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Rock Out Knockout

blog durbinJessica AbramsonLocal hero James Durbin performs acoustic set at Kuumbwa Jazz

The atmosphere inside Kuumbwa Jazz was buzzing with anticipation as local hero James Durbin was brought to the stage for a top secret acoustic promo concert Tuesday, Jan. 17. Durbin calls it “The first annual Acoustic Thunder Southern Hemi Tour,” and adds, “it’s a farewell tour.” The hope is that by saying he’s leaving, people will come to the shows thinking it’s his last. Well aware of the irony, Durbin explains, “Judas Priest just did it, Kiss did it, Cher did it.” No matter the name of the tour, Tuesday night’s crowd—mostly middle-aged radio contest winners and their families—went nuts.

The recently married Durbin is the kind of kid you have to root for—22 years old and living the rock and roll dream. Backstage, Durbin remembers: “I was working at Dominoes in Santa Cruz and the American Idol auditions were that weekend, and the boss wouldn’t give me the day off. Two days later the owners called us all into the office and said they were going out of business.” The rest, as they say, is history.

Durbin’s new band—made up of old friends and road-tested metal heads—accompanied him on Conan recently for a blistering rendition of “Love Me Bad.” Joining him on stage Tuesday were two of his band members—local rocker Dylan Rosenberg from Archer, and Blake Bunzel from L.A. metalcore band In This Moment, who has toured the world in support of bands like Korn and Sevendust. While the seven song set at Kuumbwa was stripped down to the bare essentials, the power of the songs off Durbin’s new album, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, was evident.
 
In private, Durbin relates that as he was getting ready to perform at a recent 49ers game, all of the lights went out in Candlestick Park. “I had never been to a live football game and I thought it was part of the show. It went dark and everyone started screaming so I thought something big was about to happen. And I could see the big inflatable thing the team runs out of and it was starting to deflate, and I noticed everyone running around in a panic. People were blowing up my phone telling me that the power was out and a transformer blew up.”
 
Just another day in the life of a rock star.

It’s no secret that Durbin wanted to bring the rock to American Idol—and turning young people on to heavy metal is a passion of his. “I think one of the greatest things about music is no matter what genre you listen to it can really affect you,” he says. “Music has always been a big part of the youth culture and kids are impressionable. I like the idea of turning somebody on to something they haven’t heard before.”

For more information about James Durbin and his new album, visit durbinrock.com.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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