Saturday, July 21, 2007

Summertime in CT

Really enjoying the debut from St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark). Very weird, but very genius. Apparently live she produces all of the sounds on this record by herself. It's her, a guitar, a sampler and a kick drum. Hope I get to see that for myself.

And the new Ryan Adams (Easy Tiger) does not disappoint either. It's like he finally just got over himself and made the Neil Young-inspired record we all wanted him to make.

It's nice to have time to make my way through the stack of books I've collected over the past six months. A couple highlights:

Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock

by Andrew Beaujon
is more a journey inside the phenomenon of American Christian subculture. Written by a guy from Spin, it is surprisingly balanced and insightful. Especially amusing are his reactions to insider language evangelicals take for granted, like why churches are "planted" and not just, um, "started."

Terrorist by John Updike
is the first Updike novel I've ever read. I filled his prescriptions when I worked part-time as a pharmacy tech in a posh Boston North Shore town during my seminary days. Always wanted to ask him about his poem, Seven Stanzas at Easter, but could never summon the courage. Came across a quote by him in Eugene Peterson's Eat This Book. Updike said Karl Barth's book The Word of God and the Word of Man gave him "a philosophy to live and labor by, and in that way changed my life." He sums up the Biblical world view as he drew it from Barth: "that truth is holy, and truth-telling a noble and useful profession; that the reality around us is created and worth celebrating; that men and women are radically imperfect and radically valuable." Yeah, I think it's safe to say we should read Barth again.