Archive for the ‘ music ’ Category

// sunday music: spring

Okay, three miscellaneous picks that made me think of Spring this week, in celebration of the fact that the sun has come out.

First up, from Jon Foreman‘s “Spring EP”, the breezy and cheerful Baptize my Mind. I was shocked this didn’t make Foreman’s album – I think it’s one of his best EP tracks and I love the Dave Matthews feel about it. You can grooveshark it here too:

Next up, because Spring often makes me feel melancholy for some reason, Colin Hay and I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you. Might seem a little downbeat, but there’s something in his wry, knowing wistfulness that just seems right for the season. Beautiful song, perfect in Garden State. On Grooveshark here:

And, finally, David Crowder Band‘s magnificent and breathless live version of a song called I will not be silent (make a joyful noise), which is the most joyful thing you’ll hear all week. It’s incredible. Grooveshark it here and there’s a video below:

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There you go – that should set you up nicely for the start of spring, whatever your mood is.

I’ll see you on Friday!


// saturday round-up (19/03)

Okay, I’ve been pretty unreliable at posting a Saturday round-up for the past month for a variety of reasons, but that means that this week it’s really a best of the past month. Which is good, as there’s some pretty excellent stuff on here.

As you’d expect, plenty on Rob Bell too, but I’ve tried to keep it to a minimum.

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// 11 ridiculous things that keep youth groups from growing – Brilliant, brilliant insight from REyouth Pastor, which constitutes essential reading if you’re involved with youth.

// greatest church mural ever – I recently redecorated the youth room at our church. I wish I’d done this, though:

// london coffee – On the trip to New York City I took this month, I had the best cup of coffee that I’ve ever tasted. Honestly, it was so good it made me kind of emotional (it was at Everyman Espresso and is at 136 East 13th St, incidentally, but keep it quiet…)

There were no words. However, if you’re in the UK, I suspect jonnybaker’s map of London coffee hotspots will provide something comparable.

// youth ministry essentials – teaching students the story of the Bible – I love youthministry360, and this is part of the reason why. Since becoming a youth worker I’ve really rediscovered my evangelical roots, and this is a great help in planning a teaching programme…

// Rob Bell – I was actually at the live webchat Rob Bell did in New York and my chief thought was about how annoying he was, unable to give an answer in less than 500 words. That said, I’ve read Love Wins and although I don’t think its ambiguous writing style is going to help Rob’s critics – or some of the people reading – it does actually have some really decent insights in. I think it’s worth reading, but only if you can face the inevitable long (and possibly pointless) arguments that everyone will have with you as a result, regardless of your position.

Incredibly, though, there is a typo in the penultimate word in the whole book. And it’s a typo on the word “love”.

More interesting, perhaps, is the debate that’s been raging around it. Krish Kandiah’s thoughts in an article entitled “Grace, Truth and Rob Bell” are well worth look at, and as are Eugene Petersen, who, having endorsed the book, is unmissable. The summary that Tall Skinny Kiwi posted of the debate is a good overview of the varying positions and is a welcome invitation to avoid Al Mohler’s view on the whole thing. A great article from Jonathan Keck at Theology 21 is here and most of Jesus Needs New PR’s coverage has been pretty balanced too.

// to Ephesus and beyond – The lent reading series by John Stephenson has been thought-provoking this week, so worth looking at. I’m new to the blog though, so I can’t comment beyond that.

// vertigo – If you’re involved with youth work in Oxford in any way, please add this to your blogroll – your involvement in the community we’re trying to grow will really help especially because things are going to really kick off in the next few weeks.

// Friday – Oh, wow. This is something else:

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And that’s all for today.

I’ll see you tomorrow for sunday music!

// sunday music: aftermath

Okay, this week’s sunday music is coming from the new Hillsong United album “Aftermath”, which I know a significant amount of the readers of this blog have probably already heard. If you haven’t, though, it’s well worth a listen – you can hear the full thing on grooveshark here.

The last Hillsong United studio album was “All of the Above”, which featured in the top worship albums of the past decade, and the new one is equally powerful. It’s reflective, innovative and profound; proof that Hillsong are at their best not when they are doing the epic and high-energy but in the moments of stillness instead.

Pick number one is the title track, Aftermath. Love the piano on this and the lyrics are amazing:

My favourite track from the new album, Bones, is pick number two today. The simple chorus – a breath of “oh, Jesus” that sounds like a whispered prayer – has a real power, and I love the spoken word refrain of Isaiah 61, even if the synths do make it sound a bit like worship music has just now reached the 80s:

And finally, pick number three is Awakening, the title track of the last Passion album and a song co-written with Chris Tomlin. It’s appeared on a few albums, but I love the slow, thoughtful delivery on this CD and the bridge, with Reuben Morgan declaring “like the rising sun that shines | from the darkness comes a light | i hear Your voice and this is my | awakening” is amazing:

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And that’s your lot for today. I’ll try to post the saturday round-up later today but I can’t make any promises on that front – life is so busy at the moment it’s unbelievable.

// sunday music: music for a found harmonium

Just the one pick for today’s sunday music, really – made famous by its appearance in Napoleon Dynamite, today’s music is Patrick Street‘s cover of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s Music for a Found Harmonium. It’s marvellous – quirky and cheerful, a lot like the film itself. Listen to it on grooveshark here, or there’s a Youtube video below:

I was also going to post a video of the prom scene from Napoleon Dynamite, soundtracked by Alphaville‘s original version of “Forever Young” and probably one of the most poignant depictions of teenage loneliness that I’ve seen on film. However, it’s not on Youtube, so you’ll have to make do with the tune here.

A band called Youth Group did a good job on it before Jay-Z got to it, too (listen to that here).

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And that’s your lot for today – I’ll see you next Friday!

Sorry about the irregular posting the past two weeks, things have been crazy busy – I’ll be back to normal next week.

// saturday round-up (19/02)

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK: “the Holy Spirit, the internet and bloggers like you and me” – Loved this article describing Christian bloggers as “pioneers”, people stepping out into uncharted territory. What do you think? It seems to me like there’s a lot of good in the discussions about Christian faith currently going on online.


// learning how to reach out to all families in your community – Great article from REyouth pastor about holistic and whole-family youth work, which links in well with Krish Kandiah’s article below. Check it out here.

// it takes a whole church to raise a child – On a similar theme to REyouth pastor, it’s great to see this topic on people’s radar at the moment. Check it out here and see if you can shed any light on the conversation or how you can live it out in your situation.

// the beginning and end of marriage – More great stuff from The Church of No People‘s “Love Month”. Some controversial topics for discussion, but all in all a very thought-provoking article from a great series. Go here.

// going solo – Another week where Jon Acuff’s Serious Wednesday post was exactly what I needed to hear. It’s here.


// come alive – Amazing video from CMS (thanks jonnybaker for passing it on) which creatively uses Foo Fighters lyrics to create an excellent, thoughtful meditation. I love this:

// the ‘love chapter’ as you never heard it before – Amazing rendering of a very familiar chapter that brings a whole new freshness to the words. Go here (via. Jesus Needs New PR).

// james blake – If you’ve not heard James Blake yet, check him out here. Echoes of Bon Iver and a really novel approach to music – his album’s streaming all over the place but you can hear bits of it here; it’s a grower, but it is weirdly beautiful.

// spring offensive – Certainly one of my favourite Oxford bands, Spring Offensive are giving away a “pay-what-you-like” acoustic EP called Between You and Me for another two days here. You should get it, and then you should go to see them, too, because live they are amazing.


// awkward “you’re single?” conversations at church – Yep, I’ve had some of these.

// purchase justification – “Is it even possible to make Kingdom impact while using a Dell?” The answer is no (I know.) Brilliant guest post from Tyler Stanton at SCL. Read it here.

// hardcore bible thumping spirit filled jesus freaks: This is just amazing:

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And that’s your lot for today. See you tomorrow for sunday music.

// sunday music update: long distance lullaby

I just realised what today’s sunday music was missing, and it’s this – Oxford’s Stornoway, and their stunning album closer “Long Distance Lullaby”. Best enjoyed through headphones and accessible here, it tells the story of a man who finds himself drunkenly wandering home one night in a tone that both simultaneously resigned and hopeful, like the ramblings of a close friend. For all the melancholy, it’s also kind of life-affirming.

Eccentric, ambitious and building to a stunning climax, it is the perfect love song to be listening to as you step into Valentine’s Day, whether or not you are attached. It’s on YouTube here, but the grooveshark link above is higher quality so I’d advise using that instead. Enjoy:

// sunday music: Valentine’s Day

Well, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and so today here are three (kind of) love songs. Don’t say I don’t know how to treat you:

First up, the joyful Hellogoodbye with “Oh, it is Love!” – on grooveshark here and youtube here (it won’t embed, but the video is worth following up).

Summery, upbeat and exuberantly romantic, you can’t really beat it, especially on a grey February morning:

Pick number two is a whole different kettle of fish, with The National and “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” providing an oddly triumphant cry of “All the very best of us | String ourselves up for love” that should provide a fitting antidote to your situation if you’re single and feeling depressed about it. Grooveshark here and watch it here:

And finally, Switchfoot and “Your Love is a Song”, a kind-of love song that provides a fitting coda to this post. It’s not on Grooveshark, so watch it here:

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And that’s all for today.

I love you all, I hope you know that.

See you on Friday!