GK Solo Blues at Ribfest- Maple Grove, MN

NEXT WEEKEND Wendi and I head north to Twin Cities May 6 for a cookin’ (pun intended) night. Hope to see some of y’all out for a tasty evening…

Saturday May 6 @6pm $15 dinner and a show 🙂
6900 West Fish Lake Road
Maple Grove, MN 55311
763.494.0444
http://nlcmn.org/events.html

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Echo Chambers

As a guitarist and a young dude learning to move from r&b, soul and blues to rock licks, of course Jimi Hendrix became a massive influence.

So at one point I discovered one of THESE amazing little babies! Well, not this exact make or model, but very simple electronic box with about 4 switches that mostly/sorta made one sound like Jimi when plugging an electric guitar in to!

Wish I had one today just for nostalgic reasons… well o.k., might even employ it live in a moment of crazed pleasure…

I guess most electric guitar players or wannabees are taken down the street for this or that guitar, amp or effects pedal that seems to instantly transform them into whomever their chosen guitar hero is. Well at least there’s that inspirational buzz that moves in one’s brain… “Man, I at least kinda sorta SOUND like…” whomever it is you wish to emulate.

Alas, it’s all part of the fun (and commerce $$$) of musicianship to check out the latest gadget.

But let’s go deeper. It’s about your own heart, ears, core aptitude, attitude, willingness to practice-practice-practice.

Sure the gear -and I mean EVERY PART of the gear- is certainly important to the process of learning. But if one only focuses on one’s self, does not really learn to LISTEN, to pay attention to other guitarists, is not humble and willing to accept the pain of making mistakes, trail-and-error, and LEARNING from others who may or may not even be exactly the one’s you want to sound like later… well living in a vacuum doesn’t help any of us grow.

The modern slang term “echo chamber” of course refers to simply thinking inside of one’s own head and experience. It’s a phrase used to discuss talking without listening, focusing so much on one’s own hard-wired current perceptions that giving any credibility to the knowledge, experience, possible wisdom and even solid truthful experience of others is just shut out on our part. “I know what I know and everyone who does not immediately agree with me is an idiot, end of story” sort of thing.

Do this in any area of life (music being but one of them) and you are now a brick. You’re a wall. You yourself cannot be a bridge because you’ve chosen to live inside your own echo chamber.

Funny how it only took about 3 rehearsals where that cool echo unit one of my bandmates had loaned to me became more a burden than a gift. I dug it so much I wanted to play through it on one of the three basic settings on EVERY SONG. In other words, I was so “transformed” by this space echo sound that immediately put me in a sort of Hendrix-land that I just never wanted to turn it off.

Even I realized as good as it may have sounded (who knows… I had not yet gotten into drugs but one can convince oneself of nearly anything if so inclined!) it was just overkill, just TOO much to have the thing full-on on every single song of our set!

So there is my analogy for today’s blog. No matter how cool, even Truthful and Correct… folks aren’t always going to agree with you nor should they. You ain’t God any more than I am -nor are they. But we can all learn IF IF IF we get beyond the old “I already KNOW IT ALL DUDE” attitude and mentality and actually pay attention, listen, at least try to give “the other” person/s a chance.

Listening to all voices does not mean buying what they believe or sell or live out. Yet there is a measure of depth and wisdom, even growing in the fruit of patience, learning to love people you may fully disagree with and even coming in time to realize not everybody but you are “dolts” who have zero to offer you.

Then again, you could just keep living inside that echo chamber until the thing shuts down from corrosion.

Sad, but plenty people choose that sort of path.

As for me? Jesus indeed said He Himself is “The Way, the Truth and the Life”. What He did not command me to do is completely wall myself off from all others who think otherwise.

Seems to me there was a foot switch on the old sixties echo unit I used back then. Good thing… it was just too tempting to never shut the thing off. Obnoxious, even dumb to not make use of it.

Things to consider perhaps 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

The Picture We Paint

Cutting straight to the point- you either live for yourself or for someone else.

“Wait, BALLANCE” you say? And of course you’re correct, we have to take care of ourselves as well as demonstrate care for others… but in the end isn’t it always -us- filling our respective mirror? Others just have to “wait in line”, sometimes forever. Notice- even Jesus “stand[s] at the door and knock[s]”. Hmmm…

As for me, am I consistent? Do I really ALWAYS do as the Love of my life desires? No. Sadly it’s so easy to just get caught up into whatever it is the “illustrious I” desires at any moment in time. God help me.

And you? Maybe you share issues of temptation along with me and the rest of the world.

Of course, you do, but the issue is whether it matters. If you don’t care, you just don’t care right?

So who (or Who) cares anyway and what do THEY matter to us?

This is sadly, why in my own journey I suppose I had to hit the wall and hit it hard before I realized exactly how far from any sense of reason, peace or sanity I had taken myself. And indeed, “taken myself”. Maybe you’ve heard the old question “Was he pushed or did he jump”?

And the fact is, my choices as always, affect/ed those around me. You’re no different dear reader.

I jumped.

Sure, I can blame a number of sad, messed-up people for my own sick, destructive choices… always easier to blame anyone but yourself. In the end my own do-it-yourself-deity was fruitless, a lie and just popped like any balloon eventually will.

Well, here it is- note the line “I hope you don’t have to find out the way I did…”

Spring has come to this part of the world. Maybe real life for you as well… if you are willing?

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

GK On-Air Tues. April 18 and Beloit, WI Show Sat. April 22

So this week:

Tomorrow finds me online again w. Aaron Smith doing Part 2 of an interview with him:

TUESDAY 18th

http://entertalkradio.com/intersect/  Tune in… 2:00 PST, 4:00 CST and 5:00 EST

SATURDAY 22nd

GK Solo Blues @ Overflowing Cup/Josiah’s Place  SAT April 22 1175 Madison Road 7pm Beloit, WI 53512-1075  Phone:(608)-365-0365  www.overflowingcup.org

Plus Marty Miles from S. Bend, IN will open the night.  This is a celebration of 43 years of The Cup in Beloit!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

GK Easter “Present Tense” Podcast

Haven’t done one of these for some time but thought it good to offer this podcast now.

Plz forgive the audio “stutters”, I got a bit too close to the phone mic but I thought the content important enough to not re-do. Hope you are uplifted! Thanks- and may Easter be all it should be for you and yours… the Unchanging in the midst of change and present-tense in times of memory and a sense of loss.

https://gkaiser.podbean.com/e/present-tense-easter-2017-gk-podcast/

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

 

Good Friday 2017

20170414_202415
It is Finished

Good Friday, 2017

Feelings come and go- but Jesus’ love, mercy, sacrifice has eternal consequence.  It is history and weaved within my story relationally. Grace!!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

From “Interviewing Icons”
TONIGHT I TOOK COMMUNION

(glenn kaiser, june 1993)

tonight i took communion
i repented
i didn’t feel You
were You there?

tonight i was sick and, yes–tired
i think it showed
but my mind was on You
and a deeper joy
rings in my soul

it is fact–body broken
it is fact–blood spilled
it is certain
You accept me
You love me
me?! Still.

tonight i took communion
Feeling chose not to attend
i sent Fiction, Feeling’s friend
out
to visit him.

Tonight i took communion
and You with me.

Heads Up- GK Live Interview w. Aaron “A-Train” Smith TUESDAY April 11 and 18

So a bro I’ve not seen in some years, celebrated drummer (you can click the show link for his amazing bio) whom I enjoyed w. several bands at Cornerstone Festival over the years has asked me to do an interview. It’ll be at the link on demand but is scheduled live this Tues. April 11 @ 4pm Central

http://entertalkradio.com/intersect/  And will likely continue in a Part 2 the following Tues. April 18 same time and place.

From Aaron’s info. to me: “Tune in… 2:00 PST, 4:00 EST and 5:00 EST at:
entertalkradio.com  The show is called “Intersect”.

As always, I say thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

April 8 Weekend Report

I find such joy in my amazing Wendi and this was her birthday weekend!

So when our great friends at Warehouse in Aurora, IL asked me out for another cigarbox/found object guitar building workshop and history-share-mini concert on these lil’ guitars, I gulped at the date: my girl’s b-day… which she shares with our dear friend Jon Trott.

This year Jon and Carol came up w. a double-date birthday dinner and Wendi and I were delighted.

So I told Wendi about the gig request and that I could be home by 4pm… she said “Go, we’ll go out when you get back” and we did.

Birthdays April 2017

What a fun day. Not a lot of sleep for me but soooo fun!

As usual- pastor Randy, Mike and crew at Warehouse were supreme, their shop first-class, the little coffee-break lunch fab and it was wall-to-wall smiles on the day, lots of fun builders and cool sounding gits as they each finished, we plugged ’em in and enjoyed!

Here are a few pics with some sweet folks at Warehouse Church woodshop.

And besides this, my beloved Chicago Fire (football… or as we Yanks call it, soccer) won too. Baby!

Yes. A really fun weekend -and I hope yours was a good’un too.

Next up- Good Friday and Easter… amazing, deep, profound.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Collaboration?

DANGER

Dangerous ain’t it? ANY group of people may well gather online, in basements, the street or in houses/rooms of power and do just that: collaborate. Organize. Agree on agenda/s and actually get X, Y or Z done. Scary, no? Well… maybe, maybe not.

Straight up, my first thought when this term pops up is a mental image of Nazi collaborators, in particular the shaved heads of women in France when the country again became free. Let me clearly say I am not persuaded all of them were treated with the grace God offers you and I (who have ourselves collaborated with a demon or two as I understand scripture saying). Try this reality on for size every time we blow off God, His commands and love for “the least of these”-but I digress…

COMMUNITY

The “community” buzzword has nearly taken on a life of its own in recent years. Most everyone uses it or synonyms because none of us is ever fully, completely alone on the planet.

Sure, we may WANT to be fully independent, alone, aloof, beyond the reach of others but nada, just ain’t so on many varied levels. What to do?

Even the most “I did it MY way” minded, or in those decisions we really want to go it alone with we often recognize our own need. Not all are mechanics, or techies, or cooks, etc., etc..

The lyricist isn’t always a great producer nor the producer a fab engineer and on it goes. There are plenty of brilliant guitarists who record loads of forgettable songs because song writing is just not their forte. The song requires more attention to realize it’s full potential-and you often as an individual just ain’t got all the necessary heart, art, smarts to get it done by yourself.

Ahhhh yes, the “other shoe drops”: to collab means you don’t have full and total control. Oops. Now what?

CONTROL FREAKS

For this writer as any reading this, the danger is in a nasty overlord. I mean –mean-, arrogant, control freaks who just HAVE to take the wheel. Which means at work, school, in a family, even a Christian gathering of any kind… you and I can end up under the wheels.

A person who is so very control (“win-win-win-at-all-costs”) minded whether that be a strong-arming individual or a group of them, such form what has often been called (and actually were/are) a blitzkrieg, Attila and his Huns, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge… even corporation executives whose personal profit and life fulfillment is THE cherry on the cake, well, of course they exist in our world. Hanging out with them means you are helping bake for their consumption, not shared interests nor common good.

Got that. Understood.

The Bible refers to this as “the old man”, that is, human nature sans God, the individual who thinks and acts in such manner that all revolves around THEM winning.

So we see that collaboration, community in and of itself isn’t THE FIX.

“BEND” DOESN’T MEAN “BREAK” -NOR “DIE”

You must have people who are not each and all hickories. I would say willows better fit the analogy. Deep roots, strong but flexible in a stiff breeze, willing to bend and blend.

Has it ever seemed to you that humility, grace, compassion for those you want to choke is just… well… just a sick, demented sort of plan? I mean at times WE are in the right, right? It’s the other guy/lady who’s the jerk and “must be destroyed” or at least totally avoided. But to collaborate, to get things done one cannot in every case avoid human contact and some of it is bound to be scratchy, maybe even painful, no?

Human interaction often involves friction, mis-communication (or nearly zero communication) disagreement, struggles. Some therefore choose loneliness, despair and at least try to sidestep, doing a sort of “hermit” lifestyle. Take this all the way to the finish: do you really think dying alone is the best sort of death?

I found many years ago that making peace does NOT mean full acceptance of a person or group, not full and total agreement and yet if by nothing other than due to the raw and absolute command of my Lord Jesus I have had to learn to love my neighbor, forgive my neighbor, collaborate.

After 64 years around the world in massively wide and varied cultures, subcultures, faiths (and lack of faith) relationships I am fully convinced collaboration has benefitted myself, my family, the communities I’m engaged with and most often those I influence. Why? I need what others bring to the table. Even my “enemies” bless me with lessons on how to love! How? The Holy Spirit works in my heart, bending, kneading, changing -me- by such means.

Brittle breaks, flexible bends. Life vs. death in this.

There is plenty to be learned from people you may find difficult to even like much less love. I’m serious. Good stuff, not just nonsense. Because all truth is God’s truth.

OLD VS. NEW

Did I mention I’m a fan of change, flexibility, respect for old school AND the fresh, new and we-never-did-it-like-that-before? Sure, risks and the possibility of a mess is always there. So is it me wearing “the emperor’s new clothes” if I am unwilling to collaborate? Possibly.

New wine/new wineskins. We all sometimes stand in the dried cement of “The old is BETTER!” Simply because we’re comfortable with it and not open to change.

Please consider the following text in light of what you’ve read so far:

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”(1 Cor. 13.13)

New ways, new life, new sorts of thinking- and yet I do not mean we must completely discard all the eternal (yes) truths we’ve ever believed and learned, not at all!

Don’t miss this: Paul is talking relationships in this text, both with God and others. He is saying these things continue/remain/abide (now and eternally). Faith in God and indeed, toward your neighbor, hope in God (CAN you or I or “they” grow, change, learn??) and of course, love. Love from and for God and your neighbor is a command in scripture, never merely an option offered to us. We need interactions with others for both parties to learn and grow in faith, hope and authentic, active love.

Or we wall ourselves off from such and suffer the internal consequences.

I ask you: How can one have faith, hope and/or love with zero collaboration? How can one have any sort of relationship without collaborating in at least some sense?

I do not believe it is even possible. Consider this please!

Fact is, on any given day you or I may be the problem, we may be bringing the pain factor into the relationship. It’s not always “the other”!

I am deeply grateful for the art and many benefits of collaboration. In my music and other creative work as well as spiritual growth I continue to take the risks to collaborate because of the fruit I have experienced right through my lifetime.

I’ve long loved the symbol of the Ev. Cov. Church of which I am an ordained pastor because it references Jesus and the cross but also the concept of one-another, of “community”, “collaboration” and “team” which is very much what we are and I am about.

I also well remember times I held back from others due to fear, anger, unforgiveness and arrogance in my heart. Those have always been unproductive times for me because along with faith and hope, love is then choked off by my own unwillingness to extend the same grace to others I also want and need.

Finally, consider the simple definition of this term by taking a look at the first two paragraphs of the link (below) and see if you agree. I think it’s solid as rock.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaboration

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn