Staying Healthy at Summer Festivals

Summer is here, and for a lot of people, that means weekend long music festivals, where we can have fun in the sun, see some of our musical heroes, mingle with fellow music lovers and have interesting new experiences. There’s no denying that music festivals can be great fun, but if you’re going to one this year, you really should do what you can to stay safe and stay healthy while you’re having a ball. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Which concert will you be attending this summer?

Avoid Alcohol Consumption
If you’re heading off to a festival, chances are that alcohol will be available. If that’s the case, you need to make sure that you and your friends party safe and that means watching how much alcohol you drink AND more importantly watching your drinks to ensure that you don’t get spiked.

Stay Hydrated
You’re going to be out in the sun for hours at a time watching your favorite bands perform, and you’re (probably) going to be drinking. That’s a bad combination in terms of your dehydration risk, so make sure that you always have a bottle of water on hand to keep your hydration levels up.

Wear Sun Protection
You might be more concerned about packing the perfect pair of summer shoes or the prettiest flower crown, but don’t forget to fill your festival bag with sun protection essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses and a floppy hat to keep you cool and protected from the sun’s rays.

Pack Ear Protection
While you’re packing, you should seriously consider also bringing along some earplugs/muffs, especially if you’re bringing your kids to the festival. If you contact Hearing Professionals, they will tell you that close proximity to loud speakers and live bands can and will damage your hearing, especially if you’re a regular festival goer/fan of live music, so find a pair of earplugs that allow you to enjoy the show comfortably if you want to protect your hearing.

Pack Your Medication
If you require any medication at all, even if it’s something like an asthma inhaler that you rarely need, do not leave it at home. Being in a festival setting without your medication could be quite dangerous for you. Sure, there are first aid facilities around, but getting to them quickly won’t always be easy, and they’re unlikely to have a fully stocked pharmacy on hand! It’ll be much better for all involved if you have what you need with you.

Avoid Unsafe Sex
Festivals and romance go hand in hand for a lot of people. If you’re one of them, please think about it before you do it. The last thing you want to bring back from your festival experience is an STI or worse. If you need to know more about safe sex, contact the American Sexual Health Association or similar sexual health organization for all of the information you need to stay safe not only at festivals, but all the time.

The bottom line: Have fun at the festival, let your hair down, but keep your health in mind, stay prepared and you’ll have the time of your life.

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

Prince Tribute Concert at the Saint Louis Powell Symphony Hall

Hi Beautiful People,

What a great evening full of fun, singing, and dancing.

The Saint Louis Symphony at Powell Symphony Hall conducted by Brent Havens, and Windborne Music performed a Prince Tribute with artist Jason Tenner. This was a sold out show that St. Louis was anticipating. I saw so many people in the audience with their purple on in various different styles. My hubby and I wore purple.When I walked into the door the lady took our tickets and said when you walk out you can leave your sweater at the door because that’s my color. I smiled. The sweater, designed by Bob Mackie, had sequined details that makes it look stunning.

JT at the Prince Tribute concert

JT at the Prince Tribute concert

Some may come close to imitating Prince, but there is only one and he was in a class of sound all his own. It appeared that at times during the performance Tenner did not know which song was next on the playlist. Tenner has been doing a tribute show in Las Vega for over twenty years. But this was his first performance with the Symphony. I suspect that they had been only rehearsed together for a short time before Sunday night’s show. However, in spite of the few glitches, it was a good show and the crowd enjoyed it as well.

The night was magical and Tenner performed many of Prince’s well-known hits, from Delirious to When Doves Cry. The background singer (whose name I didn’t get) did an awesome job singer with Tenner. Windborne Music keyboardist, Justin Avery did a fantastic job with How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?

Some of the crowd stood up and danced in the aisles and at their seats. By the time Tenner performed 1999 and the finale Purple Rain, people were on their feet. After the show end, some of the people shook Tenner’s hand and one guy that was sitting next to me gave him the purple jacket that he wore to the show.

Jason Tenner after the Prince Tribute Show

Jason Tenner after the Prince Tribute Show

Jason Tenner’s Las Vegas show is called Purple Reign and includes costumes and wig changes. That sounds like a must-see show.

JTwisdom

Song Writing Tips And Tricks For Beginners

Songwriting is a wonderful creative outlet where you can tell your story and express your emotions. Songs can have a significant impact on the emotions of the listener making them feel joy, sadness and adoration. Being able to write a song and see how it can change people’s lives is a fantastic skill to have. The amazing thing about songwriting is that almost anybody can give it a try. So whether you want to create a Christian rap song for an event or have dreams of being the next best thing, here are some tips and tricks you can use.

Carry a notepad and pen with you
Inspiration for your songs can come from anywhere at any time. So always carry a notepad and pen with you so you can write down any lyrics or ideas you think of. Having these ideas documented will be useful as you can refer to them as and when you need them. Some of your ideas may not be right for a song you are currently writing, but they may be just right for one you write in future. It will also help to your organise your thoughts and come up with suitable solutions.

song1

Image link

Write about personal experiences
It’s always better to write about what you know, so you can make your lyrics more sincere and honest. So consider personal experiences you have been through in the past. It could be the loss of a family member, finding love or having your heart broken. You could also write about how your faith saved you from a situation or your thoughts on current affairs in the world. This will bring a unique perspective to your lyrics that will be unlike any other artist or song.

Buy an instrument
As well as writing lyrics you will also need to write some backing music. The best way to do this is to buy an instrument. Pianos and guitars are often popular choices for songwriters as they compliment multiple genres of music. You can use the instruments to learn songs by your favourite artists for some initial inspiration. You can then take what you have learned and experiment with chords and differing keys. Click here and take a look at the wide variety of instruments you could try.

song2

Rewrite your lyrics
Sometimes a song will come together all at once. Other times it might take you a week to complete a verse or line. To get better at songwriting, you will have to rewrite your lyrics time and time again until you are completely satisfied. Remember that your first attempt does not have to be your last. Play your song to your family and friends and listen to their feedback. You could also change around the wording of your lyrics by looking in a thesaurus or dictionary for more unusual words.

The key to successful songwriting is taking your listeners on a journey from beginning to end. Be honest and let your personality shine through each verse. That way your songs will alway be greatly received by an audience no matter how big or small.

Does Christian Rap Make You Uncomfortable?

Hello Beautiful People,

I pray that you are having a wonderful day!

My hubby and I attended the Andy Mineo concert last October. Mineo kicked off his first-ever headlining tour, called The Uncomfortable Tour, which just so happened to be at our Church. In the photo below, you see people lining up, waiting for the doors open for the VIP session. With a VIP ticket, you paid an additional fee. This allowed you to get in early and be a part of the pre-concert festivities and also included a tour T-shirt and poster.

In line for the Andy Mineo concert

In line for the Andy Mineo concert

 I first saw Mineo, a Christian Rap Artist, opening for Lecrae in early in 2015. Christian music has gone mainstream over the last few years; but some people still have not warmed up to the idea of Christian rap music. I myself was in the same situation. I did not consider myself a rap fan. But after hearing Mineo and Lecrae, and truing listening to their lyrics, I changed my view. Mineo’s sound is straight forward and deep. His rap does not sugar coat and hits you straight in the eyes. The lyrics are deep and will make you think about the message he is delivering.

With a VIP ticket, we also had a Q and A session with Mineo, where he talked with the crowd and answered questions. He was very down to earth, did some free style rap, and walked around the room and shook hands and took selfies with some of the concertgoers.

Andy Mineo Q/A before concert

Andy Mineo Q/A before concert

The VIP tickets did not have assigned seats. You could seat were ever you wanted to sit. It was a first come, first serve format.
Propaganda, pictured below, was one of the pre-concert guests. I had not heard his music prior to the concert. He songs say so much. They make you think about and makes you focus on what matters the most. I really enjoyed his music and his poetic rap. I have now added his music to playlist. SPZRKT (pronounced “Spazzy Rocket”) served as the opening act.

Propaganda

Propaganda in Concert

Mineo’s Uncomfortable album is filled with heartfelt lyrics that will make you stop and think about the message. The album appeals to Christians and the mainstream crowd. I must admit, I didn’t listen to a lot of rap before, but since this album was released, I have been listening to it regularly and I know almost all the lyrics to every song. The lyrics have messages that build you up and will not tear you down or make you feel degraded.

Listen to the Lyric Uncomfortable video below.

I saw fathers with their daughters taking pictures during the concert with their phones. His songs appeals to all ages.

Uncomfortable Album Songlist

1. Uncomfortable
2. Uptown
3. Now I Know
4. Desperados (feat. Mali Music)
5. Hear My Heart
6. David’s Roof
7. Rat Race (feat. Jon Bellion)
8. Know That’s Right
9. Vendetta
10. Ghost
11. Love
12. Strange Motions (feat. Willow Stephens)
13. Make Me a Believer (feat. Mac Powell)

This song is so deep and makes you think about examining your life and doing a reality check.

Excerpt Lyrics to Uncomfortable
“Uncomfortable”
“God prepare me for the war
Comfort be the thing that’ll make a king fall
Eyes on the Lord, gotta grip that blade of the sword
Tell me how you plan on gettin’ swole if you don’t ever get sore (hold up)
They say, “Andy, this ain’t music for your core”
If they jumpin’ ship now, they was never on board
I got enemies, man they wanna see me on the floor
I got frenemies, couldn’t even tell you who they are
If you’re not driven by the mission, you’ll be driven by the cars
Focused on what you been gettin’ more than becomin’ who you are
I tried to point ’em to the Son, but why they callin’ me a star?
Who woulda thought we set they minds free with these bars?
In this game, in this biz
Want the fame, want get rich
Comfort, everybody wantin’ it
Never knew I could be lost in this
This my sophomore, gotta go hard
When the show over, no encore
I got enough but I want more, want more!”

This is not your typical Christian album and if rap doesn’t appeal to you, that’s okay. There is a message and it may appeal to your teenager, young adult or someone who doesn’t know Jesus as there Lord and Savior.  Don’t be critical because just because different music will appeal to different people.

This just in, a Part Two of the Uncomfortable Tour has been announced beginning in late March and running through May.
If you get a chance to go, let us know what you think of the concert.

JTwisdom signature

Dance Your Beats Off

HI Beautiful People,

It has been such a lovely day, sunny but cold. It has been unseasonably warm for most of the winter. It is been nice to get some cool bright days and snow. I have been listening to Thousand Foot Crutch on Powerbeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphone by Dr. Dre. The design is much different than your typical earbuds because the it goes over the ear. One unique feature is that these earbuds operate only with a Bluetooth connection that has a range up to 30 feet.

JT putting powerbeats over ears

JT putting powerbeats over ears

 The Dr. Dre Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphone package comes with four earbuds to ensure a custom sold fit and go over my ears easily. As you can see in the picture below, my ears are small so the ear hooks ride forward a little bit; but that does not inhibit the quality of the sound.

Beats1

Up close powerboats by Dr. Dre

In this picture I wanted to show the Powerbeats and do not have an attachment cord that plug into your cell phone, tablet, computer or other mobile device. This is perfect for me because I can exercise, clean my house or any other task as long as I stay within 30 feet of my device. I don’t have to keep my device right next to me. If I go pass that distance, it will cut off.
It is essential that you stay with in this range if you want a clear signal.

Benefits

  • IPX4 sweat and water resistant with RemoteTalk wrap-around cable
  • Listen wirelessly at ip to 30 feet from paired Bluetooth™ device
  • Premium sound, lightweight design

Features

  • Easily pairs to your Bluetooth® device within a 30-foot range*
  • Premium sound performance and rechargeable 6-hour battery**
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Tangle-free, wraparound cable
  • No-slip grip in-line mic and remote for calls
  • Lighter and compact with a flexible ear hook
  • Includes 1 year limited warranty from manufacturer

*Wireless performance may be affected by nearby objects including walls, metal items, and other wireless devices. *Battery power consumption depends on factors such as network configuration, carrier network and, signal strength.

I mentioned earlier that if you go beyond the 30 feet, it may disconnect, I didn’t have a problem going from my office to another office when I was at work. I tried to see how far the sound would go when I left my phone in my office and went down the hall and after 30 feet the connection disconnected so they are accurate about the length of range.
Beats2

Full view Powerbeats by Dr. Dre

First, to use Dr. Dre Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphone, you will need a wifi connection for your device.To begin getting my groove on, I have to make sure that the button behind the earpiece on the earpiece of the powerbeats is turned on. Then I have to go to my settings On my iPhone and select the device I want to connect with and it instantly connected. Once connected I can go to my music and enjoy the sound.

iPhone bluetooth connect to powerboats by Dr. Dre

iPhone bluetooth connect to powerboats by Dr. Dre

What does the Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphone by Dr. Dre earpiece sound like?
Glad you asked! The sound is crisp and clear; and you cannot tell a difference with the Bluetooth. It does not a heavy bass sound, but overall the quality is good. If you are upgrading from  cheap earbuds, you will notice the difference immediately. The Bluetooth connection does not affect the quality of the sound, it sounds like it is plugged up to your favorite device. The remote talk- control feature on the cord is a great feature for pausing tracks and adjusting the volume.

Pauses music while on calls
The Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphone by Dr. Dre also gives a great benefit of pausing the music if a call is coming in. I can answer an incoming call and once I am finish the end the call the music will start playing, this was so cool to me.

The Dr. Dre Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphone retail for $199.99 on the Verizon website. I recommend the headphones if you want to have a good pair of headphones but you don’t want to break the bank.

JTwisdom signature

DISCLAIMER:
This post is a review of the Powerbeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphone. Verizon Wireless provided Bubbling With Elegance and Grace with a 21-day demo period, at which time it was returned back to Verizon. All opinions are our own honest opinions. We did not receive anY compensation for this review.

Anomaly Tour 2.0 Storms Into the Gateway City

I must Tell The World, Tell The World Everywhere I Go!

Lacrae

Lecrae

I am unashamed to say that my wife and I attended a rap and hip-hop concert earlier this week at the Fabulous Fox Theatre.

The Fabulous Fox

The Fabulous Fox

Grammy award-winning rapper Lecrae brought his Anomaly Tour to the Gateway City on April 30, 2015. The three-hour concert, featuring Andy Mineo and DJ Promote, provided uplifting messages of hope and heavy doses of realness.

An anomaly is defined as something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected. Lecrae’s Anomaly 2.0 concert definitely had it’s share of anomalies. Let me see, where shall I begin.

Anomaly #1
I grew up listening to rock-n-roll, heavy metal and even a little country music. For me, rap was not on my playlist. I didn’t even like the music. The most rap that I listened was “Parents Just Don’t Understand!” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (Did I just date myself?).  But as I have matured, so have my music selections. While I still will listen to some of my favorites, I now also listen to music that has an uplifting message, no matter the genre. Lecrae is currently one of my favorite artists because he delivers a message of overcoming the obstacles that life throws at you.

Lacrae

Lecrae

Anomaly #2
This is the third time in just over a year that my wife and I have seen Lecrae in concert. Last year, we attended our first Winter Jam concert and the Summer Shed concert when they stopped here in Saint Louis; both of which featured Lecrae. Lecrae is now the artist that I have seen in concert the most, more than Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and REO Speedwagon – all of which were bands that I attended concerts while in high school and college.

Lacrae

Lecrae

Anomaly #3
Prior the concert, my wife and I eat dinner with our friends who are also big Lecrae and Andy Mineo fans. Eugene and Roxanne grew up in Los Angeles. Although the LA area is vastly different and much larger than Vienna, MO where I grew up (3.8 million people versus 603 people), we all came together and enjoyed the food, fellowship and then the concert.  They were so sweet because they blessed us with dinner. We got to get a picture together next time, enjoying the fellowship. We didn’t get a chance to take a picture this time. They are also true-blue Laker fans (but I won’t hold that against them). We also were able to see our other friends Marc and Peggy and their family.

My wife and I eating dinner at the City Diner before the concert.

Anomaly #4
We purchased our tickets back in February and were able to get awesome seats in Row J — about ten rows from the stage. Considering how costly some concerts can be today, paying only $48 for these tickets was such a great deal. Plus, the fact that the show lasted three hours made it an even better value. Not long ago, when Mrs. Carter had her concert in Saint Louis, we paid almost three times as much, for seats much further from the stage and the show lasted only an hour and a half. Still shaking my head over that one! What was I thinking? (I don’t know!!) You learn.

Anomaly #5
We purchased these tickets as deluxe tickets, which meant we were able to arrive early for a ‘meet and greet’ with Andy Mineo. My prior experiences with VIP tickets that give you an opportunity to meet the band, you will be paying two, three or four hundred dollars a ticket, maybe even more. I never bought VIP tickets because I didn’t want to pay such a high price, but for only $48 – what a deal! People asked Andy questions and he answered them and shook people’s hands as well as ours.

Andy Mineo

Andy Mineo

 After the meet and greet, we purchased a STL Lecrae tour T- shirt and I had to wear it to represent. Pretty nice don’t ya think.

Anomaly STL T-Shirt

The Anomaly STL T-Shirt in Cardinal Red

Anomaly #6
It was great to see many people attend this concert as a family unit. I saw many parents jamming with there teenaged-children, posing for selfies, taking pictures and having a great time. In my experiences with previous concerts, I usually would see adults, and teenagers, but they did not come together as a family. This concert was different, and it was good to see.

Anomaly #7
When I was growing up, rap and hip hop were considered alternative music and only a small group of people listened to the music. But today, more people accept these genres and the music has moved into the mainstream, so much so that the concert’s demographics surprised me. The audience was very diverse and I can I say, I was there. The concert included a guest appearance from Saint Louis’ own Thi’sl for duet on Lecrae’s hit song, Fakin’.

Lacrae and thistl

Lacrae and Thi’sl getting ready to perform Fakin’

Anomaly #8
In all that I have said about the concert, I have not mentioned that Lecrae, Andy Mineo and DJ Promote are Christians and their music promotes strong Christian values. Why? I didn’t want you to have a prejudiced view of Christian rap and hip hop before I talked about the concert. That being said, I believe it is an awesome gift these men bring to the stage. There are some people who would say that Christian rap and hip hop are not true Christian music, almost to the point of being considered ungodly. However, I would disagree. Any music, no matter the style or genre, that has an objective to reach an audience with uplifting words and inspirational messages, and that can tell the world about God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is worth having on your playlist. These three men succeed at making music that achieves this objective.

If had a chance to catch the Anomaly Tour, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought about the show.

J and JT at Lacrae Concert

Jay and JT at Lacrae Concert

Jay

This post is dedicated to our concert rodees Roxanne and Eugene!  Until the next concert.

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