Monday, March 31, 2008

the best remedy...

...for a splitting headache? Do a concert. What a blast last night.

And my dad's old standby of a STRONG cup of coffee and a couple of Advil probably didn't hurt either.


Friday, March 28, 2008

so what are you doing...

... tomorrow during Earth Hour? We're thinking a board game (will it be Settlers or Carcassonne?), strummin' and singin' some tunes, maybe even seeing about getting those new thrift store knitting needles in gear... we're going to need way more than an hour - maybe we'll just go nuts and take all evening... all to the light of candles with nary a volt, watt, or amp flowing (or whatever it is they do)...

And here's an article in Faith Today magazine about some crazy guy who's adapted the "Community Supported Agriculture" model to music, and is apparently attempting to make a living at it...

What will they think of next...


Thursday, March 20, 2008

you do not

Lately, for reasons I can't explain, I've been feeling tired. Just plain tired.

Maybe it's because I've again been focusing on organization and administration and many-decisions-to-be-made, and not taken time recently to write songs. Maybe it's because I've overdosed on exceptionally meaningful reading lately (did I just say that? is that possible?) - "The Land" by Walter Brueggemann, "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne, "Vegetable, Animal, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver - reading that has stimulated and inspired me, but also left me with nagging feelings of complacency. Maybe it's because we've felt inspired and challenged by - but not exactly sure what to do with what we're learning from - recent visits we've made to some friends who have built a straw bale house north of Wiarton and are living "off the grid" with solar/wind power, and an intentional community/eco-village just outside of Orangeville.

Maybe it's because it's "Holy Week," today is "Maundy Thursday," and for whatever reason these key moments in the year make me feel like I should be posting something wise and insightful on my blog, and I frankly don't feel like I have anything wise and insightful to say.

Maybe staying up too late the other night to watch "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" has something to do with it too...

In any case, I'm looking forward to a Seder Supper with family tonight (I've never experienced one before), and other special times of worship this weekend when I will be led and will not be leading.

And these words of Jesus from this morning's reading (John 13) jumped out and grabbed me and I plan to hold on to them pretty closely for a while:

"You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

good words

As I work at pulling together the songbook for the "My Money Talks: songs for worship" collection I came across these words from John Bell of the Iona Community and the Wild Goose Resource Group... important words for someone who "does what I do"...

"We do not believe that the Holy Spirit primarily inspires words and music for the benefit of profit margins."

...and, in response to those who might say "We've got enough songs already! We don't need any more!"

"Imagine you had been married for 20 years and you, as the wife, were given the same box of chocolates (candies) by your husband every Friday for the rest of your life. Would you see this as a sign of enduring love or a lack of imagination?"

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Friday, March 07, 2008


Not just because Easter is coming... and March Break is here... but - forgive me - I couldn't stop laughing at this...


Thursday, March 06, 2008

welcome aboard the "csm" train!

Not only has Jonathan Reuel decided to start his own "csm" (Community Supported Music) initiative - he's also bringing his flair for communicating in fresh and direct and intensely REAL ways - and his passion and genius for networking with artists of all kinds - and has put together an excellent description of the CSM approach and how he's applying it to what he does.

I'll race you to see who signs up first!

That said, it comes as a bit of a surprise to read there that Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens "tried something similar" to what I/we are doing with "community supported music." There are some similarities, to be sure - the idea of an artist-based kind of "subscription service" and a more direct "artist-supporting community" relationship - and I really like some of the things he's doing with that. And there are, of course, lots of current examples of people experimenting with different ways to do these kinds of things, which I think is great.

However, I think of the "community supported music" approach as an ALTERNATIVE to the mainstream "celebrity system"... not another way to package and cash in on celebrity status in the context of (as DiNizio's statement puts it) "the ever-imploding music industry."

In other words, it seems pretty important to me that "community supported music" is a way of structuring the artist-supporting community relationship that is predicated on notions like "enough" and "sustainability" and "viability at a small scale" and real "community"... in rather stark contrast, it seems to me, to the underlying assumptions of the celebrity system...

Or, to put it yet another way - I get very excited about the possibility of passionate people catching a glimpse of how they might be able to pursue their art in a way that is healthy and sustainable (personally, relationally, ecologically, even economically) without feeling that the "celebrity system" is the only game in town. And I'm glad to see that Jonathan thinks the "csm" approach can be one of the tools to help make that happen.

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