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About Joel

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Vancouver, BC
  • Interests
    popular music and applied linguistics

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    on the non-tenure track
  • Favorite movies
    Say Anything, Reality Bites, Good Will Hunting, Spellbound (the spelling bee documentary) & Rushmore
  • Favorite music
    The Weakerthans, Hem, Stars, Sixpence None the Richer
  • Favorite creative writing
    Lorrie Moore

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  1. Good question - I haven't seen anything from him in a long time! Anyone else know? Here are a few more lists: Me Mischa Willet Opus
  2. Yours & others. Here are some of note to me. NYT Popcast albums of the year Alan Parish's top 30 albums of the year
  3. "a theist who prays to Jesus" - great interview with Darnielle in Christianity Today.
  4. You might remember her from "Sunday Candy." Her debut record is out and It's really good. Listen / download for free on Soundcloud.
  5. here's something I tried with ambient drone music!
  6. This is really good!
  7. Spam from "MarkP" in the radiohead topic in the music section at the moment.
  8. Jessica Hopper becoming a fan of David Dark was a good thing for music writing in the US of A. Still listening through this record. There's been a lot written about it -- it is much beloved by critics. Jon Caramonica on the NYT Popcast talked about how Chance has inherited/adopted the more spiritual aspects of Kanye West's early work (while contrastingly Drake -- whose work I'm not really familiar with -- has carried forward the 'self-doubt' parts of early Kanye). I do think Coloring Book bears some resemblance to the first few Kanye records for sure, and it is absolutey better than what West does now.
  9. I am not very good at Chinese, but I do find this interesting. Like most rock and roll loving Westerners who spend time in China, I got really interested in the music scene there, and discovered some music that I liked, but my understanding of Cui Jian isn't too different from that of almost anyone I know who has heard of him, which is, "he's important." To be honest though, I can't say I met anyone in China who went out of their way to talk about him or explain why he was important. Certainly very few young people are listening to him -- rock music was still not very mainstream in the years I was living there (2007-2009). It's hard for me to learn more about anything other than bands that the Western media says are "important" in China, which are basically Tang Dynasty and Cui Jian from the 80s-now, and then with the upsurge of interest in China in the 2000s, Carsick Cars. Beyond those bands, there's hardly any English-language press, and I don't really read Chinese. The Rock in China wiki, which now appears to be down, is/was a good resource, but I still feel like I barely scratched the surface. A cool record I got into while I was there is City Weather Sailing by PK14
  10. Remember when Kanye West said The Life of Pablo was "a gospel album with a whole lot of cursing on it," but it wasn't? Well, this record is. Take a look, if you haven't already, at David Dark's piece "I Speak To God In Public: Chance The Rapper's Faith":
  11. I'm not feeling "Identikit" and I'm not sure why. I feel bad for Phil Selway on most Radiohead records lately, but maybe I shouldn't I haven't seen them live since HTTT; perhaps he gets to enjoy himself in the live show? Or more likely it is actually challenging and interesting to play those beats? They are touring with Portishead's Clive Deamer as a second drummer again this time, so presumably some cool percussion things happen. Anyway - I need to spend a little more time with the subtler songs on this record, but I'm loving the more dramatic ones, if that makes sense.
  12. 'True Love Waits' is just gorgeous. The strings and choirs on this record are lovely.
  13. OK this is kind of awesome.
  14. Also, I just looked at your post count compared to mine and that made me think it was funny that you thought yourself an outsider!
  15. Very interesting conversation and something I have wondered about lately! My perspective is a little different since I have never set foot in the film forum. I came to arts and faith to talk about music, and that's all I've really done for the 12 years I've been here. I'm not the most active poster in that section, but I used to come here very frequently to find out about and talk about new and interesting music, and I learned about some of my favorite artists here. That's changed as the internet has changed, and as I've changed (obligatory mention of my PhD and academic career goes here), and as the music section lost some of its most prolific and insightful contributors (Andy Whitman and Thom Jurek in particular). I am OK with the music section of A&F 'dying,' though, because as has been said elsewhere, I think there is more space in the culture that many of us come from to talk about this stuff outside here. One of my interests in posting here was interacting with other writers and music critics, and it's been great to see how things have shifted -- anyone remember our long thread about why Christianity Today would not review "non-Christian" albums except in its "glimpses of God" section? That changed, and whole new publications -- Christ & Pop Culture comes to mind, Patrol for a while there, and even, incredibly, First Things, from time to time -- have become great venues for 'faith-based' discussion of contemporary pop music. So I'm a little sad that the music section is not so active -- I don't think the "A&F top albums" thing will ever happen, just like when I tried to start a 'zine' with contributions from A&F music people didn't happen -- I am glad there are other venues out there and I feel more confident about my own music-writing voice now as a result of conversations I've had here. (Incidentally, I'm writing a book about music criticism right now, and one of the points I'll make is that a place like the A&F music forum is "music writing" as much as, say, a Pitchfork review is.) I still check in out of habit, but I'll probably be doing that less, and I think I'm OK with that. I know where to find most of the people whose work I want to read outside of here!