November 6, 2008
I like the fact that he just bypasses the mispronunciations that would come from calling himself “Bon Hiver” in correct French. I think he could have also called himself “Eau Claire” in tribute to his hometown, but Bon Iver is a better fit for this project, seeing how it turned a discontented dude inward to produce something that will be looked back upon as “Good Winter”.
I really like his vocals and laid-back mellow and melancholy tone. It’s just got an emotional pull that I don’t always get from muzak nowadays. He worked meticulously to get his vocals harmonized and smoothed out. The result is a lot of depth and unpredictability in the songs. Definitely not boring or formulaic. Go Wisconsin!
October 29, 2008
Just good stuff from ’91
July 25, 2008
I’m beginning to think that the whole purpose of life is to posture oneself in a way to receive God’s gifts. Life itself, its complexities, sorrows, joys, frustrations, and lessons all can have a positive outcome if understood as gifts from God. The whole of reality, the whole of creation, the whole of the cosmos is good and meant to allow us to participate in the communal life of God. That is the genius of the Trinity. This concept of God being three-in-one is something that was put upon the followers of Christ as a gift. Nobody thought it up. It came at the end of a long struggle for the church to define what the Bible meant by God being Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This triune life is a community of love that invites the creation to share in that loving oneness. That’s why Jesus came and died and rose again. That’s also why we have a hope of salvation. It’s not merely being carted off to a spiritual clean, happy, wonderful place to be with God when we die. Rather, our eternal life begins here and now in this creation that God declared good. He is coming again to put things back in order, and we can look forward to being part of this new heaven and new earth. The trick is not to look anywhere than within ourselves and all around us for God’s movement. God’s kingdom of restoration, transfiguration, and resurrected hope is glimpsed in the present created order, but will fully and completely take over reality. That’s the program I want to be a part of. Hell is rejecting this.
Anyway, enough sermonizing. Here’s the quote by Merton that got me thinking about all this:
“The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed identity.”
– Thomas Merton
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
July 1, 2008
So, I’m like the last dude to find out about these guys, but they’re freaking great. I hear a ton of influences, or unconscious reminders other bands: early Neil Young, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, Jeff Buckley’s backup band, Interpol’s song structure, The Shins, amorphous “Southern Rock”, Poor Old Lu, Sunny Day Real Estate….
I like that the songs are unpredictable, the lyrics are interesting, and singer Ben Bridwell does cool stuff with his voice and his singing tempo. They don’t seem to be a parody of anything, although they remind me of tons of stuff I like in other bands. Something is oddly familiar about their sound, even though I’m hearing a lot of songs for the first time. I definitely want to keep up with them.
June 29, 2008
cat on the fence scanning up and down the alley dusk turns to night lines of plastic trash boxes weeds and leaves . squirrels, rats, and lizards sleep still there must be something to find owners kicked him out of the house. .
June 28, 2008
This interview with Tim Keller is pretty, pretty good (c Larry David)…..
Here’s a quote that resonated with me:
“C. S. Lewis says somewhere not to believe in Christianity because it’s relevant or exciting or personally satisfying. Believe it because it’s true. And if it’s true, it eventually will be relevant, exciting, and personally satisfying. But there will be many times when it’s not relevant, exciting, and personally satisfying. To be a Christian is going to be very, very hard. So unless you come to it simply because it’s really the truth, you really won’t live the Christian life, and you won’t get to the excitement and to the relevance and all that other stuff.”
June 17, 2008
What does it mean to be a father?
Before the baby is born:
accepting the fact that your wife wants to get pregnant.
fearing with her that it may be harder to get pregnant than you think (I mean, don’t I know the birds and the bees pretty well by now?)
letting her tell you some great news that she’s about to explode with.
ignoring the fact that your life will change, pretending you can be the same person.
noticing a bump grow in your wife’s tummy.
hearing a heartbeat that sounds like a roaring train but you know it’s smaller than your thumb.
realizing that a heartbeat has started, but won’t stop beating for the next 80 years.
fearing the unknown about how you will provide for someone else you’ve never seen before, and don’t know what he/she/it will be like.
creating a space in your life, your heart, and your home for someone that is yet a phantom.
getting so excited to see any new picture, any new ultrasound, and hoping that the nurse accidentally slips up and says the baby’s gender, even though you’ve reluctantly decided to honor your wife’s wishes not to know.
going to awkward birthing classes with “normal” people who seem thrust into this with a teacher who seems abnormally into babies and the birthing process.
feeling like you’re running from a monster, but the monster doesn’t run, he only has a steady stride that’s dead set on hunting you down. You know it’s coming but you can’t ever relax.
being totally blindsided and relieved at the same time once the rollercoaster decides to depart…… six weeks early.
finding the strength to be strong for your wife as the baby pushes its way through her…. with no medicine.
After the baby comes:
being confronted with total joy every time you look at your baby.
having to learn quickly to do things like hold the baby, change diapers, and feed him.
checking to see if the baby is breathing every thirty minutes when he’s sleeping.
waking up early on a Saturday and not being able to sleep in like you could just six months ago.
taking as many pictures as you can, putting them online, and assuming everyone else thinks your baby is as cute as you think he is.
looking back at those same pictures six months later and realizing that your baby looked like a wrinkled old man, just like every other newborn.
watching him grow and do new things every day, week, and month.
seeing him transform from a newborn to a baby, and a baby to a little boy.
assuming you know how stressed your wife feels being a mother, but actually having no clue at all.
learning to listen to your wife in a whole new way and not act like you know anything.
working harder than you ever have before to make sure you can provide for this fledgling little family.
forgetting there ever was a time where you thought you were invincible and had the world figured out.
experiencing fears you never knew existed in you.
finding that the only way to deal with your fears is to step blindly into the arms of God more often and more completely than you ever have before.
having a heart that’s bigger and feels more deeply, and opening up in a new way to other people.
sharing someone you love with other people who want to love him, too.
being completely awestruck and thankful to God.
June 9, 2008
“When I saw others straining toward God, I did not understand it, for though I may have had him less than they did, there was no one blocking the way between him and me, and I could reach his heart easily. It is up to him, after all, to have us, our part consists of almost solely in letting him grasp us.”
–Rilke and Benvenuta: an Intimate Correspondence
June 5, 2008
The middle stanza of this poem is amazing. I couldn’t wait until fall to post it. Rilke’s such a wonderful writer. No wonder Steven Mitchell learned German to translate his poems.
Day in Autumn
by Rainer Maria Rilke
June 5, 2008
for the Grammy nomination and diamond grill
for my talented rhymes concerning my own prowess with bitches and hos
for all the Benjamins to start my own clothing line and spill Cristal on it
for my Cadillac Escalade stretch and/or H3 with 24s and spinners