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About FromExileGrowMan

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  • Birthday 11/30/1983

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Canyon, TX

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Interim College Minister
  • About my avatar
    It's a monkey with a gun. What else do you need to know? ;)
  • Favorite movies
    Grosse Pointe Blank, Elizabethtown, Four Brothers, There Will Be Blood, Inception
  • Favorite music
    Thrice, Mumford & Sons, Wovenhand, Mute Math, East of Western, Doug Burr, Joe Pug, The Avett Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Ice Cube, Blackalicious
  • Favorite creative writing
    C.S. Lewis, Flannery O'Connor, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Fatal Shore, The Fountainhead, Soren Kierkegaard, Tim Keller, John M. Perkins
  • Favorite visual art
    Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Norman Rockwell, Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix, graffiti, perspective drawings (and other architectural styles)
  1. I truly enjoyed this movie. It was no Star Trek for J.J. Abrams, but it excelled at welling up the emotional fervor I used to have as a kid for those movies like Goonies, Stand By Me and so forth. It was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I came out being satisfied. I may not have been swayed by the logic of the plot (or lack of) but I was swayed by the emotional (could I maybe even say existential?) logic of it. And, I am starting to realize the beauty of those attributes in opposition to the "reason (and logic) is god" mentality that The Enlightenment gave to us. Do I wish the plot was better? Yes. Did that detract from my enjoyment of the film or my overall satisfaction? No. The funny thing is, while most people highly respect and get excited about Steven Spielberg being tied to a project, I have the exact opposite response. One of trepidation and cynicism. I have been burned by Spielberg one too many times as a viewer. Not to mention how he has been known to treat other directors tied to a project that he is producing (basically bullying them into doing it his way--Poltergeist and Tobe Hooper, anyone?) I am torn on the supposed Lincoln project Spielberg is helming. On one side, I don't like the idea of Lincoln being turned into this great abolitionist of slaves, because, historically, he wasn't in the least bit, he even stated that he would have let the slavery question lie there if it meant keeping the Union together. On the other side, I really, really like Daniel Day Lewis and James Spader. No need for explanation there. So I don't know what I will do about that, but I kind of wonder what Abrams' experience was with Spielberg. Hopefully it was good and Abrams was still able to keep his creative license while taking advice from Spielberg. Told you Spielberg made me cynical...haha.
  2. I was just wondering if anyone else (on this site) had seen this film. I just watched it last night and was pleasantly surprised at its quality considering I only got it because of the actors and actresses who starred in it. I would like to discuss it with someone if you have seen it. I thought there were some truly interesting elements in the story and the quirkiness of Daniels' role was just brilliant. Anyways, I was just curious!
  3. Damion Suomi & the Minor Prophets - Go, And Sell All Your Things It's only four months in, but I am almost certain this is the best album to come out this year. Guaranteed.
  4. Thanks! I had someone who was much more well versed in hip/hop and rap provide me a list of classic albums because I felt my criticisms of hip/hop were poorly founded and I have found that they were! I will definitely check out that box set. I am now a hip/hop convert! haha....
  5. I used to think the same about hip/hop, but since I have devoted my whole year to it, I find myself starting to understand it more and actually enjoying it. I started another topic dealing with hip/hop and it has my whole list of albums for the year. I am only 14 weeks in, but what I have heard so far has been impressive. I don't buy into arguments that say hip/hop is lazy and unoriginal. Sure they use other peoples' music, but if you listen, they actually put work into it and create something new and creative out of it. I don't believe that hip/hop should be charged with copyright infringement because 1) I don't believe anyone really "owns" anything in the strict sense (and hip/hop doesn't just copy the music anyways, they distort it in various ways) and 2) every other form of entertainment borrows from those before it albeit not as bluntly. Example: Shutter Island by Dennis LeHane. It is the culmination and mixture of just about every mental hospital book/movie out there. Even he stated that the novel was by no means original. However, he doesn't get pounded by lawsuits. It just seems a little one-sided. I think the best place to start is the following: first 3 albums of A Tribe Called Quest, first 4 albums of De La Soul, Lucy Ford EPs by Atmosphere, Fear of a Black Planet by Public Enemy, Paul's Boutique and Ill Communication by The Beastie Boys. Gangsta Rap is another issue and harder to defend. I haven't hit my gangsta rap block yet, but I can say that, even though the misogyny and language can me worse in gangsta rap, there are some things that need to be understood in order to appreciate some of it. 1. Historical context - The late 80s and early 90s are packed with events that dealt with police brutality towards blacks, systemic oppression locally and by the government, and various riots and acts of violence that led to the dissatisfaction felt by the rappers who make up the core components of gangsta rap. 2. Tensions - 1) Pay attention to the tension between crime/violence/drugs/other vices and the various references to religious imagery that does appear quite a bit in the music (Tupac is a great example). 2) Look at the tension between the rapper persona and the real person, some times (but not always) there is a disconnect much like Alice Cooper had in the rock realm. 3. Look at the differing styles of samples used in order to create the tracks. They don't just pick music as random to use, there is always a reason for each sample being used in each rap song. Outside of language, all of the criticisms that can be laid against rap/hip-hop can be laid against other types of music as well, including heavy metal, blues music (which deals with almost exactly the same type of subject matter as most hip/hop and rap), funk, etc. Ultimately, I believe that a person should submerge themselves in the music before they can make a legitimate criticism about its content. It is easy to look from the outside and see the surface complaints brought by fundamentalist Christians, the media, and other critics (Tipper Gore, anyone?), but to actually know what a genre of music is about and what it communicates takes more than just letting our musical preferences and presuppositions control our views. Just my general thoughts! Check out my thread too. It is open for general discussion and deeper issues of property & copyright infringement, social issues, etc.
  6. FromExileGrowMan


    The Year of Hip Hop.docx I am in the process of dedicating my whole year to hip/hop. I am listening to one hip-hop/rap album a week, exclusively. I am not allowed to listen to my favorite band, Thrice, this whole year. However, I can listen to any new album by any other band I like once all the way through. Otherwise I am listening to that one hip/hop album. What are you favorite hip/hop albums and why? Why do you think hip/hop is essential material for any music lover? For a Christian? Or do you think there is little to no worth in it? I have enjoyed my year so far and I think I will be a hip/hop lover from now on. There are several interesting topics to be considered within this thread: music, graffiti, property & copyright infringement, and so forth. Feel free to discuss anything in here dealing with hip/hop culture. My list of hip/hop albums for the entire year are in the attachment.
  7. I bought this album the other day. Though I am not a big Sufjan Stevens fan, I think Seven Swans is his best work and the person in charge of acquiring the artists for each song did an amazing job. I think the most ingenious pick was DM Stith doing "A Good Man Is Hard To Find." Absolutely brilliant and beautiful.
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