Category Archives: culture

This is Not the End

This is not the end
This is not the end of this
We will open our eyes wide, wider

This is not our last
This is not our last breath
We will open our mouths wide, wider

And you know you’ll be alright
And you know you’ll be alright

This is not the end
This is not the end of us
We will shine like the stars bright, brighter


Aldous Huxley once wrote, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” In the margins of life, and when thinking deeply, music often expresses things better than I ever could. It also gets me out of funks, so I am listening a lot lately.

I am so grateful for Spotify, which makes it easy to listen to anything I want. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s open to the public now and you should try it out if you like music.

I’ve chosen a song or two from 2011 albums of note (to me) and made a playlist. I listen to a lot of these as entire albums, but the playlist is a good launching pad. Also, going to the playlist will help you find me, as Michael and I are sharing an account and it is not linked to my facebook.

That’s a common theme lately, apparently, as my main pinterest is linked to twitter, not facebook, so everyone adds my boring account. Here I am! I can also invite you if you need the hook up.

Moving Thoughts

I think The Head and the Heart provide a glimpse into what it means to live in a transient society in this song:

Rivers and Roads on YouTube (in case the frame doesn’t load for you.)


Spotify is pretty amazing. You can discover a lot of new music before you buy it or don’t even buy it at all (the artist is getting royalties from your plays, after all!) The library is large, so comparisons to netflix instant and other services seem really hollow. They don’t have some major artists or some very indie acts, but they do pretty well with the in between.

If you are already using Spotify, here’s a playlist I made of music I’ve been appreciating so far in 2011. Being able to easily share playlists through both twitter and facebook is another great feature.

We have a few more invites if you’d like one.

Lexi’s Jams (an Update)

Last year, I gave you a peek into Lexi’s particular taste in music. Kate is a little musical sponge and likes a lot of different things, rarely asking for me to skip a song. She hasn’t been obsessively devoted to any one artist or genre since that Josh Ritter phase when she was three. So, all these songs also meet Kate’s approval, her list would just be really really long. Many songs are beloved because of their use in Ramona and Beezus, and their tastes are starting to be shaped by other people as well. But I still get last word on what gets downloaded (sorry Justin Bieber.)

Even though Lexi tolerates the rock and pop standards I rotate into their playlists much better than she used to, she refused to include any of them in this list. I thought “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” might make the cut or something by the Beatles. Nope. Truly, these are her choices. I don’t loathe any of these songs, but none of them are on my list of current favorites, either.

Say Hey (I Love You) . Michael Franti & Spearhead
I Gotta Feeling . The Black Eyed Peas
Whip My Hair . Willow
Shackles (Praise You) . Mary Mary
Hello Seattle . Owl City
Live Like There’s No Tomorrow . Selena Gomez & the Scene
What I Am . (sesame street)
Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag . Minnutes
Edge of the World . Mat Kearney
A Place in This World . Taylor Swift
More to Luv . Minnutes
Everybody . Ingrid Michaelson
Over the Rainbow . Jason Castro

Hymnody and Easter

When you think of Easter, what hymn or song pops into your head? It’s sort of an interesting exercise. If you are raised in the church, it might reveal your upbringing or church of origin. If your parents were Jesus people, Keith Green may race into your head with “Hear the bells ringing, they’re singing that you can be born again…” A little older or less hip parents: “Because He Lives.” Independent Fundamental Bapticostal types might remember “He Lives! He Lives! Christ Jesus Lives Today!” or “Up from the Grave He Arose! With a Mighty Triumph O’er His Foes!” If you were confirmed Lutheran, perhaps it’s “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands.” Other traditional churches might have imparted, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today! A-a-a-a-a-le-lu-u-ia!”

As for me, I always think of “This Joyful Eastertide.” One year in Austin, but the hymnody of Redeemer Presbyterian sticks to the brain.

The beautiful thing is that as I consider these hymns, I may have preferences, but there is a clear message: He is Risen! Happy Easter.

When Parenting Kills

A must read post by a friend-of-this-blog. This post is sensitive in nature as it mentions an adopted child’s death at the hand of her parents – cardiac arrest brought on by spanking. Please pray for her sister, in critical condition, and for all families struggling with difficult to discipline children that this would not continue to happen.

New Math On Campus

I love that my alma mater is the center of this story in the new york times about male-female ratios on the college campus.

Lexi’s Jams

Lexi and I spend a good amount of time alone together in the car. One of our favorite activities lately is to put the ipod on shuffle and let her rate the songs. Here are some of her current favorites (in a “playlist” order.) I find her tastes interesting, somewhat unpredictable, and occasionally annoying (how can she reject Wilco and Ingrid Michaelson, for example?)

LEXI’S LIST . 2010.01
I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
Video Killed The Radio Star – The Buggles
What I Like About You – The Romantics
I’d Rather Dance With You – Kings of Convenience
Run With All You’ve Got – Jon Black
You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates
Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival
When I’m Sixty-Four – The Beatles
Chicago – Sufjan Stevens
The Littlest Birds – The Be Good Tanyas
Wrapped Up in Books – Belle & Sebastian
Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
Peace Like a River – Elizabeth Mitchell
Lovely, Love My Family – The Roots
My Girl – The Temptations
Shoo Fly – Elizabeth Mitchell
Beautiful Girl – Andrew Peterson And Randall Goodgame
Great Big World – Pierce Pettis
This Little Light Of Mine – Elizabeth Mitchell
Bedtime Lullaby – Mark Kozelek

There is Love

Our friend Jon just posted a new song on his website. It’s beautiful and true.

Some Thoughts on MLKjr Day

We spent some time yesterday on youtube, watching “I Have a Dream” and the last speech from Memphis. We watched Walter Cronkite tell the nation about King’s death. And I found a neat roughly animated bit on the Children of Birmingham.

Talking to Kate about it was interesting. Trying to get her head around such hate was difficult. When the camera panned to the audience during I Have a Dream, she asked, “are those the Christians?” It was a reminder to me that God’s people will break her heart and disappoint her. Not sure how to prepare her for that but it’s something I will think about.

There is this part of the speech, “I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” Kate smiled at me when she heard it. She told me that was true at Cornerstone.

It’s not always easy to talk to kids about race, hate, prejudice, and injustice. I realized we need to be having more of these conversations.

Albums That Shaped My Life [2]

Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams is an album for tortured souls. The year that I was the most angst ridden for no particular reason (let’s call it the college emo year), I played this album over and over again.

I was living with a girl who did not curse. Or like to hear cursing. A girl who enjoyed listening to K-Love. Whenever I wanted to be alone, all I had to do was start playing it and she would scatter.

Growing up a bit, I dropped my need to play “Come Pick Me Up” loudly. It’s still a good listen. Sometimes I even ache to hear “Oh My Sweet Carolina” with Emmylou Harris providing the sweet harmonies. And when I feel like harmonica (and I do, from time to time) this is one of my first choices. All the passion makes this album one that I will never forget.