Saturday, September 23, 2006


One Mark Miller (my new cool friend I all too often only see in the hallway at zee high school) blessed my butt by bequeathing upon me his extree Sufjan at the Ryman (9/11) ticket. And on the self-same day, the ever-wonderful Anne Coble performed a similar kindness on Sarah.
So we were there, many people apart, but both getting chills over the beauty of the whole thing. Sufjan riding the wave of a cool new way of being in the world (listen to "Chicago" over and over again and feel the buzz, procure Seven Swans and just try to not want the other albums).
My ego, as I understand it, is telling me to not get caught on the Sufjan bandwagon lest I look like a lemming ("Mustn't look like a lemming...Mustn't get seen getting mimetic"). But if I'm to be saved, as I understand being saved, I gotta leggo my ego....So...
Just plain marvelous and inspiring. Everything about it. The kind of nerd-cool (the audience, the band, Suf, all of it) that feels like it can't be you'll never see Sufjan in a photo looking serious with sunglasses...or if you do, you'll know that he knows it's wonderfully ridiculous. Incapable of much in the way of pose. The music was the thing. Everyone entering into it. Unself-conscious spectacle. Or open-handedly aware of its own self-consciousness, Dostoevskyan nervous giggle spectacle. Prince Myshkin...Alyosha Karamazov....Good for everyone present...
I witnessed many a former student (some of whom had proven--or at least seemed-- impenetrably resistant when I'd tried to foist flannery o'connor and all manner of strangeness upon them over the last 10 years) and here they were grooving hard and being undeniably engaged by sufjan's sounds and overall way of witness. It was getting through. Something felt undeniable about it all. What the Ryman's for...Cultivating a culture...Something's happening here and I don't what it is...
Here ends my spew.

Glad to be talking,

p.s. "America's Young Theologian" (to your right amid the linkage) might make you smile appreciatively.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Couple Things

There's a new-ish article to the right. "Everybody to the Limit," we call it. We'd be glad to hear tell if'n t makes you smile.
AND Tom Waits at the Ryman was just plain wonderful. He opened with a stomping, Come-on-down-Lord rendition of "Make It Rain." Each song seemed to require a different, rhythmic breathing exercise to get his body and voice exactly where it needed to be...just the right level of growl or howl or plaintive death-pleading.
When he got to that bit on "House Where Nobody Lives":
So if you find someone, someone to have, someone to hold 
Don't trade it for silver, don't trade it for gold
Cos I have all of life's treasures, and they're fine
and they're good

They remind me that houses are just made of wood
What makes a house grand oh it aint the roof or the doors
If there's love in a house, it's a palace for sure
The place erupted in applause, and it was like "Oh Man, Everybody Here Gets It."
Anyway...Waits. Very much the blessing.
That's us for now....