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First Glance at Radiohead’s In Rainbow

inrainbow

I was in the middle of reading some websites when I got the email notification at 10:50pm tonight that Radiohead‘s new album “In Rainbows” was ready for download. I almost jumped out of my skin trying to switch over to mail and hit the special “UNIQUE DOWNLOAD ACTIVATION CODE” link embedded in the mass email. It instantly starting downloading the new album to my desktop as promised. The file is 48.4 mb ten tracks and all are DRM free MP3’s.

It is rare that I get this excited about something, and this is the second time this week for me!I am now on track 3 “15 step” and while it will be awhile before I can give any kind of calmed down reflection of the album, this album is no joke [see edited note below, I listened in the wrong order]. It’s a change of pace from Hail to the Thief, a little less electronic, has some beautiful orchestration, piano and acoustic guitars, yet it contains the same old driving OK Computer-esque rock I love in a Radiohead song (and was almost absent in Amnesiac). So far the first song “Faust Arp” and “Jigsaw Falling in Place” are the ones I like the most. The production sounds incredible, just as good or better than most stuff we hear from coming out of major record labels. It seems like this move on Radiohead’s part (not having a label or distribution) may give rise to some serious questioning from a music industry point of view, especially if they can put something like this out on such a large scale successfully.I think It was well worth the £6 I paid for the pre-order last week for it (thanks to Cate’s early headsup). Check it out here.

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Review of Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited

darjeeling ltd

We finally got to see The Darjeeling Limited this past weekend at the Arclight (our first time there) and the whole thing was a magical experience. Darjeeling, the 5th full length movie by Director Wes Anderson, does not disappoint. Besides the typical things we’ve come to love in Anderson’s films – slow motion scenes with classic rock n’ roll in the background, the luxurious colors, the farcical characters, and the off beat dialogue – there are plenty of new twists and turns. For one, this is the first of Anderson’s movie to reference any kind of explicit spirituality. The Darjeeling Limited is the name of a train that crosses the vast landscapes of India, and India as the context for the movie is not without rich resources for offering its own account of Eastern spirituality. Throughout the movie we see the three main characters, who are brothers in the film, tinker with a variety of religious expressions and forms, experimenting to find what works best. These spiritual experiments, over the span of the movie, work to break down the walls between the brothers. And while this is an essential aspect to the movie’s overall scope what is possibly the most important part of the movie is that while the main characters seemingly don’t find anything at all (none of their spiritual explorations seem to “work”) this leads them to discovering exactly what they set out to find: a renewed trust in one another.

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Liturgies of Quakerism Review in The Friend

For all those of you who get a copy of The Friend, the only weekly Quaker publication in the world, you will see my review of the Ben Pink Dandelion’s 2005 book Liturgies of Quakerism in this week’s edition. It’s pretty neat to finally get something in The Friend and I hope there will be more opportunities in the future to write for them. The Friend is based out of London (The Friend’s House) and so draws a different crowd than some of our American publications which is another great thing about it.

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Reviews

Review: They Like Jesus but Not the Church by Dan Kimball

Recently, I wrote an review of emerging church leader Dan Kimball’s book “They Like Jesus but Not the Church.” The was for Barclay Press and can be read in its entirety here.

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Dress Down Friday | Atlas Songs (Wide Array) – New Music from Kevan Pedan

A good friend of ours from Canton, Kevan Pedan, recently mailed me his band’s new album. It’s Atlas Songs’ first full-length and it’s called (Wide Array). I am always excited to see what Kevan does with his music because he’s the kind of artist that is continually reinventing his style and always reaching new heights of creativity in the way he goes about making his music. I talked to him about posting some of the music here so I could share it will all of you and he was glad for me to make the music available.

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Dress Down Friday (on Sunday) | Special Focus “Drive” New Fox TV Show

Picture 2 I almost missed doing a my post of random links from around the web this week, but had a little spare time in between church and lunch today to get this out. This is great because I have a special edition today with a focus on a show I am particularly excited about.

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Reading for Revolution – George Barna and the Emerging Church

Picture 1 Today I had the chance to lead Ryan’s class for the second time this week. On Tuesday we covered aspects from the book Emerging Churches, while today we covered questions and key insights concerning one of Barna’s more recent hit titles, “Revolution.” Here is some of what we discussed in class today (with slides attached at the bottom).

After reading the book I was a bit stumped as to how to present the material and lead a discussion on it that would be constructive, fair and cover the relevant material. Part of my big hang-up with Barna’s presentation is the way in which he presents his material, he’s a modern outsider trying to be a postmodern insider. I don’t fault him for this, I just think he doesn’t really get it. So because of his own starting point his standpoint shifts the way he understands what’s happening in the church and culture in ways that seem to me to be too reductionistic and individualistic.

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Elvis Perkins @ the Echo: Already Looks Like A Classic

This past Friday night I went to see Elvis Perkins with Emily, Cate and Bob. Recently, I found out about Perkins through Paste Magazine. Their review concluded with a statement that grabbed my attention. They said though this guy hasn’t been around long, and it may be too early to tell, the album feels like a classic. Hisdebut album “Ash Wednesday” has only been out a couple weeks and he’s making quite a stir with it.

I purchased the album directly after reading the review from Paste and I think they may have even understated just how good this guy really is. I’ve been hitting play and repeat on my ipod for the couple weeks as if I were trying to overdose on his music. And it just keeps getting better.

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An Emergent Manifesto Of Hope: A Brief Review

A couple days back I purchased all my books for next quarter (or at least most of them) and one I am really excited about is “An Emergent Manifesto of Hope” coedited by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones. The book is a collection of essays from emerging church leaders, the essays tend to be theologically focused and help to get at some of the main themes and ideas that run behind these young churches. I purchased the book for a couple of reasons: Ryan Bolger, Barry Taylor, and Adam Walker Cleaveland all have an articles in the book. I am also curious as to what a number of these other leaders have to say about other topics covered in the book: leadership, inclusion, parenting, creativity, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, Karl Barth, activism, sexuality, economics, and even pentecost!

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Review of Relient K’s New Album: Five Score and Seven Years Ago (Or Has it Been that Long?)

Picture 4 Relient K’s new album, Five Score and Seven Years came out today [you can read more here] and is currently in 6th place on Itunes. I’m kicking myself currently because I’ve been wanting to write about the album for a while and give a preview of what you could expect from their latest work, but alas it’s too late for previews. So, now we’ll switch to review mode.