Archive for the ‘me me me me me’ Category

I’ve been looking for this. Bless youtube.


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So Stories

I heard “Red Rain” on KTXT one night soon after So was released. I knew a little Peter Gabriel before then, but I loved that aural space. Eno and Lanois would follow the next year with The Joshua Tree‘s big landscapes, but So was something comprehensive to me; there was something inside the bass and percussion of that music that you could get in and walk around. Gabriel filled that space with a rich blend of sounds and artists and melodies that were more sculpted than scripted.

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automated response

Anything could happen, but I think I’m on break for a while. Let’s say. . . August. Check back with me. I’ll miss you.

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Or math.

There are a few things we try to do to save moolah, and now they are feeling more like things we are doing to afford fuel. To name a few,

1) Cancel Netflix (I like Netflix) because we can get our movies through the library. This would go for audiobooks, too, if I were still doing audible.com (which I also like). Most libraries will allow you to put together a list of titles on interlibrary loan; there’s not as much control over your queue, but you’ll still eventually see about everything. The library is a great source for music, too, but you can’t keep it. And, you already paid for it with your tax dollars.

2) Coupons. More on this below.

3) Switching our mobile company to a family plan we are sharing with. . . family. This has brought our bill down by about 1/3. Everybody can pay their share online.

Otherwise, we’re cutting corners here and there. I try to brownbag, although I usually forget. We’re looking into changing some other services that’ll cut some costs. Short of beating our car into plowshares, we’re hoping to have a relatively cheap summer. Anyway, before you stop reading, I’d be interested in any of your ideas along these lines.

But, now, to the point. This one’s for you, Jules.

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If I’d been writing last week, I would have included this then:

Nothing is more important than the cross, except the perfect reign of God. Indeed, when we suffer with love, his reign has begun in us, and we must be contented with that as long as God defers the consummation.

Francois Fenelon, Talking with God.

. . . . . . . .

In somewhat related news, my iPod sleeps with the fishes. I am reminded of Jesus’ parable of the rich fool, who looks at his expanding music library, er, grain holdings and says, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.” (Luke 12:15ff)

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I remember going up to the college radio station late one night, and my friend happened to be doing his show. He was a constant reader, a brilliant student, passionate about everything beautiful; everything was burning with grace to him. We said hellos, started chatting, and he suddenly held up his hand and said, “Wait, wait a second: just listen to this.” He turned up the volume in the studio so we could hear the straining guitar at the end of Adam Again’s “River on Fire.” He closed his eyes and leaned back and had this look on his face of yearning and hope. He said something next like, “You can just hear the groaning in that sound, the lament, and the longing.” He loved it. He loved life, and expected God’s goodness at every turn.

I am sad tonight that he is gone. We were never as close as I wished we were. We always spoke in passing, but never really hung out or found ourselves in the same circles. We lost touch after graduation, and then only rarely saw each other when we worked in the same place for a few years. I wish we had spent more time together. I know that distance was partly because his passion both inspired and unsettled me. It was hard to commit to him, because of wanting to believe like he did, but not being sure if I could live life so. . . earnestly. I don’t grieve like those who truly knew him, and those for whom the loss is in every moment now. But I have a sense of how great this loss is, because there are so few like him, and for just one to go creates such a painful, gaping hole in Hope’s ozone.

Maranatha. Just a little more today than usual.

Adam Again, “River on Fire.”

Don’t miss that guitar at about 4:00. It was eight years ago last Thursday, March 20, that Gene Eugene died in his sleep at 38. My friend went home on Monday night. I s’pose he was about 36. “What can you say; the impossible happens.” And still, it is Easter.

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I’d heard Big Pink, but didn’t quite get The Band until an aunt-in-the-spirit suggested I check out Robby Robertson’s 1987 self titled album. “It’s like a tent revival,” she said, and it was (“Testimony,” a track recorded with U2, is exactly that).

That was kind of a big moment for me, I think. It eventually led to seeing The Last Waltz, my favorite concert film (Scorsese, 1978).* And The Last Waltz became my back door into Van Morrison, whose big hits I’d always known, but whose depth and intensity as a musician I’d never explored beyond the pop familiarity of “Gloria” or “Brown Eyed Girl.”

For some reason, all I can stand to hear the last coupla days is Van Morrison, Otis Redding, and Elvis Costello. If you’re interested in some well arranged words about Morrison that make a pretty good case for music in general, here’s Lester Bangs from 1979 on Astral Weeks. And here is one of my favorite moments from The Last Waltz:

*Just a thought about sensing time: The Last Waltz came out in ’78. I picked up Robbie Robertson in ’87. I probably saw The Last Waltz for the first time around 2000. It’s pretty amazing to think about how in ’87, The Band seemed like ancient history to me. By 2000, ’87 seemed fairly recent. Anybody picked up the Super Deluxe Edition Joshua Tree? Ah, that’s another post.

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