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Everything posted by Joel

  1. Joel

    Continuum Books' 33 1/3 Series

    I don't think we have a thread on this series of books on classic albums, so let's talk about it. Which books have you read? Liked? Disliked? Kevin's been repping Carl Wilson's Let's Talk About Love, which I'll second -- I learned so much about Quebec, which is handy now that I live in Canada. I've also read Grace (Jeff Buckley) by Daphne Brooks, Achtung Baby (U2) by Stephen Catanzarite, and most of Master of Reality (Black Sabbath) by John Darnielle and Loveless (My Bloody Valentine) by Mike McGonigal(both while standing in a bookstore). Of these, I think Darnielle's fictional diary of an institutionalized teenage metal fan was my favorite -- I liked Catanzarite's, but it kind of suffered because the whole book was about the lyrical themes of the record and he doesn't quote the lyrics (presumably due to lack of permi$$ion$). Obviously, I'm looking forward to Jessica Suarez's Pinkerton (Weezer); I am the author of one of the seven other proposals for that book over whom she triumphed. What else? Thoughts?
  2. Joel

    Continuum Books' 33 1/3 Series

    So... this made my day. The epigraph for the book:
  3. Joel


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bagwg_tXlhc I watched the whole thing. At first I thought it was funny, then I thought it was a really thoughtful and interesting meditation on or metaphor for marriage, then I thought it was an overwrought, badly written mess, and now I'm not sure what I think.
  4. Joel

    A&F Site News -- Please Read

    This seems like a great development for A&F. As a champion and somewhat erstwhile frequenter of the music section, which has dwindled even more than the film section, I'm glad to hear this. Thanks, Ken.
  5. Joel

    Continuum Books' 33 1/3 Series

    THEY DID A JESUS FREAK ONE YOU GUYS https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/dc-talks-jesus-freak-9781501331671/ About dc Talk’s Jesus Freak Late in the Reagan years, three young men at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University formed the Christian rap group dc Talk. The trio put out a series of records that quickly secured their place at the forefront of contemporary Christian music. But, with their fourth studio album Jesus Freak (1995), dc Talk staked a powerful claim on the worldly market of alternative music, becoming an evangelical group with secular selling power. This book sets out to study this mid-90s crossover phenomenon-a moment of cultural convergence between Christian and secular music and an era of particular political importance for American evangelicalism. Written by two queer scholars with evangelical pasts, Jesus Freak explores the importance of a multifarious album with complex ideas about race, sexuality, gender, and politics-an album where dc Talk wonders, “What will people do when they hear that I'm a Jesus freak?” and evangelical fans stake a claim for Christ-like coolness in a secular musical world.
  6. Joel

    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.
  7. Joel

    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:
  8. Joel

    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.
  9. Joel

    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
  10. Joel

    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?
  11. Joel

    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
  12. Joel

    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
  13. Joel

    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?
  14. Joel

    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.
  15. Joel


    here's something I tried with ambient drone music! http://unscene.blogspot.ca/2016/06/an-experiment-with-drones.html
  16. Joel

    New music from my band

    This is really good!
  17. Joel


    Spam from "MarkP" in the radiohead topic in the music section at the moment.
  18. 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":
  19. Joel

    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.
  20. Joel

    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
  21. Joel

    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.
  22. Joel

    Radiohead-"Burn the Witch"

    'True Love Waits' is just gorgeous. The strings and choirs on this record are lovely.
  23. Joel

    Radiohead-"Burn the Witch"

    OK this is kind of awesome.
  24. Joel

    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!
  25. Joel

    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!