Archives For music

Ever since Michael W. Smith’s 1984 sophomore project, Michael W. Smith 2 (all the creativity was apparently used up in the songs, there was none left to title the album), I wanted to make music.

It was undoubtedly the argyles.

If music could get you a perm like that, I was all in. Sign me up! When do we start making records?


Fast forward a decade. My friend (and now CityCom co-pastor) Nathan LaGrange and I found ourselves with something fascinating.

A song.

One song.

An OK song (honestly, pretty mediocre).

We were on staff together at a large church, and one day our creativity got the best of us. So we took our passion for God and music and decided to do something with it.  Nothing life changing (at least we thought at the time).  Just a few lyrics and a simple melody line.

But that one song gave us the confidence to write a few more. And those songs helped us convince our pastor the church should do it’s first live recording.  And that recording inspired a second project.  Which built momentum for a third.  Then a fourth.

And a catalog of 70 songs later, I realized my old argyle-imprinted dream of making records had just kind of happened when I wasn’t looking.  Seven times over.

All because we wrote that first song.

I meet so many people with big dreams (heck, I still have some of my own).  But the distance between where you stand today and what you imagine for the future is a huge chasm that swallows your inertia.  Too many big reasons why you can’t. And they short circuit the little reasons why you can.

What’s your “first song?” You probably just need to go write it.

Tension is good for music. Notes that don’t naturally fit the chords. Melodies that depart the intended key. Progressions that take you to unexpected places.

Music that never breaks the rules is boring. A little healthy tension is actually what makes music beautiful.

Same is true for life.


This weekend my younger brother and his wife are moving to Houston. Another goodbye in a seemingly endless list of adieus over the past few years

A little more tension in the melody line.

Darren has an unbelievable opportunity to work under a successful music producer in Houston, Texas (which also happens to be Britney’s home town). He’ll be learning the ropes from an industry insider, working on some serious projects, and slowly launching his own production company (all while wearing a ten gallon hat and learning proper parts of speech for the word y’all).

Sad and exciting all wrapped into one. (Sadciting? Exsading?)

When we launched City Community Church, we committed to hold things loosely. To invest in people selflessly. To release them passionately. To see the Kingdom as bigger than our individual church community. To give until it hurt.

Little did I know how close those declarations would hit to home. And how badly they would actually sting.

So we let go. And that release brings pain. And the pain creates tension. The very tension that has the potential to fill life’s music with unbelievably beautiful melodies.

Goodbye D&B. (I guess it’s really more of a “see ya’ll”). Love you. Proud of you. Go write some beautiful, tension filled melodies (with a Texas twang).

(But don’t think for a minute I’m not subtly reminding mom and dad which one of their sons loves them enough to stick around).

I Believe There Is More

Erik Cooper —  January 31, 2009 — Leave a comment

Don Moen

My good buddy and co-pastor, Nathan LaGrange, and I had the honor of having Don Moen record one of our songs on his latest album.  “The Greatness of You” is the first cut on Don’s newest project, I Believe There Is More.  I always wanted to be a songwriter, and it’s an unbelievable dream of mine to have an artist of Don Moen’s stature find a song I had a hand in writing worth putting on his project.

Go on a pick up a copy!