Monday, August 29, 2011
Here's a new band called Youth Lagoon. You can download a few of their tracks for free from Bandcamp (use the widget below). The second of the two tracks available, "Cannons", is my favorite, especially when the lead guitar kicks in 50 seconds in the song.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
I flew back to Kansas City this past weekend to celebrate my family's August birthdays, most importantly my mom and sister's birthdays. Fulfilling a promise we'd made after reading the book, my mom and I went to see The Help last Friday, my dad graciously tagging along. The film is one I'd highly recommend to anyone who has a heart not made from stone. I found The Help to be equally emotional and thought provoking. Here is one thought I had while sitting in the theater:
I'm amazed and devastated by human kind's willingness to submit one another to such degradation. Racism is a terrible thing and I'm fascinated that we would treat one another in such a fashion. Yet I noticed while watching the film my tendency to be disgusted by "them" - Southerners and other racists. It's very easy to observe such filthy treatment from afar, pointing my finger at other people without examining my own life with an equally critical eye. And if that is what I do, get angry at the South or angry at racists in general, while leaving myself out of the picture, I miss the entire lesson of the film. The lesson is, I think, that we are by nature selfish people, quick to treat others as means to an end. In so doing we embody the opposite of love, racism being one such manifestation. Using a biblical analogy, I'll miss this lesson in the film if I focus my attention solely on the "speck" of racism (though clearly racism is exponentially more than just some small speck) and forget about the "plank" in my own life.
I believe I have a healthy appreciation for people of all races. I'm not racist, at least as far as I can tell. But I'm missing the point of The Help if I think that only racists are "on the hook". In the end, The Help challenged me to critically examine how I treat others, with love or with selfishness. I want to continue to grow into a person who makes fewer selfish choices and more sacrificially loving choices. I'm not there yet, but I want to be.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
© Todd McLellanTodd McLellan. These photographs blew my mind. I'm not sure what impresses me more - the engineering to assemble such a mechanism or the creativity and ability to disassemble and photograph such a thing. It's worth clicking to enlarge the images and see the intricate parts and display.
© Todd McLellan
© Todd McLellan
I officially have homework again. Only in law school do you have homework before school even starts. Lana Del Rey, the new Jeff Bridges album, and the new mixtape from The Weeknd are providing the soundtrack as I dive into my Day 1 reading assignments. Check out a track from Lana Del Rey below.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
© Richard BarnesRichard Barnes. I saw the above photograph yesterday and couldn't help but remember all of the trips my aunts organized to the Natural History Museum in Lawrence, Kansas. I have fond memories of trekking through the museum with my siblings and cousins to see so many "stuffed" animals. Barnes has an entire series of photographs documenting the preparation of these natural history exhibits.
© Richard Barnes
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I've been waiting to read the Grantland article, written by Carles of HipsterRunoff.com, on the lessons taught by the TV series Friday Night Lights. I actually began the article a month ago only to stumble upon spoilers and postpone reading. Having finished Season 5 of FNL last night, I was finally able to finish the article. The author Carles gleaned surprisingly insightful lessons from watching the show (though I don't know Carles, so maybe his insight is not surprising at all). Among the many lessons he describes, these stuck out to me as most powerful - sacrifice defines a family; and a successful marriage depends on mutual submission (he uses different language in the article to describe the second lesson). This will be the lasting impression of Friday Night Lights for me: beyond entertainment, the show made an authentic examination of life in America and ultimately provided lessons for how life is best lived. At the core it's a show about the fallibility of humans and the need for grace, love, and sacrifice to make relationships work. If I'm honest, I shed some tears after watching the finale last night - tears for the end of an excellent show and for the many unexpected ways I grew from watching.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should street streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, August 15, 2011
I'm reading a very interesting book by Dave Eggers entitled Zeitoun. In this nonfiction narrative, Eggers tells the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a successful Syrian-born painter in New Orleans who remains in the city through Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent chaos. I'm actually reading this book as part of my law school orientation. Zeitoun's experience post-Katrina raises the issue of the value of law and order and it's fragility in times of crisis. Though only halfway through Zeitoun at the moment, I would highly recommend the book thus far. My one criticism is way in which this account grossly misunderstands Christianity as "same God, different book" as it relates to the Muslim faith. In Egger's attempt to relate the "Americanness" of this Muslim family, I believe he inaccurately unifies the two distinctly different faiths. Nevertheless, this on-the-ground account of the mayhem surrounding Hurricane Katrina is both fascinating and heartbreaking.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
I really like this cover of Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" by Mr. Little Jeans - aka Norwegian singer Monica Birkenes. This song would make a great soundtrack to Norwegian novelist Per Petterson's desolate fiction.
Friday, August 12, 2011
I heard this band, Quiet Company, on the radio last night. They hail from Austin and have a melodic indie sound. Check out a few of their songs below. It looks like they have an album coming out at the end of September.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
One of my friends tweeted about the website DearPhotograph.com. Those who post to the site are charged to "take a picture of a picture of the past in the present." That photo above reminds me of fishing at the park with my dad and my brother Kyle. I love looking at old family photographs and I really enjoy the concept of the website.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
I'm a big fan of Andrew Belle, a singer/songwriter from Nashville. He recorded a great session for Daytrotter.com. Go here to listen to and download the session for free. If you've never heard of Andrew Belle, check out a song of his below.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
The title of this song is appropriate considering the recent heat wave that has descended upon the Midwest - 111 degrees in parts of Kansas City yesterday. I'm a big fan of The Tallest Man on Earth. Some may not like his Dylan-esque growl, but I enjoy his sound. Check out a new song released as part of this summer's Adult Swim Singles Program through Cartoon Network.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I've meant to post this song for awhile now. It's from Death Cab's album that was released back in March. Though I loved Death Cab in college, I didn't give this album much thought. They've regressed, in my opinion, since signing to a major label and their last album, Narrow Stairs, was a flop. But I've enjoyed this year's Codes and Keys and I really like guitar riff in "You Are A Tourist".