Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the starline, the sky at nighttime, circles and circles

Last night I ventured out into the unseasonably temperate Fresno night to see Circles and Circles
at the band's one year birthday party show, put on by Love, the Captive.

I quite enjoyed myself, not only were Circles and Circles very good, think post-apocalyptic-era Death Cab for Cutie meets the BSS presents solo records from Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew, but I also thoroughly enjoyed Aspen Hollow and The Ready Aim Fire.

The RAF were plagued by lighting and sound issues, as were Circles and Circles, plus vocalist Dave Trautz vocals were shrouded in the most-intense reverb since My Morning Jacket recorded it's first record. In spite of all that, they were energetic, spunky, entertaining and the songs were of the variety of Vagrant-records-circa 1999 post-punk that you just don't hear these days. Also, they had some nice synthesizers and they cop to being influenced by Counting Crows on their website. In fact, I liked them so much that I bought the record, Strong Enough from iTunes.

Upon hearing it twice, I still really like them, however, I am wondering if there is some happy middle ground between the live insano-verb and the relatively dry vocals on the record?

here's a great video by circles and circles, a great fresno band already and only one year into existence.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

i'm sick of the american league

sorry everyone for the lack of meaningful blog entries, Bob returned to the office and I breathed a sigh of relief. I've really enjoyed the past three weeks but they have been crazy nonetheless. No sign of the craziness abating but I should get some more blogging in (as is the case with rocknroll, it seems kind of silly to think of blogging as a priority item, still I press on)

Two videos for you tonight: my Revenger vs. Reconciler talk (the audio is pretty horrible though due to the fact that the guitar amp microphones are the source so it may be futile) and the overdubs playing "drive all night" at yoshi now on saturday afternoon. the audio is surprisingly good on that one.

I had to make a hard choice and miss Jesus for President, did anyone else go? What happened? I caught Claiborne's blog in Sojo on Monday but no specific mention of Fresno.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

aquatic recreation, G8, George W. Bush

Watching Amelia play in her kiddie pool this afternoon in the 106-degree heat, I was compelled to reflect on how much we are blessed just to live in a country with a clean water supply that is abundant enough for us to water our lawns with and even, gasp! to enjoy water recreation. That fact alone is pretty incredible.

So despite the 111 forecast for tomorrow and in spite of the less-than-desirable air quality and in spite of the failing economy and the war on Iraq and the high gas prices, I choose to be thankful that I live here, in Fresno, in California, in one of the most prosperous countries in the history of mankind. I'm looking forward to hearing from my friends and coworkers Nate and Dave(that looks like COW workers if you read fast) who have arrived safely in the Congo and begun the Jubilee project.

Meanwhile, as the G8 summit continues-- in spite of international pressure, it appears as though the power countries may not reaffirm their commitment to the continent of Africa.
If so, this could spell disaster for many of the relief efforts currently under way. One question I have for all of the band-wagon AIDS-crusading celebrities...where are you now? Is the election of a democratic president really more important than supporting the current administration on one of the few things Bush has really done well: advocate for Africa and AIDS relief? I am no Dubya fan but I will give hime credit for staying true to the cause.

wholesome character(s), red letters, talking

I'm in the final leg of my three consecutive weeks of speaking on the Red Letters of Jesus as found in the Sermon on the Mount. Last week was the hardest because I spoke in all three gatherings but it has been both illuminating and painful in some ways to learn what all of you 50-weeks-a-year teaching pastors go through.

If any of you are interested, here's the second of three talks that I gave at 10:15 am on Sunday.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

G8 Urgent Action Needed

Monday, the Financial Times reported that the G8 leaders may be planning to backtrack on their promises to the world’s poor. Yesterday, Reuters reported tensions are building between African and G8 leaders as the G8 fail to deliver on their aid commitments.

This news is disappointing, and shows that our efforts are desperately needed.

I just signed a petition asking the G8 take urgent action against extreme poverty, and I'm hoping that you'll join me.

Sign the petition now at:

There has been a lot of progress against extreme poverty in recent years, but, as recent headlines about the global food crisis will tell you, there is still much to be done.

When we unite with one voice and call upon our leaders to take action, we can and will solve these problems.

[Though the canned text sounds a little, well, canned, I appreciate whoever writes it so I left it alone but if you haven't signed the original ONE declaration, you can do so on the right column of this blog, if you're already a ONE member please sign the petition.]