reviews


features&front page&reviews&walkTRu07 Sep 2012 01:27 pm

I know I promised this earlier in the week, but things have a way of cropping up. We do now have another sneak peek with some fresh content for you over on the front page. Head over to http://trudatmusic.com/sneak.htm to catch a glimpse of the new layout in action, as showcased by a WalkTRu of Lecrae’s Gravity, an album review of The Upside of Down by Chris August, and a brand new feature we’re trying out called “The Headline TRus.” I think it’s pretty good stuff and hope you do, too.

Let me know what you think, if you notice any formatting oddities, or anything like that. Expect more such updates, sneak peeks, and progress in the coming weeks.

Peep theTRu and tell your friends, too!

peace… love… bdg…

announcements&features&front page&MUSIC&reviews&reviews&walkTRu24 Aug 2012 12:04 pm

If you’re not a “fan”— Wait, I mean, if you don’t “like” theTRu. on facebook or follow me on twitter (*hint, hint*), then you may not realize what’s going on with the front page here at theTRu. (Yes, Virginia – and other states – there IS a front page.)

Well, to make a long story short, I had the best intentions when I pulled the site down for a redesign a year and a half ago, but life got in the way. Recently, I’ve picked up the plow again and the work is underway. In the meantime, as a show of good faith and to tease your palate, I posted a sneak peek at the new design and content earlier this week. This preview includes a WalkTRu of the new TobyMac album (due out on the 28th), a review of the Rhett Walker Band debut album, and a brand new Left to Write editorial.

I mention this now, because by Monday, there will be more new content, including a brand new feature. And in the coming days, you can expect more from theTRu. I’m committed to finishing the design sooner rather than later, getting the full site running again, and pumping out new content tirelessly. I hope you’ll join me.

Question: What feature do you most want to see come back?

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&reviews11 Sep 2010 12:29 pm

i have a lot of books to talk about, but i’m only going to talk about one right now… and i have a lot of music to talk about, but that’s going to wait… and i have the first week of football to talk about, but i’ll get to that later today (i hope)… i do think i’ll pick the Saints to beat the Viking this week though (har har)… anyway, first things first… a quick take on a new book from a familiar name…

now playing: Live Like We’re Dying by Kris Allen

Outlive Your Life – Max Lucado

i think it was Maximus Something-or-Other who, in the movie Gladiator, said something to this effect: “Our actions on earth, echo in eternity”… as you can probably tell, i’m not the biggest fan of the movie, but the quote stuck with me… and it came back to me over and over again as i read through the latest book from Max Lucado… (and not because of the Max-Maximus similarity)… Outlive Your Life suggests that we can life our lives in such a way as to have impact on generations to come, long after we’ve passed on to eternity… the book opens with a short tale of one man’s lasting impact on a thriving, but uncharted island and unfolds to reveal simple actions to help mold our lives into an influential legacy…

As with all Lucado books – he is pretty much a brand name at this point – the book is inspiring, easy to read, and filled with nuggets of wisdom, insights from everyday encounters (like coming home from the grocery store with bags full of food), but not the needed bread that inspired the trip… it’s all very practical and attainable goals, such as coming out of your shell, treating others with equal respect, and stand up for those in need… and, with a conversational tone, it reads quickly and enjoyably… one thing i found odd though… the opening “fable” described a thriving island near to an island full of despair, poverty, and hopelessness (i suppose similar to Haiti and the Dominican Republic)… it would’ve made sense to wrap that around at the end of the book to explain the responsibility of wealth and the compassion the prosperous should show to those in need as that was the point of the book…

anyway, it’s another good piece of advice from an author who clearly sees things from a unique perspective… a fun read…

peace… love… bdg…

features&front page&general&pop culture&reviews&reviews&SPORTS&walkTRu04 Oct 2008 12:27 am

Well, somehow, it’s Friday again… i’ve got to figure out how to make the week last… wait, what am i saying?… i need to figure out how to make the weekEND last a little longer… yeah, that’s more like it…

i also managed to make it through the week without buying the special edition DVD version of Iron Man from Target so as to acquire the nifty little Iron Man mask casing… that was a bit of a struggle for me actually… and i worked from home yesterday and today because the office was getting cleared out and recarpeted… hopefully it won’t stink on Monday… what else.. oh, yeah…

so i guess i was a little vague in the new Left to Write … if you were concerned that i may be depressed or anything, no need to fear… it’s more about the struggles i’ve faced over the last year and a half regarding my writing “career” and how absolutely odd it feels to be where i am right now in that regard…

see, we normally have this general assumption that when we buckle down and strive to achieve our goals, that once we get there, we’ll just keep going… that we’ll move on to better and bigger things… (see also, one of the causes of the mortgage crisis)… we never assume that we’ll achieve our goals and then end up back at the beginning… like climbing a ladder to find that the world has all the while been spinning and by the time you reach the top rung, it’s really the bottom rung…

so, when that happens, what do you do? turn around? go back? go up again? find a new ladder? and that’s more where that piece comes from…

but there are new things to discuss as well, such as the VP debate, football and television… and away we go…

MY RUNNING MATE CAN BEAT UP YOUR RUNNING MATE
– to the tune of Debate Exposes Doubt – Death Cab for Cutie

So who won the VP Debate last night?… well, it depends who you ask… i’ve heard both VP candidates declared the winner by various media outlets… and of course, it seemed like most people came out of the debate supporting whoever they supported before the debate… a classic case of hearing what you wanted to hear… seeing what you wanted to see… believing what you wanted to believe…

what i saw was that both sides made their mistakes and made their points… Gov. Palin was charming, disarming, fiesty and well put together, but she did have some moments when she stumbled, avoided certain questions and looked a little uncomfortable… overall, i thought she was great, however… Sen. Biden also did a great job overall, but he did make a few blunders and mistakes himself… one big difference, which actually scores points in a debate, is that Gov. Palin called Sen. Biden on his missteps, but the opposite wasn’t the case… Sen. Biden was on the defensive for a lot of the debate, but he battled well with his back to the ropes…

So who won the debate?… technically, if each side retained the support that it had before the debate, then it was a draw… however, in one sense, the Democratic ticket was looking for this to be a big win and since it wasn’t, that’s almost like a loss… anyway… my support was and still is with McCain and Palin…

LEATHERHEADS
– to the tune of All Star – Smash Mouth

I’m actually watching this movie as i type up this entry, so that’s one more way that my mind is on football tonight… anyway, it seems as if my teeter-totter theory has extended to my picks as well… i lost on all fronts this last week, though… lost both leagues and went 6-7 with my picks which brings me to 34-26 over the first 4 weeks… at least i’m not in the negative… and i’m certain to bounce back big time this week, especially in fantasy since i have an extraordinarily EASY matchup against sir Janke… and my picks… i’ve got a good feeling about them…

Ravens, Panthers, Bears, Falcons
Colts, Chargers, Giants, Redskins
Bucs, Bills, Cowboys, Patriots
Jaguars and Saints…

i haven’t checked to see which games i’ll get in my area, but the best games to watch will be Colts/Texans and the Redskins/Eagles for the early game, and the Bills/Cardinals, of course, for the late game… Sunday Night looks better than Monday Night yet again, but if the Vikings actually show up, it might prove otherwise… however it works out… it’s going to be another great week of football matchups…

BOXED UP
– to the tune of Welcome Back (Theme from Welcome Back, Kotter) – John Sebastian

So, i’ll try to get into some of the TV Shows that i’m watching this fall… i’ll start with Sunday… that’s right, Sunday…
MAD MEN: the duo at the Steelehouse Podcast (which i listen to and recommend) talked me into giving this show a trial… and it turns out that it’s a darn good show… there is a bit of mature content, but the characters are developed better than most every other show on television…

and on to Monday…
CHUCK… i think this was on the verge of being cancelled last year, but i’m very happy that it’s back in what appears to be full force… it’s a pretty absurd premise and all, but it’s a fun one to watch…
HEROES… also back in full force with an entirely new premise that makes more sense than any of the other seasons as far as i’m concerned… the first three episodes have aired and there’s already so many questions that have been raised and so many new plotlines that have great potential…
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER… the new Friends… episode one started out a bit slow, but episode two finds the group back in stride with some nice lines…
BIG BANG THEORY… eh… kind of a throwaway show at times, but there’s plenty of decent jokes thrown in to make it worth watching…
PRISON BREAK… so, i’ve already talked about this one, but i will say that if i didn’t already feel invested in the show, it would’ve lost me… i mean, they’ve painted themselves into a corner because the crew has to succeed, no one can die, so the real suspense is completely gone…

Tuesday brings two new shows that have some potential…
FRINGE… JJ Abrams brings us another elaborate conspiracy-based show that has started out slowly, but has a lot of potential to become a must see… it’s kind of like X-Files on crack… though, i never really watched X-Files…
THE MENTALIST… yeah, it’s kind of a blah show, since it’s basically a rip-off of Psych, but it may be alright…

and more… another day… that is the bulk of my shows, however… next time i’ll talk about Wed-Friday, which is about five shows and then the next time after that i’ll talk about new shows that are still to come or that i haven’t decided on yet, which is also about five shows…

ON OUR WAY

well, time isn’t on my side, but if you’ve still got some to spare, check out the brand spanking new Walk TRu on Switchfoot’s Best Yet and/or the first of a series of 25 Words or Less looking back on the album releases of 2008… (this one’s January)…

peace… love… bdg…

features&front page&general&reviews&SPORTS27 Sep 2008 11:17 am

Another day another bankrupcy… that seems to be the way things go these days… and now there’s this whole debate about what needs to be done… well, in this entry, i’ll talk a little bit about what should’ve been done, what could still be done and who’s to blame… i’ll also jump into this week’s football games and some more of the fall season television shows… i should be watching the debate, but who watches things in real time anymore?

off we go…

THE BAIL OUT

to the tune of Collapse – Mute Math

So we’re in some real trouble now, right?… i’m no expert on economy, but i did stay awake in enough macro and micro classes to have a decent opinion… a while back i mentioned the possibility of an ’08 Depression and it looks like Wall Street is trying to get there… gas, houses, banks, everything is out of control and now the powers that be remind me of Dwight in the video above (by the way, hulu is awesome)… 700 Billion Dollars… Say yes… do it… do it now… 5…. 4… now… now … NOW!… i say back up for a second…

haste makes waste… it’s pretty obvious that decisions made under duress are rarely the wisest decisions made… in fact, it’s probably safe to say that if so may people hadn’t have made decisions overnight – decisions to make big investments, including homes – that we’d be in much better shape overall… so regardless of whether or not this bailout plan will work, the haste that it’s being thrown together and pushed on us gives me reason to wonder…

in America, there is the famous “separation of church and state”… contrary to popular opinion though, it was designed to protect the church from being run by the government and thereby tainting the religion… similarly, the free market needs to be able to work with as little government intervention as possible… this plan, while perhaps necessary at this point, breaches that divide… and it takes what has become one of the firmest foundations of the American Dream in the last few decades… rewarding bad behavior…

what should have happened… back when the housing market started collapsing and the lenders started to realize that they were racking up foreclosures left and right, they should have acted of their own volition to resolve this issue… at least six months ago, i pondered out loud that the lenders needed to reassess the values of all the properties involved and, based on the declining values and the rising inability of their clients to make payments, they should have written down the loans…

now, i know, this sounds like we’re rewarding the people who bought houses that they shouldn’t have – that they couldn’t afford, but, while i would propose that the loan amount be written down, i would also propose, as a penalty, that the loan would garner a higher interest rate, a flag would be placed on the owner’s credit report, and, perhaps, the term would be extended to adjust the monthly payment down to something that is affordable… with the higher interest rate, the banks would recoup a lot of the cost of the write down in the long run and neither owner nor banker would be filing chapter 11…

i got scoffed at by some people when i mentioned this back then, but now it seems like that’s what the government is trying to do… except now that they’re involved, the banks are bankrupt, the owners are already in a world of hurt and both are getting rewarded for their bad behavior… and, since the government is involved, banks that are still hanging on have little motivation (other than establishing a reputation of a business with fair and reasonable practices, on the off chance that they care about that) to try and work with their clients because big brother is going to step in and “save the day”…

i’m running short on time, so i’ll move on, but in case that plan sounds at all familiar to you, perhaps it’s because it’s somewhat based on Luke 16

THE BALL OUT

to the tune of Quiet Storm – Smokey Robinson

So i know you’re all wondering if i did better with my picks this week than last week… but first i’ll mention that my fantasy league teeter-totter has officially begun… similar to last year, i’m alternating between leagues winning in one and losing in the other… so, i’m now 1-2 in both leagues… as far as picks, 10-6, 8-7, and this week… 10-6… i still feel pretty good about my chances though, since there were quite a few last minute wins and surprises…

this week, the winners are as follows…

Falcons, Bengals, Jaguars, Broncos
49ers, Jets, Packers, Vikings
Chargers, Bills, Redskins, Eagles and… Steelers

three less games this week as the bye weeks officially begin… if you get to choose from all the games to watch, Flacons and Panthers should be a hot one for the early game, with the Jets/Cards matchup a strong runner up and the Skins vs Cowboys is always one to watch… Sunday night’s game (Bears/Eagles) could be entertaining, but the Steelers and Ravens on MNF just doesn’t look at all interesting…

ALL OUT

my time has evaporated and i’ve got to keep moving… i’ll get to more of the fall television schedule later… for now, there’s a new Left to Write up on the front page as well as a long overdue album review of Chris Sligh’s debut

peace… love… bdg…

features&front page&general&inTRuviews&news&pop culture&reviews22 Aug 2008 04:25 pm

It’s Friday already?… well, here’s the headline of the week for me… “Bernanke: Financial crisis taking toll on economy”… you think? that guy is just BRILLIANT… i wonder how he came to that comclusion…

anyway… it’s been a busy week and i’ve frittered away way too much of my time, but alas, i’m here and i have a few minutes to talk about a few things… today, i’m going to talk about the recent presidential showdown at the Saddleback Corral, the emergency hunger crisis, and two books that i’ve finished, but not yet reviewed… i’m told that summer is almost over and thus, the Mark Lee hosted summer reading club is on its last legs… i’ll also tell you about some new stuff from the front page… let’s get it on…

HIGH NOON

to the tune of Rodeo – Manafest

Rick Warren invited both presidential candidates into his church for a faith forum… two discussions of policies and faith followed, each about an hour in length with the candidates taking turns on the “hotseat”… i didn’t get to see it live, but it’s currently available to watch on CNN.com… i can’t obviously comment on each point that was brought up, but i will talk about a little bit that stood out…

First off, i thought both Obama and McCain started off shaky, Obama fumbling for his words (which actually lasted the entire interview) and misinterpreting the first question (“I wouldn’t limit myself to three” – no one asked you to) and McCain falling into stump mode, but they both also relaxed a bit, McCain, in my opinion proving to be more comfortable on the stage, in the church and within his own identity…. in fact, identity came up as an issue for me as well, and i think that will be obvious as we go along…

The second question, “What is your greatest moral failure?” really hit the mark and, for me, exposed something important about the character of these two men… i’ll take them out of order and praise McCain for his response… “I’m not a perfect man, but the failure of my first marriage was my greatest moral failure”… this response was met with silence and really struck my own heart’s chord, stirring within me empathy for McCain… Obama’s response on the other hand, seemed to be fine, but the more i let it sink in, the more i found myself a little bit disgusted by it…

“I had a difficult youth.”… “My father wasn’t in the house.”… “I experimented with drugs and I drank”… “[there’s] a certain selfishness on my part”… fine… here’s the thing that bothers me… selfishness is fine as an answer at face value… selfishness is common to us all and certainly qualifies as a moral condition… however, i had two problems with this response… first, he prefaces it with excuses… three excuses that pass the blame on to people (or substances) other than himself… it’s as if he’s saying, because i was preconditioned to fail morally, i became selfish and made selfish choices…

the second thing that bothered me was that it’s a very genaric answer… it’s like saying “i have ten fingers… and because of that i had to learn how to use them all”… well, we all have ten fingers (well, ideally) and we all had to learn to use them… it doesn’t tell me anything specifically about you… it seems rather disingenuous and more of a tactic to avoid revealing anything personal than an actual answer… it’s the equivalent of “my greatest weakness is that I try too hard” answer at a job interview…

Next up is a biggie… and even though it’s a question about a specific issue – in this case abortion – but the responses again reveal far more about character and identity… again, i’ll do this in out of order… Question: “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”… McCain, without hesistation responses, “From the moment of conception.”… simple as that… he then states that he’s always been pro-life and he’ll always be pro-life… very clear cut and straight forward…

Obama’s answer, on the other hand, was full of stammering and revealed yet again, a lack of character and substance within this presidential hopeful… “To answer this question theologically or scientifically with any specificity is something that’s above my pay grade”… excuse me? above your pay grade? are you not running for the position of the most powerful person in the country and at times, the world?… nothing is above your pay grade…

but more generally speaking… “One thing that I’m conviced of is that there is a moral and an ethical question to this issue”… um, thanks, Captain Obvious… “I am pro-choice… not because I’m pro-abortion, but because I don’t think that women make these decisions casually”… i’m sorry, but… SO WHAT?… if i choose to rob a bank, it’s a decision that i’m sure to wrestle with and struggle with and not something that i would do “casually” but it’s STILL WRONG OF ME TO DO…

He then goes on to explain that the real concern is how to reduce the number of abortions, which makes sense and i agree with him on that, there do need to be programs in place to help expectant mothers and parents who don’t know how they’ll raise their children once they arrive… support systems and all that… but education? i think everybody knows that having sex may result in pregnancy even if you’re not married or not out of high school… we don’t need more education, we need less escape clauses…

More brief things that stood out to me throughout the interview, besides the constant struggling to put words together, was what seems like an inconsistancy between preventative actions for abortions and later for orphans (“We need to reduce the number of orphans in the world”)… but a hesitation for preventative actions in defense of the nation militarily…

Also, it seems inconsistent to me that Obama keeps driving home “Whatever you do to the least of these”… as an important concept for America to embrace… providing for the least of these… but ignoring the unborn children… and another minor thing that i caught that raised my eyebrow is that Obama mentioned that his faith in God meant that “hopefully” his sins will be washed away…

McCain dabbled a little in the stump speeches, but he also told a lot of stories which resonate very well and, i think he further defined himself as a man and a candidate which is something that Obama continually shifts away from… in trying to be all things for everyone, i think he’s making himself a tin man with no heart or substance…

MY TIME IS UP

so that took longer than i expected and now i must go… you can check out the Brandon Heath Interview and this week’s album reviews in 25 Words or Less on the main page and i’ll be back with more later…

peace… love… bdg….

Free Music&front page&reviews&walkTRu&web02 Jun 2008 03:27 pm

i’m getting so bad at this… it’s like i never know what’s happening because i’m too busy doing stuff all the time… sometimes i don’t even know what i’m doing… that’s when it gets nice and crazy… anyway… had a nice little breather at work, but things have kind of swollen back up and i’m far more than knee deep again… it’s going to be a trying time the next few months at least and i’m sure it’ll be a while before everything is aright… and i’m sure that i’m gonna be extremely tired when it’s all said and done… i’m already at least halfway there…

Anyway, how about some TV talk, music chatter, and a little bit of other stuff…

CLEAR EYES… FULL HEARTS… CAN’T LOSE….

to the tune of Game On -Disciple

we’ve been going back through and watching FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS on DVD… we had watched Season One while it was happening, but by the time Season Two came on, i’m not sure what happened… i guess our DVR was overbooked or on the fritz or something and we ended up missing a bunch of the episodes and that coupled with the far-reaching murder subplot really turned me off to the show… Now that season two is out on DVD, i thought it was a good time to give it a second chance… and, thanks to good old netflix… it’s pretty much risk free…

Anyway, i’m very glad we did because the writing (other than the whole murder thing) is just phenomenal… and it’s reminded me of the most fascinating character on television… Tim Riggins… yeah that’s right… and by fascinating, i mean that whenever he’s on the screen, it’s worth watching… he’s easily the most complex character… and his reactions to life’s problems, which tend to be numerous in his case, are always memorable… as easy as it would’ve been to make him a stock character with stereotypical reactions, i’m so glad they put more thought into him than that…

FASCINATION

to the tune of Fascination – Lester Lanin

Yeah, that’s right…. Big Band… that’s good stuff…

Anyway, since i’ve gone and declared Riggs as the most fascinating character on television, i thought i’d go ahead and list a few others that always grab my attention when they’re on screen… Despite being numbered, this is my official, unordered list of last year’s most fascinating characters on television…

  • Jack Donaghy (30 Rock)
  • Michael Westen (Burn Notice)
  • Chuck Bartowski (Chuck)
  • Brenda Johnson (The Closer)
  • Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother)
  • Robert Hawkins (Jericho)
  • Peter Petrelli (Heroes)
  • Sylar (Heroes)
  • Robert Goren (Law & Order: Criminal Intent)
  • Adrian Monk (Monk)
  • Benjamin Linus (Lost)
  • Daniel Faraday (Lost)
  • Michael Scofield (Prison Break)

I’m sure that i’ve missed plenty… i don’t watch every show obviously and, in some instances, i don’t even watch the cool ones… You may also notice that there’s no one from The Office on the list… trust me, that’s still my favorite comedy by far, but i think as far as characters go, each character draws far too much strengh from how the entire ensemble acts and reacts… though, if forced into a corner, i’d probably be deciding between Toby and Creed since they have two of the smaller roles, but can, with a single line completely define the scene that they’re in…

WIDE-EYED AND DIGITIZED

to the tune of The Invitation – downhere

Downhere has partnered with MusiChristian.com (who i used to use as my primary affiliate partnership) and they’re giving away Wide Eyed and Mystified for the price of an email address… the album has amazingly been out for two years and the group has apparently mined it completely of all it’s monetary value (what with a B-Sides and an acostic remix version among other things) and they really want you to remember their name when the release their next album, reportedly titled Ending is Beginning and may be released in late September… (currently, they’re planning for the 23rd)…

So, you go to the page, enter your email address, and download a nice zip file with the full album in mp3 format complete with a 10-page that contains the liner notes and a cutout to make your CD insert and pretend that you bought a real copy of the album… and i jest, but it’s really a good album and i think the vocal work on the album is some of the best that the past few years has to offer…

ANOTHER DEATH IN THE FAMILY

to the tune of Part the Waters Lord / I Need the Every Hour – Selah

And, now on a more serious note… actually, an extremely serious note… Nicol Sponberg (Selah) and her husband, Greg, recently had their life tragically interrupted with the death of their son, Luke who was, i beleve about three months old… It’s my understanding that they also lost a nephew recently in the third hour of his life… clearly this is a difficult time for the family and prayers will be greatly appreciated… I’m told that they’ll be establishing a Luke Sponberg Foundation and I’m sure that more details about that will be available in the near future…

AND WITH THAT…

Well, i had some other things to talk about, but it hardly seems like the best time to do that, so i’ll close this out right now with a few links and a fond farewell for now…

Third Day Walk TRu

Phil Stacey Album Review

peace… love… bdg…

2008&Bookshelf&features&front page&GMA Week&It All Goes Back in the Box&news&pop culture&reviews&walkTRu13 May 2008 05:29 pm

i promised myself that i’d write again before it was time to do the whole American Idol thing and yet, here it is again… Tuesday staring me square in the face laughing at my lack of discipline… mocking me with my own voice… well… anyway… it is Tuesday but it’s not time for Idol… not just yet anyway… and i’ve not been idle in the meanwhile… in fact, i’ve been so busy that i’m ready to burst…

in the past week (though it feels like one long day), i worked on building out a new site for my brother and sister in law, i transcribed a lengthy interview, i wrote two feature articles, i wrote a couple reviews, i did a walk TRu, and i sketched out some work on a few other projects i have whirling around in my head… all this on top of my day job, the duties of which have exploded over the last five days or so… this is going to be one hectic week, i’ll tell you that much… so much so that i missed out on having a sabbath this past weekend and i’m a little discombobulated… anyway… my time is probably short, so let’s go ahead and dig in…

MOVIE MONDAY

to the tune of Assets and Targets – John Powell (from The Bourne Ultimatum)

Well, i finally got around to watching the third installation of the Bourne trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and all i have to say is woah… not like a Keanu Reaves, Matrix, “woah”… a serious, have i taken a single breath this entire movie, woah… i normally try to do some work or whatever on my laptop while the movies are playing, but not while Jason Bourne was on… i had a tough time taking my eyes off the screen the entire time and that’s how an action movie should be… if i’m watching an action flick, i want to be completely taken in by it… i want the little boy in me to be acting out the fight scenes for the next few days after watching it… bottom line, The Bourne Ultimatum gets a 4.5 out of 5 from me…

RETURN OF THE TALK

to the tune of Jesus is Just Alright -dc Talk

So i’ve realized that i don’t talk music enough here on the old blog, which is genuinely odd since this is primarily a music website… if i made any bread and butter, you could say that music is where i’ve made it… and since i enjoy the older stuff too, when i saw this headline… dc Talk Reunites. . . i naturally had to check it out and share it with you all… i knew we’d all be excited together… (note: yes, i realize that it is what it is)…

WHERE IS THE LOVE

to the tune of Love Is Here – Tenth Avenue North

And now for perhaps some more serious musical news… hot new band Tenth Avenue North who’s debut record is set to release next week has released a video for their lead single… the video for Love Is Here seems to pay a bit of tribute to The Beatles and U2… or maybe i’m reading into it too much… anyway, the song’s really good….

IN OTHER WORDS

to the tune of Violet Hill – Coldplay

When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg… Well, i’ve moved onto the final section of this book, which means it’s time for me to talk about Hazards (the second to last section)… the first chapter in this section jumped off the pages to me… “BEWARE, THE SHADOW MISSION” discusses what i’m far too familiar with… distractions… distractions keep you from accomplishing your mission… shadow missions seem like worthy causes sometimes… like, hey, can i really beat my previous high score in that game?… but they occupy your time and prevent you from making progress on what actually matters in the long term… it’s somthing that i can honestly admit to struggling with just about every day…

the rest of the section is good, too, reminding us that competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing… more stuff will never make us more of an actual success… and what’s really important in terms of our physical existence is how we react to, cohabitate with and most importanty love those around us… all in all, a number of good lessons in this book so far… and as i’ve rounded the last bend as they say (i have about 20 pages to go), it’s earning my recommendation more and more with each page turned… stay tuned for the finale sometime (most likely) next week…

PEEP INSTEAD OF SLEEP

okay and there are a few things to check out over on the main page… first, a Walk TRu of WOW Hits [1]… part two of my GMA Reflections and Responses… and an album review of Meredith Andrew’s debut album, The Invitation… right around the corner, you can expect some more reviews, 2 interviews (Salvador and Stephanie Smith), an iTRunes playlist and a handful of other things…

peace… love… bdg…

2008&americanidol&features&front page&GMA Week&interviews&inTRuviews&pop culture&reviews&reviews&walkTRu06 May 2008 11:19 pm

So, it’s another Idol night already and that means i’ve not updated in a week… what a jerk… anyway… i’ve been trying to readjust to life and a bunch of other excuses that you don’t care about, i’m sure… and man, have my allergies been driving me nuts lately… my eye has been twitching for about a month and my nose has been twitching on and off as well… the littles are starting to struggle with the pollen counts, too, which really makes like fun… anyway… lots to get to, so let’s get getting…

MOVIE MONDAY

i meant to go post this yesterday, but i didn’t post anything so, here it is now… i finally, (read: FINALLY), saw Oceans Thirteen… and for me, it was goooood… i really like the series and i thought this one fit very nicely into the mix… you gotta love crooks who steal to make other people happy… and they’re all just the epitome of cool… a couple odds and ends notes… as expected there were a number of twists and turns in the plot line… i say expected because it seems like every movie now has to have these crazy twists at the end nowadays… i think that eventually, we’ll get to the point where a straightforward movie – one where what you expect to happen actually happens – is going to be the new suspense thriller… just a thought… Also, and i’m not one to force spiritual meanings into things, but at the end of the movie, all i could think about was that verse in the Bible about man making all the plans that he wants, but it’s only God’s plans that actually matter in the long run… yeah… i should figure out where that’s from exactly… i’m guessing Proverbs…

FOUR MORE (A.K.A. THE AI COMMENTARY)

to the tune of Roll over Beethoven -Chuck Berry

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame night… i… wanna rock and roll all night…. and party every day… okay… so i’m not going to guess the songs this week, but anyone wanna bet that Brooke tries to crash the stage and sing Piano Man or something… anyone? anyone?… okay… the show’s underway after Ryan specifies when the judges are allowed to speak…

David (Daughtry the 2nd) Cook: Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran… i remember the video for this song more than anything else about it… i think some dude was wandering around the woods trying to catch a girl dressed up like Little Red Riding Hood and he’s wearing a wolf skin… i remember that video more then i expect to remember this performance actually… Randy says it was just okay… Paula says she’s hungry for some David Cook and then she rambles on about something odd… Simon says it’s probably good enough, but nothing special…

Syesha (a.k.a. Cry-esha): Syesha’s dress has been designed by Kristy Lee Cook… or something… oh, i like the hat… Tina… i thought she might sing some Tina or Aretha, but i don’t know who’s in the HOF… wow… she’s trying to look like Tina… she’s definitely working it… she has the clear advantage of being the only official girl left in the competition… and this song is alright… her vocal isn’t that great, but the performance is very strong indeed… she knows how to use the stage… Randy says she was in the zone… (no, i didn’t just copy that from last week)… Paula says she looks like a star… Simon says he has to put a slight damper on it… shrieky, bad impersonation of Tina Turner… the song was Proud Mary, by the way…

Jason (Castor Oil) Castro: i think Carley’s drunk… so, go figure, Jason Castro is singing a Bob Marley tune… I Shot the Sheriff… props right off the bat to the band… they’re fantastic… he’s alright… well… i mean, this really… well… um… he looks the part at least… he needs to take into account the dynamics and meaning of the song… Randy plays the karaoke card… Paula says he played to the crowd… Simon says it was utterly atrocious and he has no idea what Jason was thinking…

{Little) David Archuleta: singing Stand By Me… and he actually looks like the kids walking on the train tracks during this movie… i remember singing this song in like fifth grade or something… i think i sounded about the same… well, i didn’t sing it solo or anything… but come on… if anyone deserves the karoake card, it’s him right here… that’s just… bah… Randy says he broght the hot man vocals… or hot mad vocals… or something like that… Paula says she admires that he kept his eyes open… Simon says whistling would’ve been better than Jason’s song, that he struggled a little bit, but it was the best performance so far…

REALLY? YOU WANT MORE?

to the tune of A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

So far i’m not really impressed with any of them (surprise), but as of halfway through, Archy and Jason seem to be battling for the boot…

David (Daughtry the 2nd) Cook: singing something from The Who… Baba O’Riley?… i never listened much to The Who… it seemed really short, which isn’t a baad thing… i’ve decided that he sounds like Todd Agnew… slow build and now he’s screaming up the end of the tune… whatever… it’s alright… Randy says it was really good, the David Cook they like… Paula says she wants a happy meal with a David Cook toy to hug and squeeze and hang from her rear view mirror… Simon says welcome back…

Syesha (a.k.a. Cry-esha): oh no she isn’t… she’s singing my boy Sam Cooke… Change is Gonna Come… look, if you can’t mess with a Bob Marley song, i’m not sure you can mess with Sam… well, this is an entirely new arrangement… and she’s belting out the words here and there… that’s a strong finish, but i’m not sure that the whole thing was that great… not as much soul to it as the original… Randy says he didn’t like the arrangement and you shouldn’t mess with Sam… Paula says she did a great thing with her vocals… Cry-esha is still reeling from Randy’s harsh comments… Simon takes pity and sides with Paula, noting that Randy got it entirely wrong…

Jason (Castor Oil) Castro: oh gosh… Jason didn’t shoot the sheriff, he shot himself in the foot, head and heart… BOB DYLAN???? and we don’t know the lyrics… somebody call Wayne Brady up on stage… i don’t even know what to say… sort of like Jason… wah wah waaaah wah wah waaaaah…. well, needless to say, it was terrible and he’s going to get trashed… he might not get voted off though… Randy just kind of giggles… Paula is smelling her feet… Simon tells him to pack his suitcase…

{Little) David Archuleta: oh… good grief… he really IS trying to beat Jason for the lamest performance… Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley… and he’s, well, he’s saving himself quite nicely actually… the vocal is pretty solid… why does the dude who can sing really well have to be so annoying?… Randy says he was carressing the lyrics… Paula says he’s so sweet… Simon says he CRUSHED all those who oppose…

Well, i’ll say that the Davids are safe and Jason will go home despite the possibility of pretending to forget the lyrics for the sake of getting sympathy… Syesha will probably be left on stage with Jason, but should be safe…

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

So, lots of new stuff to peep over on the main page… first up, a Walk TRu of the Jars of Clay Greatest Hits project… part one of my GMA Reflections and Responses… an interview with Poems (formerly Sharlok Poems, Sharlok P, etc from LA Symphony)… and an album review of Salvador’s latest, Aware… and there’s plenty more to come…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&announcements&front page&reviews29 Apr 2008 11:02 pm

and it’s Tuesday… and that means that i should talk about television… so here’s a quick rundown of my comments… Barney? NO, he’s the best character… at 31 she DID live there?… “It’s not happening if you don’t look at it” “Kind of like Poverty?”… okay, i’m out of thoughts… everything is kind of jumbled together right now… anyway… it’s time for American Idol…

FIVE ALIVE

to the tune of Cracklin’ Rosie – Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond night… TODAY… we comin’ to America… i’m sure someone will sing that tonight… Kristy Lee would’ve definitely done it, but i’d bet on Archy… anyway, here we go…

Jason (Castor Oil) Castro: don’t forget the lyrics, dude… off we go… singing Forever in Blue Jeans… with the guitar… and he’s doing alright… Simon is entirely disinterested… why is that violinist wearing shades?… why does this sound like a really sleepy tune… that’s right, it’s the slacker singing it… you think that eye color is fake or what?… i didn’t mind it too much… Iron Man looks pretty good… Bret Michaels, not so much…

David (Daughtry the 2nd) Cook: goofing off with Ryan, goosing Neil… man, this guy is just too comfortable… i’ve never heard a Neal Diamond song sung in monotone before… what’s up with that jacket?… is he the DC that completes the AC that’s on his jacket and guitar?… is that his mom’s gear? is he peddling her line of wares illegally on the show?… he sang I’m Alive and it was alright, i suppose… i thought it was kind of boring myself, but i’m probably alone in that…

Brooke White (The Piano Whisperer): singing I’m a Believer by the Monkees… or, by Neal Diamond… well, she’s playing the guitar, but the real band is playing loud enough to drown her out… now, if only they could do something about her vocal… it’s not that good… i’ve totally flipped on her since the beginning of this competition… she’s… oh, greay leather pants… no thanks…

{Little) David Archuleta: HA!… he IS gonna sing it… anyway… he’s such a dork in Neil’s presence… own a piece of Archuleta… no thanks… first son is Sweet Caroline… it seems like he forgot the words there… maybe it was just a dramatic pause… well, this just isn’t working for me… he’s just too drama queen for this song… and it’s too Brady Bunch for me… the crowd goes wild and i go to get something to munch on…

Syesha (a.k.a. Cry-esha): singing Hello Again… she’s doing the Kat McPhee sit on the steps routine… and well… i like her voice, i’ve always thought it was good when she stays in her range… this song is pretty slow and some people may think it’s boring… but she’s doing a nice job… she just wanted to show off her vocal control probably… i hope the next one is more memorable…

Randy says, Jason: OK, Cook: Solid, Brooke: Karaoke, Archy: DaBOMB, Syesha: in the zone

Paula says: Jason: lower register, David: something about his second song… what? he only sang once? what? oh he’s fabulous

Simon (amen) says: forgettable, just above average, nightmare, amateurish, old fashioned

ENCORE, ENCORE?

to the tune of Song Sung Blue – Neil Diamond

Jason (Castor Oil) Castro: singing September Mourn… i think this is the Frank Sinatra version… you know how Frank pretty much just says, “screw your arrangement, I’m singing it Myyyyyy waaaaaay…” this is a really slow version and i’m falling asleep… sorry castro… it’s just not cutting it… Randy says, dude, it was just okay, whatever… Paula says it was the same liberty, too safe… Jason says, guh-huh, guh-huh, i was choking…. SImon says no one will remember him or something to that effect…

David (Daughtry the 2nd) Cook: “the rocker’s second outing”… with something… the bag of chips was crinkling too loudly for me to hear… i’ll tell you one thing though… it’s not a rock song… All I Really Need Is You… and now he’s trying to rock out like he’s Jeremy Camp or something… he’s really shouting… and really, he’s reminding me that i will not buy any of the season seven albums… seriously… for reals… Randy says… you know what, i’m a huge fan, you rocked the house… Paula is proud of him because he pulled off the lesser known songs… Simon says, to be honest, one was okay, that was brilliant… BAH!

Brooke White (The Piano Whisperer): like totally, that wasn’t a nightmare, giggle giggle… singing I Am, I Said with the lyrics on her hand facing the piano keys… silly… i actually like this song… this one fits her pretty well… much better than the apparently debatable nightmare that was her first performance… she’s much more comfy behind the piano… Randy says… nice job… Paula says she is vulnerable and everyone loves her… it worked… Simon says he really hated the first one, but this was the one we like…

{Little) David Archuleta: back again with the money, “how can you vote against AMERICA” song… David Archy with his voice cracking and everything… they better hope that he doesn’t hit puberty during this competition… i think even the background singers are boring on this one… let freeedom riiiiiiiiiiiiing…. bah, that was a very campy version of the song… blah… Randy says he was in the zone, Paula says he was on point and she loves him… Simon points out the contrived choice of song…

Syesha (a.k.a. Cry-esha): ooh, i could go for some arby’s… singing Thank the Lord for the Night time and… aw, Syesha, why’d you take it this direction?… maybe she’s going for the Motown, Shirelles type of vibe, but it’s coming across as very High School Musical… i think she lost her shoes too… i didn’t mind it, but it could’ve been much better… and that’s the one they’ll remember… Randy says it could’ve been on Broadway… Paula fumbles through some random words about magic and theatrics… Simon asks Paula if she liked it or not… then he says she’s more of an actress than a singer and she might be in trouble…

Bottom Three: Brooke, Jason, Syesha (going home)

AND THEN…

So, i did some stuff on the old site today… tidied up a few things… redesigned the reviews page, added two reviews… (After Edmund and Leeland), added in a bit under the AbouTRu section and added a way to sign up for a newsletter that i’ll explain more about later… more coming soon…

peace… love… bdg…

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