Posts Tagged ‘ music ’

Favorite Cover Song of 2012?*

I’m not sure how I missed this hilarious headline: “Susan Boyle Covers Depeche Mode Classic,” but apparently a couple months back, I did. Ms. Boyle, who became one of the viral-est viral video stars after her TV talent show thing, would certainly not be the kind of ‘artist’ I’d expect to cover Depeche Mode. And yet, that happened. So, was she able to do with “Enjoy the Silence” what she did with “I Dreamed A Dream”? As a big DM fan from my high school/college days, I couldn’t resist the trainwreck. I’ve often been a fan of artistic juxtaposition, but cover songs are so rarely done well. So how did she do? Stunned. She nailed it. Well sung, well produced. She actually captured the spirit of the lyrics, and added some artistry. It’s not quite as good as Johnny Cash’s cover of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus, but you’d expect Johnny to […]



A Seattle Tribute

I sit in an apartment surrounded by boxes, along with other items that will soon be in boxes. It’s reality check time. In less than two weeks (which is six years and eight months after I arrived in the Seattle area) I will leave this city. Not forever, but for a long time. And even though I’m not necessarily leaving Seattle for good, it has left good in me. I could write in a number of different directions about the things I’ve loved and will miss about living here, but here are five: Seattle is globally aware. Many cities in the U.S. have a large mix of people groups living in them, but few are as consciously connected to issues and events around the world as Seattlites. I can have conversations about financial aid to Africa, food shortages, Burmese monks, or Bollywood stars with people at the produce market, park, […]



Daniel Blue Live at The Round

I haven’t really blogged about my community of faith here in Seattle, but as the time for me to be away from it approaches, I want to acknowledge the good folks at Church of the Apostles (COTA). I’ll write more about the church itself in another post, but one of the many beautiful things to come out of this quirky little band of God-chasers is a separate, non-religious non-profit organization called the Fremont Abbey Arts Center. Concerts, dance recitals, music lessons, and community events all take place at the Fremont Abbey. In fact, COTA, while being the “owner” of the Abbey, is only a minority user of it these days. Every month, the Abbey puts on its signature event, called The Round. A few musical artists/bands, poets, and visual artists all share the stage together, creating art that is engaging, interactive, and intimate. It’s been going for over six years […]



Greenbelt 2010

I’ve just finished my first journey to the Greenbelt festival in the UK. It takes place at a horse racing track, in a lovely town called Cheltenham, in the green rolling hills of the English countryside. Tourists come from all over to the area to take in the beauty of the area. The festival has been running for nearly forty years, and has developed a tremendously loyal following among the attendees. I lost count of the number of people I talked to, who said that they’ve been coming for fifteen years or more, only missing once or twice in that whole time. It has really become an important annual pilgrimage for many Christians in the UK. About 20,000 people come each year, the vast majority of whom will pitch a tent and camp on the festival grounds. Greenbelt is similar to the Christian festivals in the United States, in that […]



Travel Time Once Again

After nearly seven months of USAmerican domestication, I’ll be headed off the continent again soon. Here’s what’s next for me: – Greenbelt: This is a legendary music and arts festival in England that about 20,000 attend. Previous artists to play the festival? U2, Moby, and Midnight Oil to name a few. It’s similar in some ways to Christian festivals in the States, but it has a much more open constituency, is more inclusive of non-musical art forms, and is more politically engaged with issues of social justice. I’ve got a bunch of friends to hang out with there – some from Seattle, and a few that I made during my trip to the UK last fall. This festival has been on my radar since about 1986, so I’m excited for the opportunity to go. – George Fox Evangelical Seminary’s new Doctor of Ministry in Global Missional Leadership. After a long time […]



Anais Mitchell – Why We Build The Wall

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of concerts at The Fremont Abbey in Seattle. It’s a great venue, and home to my faith community, Church of the Apostles. One of these shows was an artist that was new to me – Anais Mitchell. She gave a great show, along with her friends Jefferson Hamer and Rachel Ries. Her live performance reminded me of Alison Krauss, with just a little less country and little more folk. It was a good enough show for me to go download Mitchell’s latest album, Hadestown. It’s a concept album – “a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth and based in a post-apocalyptic American depression era.” It’s a haunting, compelling, epic work  – very artful. Not easy listening per se, but worth your attention. “Why We Build the Wall” is a brilliant, dark, empire-challenging commentary – very different on the album […]



How to Watch TV (and other media), part 3

In what has become a series of posts, I’ve been trying to introduce some thought processes when it comes to consuming interacting with media in our lives. If you haven’t seen how I’m approaching this, and the questions I’m using, you can check out my first post here, and my second post here. I’m basically suggesting some ways of approaching media that don’t give our attention away in a passive, cavalier manner. In my second post, I discussed narratives that are advanced through media – some on the surface, but many below the surface. Today’s question builds on that concept. Question 3: What systems of power are at work? It may sound a little conspiracy theory-ish for me to presuppose that systems of power are present when I sit down to watch Wipeout or House or Deadliest Catch, but in most cases they are. I’m pleased with how the internet […]



How to Watch TV (and other media), part 2

Yesterday, I began to frame up an approach to interacting with media in our lives . . . notice that I said “interacting with” and not “consuming.” There’s a big difference. I’ll admit that there are definitely times when I consume media – I sit down in front of a television or computer screen with nothing in mind other than to have nothing in mind, and be entertained. But more often, I’m interacting with media, in the sense that I’m asking questions that go below the surface of the story that’s being told on screen – like yesterday’s question – “Who’s paying for this show?” To put things another way, while sometimes I do watch television, most of the time I “read” television. In an effort to further define things, here’s another good question for you to ask: Question 2 – What narrative is being advanced? One of the hardest […]



Sunday Brunch in Barcelona

I was out for a Sunday morning stroll through the lovely streets of Barcelona, and I began hearing some music.  I thought it was just some recorded Christmas music coming from a shopping district nearby, but then as I got closer, I could tell it was live.  I went to investigate, and found a large group of folks, enjoying a small orchestra and dancing together.  Once again, my poor camera skills are obvious, but have a look.



I am so not cool

Working with a bunch of college students gives me the frequent opportunity to realize that I’m out of touch.  Whether it’s the movies I haven’t seen, or the music I haven’t heard, I know I’m behind the curve.  That’s o.k., though.  I think God gave me a gift of grace when I was in high school, and actually cared a lot about being cool.  At some point, the heavens parted, and I had a rare moment of clarity in which I realized that even in my small, private school, there were several different sub-groups that each had their own distinct version of what it meant to be cool, and they were seemingly only concerned about living up to their own groups’ versions of cool.  The punk kids didn’t try to be cool by surfers’ terms, and the preppies didn’t try to score style points with the band geeks.  In that […]