So, Beck is doing something pretty cool with his newest album, Song Reader. In many ways this is the return of an old idea. Rather than putting out a CD–or any of his own performances, actually–Beck has invited anyone to download his song sheets and offer their own interpretation of the music: “Only you can bring Beck Hansen’s Song Reader to life.”
First Things has already blogged about how this is a throwback, and also about the way such a process can serve as a metaphor or lens through which to interpret God’s relationship to his creatures. I want to do something a little different, and rather than talk about the history of sheet music vs. recorded performance, or the idea of Divine authorship and the narrative in which we are all independent characters nevertheless pulled toward a providential conclusion, I simply want to share several renditions of one of the songs, “Don’t act like your heart isn’t hard.” Enjoy.
I originally posted this in 2008 and indicated that it was more fitting for the 2000 election. It may be applicable again come Tuesday:
While it was certainly much more applicable in 2000, I always like to share this selection from my fellow Ashevillan Thomas Wolfe‘s O Lost (the original, longer version of Look Homeward Angel) during election season:
“Oliver Gant had cast his first vote in Baltimore. It was for Ulysses Grant. Now he rode southward under the threatening mutter of a new civil war. Two men named Hayes and Tilden had contested the Presidency with a spirited exchange of vitriol. Mr. Tilden had been given the most votes, but Mr. Hayes had been given the Presidency. And the rabble whose large intelligence had ordained this miracle now stood shirtily around with opened mouths, or went bawling through the streets by torch light in pursuit of the lucid simplicities of democratic government.” (O Lost, p27 )
David is fast becoming one of my favorite artists. His music is great and he seems like he has a good sense of humor. I understand he lives here in Nashville, so I’m on the look out for a show (preferably not on a Saturday night- that’s a hard time for clergy). Enjoy.
I often find that the depiction of clergy in television and film leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve recently been watching the British show “Rev.” and I’ve been happily surprised. To be sure the main character, The Rev. Adam Smallbone, is a bit of a screw up, and he finds himself in awkward situations (think uncomfortable humor similar to “The Office,” but applied to the Church). That said, he’s not completely inept, corrupt or foolish. He cares for his people and his conversations with them, as well as his prayer life, while oversized for TV, are actually quite realistic in many aspects.
I’ve seen the first three episodes, available on Hulu, and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I believe the writers must be consulting with real-life clergy to get some of their ideas, because so many events and characters are just too good for them to have come up with without some reference to actual experience.
Here’s a clip from a recent episode that cracked me up:
[Note: there is occasionally coarse language in the show, and, in one instance, a construction worker is seen to moon the Vicar. Take that under advisement.]
Since several family members–including my lovely wife–often point out my penchant for sad music, I thought I’d start a new feature: regular postings of sad songs that I enjoy and think others might as well. Here are a few to listen to:
I’ve been getting more traffic on this post (sermon actually), which I wrote last year for The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday. Evidently there are a number of folks who would rather have Palm Sunday be only Palm Sunday and forgo the reading of the Passion Gospel on this day in favor of another occasion (logically, Good Friday, when we read it again) because, in addition to the comments on last year’s post, someone got to my blog today by searching:
“omit passion narrative on palm sunday episcopal” and others (?) by searching:
“passion gospel palm sunday or good friday?”
“rubrics reading of the passion story”
Interesting… I hope some folks will be encouraged to leave comments about why they’re looking to see if the rubrics allow the omission