The more things change….

The more they stay the same…. I’m still in a David induced stupor. After two years of following the voice, I am still as enthralled as I was… the first time. Seems like hearing his voice is new each time.  How is it possible that I can listen to songs on repeat for DAYS at a time and still be in AWE??? No one seems to have the answers. Maybe we are not asking the right questions. ha

I miss this place and this community…. The fanbase is still solid> we all still feel the same way about him, but we have splintered into so many different “offshoots” I think that is a good thing, we are all still apples fallen from the same tree…

(((hugs))) to all!

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Something New and Wonderful!

bwgrin

There are those of us who have been knocked sideways by the music of David Archuleta. It might have been at “Heaven,” or “Shop Around,” or “Imagine,” but David grabbed us and didn’t let go.

There are those of us who have visited YouTube obsessively, keeping up with every new song, every fan interaction, every new interview. We have begun to think of David as a member of the family.

There are those of us who have had the opportunity to meet David, to talk with him and to feel the strength and serenity and compassion of David Archuleta in person. His hold on us has grown even stronger.

Beginning in April 2008, some of us found our way to notingDavid. Rascal, its founder, writes with passion and clarity. His site quickly became the place to go for the analysis of David’s artistry and career. This was a place for fans of David who enjoyed the discussion of ideas, the sharing of stories, and the occasional fangirl/fanboy silliness. We all felt privileged to be watching David Archuleta at the beginning of his career, and it was a joy to discuss all aspects of this career and his artistry. Here at last was a place where many of us felt at home.

As the months went by, something else happened. The commenters grew to know each other and grew to appreciate not only the articles and reviews, but also the people who congregated regularly in Rascal’s house. A community began to take shape, not necessarily of like-minded individuals, because we didn’t always agree, but of people who enjoyed a finely crafted article and a good discussion.

When notingDavid rested in February 2009, there were many who refused to let the community disintegrate. A core group emerged and chose a name, solicited articles from the larger notingDavid community and continued the conversation at justDavid.

Now a new opportunity presents itself, something new and wonderful. We are combining the strengths of notingDavid and justDavid to create a site that is more than the sum of its parts:

THE DAVID CHRONICLES.

THE DAVID CHRONICLES is a place where Rascal can continue to write reviews and articles; it is a place where the larger notingDavid / justDavid community can contribute their own articles, and it is a place where our community can continue the conversation in a more spacious house. We are not losing anything here. We will have the same justDavid article writers. We will have the same justDavid commenters. We will still be the place you will want to visit every day. We warmly invite all of you in this lovely community to move with us to this new site. You will find all that you have enjoyed about justDavid, plus you will be delighted to find so much more. Welcome to THE DAVID CHRONICLES!

– the Administrators and Editors of justDavid

http://thedavidchronicles.com

End of Tour Blues

<i>Photo: Snarky Archies</i>

Photo: Snarky Archies

Since we first heard the rumblings of a solo tour, we have wondered what a David Archuleta tour would be. We worried about the type of venue. We pondered whether said venues would be suitable for our burgeoning star. We fretted over mosh pits. Questioned whether to mosh or not to mosh. Whether to throw caution to the wind and fly cross country to see one more show.

Once the tour started, we wondered whether the critics would be fair. We wondered whether he would be able to endure such a whirlwind tour, his first solo tour ever. Most of all we probably wished, wondered, prayed whether ‘they’ would love him like we do.

So now we know (vicariously for many) it is better to mosh, than never to have moshed at all. We know that this young man is a force, and although he may be compact in stature, he is strong, vital, and equipped to meet all challenges. We know that the stage is where his magic is made. We know the critics can’t help but tip their collective hat, and give a nod to him because he is the real deal.

Some of us are actually having a little separation anxiety. Our beloved is about to show the world (well at least parts of Asia and the U.K.) what we already know: that David Archuleta is a multi-faceted, once in a lifetime, extraordinary talent. So fans in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, hang on to your seats. Watch out McFly fans. You are about to be amazed.

We’ve come so far as a fan base. Although we still angst and fret, there is also a feeling of certainty in the air. We know that he won’t be denied. Any worries of Disneyfication, or Montanization dissipate with every strut, every flex, and every beam of that megawatt smile.

Every time he steps on that stage with the growing confidence far exceeding our wildest expectations, we are renewed. We forget all of the worry, the fretting, maybe even a little of the fear. If David had any of the same pre-tour apprehension that we did, it must be gone by now.

His solo tour was sold-out success, with fans traveling from literally around the world to see him. The love he poured out on stage was matched and magnified by the adoring crowds.

So now what? What do we do until he graces that stage again? Until he takes Asia and the U.K. by storm? I say we sip a little Angels Tonic. Follow it with a Barriers Chaser. If that is not enough, I would prescribe a Zero Gravity Mojito. After that I would suggest we just catch our collective breath and exhale. Then we strap ourselves in again, this ride has just begun.

brooklyndawn

SLC: Surreal or so real?


David, David, David… Yes, he’s amazing, freakishly talented, über-adorkable. But, what I want to figure out is, how has he created this remarkable community of new old friends just by singing a few nice songs?

On Monday, I pondered this riddle over the 14 hours it took me to get home to Toronto from Salt Lake City.

I spent three days there and I still feel hung over, partly from the blinding beauty of the mountains — which are so close they smack you in the face with their majesty every time you turn around — and partly from the magnificence of the concert itself. To describe it, I’d need to resort to Klingon, however, because all English words fail me.

But most of all, I’m still a little too not over all the incredible fans I met and talked at length with. This is a phenomenon we’re part of folks, and it’s truly remarkable.

To start things off, on Friday and Saturday, Refnaf and I were thrilled to be able to meet up with amazing justDaviders Awestruck, SandyBeaches, (and their husbands), Sweetonda (who kindly drove by Murray High!), SilverFox, and their lovely sisters, Knotliser, Peru, Mike, davidfanLIZ, Vermeer, as well as fans from all the other sites.

The concert itself? A dream. A beautiful dream. The moment that will stay with me forever is the vision of David bounding onto the stage, smile as big as all Utah. For TMH he practically bounced out of his shoes with excitement. So did I. And that was just the first five minutes.

One of the surreal ArchuMoments of the trip was realizing that many months ago I watched a YouTube of a silver-haired lady driving around a parking lot blasting Crush. Now, here I was sitting right beside SilverFox, my now e-friend, at a David Archuleta concert … doing the wave.

Each David concert has brought more wonderful strangers-I-feel-I’ve-known-forever friends into my life. And this trip was no exception. In fact, it felt more like a family reunion — one where everyone gets along.

Especially Saturday night — it was … sorry, might have to resort to Klingon again.

That night, Refnaf and I were fortunate to be included in a gathering of 30 or so fans from several sites at ThisIsYourMotherSpeaking’s house. At one point, Karin from SnarkyArchies suggested that, for fun, we go around the room and, one by one, each person share their favourite “David moment.”

These ranged from hilariously funny “meeting David” stories, complete with reenactments, to incredibly moving examples of how David’s music had turned lives around for the better. It was one of the most profound shared experiences I’ve ever been a part of. I’ll never forget it.

After we left, it started to sink in that, for me, this whole tour has gone beyond hearing David sing live, as wonderful as that is. Hearing the impact his music has had on so many people and feeling the powerful connection with so many virtual strangers, I began to appreciate why this is happening.

David’s music may be brilliant and beautiful but like all great art, it also stands for something. He stands for something — hope, truth, honesty, but most of all love, pure love.

That’s what draws us in, connects us together and keep us there, song after song. What a powerful force for good in the world.

I flew home knowing deep in my heart that I need to honour that. And I will.

TOfan

The Woof of Now

Golden Retrievals………………Mark Doty

Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s — oh
joy — actually scared. Sniff the wind, then

I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,

or else you’re off in some fog concerning
— tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,

a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.

davidmedx3weird1

There is a Buddhist idea of being in the now, of being present. You are in a calm middle ground that is not pulled by regrets of the past or by anxiety about the future. You are fully in the moment, you are fully “present.” The demands of ego dissipate, and judgment is in short supply.

This state is blissful and is not easy to attain. Some people practice meditation to achieve this state. Some look to their canine buddies for inspiration. Some special beings simply have this quality from an early age.

halo41

When I met David during the AI tour last September, I was struck by his calm presence. He had a joyfulness that rested on a deep peace. He stood there, so patient, so ready for whatever would come. He was present, completely in the now. As I’ve watched him over the past few months, he has shared many different public sides of himself, but through it all, I see a core of calm, of living from his center.

David has a full range of musical connections. He can bring on the schmexy and get us dancing (think Zero Gravity); he can go to that almost agonizing place of yearning and make us ache with pain (think Don’t Let Go). He can also bring us to a place of stillness and peace.

When he sang Angels in Albuquerque, there was a stillness in that dinghy club. Bodies were calm, voices mercifully quieted. David went to that place of deep peace and those of us who were ready, went with him. Past and future fell away and there was only the Voice that took us on a ride. Soaking up his voice felt like a blessing. As he stood up to go, he said, “I love you!”

And I know that he does.

Another fan site has referred to David as Jesus 2.0. A family friend has talked about his “Christ-like nature.” Perhaps. But perhaps he is simply living from his true self, our Bodhisatva David, being present.

– davidfanLIZ

The Boundaries of Fandom

davidhob

So, last Monday, I read with fascination a discussion that ensued about David Cook’s recent myspace post calling out his “scary fans.” Not surprisingly, a debate got under way about the difference between a “normal” fan vs. a “crazy” fan, the difference between being “obsessive” and being a full on gunning-down-Selena-style lunatic. So, how in this conversation do I go from shaking my head at some of the shenanigans that full-on lunatic stalker-fans engage in to seeing someone lumping “an adult who gushes on about the beauty of an 18-year-old” in the same category as a crazy fan who bugs her idol’s tour bus with a GPS tracker? Since I recognize myself in the former scenario vs. the latter, I am definitely having a “hold up…wait a minute!” reaction.

Let me get this straight since the David Archuleta Bus is the first serious ride I’ve ever taken in the world of fandom. Because I’ve decided that I like an 18 year old who charmed me through my TV screen last year and have been following him ever since. Because I love his voice, his beauty, and what I assume to be his sweet personality and have found an online community of fellow David admirers who love the same qualities. Because he is mentioned in 14 posts in a sea of 400+ posts on my personal blog, and is the subject of four fan videos that I created just for a whole lot of fun. Because I went to one concert of his when he came to town. Because I bought his CD and downloaded his iTunes stuff. I could go on and on, but how do any of these actions even remotely place me in the same category as a stalker-fan who bugs her idol’s tour bus with a GPS tracker? Oh! Because I’m over 30 and gushing over an 18 year old!

What I find remarkably limited about this conversation – a conversation I think is worth having – is the sexist and ageist stereotyping going on, so that instead of just rightly calling out certain disrespectful (and, quite frankly, ILLEGAL) behavior on the part of obsessive fans – because that’s the problem more than what people personally choose to do for their own enjoyment – assumptions are made about who “crazy” fans are “over there” vs. the “normal” fans we all assume ourselves to be. Such assumptions made (did you know, for example, that Arch Angels are really Claymates who needed to find a new American Idol? Funny to me because Ruben Studdard was the reason I started watching American Idol religiously to begin with), especially ones that assume Idol stalker-fans are either “unattractive” or “fat” or “bored housewives,” do nothing to address the ways that stalker-fans who show no respect for the artist they admire should be roundly dismissed or chastised for their bad behavior. Instead, these assumptions are designed to belittle mostly women and girls who dare to go over the top in their love and appreciation for the artist and his music. Ever notice how when guys develop obsessions over music or sports or gaming, and travel to every concert or fan conference and every sports event, they’re not called “stalker-fans,” they’re just called “hardcore fans”?

I’m bringing this up because I find it disturbing that it would be so easy to lump all fans in the same category of “crazy,” especially those of us (women in particular, who have often been characterized in patriarchal societies as “hysterical” since we have “wombs”) who publicly declare our love and admiration for David Archuleta (as if the story is about him but somehow Archies are a “point of reference”). For I do believe there is a difference between disrespectful obsessive behavior and just your average ODD when you log in to your favorite fan site on a regular basis and get your latest David news or watch your latest David YouTube video. I don’t have certain resources to travel to several concerts, but for those fans who do, more power to ’em is what I say! As long as nobody is getting hurt. Fortunately, JD (and prior to that, ND) has never made me or anyone else feel like a “bad fan” because we didn’t or couldn’t attend David’s solo tour. Perhaps in not being judgmental in these ways, I’ve never thought to question which of us was “normal” and who is “the crazy over there.” Besides, we’re already so self-critical and mature enough to know the boundaries of our fandom, we don’t need to point fingers at anyone but ourselves – if we care to or worry about it at all.

Having said all this, I would be remiss to also not mention that, within every fandom, and David’s is hardly unique in this way, the boundaries have been drawn, and JD is here precisely because ND’s blog owner no longer felt his views were welcome. Needless to say, hierarchies are established – from those who think they have an “in” with the artist (or the artist’s family member or band member) to those who create “insider” groups within a fan site.  Regardless, I always have to ask the basic question: why am I apart of this community? Or any community? Someone or something binds us together. Here, it is the love of the artist and his music. When that stops being the point, it’s time to move on, or it’s time to regroup and refocus.

I’ve never had the desire to be a groupie. If an artist is in town, and I want to see him, I see him. Or, if I have an opportunity to travel somewhere for vacation or to meet up with members of said community, that’s the enjoyment and the pleasures of fandom, I would think. Music is such a personal gift, a direct connection straight to the heart, that there’s a reason that music artists, more than any other celebrity, inspires the fanaticism. But, to me, whenever fanaticism bumps up against respect issues and privacy issues, then we have a problem. Traveling hours to see your favorite artist in concert is about love and respect. Calling up your favorite artist’s hotel room number or tracking his tour bus, that requires a restraining order.

At the end of the day, where’s the fun and the joy that started us on this journey? I hope we, as JDers, will always keep this goal in mind and not ever lose sight of this aspect of our love and enjoyment of David.

– Hello Gorgeous

The Finale

desert2

How long has it been?

It’s been said that David is a quick learner, and apparently this quality also extends to his performance skills. I’ve been gone from these boards about 3 months, but it seems as if he has benefited from the experience of several years.

As some of you may know, I have not been around these parts in a while. I have been tending to my Archuholism as I try to focus on law school and political work. I was actually supposed to write on the Reno performance, but was called back at the last minute to be part of a candidates debate at UC-Berkeley. Frazzled and flummoxed, I looked online to see if there were any tickets available for some other time. And lo and behold, there were tickets available for Salt Lake City, just four seats above the floor! Oh my stars how lucky was I?

So here I was, unspoiled about David’s solo concert. I knew only a few of the songs David would sing, not having seen any videos from the tour except for a couple from the very first stop. On top of that, the E-Center was filled to capacity, and David was going to give all he could for his hometown. And we all know that David’s not too shabby when it comes to finales. So you can imagine my anticipation! After I found my seat I looked up to see a clear view of…

A sound speaker. Apparently, I was one of maybe six people in the entire stadium who had this dang speaker positioned right between me and the lead microphone. This wasn’t a nosebleed seat, but during the opening acts I got a crick in my neck as I alternated between leaning sideways and looking up to the ceiling toward a monitor. I discovered that I could see David better if I sat on the stairwell next to my seat. That brought down the usher, who told me to go back to where I was. Apparently I was violating some fire code. I grumbled and parked my arse. I didn’t know I was so dangerous.

On to the important stuff. David is strengthening as a singer. Here he was, outdoing himself on nearly every song on which I had seen him before, hitting the hard notes more strongly than I remember. And he was able to do this through his entire set.

I grinned and listened for the little touches he added to the songs, thinking about what I could over-think and over-analyze for y’all. “I am here to appreciate a true musician,” I tell myself.

And then something happened. During “Barriers,” while charmingly acting out the lyrics as he lilted through the verses (I love this song!), David sings “We’re not getting any stronger,” flexes his bicep and pats it.

Holy picante sauce! Since when did David become such a flirt? And such a showman to boot. He seems to have a wry self-awareness as he goes through his set—relaxed, and simply enjoying pleasing and performing for the crowd.

Then at other moments he’s exuberant, running around the stage, jumping up and down like an eighteen-year-old. Wait! He IS an eighteen-year-old! His energy is contagious: there’s a definite party atmosphere. I haven’t been to a lot of concerts, but this was by far the most FUN I’ve had during a concert.

Again: how long has it been?

And he goes through his songs with a new aggressiveness: he’s stomping, pleading, pointing, giving burning looks, pushing his shoulder forward. Before his solo tour, even as he became intense (DLTSGDOM) it was as if he went to some inner place. Then later last fall, he started to bring out the dance and slinked through “Works for Me!” and ran through “Crush” – but still with some self-consciousness and reserve.

But that’s all gone now. David is confident, looking straight at the audience, knows exactly what he is doing with his movements, and enjoying every minute of it. There’s no choreography here—his movements are raw, natural. He gets into the groove of the song and lets the song move his body. He has grown to become – dare I say it? – very SEXY.

There. I said it. Is that a bad word around here? 🙂 Has it been like this all through the tour? He may not be hip swiveling, but there is definitely some X factor going on here.

How long has it been?

David breaks out into “Como La Flor” and gives us some soft consonants. I close my eyes and savor the aural chocolate.

Then he stopped! David, I love you, but yo quiero hear the full song, with some sultry background music.

Virtually every song is different from the studio versions and made better, more intense, more immediate. During AI, although he did creative and wonderful things with his runs and with tone and melody, he generally stayed within the ballad/pop mode of singing. But now David is showing more and more of his soul roots.

There’s nice little surprises – I loved his little play on pronunciation in Barriers (“Open up our ay-ees”), And I also loved the end to “Works for Me!,” when he added a couple of funky syncopations that reminded me of classic R&B and funk. And oh my heck the soulful acappella ending to “My Hands” was brilliant. I don’t know if he improvised or not, but either way the notes he found were surprising, somehow just right, and passionate.

David’s description of the kind of music he wants to do – I believe it was soul-infused pop – truly is fitting. I would love to hear him do more crossover stuff in this area in the future.

Or maybe he could become a dance club artist. I had heard the studio recording of “Zero Gravity” and I had seen his very first performance of this on YouTube. But none of that prepared me for the energy in that room! This song was catchy, fun, and danceable, and made you want to jump in the air (zero gravity!). David and most of the crowd were jumping up and down. And whoever said David can’t dance? This is destined to be a single and I can’t wait to see the music video. 🙂

And on the topic of singles, this song and “Barriers,” were very, VERY fun songs live, and I think they both could be pop hits. (My humble opinion of course.)

And then there was “Somebody Out There.”

Some of you will know that I already have a love affair with this song. SOT and I go waay back. It’s simple, it’s earnest, it’s raw, just perfect for David to add his soulful touch. And it’s no coincidence, of course, that David co-wrote it.

Well, he surpassed the studio version by a mile. Whatever place in his spirit this song came out of, David is digging even deeper now. There’s an extra ounce of yearning and earnestness in every word. And I love his musical touches: the delicious “Oooh” during the bridge, the contrasting variation at the beginning of the last chorus. Then that phrase in the very last moments of the song – there are no words! How does David manage to be so creative, innovative – on top of that masterful in his execution – in breaking our hearts like that! We are witnessing a musical maestro.

And David ended the night with “Angels.”

THIS is how I wanted him to play it since I saw his EFY performance – his voice soaring above a lone piano. And he outdid himself – again.

He managed to bring the intimacy from his Seton Hall performance, and combined that with the awesome power of his Tulsa performance. And now he played the bridge on the piano (yay!), and took the song to that higher level.

We knew we were witnessing something great – it was as if a fierce storm had built up and was passing through the place. The final screams and cheers began long before David’s last notes.

THIS is a glimpse into David’s future. Years down the line, after his career is established and long enough that we can look back on his list of triumphs, THIS is the image of David that people will think of the most—a singer accompanying himself on the piano, voice soaring, bringing out every emotion, from bliss to pain to contentment.

When I think back to last night, I think most to his piercing cry near the end of “Angels.”

And that was how David bade farewell: farewell to us fans, farewell to his first solo tour. I felt a strange sense of bittersweetness – not just because he leaves us for the UK, where I know he will win over thousands of new hearts when he reprises their “Angels” with a dose of American soul – but also because when he comes back he won’t be exactly as I now know him. He will have grown even more in talent, broadened his horizons, discovered new powers within himself.

Although he will always be the same David, in some strange way I will barely recognize him.

And I’ll be shaking my head saying: “How long has it been?”

–Ronaldsf

* Postscript: It really is true what they say that Utahns are nice. My airport shuttle driver was talkative – after coming back back from the war 38 years ago, he stayed in Salt Lake City one winter for work. He spent the summer there, and fell in love with the place.

“Great place to raise a family,” he said. “Crime is low, not a lot of bad things for kids to get drawn up in. Last year, there were 55 murders in Utah.”

Pretty dang low!

I stood in a huge line at the airport, when actually (because I had no luggage to check-in) I should have just gone straight to the express line. To my right, rushing up to the express line, is Jeff! He appears to be in a hurry, so I decide not to bother him. Besides, I didn’t want to lose in my place in that long line. (I still didn’t know I didn’t belong there.)

But apparently there’s something Jeff needs, so he steps out. I walk up to the counter and get my boarding pass. When I turn around, I see Jeff – and David!

All these thoughts race through my mind – there’s that awesome, uber-talented guy who sang his heart out last night! I thought I would never get to see him in person again! And he and I have matching jackets!!

I approach him and say “David!”, but apparently he thinks I’m some old friend he no longer recognizes or that I’m crazy. I should have prefaced it with “I’m a fan!” or “I was at the concert!”

He gives me a look of either confusion or profound concern.

Then I say “You were awesome last night.”

“Thank you!!” His voice is hoarse, and he puts his hand up to his mouth as he clears his throat. He gave his all last night!

“Oh, you must be on vocal rest!” I take out my wallet and remove the “Rising Star Outreach” charity card that was given out during the concert. I flip it around to Molapro’s drawing and ask David to sign it – and give him my blue ballpoint pen.

He furrows his eyebrows as he scratches the pen onto the card to get the ink flowing. He scrawls his signature. (Stupid me. I had a Sharpie in my bag!)

I thanked him and went on my way, grinning. I must have looked like an idiot, with my stupid words and my stupid pen. But yay – I just bumped into David!

And later on, at my departure gate, there was David, at a nearby gate with Jeff and Lupe. Several people approach and take pictures with him. I glare at them with jealousy as I realize I should I have brought a camera with me.

Didn’t Silverfox also get to bump into David – twice? I think that we in the nD/jD community are blessed. Good karma for all the love we show on this page, I sez.

Moral of the story? Stand in the wrong line. You never know what will happen. And join the nD/jD community too.


Quotable ArchuQuote

"I'm just David and a lot more people know who I am now than before, but it's not like I'm a different person because of that." — Square Magazine, Jan./Feb. 2009

From the notingDavid Archives

"One of the reasons I know that David Archuleta is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience is because there is an entire category of people who find themselves inexplicably drawn to this remarkable young man who are not the kinds of people commonly–if ever–given to fanaticism of any kind.” - Rascal
notingDavid, June 1 Trust the Archulator

From the Comments

"I just listened to How Great Thou Art. NEVER have I heard anything so moving and beautiful. Just when I think I’ve heard the most beautiful sound in the world, he goes and does something like this. He keeps outdoing himself. I swear his voice could stop wars.."
— betsy

Archu-love

"He pulls us up on stage with him,” all right! Then he shakes the dickens out of us ’til all the stuffing comes out our heads!! GAH.
- — highervibe

Random ArchuPoetry

Wishing for wings, I've waited
but none were sprouting
then you came to take me up.
-highervibe

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