Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Josh Hamilton

I know I love baseball too much, but this guy's story is too good not to share. Josh Hamilton was a once-in-a-lifetime prospect, drafted number one in 1999, but never made it to the big leagues because of a growing addiction to crack. After hitting the bottom, he became a Christian and made it back to the majors mid-last year. All he's done this year is become a legit triple-crown threat, make the All-Star team and hit 28 home runs in the first round of the Home Run Derby.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Best of Spring 2008 Music

So as to establish a tradition (perhaps a semi-annual one?), I am posting my Best of Spring 2008 mix. These songs were "new," in that they were at least new to me, from the Fall of '07 to the Spring of '08. Some of the bands listed are those that carried over from the Fall because their albums never escaped my head... Without further ado,
1. Radiohead- Bodysnactchers
-Is there a group of more brilliant, other-worldly musicians alive? Doubtfully so. J Rhea and I think that if there is one (all members still living) band that should get into heaven solely on merit, it would be these guys.
2. Jose Gonzalez- Down the Line
 - So simple, so dark. He hates religion as much as he loves playing brilliant classical guitar.
3. Jon Foreman- I Am Still Running
    -I'm not a big Switchfoot guy, but someone I respect told me to check out Foreman's solo Winter Ep. It's brilliant. There is such a forlorn nature to all of the songs. This one actually is my second favorite- the top choice would be "White as Snow," taken directly from Psalm 51.
4. Plants & Animals- Bye Bye Bye
-If a tremendous smile doesn't wash over your face about 30 seconds in, go see a shrink. You're probably not well. This song is just terribly amusing.
5. Belle & Sebastian- If She Wants Me
-My favorite song they've ever done. They write great melodies with lyrics that startle you. This is no exception.
6. These United States- The Business
-Seeing them play with The Triceratops in Jonathan Benton Booksellers was one of the highlights of my Spring. They were so chill, so enjoyable, and they just plain had fun.
7. Over the Rhine- Don't Wait for Tom
-My love for Tom Waits was amplified ten-fold by this song and its genius lyrics. Stunning.
8. Midlake- Young Bride
-A really great track from a mostly mediocre indie band.
9. The Apples in Stereo- Beautiful Machine, Pts. 3-4
-I am convince that this album will make me happy for the rest of my life. It is so light-hearted & free.
10. Fionn Regan- Be Good or Be Gone
-Perhaps his most accessible song, "Be Good or Be Gone" really shows how good he is at guitar.
11. A Fine Frenzy- Almost Lover
-The lyrics are hard to swallow, so true to life. This song will forever be associated with riding with Ryan Hamilton up to Notre Dame.
12. The Avett Brothers- Will You Return?
-Everything they touch is gold to me. Emotionalism is phenomenal. Just a great folk band.
13. These United States- Slow Crows Over
-"Slow crows over as Van Gogh sobers." I don't have a clue what they're singing about, but it doesn't seem to matter.
14. Brandi Carlile- How These Days Grow Long
-live, acoustic encore from Workplay. Girl can sing.
15. The Triceratops- Bear: A True Love Story
-I feel confident enough to say (now that WSO's been on Letterman) that The Triceratops might be Birmingham's finest local indie band. I might have seen then 10-15 times in the six-eight months before I came down to Fort Walton.
16. Erin McKeown- Hum
-"In the Spring of my 24th year"- all-too appropriate. And catchy. This song is guaranteed to stick in your head, at least until you get to...
17. Jaymay- Gray or Blue
-I love this song & this girl's voice. "I can't stop staring at your mouth without wondering how it tastes"
18. Fleet Foxes- Mykonos
-This song blows my mind. I had no idea that people still made music like this. It sounds like these newcomers channeled CSNY and imported them forty years later. I love it. This song is from their EP. Their full-length just came out. J Rhea seems to think it's great.
19. Devandra Banhardt- Lover
-A great sing-a-long type indie acoustic song.
20. The Apples in Stereo- Sun Is Out
-so freaking happy. guaranteed to put you in a better mood

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Audio for the heaven talk

Not that it's the best quality, but I figured, in case anyone wanted it, I would put up the audio of my talk about heaven (if nothing else, to give me some good pointers about how to speak better next time). Enjoy.

Preface: Everyone who walked into the church was greeted by St. Peter, who granted them admittance and gave them a halo. They walked into a room full of clouds made of pillow stuffing hanging from fishing line and terrible smooth jazz on repeat. We were going to play a terrible game of Bible Verse Bingo (in which, of course, everyone would win at the same time, though they had slightly different cards, and win the same prize: joy! hoorah!), but we couldn't pull it off. The five minutes before the talk, after having read the George Bernard Shaw quote below, I asked everyone to journal about what they really thought heaven was going to be like- not what they THOUGHT they were supposed to think about it, but what they REALLy thought about it...

Most people had a hard time spending five minutes describing heaven, which is frightening indeed, being that we'll be there forever and ever and always.

Sorry that the talk's in two parts. Blame it on Garage Band.
Heaven (part one)
Heaven (part two)

i hope this works...