Brit album of the year with Sigh No More. We have been playing it for months on our playlist, along with other favourtie albums.

The Top 3 albums on our family's playlist right now are:

Sigh No More, by Mumford and Sons

The Fray by The Fray

Begin to Hope, by Regina Spektor

Whats playing on yours?

Lunch with Isaac Slade of The Fray

Our family stopped into Denver last week and had lunch with Isaac Slade, lead musician and vocalist for The Fray.

I met Isaac last month in South Africa, right after he visited a social enterprise in Rwanda. Great to see a musician with a heart for changing the world. Nice guy - intelligent, hard working, polite, someone who probably would have succeeded in anything he put his mind to . . .  not just music. Can't say the same for Ozzy.

Over lunch our kids used crayons to draw some pictures and Isaac insisted on taking them. Later that day, he sent us a video from his studio of the two crayon pictures hanging proudly on the wall - inspiration for his upcoming third album, I wonder. Well, count us in for a copy.

The Fray opened for U2 recently on the West Coast and they will do so next year at four concerts. Mark the dates and enjoy a really great concert:

The Fray and U2 in 2011:
Saturday 21 May 2011 in Denver, CO
Tuesday 24 May in Salt Lake City, UT
Sunday 29 May in Winnipeg, Canada
Wednesday 01 June in Edmonton, Canada

ALBUMS: Last year, The Fray offered a free Christmas album to their Facebook fans. I am hoping they will offer it again for members of the new Fray Fan club that opens soon. But in the meantime, The Fray have two albums - The Fray and How To Save a Life, which is the one we just ordered from the record shop here in Salem, Oregon. Yeah I know - old skool!

Kevin Prosch and the Peppercorns

Back in 1998, Kevin Prosch and the Peppercorn Band stayed with us in the Redwoods of California. Our community was full of young hippy kids and rastas who had given their lives to Jesus and were getting off drugs and starting a new life. The Peppercorn Band and Kevin totally rocked. Great energetic worship. Just the ticket.

Over the last 12 years or so, we have found ourselves partnering with Vineyard and Pentecostal churches all over the place. Sometimes, especially in Germany, the young emerging churches were helped along by the Vineyard. As well as this, some of our biggest supporters and sponsors have been and still are Vineyard church people and leaders.

I dont see a disconnect. But others do and so there are interviews and blog discussions about the relation between the new stuff thats going on and the Pentecostals, and the Vineyard. Still worth a read.

Johnathan Stegalthis morning:

kevin-prosch-1.jpg"So the most recent episode of Homebrewed Christianity includes an interview between Kevin Prosch and my friend Mike Morrell. I hadn’t ever heard of Kevin Prosch, but his experiences with the early Vineyard, pre-IHOP Mike Bickle, other prophetic worship music, and his influences on what became the worship genre as a whole are fascinating, and the episode tells stories of these things."

Kevin has seen plenty of ups and downs since he and his band came through our town in the 90's, but he seems to have bounced back. He is a tremendous musician who has left a great legacy already. Check out the interview:

The Fascinating Life and Music of Kevin Prosch: Homebrewed Christianity 77

Rock Bands turning up here for our REALLY BIG PARTY

Ahhhh its CRAAAAAZY around here!! We are really busy, setting up to throw a huge party this weekend called Rock on Christmas, the brainchild of Denny Hurst who turned up this afternoon. The festival starts tomorrow and we have been sweeping out this old warehouse and watching people set up the stage and deliver the generator and drop off all kinds of things. People sleeping on couches and mattresses on floor all around us. REALLY nice people, despite how many of them dress in black. I guess black must be the new black?

9 bands are coming down to help us rock this city - Olhao, Portugal - the poorest city in Western Europe. We are also showing some videos that share the good news about Jesus like Walking on Water and some shorter ones from Teen Challenge, 24-7 Prayer, etc.

pb2645.jpgI had a really good chat today with Rob Cassels from the foothills of South Carolina [needs a translator into English] and Pastor Bob Beeman from Tennesse who is here with his band. Pastor Bob (pictured) introduced me to his band as the "guy who started him blogging" which is a wonderful compliment but the whole "Getting Naked with Pastor Bob" idea was entirely his! Hey - bet you cant guess what color his blog is? Yeah . . . its black. Good guess.

EVERYONE is volunteering here. The bands are paying their own way so we are only charging 5 Euros which should cover most of the costs. The best way you could help us this weekend is by checking out the bands below and BUYING ONE OF THEIR CDS. That would be great. Here they are, and give a shout out to them if you know them.

Verra Cruz

Rob Cassels Band




Memorial Death

Desso Blues Gang

Sanctuary Worship Band

Cast a Fire


Rock on Christmas Festival (Dec 5-6)

We are busy preparing for a rock festival called Rock on Christmas, to be held in Portugal on Dec 5 and 6. LOTS and LOTS of work to do. Like . . . choosing a location . . preparing a campsite (my kids are doing this right now) . . . publicity, etc. Thats right - we don't yet have a location, And neither do any of us have any money. But that doesn't seem to be a problem right now.

rock on christmas festival

Festival organizer Denny Hurst has asked me to be the VJ [bless his heart] which was a WISE CHOICE! In fact, I really think the entire festival will be all about me and my out-of-this-world video jockeying abilities. Really! Suplementing my video magic will be a number of bands from all over Europe, USA and UK, including Verra Cruz [YEAH!] all of which will do a fine job in accentuating the various subtleties of my pixel painting, brain-numbing transitions, and glorious digital grafitti. Also present will be the legendary Pastor Bob Beeman and Rob Cassels who are probably just coming because they heard that I was the VJ.

Of course the Rock on Christmas story at Myspace is heavily biased towards the music, but its all a matter of perspective.

ColdPlay - Left Right Left Right Left

Coldplay's new album is a free download. Lots of great songs, most of them you would have heard before, but this time recorded live from their concerts. The crowd participation makes Left Right Left Right Left a charming and endearing album and a great introduction to one of Brittain's best bands ever. I just managed to download it - I think yesterday was too busy. Thanks John.

Picture 5-5

Previously on Tallskinnykiwi: Discussing the theological shades of meaning in the lyrics of Coldplay's Viva La Vida.

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