Friday, July 31, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"you can't silence my love"

I'm still a big fan of Switchfoot. They've got an album coming out in October-- and this is them performing the title track "Hello Hurricane." Lyrics to follow.

**btw, sorry about the audience in the background... they sound awful there in the beginning**

I've been watching the skies
They've been turning blood red
Not a doubt in my mind anymore
There's a storm up ahead

- Chorus -

Hello hurricane
You're not enough
Hello hurricane
You can't silence my love
I've got doors and windows boarded up
All your dead end fury is not enough
You can't silence my love

Every thing I have I count as loss
Everything I have is stripped away
Before I started building
I counted up these costs
There's nothing left for you to take away

Hello hurricane
You can't silence my love

I'm a fighter fighting for control
I'm a fighter fighting for my soul
Everything inside of me surrenders
You can't silence my love

Hello hurricane
You can't silence my love

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

there's war in my blood

I've got a girl
She tastes like rain on my tongue
She's got the moon in her hips
And her eyes burn up like the sun
I'm gone from my girl when I leave her alone
There ain't nothing that I'm running from
There's war in my blood
I've still got wars to be won

Maybe something sweet
Somewhere between a flower and a gun
And where my girl is now
Someday that's where I want to be from

But love is a dollar that's already spent
Love is a song that's been sung
There's war in my blood
Love ain't the tune that fills these lungs

So here's my consolation
The opponent is enough
It takes two to go to war
And only one to fall in love

I had a girl
I know precisely what made her run
Her skin looked like the sky
Made my heart beat itself like a drum

I long for my girl
And I meet her in my dreams
I tell her she'll always be my only one
But there's war in my blood
There ain't a thing love could have done

There's war in my blood
There's war in my blood
There's war in my blood
There's war in my blood

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lost Videos

These videos were shown at Comic-Con, I believe.

What do they mean for the next season of Lost? Do you think this means Faraday's predictions were true?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Exilic Living

A good friend of mine posted a video today.  It's 60 minutes long, but please, please, PLEASE watch it.

Here is his post and subsequent video:

It was my privilege to participate in an international church planting conference in 2007 where Michael Frost was the keynote speaker. Unfortunately his first talk is not recorded here. However, it is important to know that he began the conference with a talk on the post-Christian reality that: had already come about in Australia; was a functioning reality in Europe; and was in the process of becoming reality in North America. (Note: these talks were delivered almost two years ago. During that time, trends have not, in my estimation, slowed or reversed course.)
In this follow-up talk he covers material from a book he coauthored with Hirsch–Exiles. Frost borrows some ideas from Brueggemann about the Hebrews living in Babylon and the resulting exilic literature. This may serve as a roadmap for how we can live a radical faith in our postmodern, post-Christian context.
The content shared here may disturb and disorient some. For others, it may begin or advance a process of reorientation that leads to meaningful change. I would encourage you to invite your spouse, your friend(s), and/or the team with whom you are seeking to share your journey of faith to watch the hour-long video with you. Grab some pastries, doughnuts, bagels, ramen, and/or something else to fit your palate and budget, fix enough coffee or tea to let them know you are serious about this activity as you have prepared in advance in order to honor them. Then view the video and set aside at least another hour to discuss it. Below the video are some possible discussion questions.
BTW – If given serious consideration, this is not easy material. Also, parts of the presentation are NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN.

Frost Video 1 - Wednesday, December 5, 2007 from Moscow Summit 07 on Vimeo.

Here are some questions he posted for discussion:

  1. In what ways does our context merge with post-Christendom?
  2. If we were to view ourselves as exiles, how would that change our praxis? How might it change our living out the Great Commission?
  3. What aspects that Frost shares do we consider implementing now? What does that look like?
  4. What do we need to revisit in the future? When do we plan to come back to this?
  5. Would the lost community around us agree with our discussion / conclusions to the above questions? How could we verify this? Is that a conversation we are willing to begin?
  6. What other questions should we be asking right now?
  7. How serious about this are we? Honestly?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Monsters of Folk

Conor Oberst + M. Ward + Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) + Mike Mogis = MONSTERS OF FOLK

I'm pretty excited about this, needless to say. They've got an album coming out in August, but for now you can download a song of theirs:

Say Please

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"They call me Canyon Joe"

Well I live in the canyon
Where the old coyotes howl
And they come down from the mountains when the dogs begin to growl
And they meet up in the darkness where they fight until the death
When the morning sun is rising I will bury who they left

And oh, they call me Canyon Joe

And I stay in the cabin
Where I work my hands to bleed
Swing the hammer to the nail
And I swing the axe onto the tree
And I once cleared these woods
-yeah there used to be a path
And now the trees have overgrown just to prove that nothing lasts

And oh, they call me Canyon Joe

The old man went crazy
He lives high up on the ridge
He used to tell me all the stories of the church house and the bridge
But the bridge, she washed away your sin
The church house- it got burned
'Cause this world has gone angry and some people never learn

And oh, they call me Canyon Joe

And I once loved a woman
Yes and Georgia was her name
We met out in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range
We saw the world together
Least the parts that we love most
She still comes to me in dreams
I am still haunted with her ghost

And oh, they call me Canyon Joe

And all my thoughts are heavy
My beard, it has grown long
And I search the face of six-strings for an old familiar song
But the chords, they all sound foreign like the places that I've been
So I close my eyes to sleep
Tomorrow I will try again

And oh, they call me Canyon Joe
Oh, oh, they call me Canyon Joe
Singing oh, oh, they call me Canyon Joe

"you know you can't always get your way"

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley performed the song "Spoiled" from their new album on David Letterman:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sorry For the Overload


But you have to pick up this album.
Here's Pitchfork's review of it.  Surprisingly enough, I actually liked the review.

Pretty much every city in North America has an FM radio station boasting a slogan along the lines of "Where Classic Rock Lives!" But really, these are the places where classic rock goes to die, fossilized onto playlists that haven't been updated since the second Black Crowes album. You think it's hard getting attention for your psych-folk-disco-shitgaze collective? Try being an up-and-coming meat-and-potatoes blues-rock band, who are shut out from both hipster-blog discourse and the sort of mainstream media channels that theoretically should be nurturing them. Most people laughed at the Blueshammer scene in Ghost World; me, I just felt sorry for those dudes-- because once they leave that bar, there's really nowhere else for them to go.

The plight of the post-millennial blues-rocker thus makes Jack White's ascent to superstardom all the more remarkable, having refashioned such dead-horse devices as slide-geetar riffs and Bonham-style boogies into something both exciting and exceedingly profitable. And he's done it by not just honoring the blues' authenticity, but exploiting the music's capacity for mythology, using it to color his world any way he sees fit, be it the candy-striped fantasyland of the White Stripes, or the wood-panelled, Dazed and Confused-style nostalgia trip of the Raconteurs. And it's the reason he's been able to extend his golden touch to now a third band, the Dead Weather, who delve even deeper into the blues' swampy roots and devil's-music deviancy, but in a manner that's every bit as stylized, sexually charged, and trashy as an episode of "True Blood".

Of course, the major difference this time out is that White's dropped the guitar and returned to his first instrument, the drums. But the rear-admiral position hardly diminishes his presence; arguably, it gives him an even better vantage point to direct his cast, which includes Raconteurs bassist Jack Lawrence, Queens of the Stone Age keyboardist/guitarist Dean Fertita, and, in the starring role, Alison Mosshart of the Kills. Even though the Dead Weather is unquestionably a full-band effort, Horehound is designed as a showcase for its lead vocalist as much as the White-produced Van Lear Rose was for Loretta Lynn-- Mosshart's face is front and center on the album cover, and after the cool electro-pop maneuvers of the Kills' Midnight Boom, her cat-in-heat performances on Horehound suggest an eagerness to bust out of that band's minimalist, drum-machined parameters, and give the sort of scrappy, scuzz-rock songs that defined the Kills' early releases a full-blooded treatment.

But while built from the same rudiments as its principals' other bands, the Dead Weather are greatly distinguished by a richness of atmosphere. Over its 11 tracks, Horehound rarely relents in its murky, humid, southern-gothic ambience-- one that's greatly thickened by Fertita's Dr. John-style organ mojo and Lawrence's array of fuzz-bass effects. And if both the White Stripes and the Raconteurs have traditionally positioned their singles in the album-opener slots, the Dead Weather take their sweet time to settle into the deep marshland miasma of "60 Feet Tall"; taking a page from PJ Harvey's size-queen routine, Mosshart belts out the title as a badge of invincibility while the song ebbs and flows between solitary blues-picking and eruptions of blast-furnace noise. On top of setting up Horehound's greyscale scenery, "60 Feet Tall" also establishes White's drumming style for the album-- simple and steady-as-she-goes, favoring tension-building snare-rim rolls and strategically placed cymbal taps, with echoplexed accents to expand the sense of space.

Or, in the case of the less-than-incendiary (and not entirely representative) single "Hang You From the Heavens" or its sluggish sister track, "No Hassle Night", he'll trip up the rhythm in an attempt to make a repetitive blues-rocker sound more dynamic. But even when perched behind the kit, White's not one to turn down a duet with fetching female foil, and Horehound really shows its teeth when he and Mosshart battle for mic control. Thankfully they do often, blurring their voices on the gender-bending reggaeified funk strut "I Cut Like a Buffalo"; playing call-and-response on a deliciously sleazy Led Zepped take on Bob Dylan's "New Pony" and the Bad Seedy chain-gang chant "So Far From Your Weapon"; and, literally, playing tug of war for control of the Royal-monster-Trux groover "Treat Me Like Your Mother", which in Mosshart's hands sounds like less a plea for respect than an Oedipal enticement. Even Horehound's most reverential blues gesture-- the strung-out acoustic reverie "Will There Be Enough Water"-- retains the album's haunted vibe, with a completely spent White and Mosshart begging for a few life-saving drops that they know will never come.

The songs on Horehound don't so much rock as writhe, reinstituting the idea of the blues as a sinister, morally corrupting force that's as much the province of voodoo priests and witch doctors as musicians. Perhaps Jack White's continued dominance over contemporary blues-rock is in fact the product of some deal with the devil-- and if that means more bands as fully realized as the Dead Weather, let's hope that Beelzebub will consider a contract renewal.

They gave it a 7.5.

The Dead Weather - "Treat Me Like Your Mother"

What a crazy music video.

The Dead Weather - Treat Me Like Your Mother

Tribes We Lead

I thought this was a really great talk on influence:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

See fernando

I'll admit, I've only heard a portion of Jenny Lewis' newest album Acid Tongue, and it hasn't been my favorite stuff she's done (it's definitely better than Rilo Kiley's newest stuff).

Here's a pretty amusing video for the song "See Fernando."

Jenny Lewis "See Fernando" from Team G on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More Dead Weather

More video from the Dead Weather.

Free EP From Joe Pug!

Number 2 on my top 25 song list of last year was Joe Pug, one of my new favorites.

He's currently offering a free 5-song "In The Meantime" EP.  Although I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, I highly encourage you to get it.  Check it out here.

DCFC - "Little Bribes" on Conan

I just posted the creative music video for this song, but here it is live:

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Burma VJ" Trailer

This looks like a very interesting documentary dealing with the conflict in Burma.

Friday, July 3, 2009

TED: Louise Fresco - "How To Feed the Whole World"

"Never before has the responsibility to feed the world been in the hands of so few people; and never before have so many people been oblivious of that fact."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"oh so empty were the faces"

Death Cab For Cutie decided to make this fan-video for "Little Bribes" official.  It's very impressive. 

Death Cab for Cutie - Little Bribes from Ross Ching on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

When Reality Hits Reality Television (and Vice Versa)

Remember that reality show that aired in 2003 called "The Contender?" It was a reality television program based around boxing, and hosted by none other than Sylvester Stallone. It's plot was sort of typical, where a group of boxers compete until only one is left standing and ultimately the winner. After being eliminated relatively early from the program, 23 year old Najai Turpin committed suicide just a couple weeks before the premiere aired on television.

This was the first point in which I began to think about the (sometimes volatile) relationship between reality and reality television. It was then that I began asking some very practical questions: can the program even continue with the outcome already known (that sounds heartless, I know, but I don't mean for it to)? The series finale is supposed to be live, and all of the "contenders" are supposed to be present. Would they continue or cancel it all?

These thoughts and questions only returned with the reality program "Jon and Kate Plus 8," a program on TLC based around a couple who has eight children (six of which were born sextuplets). You probably have heard of the show due to the recent news surrounding it. The show looks at the lives of the family and how they manage to take care of so many children--the day-to-day triumphs and struggles of a family of that magnitude.

I'll admit that I don't like this show much at all--Beth enjoys it, and so over the last year we've watched it here and there. It wasn't until recently (admittedly because of the hype surrounding their marriage) that we began paying more attention. Over the last half year or so there have been rumors of infidelity (moreso on Jon's part but Kate hasn't been immune to the attacks). Watching this unfolding divide in their marriage that eventually made it into their television show (in fact, the premiere of season 5 actually promoted their difficulties) once again brought up these questions about the relationship between reality and reality television.

Before I go any further I do want to say that this post has nothing to do with an argument for or against reality television. I don't care. It also is not condoning or condemning the public view into the Gosselin's private life. That is a difficult issue--but I will say in the defense of the public that the family did invite cameras into their home to FILM THEIR LIVES FOR NATIONAL TELEVISION. Typically--and even with the Gosselins--I'm not a fan of paying attention to celebrities' lives. I don't think we should care for one thing, but I don't think it's any of our business. But for a family that appears on television once a week to say "leave us alone-- how DARE you pay any attention to us," is a little bit like biting the hand that feeds. I'm not at all trying to justify the paparazzi that has plagued their lives, but I'm a little surprised at how they didn't really expect this.

I digress. All I'm interested in (for now) is exploring the relationship between reality and reality television. "Jon and Kate Plus 8" have a theme where they say "It's a crazy life.... but it's OUR life." What once was a program dealing with a married couple raising a full house of eight children, now reality has shifted the focus--if you watch the show you'll notice how there are more discussions ABOUT the relationship of the couple as opposed to the family itself or ways they raise their children. What the show presumed from the outset was this family that would stick together. There is nothing wrong with this presumption, but it just goes to show that reality television does not dictate reality.

Or does it? But more than that, how has reality television changed their reality? It impacts their lives on obvious immediate levels--you know, the cameramen and crew that are at their house nearly every day filming much of their waking moments. The fact that people are present (and not just anybody, but people holding cameras and boom mics recording their very lives) automatically change reality. I can guarantee that if I'm put in front of a camera that potentially millions of people will see the end result, I'm going to put my best foot forward and then some. Even when the cameras become normal and I get used to being filmed, I'll probably lose some of my act, but you can bet I'll still be acting differently.

But think of the other ways reality television has changed their reality. Jon and Kate earn $75,000 per episode. And I'm pretty sure when they go on little adventures for the show (like that time a year ago when they *ahem* renewed their vows in Hawaii) TLC foots the bill. Reality television has changed their reality radically. They're now living in a multi-million dollar house (undoubtedly purchased with money they made from their show). Kate has written a couple of books, and is writing another, and most of the success is due to the television show.

I don't have any problem with their success, but I'm just fascinated by the fact that had the reality show not ever have taken place, their lives would be dramatically different right now. Reality television has completely altered their reality.

I promise I'm not trying to place the blame on their show, but all this makes you wonder: Did the show also contribute to their pending separation? Kate (in their last episode where they announced their split to over 10 million viewers) staunchly said that she believes this all would have played out the way it did regardless of the show or not. But she has to say that. I'm not coming down either way, and I don't think anyone can. I'm not going to try to pin down their motives. But their television show will undoubtedly play a part in their decisions and how they handle the future.

And of course, the show must go on.