Originally posted on http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com on February 10, 2008.
Well, I’m actually trying to make a little progress in promoting my CD, after a few months of other responsibilities taking priority. Tonight, I think I finally completed my biography. There may be some tweaks after further review, but if this isn’t the final version, it’s pretty darn close. So, I decided to post it here in case anyone is interested in finding out just a little more about me as you (hopefully) mull over the possibility of listening to and (even more hopfully!) purchasing a copy of the CD! Here it is:
Growing up in a small town in Central Wisconsin, with cows grazing in a pasture about twenty steps from my bedroom window, I was quite the household name by the time high school graduation rolled around, mainly because the local paper decided that the headline “Joe Tritz to Attend University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point” was front-page news. While amusing to look back on, of more importance to me now, of course, is knowing that I was raised with a real sense of purpose by parents who took their Catholic faith, and their childrens’ developing faith, seriously.
Not only was faith taken seriously – so was music. From little on, my mom forced me to practice piano at the expense of my dream of becoming a professional football player. All was not lost, though. Along with the childhood memory of singing “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” at my sister’s piano recital (I was four years old at the time), I also managed to develop a love for music and songwriting as the years went by. Having enjoyed nearly all genres of music in different respects, my true love comes back to the energetic music of my youth – 70s and 80s rock. This music, with driving rhythms and the raw power associated with it always appealed to me. I also grew to love the more progressive rock that has flourished over the decades since.
Staying true to these rock roots, I set out to duplicate that energy on the piano! Who else can claim to have had Yamaha replace the family piano because of an assumed defect, because of the continually broken strings on the instrument? Only after it was replaced, and I continued breaking the strings on the new piano did they realize that the problem was not the piano! I would later learn to play the guitar, so that broken strings would be far less expensive and an amp could be turned up to a volume that did not risk breaking my hand to achieve the decibel level I desired. Let’s see, so far we have cows, Catholicism, and rock music… please read on, assured that there is no mooing in any of my music (though the concept strangely intrigues me).
As an adult, by the grace of God, the seeds of faith that had been planted in my youth grew and blossomed. Musically, my attention turned from secular music to Contemporary Christian Music, with its positive message. I soon found that when I directed my songwriting towards God, my music flourished. What has since transpired is my first CD release, Avant-God.
Best described as a hard-rocker-wannabe-trapped-in-a-keyboardist’s body, the music on Avant-God is noticeably influenced by my love of 70s and 80s rock, with a twist of modern day CCM, and lyrically constructed from a Catholic Christina worldview. Avant-God stands among only a few on the Catholic music scene yielding a positive message with a hard edge. Helping to fill the Catholic Christian Rock niche while appealing to youth, the middle-aged 80s folk like myself, and anyone who likes a good beat, it is at the same time uplifting and family-friendly.
The art design on the CD is meant to imply this notion. My three oldest children wrote the words in their handwriting and contributed the pictures located on the insert. The title, “Avant-God” speaks to our God as Creator and inventor of all things while at the same time realizing He is so much more than we can comprehend! No number of adjectives can fully describe Him, yet there are so many ways to describe Him. The entire CD is a celebration of this, as written, recorded, produced, and imagined by that guy mentioned in the first paragraph: Joe Tritz.
To date, my music can be located on CD Baby (http://cdbaby.com/cd/tritzjoe) for both purchase of the CD or music download. It can also be located at Dig Station (http://www.digstation.com/JoeTritz) for download. It has also been distributed for streaming and download at a number of other affiliated sites that house independent music, including I-Tunes and Napster. If you use any other services, search for my name, or “Avant-God” and it may be on there. Finally, if cost is an issue, or to buy direct from me, please feel free to send an e-mail at email@example.com. We’ll work something out, I promise! I have a My Space page, but really it’s just a placeholder until I can develop a web site, so it’s not even worth checking out. This blog has much more info.
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Thanks for the response Dave. I asddersed something off from your main point, which isn’t the right way to respond to blog posts. I apologize. The owner should set the agenda for posts.I agree in principle with your main point. I fully expect that other countries do things at least as well as the U.S. and often even better. We should expect to gain from considering other countries and not just dismiss them because they are not US. I especially am pleased with other countries that challenge us with higher standards (e.g. less materialistic, better habits of friendliness, more just laws, better law enforcement, better food, etc.) I especially understand and appreciate the charge of hypocrisy. We are not all that we claim to be and I am glad other countries remind us of it.Yet I also can see difficulties with being too concerned with the perceptions of other countries about U.S. political debates.One reason is that there are those IN the US seeking to use international opinion to win political battles and steer the U.S. by using forces outside of the U.S. This makes responding to those attempts very difficult without sounding like we are (arrogantly) criticizing other countries. I wonder who really is bringing other nations into the debates.Many times there are moral values and judgments at stake in these kind of issues (e.g. property rights, public funding of abortion, definition of family, meaning and expectations of personal responsibility, etc.). It certainly seems to us that a higher percentage in the U.S. seem to care about these moral issues than what we hear from other countries. The main criticism I hear from other countries is that we are too judgmental and that we need to loosen up.One thing I’ve learned from Pastoral ministries is that nothing upsets people more than the implication of moral judgments are being passed. I gave up the expectation long ago of being able to think morally and theologically without offending some people, even when I give the greatest effort not to be needlessly offensive. People are highly sensitive to moral judgments and take them personally (and nationally?). If we care too much about offending people those with lower ethical standards will surely come to rule over those with higher ones.I also have mixed feelings about the charge of hypocrisy. In certain settings it can be considered a backhanded compliment to be charged with hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue, it at least recognizes what it SHOULD be.Hypocrisy is wrong, but there is a degree of hope in it. What is hopeless is when standards are so low that there is no longer any praise of virtue. Sometimes we hear the world’s criticism of hypocrisy as not a call to moral progress but to abandon the pursuit altogether.Yet by defending hypocrisy it is clear that I would like the charge to go both ways. I not only want to consider the charge of hypocrisy about America (and myself), but also to be able to reverse the charge and ask if other countries might not be guilty of it also. There does seem to some self-righteousness in countries upset about America’s reasonings. Can we address that without offending? I don’t see how.