Eugene Cho

my favorite music – right now

songwriterIn response to last week’s post about the Greatest Rock/Pop Band of all time and the numerous contributions and push back regarding my suggestion that U2 be considered as the greatest band, I’ll put it out there and share with you my personal 9 favorite artistscurrently.

Why 9?  Because you can you contribute #10.

Who are you really enjoying now?  Who should I add to my playlist?  Or who’s an artist you enjoy that’s still un-discovered?

I feel like I have a pretty eclectic taste in music.  If I had any talent as a musician, I’d learn to somehow bring the sounds of my current favorites into one sound.  And to be honest, I don’t listen to alot of new stuff because I don’t listen to any radio. I come across new artists when folks recommend them my way.  Anyway, here’s my list in no particular order. Critique away…

  • James Taylor – one of my all time favorites.  want to go to one of his concerts.
  • Fugees/Lauryn Hill/Wyclef Jean – i miss the fugees.  love lauryn hill.  and think that wyclef jean is brilliant.
  • Common – one of my favorite emcees.
  • Chris Tomlin – need some CCM here to prove i’m a christian to my readers.  seriously, i really believe he’s the most gifted hymn writer of our time.  so appreciated his willingness to play at our very own Q Cafe in partnership with a local station couple years ago.
  • Stevie Wonder – isn’t he lovely?
  • Coldplay – i know, i know.  they’re popular but i can’t help it.  i like chris martin’s hands.  it’s a toss up between personal preference between U2 and cplay but i’m currently u2’d out.
  • Bob Marley – what can i say?
  • Blue Scholars – representing 206 of Seattle.  they’re good and you’ll hear about them soon if you don’t know them already.  i’d put up their ‘blink’ video but it would incite some hate emails my way.
  • Josh Garrels – you’ve likely not heard of him.  he played at the Q Cafe a few years ago and love his style of music.

And since Blue Scholars and Josh Garrels might be ‘new’ to some of you folks, here are some samples of their music:

* my honorable mentions:  Bee Gees, Radiohead, Priscilla Ahn, Nas, David Crowder Band, Tyrone Wells.  I would have put Priscilla on my list above but she ain’t returnin’ my emails to play the Q in the future. Support a fellow Korean brotha.

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33 Responses

  1. gar says:

    Good list.

    A few of mine:

    Far*East Movement – Lowridin

    Giant Panda – Justin Case

    Utada Hikaru – Come Back To Me

    Chester French – She Loves Everybody

    Justin Nozuka – After Tonight

    Marie Digby – Say It Again

    Oh, and this kid is amazing…

    Sungha Jung

  2. Sue says:

    I love James Taylor and Tyrone Wells.

    I’d suggest Rosie Thomas.

  3. DS says:

    Dude, is that you in that picture?

  4. D C Cramer says:

    Josh Garrels is a good ol’ Indiana boy (graduate of my high school). He’s got a large fan base out here and I’m glad to hear he’s made it to the west coast. Thanks for giving him some well-deserved props.

    Speaking of west coast, I’m a sucker for a little California band called Starflyer 59. They’ve been around for about 15 years now and have put out quite the corpus of solid indie music over the years.

  5. rymk says:

    I know I am only supposed to add #10 but give me #11 as well.

    10. Bloc Party. Anything by these guys, but especially their first album will tickle your ear drums. A sound that your just not hearing anywhere else.

    11. Vampire Weekend. Best album of 2008. If you do not own it go by it right now and make your day better.

  6. Andy M says:

    Alterbridge
    Jack Johnson
    Cake
    Brie Stoner
    Some songs off of the Juno soundtrack

    I’ve been kind of stuck on these for awhile now. I just kind of got sick of everything else that I have, and these I still enjoy. Though I do sometimes run across random songs that are good.

  7. casey says:

    grew up as a missionary kid in haiti so Wyclef and the FUgees are huge there. Lauryn Hill’s MTV unplugged album is one of my favorites.

    Also love Ray Lamontange and DAmien RIce

  8. anne says:

    Check out LeCrae. If you’re not into the beats, you have to at least pay attention to the words…packed with theology and evangelism.

    And how could you forget India.Arie?!?!?!?!

  9. stan Friedman says:

    Bruce and the E. Street Band – They influenced a range of music, still rock hard, and put out original music. The concerts are not just greatest hits. Who else that big still takes requests from the audience and brings audience members, including kids, on stage?

    Is there a better song on the plight and aspirations of undocumented immigrants – Across the Border

    Audience member brought on stage:

    Born to Run (let’s audience ‘play’ his guitar. (at 2:55f)

    I cry every time I hear this about 9/11 “into the fire”

    “I need your kiss but love and duty called you someplace higher somewhere up the stairs into the fire. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOh38qNdLag&feature=PlayList&p=3D1EE34CFEB6A33B&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=12

    May your strength give us strength
    May your faith give us faith
    May your hope give us hope
    May your love give us love

    If “My City of Ruins” is one of the best gospel songs I’ve heard and echoes Nehemiah-Ezra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1ne3rc3iqc&feature=related

    Well enough of that going on and on and on.

  10. Peter says:

    Josh Garrels is off the hook talented in lyrical composition. Very unique dude and I listen to him a bunch. My list would have to include Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds for their unique sound and freakish talent as an acoustic duo. I would have to have Aaron Strumpel in the mix, too, for some of the very same reasons.

  11. Katie says:

    yay another music post!

    definitely might want to check out: bon iver, a.a. bondy, beirut, and beach house.

    bit more upbeat? try arcade fire, new pornographers, tv on the radio, and i’m going to second the noms of both vampire weekend and bloc party.

    from the movies: if you saw half nelson and dug the soundtrack, check out broken social scene. and if you saw slumdog millionaire and thought a couple of the songs kicked, check out m.i.a. she is crazy good.

    oh and how can i forget thao nguyen!

  12. Ryan says:

    it’s finals week so I dial it back to The Album Leaf quite a bit. I’ve also been listening to Bob Dylan and craving Nina Simone.

  13. Ryan says:

    BTW, love to see my friend Aaron Strumpel get mentioned. I’ve been listening to him and Karla Adolphe recently as well.

  14. Dadofiandi says:

    This is hard to do, but these are 10bands i would make every effort to see in concert.
    the smiths – fav band in HS
    dc*b seen x1
    u2 seen x2 BAD and PE (not you) on same bill
    the flaming lips – never seen live
    pearl jam – saw with Tom Petty
    tom waits – missed opportunity last year &#*^@# ticketmaster
    abba – saw Mama Mia on broadway
    john denver – yeah not going to happen
    queen – no freddie me no go
    the clash – fav band in HS too, saw B.A.D. but not the same, obviously

    andrew bird is pushing my top ten too.

  15. Dadofiandi says:

    @Katie, have only heard a few thao nguyen songs but really like her. bon iver well he’s from ‘sconsin and so am i.

  16. mike says:

    do check out these artists:

    BUILD AN ARK – collective of musician’s from LA formed in response to 9-11 to make music that heals and reminds people of what life is about. sacred music that isn’t corny, amateurish, or particularly “religious”. Dwight Trible is also an artist in this collective who is a must listen.

    K-OS – genre blending hip-hop artist with great songs and sharp, introspective lyrics.

    RAUL MIDON – guitar playing virtuoso and soul singer with a voice blending Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway (also someone you need to get to know).

    DUDLEY PERKINS – he’s like a mystical, prophetic, crooning Ol’ Dirty Bastard with beats by Madlib, one of the most creative hip-hop producers.

    CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA – spiritual, electronic, ambient, mellow jazz.

  17. Kacie says:

    Hmm… my style is different then yours, so I don’t really know what to recommend for YOU, but I’m currently into the feel good pop of Ben Rector (pretty much an unknown), and the indie folk rock of Over the Rhine (whose lyrics are sensational).

    Hah, given that Chris Tomlin is on your list, what did you think of John Stackhouse’s roast of him last week? I personally thought it was ridiculous… but that’s a whole different discussion…

  18. eugenecho says:

    @DS: yes, it is. circa 1997.

  19. J. P. says:

    I have been enjoying Emm Gryner‘s DIY ethic for over a decade now. [a very recent CBC performance for the curious]. Great voice, great songs, great arrangements and engineering.

  20. gracerules says:

    good list – especially love Josh Garrels, James Taylor and Priscilla Ahn. I would add Jason Mraz.

  21. abe says:

    garrels plays in indiana all the time… saw him quite a few times in small coffee shops when he was getting started. excellent edition.

  22. Joseph Lee says:

    I was at the Blue Scholars show this past monday. It was a pretty amazing show, they’ve got some awesome energy. Kicked it way to hard, I think I’m getting old now.

  23. Rick in Texas says:

    HEY EUGENE!

    Seriously … Listen to this song called “Hey Eugene”. It’s by a band called Pink Martini, who are from Portland, fronted by a singer named China Forbes, who sings in about 7 languages, and led by an asian guy with the very un-asian name Thomas Lauderdale (he was adopted by a Caucasian family.) Here’s a link to an NPR live-in-studio recording:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10177940

    And this little jazz orchestra plays lounge,swing, world music, classical music, jazz and samba. Hey Eugene – I bet this band will become number ten if you give them a chance.

  24. […] these “musical artists” are not on my favorites list but I know that they influence thousands if not millions of fans including the three young kids in […]

  25. stan Friedman says:

    Now I’m feeling old and out of touch. I used to know the names of every band in almost every genre and I recognize less than a handful of these. Lots of new stuff to discover, I guess.

  26. eugenecho says:

    @stan: umm. i can’t resist the open door…

    you are old.

    but don’t worry. i don’t recognize a lot of these names as well.

  27. […] these “musical artists” are not on my favorites list but I know that they influence thousands if not millions of fans including the three young kids in […]

  28. Maia says:

    Well, what can I say, theres a lot of pop on my playlists but my recommendation is:

    #10- Amos Lee – such good summer music. He’s kind of in the same vein as John Legend and Alicia Keys but with a more relaxed New Orleans bluesy feel.

    I also like Rick’s recommendation- Pink Martini (its a little flowery but maybe good for a dinner party rather than just casual listening)

    My Christian pick is Fred Hammond.

  29. Brett says:

    C’mon guys! How about a little Ben Harper?? Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. How’s that for a band name?

  30. […] the way, I got a chance to play teenager last night and rocked to the David Crowder band. They made my list of favorite bands. Check out these this short clip featuring one of my favorite songs, O Praise Him, but also soak in […]

  31. […] the way, I got a chance to play teenager last night and rocked to the David Crowder band. They made my list of favorite bands. Check out this this short clip featuring one of my favorite songs, “O Praise Him,” but […]

  32. Kat says:

    Sister Hazel
    Panda Conspiracy

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 1 day ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 1 day ago
  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 4 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 4 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 4 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 6 days ago