Archive for May, 2006

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American Idol(atry) continues

May 25, 2006

The show is over for this season, but my heart does not rest in its quest for satisfaction in worldly things (shouldn't that be in the definition of an American?).  Here I present a photo essay of my confessed idols.   Call it virtual accountibility.  This list is not exhaustive…

really I guess I am not satisfied with what I have in terms of

which demonstrates my lack of faith in

to provide all my needs.  It's obvious all those things (save the guitar) are not needs.  OK, the guitar is not a need either. If only I could want the things I need.

KEV

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Aces High

May 15, 2006

Imagine a mild mannered work at home dad taking his lunch break.  He turns on the TV for distraction from work while eating a sandwich.  On VH1 Classic is "Aces High" by Iron Maiden (May is Metal month on VH1 Classic all you headbangers).  This dad is taken back to a time in his past, around 8th grade, where Iron Maiden was the only thing on the turntable and in the tapedeck.  He laments he could never learn the cool riffs in the song "Aces High" and neither could his guitar teacher because they were just that difficult!

Back to our story, the sandwich and video are over and dad is looking for something crunchy in the pantry. While looking, for no known reason, he breaks into singing the chorus of "Aces High".  For those that know Bruce Dickinson (not the more cowbell producer), this is no small feat, as the singer from Iron Maiden has, as Napoleon Dynamite might say, "skills".  At the risk of hurting himself, this dad continues through the chorus.  Much to his surprise, he was able to sing the majority of it in the same octave (read: high).

Here's the dramatic conclusion:  dad makes his way over to piano munching on some chips and tries to find that high note he sang.  Wow! regular ol' dad manages to nail high C when checked against the family piano.  "That's crazy" he thinks to himself, "I've got no business up there".  Sadly, this dad realizes it was a nice place to visit, but he cannot live on the mountain top.  Too many headaches from lack of oxygen.  But he is proud he tried.

Thanks for hanging there with my self-indulgent story.  BTW – "Aces High" begins with an excerpt of a moving speech by Winston Churchill.  The song is about the Nazi bombings of England and dogfights involved.  Watch the video here.

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For What it’s Worth

May 12, 2006

Quoted in the International Herald today…

"As Germans we cannot help but be moved to realize that their idealism and their duty to the state was misused by an unjust government," Benedict said of the war dead at La Cambe. He expressed regret that the Germanic virtue of obedience – Pflicht – had been exploited and misused by the Nazis, and said that this did nothing to diminish their honor or service to the Fatherland…

… "They simply tried to do their duty – even during times of terrible self-doubt, and inner conflict," he said, noting that it was not his place to judge the dead of La Cambe "into whose conscience only God can see."

 –  Pope Benedict XVI, as he visited a German military cemetery at La Cambe

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Derek is starting to make more sense.

May 9, 2006

Third in a series on Derek Webb and his "new" concerns…

Richard Okimoto's interview with Derek: taking from derekwebb.net

Derek Webb interview transcript
02/04/2005

Derek:  ….We’re diverse members of one body. And we really need some people who are called to go, and some people who stay. I mean, we really need that. and I was hoping that "A New Law" [Kevin's note: a track of his new album Mockingbird.  Listen to it for free at derekwebb.com] was going to communicate that, and say, anything I’m advocating on this record, what I’m not saying is ‘this is the right way to do it’. Because that’s all we want to do. It’s like Don Miller always says-

And I refer to Don Miller simple because he’s a friend. Not because I’ve been tremendously influenced by his writing. In fact, I’m not at all influenced by don miller’s writing. He’s just a friend of mine. It’s so funny how people think I started reading Don Miller, and then got liberal. I don’t think I’ve ever really read any – I’ve read bits of a few of his books, but… Don’s just a friend of mine. We’ve never talked about stuff like that. We’ve never talked about anything heavy. He’s been no influence on me other than he’s a really cool guy and he’s a good friend of mine.

But, Don has said, which I think is really interesting, he said that people come to the Bible asking ‘how’ questions, and it’s a ‘why’ book. And I think that’s really helpful. It’s not about, “here’s a way for us to live, and here’s everything you should do…”. It’s not about that. And that’s not what this record is about.

This one is for bulldawgy:

Derek on these songs lyrics:

peace by way of war
is like purity by way of fornication
it’s like telling someone murder is wrong
and showing them by way of execution

Derek:  …The idea of people who are against abortion would go and show that by killing abortion doctors. It’s like telling someone that murder is wrong, and showing them by way of execution. That is one of a variety of different things that I packed into those two lines. It can mean a lot of things and at different points has meant different things to me. But it is intentionally ambiguous. It doesn’t have to mean anything that is unbiblical, and I didn’t intend it to mean anything unbiblical. 

 …What I’ll tell you is, what went into those lines were many thoughts about many things about how it’s inconsistent to say this is right and I’m going to do that to you to prove it. And it does touch on issues that have to do with the dignity of human life. But I was thinking just as much about people who murder abortion doctors. Because that is very literally saying, ‘murder is wrong and I’m going to murder you to stop you from doing it’. That’s totally inconsistent.

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Maybe Not So Far After All?

May 9, 2006

Part Two of my Derek Webb thinking series…

Richard Okimoto's interview with Derek: taken from derekwebb.net

Derek Webb interview transcript
02/04/2005

Derek:  ….We’re diverse members of one body. And we really need some people who are called to go, and some people who stay. I mean, we really need that. and I was hoping that "A New Law" [Kevin's note: a track of his new album Mockingbird.  Listen to it for free at derekwebb.com] was going to communicate that, and say, anything I’m advocating on this record, what I’m not saying is ‘this is the right way to do it’. Because that’s all we want to do. It’s like Don Miller always says-

And I refer to Don Miller simple because he’s a friend. Not because I’ve been tremendously influenced by his writing. In fact, I’m not at all influenced by don miller’s writing. He’s just a friend of mine. It’s so funny how people think I started reading Don Miller, and then got liberal. I don’t think I’ve ever really read any – I’ve read bits of a few of his books, but… Don’s just a friend of mine. We’ve never talked about stuff like that. We’ve never talked about anything heavy. He’s been no influence on me other than he’s a really cool guy and he’s a good friend of mine.

But, Don has said, which I think is really interesting, he said that people come to the Bible asking ‘how’ questions, and it’s a ‘why’ book. And I think that’s really helpful. It’s not about, “here’s a way for us to live, and here’s everything you should do…”. It’s not about that. And that’s not what this record is about.

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Has He Gone to Far?

May 9, 2006

I just listened to a free Derek Webb podcast called Derek Webb episode 5.  It was an internet/conf call interview between Derek Webb and Don Miller, with a moderator.  I thought the moderator was quite good.  It was only ten minutes long, but from it you get a better idea of why Derek's music took the turn it did.  And here's the whopper:

I agree with his statements on theology and ethics.  Yikes, does that make me a liberal?

Makes you want to listen, doesn't it? 

I Corinthians 13

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Class A enjoyment

May 8, 2006

My AmpI took the opportunity last night while my kids were playing in the basement to crank up the 5 watt Class A Crate Amp I bought awhile back.  I blasted some Rush tunes out of my iPod and played along like I was in high school again, all giddy like a school girl.

Partly because I remembered so much of the music after 20 plus years, but mostly because I got to enjoy my new amp.  Wow.  Class A means sooo much to those that have been enchanted by its purity of tone and dynamic responsiveness.  I could go on awhile about it, but it would be "like dancing about architecture".

Grace Under Pressure - RushFor those that are engineering minded or intellectually curious, here's a link to a comparison of different classes of amplification.  You can scroll down to the end of the page for the conclusion if the theory gets to be too much. In the end, simplicity and inefficiency win the day when it comes to guitar tone.