Friday, August 31, 2007

And the end shall be the beginning.

Wilco on Jay Leno:

Well it was lovely to say the least. I went with some really great people. My friend Phil and Harris where the best companions because laughter is on top of the list to enjoy an evening with music and the boys from Super Bad. Those boys were really funny and I got a chance to chat quite briefly with Michael Cera (or George Michael from Arrested Development). He was lovely. I think his humor is so dry and his timing quite impeccable. Life is funny when you live outside the confines of Hollywood.

Though we should get back to the matter at hand....Wilco.
They played Either Way. The song I had yet to hear during their shows. It was perfect. I couldn't see Glenn Kotche (the drummer) so I had to lean far over to the left almost on top of Phil to see the song. It was great. I didn't get to meet them. Which is probably a good thing because I am sure I would have been a blubbering idiot. My friend Grant told me that I will be the person to write a spirituality on Wilco book. I am sure that would be or could be a possibility but I am not going to put undesired restrictions on such a band that so easily pushes past those created norms.

I think this tour was really quite lovely. There were no gimmicks or extra noise. There was limited chaos or confusion. the Ghost is Born Tour seemed more like an art explosion. High thought was needed to process through the sound and the visualizations of projections of patterns, animals, and abundances of color. This tour was more stripped down. It was simple. A few lights and a great set list. That's all they really needed. It was interesting to be outside for both shows as most of the concerts I have attended has been in the winter at venues that need to have heat and or a roof over the establishment.

This evening there were few words but there seemed to have quite a bit of energy. They seemed happy. Glenn was amazing all three evening. Nels Kline's guitar playing is nearly flawless and his ability to play blows my mind. I think it is amazing to see great musicians at their finest. They are so tight and there are minimal, if any, mistakes. The one commentary on life and living was mid Spiders (Kidsmoke). For those who may not know it is about 15 minutes long that sits on one beat and then layers different guitar parts throughout. Towards the end Jeff had everyone clapping together as one. He made a comment along the lines of falling into regimes, kind of like boots marching along, everyone falling into line. Conformity being the ruler. An interesting thought and comment about life and living.

Wilco is amazing. They continue to amaze me and impress me. They continue to draw me in. To think something different about who they are and how they are working in and with the culture. I think what they do is fabulous. There are other bands out there that work just as hard. Wilco is my favorite, I understand that. I hope they continue to make music for years more.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wilco Day Two.

Last night was night two of Wilco. It was such a different experience from two nights before. It was still a great show but instead of being three rows from the front we were three rows from the back!! It was fun and it was great to see a different perspective, hear things a but differently, and sit through the whole show. The night was lovely. The Greek is a beautiful venue set up in the hills of Hollywood. It is tree covered so the sound is really tight and doesn't get lost in open space. I was well pleased for being as far as we were from the sound booth.

Here is the set list from the Los Angeles show:

1. You Are My Face
2. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
3. Side With The Seeds
4. Shake It Off
5. Handshake Drugs
6. A Shot In The Arm
7. Impossible Germany
8. Sky Blue Sky
9. Too Far Apart
10. Pot Kettle Black
11. War On War
12. Via Chicago
13. Jesus, Etc.
14. Walken
15. I'm The Man Who Loves You
16. Hummingbird
17. On And On And On

Encore 1:
18. California Stars
19. Hate It Here
20. I'm Always In Love
21. Outtasite (Outta Mind)

Encore 2:
22. Heavy Metal Drummer
23. Spiders (Kidsmoke)

This was not much different from the San Diego show. They did play On and On and On which made this lady curl up in a ball in my seat and take in every beautiful note.There was a full moon last night and a bit of cloud cover which made the night quite priceless. My friend had never seen Wilco before so it was great for him to go and experience the great live performance of Wilco.

In just a few hours I will be heading to see the Jay Leno show. This is the last stop for Wilco week but it has been grand thus far....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wilco, Day One

Wow....what a night

People have asked me through out the day how the show was. My response has been that of well...I can't really find the words. It was something that I know that I will never forget. My ticket said that we were in row four yet as I walked endlessly down the stairs of the venue on the UCSD campus I realized just how close we were. There was no row one so technically Harris and I were in the third row. It seems ridiculous that I was that close. It was so surreal.

My camera is a bit broken. As in I can't see the back screen. I believe I stepped on it at the wedding I attended in July. So I couldn't look through the back screen so I needed to figure out what the flash was. So make a long story short I couldn't read the back screen and these pictures are not the best but I was close. So close I saw the chicken pox marks on Nels Klines face. (He had chicken poxs a couple of weeks ago).

The show was great. The sound was great. I was excited for the chance to interact with the band so close to the front.
My favorites for the night included:
Impossible Germany
Spiders (Kidsmoke)
Sky Blue Sky

Songs I hope to hear tomorrow night:
Either Way
On and On and On

Amazing.....simply amazing....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Welcome to Wilco Week

Can you imagine driving in a moving truck squished in the front seat or sneaking in the back and trying to catch a nap as it drives down the highway. This is what i remember from my first excursion to see Wilco. It was in Des Moines, Iowa. A long trip but a really great show. Some friends were part of a music festival and had bought the tickets for Grr for his birthday. It was a memorable trip and was the first of many shows that I have seen of what I would consider a little taste of heaven.

Tomorrow I head down to San Diego to see the best band (or what I can say is the best band), WILCO!! My overt obsession of the band is pretty well documented and I am really excited about the ability to go to the show. It has been maybe a couple of years since I saw the full band perform. I saw Jeff Tweedy solo right before i moved to California and that is slowly approaching the two year mark for that. I can say that I have changed a lot in that time but what hasn't changed is the love i have for this band.

I was talking to a friend the other day who was a bit shocked that I was going to see them three times this week. Yes, friends, three times!! My reply was that some people like to collect things like model trains or airplanes. I just love a band with some of the best musicianship in my time. I feel lucky. Oh so lucky. I am sure I will update post tomorrow evening where I have fourth row tickets. I hope that tomorrow night is not a night I will soon forget.

So my friends....welcome to Wilco week where I believe this will be my thoughts documented on my week with Wilco...
Monday: San Diego at the San Diego State Open Air Auditorium
Tuesday: probably obsessing about the show
Wednesday: Los Angeles at the Greek Theatre
Thursday: Seeing them on the Jay Leno show

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I have been reading all day. The last couple of hours I have been reformulating some thoughts I have had for some time ago and they were shoved or shelved for a later day. I am in the midst of understanding some thoughts in Job that are taking to me some new places in my thinking but over all reaffirming what is happening in my mind and thoughts.

It is time we move from our many traditions.

This being said I know that now i need to defend it. I need to stand firm behind my overwhelming thought. This can no longer be a statement that we mention but really stand behind this and begin to move. Our traditions are weighing us down. We are hurting ourselves more than we are helping the church.

I am using the church because it is the last institution that is usually the one to move.

i use the church because it is archaic.

we can no longer go backwards. We can not stand with the feet of our forefathers. We can't because it destroys us, rather than to help us. We can't stand there with our feet in the ground saying that the traditions help us. Do they? Really, do they?

Our movement needs to be forward rather than back. I am sick of being in churches that do things without questioning anything. I am tired of emerging churches that look like they value art but they steal from the culture, add a few Jesus' or Christ's and call it spiritual. The culture is already spiritual. We have lost that in the church.

The church feels like a clubhouse where only members can come. It was like that Berstein's Bears book that I always read where the cover had Brother bear in a tree house where there was a sign that said NO GIRLS ALLOWED. Now we can let girls in but they have to play by there rules. I am bored by these rules. I don't want to play by them so I will go some place else. I will go where it is better. I will go where people are accepting of me. Because these places exist. They exist because the church failed. I am bored by it making me feel bad, unloved, unreceptive to grace.

I don't want to make a new denomination. I don't want to make a new building. I want to make something that is a safe place. There is some places that need rules there are others that need to be explored. We need to take our blinders off. We need to be bold and we need to be allowed to change.

We need to stand up for freedom, and originiality, we need to be bold and free. We can't stand there and take it. We are better than that. so we why do we allow ourselves to hurt and humilate? Why are we running after power and influence? Why do we think that I (we) are the only ones in the world that God is using. Wake up. Realize that we are not. It's time to move on. We are allowed to. God grants us freedom? Did we forget this? Did we forget that God gave it to someone else as well? That is community. That is what we are made to do.....

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I don't think I was born a feminist. I think I was born into a family that my parents shared responsibilities for raising two twin daughters that wanted to swim, dance, or play basketball all the time. I don't think I was born with the intention to carry the banner for women but it all changed as I began to change to ask the question why?

I think that there are certain small moments that stand out in my childhood and teenage years that I look back with a small smile and my heart warming. I am grateful that I was allowed to ask that question of why. I somehow found myself in a very traditional Christian undergraduate University. There I was beginning to find out what it 'meant' to be a Christian but I found it that it didn't suit me so well. I remember wrestling with simple textual verses that tried to explain that women needed to be kept silent in the church and or they could not preach in the congregation. I wrestled because I wanted to believe the 'truth' or what was so conceived as the truth. I was told this is the way that it has always been.

For such a long time I was wrecked, I began to carry anger and I was so violently angry towards those that didn't believe in equality. I knew that women and men needed to be on the same playing field. That the argument that they can raise the families, wash the laundry, cook and clean, were not something that I could ascribe to. I couldn't wear that on my skin. I was ready to burst. I was ready to see so much more than the word had to offer. I began to realize:

What always has been isn't always what is.

I began to wrestle. I didn't start with verses but the whole chapter, than on to book, and now am at the point that when I engage with the text as a whole. Instead of why I am beginning to understand the what. What does freedom mean? What does togetherness really entail? What does it mean to wrestle with the questions together? I am sad when we want to separate the male and the female. That a man has a dominance or power over the woman. What I see is the perverseness of power and the desire for strength and influence. We are missing out on the togetherness and what we can learn from one another in a communal whole. Why do we separate the strengths? I don't think a healthy feminism is female over male and certainly we have seen what happens with male over female. Something ends up missing. Something becomes separated.

I think we are missing out on the beauty of wholeness and what it means to strive to work together. I meet some really healthy relationships where the couple works together. There is no keeping score. There is no one upping, or keeping tabs. I am ready to move in all my relationships with the vision of community and grace. This is struggling with people, hearing what they have to say, wrestling with traditions that define us as human beings. We put these labels on ourselves. Are we wiling to redefine the labels?

This week has reminded me of why I am a feminist and that I am made to fight for the voice of women. I feel really blessed in this gifting and really hope and pray that the path laid out for me is a quest that I am able to endure. I hope that I can be a part of changing definitions, to live in a space that is ready for change, for definitions to be revised, and the partnerships to be strong in time.

Unity and Equality are so important. When we see one another as the same, as equal, we will begin to see those that are so different than ourselves as so much the same.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Christian Homemaking?

I was doing my weekly duty and attending our mandatory work meeting on Friday. We get the news of the week and we talk about what's happening in the Bookstore. It was brought to the attention that if any of the women were interested there was a new program starting in the fall at Southewestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth Texas in Christian Homemaking.

Yes you heard it right. Christian Homemaking. will lead you to where you can find more information. But here are the highlights:
To nurture and care for the family.
In the area of nutrition and food preparation.
By developing a skill in clothing and textile design.
Through practical experiences for skill development for the most important job a woman may have: the nurture and care of the family.

The goal of the program is to become:
Prepared spiritually – Through significant study of Scripture and theology, each woman will be prepared to be an evangelist and apologist focused upon reaching women, children and families for Christ.

Challenged intellectually – Intensive instruction in the history of Western ideas will challenge each woman to be familiar with the influential people of our past and to give a response from a biblical worldview.

Equipped practically–With four areas of focus, the homemaking concentration student will be equipped

I have been thinking about this since I heard about it last week and a friend today sent me a link to an article about this topic on Yahoo. It saddens me, angers me, and mocks me all at the same time. It seems that the people i have been meeting lately want women to be honest with their gifts and talents and crave equality between the sexes. I can't say it will be equal in my lifetime but I have hope that there could be a possibility. I have said before that every time someone becomes a feminist I hear of someone saying that they have gotten some sort of work done to their bodies.

I will say that I equate my femininity to my body. I have been reading that for so long women have not had power or authority with their verbal language so they have moved to their body as a way of displaying power or authority. I find it interesting that this school wants to keep people in the home. Keep women from exploring their gifts, talents, and abilities. There are women who choose to have families, and stay at home. That's fine. But what happens when the kids are grown? What then? What do these women have? Who have they become? Do they feel whole or valued? Do they have amazing connections with their husbands? Are they vibrant in the connection of they are and who they were to become?

I think raising kids is a thankless job. I am grateful for mothers who feel like they want to stay at home and be with their children. I am grateful for their sacrifice. But to go to school to literally get a degree in being a good wife is a mockery to the educational system. Who are the professors and can they even have the authority to teach at a Seminary when the Baptist tradition has been vocal in stripping power and right from women.

Why do men have the power to make these decisions or to know what is best for other women?

I am angry.

This is irresponsible.

This is not just what women were created for.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Things that I have been falling in love with....

I love coffee....especially iced with a little bit of soy milk. It has been what's keeping me going.

I skated last night with my friend Darrell and Michelle. It was a flash back to past adventures, past friends, and past passions. It stirred something inside me. It has pushed me to new desires. Wait I don't think they are so new as i haven't thought about working with students in such a long time. It seems out of sight...out of mind. Life is good..even despite the moments that make you think through what is going on in ones life. Hence last weeks depressing post.

Though the summer is lonnnnngggg and HOT! There is nothing like a fantastic conversation over a summer ale like Blue Moon and an orange. I think it also just made me realize how fun it is to find friends that you connect with over snowboarding and the common experience of pain. I think there is something to taking this life one day at a time.

I am sure next week I will be bitching about something else. But I hope that I can write more about culture and begin to explore new avenues or at least something new with the culture. I am hopeful for some sleep, a week left of class, and the chance for all homework to be done and all I have is my own reading list, an air conditioned bed room, and large glasses of iced coffee....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

on and on and on

I have not really heard any new great music lately.
or late greats.

The words in books look all the same lately.
I do have some thoughts mulling around. I am trying to connect the dots.

I see the same movies over and over again.
The novelty of new seems just to be that, a novelty.

I stepped on my camera face.
It is cracked and I can't see the screen.

I need to go to a park. The ocean. The downtown of a city.
I need a different restaurant. A different street.
I need to be inspired.
I need create something.

I think I am realizing that I hate the summer and looking forward to the fall.
There always seems to be a change in me.
Maybe new people.
Or falling leaves.
Or walks in city streets.
The summer is long.
and hot.
and I want to take a nap.

The sameness is.....

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


I don't know if it's being in school during the summer or lack of some sort of pattern or order but the summer doesn't bring 'blasts' or 'fun' for me. I don't know if it's all the planning for the upcoming fall or the lack of any sort of season change but i think the summers in california are as weird and uncomfortable as the winters in the midwest. You know that it is only going to get hotter and hotter. It's kind of like the winters and it's February when you realize and recognize that it's going to snow for two more months. That's it here but just extreme heat.

I think it's the transitions here at a school where people come and go quite frequently. I feel lucky to be at Fuller and great new opportunities are rising at a fairly consistent basis. But I feel lately like I am directionless or in a state of growth. I am not ready to bloom. I am not ready to have all my brilliant colors be seen. It's awkward this thing called growth. I am so used to change and right now my life is steady, predictable, healthy. I think it's like that Sex and the City episode that Carrie wakes up freaking out because for the first time in her life that nothing is going wrong. Maybe things are to safe! Or my body knows something is going to happen around the bend.

Life is fun, strange even. This is the first time since I was 18 where I haven't moved in a year. I have just sat and stared at that sentence and searched my memory to see if it is true, because certainly that seems impossible. But yet that is the truth. I look at that and know that I am always shifting and changing. My thoughts like my life pattern are similar to this shifting and changing. I am always revising and replacing what I know and what needs to be updated. My life is constantly changing. I am ready to move forward and I am ready to see truth in all it's movements and flux.

I am tired and weary. I know that if I were to bloom today it would be to early but the part of me that needs a push or a jolt is ready and waiting for that.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Who i may be.

I have been reading so much lately. Every spare moment I get I am putting my head, eyes, and ears to yet another dialouge or another theory. It has been so good for me to just interact with different lives and all at the same time putting the CD player on and letting the beautifulness ring out. I have been listening to some older records that I thought needed some re-playing time. Damien Jurado, Cat Power, Neutral Milk Hotel, Jurassic Five, an old mix cd full of goodness and heartbreak, and Sigur Ros. Love.

Today I finished a Hip Hop view of women and within the next breath I opened DeCapo' Best Music Writing 2001 edited by this man Nick Hornby. I bought the book for a penny and if I only read the introduction I will count it as one of the most valuable pieces of literature I have read in some time. To people who don't really music writing or music in general it could be just ink on paper but I am fully aware of what he is trying to say. I think what makes Hornby so brilliant and so valuable is that he understands the natural ebb and flow of life that brings both joy and sorrow. Those that attempt to make music may do a fabulous life altering piece while others make an attempt but it travels no further than that.

For Hornby wrote this at the end of his introduction:
"Every critic is a fan, and fandom can often be shot through with envy; it takes a steady nerve and a great generosity of spirit to keep that envy out of the writing. You won't find much that is mean in this book; but you will find lots of stuff trying to explain why music matters, what it means, where it, and the impulse to make it, comes from. In other words, this book is hopefully not about music at all, but about what makes us human." (pg. 6)

I will leave you with that thought....

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Why do we seperate?

I got into the Christian music scene when I was a freshman in college. My friend Andy Soper saw that I had some potential in understanding what music was and that i had style in fashion but not the musical knowledge to back it up. He insisted I put away the DC Talk and move over to this group called P.O.D. which I swiftly did and onto other records such as Stretch Arm Strongs Rituals of Life, MXPX's full catalogue, and many others. It was an addiction that started there and hasn't really stopped. Now it's a lifestyle, a love, something that always comes with me and has become a passion over many of the passions that I store.

This book chronicles all sides of the Christian music industry. In some ways it chronicles my life. He was at Cornerstone in 2004, my second adventure there full of heartbreak, but also the debut of Beauty From Within. He was at the Festival of Faith and Music where Sufjan Stevens played most of Seven Swans and Danielson was on amazing in his little tree. He was also saw Jay Bakker and Revolution at Cornerstone Florida, i was not there for that but life has been ever impacted and changed by their efforts. It was fun to see his point of view of these little festivals but it was also interesting to see his interaction with the Nashville music scene, the corporate politics of the big wigs in Christian music. To hear many peoples painful stories of trying to earn Gods love or make meaning out of their faith.

It was interesting to hear the wide array of stories but what the author found the most interesting or compelling were Dave Bazan from Pedro the Lion and Aaron Weiss from Mewithoutyou. He connected with their honesty and their authenticity something that i don't think he saw in a lot of the people he interviewed or came into contact with. I feel he saw their doubt and was attracted to that. There is something about not having all the answers and the ability to be real with your faith that people see and react positively. I know that my life has been forever changed by both of these bands. They help raise new questions as well as reveal what's longing in your heart. Real doubt or real fear that this life is not what you thought it was going to be. I think it's interesting to engage in that type of conversation.

He also raises questions that I have had for sometime. Why do we separate the Christian from the 'secular'? Other than worship music is there a need to create something that separates yourself from the rest of the quote on quote world? What is this life that we think that we have that is so privileged over the rest of the worlds? Aaron makes a point in saying that life wasn't so bad before Christ but with it brought a lot of pain and a lot of new questions. I think that is my struggle as well. Is the good news all that good news? Was Ghandi right when he said he liked our Christ but not our Christians? Can't we find God in the culture? We do we demonize people who were also created in Gods image?

I have a lot more questions than I have answers and I am definitely okay with that...