Friday, April 29, 2005
sven has asked people to post about their three favourite albums. It's almost impossible to narrow things down to 3 but here goes :
It sounds clichéd to say it but The Stone Rose's eponymous first album is possibly the best debut album ever. I was lent a tape of the album when I was 15 and was immediately hooked. I grew my hair into a bowl cut and started wearing flares. I wore out 2 tape versions of the album and then got it on vinyl, which got nicked at university :(. How to describe their sound? - 60's inspired psychadelic jangly guitar pop with a heavy dose of funk and Manc attitude. Reminds me of summer and misspent youth.
I can't remember when I got into Stevie Wonder, I think it was sometime at Uni, but when I did I got into him bigtime. As well as being one of the funkiest people ever, he is just an incredibly gifted musician with an amazing voice and surely one of the most influencial black artists of all time. His early motown stuff is great, but it is his '70s output which represents his best work. I was torn between 'Songs in the Key of Life' and 'Talking Book' but I think for shear variety of styles it has to be the double album 'Songs'. It's worth buying just for 'Knocks me off my feet'.
There had to be a Beatles album and I think it's got to be Abbey Road. There is always a huge debate which is the best Beatle's album. Contenders would be Rubber Soul and Revolver but Abbey Road is my favourite. It's one of those albums that you can just put on and sit and listen to just for the sake of listening to it. George Harrison comes into his own with 'Something' and 'Here comes the sun' but the highlight is the medley on side 2 (remember sides?). Pure genius. I feel sorry for people who've never heard it. I have memories of sitting around with housemates listening to this album back to back for entire evenings, trying to play along with our guitars.The best album by the best group of all time.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
My favourite sweets in the world are midgets gems, I have enjoyed them my whole life. But they had to be Lion's Midget Gems, no other brand would do. The best thing about them was there chewiness. They were rock hard and shiny, like gems in fact. The best ones were the black ones, which were liquorice flavour. These were quite strange and mysterious, and unusual for a jelly sweet. Not everyone liked them, which was ok 'cos it meant more for me.
Well, Lion's have been taken over by Maynard's (the wine gums people), and they've CHANGED THEM! They're not shiny any more, and they've made them soft and squidgy like all the other poor immitations. Worst of all, they've changed the black ones. The positive spin that they put on this it that they've introduced a new, blackcurrant flavour, but of course the liquorice has gone. The blackcurrant is ok, but not a patch on the originals. Of course I will be writing to Maynard's to complain about this outrageous travesty of justice, but I may never get over this.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Well it's the end of my three-week Easter holiday (it's a hard life, I know). I've finished my last essay - hoorah! Just got my dissertation to finish off now, which I'm about half-way through - boo. Then 5 exams and it's all done. I feel a bit in limbo at the moment, I can't wait to finish, but I don't know what the next stage of the game is yet. I get strangely aloof when I'm in the middle of college work, I realise people have been speaking to me 5 minutes after they started, I forget to shave, I gibber to myself incomprehensively, that kind of thing.
Anyway, enough about me. My friend Andy White is one of the most passionate guys I know. He dreams big dreams, and pursues them. He's been faithfully serving his community week after week for longer than I can remember. He's been over at Cincinnati Vineyard for a conference and God has blessed him with a little pressie. I must ask him to introduce me to his friends.
I'm not sure if I've ever blogged about 'emerging church', we've never really owned that label here in Coventry Vineyard, but I have been inspired, and challenged (and at times frustrated) by the conversation. Anyway, perhaps inevitably, the whole thing is starting to come in for some stick from certain quarters. With the release of the third in Brian McLaren's trilogy, The Last Word, and the Word After That, and Don Carson's Becoming Conversant With Emergent the heat may be about to be turned up. Andrew Jones has posted an open blog post to Carson which I thought was quite gracious. I know Carson is a respected scholar and no doubt a busy guy, but let's see if he's really interested in becoming conversant. I'm just not sure the blogosphere is on his radar screen.
Sven must surely be one of the most prolific bloggers on my blogroll and he's consistently readable. Actually, it's quite annoying how someone can be so articulate and consistently funny and interesting. I take solace in the fact that he occasionally looks like this, and he cuts himself shaving like I do. I've been enjoying his series on the story of Jesus in Mark's gospel: Intro here, then a who's who, then part one, and part two
nuf for now
Monday, April 11, 2005
Well it's that time again. So who's it to be? The warmonger, the fascist, or the one who won't get in? What me cynical? Someone once said that voting Labour is like wiping your backside, it's got to be done but you don't exactly enjoy doing it. A necessary evil you might say. The alternative is unthinkable to me.
It seems Mr. Howard wants to make immigration one of his main electioneering points. I find this worrying because it is, as the Lib. Dems argue, a complex issue which cannot be reduced to soundbites because it is so open to misinterpretation, historic anxieties and xenophobia. I know that people have genuine fears, mostly unfounded in my opinion, and fed by our best-selling newspapers The Sun and The Daily Mail and the evil Express. I just hope things don't get ugly.
Some myth-busting facts about asylum here
Howard's 'solution' to the immigration problem is to provide 24 hour surveillance at ports. (Well, at 35 of them anyway, there are 100s). An idea that has been denounced as uncosted and unworkable by a former immigration officer, and all this with £35 billion worth of tax cuts.
Having shown my colours, I promise this will be the last time I blog about the election (well maybe).
Sunday, April 03, 2005
The Revolution Will Be BloggedWell, after my 40 day Lent blogging session I decided to give myself a week off (blogging that is). I enjoyed the daily blogging on the whole, but towards the end it became a bit of a chore. Now I'll revert to just blogging when I feel like it, so back to once a month then.
I have started my work with Prof. John Hull and I'm finding it both fascinating and rewarding. It's only basic office work but he is an amazing guy to be around.
I've started my next essay which is on whether people can find salvation in other faiths. I have been re-reading Lesslie Newbigin's "The Gospel in a Pluralist Society which is just awesome. Found a website with a ton more Newbigin stuff here. Link added.
The blogging phenomen just continues to grow, and some authoritarian governments are getting worried about it according to the BBC