Thursday, April 30, 2009

Off To Jubilee Partners

Jubilee Partners is a refugee community in Comer, GA. I'll be there for a week or so.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Some Merlefest Finds

Here's my latest discoveries from Merlefest 2009. Some I picked for particular songs, some are bands that I hadn't seen before.

The Duhks do a wonderful song Dance Hall Girls, which was apparently a hit in Canada. Someone put it to footage from beauty and the beast. Speaking of the Duhks, it's not evident in this song, but their new(ish) lead vocalist might be my favorite singer anywhere.

John Cowan Band doing King of California with Jeff Autry:

Bearfoot doing John Hartford's "Tall Buildings"

The Belleville Outfit swings it on "Exactly Like You":

More to come!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

It All Keeps Comin' Back to Bob(not Spencer)

From one of the greatest prophets of the twentieth century:

It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
by Bob Dylan

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying.

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool's gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words proves to warn
That he not busy being born
Is busy dying.

Temptation's page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you'd just be one more

Person crying.

So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don't hate nothing at all
Except hatred.

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred.

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked.

An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
It's only people's games that you got to dodge
And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.

Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you're the one
That can do what's never been done
That can win what's never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you.

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you.

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit To satisfy, insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not fergit
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to.

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something
They invest in.

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him.

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole that he's in.

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.

Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn't talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony.

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer's pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death's honesty
Won't fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely.

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed Graveyards, false gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough
What else can you show me?

And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.

New album April 28. He's still going:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Here's a quote from the latest Michael Spencer post, which concerns atheists and Christians co-existing:
Look at America in 2050 if that growth rate continues at even half that speed: a third of the country will be “godless.”

If evangelicals and other Christians had their heads about them, they would welcome this development. No religion beats meaningless adherence to religion every time(italics added). I see this every day. I work with dozens of students with a cultural adherence to a particular “Christian” religion. They overwhelmingly know almost nothing of Jesus, nothing of the Bible, nothing but a collection of cultural traditions, legends and superstitions about Christianity, but they consider themselves Christians.

When it comes to my job as a Christian communicator, give me the students who are “non-religious” over sorting through cultural adherence and dead superstition...But evangelicals have spent a large part of the post-war era villainizing atheists and the non-religious. Sometimes out of manipulation. Sometimes out of ignorance. Sometimes out of fear. Always out of an abandonment of a Jesus shaped view of those who are not Christians.

He doesn't restrict the accusation of hate rhetoric to Christians though. He follows this with some suggestions about decreasing animosity. Worth paying attention to.