Good Music from 2007

I really have no business writing this post because I am really a neophyte when it comes to music, but these are artists who I enjoyed throughout this year.

1.  Miles Davis/Lester Young:  This has more to do with a new found appreciation with Jazz.  Maybe it is me growing older and not wanting music to raise my blood pressure but I have just sat for hours reading and listening to Jazz this year.

2.  The Decemberists:  This group remains one of my favorite out there.  I had only listened to their new CD until recently, but have since rectified that by going back and getting there older stuff.  They are magical story tellers and can be listened to over and over.

3.  Bloc Party:  Their new CD that came out this year was solid but so drastically different from their first one that it took me a long time to really get into it.  Plus if you are a Bloc Party fan you will be excited to know that just released a new song called “flux.”  Yes I said new song not new album, and after listening to it I can tell you it is because they found an awesome techno beat they were dying to use.  It is worth getting.

4.  Kanye West:  Hands down the best album of 2007, this is not even open for discussion, so don’t bother writing a comment about it because I will just delete it (that goes for Matt also).  If there was ever an album that I think could offer a money back guarantee it would be this one, it is that good.  Everyone I know who has listened to this album (preferably twice through) has come away amazed by Kanye’s masterful lyrics, and captivating beats.  There is a reason he is up for 8 Grammy’s for this album including best album of the year.  I know I have already plugged Kayne on this blog numerous times but I will keep doing so until Matt breaks down and listens to it.  So Matt I am appealing to you; don’t let this be like “West Wing” where many years have to go by before you do the right thing, treat yourself and listen to it now.  I know that you have lost faith in rap, I have to, in fact as I thought about it Kayne is possibly the only rapper out there that I will listen to anymore.  But Kayne will make you a believer once again.

So there are some of my music picks from 2007 with Kanye West’s “Graduation” getting the nod for best album of the year.  If you got itune gift cards for Christmas use them on some of these songs.


Mr. Lee Visits Iowa

Perhaps our blog should have a description more like Jake Keck or Justin Taylor. Perhaps we should admit that this is a blog with social, political, and theological commentary. Yet, I cannot get myself to part with our current banner (for those of you who have yet to notice the change):

Issuing CHILL PILLS, One Crazy Blogger at a Time

I digress. I wanted to bring attention to my friend Jonathan’s political escapades. I credit Jonathan with bringing to light many great things for me:

– The joy that is Red Wine
– Red Beans and Rice
– A better understanding of where guys like Brian McLaren and Len Sweet are coming from, and the culture to which they are speaking against/to
– The West Wing

I will confess that a TV show has got me more interested in politics than anything else ever. This is not necessarily a bad thing if we still consider forms of TV in the category of arts. Well, my buddy Jonathan is putting his money/time/effort where his heart is: in Corn Country.

Personally I hate the fact that Jimmy Carter capitalized on this early primary over a quarter-decade ago, thus making ethanol subsidies an issue that shouldn’t be (THOSE SUBSIDIES SHOULD BE GOING TO HYDROGEN FUEL DEVELOPMENT!!!), but that aside it is probably the most important primary. It gives a candidate momentum heading into New Hampshire. And if a candidate sweeps those two by a heavy margin (think John Kerry), then he or she pretty much wraps up their party’s nomination. That is why Jonathan is in Iowa, campaigning for Mike Huckabee.

So much for Obama, Jonathan?

What has made this interesting is that Jonathan and his friends are there together, campaigning for different candidates. The fact that they have been dialouging about it has made my new favorite blog.

Personally, the only thing about the GOP caucuses that interests me is whether or not Giuliani gets the nomination. It is very interesting to think that we could be on the cusp of not having a pro-choice candidate for President. As much as that saddens me, it would make my choice for President a heck of a lot easier (I’ll give you a hint, its the only time I’ve ever agreed with Oprah). Other than that, I could care less which big business loving, environment hating, orphan/widow forgetting candidate the GOP nominates. And I am refraining from writing about Ron Paul on this blog becuase I would like to remain friends with Aaron and Tom.


Oh Joy

Oh joy, oh joy, oh joy.

The Prodigal Son Returns

Joe Boyd is a pastor again.

And he has a blog.

And yes, there are about 3 people who read this that care.

Ryan, Adam…thoughts?


Tony Blair Converts to Catholicism! Who’s next George W. Bush?

This could be a really fun game, which well known public figure will convert to Catholicism next?  After Matt’s infamous post comparing Frank Beckwith’s switch to Catholicism to Hogan switching to NWO, we now have Tony Blair making the leap. Who’s next? I gotta be honest when Pope Benedict arrived on the scene I never thought he would be a Catholic Billy Graham.

I should mention that Tony Blair’s previous church, The Church of England, has rapidly been losing members for over a generation. Their theology is in flux, the direction of the church is unsure, and most Brit’s care more about Prince William and Prince Harry then they do King Jesus.

Most interesting part of the story might be that the Catholic church seems to be making their first real resurgence in developed world in recent memory. While the Catholic church has long since transitioned to being predominantly comprised of Latin Americans and Africans, there does seem to be some anecdotal signs of growth in the West. I would point to the reason possibly being that while Pope Benedict kind of looks like a friendly troll, he is a first class scholar and theologian. Even during Pope John Paul II papacy it was well known that Pope Benedict was his must trusted voice on matters pertaining to theology. Many have speculated that Pope Benedict would bring back to the Catholic church a rigorous Christology, and high value of scripture.

So stay tuned folks I have a feeling this is just the start of things. And you can count on Matt and I to jovially, and somewhat flippantly write about it. Who knows, maybe Tony Blair’s BFF, George W. Bush might be next….

Are Hermeneutics Important?

Yes they are. And if you have not read any books on the subject I would highly recommend this one. Of course some think the Holy Spirit makes it possible for all of us to understand the Bible and therefore hermeneutics and solid exegesis is a waste of time, and just like any heresy that is partly true. If you want proof the biblical interpretation/hermeneutics is important than read this story. It is “mind-bottling.”


Sign of the Times

Do you know who this is?

I bet you don’t and it probably is a good thing you don’t. But a lot of teenagers and little girls know who this is and they look up to her. This is Jamie Spears 16 year old little sister of Britney Spears, who just announced to the world that she is pregnant. Here is the story.

Now I know that teen pregnancy is not a new thing and is probably just as prevalent as it was 10, 20 years ago. But what makes this story important is that this a celebrity who directly appeals and is influential to the young girls of America. Then couple that with the fact that parental role models are in short supply, you get a powerful endorsement for the idol of casual sex.

The saddest part in the story is when Jamie Spears is asked what she thinks about premarital sex and she advises people to wait. Sad for her because she wanted better for herself, and sad for all the girls who will follow in her footsteps and settle for something less than what they could have and really deserve.