Monday, February 22, 2010

awesome video

Every once in a while there comes a video that's so stunning and innovative that you can't help but be inspired by the magnitude of what you see.

This, unfortunately, is not that video.  But I hope you get a kick out of it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

30 Favorite Songs of 2009: #10-1

10. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - "Roosevelt Room"

While I'm definitely a fan of Oberst's new music, it's good to know he's still got it in him.

9.  The Very Best - "The Warm Heart of Africa"

Complex yet uncomplicated.

8. Modest Mouse - "The Whale Song"

This a song I didn't see on many "best of" lists, and I was surprised.  Perfect Modest Mouse.

7.  Passion Pit - "Sleepyhead"

Another band that changed my way of thinking about the genre.

6.  The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Zero"

I have a crush on Karen O.

5.  Bon Iver - "Blood Bank"

That secret that we know
That we don't know how to tell
I'm in love with your honor
I'm in love with your cheeks
What's that noise up the stairs babe?
Is that Christmas morning creaks?

4.   Neko Case - "This Tornado Loves You"

Her whole album Middle Cyclone was phenomenal--one of my favorites of the year.  This one in particular I couldn't get out of my head.  The title is no metaphor--one of the things I loved about the song!

3.  Dirty Projectors - "Stillness Is the Move"

2.  Animal Collective - "My Girls"

1. The Avett Brothers - "I and Love and You"

Exactly what I needed for particular moments of my life this year.  Then again, that's what most of these songs are on the list for.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Joe Pug Album!

This is an album I've been looking forward to, but had completely forgotten about until I received an e-mail letting me know it's been released.

It's Joe Pug's first LP entitled Messenger.  I encourage you to check out this incredible artist.  He's one of those artists I'm really looking forward to seeing once Beth and I return to the States!

Messenger on iTunes
Messenger at Amazon

Messenger on Emusic

Here was one of my favorite songs of '08, "Hymn 101:"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"they don't love you like I love you"

When I first started working the early shift on Sunday mornings, I would turn the television to MTV while I worked (it was early in the morning, one of the few times where they actually play music videos).

This song kept me going.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The White Stripes live - "Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground"

This is just a hint of their huge box set of goodies they're releasing in March.

If anyone wants to send me something from the States, this would be it. :-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Peter Fox - "Haus Ma See"

This is a band we were introduced to in Germany.  Our first day driving to our cabin in Black Forest, we ran into a snowstorm, and were unable to make it up the last 15 kilometers to our place.

Fortunately we received help from a guy named Florian.  We were able to get chains the next day, but for that night he drove us up to the cabin with his car.  He played this incredible song on the way up, and I was hooked.

Monday, February 8, 2010

30 Favorite Songs of 2009: #20-11

20.  Switchfoot - "Always"

Since high school, Switchfoot has always been a favorite of mine.  I mean, a BIG favorite.  I have to say however that I've been more disappointed with their previous two albums (Oh! Gravity and Nothing Is Sound)--although I still enjoyed them immensely.  I was really impressed with Hello Hurricane, their newest release, and picking a favorite was somewhat difficult.

19.  Built to Spill - "Things Fall Apart"

A sobering and somber song, but I felt it fit the band perfectly.  And I'm a sucker for those 6ish minute epics.  Built to Spill pulls it off perfectly.

18.  Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks"

I just started listening to Grizzly Bear this year, and Veckatimest was the first album I picked up by then.  I thought it was great, and like most "top songs of '09," I felt that there was something incredible about this track.

17.  The Dead Weather - "Treat Me Like Your Mother"

I think I'm biased--I love anything Jack White touches.  This new super-group is no different.  Although it's not my favorite of his diverse side projects, they're still great.  And this song just perfectly encapsulates the band.  And the music video was crazy.

16.  Monsters of Folk - "The Sandman, the Brakeman, and Me"

Although their entire album is really great, I felt this song perfectly encapsulated all of the talents making up the band.

15.  David Bazan - "When We Fell"

"when you set the table
and when you chose the scale
did you write a riddle
that you knew they would fail"

"what am i afraid of
whom did i betray
in what medieval kingdom does justice work this way
if you knew what would happen and made us just the same
then you , my lord, can take the blame"

I have to admit.... this is stuff I struggle with as well.  Not only is this an incredible song, but his honesty challenges me.

14.  M. Ward - "Never Had Nobody Like You"

Another "our" song.

13.  Thao - "Body"

I love Thao.  Man.  This is a breakup song at it's finest.

12.  Cymbals Eat Guitars - "... And the Hazy Sea"

11.  fun. - "Take Your Time (Coming Home)"

I love the songs from bands showing growth and wisdom.  Some lyrical gems:

"How did I end up here?
How did I find love and conquer all my fears?
See, I made it out.
Out from under the sun.
And the truth is that I feel better because I've forgiven everyone."

"Now I'm not scared
of a song
or the states,
or the stages.
I'm not scared.
I got friends,
took my call,
came courageous.
Now I feel like I am home."

"But I too, I'm through with causing a scene."

Our Trip to Germany

It is very hard to put into our last two weeks into words.  I feel like anything I write or say about what we've experienced cannot even scratch the surface of actually telling you about it.

Fortunately Beth brought along her trusty camera, which will definitely come closer than anything I could formulate.

For the first week Beth and I attended a conference in Rehe, Germany.  We were able to reunite with many friends we had met almost a year ago exactly.  We were also able to dialogue with others who are serving overseas, as well as listen to those who have been in Europe for many years.

After the conference, Beth and I, along with three other couples, drove 3 hours south of Frankfurt to the Black Forest, where we had rented a cabin for the week.

We were close enough to both France and Switzerland to be able to make a day trip into a city in each country.  On Monday we drove to Strasbourg, France-- one of my new favorite cities!  We stopped at every bakery we saw, and ate pretty much everything in sight.

On Wednesday we were able to spend part of the day in Freiburg, Germany and Basel Switzerland:

For more pictures, check out the Picasa web album HERE.  It's kind of disorganized right now (and by kind of I mean extremely), but I'll try to have it cleaned up soon.