Music · Uncategorized

Best Music of 2013 – Things I Found

The_Walking_In_Between_album_coverBen Rector – The Walking in Between 

A friend of mine introduced me to the genius of Rector and he quickly became one of my most played artists of the year. I love all his albums, but this is his newest and it did not let down from the quality I had come to expect. I saw him in concert and he is brilliant live. If you don’t know him or have not hear his music, do yourself a favor and drop what you are doing and go get this!

Favorite tracks:

Ordinary Love, When I’m With You, Sailboat (Honestly the whole thing!)

71kAct3OGkL._SL1500_Imagine Dragons – Night Visions

Very seldom is there an album that comes out these days that I will just listen to straight through, this is one of the few. I have listened to this at least 30 times, all the way through. The lyrics are fantastic and the music will have you humming for days. This is a great band! (Excited to see then in concert in 2014)

Favorite tracks:

It’s Time, Demons, On Top of the World, Amsterdam

Derek Webb I Was Wro#F0A679Derek Webb – I Was Wrong, I’m Sorry and I Love You

Webb had lost me for a while with his music, yet he reeled me back in with his latest album. Honest, real and reminiscent of his past stuff while at the same time sounding completely fresh; he has created something wonderful. This album spoke to me and God used it to remind me of some truths I have trouble accepting. As usual, Webb has tapped into the realities of life and crafted something that reminds you, you are not alone in your hardship or questions.

Favorite tracks:

I Was Wrong, I’m Sorry & I Love You, Lover, Pt.3, Everything Will Change

0C10D72A-AE28-1A57-5304942B93BA7C5AJohn Mayer – Paradise Valley

I have been following Mayer since he came on the music scene and have mostly enjoyed every single album, but this one captures the magic of his Room for Squares while mixing in all he has learned over the past 13 years. For me Mayer is summer – riding with the windows open through the valleys of Colorado with my best friend and he delivers again with Paradise Valley. This is an album I can turn on anytime and enjoy.

Favorite tracks:

Wildfire, Who You Love, You’re No One ‘Til Someone Lets You Down

714-GxzvBpL._SL1200_Sara Bareillis – The Blessed Unrest

Bareillis has a way with lyrics that speaks to my heart like few other artists. I love this album, it is another that I can listen through all the way, almost anytime. I was lucky enough to see her in concert this year and she is amazing. Her voice is one of my favorites of all time. You should not miss this album. (Confession – I frequently listen to “Little Black Dress” on repeat, it’s just that kind of song)

Favorite tracks:

Brave, Chasing the Sun, Manhattan, Little Black Dress, Cassiopeia, 1000 Times, I Choose You

jack_johnson_from_here_to_now_to_you-portadaJack Johnson – From Here to Now to You

Johnson is like an audio Corona commercial and this album is no different. I love being able to turn it on and immediately feel miles from anywhere. This is classic Johnson with some fun new sounds.

Favorite tracks:

I Got You, Washing Dishes, Never Fade, Tape Deck

Jars of Clay - Inland cover artJars of Clay – Inland

I had not listened to Jars of Clay in more years that I can count, so when I randomly came across their new album on iTunes, I was blown away. This is a gritty and authentic album about the struggles of life and faith. I am so thankful for this album and it’s message of hope in the midst of life’s hurricanes.

Favorite tracks:

After the Fight, Reckless Forgiver, Love in Hard Times

OneRepublic-Native-2013-2000x2000OneRepublic – Native

I have always enjoyed OneRepublic but this album captured me. I saw them live and they rocked so many of the songs from this new record as well as their old classics. This is an album meant to be turned up and sung to or danced too. So pick it up and dance it out.

Favorite tacks:

Counting Stars, If I Lose Myself, Feel Again, What You Wanted, Can’t Stop

thecivilwars-1375124398-1375306352The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars

I found The Civil Wars earlier in the year and was very excited to learn that they would have a new album in 2013. This album continues their sound and quality. I love the revival of Folk in popular music and they are so talented. Lovely harmonies and heart-rending lyrics, what more could you ask for.

Favorite tracks:

Dust to Dust, Eavesdrop, From This Valley, Sacred Heart, D’Arline

Cover__300RGB-9Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal

I found this band because they have a song on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty soundtrack. Best of all was that, that song was not the only good thing they have done. Folksy-rockish and just plain good. They have an alternative sound that can’t be beat. It you haven’t heard them I recommend you check them out.

Favorite tracks:

Dirty Paws, King and Lionheart, Mountain Sound, Little Talks

My Favorite One-Off Tracks

Wake Me Up – Avicli

Step Out – José González

Lorde – Royals

Sweeter than Fiction – Taylor Swift

Gunger – Beautiful Things & The Earth is Yours

Comment and tell me what you liked in 2013

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Christianity · College · Culture · Derek Webb · Faith · Jars of Clay · Man of Steel · Matt Chandler · Movies · Music · Superheroes · Superman · The Village Church · Wonder Woman

Owl Post 9-5-13

Owl Post

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The Cul-de-sac of Stupidity:

cul-de-sacColossians 1:19-21

In the passage above, Paul speaks of our alienation from God resulting from the work of our hostile minds, an alienation ended at the crucifixion of Christ. Until we understand the reconciling work of the cross, we will remain stuck in our patterns of alienation—from God and others.

How Logic Can Help Save a College Student’s Faith:

Human-Logic-Brain“I’m a liberal, pacifist, atheist, and if you don’t like it, you can leave,” the professor said as he began the first day of Renaissance history at the University of Colorado. Joni Raille, who grew up in a conservative Christian home, was taken aback and wondered what her professor’s bluntness had to do with Renaissance history. I asked her if she ever considered dropping the course. “No,” she replied, “I can learn from anybody, even if he is an atheist.”

New Music: Jars of Clay’s Inland:

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpgI am that rare Jars of Clay fan who does not hold their debut album in highest esteem. It is not a bad album by any means–”Worlds Apart” is a classic–but it never reached me the way If I Left the Zoo (my first Jars album), Who We Are Instead and Good Monsters did. Those three are the albums by which I judge their output. In certain circles, that statement would have me discredited. So I may not be the best person to write this review. Of course, that has never stopped me before.

The Psychology of the Man of Steel: Should Today’s Superman Be More Morally Realistic?

jacobin-man-of-steelSuperman has changed, and there’s no denying this. Although he wears the same iconic “S” on his chest, the Superman we see in the film Man of Steel embodies a very different psychological makeup than in past versions of this DC Comics hero. He questions whether humanity is worth saving. He is driven by emotions like anger and desperation. He seems reckless, destructive, and impulsively violent. This article, which includes some spoilers, examines why this new Superman represents a more psychologically realistic version of the iconic character, and asks us to question whether a more morally fallible Superman makes more sense in a post-9/11 society.

Derek Webb Was Wrong, He’s Sorry, and He Loves You:

d6c009d654bfc269e774924d8837bddcDerek Webb first appeared in the Christian music scene with the Texan folk-rock band Caedmon’s Call. On their 1996 self-titled record, Caedmon’s Call (their first national release), he was the angst-ridden voice, expressing doubts and agony that weren’t common threads in CCM. Some instantly identified—people who’d always felt a bit out of place in the church, for whom doubts and struggles were constant. For other listeners, Webb was like the outspoken skeptic in your small group, the one who seemed suspicious of sentiment that were a little too warm and smiles that were a little too plastic. In nearly 20 years since, he’s maintained that posture, agitating and provoking the very world his music inhabits.

Wonder Woman Can’t Have it All:

Blue-Eyes-wonder-woman-3338872-1024-768Following any Wonder Woman project isn’t unlike reading some gossip rag about producers and directors dealing with a talented, but demanding actress. “Challenging” is the reason filmmakers give when Wonder Woman projects fail. “We are still trying right now, but she’s tricky,” is a DC Comics executive Diane Nelson’s explanation of why the company hasn’t moved forward with a film. In a self-perpetuating cycle, studios constantly wonder if enough people will buy tickets to a Wonder Woman movie, or if she has enough star power to anchor a film on her own. Inevitably, the first question journalists usually ask hopeful producers is why they’d ever take on such a “hefty” project.