After the amazing success of our first house show several months ago, we just had to have another one. Therefore tomorrow, Saturday, December 4th at 7pm in Philadelphia, we are having our second house show entitled The Birdhouse presents, Vol. 2: The Housecooling (Go to the Facebook event page for details and to RSVP). Our house, as a venue, is called “The Birdhouse” (it’s even on Foursquare). The show’s gonna be really, really good. This time around we have four main acts performing (with me doing a little intro set). Acts include:
- Chris Currie (formerly of Full Fathom Five) & friends
- Luke Bartolomeo (novelist, poet, and editor of the Monongahela Review)
- Heath Warner (also known as “Paul Warner” by day)
We will be recording this evening and putting online for free, just like the first show (Chris also played at that one, though just by himself). We will have some drinks and snacks, but feel free to bring a six pack, a bottle of wine, or some food (baked goods are always welcome!). See you there!
More than any show in recent memory, Mad Men has captivated me in such a way that I cannot stop watching it. I just started watching the show a couple of weeks ago and I’m on the last episode of Season 1. Now, I’m usually wary of something that receives non-stop praise and adoration like Mad Men has. I often wonder can a television show really be so good that it evokes responses like this? It’s hard for to imagine and hold in my mind the idea of something that can take hold of people so singularly and consistently that it leaves people in awe (I have a similar inability to imagine how a show like Dexter would fall in this category).
But I’m a believer now.
[I know this article is obscenely long, considering the content, and incredibly random, considering this blog. But I just needed a place to vent my thoughts. And don't worry, Part 3 of my little biographical sketch will be up in the next couple of days. In the meantime, you can catch up: Part 1, Part 2]
I recently purchased the “GOgroove FlexSMART X2 ADVANCED Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter with Charging and Hands-Free Capability” (yes, that’s its full name) and it has changed how I listen to music. It’s incredible and works just as advertised. It is able to take audio transmitted via Bluetooth wireless technology and then broadcast it over the radio in your car. So, long story short, it makes it possible to listen to music streaming onto your phone while driving. The most immediate benefit I’ve found for this is that I can now listen to Pandora while driving.
Of course, Pandora is the much-loved music discovery service where you make “stations” based on artists or individual tracks you like and it delivers songs that it thinks you would also enjoy. (You can view my Pandora profile here.) It has a really high success rate for nailing the sound you’re looking for. You’re then able to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to each song that plays, and it will use this to refine its offerings to you.
Monday I showed how someone could take some bad Christian culture and redeem it to truly honor God. Well, thanks to Andrew Vogel, a good friend and former classmate, whose comment showed me another video that really needs to be redeemed, remixed, or just removed. Here’s the video. If anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears. Big. Floppy. Ears. Somebody get some GaGa in this thing.
There will be very little commentary from me here. I just want to show everyone a process of the Kingdom of God breaking through Christian culture to redeem it. First, watch this. Please, watch the whole thing. Whatever you do, do not stop this video before the 2-minute mark. You might want to take notes.
Then, see how the “secular” culture (if there was ever such a thing) comments on this, care of Talk Soup:
Rest in peace, Reform & Revive.
As of today, the online magazine I used to run, Reform & Revive, is no more. It was started in a coffee shop in Richmond, and now it is ending in a coffee shop in Philly (forgive the melodramatic picture attached to this post).
For those that just met me, just started following this blog, or just started reading my stuff, you probably have never really heard much about this little attempt at an online magazine I had. That’s because it’s last original article was posted almost nine months ago.
The original idea of the site was to gather a diverse group of writers and guest contributors who would then write about the “intersection of theology and life”. This could find its expression in art, poetry, prose, meditation, short fiction, or more typical non-fiction theological fare. But in the end, I wanted it to be the expression of hearts whose affections had been inflamed by the deeper truths of who God is.
And I think we greatly succeeded in this. The vast majority of writings on the site certainly constituted this calibre of expression. It was exciting. But then people, due to life and such, stopped writing. Eventually, in my desperation to get somebody–anybody–to consistently write, I let the quality of the posts at times slip. The site’s readership, for one reason another (probably because it had the word “Reform” in it) began to appeal and primarily lead towards the Mark Driscoll/John Piper groupies and wanna-be’s; the “TR’s” as we would call them at my seminary (the “Totally Reformed!”). It just wasn’t fun and fruitful anymore when the hyper-Calvinistic theology police came to town, and it all went downhill from there, until no one was writing anything, and the only other person that had written as much as I had on the site deleted all of her stuff off the site, on the off-chance that someone would find her name attached to it someday.
Look at that picture above. Click on it to make it bigger. That’s my iTunes. As you can see, I listen to a LOT of podcasts. And no, this isn’t just a narcissistic moment to seem smart. You see all those blue numbers above each podcast? Well, those are just the episodes I haven’t listened to. Also notice the 320 iTunesU lectures that have also been neglected.
And so begins my newest article in Patrol Magazine. It’s about our culture’s (and my own) addiction to information consumption, how we should think about it, and where our hope is that something good may come of it. I know, it’s some light reading, right? Here’s the link:
“Information Overload, Social Darwinism, Linguistics, & Nuclear Forensics”
For all my previous articles at Patrol, click here.
A little more than an month ago, myself and my roommates held a Housewarming show to inaugurate our new presence in South Philadelphia. In all, we had six musical acts play, 32 songs performed, and almost 60 people attend. It was an amazing night. One of the best I had had in a long time. For all those that came, thank you again.
We also live recorded the music that night, and today, we are proud to officially release The Birdhouse Presents, Vol. 1: The Housewarming. Those recordings are now available for download for free (or donation, if you like). The album comes in two editions. The Color edition has the evening broken up by individual song; the Black & White edition contains each artists’ full sets, including the talking, joking, and intros between each song. Just click on the banner below and pick your edition:
The recordings themselves are a bit quiet, but are fine with headphones or external speakers. They came out really well. As a preview, here were some of the covers and songs everyone seemed to enjoy a lot that night from each of the performers:
Hello, I have about 5 or 6 separate articles/reviews I’m working on at the moment, and not just for Patrol Magazine, but also this site! We finally have internet at my place, so if I can only find some time (and a little inspiration). But, until those articles get up here, I have more Patrol articles to send you all (you can read my past articles here). This week, I have a sort of review of Christopher Nolan’s new masterpiece Inception. I say “sort of” because it’s more of a reflection on how the movie’s impacted me than an actual typical review. Anyway, read and enjoy.
And see Inception. [Photo credit]
“Inception and the Art of the Review”- PatrolMag
For those living in Philadelphia, tonight (on the 4th of July) will be what is supposedly the largest outdoor concert in the country (really?). Last year they had Bruce Springsteen come in and play.
This year? Well, the Goo Goo Dolls are headlining (I had no idea they were still around). But that’s not why I’m writing this.
One of the other acts is Philly’s very own The Roots. For much of the country, this band gained notoriety as Jimmy Fallon’s band on his late night show. For me, they’re perhaps my favorite hip-hop ensemble out there.
Their new album How I Got Over came out a couple of weeks ago. It is amazing; one of the best hip-hop albums released in the past few years, in my opinion. I’m working on a review of the album for Patrol Magazine, so to prepare, I’ve been listening through The Roots‘ entire discography this past week. Wow. What a group. I can’t wait to see them tonight. And if you’re around, you should be just as excited to come out.