Lankum - The Granite Gaze

Dude, this video. Watch it through. It's not just an amazing song. Lyrics below the video if you want to follow along. 

Are we the ones left behind
by those who weave cords that bind
They draw the marrow from our very bones
And we in-turn turn on our own

Stood in line in horse-hair shirts
We cued up to eat the dirt
We traded lumps on narrow streets
And bite the hand when you've no teeth

And it's a standing ovation for the shadow of a stone
As we dig into the soil beneath our homes
The future's further day by day, as our father's turn away
And he was clinging to a mother who eats her own

The granite gaze upon us now
A skulking mass recalling how
To plant a secret and tell no lies
For now we own those same-stone eyes

And it's the last gasp of wonder for a cretin on a throne
As our daughters sneak away across the phone
The future's just a thing we say to keep the sordid past at bay
And still we cling onto the mother who eats her own

We are the ones left behind
In swaddling bound with baling twine
They stole the marrow from our very bones
And we in-turn turn on our own

Misterwives - "Reflections"

I'm testing the idea that listening to a song too much makes you eventually get sick of it. So far, I'm failing.

My daughter discovered Misterwives recently and said I might like them. As a snobby audiophile I clucked my tongue, listened with arms crossed, and then listened again and again and again. Now I'm almost dancing in my seat at my coworking office and avoiding eye contact.

Check out Misterwives - "Reflections." They have a newer album, but this song from a couple of years ago is my jam right now... 

"Cold Little Heart" - Michael Kiwanuka

There are a few times every year that I hear of a good music review and check out an album and become entranced. Michael Kiwanuka has done that to me with his album Love & Hate. Only $5 to download, or enjoy on a streaming service you use. Here's the song I can't stop playing, "Cold Little Heart." The opening is 6 1/2 minutes long and then it gets into the song and I never want the opening to end, and then it does, and I'm so glad because it's this whole other thing. What an epic this is. Hope you enjoy it.

Best Albums of 2016

I've been pretty busy this year, so I have a long list I could give but I don't feel like I've listened deeply enough to do 30 albums justice. But I can give you five that I think are the bees' knees. My lists all the way back to 2006 are below. Enjoy! And please let me know your favorites!

5. Pinegrove - Cardinal

4. Frank Ocean - Blonde

3. Slow Dakota - The Ascension of Slow Dakota
Christ-haunted. Literary. Curious. Playful. Mindful.
Try: "I Am Held Together"

2. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
Punky. Can rock hard, but driven by lyrics. Wonderfully honest and provoking lyrics.
Try: "Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales"

1. Bon Iver - 22, A Million
Hands down, the bestest of the bestest. Yeah, I know, it's quirky and weird and whatever. It's almost perfect as work of art depicting the messy clamor through darkness and struggle in the search for something more. It's longing and wanting and waiting and a whole bunch of things that should make the thoughtful listener think and seek alongside Vernon. It's the kind of spiritual pursuit that I want from art. It's not easy. But it's really good.
Try: 33 "God" | Full Concert

 Previous Years -- Best Albums

20152014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 

Chris Stapleton & Justin Timberlake

If you missed the Country Music Awards last night, and I'm guessing many of you did, you missed a remarkable performance by Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake. No worries, it's below. When Jason Isbell can't help but tweet multiple times about Stapleton last night, you know you found something good. Chris won Album of the Year, New Artist of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.

I like award shows, even if only to sharpen my snark, but this moment is one of my all time favorites across the genres and disciplines. When you are done and want to look up Chris Stapleton's music, and you will, just go here to check out his album Traveller

Ahem...crank it UP!

Lots-o-Links 5.20.15

What Small Churches Can Do by Joe Thorn | 3 articles so far...

My Sermon Planning Worksheet by Chad Brooks | I'd do this a little different, but I'm sure many will find it helpful. Chad writes...

I really prefer having a physical document to orient my sermon preparation. I have found beginning a sermon on this sheet and letting it be for a couple of weeks is a great jump start to my weekly preparation. 

Retro 51 Tornado Homerun Limited Edition Pen | Review: Office Supply Geek...

Photo credit: Office Supply Geek

Photo credit: Office Supply Geek

The brass barrel of the Retro 51 Homerun is wrapped with a lacquer finish that has slightly raised red markings that do a great job of simulating not only the look but also the feel of actual stitches on a baseball.  The main body of the pen isn’t pure white, but more of an antique white which matches nicely with the antique brass looking finish of the clip and other accents on the knob and nose cone of the pen.

New Jazz: The Epic by Kamasi Washington | I've turned to this nearly every day since I bought it for new and interesting jazz that both grabs my attention and yet doesn't break my focus on reading, writing, and general work that takes concentration.