I recently released Stumbling Service. It’s been well received and hopefully that will continue. If you’re not familiar with it, skip this post, click on the link and listen/read all about it.
Now that you’ve done that…
This is an all digital release. There’s no physical songbook or CD available for purchase. This allows for a number of things. I can sell it for $20. You won’t have 10 extra copies floating around your church library 20 years from now. You can pass on the MP3s to the rest of your band without first converting file formats. All in all it makes things much more functional. It also allows for immediate use. You buy it. You download it. You use it.
Unfortunately my initial online store set up kind of stunk. I was paying for way more options that I needed and there were all kinds of steps the buyer had to go through. It was kind of a mess. And then when the first few folks followed the links, jumped through the hoops and ordered Stumbling Service they had to e-mail me because the download link didn’t work. I ended up e-mailing files to people individually. I don’t mind doing that and I felt horrible that they had to go through yet more step. As the head of Nate Houge Industries and Frivolity I knew something had to change.
And it did.
Now I’m using bitbuffet. I’m telling you this for two reasons.
1. I’m sure I lost sales because of the previous store. It was too complicated. If that was the case for you, now you can click here buy Stumbling Service via PayPal. Easy.
2. Of the 6 people that read this blog 5 of you are in the same business as me. And Mom, you might want to sell a digital download someday too. So for all 6 of you I recommend bitbuffet. It’s simple. It’s cheap. It works.
Posted: September 5th, 2012
, nate houge
, stumbling service
Comments: 1 Comment
Lutherans have quite a reputation when it comes to change.
Usually it’s typified in jokes like this:
Q: How many Lutheran’s does it take to change a light bulb?
Or if you’re more of a deconstructionist:
A: We have a light bulb?!?
I think we can be done joking about Lutheran’s inability to change.
Last Saturday I was part of a Lutheran Praise Festival hosted at Good Shepherd in Buena Park, CA. It was comprised of area Lutheran congregations that were growing in new ways of doing worship – the emphasis on this day being primarily (but not entirely) on new music and music leadership. Many of these congregations had praise bands of one sort or the other or were trying to start them.
There are camps within the Lutheran church that look down on band led worship. As if playing a song with only three chords is a threat to our churches rich musical past. There are other camps that see the preservation of pipe organs and Bach Cantatas as a threat to our church’s future. I’ve spent time in both camps. I don’t want dumbed down songs, but nor do I want to see a million bucks spent on a pipe organ. I’m hopeful that we’re moving past these camps. A few weeks ago a worship leading friend of mine was told by a pastor, “I’m not sure if the congregation wants to sing so many of these ‘God is good’ songs.” To which my friend replied slightly befuddled, “But God is good.” Zing.
The congregations that I met on Saturday were not being tripped up on the adiaphora of worship music. They were moving outside of camps and following God’s call in their setting to lead worship in new ways. From listening to their stories here are a few things I learned: They were old and young, they used drums and hand bells, they did songs from the 1880′s, 1990′s, and Today. They lifted hands. They held hymnals. They took out pews. They put in projectors. Everyone survived. (At times members moved to other congregations to survive, but no one left The Body.) They faced challenges. They laughed a lot. They were generous and adventurous and 100% openly embracing change.
We’re a church body firmly rooted in change. We’re reformers. We can both love our roots and embrace a new future. We can do that because our faith is not in what we have done, but rather in what God is doing.
Living accordingly, I’m happy to say that Lutherans will continue to have quite a reputation when it comes to change.
Posted: March 9th, 2012
Tags: lutheran change
, nate houge
Comments: 1 Comment
ashes slow twang of joy
This is the slow version of Jonathan Rundman’s song “Ashes” as arranged by Martin Marty and performed by Twang of Joy. Crazy what one Bm can do. This and Justin Rimbo’s “When It Seems the Day Will End” remain by top 2 songs of Lent.
This Sunday I’m leading worship at Gustavus Adolphus. As I was reading through the texts to choose songs I felt a pull towards this weeks Psalm. I wrote this simple melody using verse 1 as the chorus and the remaining verses of the Psalm as the verses of the song. Here’s a lead sheet. If you’re interested in using it this Sunday please e-mail me and I’ll give you permission and ask for feedback. I’ve also included a rough MP3 demo, so that if you’re like me and learn more quickly by hearing you’ve got that resource. And since I had to make a ppt I included that too. Enjoy!
Psalm 147 mp3
Psalm 147 pdf lead sheet
Psalm 147 ppt
It’s like riding a bike. Right?
I took about six weeks off of facebook and blogging.
Getting back into it is a bit sluggish.
Absence did not make the heart grow fonder.
It severed a few ties. Not necessarily good or bad.
I’m still trying to figure out what to take away from it all.
Here are two observations, one personal one professional. Though as a self employed performing songwriter part of my job is being a professional personal, so perhaps there’s not much of a distinction to be made.
Either way, here is thing one and thing two.
Thing 1: I reduce day to day experience into status updates.
For example: After a rough day of parenting I sum it up in my head as, “Parenting would be easy if it weren’t for children.” Maybe the ability to assess and sum up our experience in a concise way is helpful. Maybe FB is encouraging a higher level of self awareness. Maybe it glosses over deeper issues. I’m not sure. I’m just noticing. I’ll admit there were a few lines I thought were such great status updates that I gave ‘em to my wife and she used them while I was off facebook. I’m not telling which ones.
Thing 2: I cut people off. Or myself off people.
When your job is dependent on the public’s presence and participation this is a really dumb move (not my first). I just had an outstanding week in the Seattle area playing one or two events a day. Here’s one of the three pictures I took:
It was exhausting and exhilarating and incredibly under documented. (Did I mention the 3 pictures?) If this were a family vacation that would be okay. But it’s my job. And part of my job is telling people I have a job. It gives me credibility. (And an ego.) If this is what I do (and it is) and if I think it’s legitimate (I do) and important (every family likes to eat) then I have to let the world know what’s going on and how you and I can support one another in doing what we believe we are created to do.
So when you see my massive media campaign dominating the interwebs keep in mind it’s just li’l old Nate realizing his humble calling.
Luddites be durned. I’ve got a job to do.
And I get to do it thanks to folks like these:
The familes, Maas, Marsh, and Potsko, and the Houge contingency of varying surnames.
And for all of you wondering about the 3rd picture I took, it’s my family at Luther’s Table:
The drive to Gettysburg was fine till we got to the rolling hills. I think we were on Hwy. 30. Lots of ups and downs and twists. Micah and I were glad we hadn’t started the day with a large glass of warm whole milk. As it was we came out of that stretch a wee bit nauseus.
We arrived at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg a bit later than hoped due to the twisting and turning and a stop at Starbucks (where for the first time in months the barista actually cared about coffee and teach us a thing or two about what we were drinking). Our host Joel was gracious and after a relatively quick set up in the chapel he gave us a cliff notes tour of the battlefields surrounding the seminary. Maybe its me getting older, maybe it’s the US invasion of Iraq, but those fields hold way more significance to me now than they did when I last visited them 12 years ago. That’s all I’ll say about that for now.
It was a great show – it’s hard to beat playing for a crowd of smart young Lutherans. Check out Micah’s flicker site for a few photos. The greek professor and a few of his students were present so I did Metanoia and quizzed the students. They didn’t quite pass… but the prof totally appreciated it and also gave me a nice Bill Mallonee compliment after the show. (Metanoia is greek for ‘repent/turn around’) I also met a pastor from MD, Pr. John Greenstone http://www.emmitsburg.net/elias/about_joh.htm who’s doing really cool work with faith and the environment.
We followed the show with great Chinese food. The next morning I went for a run and ran across the field along Picket’s Charge. It was moving. No pun intended. Micah took this photo of Pickets charge:
Great coffee and scones at the Ragged Edge, and we were off to pick up the rest of the Rachel Kurtz band in Philadelphia. The Nate Houge and Micah Taylor leg of the tour was over and the Rachel Kurtz and the Rescue Mission leg had begun.