Archive for the ‘all and sundry’ Category

A few things that have become unnecessary essentials lately:

The Moth podcast
Sound Opinions podcast (you were right, Robby, it’s great)
BetterWorld Books: great selection, free shipping, and they are very conscientious, even towards local libraries.
The Iconogram and Blog Networks Facebook apps: windows into heaven, and into the make-up of the communities behind your favorite blogs.
1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die: I got to scan this before sending it off to a lucky winner. If you’re an optimist, there’s also 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The Freecycle Network: Pass it around
Congresspedia: Real made up stuff about congress
phonezoo: Make your own dang ring tone


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1) I can’t find Elder Baab and the Madison Bumblebees records. If anyone can direct me to some, I will give you a sweet prize.

2) This is promising: gracious public dialogue between Christians and Muslims (HT Tyler).

A Common Word

A Christian Responseunity-necklace_medium.jpg

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Sweetpea tagged me, and I kind of dig this one:

“The rules are to pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more, find page 123, find the first five sentences, post the next three sentences, and then tag five people.”

She would be reading Austen, just as I always imagine her. You are lucky this was inches closer than Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (or maybe not):

All of this we come to know and experience through the preaching of the gospel and its enactment in the sacraments – the gospel being the message about Christ, the promise of God, to be received in thankful trust and confidence. And since this gospel of Christ is the heart of the message of Scripture, our standing before God depends on respecting the authority of Scripture as unique and superior to the church’s authority (sola Scriptura, “by Scripture alone.”)

These themes recur across the full range of Bach’s works.

Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music, Jeremy S. Begbie (Baker, 2007). He’s giving an overview of Bach’s Lutheran milieu.

I haven’t gotten to page 123 yet, but I’m looking forward to the read. Begbie is one of my favorites on music and theology, and the Engaging Culture series it is part of has been great.

Aren’t you glad I shared?

Tag: Esoteric, Mamsy, Penduless (you know you want to), The Space, and Any Durham so inclined.

If you feel left out, pretend I meant you instead. This’ll be good for my reading list: stuff you actually keep within reach.

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Before I begin, let me just say, you won’t earn my love by reading the whole thing. It’s just nice to know you.

I’ve been so busy putting together a list of the Greatest Recordings Known to Humankind, 2007, that I didn’t have time to get around to this list of Albums I Really Liked This Year. I’ll let you know if I ever finish the other, but here are my top 10 albums released this year, ranked according to my taste in music from best (10) to most best ever (1). I’ll warn you in advance: it’s leans to the sweet
side this year.

Click on “Launch Standalone Player” below to hear samples (minus my #1 pick and 1/2 of my #8). Your browser may resize, but don’t panic, and things will work out for you.

10) Over the Rhine, The Trumpet Child: I had been away from Over the Rhine for a while, but this album drew me in close. I also picked up their Live from Nowhere album this year, and enjoyed that as I anticipated The Trumpet Child. The opener grabbed me immediately, and they kept my attention with a fluid consistency throughout. Played like a covers album, in a way, including an overt nod to Tom Waits and some moments of true Patsy Cline and Lady Day.

9) Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity: It was a great year for punchy, spasmodic alt-pop, with fantastic albums from Modest Mouse and Shapes and Sizes also getting lots of spin. But Deerhoof had this sort of whimsical fairy vibe underneath that made them least likely of the three to flail into me.

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Next two things

1) Saw I’m Not There and The Darjeeling Limited this week. Two films featuring trains, drugs, spirituality, and a life-altering motorcycle accident. Also include interesting casting overlaps with other films in which the same actors appear. Both are among my favorites this year. Only one has David Cross as Alan Ginsberg.

1b) Also watched Year of the Dog. I really liked Molly Shannon. This is a great little movie.

1c) Maybe next time I’m in this position I will have a one man movie festival featuring all one man titles: The Man Who Knew Too Much; The Man with One Red Shoe; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; The Man Who Wasn’t There; The Third Man; The Elephant Man; The Man Who Fell to Earth; The Man with Two Brains; A Man for All Seasons; The Man on the Train; The Minus Man; The Amazing Colossal Man; The Man with the Golden Gun; Last Man Standing; Repo Man. Maybe by that time, The Man in the Chair. Possibly Spider-Man, probably not She’s the Man.

2) “There is an African proverb that says, ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.'”

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1) I can’t stop laughing/crying about this article someone (who will remain anonymous unless she/he chooses not to) sent me today: Forecast: Sex and Marriage With Robots by 2050. Don’t worry, it’s FOX News, so it’s safe for the whole family. See if you can come up with any responses we didn’t already.

2) Also, it’s amazing what people will do for you if you’ll just ask. Er, I mean, HEY LOOK EVERYBODY, more remixes from Gather Round Children! Gabe is so krunk.

3) I think I’m inspired to make a best of 2007 list. Because, you know, everybody wants more of those. Really, I can’t stop, and I’m all into this kind of stuff. I’ve been reading some great ones online. They’ve inspired me to use up my November emusic credits:

Joan as Police Woman, Real Life
Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
The National, Boxer

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1) Hey, Grinches, check this out: “Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by worshipping Jesus through compassion, not consumption.” You can join this movement as an individual or as a congregation. Wouldn’t that be somethin’?

2) Current consumption: new Sara Groves. It’s not the immediate soul flood the last one was for me, but, dang, she’s good. I’ll try to write more about her some time. I tried once before. I have difficulty committing.

3) When our major grocery store chains had an extended strike a few years ago, a lot of people discovered Trader Joe’s and similar options for shopping, and many never came back. Two thoughts today about the WGA strike: on one hand, the numbers of people who might go online for entertainment could support the writers’ claim to more residual pay. On the other hand, what if people get in the habit of consuming more material not dependent on WGA talent?

4) On the third hand, we know a woman whose husband works “in the industry” who gave me a closer picture of the effect this will have. Her husband is neither a studio exec nor a writer, but they will lose their income and family insurance in a matter of days or weeks. Even if you don’t like TV, this is why it matters. And even if you don’t like TV, once reality television takes over everything, and our cities are burning and society crumbles, then we’ll really be sorry. Or maybe we’ll finally be real Christians.

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