The Year's Over, Here's My Plan

I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking that I'd given up blogging...the last few entries have been short and very infrequent. This is the only post I've made all month, which might as well be over, as close to the end as it is.
The main reason I have for it is that I've been recuperating from the events of last June...in case you missed it (and who could blame you for missing, as it was only hinted at in a meme) I had some "mental problems" last June that knocked me off course on a lot of things. I'm still not at 100% and since I decided (this time) to go ahead and initiate medication, I don't know when (or if) that 100% will ever be realized.
I suffer from depression that makes me question the point of blogging. The part of me that's NOT depressed tells me there doesn't have to be a "point" to blogging, it's just a fun way to kill time. And that's how I should usually look at it...but the depression tells me I don't have anything worthwhile to say, that my opinions are rarely grounded in anything more than what I do and don't enjoy. At any rate, why would anyone want to read them?
So, it's all about beating down the depression demon.
I have hope that the new year will find me victorious over depression, that I will find enjoyment in blogging (maybe even find the time to do some work on the template), all in all to make 07 a very good year (easy enough to say "a better year", cuz that wouldn't take much).
Something else I may do is start a new blog under an "anonymous" pseudonym so that I can be completely, 100% free to speak my mind, to say what I wouldn't say here (or anywhere else for that matter)...I think I should do this as an experiment in discovering "who I am", the good and the bad.
That's probably going to happen and hopefully it won't take too much from what I've been doing here, which has always been more or less about the things in life that entertain and enlighten me (mainly music).
Now I'm going to enlighten myself and when it's all over I can only hope that something like what happened last June will never occur again.
Thanks for checking me out here, and I hope you will return soon.

Merry Christmas, one and all, and a Happy New Year!



It's been a long time since I've done one of these, but here's the premise: Whenever I hear a song that I really like, something that I may have bever heard before, I press the Memory button on my XM and save the title, to be compiled on these 10 song wish lists. Easy enough.
I have no idea when I began this particular list, and there were a few that got bumped off by the time I compiled it, but here are the last ten that made the cut,

1. Thomas O'Hearn - "A Quiet Moment"
2. Hello Damascus - "Randy"
3. Death Cab For Cutie - "Transatlanticism"
4. Nickel Creek - "Seven Wonders"
5. Lamb of God - "What I've Become"
6. Ulu - "EMB"
7. Fort Minor - "Where'd You Go"
8. Oppenheimer - "Nine Words"
9. Michael Stearns - "Microtonal Vibrations"
10. The Blood Lines - "Modern Science"


Stones Outtakes

Check out a whole slew of outtakes from the Rolling Stones seminal album Exile on Main Street plus a whole lotta other cool stuff at An Aquarium Drunkard.
It's like digging up buried treasure!


The Taco Jockey Returns...sort of...

One of the best blogs that I stumbled across in making this one was a hilarious offering by a young man who called himself the Taco Jockey. He worked for Taco Bell and the blog was an insightful and funny look at the daily ups and downs of that particular line of work.
The writer is no longer employed by Taco Bell and with the loss of that job came the demise of the Taco Jockey.
I just recieved an e-mail from the Taco Jockey's author and was pleased to find out that he's employed again (this time at a press) and, more importantly, is blogging about it. Check out PRESSMAN PRESS and together we'll see if this job will bring out the laughs like Taco Bell did.

As for me, as you've already noticed, I haven't been blogging much.
Don't know when that will change. It's indicitive of just how little is going on in my life right now.
I will, however, KEEP IT GANGSTA!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


What I Like About Jazz

For me, it's all about the interplay/rapport between players when it comes to jazz. Love to hear a soloist work off of what the piano player is laying beneath and vice versa. The best drummers of 'em all (with the possible exception of Danny Carey) are jazz drummers. They get to do so much more than just lay down a backbeat. You can listen to practically any jazz tune, concentrate on JUST the drums, and walk away entertained.
I prefer at least one horn in any small ensemble jazz set. There are a few piano/bass/drums set-ups that I've heard that are decent (I've got 'em by Bob James & Duke Jordan, but then that Jordan set is blessed with the presence of Roy Haynes, one of jazz's finest drummers so it's bound to be worthy). Tenor sax is my preferred "4th Instrument" but if we're talkin' Miles Davis I'd just as soon change my vote to trumpet. Quintet is even better with tenor and trumpet.
Then again, there's nothing like the massive ensemble that Miles put together for the recording of Bitches Brew. I shan't go into a rant, as I have often proclaimed my love for this album. But there's something aboout the bizarre entrance of a bass clarinet into the, until then, traditional jazz instrumentation. But once it's in the mix it's incredible, making the funkiest lines ever composed on bass clarinet.
Bitches Brew is not your typical jazz album, not even your traditional fusion jazz album, as it is composed of edited sequences that have been re-pasted into different orders by the artist...but nevertheless deserves the accolades it has recieved throughout the years as the birth of fusion.
Speaking of which...when it comes to fusion, make no bones about it, it rarely gets much better than WEATHER REPORT. Consistantly they have impressed me from the days before Jaco Pastorius joined on bass, to the glory days, when his playing raised the bar for bassists everywhere, up until now, in the post-Pastorius days. Just pick something of theirs and you're guaranteed to love it.


Counting Crows Recoverring the Satellites Track by Track

Counting Crows Recovering the Satellites...Track by Track

1. "Catapult"...Lots of synthesized flutes that conjure up the glory days of the mellotron. At times it puts me in mind of "Strawberry Fields Forever", but that's about the only thing it shares in common with that Beatles classic. Mid-tempo, guitar saturated rocker ensues. Duritz stays in control for the most part, even if his list of "I wanna"s is too long. I've never thought this was a good opener, but it's not a bad song.
2. "Angels of the Silences"...This was the first single from the album and I remember hearing it on the radio before the LP came out. It is quite different fare than anything on the first album. More of an edge, rocks just a little harder. If you can get past that you'll probably enjoy the song and really the album as a whole. Excellent melodies from Duritz, whose passionate delivery is tailor made for a song like this. Great song.
3. "Daylight Fading"...Hands down, my favorite song from this album. I want to say that it brings back fond memories of what REM used to sound like, for some reason I have always associated it with that band, but when I hear it now I can't figure out why I ever made that connection. It sounds richer than any of that old REM fare. Duritz once again nails it. Just listen to those guitars pouring out notes that fall like raindrops...such a beautiful sound.
4. "I'm Not Sleeping"...Lots of tension building and release make up the bulk of this track. Lyrically quite erotic and Duritz sings 'em like he means 'em. The bridge is a bit too heavy and sounds like an excuse to utilyze the orchestra that has already made it's mark quite well in the chorus. There are aspects of "I'm Not Sleeping" that I thoroughly enjoy but they are ruined by the bridge and especially the completely unneccesary (nursery rhyme-esque) rant at the close.
5. "Goodnight Elizabeth"...Here we have the first song on the album that sounds like it might be an outtake from August and Everything After. Even so, there are all these shimmering quitar parts that show up in the background which differentiate the song from the more stark, spare debut. Duritz rain obsession finds an outlet in some of these lyrics. Decent song, though.
6. "Children In Bloom"...This is one of the heaviest songs I think the band has done. The production here kind of tones down the rawness, but it's there and you don't have to listen too hard to hear it. Duritz' falsetto misses a couple of times and the ad-libbing of the last several bars is unnecessary, but on the other hand he does some incredible singing earlier on in the song.
7. "Have You Seen Me Lately"...Nice chord changes and what do you know, Duritz is breaking up with someone! And in no uncertain terms, either, as he opens with "Get away from me...This isn't going to be easy but I don't need you, believe me"... Ouch! More rain obsession. The thing about this song is that it's all really quite good EXCEPT the chorus, and we all know how important the chorus is. It still manages to be one of the better songs here.
8. "Miller's Angels"...Actually quite a beautiful song if you can ignore the bridge and the "Hey, Romeo" chorus end tags. Another one that could have been on the debut. The good thing about this one is all the backing music, the stuff behind the piano and vocals. It really helps push the song into another realm. The end piece is nice, too.
9. "Another Horsedreamer's Blues"...I have to be honest, I have never liked this song at all. Part of it is the orchestra that seems superfluous. The lyrics do nothing for me and Duritz verges on the histrionics here that have been know to ruin the band's live performances.
10. "Recovering the Satellites"...After the last track it's good to hear the band come back to the more experimental fare of the records first half. The melodies merge with the music perfectly and finally a bridge that works. Just as I've always disliked the last song, this one has long been a favorite.
11. "Monkey"...Monkey? Huh? My recollection is that I've never cared for this song, but even though it's got a lot of faults ("...got Ben Folds on my radio now...") it doesn't sound quite as bad as I remember. A throwaway that might have made a nice B-side.
12. "Mercury"...An apparant attempt to strip down all the loud instruments and get back to basics...unfortunately, it's also probably the most boring song of the lot.
13. "A Long December"...Were it not for this song I would have suggested that the whole album be limited to the first 10 songs...This is the second single from the album and it's a song that, unlike the first single, sounds exactly like what you'd expect from the band that put out August and Everything After. It's half power ballad and half anthem, all drenched in melancholy and the hope that "maybe this year will be better than the last". Just a stellar track, IMO.
14. "Walkaways"...Sounds like a decent demo, may well be just that. But anything is going to have a hard time following the last track.


Meme-Ology (yeah, I'm still alive...physically, at least)

Sorry I haven't blogged much lately. I've considered blogging the REASONS for the absence in detail, and who knows but that I might do just that, but it won't be today.
Instead, to keep things going, I have decided to fill out a meme for you all, since I haven't done one in so long. This one I found at From the Circle City to Crop Circles...Kel's Little Adventures.
It's called "Meme-Ology".

What is your salad dressing of choice? Right now it's Honey French, but I'm starting to get burned out on that. I can't stick with one for very long without the aforementioned burn-out factor. That said, if I'm eating at Ken's Pizza you KNOW I'm chowing on some Alpine Italian.

What is your favorite fast food restaurant? Taco Mayo

What is your favorite sit down restaurant? Chili's is pretty good, but my wife got food poisoning there last time we visited so I've had a hard time getting her to go back with me...

On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant? Depends on the service, but I try to adhere to the 15% rule.

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? Pizza

Name three foods you detest above all others. 1. Liver 2. All seafood. 3. Beets

What is your favorite dish to order in a Chinese restaurant? I don't care for Chinese. The few times I've eaten from a Chinese buffet (not by choice, btw) I just chose the stuff that wasn't made with fish or chicken. I guess egg rolls are okay with that sweet red sauce, but I couldn't eat many of 'em.

What are your pizza toppings of choice? Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, red onions, green peppers and lately I've had a hankering for plain old cheese.

What do you like to put on your toast? real butter and grape jelly

What is your favorite type of gum? Eclipse spearmint


Number of contacts in your cell phone? What cell-phone?

Number of contacts in your email address book? I think there are about 25 or 30, but I don't use my e-mail all that often.

What is your wallpaper on your computer? Right now it's the Black Cat firecracker logo tiled.

What is your screen-saver on your computer? My son has this thing for The Phantom of the Opera, and he has put up quite an elaborate POTO screen-saver on our computer. It's actually kind of cool.

Are there naked pictures saved on your computer? Maybe a few artistic renderings...:)

How many land line phones do you have in your house? Just one...don't know why anyone would care, though.

How many televisions are in your house? Three, but only one gets watched with any degree of regularity.

What kitchen appliance do you use the least? Waffle maker...although it does make some pretty doggone delicious waffles!

What is the format of the radio station you listen to the most? Changes with the general mood I'm in...lately it's been scads of Modern Jazz on XM Satellite Radio.


What do you consider to be your best physical attribute? My eyes.

Are you right handed or left handed? Right.

Do you like your smile? If it's not a self-conscious smile I don't mind it, but otherwise I don't.

Have you ever had anything removed from your body? 2 or 3 teeth.

Would you like to? I can't think of anything I'd want removed.

Do you prefer to read when you go to the bathroom? If it's going to be a visit of any length, then yes, I do. Reading material of choice lately has been Esquire magazine, but I've just supplemented the bathroom reading hamper with a recent copy of the Collector's Choice Music catalogue, so I may get behind on the other stuff.

Which of your five senses do you think is keenest? Probably my hearing, tinnitus and all notwithstanding

When was the last time you had a cavity? Oh, I'm sure I have a few even now. I'm afraid that if I go to the dentist I'll wind up losing a good 2/3rds of my teeth, so I've avoided it (even though I do enjoy going under that nitrous oxide.

What is the heaviest item you lift regularly? I dunno...how much does a stainless steel fork weigh?

Have you ever been knocked unconscious? Nope, unless you count passing out as a result of excessive marijuana intake...if you do, well I suppose there have been a few times...


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? NO. God, no..

If you could change your first name, what would you change it to? Ian.

How do you express your artistic side? Well, my artistic side has been hiding from me lately, but the general rule is that it prefers to be expressed by playing the guitar, writing songs and doing fun junk on the computer (like this blog, fer instance).

What color do you think you look best in? Black.

How long do you think you could last in a medium security prison? Not too long. I'd lose my mind pretty quick

Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake? Just the other day I accidentally swallowed a sunflower seed still in it's shell.

If we weren’t bound by society’s conventions, do you have a relative you would make a pass at? Of course not.
How often do you go to church? I used to go every Sunday morning, but since I just had this psychotic episode a couple of months back and I'm still sort of recuperating from that I have only gone once in about a month and a half. I'm kind of in a strange place spiritually and have not wanted to go to the church I'm a member of.

Have you ever saved someone’s life? True story: When I was just a little kid, probably between 8 & 11 years old, I was sleeping with my brother and father (hard times, I don't think my bro and I even had beds of our own) and I had this dream that a local cafe where my mom worked at the time was on fire...I woke up, smelled smoke and then looked under the bed to find that it was on fire. I woke up my dad and brother, alerting dad to the situation, and he put the fire out. So I guess I saved all our lives that night.

Has someone ever saved yours? One of the developmentally disabled guys I used to work with alerted me to a driver who was squeezing into the same exit I was and I'm pretty sure it would have been a fatality wreck if he hadn't done that, because I didn't see the other guy. So I have to give him recognition (thanks Mike!).


Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000? I don't think so.

Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100? No.

Would you have sex with a member of the same sex for $10,000? No.

Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000? No.

Would you never blog again for $50,000? Probably. Who's offering? ;)

Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000? No.

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? No.

Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000? This is getting ridiculous. No, of course not.

Would you shave your head and get your entire body waxed for $5,000? Now there's something I wouldn't have an aversion to doing for money, but howzabout up-ing the ante to $10,000?

Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000? YES. That would be SO easy to do.



One of the most literate and out right mucisally knowlegable guys I know has joined the ranks of "us bloggers" (didn't want to say the word "blogosphere", as I am concerned that it has slipped out of fashion). He goes by the name "Skvorecky" in the injternet community where I communicate with him, but his blogger name is AB7A (enigmatic moniker, I know)...likewise his blog is called AB7A, and it is well worth checking out.
Seriously, this bloke knows his stuff and he is a writer par excellance.

More N&B Refugees

Here are a few more "photoshopped" pieces that I am rather fond of. More to come, but I'll try not to bore you with an onslaught of 'em...


Photo Clearance

Gonna be clearing out a lot of photos from my Shutterfly account, most of which were used on the Nausea & Bliss blog that I shut down a couple of months ago. I decided I'd throw a few of them up here as I go. Some are not too bad and halfway artistic. Others, like the one above, are just curiousities.


Aphex Twin I Care Becuse You Do

I have to confess that it took me a long, long time to appreciate Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin). I had read many reviews of his music and they had almost unanimously agreed that his electronic music was "the next big thing" in that genre. Being a fan of "old school" electronica (such as Kraftwerk and Bill Nelson's electronic projects as well as the really pioneering stuff bu Iannis Xennakis and Charles Dodge), I was very interested in checking this Aphex Twin guy out...
If I recall correctly, that chance came in 1991, when I ordered a copy of I Care Because You Do from a record club.
I remember putting it on and trying to "get into" it, but alas, it was just TOO different for me (and that's saying something about how unique the album is, because I usually enjoy total originality)...
Or maybe I should say that it didn't sound like what I expected an "electronic" album to sound like...and it didn't. It was very percussion-heavy, much more so than the electronic music I'd championed previously. The instrumentation didn't sound like the synthesizers I had come to expect. In fact, they often didn't sound like anything I'd ever heard before in my life.
Time has passed and I've developed a true love for the genre known as "Braindance/IDM/Glitch". The credit for that goes to Autechre. From there I decided to give Aphex Twin another chance and ever since then I've been a hardcore fan of his music.
Even so, I Care Because You Do has remained a fairly difficult record for me to get into. That said, I do enjoy it tremendously these days.
I can't really proclaim any tracks as "favorites", as I like most all of them. The only one I don't really care for is the intentionally annoying "Ventolin (Video Version)".


Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music

Lou Reed Metal Machine Music

Rockets spiralling out of control, into the atmosphere from fiery blue planets. All communication dead at the very last second, too late to send the message..."We have penetrated the earth's pencil-thin membrane, our hopes rest on thunderheads".
And, of course, they do.
Lou Reed must have been shooting some mighty fine heroin during the sessions for Metal Machine Music.
A collection of 4 precisely timed (16:06, if your interested) vignettes of total cacophony that have been name-checked by noise-meisters Sonic Youth as well as several who reside in various mental asylums around the world.
The Sonic Youth tag is legitimate. You can almost conjure a mental picture of Thurston Moore zoning out to the whole Metal Machine Music album, trying to find ways to turn the pure noise into catchy , post-punk indie rock.
At any rate, there's nothing truly ground-breaking on the album, "musically" that is. Iannis Xannakis and Karlheinz Stockhausen are but two postmodern composers who have created material that's every bit as jarring as MMM (moreso in some cases)...
The "huh?" thing about this album is that it was released by a man who was on the verge of becoming every bit as popular as any rock star of his day (think David Bowie or, to a lesser degree, Iggy Pop). "Commercial Suicide" indeed, and no doubt the good folks at RCA were NOT pleased.
If you forget all of that and just listen to the music, you may be surprised. Indeed, it has aged very well (as so many of Reed's compositions tend to do) and the astute listener will hear lots of things going on beneath the surface veneer of chaotic chatter. Indeed, having become very familiar with the works of Aphex Twin and Autechre, I hear this album with "new ears", ones that are much more sensitive to Reed's electronic pioneering.


My "YouTube" Music Archive

With the advent of YouTube, I have taken the liberty of creating a BLOG that features all of the really cool vintage music videos from artists that I have much respect for.
It's well worth checking out, even if it is only in it's initial stages.


New Art

I haven't done much Photoshop art since dismantling the Nausea & Bliss blog, but I cobbled together three pieces this evening and figured I'd share them here.


Remembering JIMMY IDLE

The marvelous Self-Titled album, featuring such musical gems as "Hey, I Misplaced My Sun Glasses", "Rock-a-poppa Sinna", "Cooked in the Nog" and who can forget the classic, "Wang Dang Noodle Doodle Part 54" (considered in Brazil to be one of the most outrageous tracks ever recorded)?

Yeah, I'm a Bad Ass...This sophomore effort was panned by many critics...all of whom have grieving mothers and fathers now because Idle wasn't fuckin' around when he said he was a Bad Ass. What the album lacks in quality it more than makes up for with sheer noise. Thurston Moore once remarked that the lead-off track on this album, "Chatahoochie Dissection", was the inspiration for "The Diamond Sea" (from their epic Washing Machine release). Other "diamonds in the rough" on this remarkable album include "Gene Siskel, I Miss You (cuz Ebert's NOTHING Without You)", "Sour Cream and Onion Enema", "Rabid Rabbit Collection Part 36", "Cookin' Crack for Happy Jack", and "The Rough Guide to String Beans".

A Blood Sacrifice, My Friend...Idle's final effort, and many consider it a blessing that Idle put down his patented "Crusty Crunch Acoustic Guitar" after sales of this album plummeted the very same day it was released. Idle committed suicide not long after the release of this record, leaving behind a chilling coincidence, ie. "blood sacrifices". There are some who claim that Idle's death was accidental, not a suicide at all, but those who knew Idle well understood that "choking to death on a tuna salad sandwich" could be nothing else BUT a suicide (it was was a well known fact among Idle's small circle of friends that he despised tuna).
The standout tracks on this closer were few, but they were decent enough to make up for the rest of the filler: "Go-Cart Mozart Ride Yo Harley Part 12", "Ice Cubes in My Shorts (Got Me Feelin' Sorta Chilly)", "Chilly Willy's Dropped a Load", "You Make Me Wanna Buy a Thesaurus" and last but not least, "Last But Not Least".

NOTE: Sometimes I do foolish things. I have no idea why I deleted these Jimmy Idle photos from my flickr account. They were pretty funny, if I say so myself. Hopefully the text will stand up on it's own without the images.---JAC 02.05.08


Music For Your Eyes

Some interesting musical video footage to be ogled at Music For Your Eyes...

Chuck Palmer's Incredibly Heterosexual "Hillbilly Holiday"

First saw this bizarre performance on Mr. Dante Fontana's Visual Guidance Ltd blog, and I had to go to YouTube to get it for the Listening Room.
It's the decidedly heterosexual Chuck Palmer and his equally lusty band the Rangers doing their ace rendition of "Hillbilly Holiday"...
Enjoy, music lovers and old-fashioned heterosexuals everywhere...

I Answer the Proust Questionnaire ...

Here are my answers to the Proust Questionairre...

- Your most marked characteristic? My heighth and body-build have been noted as being somewhat "imposing"

- The quality you most like in a man? A certain laid back, mellow ease

- The quality you most like in a woman? A free spirit and exceptional taste

- What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty, acceptance

- What is your principle defect? Emotional instability

- What is your favorite occupation? Making music

- What is your dream of happiness? Perfection within and without

- What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes? To somehow lose my wife and son

- What would you like to be? Happy with who I am in the moment

- In what country would you like to live? A newly established country on another planet

- What is your favorite color? I have often wondered if I am weird because I have never had a favorite color. They are all pretty pleasing, if you ask me, it all depends on context, right?

- What is your favorite flower? Likewise though I find most all flowers to be quite lovely, I would not go so far as to say that I have chosen a favorite.

- What is your favorite bird? Bats are pretty neat, but you just can't beat a peacock for gaudy scenery (If I were an eater of fowl I would have loved to give the following answer:
-What is your favorite bird?Chicken...fried, not baked.
Ha ha ha!

- Who are your favorite prose writers? Lester Bangs, John Updike, several more

- Who are your favorite poets? Charles Baudelaire, William Blake, Bob Dylan, Walt Whitman

- Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Andy Sipowicz

- Who is your favorite poster? There are a few, I wouldn't want to name just one

- Who are your favorite heroines of fiction? Aunt Bea

- Who are your favorite composers? Bach, Beethoven, Mozart...the usual suspects, as well as Glass, Reich and Stockhausen

- Who are your favorite painters? M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, Man Ray

- Who are your heroes in real life? US Military, all firemen and most policemen, basically anyone who educates themselves for the sake of gaining wisdom and knowledge, whether they are successful as a result or not, they have enriched themselves on their own accord and that's worth emulating

- What is it you most dislike? A lot of the qualities I find in myself, I'm afraid. But I can't stand condescension, phoniness, excessive machismo, people who take too much for granted, a fightin' drunk...I don't like being talked down to nor do I appreciate false modesty.

- What natural gift would you most like to possess? Compassion

- How would you like to die? I'm not gonna die...But I'd like to leave this body behind while comfortably tucked into bed, eyes closed, lost in the middle of a heavenly dream...If I were feeling suicidal I would tell you that a lethal heroin overdose sounds wonderful...I'm NOT feeling suicidal, though, and I feel I should point out that I have never tried heroin nor do I ever intend to try it...unless, of course, I get suicidal and take the killer dose, which cannot really be classified as "trying heroin", since it's effectiveness will have rendered obsolete any future dabblings with the stuff. Beat it at it's own game...shoot it WANTING to die, then it can't really kill you, it can only deliver you to the afterlife...
Wow, that got a little bizarre...

- What is your present state of mind? Cluttered

- To what faults do you feel most indulgent? Procrastination

- What is your motto? I was not issued a motto at the time of my incubation and birthing period. I was born in a time before such motto placement had become mandatory. However, if I were to choose my OWN motto (ludicrous idea, that), it would probably be "Lord, Kill The Pain"

Beer, Barbecue and Bible study

In a world saturated with phoniness that often rears it's double-minded head within the ranks of those who profess to be Christians, it's refreshing to find a blog like Pauly's Beer, Barbecue and Bible Study. The author's introduction says it all:
Christianity is just about being real. We all have feelings, thoughts, wants, needs, lusts, desires, joys, sadness, likes, dislikes, opinions and ideas. God is familiar with all of them. I have always wanted to start a men's group in my home with the name "Beer, Barbecue and Bible Study". I'm not sure the church community is ready for it just yet.
Well, Pauly, the "church community" may not be ready for such integrity (and shame on 'em if they aren't) but personally I want to congratulate you for your candid introspection and your exceptional blogging (you make some nice crosses, too, I might add).
Check out Pauly's "About Me" entry:
I'm as screwed up and dysfunctional as the next guy. Thank God for grace. I like to write, I like to play, I am serious when I have to be. I prefer intelligent conversation and humor, and I think small talk is the pits. I think Jesus spent more time smiling and laughing than what we think. I'm 48 years old and facing my own mortality...I lost my Dad to cancer in 2004. I took it pretty hard, because we were close. I wound up in a deep introspective mode for quite a while...several months, as a matter of fact. I came to some conclusions: 1. There is a God, 2. I'm not Him, 3. I have a purpose. Those are the 3 biggies, but there's been a lot of life changing decisions I have made, most for the better. God's still working on me. I guess that's what these writings are all about.
Sounds like Pauly and I would have a lot to talk about...
Check out Beer, Barbecue and Bible Study.


XM Satellite Radio Blogs

I've compiled a short list of XM Satellite Radio-related blogs. I thought there would be more out there, and maybe there are, but these are the ones I tracked down (these are literal blogs, by the way, not websites...otherwise I would have listed XMFan and the new XM411).
Can't vouch for the overall quality of these blogs, though a couple of them looked pretty well maintained. For the life of me I cannot figure out why the 90's on 9 has inspired it's own blog but not any of the other channels...
At any rate, here ya go, XM fans (and potential XM listeners):

XM Radio Buzz

XM Radio: The 90s On 9

| XM Living Blog | XM Living.com - Featuring XM Radio News, XM Forums, XM Living Blog, XM Radio Products and Reviews

? XM Radio News & Reviews: love xm radio (XM Radio Conversations) - News & Comments about XM Satellite Radio

This week on XM Radio - 05/15/06 - Beyondxm.com

From The Morning: Why People Hate Christians

I've been reading From The Morning for a long time now, and just came from reading his recent article about Why People Hate Christians...he's spot-on, in my opinion, about a lot of it. I just have to wonder how many people out there think that Christianity looks like what you see on the Trinity Broadcast Network and I just want to scream, IT'S NOT!
Then there are the times when you get involved in a conversation with another Christian and it turns out that this person buys into a great deal of the TBN BS. So you risk offending them when you speak your mind and criticize the heresy their buying into.
The Bible tells us to expect to be hated, darkness and light cannot dwell together...But I do wonder if people hate us for a legitimate reason (assuming there is one) or if they've even thought about why they have a negative reaction to us and what we believe...

Emptying My Photobucket

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It's how I feel...why can't you leave me be? Who am I hurting?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sad but true, there once was a time when I empathized with the guy in this famous Diane Arbus photograph (one of many favorites I have of her work).
No wait...who am I kidding? I was NEVER that dorky. I think I might have felt like I was at times...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I keep wanting to come up with a joke that associates the classic Abbey Road cover with the even more time honoured classic joke about Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Alas, none of the results that I've so far come up with have produced even a modicum of entertainment value, so I won't bore you with them.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Here's the key to understanding the Karmic symbology utilized in this entertaining gif:
YOU are the one who is getting kicked...as such, YOU are also the one doing the kicking. Everything you do sends out shock waves that eventually come back to haunt you in one way or another. And it never ends, not in this life or the next...
Use that key and you will furthet enhance the humour value of an already very funny image...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Okay, that's it, boys and girlz...
Uncle JACkory is off to beddy-bye now.
Y'all come back now, ya hear...I'll have more of the same nonsense up in no time at all...

Dante Fontana and I: On The Same Wavelength...

I see I'm not the only one archiving favorite YouTube music videos on a blog...and furthermore, this Dante Fontana (what a cool name that is!) appears to have excellent taste in music, evidenced by his inclusion of Suicide's "Ghost Rider" as one of his selections. Well worth bookmarking, Mr. Dante Fontana's Visual Guidance LTD looks like it might just be worth keeping up with.
Other artists he's currently featuring include:
The Replacements
The Fall
The Ventures
Rolling Stones (vintage, 1970's era)
Lou Reed w/ John Cale
Ultra-Vivid Scene
As you can see, an eclectic mix. Worthy of future investigations.

Truth or Dare

CLICK HERE TO WATCH Truth or Dare...
Funny, funny stuff.

The OFFICIAL Last Word on The DaVinci Code

Someone translate this text and e-mail it back to me at jackory69@yahoo.com
Lucky you...in landing on this blog you've stumbled upon the OFFICIAL FINAL WORD on The DaVinci Code...Can you handle it?
Okay, here it is:
We're all sick to death of hearing about it.
Those of us who have faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ have recognized it for what it is...the Gnostic heresy rearing it's ugly head in the 21st century. Those of us who regularly read the Bible know that it's already been addressed there and our faith is neither shaken nor threatened in any way by a movie/book that can't make up it's mind whether it wants to be taken as fiction or non-fiction. The Postmodernist dillemna played out for you right there, friends.
From what I've seen the critics are panning it left and right, so maybe the most memorable thing about it will prove to have nothing to do with it's "attacks on the church" but instead that it will go down in history as one of the few total failures ever produced by the likes of Ron Howard and Tom Hanks.
The albino community, I am told, is pissed at them, and with good reason, I believe. And yet DaVinci & Code are up there with American Idol and Natalee Holloway as "News Stories That Just Won't Go Away", a PR man's sweet dream, saving him time and money.
And that's about as much explanation you're gonna get out of me. Just respect me and hear me out when I say that the absolute FINAL WORD on anything remotely related to DaVinci Code is...
Leave it ALONE, see if it DIES!!!
Am I right, peoples?

? Insomnio ?

? Insomnio ?
I have no idea what any of this blog is about...don't even know what language it's written in. I only know that there's something about this photograph that just literally DOES IT for me...
I had to share.

Just like I have to share this:

Appreciate the wordplay on "Emerging", as in the Emegant/Emerging Church. No doubt these things really exist. O Mammon.
The Wittenburg Door

I defy anyone out there to stare at both of the following images for long periods of time without losing your mind, and if you can do that I need for you to tell me which is more mind-warping.

No Religion, Just Jesus

No Religion, Just Jesus...Yeah, I can sure get behind that.

Trickfan: A Cheap Trick Fan's Dream Blog

I personally know many people who think Cheap Trick were the best thing next to the Beatles. Okay, maybe not "many", but at least a couple, and these folks would find much to celebrate in Trickfan, a blog full of excellent quality photos of recent Xheap Trick gigs. I found it interesting.


Yo, Stratman! You are dearly missed at Castaways. I just went back after a two month sabbatical.
I'm glads to know you check in every now and again. Hope you'll come back soon and often.


A Small Complaint About Keith Jarrett's Signature Hootin' & Howlin'

It's got to be noted...
Keith Jarrett is a phenomenal master of the jazz piano. His improvisations are playful bursts of fresh inspiration. Even when playing behind a soloist Jarrett's inventiveness refuses to be harnassed. His ivory-tickling is some of the tastiest in the genre.
But for all that it must also be said that Keith Jarrett makes some of the goofiest noises you're likely to hear as he's busting off the sweet riffage, to the point where it's almost impossible not to laugh. I'm not sure if that's a reaction he appreciates, but he should at least expect it.
His vocal ejaculations put me in mind of many things, few of which are the least bit pleasant.
For instance, immediately after twinkling a couple of ingenous trills over a mid-tempo groove he is likely to belt out an outcry remeniscent of an inebriated geriatric falling out of her wheelchair, moderately frightened (and frightening) but still happy as a clam as long as the tunes carry on.
I wonder if he makes these noises as some kind of test...like maybe he thinks his music is so damned good that noone's even gonna notice the gruntin'. On this point Mr. Jarrett would be in error.
I've also envisioned a crack smoking chimpanzee as I've listened to the squeals that emit from Jarrett's mouth as he becomes enraptured by the glory of it all.
One might wish to defend Jarrett's odd vocal mannerisms by pointing out that he is not the only globally recognized pianist with a mild case of Tourette's Syndrome---Glenn Gould also was quite inventive in the strangeness of his Bach-inspired glossolalia.
But that's just it, see?
When Gould grunted and groaned he sounded genuinely bizarre. It's an absurd experience hearing those weird sounds floating amidst the backdrop of the Goldberg Variations. Uncanny, I tell you, and not a little bit surreal.
But when Jarrett blurts his incomprehensible jibberish it sounds more like a clown with a head full of helium pointing at animals mating behinds cages in a zoo. Or maybe like a giant chicken walking across a hot stretch of asphalt pavement trying to get to the other side because that's just what chickens are paid to do.
The bottom line is that you simply cannot justify Keith Jarrett's annoyance factor by comparing it to the great Glenn Gould's similar proclivities.
Which all boils down to this one point:
Keith Jarrett would be well-served to put a muzzle on it. Yes, his virtuosity is astounding, but who notices talent when there's a sonic freak show trying to cut in?

Gotta love the Scottish bagpipe jig...gotta love the drone, like a cat with it's tongue frozen to an iced-over pole, makes you wanna throw on a skirt, get out in the middle of the floor and do a little hoe-down dance. You know, the kind that Jed and Granny Clampett used to do when Flatt and Scruggs came over for a visit and busted out a few bluegrass chesnuts.
You might as well.
You're alone. No need to get emberassed...
But somehow it's a sad truth that a bagpipe jig sounds woefully out of place without a pub full of friends to celebrate it with you.

This is ME when I was 11...
Okay, so it's NOT me, it's my son...
But it might as well be me.
He's got the look and the same taste in music...
Which is only partially true. Though he does share my fondness for the Beatles and classical music, he doesn't listen to much else yet. I'm sure he will. He's just now picking up the saxophone and I can help him learn to play that instrument, so I get a feeling he'll be getting into jazz.
Right now his current musical obsession is Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. You don't have to believe me. Just check this out:
Tonight he stars in his 5th grade school musical in the lead role of Floyd, the "Phantom of the School Room" or something like that. It's a Phantom of the Opera knock-off, so he couldn't be happier. This is the third year in a row he's had leading parts in his school plays. He is a little ham, though.
The part this year required that he learn to play a few pieces on piano, chief of which is Beethoven's "Fur Elise", which he has quite mastered. He makes up his own melodies and songs and also likes to write short stories about his NeoPets. Quite a remarkably talented kid if I must say so myself.


"Ariel Besieged" from Bipolar Confessional

You'd be surprised at how much traffic this board actually gets...
Unfortunately an extraordinary amount of visits I get here are people looking for a photo of Alison Angel that I once posted while in a daring, cavalier mood... a mood that was not to last long, and the photo has been long gone.
Still, the matrix tells the folks who are looking for this particular shot of Angel through the Google search engine that it can be found here. I'm sure the vast majority, when they realize that no pics of the lovely Alison are forthcoming, leave this blog without reading anything.
I don't blame 'em... I mean, have you seen Alison Angel?
But no, guys, you won't find 'em here anymore. Sorry. Don't know what I was thinking.

I just finished reading a book called A Layman's Guide to Protestant Theology that I found immensely enjoyable and thought-provoking. I was especially intrigued with the theology of Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (whose The Cost of Discipleship I read and enjoyed some months ago). I would like to read up on those guys... it's too bad the library in this small town is so chincy. They have Benny Henn but nothing by Niebuhr or Barth. Sad, I know.

Anyhoo, here's a poem that I wrote a few hours ago and just published in the
Bipolar Confessional...figured I'd share it here as well. Perhaps one of Ms. Angel's fans might find in it some consolation at not getting the photo:

Ariel Beseiged

Speak to me from the ground
O Ariel, beseiged
You have been brought low
By the hand of the One
You once called "Beloved"
Speak, Ariel
Your voice ghostlike
Whispering out of the dust
His strategy was impenetrable
His siege works,
Year to year,

I hear thunder, loud clashes that echo in the stillness of this muggy, humid night, thirsty for rain, soon quenched, the hammer of Thor strikes like the flogging of a condemned man, back broken, beseiged
The earth cannot hold back it'e excitement at my coming...it shakes and quakes and re-arranges itself giving no consideration to the masses displaced on a whim, Behold, it's EARTHQUAKES I prophecy.
Great noise awesome ear-blistering cacophony the likes of which have not been heard since the advent of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless album, loud and bottom heavy, windstorm and tempest.
Let's re-cap: Thunder. Earthquake. Great noise...and to crown it all with glory:
Flames of devouring fire.
Imagine your destiny being as one condemned to the custody of flames of devouring fire.
I am NOT making light of this.
These flames and their intensity
Demand to be taken seriously
And so shall it be, amen, Selah and Shalom
These flames, this whole Apocalypse Now set-up
It's for all those you call "enemy"
It's for all those who call you "enemy"
Ariel, but woe to you
I have already crushed them into fine dust
Like chaff blown by the wind
(But no answer there, my friend)
The ruthless hordes have scattered.
And the word came down:
Those who fight against my altar hearth
Stunned, amazed
Sightless, you will blind yourselves
Drunk and staggering
But the wine and beer aren't to be blamed
This euphoria is straight from the one called Yahweh
Who has now sealed the eyes of the prophets
And covered the heads of the seers.

May 17 2006 on Isaiah 29


FreakyTrigger...and MORE! (but not MUCH more)

FreakyTrigger - Wasting Time Since 1999
'Nuff said.

I'm so depressed...one of my favorite blogs, The Taco Jockey, is no more.
What happened, Taco Jockey?
I know you quit working at Taco Bell and found a job at another fast food joint...but I have no idea where or even IF you're blogging about it.

Graveyard shift has me worn out most of the time. This explains my scant blogging of late.
Sleep deprivation hallucinations have me in their sway.

Movie Review: Stay

Click HERE for an excellent review of one of the best films I've seen in a long time, Marc Forster's Stay.


Curtis Haynes, Rest In Peace, my Brother

Curtis Haynes 1957-2006

I first met Curtis Haynes back in 1981 when I was attending Seminole Junior College. If memory serves, he was working at the local Pizza Hut. Somehow I struck up a conversation with him and was delighted to learn that he was a huge fan of what we used to refer to as "underground music" (punk, late 70's new wave, early 80's alternative). He had a passion for this music that I could really relate to and our conversations were always centered around this common interest.
Curtis was a Christian. We shared this in common as well, and he was one of a very few acquaintances of mine who was just as enthusiastic about the latest Resurrection Band album as he was for a fresh release by Husker Du.
I visited Curtis in his home several times and considered him a friend. We drifted apart but it seemed like every few years we'd run into each other. Curtis had a contagious smile and his eyes would light up when the conversation would return to music. I can still hear his laugh.
Just such a great guy.
I was shocked and stunned to see his name in the obituaries of my hometown newspaper. At first I thought it couldn't be THE Curtis Haynes that I remembered. I read the obit, looking for touchstones, and my heart sank when I recognized the names of his wife and brother listed as "survivors". Even then I couldn't fathom that it could be my old friend, after all, he was only 48 (and to be honest, I'd always thought he was even younger than that...he certainly had a youthful exuberrance about him).
My fears were confirmed, however, when I visited the funeral home website and saw his picture there, the Joey Ramone t-shirt being all it took to drive it home that yes, this was THE Curtis Haynes.
I wish we had been closer, but I feel very blessed to have known this brother in Christ. And I am saddened that our serendipitous meetings sprinkled across the years have come to an end in this life.
And finally, I look forward to our next "serendipitous meeting"...
Goodbye, old friend.



Mirko Aretini has produced a rather unique conceptual video, "Overdose", utilyzing the music of Sigur Ros ("Sven-G-Englar").

Genesis - Midnight Special 1973

Oh, yeah!
The internet as Time Machine!
For whatever reason I have had no luck with YouTube, a website that offers videos uploaded from it's users...don't know what's been wrong, probably on my end, but lo and behold today it seems to be all cleared up and I have just revisited my ancient past viewing Genesis' Midnight Special performance of 1973!!!
How it takes me back!
Just a wee lad of eleven years, I was, and why I was allowed to stay up until after midnight on Fridays is something you'd have to take up with my parents. But I remember it like it was only yesterday, sitting in my father's recliner with all the lights out, transfixed and hypnotized by the spooky visage on the screen...
That would be Peter Gabriel, in full face make-up and bat-wing costume intoning the lyrics to "Watcher of the Skies" after Tony Banks eerie Hammond B-3 organ introduction. I sat in silent wonder, in awe of this new combination of rock music and theatrics. I became a Genesis fan there and then, and to this day I remain one.
The video on YouTube is the entire performance they did on that night in September of 1973 and also features a rousing (if slightly truncated) rendition of what may well be my all-time favorite Genesis number, "The Musical Box".
But don't take my word for it...check it out for yourself:

I Draw You

I have received lots of encouragement for my other blogs from a guy named Brock, who somehow stumbled upon one of them and left nice compliments. I was very flattered because when I checked out his work it proved to be exceptionally good.
Brock is currently working on a project called I Draw You, and the concept is that the reader sends a link to a photo of himself/herself and then Brock will convert it into a drawing in his own unique style. The results thus far have been nothing short of amazing.
The waiting list is a bit long, but I went ahead and sent a photo anyway...
We'll see what comes of it, but I have no doubt it will be interesting and impressive.

Poetry Jukebox

Thought I was gone forever, didn't ya?
So did I.
But I'm back long enough to throw out this link to the Poetry Jukebox, a clever little site, I must say.
A few new poems on my own Bipolar Confessional, as well, but things don't look good for Nausea & Bliss...sorry, Charles, but the time has come for me to hit the ole Delete button on that one...and I will...



Alas, my brain wasn't functioning at it's optimum capability when I posted yesterday's bit about the changes at XM. For some reason I had it in my mind that The Torch was getting completely booted from XM, but having re-visited XM's website I found that it was still going to be available as an Online-Only feature.
That still sucks, cuz i rarely listen to XM Online, but it's better than no Torch at all.


XM Radio: New Channels and Bad News

A couple of new channels already added to the XM line-up and 8 more coming on April 17, in case you haven't heard.
The ones currently on the air are XM49 (I think) Big Tracks, which is sort of a late-period version of Top Tracks. Classic rock for people born after 1970, I suppose would be one way to look at it. I ran across it the other day and it wasn't too bad, although I am definately of the older demographic that would prefer Top Tracks, if I hadn't already been burned out on EVERYTHING they play there.
Then there's XM84, The Chill, which the website describes as "the smooth side of electronica"... I've listened to a few songs there in the last 30 minutes and basically it sounds like a full channel of what XM77 AudioVisions' Star Streams plays. That's okay, I guess, ifn' they'll take Star Streams off of AudioVisions and replace it with more new age or space music. That chill-out stuff never really fit in the XM77 format, IMO, and it's better to have a channel devoted to it for the rare occassions when I'm in the mood. If they don't axe Star Streams from XM77 I may just write a letter urging them to do so.
And I would have been a LOT happier if they had made a channel of IDM, ambient and non-trance cutting-edge electronic music instead of playing it safe and going with a chill-out channel. Maybe it will evolve into that when people start falling asleep to all the chill. :)
As for the 8 other channels, I'm most excited about XM34 EnLighten, the Southern Gospel channel moving from Online-Only status to regular XM. Call me corny, I love that stuff.
Liquid Metal is coming back to the regular line-up after having been in Online-Only limbo for the past year. That's probably a good thing, because one can only tolerate so many hair bands on the Boneyard before craving some REAL metal (and Squizz sure doesn't fit the bill).
The bad news...and IMO this is REAL bad news...XM51, the Music Lab is being shuffled off to Online-Only status. :( How can they do this to me? I LOVE the progressive stuff there. They say they're going to move what they call "the ethereal side of progressive" to XM76 Fine Tuning, and that'll be fine and dandy as long as they get rid of the superabundance of celtic music currently in vogue there (nothing against celtic music, but a little bit goes a long way). The "harder" progressive is going to Deep Tracks, so who knows how that will affect that channel...could be an improvement, IMO, but it's bound to tick a few people off.
Other new channels...
.S. Country - XM 17 - Country Superstars of the 80s and 90s
Flight 26 - XM 26 - Modern Hits 90s & Now
XM Hitlist - XM 30 - Today's Hit Music
enLighten - XM 34 - Southern Gospel
XM Liquid Metal - XM 42 - Heavy Metal XL
The Heat - XM 68 - Rhythmic Hits
Escape - XM 78 - Easy Listening
Viva - XM 91 - Latin Pop Hits

That new country channel looks to be replacing XM11 Nashville, which is still gonna be around, but it's been co-opted by Clear Channel and will have commercials, so that kinda defeats the purpose of satellite radio in a way, don't ya think? I'll never listen to Nashville again, I can tell you that, nor will I bother with the other Clear Channel stations, Kiss - XM 21, Mix - XM 22, Sunny - XM 24, or WSIX - XM 161 (note that the first 3 on that list used to be commercial free XM channels...oh well, I never listened to 'em anyway).
Another sad aspect to the new line-up, at least as far as I'm concerned, is the complete removal of The Torch from both regular and Online-Only XM. That was good stuff most of the time. That REALLY sucks.
The Fish has changed to The Message, and one can only hope that it will lose some of the more "pop hit" type stuff that drags it down. I would be very pleased to see a much more hardcore spiritual basis employed on that channel, with more praise/worship and more solid, unmistakeably CHRISTIAN music...If I never hear another secular hit dressed up with a few mentions of Jesus name on that channel it will not be soon enough for me.
The more I listen to this Chill channel the more convinced I am that I will probably never listen to it again. Big disappointment that they went this route.


Buck Owens, R.I.P.

Alvis Edgar "Buck" Owens, Jr. 1929-2006

One of the most treasured memories I have is of my father and I watching the Buck Owens show every Sunday afternoon when I was a young child. Dad was a huge fan of Owens, and he was one of my favorites in the days before I discovered rock 'n' roll. Even then I counted myself a fan...after all, the Beatles were, right? Though I had come to a point where I believed the Fab Four could do no wrong, I still acknowledged that Owens' version of "Act Naturally" was superior to theirs.
And I even remember being asked to sing "Tiger By the Tail" at family gatherings when I couldn't have been much older than 5. As such, that may be the earliest memory I can recall...
Without a doubt Buck Owens' music, his charisma, his performing ability and his unmistakeable voice were a big part of what initially turned me on to music.
And so it is with a heavy heart that I now listen to my copy of his Greatest Hits, having just learned of his passing away at the ripe age of 76 earlier today.
I couldn't even begin to count all the smiles that he's responsible for with his charming sense of humour (sample lyric: "I got the hungries for your love and I'm waiting in your welfare line", not to mention all the corny jokes he told on Hee Haw). And he has touched my heart deeply with his more serious music ("Together Again" will remain a country and western classic for all time).
He was one-of-a-kind and will be missed dearly.


CMJ Keepers

At last, I have finally completed my project of going through 65 CMJ sampler CDs from between Dec 94 and Feb 02, scouring them for ONLY the best (or at least the songs that I liked best). LOTS of dreck in the bargain, but I came out with 149 songs that I really liked. You may see a few names you recognize and probably a few you don't. I didn't choose by anything BUT the song itself...in fact, I didn't even look at the CD labels for info before scanning them.
Anyhoo, here's the list and the floor is open for discussion about my taste or lack of taste in choosing these particular songs:


1. Asian Dub Foundation..."Buzzin'"
2. Fear of Pop..."In Love"
3. Josh Rouse..."Dressed Up Like Nebraska"
4. Matthew Good Band..."Load Me Up"
5. Silver Scooter..."Goodbye"
6. Cracker..."Shake Some Action"
7. Blue Mountain..."Soul Sister"
8. Innocence Mission..."Bright as Yellow"
9. Popa Chubby..."Palace of the King"
10. Foo Fighters..."My Hero"
11. Jane's Addiction..."Jane Says (live)"
12. Spider Virus..."Werewolf Ears"
13. Bill Fox..."Over and Away She Goes"
14. Underworld..."Push Upstairs"
15. Houndog..."No Chance"
16. Latin Playboys..."Mustard"
17. Sparklehorse..."Pig"
18. Coldplay..."Trouble (live at KCRW)"
19. BR-549..."Me 'n' Opie"
20. Bang On a Can All-Stars..."The Manufacture of Tangled Ivory"
21. Primitive Radio Gods..."Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth..."
22. Cocteau Twins..."Tishbite"
23. Sixteen Horsepower..."For Heaven's Sake"
24. The Derailers..."One More Time"
25. Rammstein..."Du Hast (English version)
26. The Cranes...Shining Road"
27. Bryan Ferry..."Mamouna"
28. American Football..."Never Meant"
29. Scotty Hard..."Days and Nights of Wine and Roses"
30. Ravi Shankar..."Mongalem"
31. Lusk..."Backworld"
32. Bela Fleck & the Flecktones..."Zona Mona"
33. Velvet Underground..."Ocean"
34. David Bowie..."The Heart's Filthy Lesson"
35. The Ramones..."Spider Man"
36. Lotion..."Marijuana Vietnam"
37. For Squirrels..."8:02 PM"
38. Capsize 7..."The Safe"
39. Superchunk..."Hyper Enough"
40. The Promise Ring..."Stop Playing Guitar"
41. Craig Armstrong/Evan Dando..."Wake Up In New York"
42. The Melvins..."The Brain Center at Whipples"
43. Wallflowers..."6th Avenue Heartache"
44. Mark Eitzel..."Southend On Sea"
45. Guided By Voices..."The Official Ironman Rally Song"
46. P.O.D. ..."Hollywood"
47. Steve Earle..."Transcendental Blues"
48. The Jayhawks..."I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"
49. Brak..."I Like Hubcaps"
50. Teenage Fanclub..."About You"
51. Silverchair..."Tomorrow"
52. Badly Drawn Boy..."Once Around the Block"
53. Mudvayne..."Dig"
54. Pele..."The Mind of Minolta"
55. Mary Lou Lord..."Lights are Changing"
56. Stereolab..."Captain Easychord"
57. Dog's Eye View..."Everything Falls Apart"
58. emmet swimming..."Jump Into the Water"
59. For Squirrels..."Mighty KC"
60. Ken Nordine..."Olive"
61. Ditch Croaker..."Meat Grinder"
62. Bally Sagoo..."Tum Bin Jiya"
63. Roy Montgomery..."Just Melancholy"
64. Thurston Moore..."Ono Soul"
65. Low..."Shame"
66. Satchel..."Suffering"
67. Moonwash..."Cold"
68. Matt Pond PA..."Canadian Song"
69. Chris Lee..."In Yellow Moonlight"
70. Teenage Fanclub..."Take the Long Way 'Round"
71. Reef..."Consideration"
72. Barry Black..."Tropical Fish Revival"
73. Miles Davis/John Coltrane..."'Round Midnight"
74. Unamerican..."Mary's Song"
75. Chemical Brothers..."Let Forever Be"
76. Three Fish..."Tremor Void"
77. Big Star..."September Gurls (live)"
78. Juno..."All Your Friends are Comedians"
79. Water..."Thoughts"
80. Armand Van Helden's Sampleslaya..."Ultrafunkula"
81. Red House Painters..."Byrd Joel"
82. Underworld..."Confusion the Waitress"
83. Joe Henry..."Trampoline"
84. Joel R. L. Phelps..."Ave Patricia"
85. The Clash..."Complete Control (live)"
86. Mahavishnu Orchestra..."John's Song"
87. Matthew Sweet..."Sick of Myself"
88. Jimi Hendrix..."Message of Love"
89. Joan Osbourne..."St. Theresa"
90. Underground Lovers...Dream It Down"
91. Bodeco..."Crazy Sexy Baby"
92. Garden Variety..."Binder"
93. Guided By Voices..."Squirmish Frontal Room"
94. Kings of Convenience..."Weight of My Words"
95. Cassandra Wilson..."Until"
96. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan..."My Comfort Remains"
97. Combine..."Know Regrets"
98. Desmond Simmons..."Counterpane"
99. Wood..."Stay You"
100. Sin Ropas..."Daddy's Lamp"
101. Meat Beat Manifesto..."It's the Music"
102. Tanya Donelly..."Pretty Deep"
103. Stereolab..."Miss Modular"
104. Cornershop..."Brimful of Asha"
105. Toenut..."Test Anxiety"
106. Ani DiFranco..."Fire Door"
107. Citizen's Utilities..."Northern Lights"
108. Boom Boom Satellites..."Push Eject"
109. Tom Waits..."Big In Japan"
110. Mitchell Froom..."Wave"
111. Versus..."Underground"
112. Parlor James..."House of Flesh and Bone"
113. Sun 60..."C'mon and Kiss Me"
114. Ani DiFranco..."Not a Pretty Girl"
115. Mogwai..."Sine Wave"
116. Buddy Guy..."Baby Please Don't Leave Me"
117. Sigur Ros..."Staralfur"
118. Deftones..."Rx Queen"
119. Jeff Buckley..."Last Goodbye"
120. Stillsuit..."Ring and Run"
121. Bjork..."The Hidden Place"
122. Gillian Welch..."April the 14th Part 1"
123. Sonic Youth..."The Diamond Sea"
124. Schtum..."Skydiver"
125. Ben Harper..."Ground On Down"
126. Radiohead..."Optimistic (live)"
127. Rainer Maria..."Artificial Light"
128. Merle Haggard..."Wishing All These Old Things Were New"
129. J Mascis & the Fog..."Where'd You Go?"
130. Paul Schultze..."Tears"
131. Illyah Karyahkin..."Crow"
132. Witness UK..."Scars"
133. Radiohead..."No Surprises (live)"
134. Swervedriver..."99th Dream"
135. Craig Armstrong/Liz Fraser..."This Love"
136. William Orbit..."Adagio"
137. Cypress Hill..."(Rock) Superstar"
138. DJ Food..."The Aging Young Rebel"
139. Del Amitri..."Not Where It's At"
140. Spiritualized..."Electricity"
141. Isley Brothers..."Fight the Powers (Parts 1 & 2)"
142. Goldie..."Temper, Temper"
143. Bruce Cockburn..."Call It Democracy (live)"
144. The Verve..."Lucky Man"
145. Jen Wood..."Q is for Question"
146. Gomez..."Bring It On"
147. Delirious?..."Gravity"
148. Tuatara..."Smuggler's Cove"
149. Hayden..."The Hazards of Sitting Beneath Palm Trees"



CHECK THIS OUT! Pandora customizes a personal radio station for you based upon an artist or song you supply. Then it offers up other songs/artist based upon positive or negative feedback you provide about each track as they are played.
So far I've created "Sigur Ros Radio" and "Red House Painters Radio" and the stuff they've offered is pretty decent (for instance, I got some Elliot Smith, Black Swans and Luka Bloom from the RHP station and a Bill Laswell track from the Sigur Ros station).
It's one of the coolest things I've come across on the internet.


A Blast From the Past!

Well, we finally got a new computer...nice little Dell number.
Finally have a CD burner...wow, I had no idea what I was missing (LimeWire *wink wink**nudge nudge*).
So I'm logging onto Blogger for the first time on this new computer and I guess I accidentally typed in my username without the large case letters..much to my surprise I was directed to my first attempt at blogging, a short-lived epic entitled Adventures In Retail Music Sales.
It was written during the time when I worked at a local CD Warehouse, and it's actually got some interesting stuff. I'll probably re-post some of it here in the near future, but if you just can't wait (and I know you can't), feel free to click HERE and witness it for yourself, in all it's antique templated glory.


Rotten's Response

Johnny Rotten

Maarts, from The Vinegar Stroke posted the following note from John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of the seminal punk band the Sex Pistols) on the Castaways forum and I thought it was worth posting here. It is, as soon becomes evident in reading the thing, Lydon's response to the news that the Pistols had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Bravo, Mr. Lydon. Seriously.
The Sex Pistols always disdained the whole system that makes such affairs as the R&RHoF possible and it would be the pinnacle of hypocrisy for them to attend and pretend that they were somehow honored to be inducted.
They've already made their statement, and in doing so they left their mark in an indelible manner not seen since the likes of the Beatles and the Velvet Underground...I mean, I won't even attempt to count the number of bands who were influenced by the Pistols or encouraged by them to pick up an instrument and start a band; even if it were only Joy Division and REM they would have deserved immense respect, but those two groups are just the tip of the iceberg of acts who have acknowledged them as influences.
And I think it's classy of Rotten to make his point in a note as opposed to showing up and making some grand nose-thumbing statement during the ceremony, which would have been controversial and legendary but would also be "working within the system" (using the R&RHoF as the venue would give publicity to the whole establishment, publicity that the Sex Pistols, already legendary and not a working band anymore, certainly don't need).


Last Night's Dream

In the dream my father and I are driving to the record store to pick up my brother, Charles. We've just been to the barber shop and both of us have new haircuts (his hidden beneath the Stetson hat he always wore). We're having a wonderful time together, such a time as I can't remember us sharing since I was a very young child, and indeed, I AM a lot younger in the dream.
We stop at the record store and he stays in the car while I run in to fetch my brother.
I find him and we look around for a few minutes at all the new albums before we leave.
On the way out Charles notices my haircut and mentions it to me. "You got your top chopped, didn't you?"
"Yeah," I reply, "Dad and I both did".
And so we get to the car, Charles climbing into the back seat, and in the back of my mind I'm thinking how odd it is that he's not fussing about "having to ride in back". I'd always thought of him as "Daddy's boy", they had always been so close, and I figured he'd want to sit up there with him. But he let me get in the front seat with no hassle and I thought that was swell of him, because I did want to continue riding shotgun with dad.
Charles and I got into the car at about the same time and he reached up and gave our father a hug and told him he loved him. I felt a tremendous wave of affection for him, too, and thoughts went through my mind of how a couple of years earlier he had died, but somehow, maybe a miracle, maybe a medical marvel, he had come back to life...but this was not like those stories you hear about doctors saving a person whose heart has stopped for a few minutes. No, my dad had been dead long enough for me to have very vivid memories of what it was like to live in the world without him, the loss and the grief still fresh in my mind. But there he was, sitting behind the wheel, waiting for us to get settled into the car, with that sweet familiar smile breaking out on his face when Charled told him that he loved him. He looked over at me and I felt a wave of love pass over me like a tsunami tide. I had to tell him something and I wasn't about to let it slide.
"Dad, I just want you to know that every single day I thank God for giving you back to us..."
He looked me in the eye and I could not read the expression in his face. No matter. I savored it for a moment as the realization slowly dawned on me that people don't get such second chances after they're dead and in the ground so...
I woke up into the real world where over 6 years had passed since I last saw my father alive. The dream was so realistic it almost broke my heart to leave it behind to waking life.
I have had similar dreams periodically over the course of the last few years. Some took frightening turns and some, like this one, were comforting. In all of them I come to the point where I realize that it's impossible for us to be together because he's passed on and I'm still in the land of the living. That's usually the point where I wake up.
I don't know what the dreams mean, and I can't say that I really want to know. They're bittersweet for me, but I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.
Maybe I'm naive but I've always thought that pleasant dreams were a glimpse of heaven, that sleep was a portal to another reality every bit as real as the one we inhabit, that such dreams are meant to be a source of hope for eternity.
As such, it is nice to see my dad and be with him in this manner as often as I'm blessed with these particular dreams. As I grow older and get closer to the day when we will be reunited I find that I can appreciate the dream as a reminder of how things once were. As such the waking and the realization of the difference between dream and reality are not as heart-breaking as they once were.
For whatever reason I'm reminded of what Jesus said, "With God all things are possible". In His sovereignty He has ordained laws of nature that, for our own good, place limits on human experience that demand terms like "possible" and "impossible". In the world of the spirit, however, there are no limits. Dreams take place in the world of the spirit where there are no limits.
I don't really know what the point of all this is...except that I miss my dad and I thank the Lord for giving me these dreams of him to tide me over until the day I leave this world and stand with all of my departed loved ones before our Saviour, together singing His praises and worshipping Him, celebrating with thanksgiving all the good things that come from Him...


David Crowder Band: A Collision

Took the day off of work, not wanting to drive 25 miles on slick, icy roads, so I'm sitting here in front of the compter listening to...

...and when it's done I'll push play again...I might as well push the "repeat" button, cuz I may want to hear it all day.
I mentioned in the RS.com Castaways forum that this is the most sonically rich "Christian" album I've ever heard...After hearing it a couple of times I have to revise that statement: A Collision is one of the most sonically rich albums I have ever heard...forget the labels.
Please, if you love inventive, original music, don't let the fact that this is music for and about God dissuade you from checking it out.

From the
band's website:

here is a snapshot of a small number of things that toppled into one another, resulting in our latest cd ­ a collision:

a book from the early 60's, neils bohr's model of the atom, the arabic numeral 3, the arabic numeral 4, a television show on the rural farm delivery network, cancer, a tsunami in east asia, the eschatology of bluegrass, an episode of columbo, country music legend/historian marty stuart, a jacket, a bomb, the barn behind my house, a conversation with a very intelligent acquaintance of mine who is currently finishing up phd work in super string theory, and who happened to mention, in very whimsical tone, one sunny texas afternoon, that we were, and i quote, "walking around in the sky." he said, while pointing to nothing in particular, "you see, there is the ground and there is the sky and we are somewhere in between. we're walking around in it. our feet are on the ground but..."

themes: an eschatological statement regarding death, mortality, good and evil, the second coming, the raising of the dead, oppression, deliverance, hope, bluegrass music, hiroshima, springtime, the quiet waiting that comes just before the loudest sound ever

Personal shout-out to my brother Charles (and anyone else with discerning taste in music):
You will thank me...


Bono's Prayer Breakfast Remarks

I've long been a fan of U2...one day maybe I'll tell you how I clasped Bono's hand while standing in the front row of a concert they gave in 1983...and even though his methods have been unorthodox, I respect Bono's commitment to worthwhile charitable causes and his outspoken activism in the fight against poverty, AIDS and other societal demons.

The following is a transcript of his remarks at the recent National Prayer Breakfast, which I offer for your entertainment and enlightenment...

Thank you.

Mr. President, First Lady, King Abdullah, Other heads of State, Members of Congress, distinguished guests…

Please join me in praying that I don’t say something we’ll all regret.

That was for the FCC.

If you’re wondering what I’m doing here, at a prayer breakfast, well, so am I. I’m certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather. It’s certainly not because I’m a rock star. Which leaves one possible explanation: I’m here because I’ve got a messianic complex.

Yes, it’s true. And for anyone who knows me, it’s hardly a revelation.

Well, I’m the first to admit that there’s something unnatural… something unseemly… about rock stars mounting the pulpit and preaching at presidents, and then disappearing to their villas in the South of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird enough when Jesse Helms showed up at a U2 concert… but this is really weird, isn’t it?

You know, one of the things I love about this country is its separation of church and state. Although I have to say: in inviting me here, both church and state have been separated from something else completely: their mind. .

Mr. President, are you sure about this?

It’s very humbling and I will try to keep my homily brief. But be warned—I’m Irish.

I’d like to talk about the laws of man, here in this city where those laws are written. And I’d like to talk about higher laws. It would be great to assume that the one serves the other; that the laws of man serve these higher laws… but of course, they don’t always. And I presume that, in a sense, is why you’re here.

I presume the reason for this gathering is that all of us here—Muslims, Jews, Christians—all are searching our souls for how to better serve our family, our community, our nation, our God.

I know I am. Searching, I mean. And that, I suppose, is what led me here, too.

Yes, it’s odd, having a rock star here—but maybe it’s odder for me than for you. You see, I avoided religious people most of my life. Maybe it had something to do with having a father who was Protestant and a mother who was Catholic in a country where the line between the two was, quite literally, a battle line. Where the line between church and state was… well, a little blurry, and hard to see.

I remember how my mother would bring us to chapel on Sundays… and my father used to wait outside. One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God.

For me, at least, it got in the way. Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land… and in this country, seeing God’s second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for cash… in fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment…

I must confess, I changed the channel. I wanted my MTV.

Even though I was a believer.

Perhaps because I was a believer.

I was cynical… not about God, but about God’s politics. (There you are, Jim.)

Then, in 1997, a couple of eccentric, septuagenarian British Christians went and ruined my shtick—my reproachfulness. They did it by describing the Millennium, the year 2000, as a Jubilee year, as an opportunity to cancel the chronic debts of the world’s poorest people. They had the audacity to renew the Lord’s call—and were joined by Pope John Paul II, who, from an Irish half-Catholic’s point of view, may have had a more direct line to the Almighty.

‘Jubilee’—why ‘Jubilee’?

What was this year of Jubilee, this year of our Lords favor?

I’d always read the Scriptures, even the obscure stuff. There it was in Leviticus (25:35)…

‘If your brother becomes poor,’ the Scriptures say, ‘and cannot maintain himself… you shall maintain him… You shall not lend him your money at interest, not give him your food for profit.’

It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this. Jesus is a young man, he’s met with the rabbis, impressed everyone, people are talking. The elders say, he’s a clever guy, this Jesus, but he hasn’t done much… yet. He hasn’t spoken in public before…

When he does, is first words are from Isaiah: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,’ he says, ‘because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.’ And Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord’s favour, the year of Jubilee. (Luke 4:18)

What he was really talking about was an era of grace—and we’re still in it.

So fast-forward 2,000 years. That same thought, grace, was made incarnate—in a movement of all kinds of people. It wasn’t a bless-me club… it wasn’t a holy huddle. These religious guys were willing to get out in the streets, get their boots dirty, wave the placards, follow their convictions with actions… making it really hard for people like me to keep their distance. It was amazing. I almost started to like these church people.

But then my cynicism got another helping hand.

It was what Colin Powell, a five-star general, called the greatest W.M.D. of them all: a tiny little virus called A.I.D.S. And the religious community, in large part, missed it. The one’s that didn’t miss it could only see it as divine retribution for bad behaviour. Even on children… Even fastest growing group of HIV infections were married, faithful women.

Aha, there they go again! I thought to myself Judgmentalism is back!

But in truth, I was wrong again. The church was slow but the church got busy on this the leprosy of our age.

Love was on the move.

Mercy was on the move.

God was on the move.

Moving people of all kinds to work with others they had never met, never would have cared to meet… Conservative church groups hanging out with spokesmen for the gay community, all singing off the same hymn sheet on AIDS… Soccer moms and quarterbacks… hip-hop stars and country stars… This is what happens when God gets on the move: crazy stuff happens!

Popes were seen wearing sunglasses!

Jesse Helms was seen with a ghetto blaster!

Crazy stuff. Evidence of the spirit.

It was breathtaking. Literally. It stopped the world in its tracks.

When churches started demonstrating on debt, governments listened—and acted. When churches starting organising, petitioning, and even—that most unholy of acts today, God forbid, lobbying… on AIDS and global health, governments listened—and acted.

I’m here today in all humility to say: you changed minds; you changed policy; you changed the world.

Look, whatever thoughts you have about God, who He is or if He exists, most will agree that if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives.

Check Judaism. Check Islam. Check pretty much anyone.

I mean, God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill… I hope so. He may well be with us as in all manner of controversial stuff… maybe, maybe not… But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths and ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor.

God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house… God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives… God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war… God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. “If you remove the yolk from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like midday and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places”

It’s not a coincidence that in the Scriptures, poverty is mentioned more than 2,100 times. It’s not an accident. That’s a lot of air time, 2,100 mentions. [You know, the only time Christ is judgmental is on the subject of the poor.] ‘As you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.’ (Matthew 25:40). As I say, good news to the poor.

Here’s some good news for the President. After 9-11 we were told America would have no time for the World’s poor. America would be taken up with its own problems of safety. And it’s true these are dangerous times, but America has not drawn the blinds and double-locked the doors.

In fact, you have double aid to Africa. You have tripled funding for global health. Mr. President, your emergency plan for AIDS relief and support for the Global Fund—you and Congress—have put 700,000 people onto life-saving anti-retroviral drugs and provided 8 million bed nets to protect children from malaria.

Outstanding human achievements. Counterintuitive. Historic. Be very, very proud.

But here’s the bad news. From charity to justice, the good news is yet to come. There’s is much more to do. There’s a gigantic chasm between the scale of the emergency and the scale of the response.

And finally, it’s not about charity after all, is it? It’s about justice.

Let me repeat that: It’s not about charity, it’s about justice.

And that’s too bad.

Because you’re good at charity. Americans, like the Irish, are good at it. We like to give, and we give a lot, even those who can’t afford it.

But justice is a higher standard. Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.

6,500 Africans are still dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, for lack of drugs we can buy at any drug store. This is not about charity, this is about Justice and Equality.

Because there's no way we can look at what’s happening in Africa and, if we're honest, conclude that deep down, we really accept that Africans are equal to us. Anywhere else in the world, we wouldn’t accept it. Look at what happened in South East Asia with the Tsunami. 150, 000 lives lost to that misnomer of all misnomers, “mother nature”. In Africa, 150,000 lives are lost every month. A tsunami every month. And it’s a completely avoidable catastrophe.

It’s annoying but justice and equality are mates. Aren’t they? Justice always wants to hang out with equality. And equality is a real pain.

You know, think of those Jewish sheep-herders going to meet the Pharaoh, mud on their shoes, and the Pharaoh says, “Equal?” A preposterous idea: rich and poor are equal? And they say, “Yeah, ‘equal,’ that’s what it says here in this book. We’re all made in the image of God.”

And eventually the Pharaoh says, “OK, I can accept that. I can accept the Jews—but not the blacks.”

“Not the women. Not the gays. Not the Irish. No way, man.”

So on we go with our journey of equality.

On we go in the pursuit of justice.

We hear that call in the ONE Campaign, a growing movement of more than two million Americans… left and right together… united in the belief that where you live should no longer determine whether you live.

We hear that call even more powerfully today, as we mourn the loss of Coretta Scott King—mother of a movement for equality, one that changed the world but is only just getting started. These issues are as alive as they ever were; they just change shape and cross the seas.

Preventing the poorest of the poor from selling their products while we sing the virtues of the free market… that’s a justice issue. Holding children to ransom for the debts of their grandparents… That’s a justice issue. Withholding life-saving medicines out of deference to the Office of Patents… that’s a justice issue.

And while the law is what we say it is, God is not silent on the subject.

That’s why I say there’s the law of the land… and then there is a higher standard. There’s the law of the land, and we can hire experts to write them so they benefit us, so the laws say it’s OK to protect our agriculture but it’s not OK for African farmers to do the same, to earn a living?

As the laws of man are written, that’s what they say.

God will not accept that.

Mine won’t, at least. Will yours?


I close this morning on … very… thin… ice.

This is a dangerous idea I’ve put on the table: my God vs. your God, their God vs. our God… vs. no God. It is very easy, in these times, to see religion as a force for division rather than unity.

And this is a town—Washington—that knows something of division.

But the reason I am here, and the reason I keep coming back to Washington, is because this is a town that is proving it can come together on behalf of what the Scriptures call the least of these.

This is not a Republican idea. It is not a Democratic idea. It is not even, with all due respect, an American idea. Nor it is unique to any one faith.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.’ (Luke 6:30) Jesus says that.

‘Righteousness is this: that one should… give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the emancipation of the captives.’ The Koran says that. (2.177)

Thus sayeth the Lord: ‘Bring the homeless poor into the house, when you see the naked, cover him, then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring fourth, then your Lord will be your rear guard.’ The jewish scripture says that. Isaiah 58 again.

That is a powerful incentive: ‘The Lord will watch your back.’ Sounds like a good deal to me, right now.

A number of years ago, I met a wise man who changed my life. In countless ways, large and small, I was always seeking the Lord’s blessing. I was saying, you know, I have a new song, look after it… I have a family, please look after them… I have this crazy idea…

And this wise man said: stop.

He said, stop asking God to bless what you’re doing.

Get involved in what God is doing—because it’s already blessed.

Well, God, as I said, is with the poor. That, I believe, is what God is doing.

And that is what He’s calling us to do.

I was amazed when I first got to this country and I learned how much some churchgoers tithe. Up to ten percent of the family budget. Well, how does that compare the federal budget, the budget for the entire American family? How much of that goes to the poorest people in the world? Less than one percent.

Mr. President, Congress, people of faith, people of America:

I want to suggest to you today that you see the flow of effective foreign assistance as tithing…. Which, to be truly meaningful, will mean an additional one percent of the federal budget tithed to the poor.

What is one percent?

One percent is not merely a number on a balance sheet.

One percent is the girl in Africa who gets to go to school, thanks to you. One percent is the AIDS patient who gets her medicine, thanks to you. One percent is the African entrepreneur who can start a small family business thanks to you. One percent is not redecorating presidential palaces or money flowing down a rat hole. This one percent is digging waterholes to provide clean water.

One percent is a new partnership with Africa, not paternalism towards Africa, where increased assistance flows toward improved governance and initiatives with proven track records and away from boondoggles and white elephants of every description.

America gives less than one percent now. Were asking for an extra one percent to change the world. to transform millions of lives—but not just that and I say this to the military men now – to transform the way that they see us.

One percent is national security, enlightened economic self interest, and a better safer world rolled into one. Sounds to me that in this town of deals and compromises, one percent is the best bargain around.

These goals—clean water for all; school for every child; medicine for the afflicted, an end to extreme and senseless poverty—these are not just any goals; they are the Millennium Development goals, which this country supports. And they are more than that. They are the Beatitudes for a Globalised World.

Now, I’m very lucky. I don’t have to sit on any budget committees. And I certainly don’t have to sit where you do, Mr. President. I don’t have to make the tough choices.

But I can tell you this:

To give one percent more is right. It’s smart. And it’s blessed.

There is a continent—Africa—being consumed by flames.

I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did—or did not to—to put the fire out in Africa.

History, like God, is watching what we do.

Thank you. Thank you, America, and God bless you all.