Tag Archives: Taylor Swift

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Exclusive: Read J.K. Rowling’s new post for the latest Harry Potter ‘gossip’

550w_movies_harry_potter_epilogue_4Can’t get enough of Harry Potter? Then this is for you. Since March, best-selling author J. K. Rowling has been writing original stories about the imaginary 2014 Quidditch World Cup Finals for Pottermore, the online home for the world of Harry Potter. 

Rowling shared her latest Pottermore.com story exclusively with TODAY.com. Written in the voice of the fictional Daily Prophet’s gossip correspondent Rita Skeeter, this post centers around the reunion of Harry Potter and his friends at the Quidditch World Cup Finals. Click here for the new Harry Potter Story 

For Taylor Swift, the Future of Music Is a Love Story

taylor-swift-red-largeWhere will the music industry be in 20 years, 30 years, 50 years?

Before I tell you my thoughts on the matter, you should know that you’re reading the opinion of an enthusiastic optimist: one of the few living souls in the music industry who still believes that the music industry is not dying…it’s just coming alive

Gbj6CRxJustice’ is served with another helping of Superman

Who’s better, Superman or Batman? Zack Snyder doesn’t have to choose a favorite since he’s getting to put both on the big screen at the same time.

The director of last year’s Man of Steel doubles down on A-list superheroes in his follow-up Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (in theaters May 6, 2016), teaming a returning Henry Cavill as the big guy in the cape and “S” on his chest with Ben Affleck as the latest cinematic incarnation of the Dark Knight.

Europe Is Starting to Take American Soccer Seriously (Seriously!)

article-2594795-1CC15A9B00000578-590_634x457Did American soccer just win the football world’s respect?

The World Cup is over for the U.S.A. after a heartbreaking loss to Belgium. But that defeat made for what some regard as perhaps the best match of a tournament that has thrilled from the start. More importantly, the U.S. has been called a “world-class team” by the likes of Barry Glendenning, the ever-critical football writer from The Guardian. Glendenning is perhaps not the Supreme Leader of Football (that title belongs to Sepp Blatter), but he is near the epicenter of international football, and he does not compliment teams lightly.

The real story behind the war over YA novels

91o13sPo7VLFew categories of literature right now seem to receive the level of hatred reserved for young adult fiction, which is the subject of nearly endless editorials on its supposed inanity, excessive sexuality, darkness, and girlyness. It doesn’t escape notice that there’s a strong whiff of sexism underlying the wave of YA hate—the genre is heavily dominated by women, and female authors can recount their experiences with sexism first hand.

Coming Out as a Christian

social-mediaI’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to live transparently—especially when it comes to my digital life. For as long as I’ve been on social media (I first joined Facebook in 2005), I’ve oscillated between expressing myself honestly and expressing contrived personas that I broadcast on Twitter, Instagram, and everywhere else.

Take, for instance, my well-documented love of Rolling Rock. Anyone who follows me on any website knows I’ve posted endlessly about the famously watery beer for the past three years. My Instagram feed was once a veritable shrine to Rolling Rock. My friends gave me four cases of it for my birthday last year. Heck, my Twitter fan club (yes, it’s still weird to me, too) uses a picture of Rolling Rock as its header image! I know how to advertise my love for a product.

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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