All Articles by Jeremy Ross

musical father and Christ follower. Lover of great coffee, beer and popcorn.

11 Articles

All Articles by Jeremy Ross

3 Articles

It’s about Jesus

It’s Christmas. It’s a beautiful and magical time in so many ways, but it’s more dense with subtle and not-so-subtle distractions than any other season. There are so many good things about Christmas that we sometimes can loose track of the best thing.

If, as a band, we could have one Christmas wish, it would be that we could all find both the desire and the discipline to make Jesus the central theme of our celebration. Family and gifts are amazing and beautiful things. Sharing meals with people that we work and play with, and keeping traditions that keep us grounded are activities that we should fully embrace.

The search for the answer to the question, “What Child is This?” should be our source of childlike wonder. Consider the tragedy of a baby born in a dirty barn, or the humility of these shepherds as the first visitor. The struggle that Joseph battled with when discovering Mary’s pregnancy. No one expected God to enter the world in this way. I would ask of you, this Christmas, to take a fresh look at the person of Jesus. Wonder at this God/baby that was born to save us, and how this humble birth was the perfect start to a humble life that would continue to defy expectations, challenge norms, and question authority.

Ask yourself this Christmas, “What Child?” And give yourself room to wonder at the answer.

Christmas Cards on sale now

We’re a week away from introducing our Christmas EP! It’s an exciting time for us as it will be the first real chance for people to be exposed to our sound.

In preparation for producing and duplicating and distributing an album,  there are costs involved. We’re trying to manage those and are looking for creative ways to do so.

When I was designing the album cover I came up with a design that really captured the heart of what we were trying to do with this record, and I thought it was cool enough to turn into a Christmas Card that maybe some other people might like as well. The profit from these cards will allow us to invest back into the band and get some equipment that will help us out.

We are not a charity. If you haven’t thought about giving to the truly needy in this holiday season we would encourage you to do that.

That said, you were probably going to buy Christmas cards anyway, so why not buy ours and say, “Merry Christmas,” in a unique and memorable way while you’re at it!

What Child? a Christmas Album

Be watching for the new By The Mane Christmas album out the first week of December! We’re excited to make our first release on the subject or Christmas.

We’re in the studio as we speak (see the photo above of me recording guitars for the album), and we will be working feverishly this month to get everything ready. We’ll give you plenty of updates as the album progresses. Some sneak peaks at the album cover design and maybe we’ll put together a silly video of us in the studio.

Why a Christmas Album?

Christmas is both a wonderful and challenging time of year. It’s a time that is supposed to be all about Jesus, but when it comes down to it, it’s really hard to keep Him the focus. There are so many distractions around us, between the family, the presents, and the food! We need that constant reminder; what child? Oh, yeah… that Child! We’re hoping this album will be that for you!

Rehearsal Review – Before Too Long

Our Unmet Desires

God created us with a desire to know him. While he provided us with the way to know him, in Christ, we won’t fully know Him until we meet him in heaven in his fully glorified form. This leaves us with a time of waiting, and wondering while we navigate life on earth in the shadow of what is to come.

Tonight’s rehearsal was focused on doing some songwriting and this topic is what inspired us tonight. How do we live, knowing that there is a perfect place that we are longing for, but aren’t there yet. Often times this delayed gratification becomes too much to bear and we find ourselves attempting to satiate our desires with lesser things (this idea sums up my definition of sin).

I posed the question to the guys, “What do you say to someone who is beside themselves with excitement and anticipation?” Perhaps it’s a child who can’t wait for their next birthday, or a bride anticipating their wedding day. We can try to deny or downplay how exciting the thing is that we’re looking forward to, but that’s just a self-protective device to avoid our feelings. You don’t tell your child, “Being excited about your birthday is dumb, when you get older you’ll understand how lame birthdays really are.” On the other end of the spectrum, we can find ourselves totally consumed with worry that we don’t practice good habits that will allow us to enjoy the thing when it finally comes. Like the bride who doesn’t eat and faints at the alter. How do we foster both patience and excitement at the same time?

We were reminded of the words of the old spiritual, “Soon and very soon.” What a beautiful concept. The reality is, we don’t know when Christ will come back, but it will be soon, and that should be enough for us. We started playing around with that concept and starting writing around the idea: “Before too long.”

We’ll see where the concepts takes us, but for now we have a couple of lines that we like:

“Before too long we’ll see your glory

Before your throne, singing and bowing down

Overwhelmed by your naked glory

Before too long.”

No matter when it is, we know it’s before too long

Uptown Village Tree Lighting

Tree Lighting and a whole lot more!

This year’s Uptown Village Tree Lighting festival in Vancouver, Wa kicked of a fun evening on the front steps of Compass Church. Some of the festivities surrounding the tree lighting even were the food provided by The Mighty Bowl and Sabor Mexicano, train rides on the VFW Train (Loci the locomotive), the Hough Elementary School choir, and many other local uptown businesses.

By The Mane Performs

jeremy-kylerAfter the tree lighting we had the chance to play a few Christmas tunes that we worked up in our own style and had a blast doing it! From the steps of Compass Church we blasted bass, beats, and groove out across Main street. We’ll post a few pictures and videos as we get them. Things went so well we’re considering recording them over the next few months to put on a Christmas EP that we’ll release next year.

Our set list consisted of:

  1. Angels We Have Heard on High
  2. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
  3. Good Christian Men Rejoice
  4. What Child is This?
  5. Go Tell it on the Mountain

For those of you that were there, what was your favorite song? We’d love to hear from you!

Everyday the Cross

This is just something that I found in some old recordings that I had done. If a song that I write goes far enough to get to this point, it’s a pretty good sign that I’ll do something more with it, but it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe we’ll reimagine it as a By The Mane tune and see what happens. I wrote most of it myself, but brought it to a songwriting session with Mike Hohnholz and Marc Wymore where I was inspired those amazing guys!

Jeremy Ross (c) 2007

 

The Fount or the Blessing

Come Thou Fount

Hymns are a critical element of Christian Worship. The lyrics are crafted with a depth and care that is missed in many songs today. One of the songs we “cover” as a band is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. As I’ve studied the lyrics to the song it has revealed something to me about myself that makes me uneasy. I may sing the words “Come thou fount” but when it comes down to it, I’m actually more interested in the “of every blessing” part.

All five verses

Originally there were five verses to the song. I discovered them on wikipedia. Each verse addresses the question, “What does it mean to desire intimacy with the source of all blessing?”

Think about that for a second.

The song in an invitation for God to draw near. It’s not a request for blessing, it assumes that the blessing is already there begging the question, “where did this blessing come from?”. The singer is responding with a desire to be closer to God. The challenge to me became, “do I want to be closer to God so I can have more blessings? The author doesn’t really give us that option.

The richness and depth in these lyrics are powerful, but only after taking the time to unpack them. Going through the process of really understanding a song always makes it more meaningful and memorable for me.

1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

2. Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

3. Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

4. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

5. O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

Now, Let Me Sum Up

Let me sum up each verse in new language that might capture it more clearly.

Verse 1

God, Your healing, mountain-sized love compels me to join heaven and all of creation in singing and shouting your praise.

Verse 2

My mortal body holds me back from seeing You how I so desperately desire. I’ll do the best I can with what I know because You’re the one who has brought me here, but I can’t wait to see you face-to-face.

Verse 3

Jesus, You rescued me before I even knew you. In fact, I was wandering away from you, and yet you sacrificed your life to save me. I can’t begin to now express my gratitude for that act of divine kindness, but I look forward to when I’m in heaven.

Verse 4

Because You saved me, I owe You everything. I’m happy to be in your debt and will gladly shackle myself to you to show my loyalty and commitment. I know my tendency to wander didn’t end when you found me the first time, so take my heart, my passion, my desires, I give them all to You because you have given me more than I could ever begin to give back.

Verse 5

One day, I will see my Savior. I’ll see the One that sacrificed it all in my place. Don’t delay! Why wait to take me home! My heart belongs only to You and there’s nothing that I want more than to be with You.

The verse progresses from a desire to praise God, to the realization that we lack the tools to adequately do so, to gratitude that leads to self sacrifice, and finally to a desire to give it all up be in Heaven.

The blessings are meant to entice us along a trail that we follow to the source. Allow the blessings to motivate you and entice you to wonder where they’re coming from. God has not called us to blessings, he’s called us to himself. Let’s not get confused about which is better!

By the Mane’s First Show – X-fest NW 2013

X-Fest Sans Drummer

our show at x-fest and no drummer meme

For our first concert is coming up at X-Fest Northwest 2013. XFEST NorthWest is an annual rock festival. It’s nonprofit, non-corporate and nondenominational. Our drummer Kyler can’t make it so so it’s going to be just Will and I for this one. Will has been working tirelessly to program the drums in his absence.
image

Firsts

Along with it being our first show, there a few other firsts for us.

  1. First live show with no drummer (hopefully the last)
  2. New Sound (we’ve been working hard to dial it in… it’s really cool!)
  3. Debut of Will’s new song
  4. My first time as a lead singer (well, sort of, leading worship is not really the same thing, though)
  5. Brand new light show
  6. New Guitar??? doubt it…
  7. BRAND NEW CROWD!

I’m most excited about #5! I have no idea what to expect, but I’m excited about it whatever it is! Come check us out, Friday night August 30th at 9:30pm.