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Everything posted by Joel

  1. What is 21st Century Education?

    All right, homies; I'm back, I have a PhD in education, I work in an education department, and my own kid is in school now. I'm starting to have Opinions About Things a bit. I've delved a little into some educational thinking outside my area and came across this piece by David Jardine. (I have a piece coming out in the collection this will appear in; my piece is co-written with an Iranian-Canadian colleague, and it's about religious education in a secular setting.) I liked this quote below:
  2. The Dandelion Method

    My band, the Dandelion Method*, is coming back from a long summer's nap. We are readying a CD, to be released late September/early October, and we have some shows coming out. It would be great to see some people there... Monday, September 13 at Chop Suey (Cap. Hill) The Dandelion Method (we play first -- doors at nine, music at 9:30) Amateur Boyfriend In Praise of Folly The Charity Stripe $5, 21+ Friday, September 24 at the Living Room (www.livingroomseattle.org - Fremont) free, guests TBA more will appear on this thread as it comes up... our outdated website: www.dandelionmethod.com *What do we sound like? I like to think of us as a bizarre combination of Phish, Ben Folds Five, the Appleseed Cast, Switchfoot, and Pedro the Lion. But I might be wrong.
  3. The Dandelion Method

    So, it's 13 years later. Here are some recordings we made for fun over the last 5 years. The record referred to earlier in this thread sounds really bad to me now, if I'm honest. I like the songs, but the recordings don't make sense to me at all. We were just learning how to record, I guess. What I like the most is just listening to jams recorded in a room, which is what this (Below) is.
  4. 2016 lists

    Yours & others. Here are some of note to me. NYT Popcast albums of the year Alan Parish's top 30 albums of the year
  5. 2016 lists

    Yes, every Weakerthans record is amazing. I honestly can't think of anyone I'd put in the same category as Samson. John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats? Neil Young?
  6. 2016 lists

    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
  7. The Mountain Goats

    "a theist who prays to Jesus" - great interview with Darnielle in Christianity Today. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/august-web-only/mountain-goats-john-darnielle-loves-amy-grant-rich-mullins-.html
  8. Kanye West - the Life of Pablo

    OK....what? "Ultralight Beam" amazed me, but I haven't really heard the rest and I guess I won't since he's not selling it...anyone heard it?
  9. Jamila Woods - HEAVN

    You might remember her from "Sunday Candy." Her debut record is out and It's really good. Listen / download for free on Soundcloud.
  10. drones

    here's something I tried with ambient drone music! http://unscene.blogspot.ca/2016/06/an-experiment-with-drones.html
  11. New music from my band

    This is really good!
  12. Spammers

    Spam from "MarkP" in the radiohead topic in the music section at the moment.
  13. 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":
  14. Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book

    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.
  15. Cui Jian--Frozen Light (2015)

    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
  16. Radiohead-"Burn the Witch"

    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.
  17. Radiohead-"Burn the Witch"

    'True Love Waits' is just gorgeous. The strings and choirs on this record are lovely.
  18. Radiohead-"Burn the Witch"

    OK this is kind of awesome.
  19. Is Artsandfaith.com dying?

    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!
  20. Is Artsandfaith.com dying?

    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!
  21. As previously mentioned on a lonely little thread in the "Work in Progress" section, I wrote a book, and it's real enough of a thing that I think I'll start a thread for it here. The book will be out sometime in October -- it's a small publisher, Cascade Books, that doesn't send out books unless they're ordered, so there's not a specific street date and I don't know exactly when they start printing them. Here is a little blurb that describes the book pretty well: You're invited to read it when you get the chance! I'll let you know when it's available. FYI, this is the second book in the "Experiences in Evangelicalism" series (the first was the excellent Jesus Girls) which is a venture of the good people at The Other Journal.
  22. I signed a contract to write another book for this publisher. It's going to be about how and why people write about music, which turns out to be the same reason people engage in any meaning-making activity, which is a kind of indomitable faith in the ultimate intelligibility of meaning itself. Although this book sounds kind of impossible to write, I am hoping it will come out in early 2017.
  23. Christian's bumping of ancient threads made me think about this. Now that A&F and Image have joined forces and released several thematic lists from the film board -- not to mention Image's Top 25 and then Top 50 writers of faith -- I want to float this idea again. We've got enough people who are passionate about popular music here to do something very similar to a film or author/book list, and I'd love to see us do it someday. Last time I suggested this, I seem to recall it turning into a fiasco called "Five Faves" where people nominated things in different genres, and it was a mess (what is the difference between rock and pop?). No offense to anyone who was behind "Five Faves" -- though I can't even find it in a search of the board, so I guess it is ancient history. I'm not sure we could do it quite in the same way that the film lists get done, with all the voting and whatnot, but I think there are enough of us here to come up with our own way of doing a pop music list. So let me just put it out there again: let's think about doing a popular music list. Maybe we could even do a thematic one. Here are some ideas to get started... Themes like:* Top 25 spiritually significant albums of the 21st century * Top 25 (pop music) artists "of faith" (in some given time period) * Top 25 Bands That Kinda Sorta Sound Like they Might Be Christian (just kidding, that was from an Image April Fool's newsletter) * ...
  24. On the Possibility of an A&F Top Albums List

    So....it's been a long while since this happened, but based on Tyler's criteria above...I'm ready to do this this summer if we want to give it a go. eh?
  25. Kanye West - the Life of Pablo

    After a few more listens I like the album more than I did -- musically, anyway. Lyrically it seems mostly awful, like as bad as the worst parts of Yeezus. Some truly heinous lyrics. Some tracks are absolutely gorgeous musically, though. "Ultralight Beam" is a masterpiece*, "Famous" has a fantastic beat and samples, and "Wolves" is haunting. Anyone else taken the plunge with this record? * Side note: Chance's verse on this song led me to the song he shouts out, "Sunday Candy," which is one of the most joyful R&B/rap songs I've heard in years. It's also about, to quote this page from Notre Dame, sexuality as "Eucharstic self-gift."