Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pitchfork 2008

[Ed. note: this was originally posted on my professional blog, before it was solely a professional blog.  All comments were lost in the transfer- sorry!]
The rain held off for another great Pitchfork Music Festival yesterday. This is my 3rd year attending the 3-day fest, though I typically can only make it to just one of the days. I'm bummed that I wasn't able to go today for the sole reason that Bon Iver is there this year. Still, yesterday did not disappoint and I walked away with a few new favorite bands.

The Partial Line Up:
(just partial because I only ended up checking out bands on the 2 main stages and we got there a little late due to ticket distribution issues- still got to listen from outside but not sure who it was!)

2:00 p.m. Caribou- A great starter for my Pitchfork experience.
3:00 p.m. Fleet Foxes- Absolutely my pick of the day! I fell in love with the harmonies, the lyrics, and the band.
4:00 p.m. Dizzee Rascal- Energizing rap with enough F-bombs to make a seasoned rapper cringe. Still, I enjoyed his accent and the way he got the crowd pumped up.
5:00 p.m. Vampire Weekend- OK, I know that their debut CD is all the rage but they definitely lack stage presence. At one point, I wasn't sure if the set had ended or if they just had a loooong transition between songs. Once the stage presence catches up to their genius, they will be unstoppable.
6:00 p.m. !!! - Pronounced "Chick Chick Chick." (We were wondering too.) High, high, high energy band that inspires all to dance around them. There were some unflattering camera shots of the male lead singer but I could forgive that based on the band's enthusiasm and commitment to their music.
7:00 p.m. The Hold Steady- Already loved this band and they did not disappoint. I'm digging the stuff on their new album.
8:00 p.m. Jarvis Cocker- I found Jarvis to be mellow and quite enjoyable.
9:00 p.m. Animal Collective- I've heard little bits and pieces in the past. A wonderful close to Saturday and definitely ownable.

The Pitchfork web site has a link to webcasts of all the performances so check it out if you have time!

Other thoughts:
1. Guys should never wear capris or skinny jeans. Actually, I don't think anyone should wear skinny jeans. Ditto on high-waisted pants and shorts. Let's keep that trend in the 70s where it belongs.
2. Brooke and I sat with a few of Melissa's friends. One of them, Chris, was only there because his wife is a big Pitchfork fan. He's more of the death metal type, funny and perfectly harmless. I learned later that people tend to be intimidated by him- not me! Melissa told me I handled Chris perfectly. I didn't realize that he needed handling! Yay for my people skills!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bumper Sticker Thievery

[Ed. note: this was originally posted on my professional blog, before it was solely a professional blog.  All comments were lost in the transfer- sorry!]
While I was visiting my good friend Christy in Holland, MI, someone stole my Barack Obama bumper sticker again. Apparently Holland dwellers, or at least those in Christy's apartment complex, are not similarly enamored with Obama. I had to laugh when I realized that the sticker was MIA. Never fear, faithful readers. Where there's a will, there's a Barack Obama bumper sticker on the way.

(In good news, I had an otherwise fantastic time with Christy. We shopped, hit the beach, watched some movies, and, of course, ate some delicious food! I left at 8 this morning to go to my family reunion. I seriously adore my family! You would not believe the amount of food that is available at our reunion. I brought my famous whiskey cake, which was a big hit. I had a great time catching up with everyone. My uncle let me see the new kittens- he banned everyone else from the barn. And my cousin Adam finally won money off the chicken poop lotto. All in all, a good day!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Great Awakening

[Ed. note: this was originally posted on my professional blog, before it was solely a professional blog.  All comments were lost in the transfer- sorry!]

I didn't know it was possible to become even more of a Jim Wallis groupie. Then I saw him speak. Last Tuesday Jim lectured a packed room (I do mean packed- people were sitting on the floor right up to the podium, standing in the back, and crowding the overflow room) in Edman Chapel at Wheaton College. The lecture was sponsored by the Center for Applied Christian Ethics. Given that Wheaton used to ban Jim up until the last couple of years, the times sure do seem to be a-changin'. CACE's theme this year is Christian moral engagement in society, particularly politics and the upcoming election. Wallis, author, founder of Sojourners, head of "Call to Renewal," is more than qualified to address this topic.

I was lucky enough to sit in the second row in front of the podium, thanks to Ellen's seat-saving savvy. A week later and I'm still processing all that Jim covered. Some of the highlights from my notes:

-Christians should be the ultimate swing vote. We should not be in anyone's pocket.

-There are two great hungers in our culture today: spirituality and social justice.

-The country is not hungry for a Religious Left that behaves like the Religious Right. Don't go left or right, go deeper.

-Discussing Luke 4: if our gospel is not the gospel of good news to poor people, it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

-Faith prompts hope, creates action, leads to change.

Jim challenged us in the end. Will we choose hope or cynicism? Hope is believing in spite of the evidence and watching the evidence change. Every change begins with one person believing that change is possible and that change becomes their life. Very inspirational words.

Hearing Jim speak, I am challenged to become more involved in the issues we face. I am choosing to hope and that means action. I don't know where this will take me but the world seems full of possibilites right now. After the lecture, I was able to meet Jim and get my book signed. I told him that he had been my saving grace during the 2004 election. (Read God's Politics if you're unsure why.) The woman behind me echoed my words with a resounding "Amen!" Amen indeed.

Listen to Jim's talk for yourself!

Look at what my pal David has to say.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

28 is Great!

[Ed. note: this was originally posted on my professional blog, before it was solely a professional blog.  All comments were lost in the transfer- sorry!]
In honor of my 28th birthday tomorrow, a list of my past 28 CD obsessions, in no particular order:
1. Flyleaf- self-titled
2. Paolo Nutini- These Streets
3. Mindy Smith- Long Island Shores
4. Mika- Life in Cartoon Motion
5. Robert Randolph and the Family Band- Colorblind
6. Breaking Benjamin- Phobia
7. The Wreckers- Stand Still, Look Pretty
8. Garden State soundtrack
9. Sister Hazel- Fortress
10. Aaron Shust- Anything Worth Saying
11. Shane and Shane- Pages
12. Damien Rice- O
13. Our Lady Peace- Gravity
14. Shiny Toy Guns- We Are Pilots
15. 30 Seconds to Mars- A Beautiful Lie
16. India.Arie- Testimony Vol. 1: Life and Relationship
17. Corinne Bailey Rae- self-titled
18. Patty Griffin- Flaming Red
19. Eisley- Room Noises
20. Mae- The Everglow
21. David Klinkenberg- Fiddle-levity
22. Little Big Town- The Road to Here
23. Telecast- The Beauty of Simplicity
24. The Killers- Hot Fuss
25. Matt Wertz- Twentythree Places
26. The Postal Service- Give Up
27. Michael Buble- Call Me Irresponsible
28. Alison Krauss & Union Station- Live