December 26, 2005


Last Sunday morning I flew up here to New York City to visit Rob and Sarah Elkin, to do some business in Manhattan, and to visit my grandparents in New Jersey for Christmas. Upon arriving at La Guardia at 10:30 on Sunday morning, I waited for Rob to come pick me up. We headed to a sandwich shop for lunch---and met Sarah and two of her friends there. Afterwards we went to Memorial Baptist's youth group Christmas party at the home of a family in the church. In the evening, we went to the Christmas program that kids put on at the church. Monday, Rob and I talked about the church he's planting for a few hours and did some basic brainstorming and discussion about the next steps in the process. We both went to Manhattan and met Sarah for lunch---then I went to a brief meeting with Hyperion Books---to show them some of our Portland Studios work as well as some newer work we're doing with our book cover design group. Dinner was chili made by Sarah---FANTASTIC.

On Tuesday, we stayed in Brooklyn and walked the neighborhood, being the first day of the NYC Transit strike. Wednesday was the day of the cab rides---In the morning, I actually walked south from Greenpoint to the Williamsburg Bridge---over the bridge---and finally rested at a Burger King on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I took a cab to Penguin Putnam on Hudson St. and then up to a meeting at Random House at 55th and Broadway. The ride home was a nutty group of New Yorkers all packed in a minivan cab. I sat in front of two hardened businessmen---who well remembered the strike of 1980. The girl next to me ran a personal massage business at clubs in Manhattan. The was a quiet and kind family man accountant in the front passenger's seat. I ended up joining up with him to get over the Williamsburg Bridge back into Brooklyn. Somehow I ended up getting out of the cab far too far south and walked a mile or two back to Rob and Sarah's apartment.

Thursday, I took a cab to Wall Street and Broadway---then took the Seastreak at Pier 11 over to Atlantic Highlands, NJ---where I spent a fantastic Christmas weekend with my family.

This morning I caught a NJ Transit train back to Penn Station in Manhattan---then dropped my stuff off in Brooklyn at The Elkin's place---Then headed back out to SoHo. I came here to the Apple Store to get 2 12-inch Powerbooks fixed. Cate's laptop had a problem with the cable plugging in correctly---so that the laptop wasn't charging often. You had to get the plug to go in JUST RIGHT to make sure that it would charge. My laptop had pretty much konked out the day before I left for NY---so that's been pretty frustrating. I finally had it fixed here at the Genius Bar---just some permissions repairs. So I'm christening the "new" laptop with this blog update. The drone of the giddy presenter in front of me has turned to white noise.

Posted by bmcallister at 01:44 PM | TrackBack

December 13, 2005

Writing on The Wall

At the show in Nashville, Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn did a song from her 2003 album, Writing on the Wall. The song was Grand Design---the closing track---and it was pulled off masterfully. Though I've liked Jill's music for a good while, I just realized recently what a truly strong voice she has. In addition, she and her husband's melodies and lyrics show a profound understanding of Christ and the Gospel--and a humility and brokenness exudes from their work that's sure to be a rare find for discerning listeners. On the surface, its more of a pop sound than what I would normally be drawn to, but upon further listening, I realize that her music stands deeply in the tradition of the best singer/songwriters. Check it out on iTunes here.

Highlights also include:

Grace and Peace

The Way of The Fire


Posted by bmcallister at 08:33 PM | TrackBack

The Ryman and White Chili

I must say I had fantastic time at the annual Andrew Peterson Christmas Show this year. I left on Saturday morning and made my way up to Oak Ridge, TN to stay with my good friend, Jon Kopp. We had a great time going to the local science museum (bear with me) where we saw the history of the development of the first atomic bomb. The city of Oak Ridge was the covert site of the building of that historic weapon. Anyway---the next morning I drove back to Knoxville and visited Cornerstone Church of Knoxville, a Sovereign Grace church that just recently moved into a brand new building. The building was the most beautiful church building I have ever been in. And the people were quite friendly and warm. After lunch with the Kopps, I headed off to Nashville.

Arriving at the Ryman around 4pm , I went into the auditorium to watch sound check. That alone was quite a show. Just seeing the work that goes into pulling off such a production was mind boggling.

After soundcheck I was kindly allowed to come up to the catering room and eat with the artists and crew. I finally had a chance to meet the very kind couple of Andy Gullahorn and his wife Jill Phillips. Very warm and comfortable people. I'm still looking forward to working on the album design once they get all the photos shot.

Talked with Andy Osenga for a few minutes about album design in general. The key is that any good album cover is a cue to the listener as to how to feel about the music. A good album cover could even improve a listener's impression. And, on the converse, a bad cover can easily hurt the listener's overall understanding of the vibe of the album.

The show went off without a hitch. Practically perfect in every way. Had an enjoyable time talking with Andy P. after the show. I know he was relieved and relaxed afterwards. The man must be quite tired. Jamie's white chili revitalized us greatly. And it was good. Kind kind people.

Posted by bmcallister at 02:50 PM | TrackBack