summer 2007

took a little while, but here’s my rock-centric offering for summer 2007. it won’t surprise any of you hipsters, but I bet it’ll rock you. write me or comment if you want one.

the white stripes: icky thump
his name is alive: seven minutes
mavis staples: jesus is on the main line
tmbg: we’re the replacements
matteo salvatore: mo ve’ la bella mia da la mintagna
the sea & cake: left on
blitzen trapper: wild mountain nation
the new pornographers: ballad of a comeback kid
the go! team: grip like a vice
sufjan stevens: the lakes of canada
fountains of wayne: a fine day for a parade
feist: sea lion woman
panda bear: good girl/carrots
radiohead: pyramid song
the arcade fire: ocean of noise
the chemical brothers w/ midlake: the pills won’t help you now
spoon: black like me

even action pact

you know why i keep buying sloan albums? because there always comes a point, even with the not so good ones, where i’m just overwhelmed and i just freakin’ give in and love it. some of ’em, it’s easy. some of ’em (forgive me die-hard fans), it’s harder (“the party album” bonus disc, though, that’s a keeper!)…

but, anyway, as i was saying. the new one, never hear the end of it? it just now happened. love this album!

a few songs

for better or for worse, i spend a lot of time thinking about what makes a good congregational worship song. thought i’d introduce a few i’ve discovered recently that i really like.

the first is jesus, precious, which is the first musical offering at nate fancher’s myspace page.

the second is alpha omega by justin law, sort of an encouragement about the presence of the kingdom of god. it’s available at vineyard worship midwest’s forum for new songs: mp3 | chart.

i love michael gallaugher‘s magnificent master, a live recording of which is available at his myspace page (does everyone but me have a myspace page? and why?).

i love these songs partly because they were grown outside the machine, at local congregations by local worship leaders, and so they aren’t beholden to outside considerations in their composition or their lyrics. they’re just great songs, and if these songs catch you, you should worship god, because he’s really pleased with these guys and the music they make, and he’s worthy.

speaking in code

god has a way of coming through to me in music.

yesterday (yesterday!) i was thinking of a song that some family friends used to sing at the hippie church i went to as a child. it’s a song i remember note for note and word for word, but i’ve never ever heard anyone else sing it. they used to do all kinds of popular folk songs at church, get together, etc, so i guess i always wondered if it was someone else’s song. but yesterday i was thinking maybe they wrote it themselves, and i was considering calling them up to ask about it.

tonight, then (tonight!), i’m reading my php book, trying to figure out how to securely implement file upload, and thinking, “god, it’s hard for me to want to talk to you.” just vaguely thinking, it’s hard to dialogue with god, it can be hard to feel like he’s there, especially recently, specifically, for me. i have itunes on shuffle. on there i have an episode of bob dylan’s theme time radio hour that i haven’t totally explored yet.

and then, this song: the melodians. the rivers of babylon (.mp3, 4.8mb, just save it). and, he’s there. specifically. for me.

getting into the habit

but what to say?

i’ve been required to step into the shoes of the IT (as in Information Technology) guy at work, and learned that i never want to be an IT guy. this week i have to manually update the daylight savings time settings on every single pc in the library, a process that takes about 15 minutes per pc, with three or four interventions each time. blech. the upside is that all your co-workers think you’re magic, which is nice for my ego, except that i know the truth. nice for my pretend ego, then.

i’m not going to make my quota for 52 books this year. for some reason, i decided i had to read three or four massive tomes in a row (team of rivals by doris kearns goodwin, parting the waters by taylor branch, and gravity’s rainbow, for heaven’s sake, by thomas pynchon), and they pretty much killed my average. i just finished title 41 (the absolutely perfect st. lucy’s home for girls raised by wolves, a short story debut by karen russell, which you should rush out to your local library and put on reserve right now! now! stop reading and go!), and since this thing runs from april to march, i have to read 11 more titles in the next 6 weeks (you do the math). plus, a couple of those 11 titles are also behemoths (branch’s second in the trilogy, pillar of fire, and g. j. meyer’s world war i history, a world undone), so…

next week i get to fool around with an electric bass guitar, which is exciting. oh, and, have you heard panda bear’s person pitch? its what simon and garfunkel would have sounded like if they were psych rockers with sequencers. maybe one of the best albums i’ve heard in years, can’t wait till it comes out (along with the arcade fire’s neon bible, which is possibly even better than funeral if you can believe that or even know what i’m talking about).

whew. there. that wasn’t so hard.