Friday, May 23, 2008

Indiana Jones should've stayed in retirement

I went saw Indiana Jones 4 last night.

Not good. They shoulda kept this puppy in development for about 10 more years.

I was bored the entire movie...and this is coming from a guy who actually found some entertainment value in Idiocracy.  

Seriously, see this movie only to help Spielberg, Lucas and Ford fatten their retirement funds.  It's all it's good for.

On the other hand last week, I saw Iron Man  and it was freaking fabulous!  Go see that one today!  Well, tonight after you get off work.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sales Report

So the sales report came in for last week: 2300!!!

I know it doesn't sound like a ton but it's only a 40% drop from last week, which is great! In fact on iTunes we only had an 8% drop from 698 to 631...again the key is longevity. We're selling a lot of downloads on Empty Me - it's been in the top 10 Christian/gospel on iTunes for 3 straight weeks. So people are definitely reacting to the song.

The finale was fun...I thought Jimmy Kimmel's Seacrest/Sligh joke was hilarious. The Pyps video had me rolling...Iron Man looked great dancing! And I'm glad a rocker finally won!

ETA: Apparently (thanks to Rosalee for pointing this out) Ken Barnes over at USA Today reported that i sold 1100. I just checked with my label and 1100 is what we sold in the mainstream (iTunes + stores) and we sold about 1200 in the CBA (Christian) market. Apparently, Ken just missed those sales.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Coldplay and other muzak

So, Coldplay has a deal at where you can download a song for free by just giving an email address...the song is their first single from their newest album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends called "Violet Hill".  I'm a minor Coldplay fan (I loved Rush of Blood but was disappointed by X + Y)  so I went and downloaded the song.  I had heard a buzz about this album because Brian Eno (sometimes called the 5th member of U2) was producing so I went with tempered excitement.  And was blown away by how good the song was.

On iTunes, they have a pre-order of the new album and with it you get another song, the title track of the album, "Viva la Vida".  So, I pre-ordered the album and downloaded that song...and my head almost exploded.  I think this is the best Coldplay song ever.  It's incredible.  So, go pre-buy the album and get the track in advance.  It really is great.

I also bought an album called Cannons by an artist named Phil Wickham.  Wow.  Seriously, you need to buy this album immediately.  It is some of the best brit-rock I've heard in forever.  It's what Coldplay's last album should've sounded like but with some of the best spiritual/religous lyrics I've read in a while.  Great, great record.  Go buy it immediately.  Or the next time you're at a store.  Or at on iTunes.  Well, download my album first, then Coldplay's then this one, how about that?

A while back (hey, I haven't written about music in a while), my favorite dread head (sorry Castro, but me and Adam go way back) Adam Duritz and his band Counting Crows released their 5th studio album Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings.   You will remember that Jim Bogios, the drummer for Counting Crows, played on 3 songs ("Waiting For You", "I'm Clean" & "Love is Raining Down"), and Counting Crows has long been one of my favorite bands, so I downloaded it the day it came out.  This album is seriously their best work since, well, ever.  I think it's all the best parts of August and Everything After and Recovering the Satellites, their first two albums.  The first half of the album rocks.  Hard.  Not Disturbed or Marilynn Manson hard, but classic rock's great.  The second half is more acoustic like their first album.  It's Adam's best songwriting and it's catchy and great.  Put this on your list of records to buy.

I got Bryan Adams new one 11 and it is classic Bryan Adams.  You know, he's a nostalgia act, and that's okay.  I don't want to buy a Bryan Adams record and find it to be a Radiohead record.  When I buy Badman (his nickname and publishing company) I want great love songs, great melodies and that classic voice.  This album does not disappoint.  Great songs, great production, and - as I said - that voice that I can never quite get enough of.

Finally, I recently got Jason Mraz's We Sing.  We Dance.  We Steal Things.  I wanted to support a fellow Fool's Banquet alum, plus I was so blown away with his talent at the songwriting retreat that I knew this album was a must-have.  I've only started to digest it, but it's really cool.  It's kind of fresh...lite-funk horns, thick bgv's, some reggae influences, some strings, acoustic guitar and poof, you've got a great sounding record.  I'm enjoying it.  More on this later.

So, I've gotten a lot more music that this since my last music post, but I'll get to the others later.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

iTunes + Reviews!

Hey guys,

I'd love for everyone who has bought the album and has seen the blog to leave a review over on iTunes.  Then, once you've done that, I'd love for you to copy the review over into the comments here.  This is the review blog I mentioned a while back!

Even if you didn't buy the album on iTunes, if you have an iTunes account, just sign in and leave the review!

Thanks so much!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Jason Castro

I got to hang out with Jason Castro last night for a few hours.

Seriously, what a great guy.  We have mutual friends and mutual friends of friends, so I had gotten his number a while back and reached out to him the week before he got voted off.  He was leaving L.A. as I got here for Crystal Cathedral and he was getting back to L.A. as I was leaving for El Salvador, so we decided to get together when I got back.

So, after my plane trip yesterday and his dance rehearsals (you remember how much I loved dance rehearsals finale week last year), we got together and ate dinner and hung out.

I also shortly got to meet Carly and Kristy Lee...both were very sweet.

Anyway, I won't get into details....but the guy is a great guy and I had a lot of fun getting to know him over a couple of hours!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

First Week Sales!

We came in a little under 4,100!

Doesn't sound like a ton, I know, but for the CCM market right now it is pretty great!  We sold a ton on iTunes, too, which, again, for the Christian market is a great thing.  

Just so there's no freaking the Christian market, people find out about the album with the single going up the charts.  The higher the single, the higher the number of plays, the higher the number of impressions, the higher the sales.  So, for having a #18 single, it is pretty freaking great!
CCM has no centralized media...sure, there are websites that do great, but nothing like tv and mainstream radio marketing can do.  Usually, people find CDs as they wander through the Christian book store OR (as I mentioned above) hear a song on Christian radio, find out who it is and buy it.  

This is going to be a slow build and I'm Idol has ever come off and really done a grassroots thing: get in a van, travel the country, play, play, play, play and connect.  That is what I'm gonna do.  My label is pumped (it's their highest debut ever!) and distribution is pumped!  Now, the more shows I play the more you'll see sales trickle in.  Hopefully Empty Me can reach top 5 on the charts and then you'll see more sales than even this week.  It's seriously all about the songs!

Thanks to everyone so far who bought the album!  Now, tell a friend and let's sell some records!

Sunday, May 11, 2008 is having a special this week on my album Running Back to You for only $5!

So, encourage friends to take a chance on something beautiful and get the album for a cheap, cheap price!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Some Thoughts...

Quite a few people have asked me why I decided to move more in the pop direction for the new album, away from the more alternative pop/rock of HPF Take a Chance, and I think it's a fair question that deserves an answer.

I listen and love tons of kinds of music.  My favorite artists are bands like MuteMath, Muse, Switchfoot, Relient K, My Chemical Romance, etc., but my favorite songwriters of all time are artists like Bebo Norman, Steven Curtis Chapman, James Taylor, Bryan Adams & Adam Duritz (of Counting Crows).  The thing about that is: my favorite songwriters are many times on the opposite end of the spectrum of my favorite music to listen to.  So, as all songwriters do, you try to figure out how to combine all your influences to make and amalgamation that is your own style.  

With HPF, I was in a band and we were a mainstream band that wanted to put on as exciting a show as possible, so songs like Hero, Closer, Tunnel Vision, Somewhere and Convenience ended up really working for what we wanted to do.  When we played a 30 minute opening set, we had the opportunity to rock out for 30 minutes straight.

Now, the goal for my solo career is to be at a place where Chris Sligh is identified as being a band show...but there are still times that I will be playing acoustic gigs.  After all, I am a solo artist.  I'm not a band.  On later albums, I'm hoping that I don't have the problem of having to worry about playing acoustic gigs, so my albums may be informed by that.  However, on this album, I knew that in trying to break me as an artist that I'd be playing acoustic gigs...thus, I needed songs that I could sell with just me and an acoustic guitar.  I'm sorry but none of the songs I mentioned the prior paragraph would work in that fashion.  I included several songs as it is (Love is Raining Down, Arise, Waiting For You, etc.) that do not really work acoustically...but I have enough of a song base that I can pull it off.

So, to answer the questions...the reason I went more pop has to do with being real in a live situation.  I'm a solo artist now.  Look for albums to come to definitely be a little edgier...but for now, I'm excited for and proud of the album I made, and I think it fits me perfectly for where I am at this point!

Another thing I've seen is people saying that they wish I'd shown more of my personality in my lyrics.  I would like to point out someone like John Mayer...Mr. Mayer is one of the funniest celebrities I've ever seen and in concert he jokes and tells stories and is hilarious.  But his music is deep and serious.  As a songwriter, I feel like that's my place.  There are few things in life I take seriously and those things are my relationship with Christ, my relationship with Sarah and music.  Period.  That's it.  I feel like I would be cheapening my vision for my artistry by writing "witty" or funny lyrics.  I want to write songs that meet people where they are for a lifetime, not just makes them laugh for a couple of seconds the first time they hear it ('cause let's be honest...once you've heard the joke, you've heard the joke - it's not as funny the next time around).

I hope that people listening to the album will enter in listening with an open mind.  Don't go in with preconceived notions of what I should be (funny, witty, etc.) because you won't get those things.  What I hope you get is an album full of killer songs that speak to your life like they came from mine.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Empty Me on iTunes

Hey guys, I thought this was interesting this morning:

Empty Me is #13 on iTunes Christian songs!

In A Moment is #52!

Not bad! Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Guys, thanks so much for making my release day so great!

It looks like the album is selling extremely well (for the market we're in), so thanks for making it great for me!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Some review snippets:

"Fans of Chris Sligh during last season’s American Idol recognized in him something the show had never previously had — not just a bright contestant capable of wising off to Simon, though he certainly was that, but a rocker with an omnivorous musical appetite and a flair for the unexpected. Running Back to You shows what Sligh didn’t have time to do before being voted off. The songs, many written pre-Idol for Sligh’s band Half Past Forever, clearly come from a Christian perspective, though they’re still full of wit and intelligence. And the arrangements aspire to pop grandeur: Soaring string runs, burbling synthesizer riffs, edgy guitars, and Sligh’s occasional flights into falsetto make Running the most musically ambitious of any post-Idol album". — Brian Mansfield USA TODAY


  • "Running Back to You gets off to a running start as the first track, “Arise,” thunders in with a drum lick that kicks you right into the song – a strong, radio-ready rock piece featuring a full band sound, driven by Sligh’s easy-to-listen to vocal delivery. “I’m Clean” follows, still in a strong, mid-tempo rock mode, and proving that Sligh can write memorable, hook-filled songs that have plenty of opportunities for funky guitar licks as well as full, commercially viable production values. Sligh doesn’t compromise the rock and roll, even when the lyrics get very explicitly Christian, as they do in “I’m Clean,” where he sings, “Love is just a picture of your glory / And my best tries at love have fallen short / I pretend these dirty clothes are holy / Knees patched up with grace from you, Oh Lord.” Make no mistake – the lyrics on this album are boldly Christian in nature. Sligh has clearly made a decision to be bold about his faith on this project, even though the big ballad, “In a Moment,” and the rocker, “Waiting For You,” could easily cross over to mainstream radio and, I think, get considerable attention.

    From the straight rock of “Love is Raining down,” to the ‘Eleanor Rigby’-like string accompaniment of “Loaded Gun,” Chris Sligh is a powerful, expressive, credible rock/pop singer and has crafted a well-rounded debut project that shows us that there’s more behind that cherubic appearance than meets the eye. Hopefully, he’ll be running back to us again soon."
    - Bert Seraco

  • Soul Audio

  • "Running Back to You is a rather impressive piece of work. Back in February of this year, Sligh released "Empty Me," his first single, to radio outlets. The song, simply put, is a made-to-be modern worship hit. The Chris Tomlin-esque melody and passionate lyrics of putting aside pride really do the job of setting the tone for the entire album. From tracks like "Arise" to "Something Beautiful," Sligh constantly praises God for his mercy and sacrifices. "Let You Know" could even easily find its way to the top of the contemporary pop charts.

    Love is unquestionably one of the main focal points of this record. "Love Is Raining Down" speaks for itself, and Chris cleverly and thoughtfully compares love to a "Loaded Gun," while at the same time manages to make the track the most unique one on the album. The combination of the orchestra that plays throughout along with Sligh's voice add an unexpected twist that is sure to make "Loaded Gun" a fan favorite. One song that you can absolutely not pass up is "Vessel," the closing track, where chilling vocals and an incomparable message add a great finishing touch to the disc.

    It truly is amazing how open Chris Sligh is about his life and faith on this record. This is a spectacular accomplishment for him and is definitely worth a listen all the way through (especially for fans of artists like Jon McLaughlin and Brandon Heath). In fact, this could be noted as one of the best records of 2008 whether or not it receives the attention it very much deserves. And don't be surprised if it garners a few nods at next year's Dove Awards either."
    - Logan Leasure

  • Jesus Freak Hideout
  • Saturday, May 03, 2008

    Tour Update 1

    Well, 2 Wild Wing Shows down.  

    And it's going great!  Wild Wings was a perfect choice to start off my official touring.  It's a low-pressure venue (you show up whenever you want), they LOVE the cover songs we have in the set, the audience is there to just have fun, and it gives the band time to settle into being tighter in front of an audience that is eating and drinking, etc. as much as they are listening.  It's kind of like having a dress rehearsal with an audience that actually kind of cares!

    We actually have played 2 really good shows, too!  The band is really, really tight already and, outside of not being able to hear really well, we're listening to each other, playing off each other and just playing great.

    Here's how the set list works:

    The band goes up and does "Summer of '69" which morphs into "Arise".  From there we go to "Love Is Raining Down" into "Pleased".  Then "Cry Tonight" & "In a Moment" followed by the Killer's "All These Things That I've Done" (which is great as everyone sings the bridge - "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier!").  I then introduce Jason Walker as my special guest.  He does 3 songs with bass & drums and then one song alone with the piano.  Then the band comes back up and we do Bryan Adams' "When You Love Someone" which segues into my Compassion International presentation (for $32 a month you can literally change a child's life - more on that in later posts).  Then we go to break.

    We take a 15-20 minute break then head back up.  In most shows, I do a 2-song acoustic set and tell some stories (it hasn't worked at Wild Wings yet...but in church shows, we'll do the acoustic set).  Then the band comes back up and we do "Eleanor Rigby" straight into "Loaded Gun" (we do the full band version).  We then go into "City of Blinding Lights" (by U2) and that goes into "Potential".  We finish up that set with "Empty Me" which morphs into "40" (by U2), which ends that set on a very very meditative note.

    We leave the stage and hopefully people cheer.  Loud.  Once they do, we head back out and we perform a surprise song (which I won't give away here).  And we end the night with "Let You Know".

    So, I can't wait to see all of you at a show!  Now you know what to expect.  Listen to the songs, learn then, learn every word and then sing along with me (and quickly realize how many words I get wrong!)