My history with Anberlin is that of a storybook romance. I was at Wal-Mart (I know... icky, but without it, I may never have discovered one of my favorite bands of the last 5 years) browsing through their CD stations. This was during a time when Wal-Mart "tried" to have pride in their music selection... a time before they came to some kind of conclusion that they needed more space for just a few more barrels of $5.00 DVDs. Besides, what's more amusing than seeing a swarm of entertainment starved, white trash dumpster dive (let's face it, that's what it looks like) for random, crappy DVDs. "Hey, look here what I founded!! HALLOWEEN 3!!" Lest, I digress....

So, back in the day, Wal-Mart used to have listening stations, where you could scan the UPC code on a disc and give it a day in court. Not real court... not even the People's Court. Just your own personal court, where you are serving as judge AND jury. I found a copy of Anberlin's CD, CITIES. I don't know what it was about it... other than possibly the price tag of $8.88... but, I scanned the bar code and was amazed at what I heard. I kept tracking through the songs and it never stopped tapping it's way right into my soul. It was that night that I fell in love with the greatest band ever to hail from Orlando, Florida (by way of Seattle). Every 18 months or so, Anberlin releases a new album... and every 18 months or so, I'm blown away at how consistently they put out good music.

Originally hailed as a Christian band (they originally recorded for the famous Christian Alternative label, TOOTH & NAIL), their songs have always been uplifting both in lyric and sound. They aren't Christian like Amy Grant is... or WAS... Christian, but they are in spirit. Lead vocalist, Stephen Christian (okay, that DOES sound Christian) is notorious for doing welfare "missions" in 3rd World countries, when the band is on break. That, my friends, is Christian.

Anyhow, enough of that... let's get crazy with the shirt, shall we? This shirt was purchased during my second time seeing the band. Shortly after discovering them, they played at the Great Saltair, followed by another performance at the Warped Tour that summer. The next year, they once again played Warped, and then returned a couple years back for the X96 (a local SLC radio station) "Nightmare Before Xmas". In between all those performances, we even managed to catch an intimate acoustic performance at a local record store.

One this is certain... as my love for the heavier Alternative music has eased over the past few years, my love for Anberlin has not.

Here, friends... why don't we all sit back and enjoy some fine, fine music.



(for those of you who want a little "mellow", and a some deep things to ponder)