Tag Archives: gotan project

monday morning update, march 9, 2009

the weekend that was: rather a nice weekend, again, at home. i’m getting spoiled with these!

clarity_cdfriday night was a memorable treat. i’ve gotten to know zach lind a bit over the years (mostly through emerging church world and blog and twitter world), and he plays in this little band called jimmy eat world. they were playing the house of blues in san diego friday night, and liesl and i went down and met zach for a drink prior to the show, then went to the show. liesl was a little star-struck (which was cute, and i think scored me some ‘my dad isn’t as much of a dork as i thought’ points). zach is really a genuinely good guy, and likely one of the deeper thinking rock drummers out there.

we also had a funny moment when, during the middle of the opening act, someone came up to me and said, “aren’t you with youth specialties?” we chatted a little (nice guy), and it was no big deal; but, once again, a middle aged dad needs all the help he can get when it comes to his 15 year-old daughter not thinking he’s a tool.

i stayed up so stinkin’ late friday (watched tv after the concert), that i slept in until 11:15am on saturday. i NEVER do that, and it was a great treat. saturday was a slow-ish day, with some errands (mostly shuttling liesl and her friends around), some work (had to finish my expense report), and some hangin’ with max and jeannie. we rented a movie and got pizza in the evening, while liesl and 3 friends (one of whom is moving to australia this week) watched movies in the back house.

sunday: church, a couple errands, then i drove up to “the inland empire” (that’s what they call the area east of LA). our annual junior high pastors summit started last night with dinner at the yard house (we needed a gathering point, since people were driving, or flying into one of three different airports). after dinner, we drove the short distance up to forest home camp, where we’re being hosted this week.

where i am at the moment: at the junior high pastors summit, at forest home camp, NE of LA. this is a cool little gathering (about 22 of us) of long-term, veteran middle school youth workers. we’ve been meeting for about 8 years in a row, and have developed a great love for each other, in addition to having great discussion.

on my to-do list this week: the junior high pastors summit through wednesday; then, i’m staying at forest home in a cabin by myself for the rest of the week for a silent retreat. i’m WAY overdue for one of these, and GREATLY looking forward to it. i drive back to san diego early saturday morning, in time to participate in a parent training day at my church. i’ll be offline and out of touch all week, which is always a bit hard for me, but really healthy for me. there’s no internet OR cell phone coverage up there.

procrastinating about: i suppose i need to start writing “taxes” here every week until i get them done.

book i’m in the midst of: still trying to finish the know it all (this week!), and are you there, vodka? it’s me, chelsea. i’ll get them both done this week. but i also started reading the manuscript for a book coming out later this year by an old friend named jim belcher. the book is a “third way” book, trying to find a place between the reformed tradition and the emerging church (jim has one foot in each). i’m taking a few more books with me this week, for my silent retreat. really looking forward to some reading time.

mollyjensonmusic that seemed to catch my attention this past week: WOW, what a GREAT music week! very rarely have i had such a great music week. the highlights:

– i got sent a copy of molly jenson‘s new cd (which release the same day as U2’s cd). i’ll need to blog about this seperately, but it’s really, really good.
– i downloaded U2‘s new album from amazon during their first-day $3.99 deal. i’ve seen that some people aren’t digging it; but i’m loving it. the lyrics are particularly stunning, and show so much depth.
– then, i was listening to jimmy eat world in prep for the show friday night, and found out — last minute — that the show was something of a 10 year anniversary tour for their “clarity” album, which i hadn’t realized i didn’t have; so i downloaded that beauty also.
– OH, and lucas leys (ys’s spanish director) found out recently that i dig this band called “gotan project“, so he sent me another cool cd of tango/lounge fusion stuff, called bajofondo tango club. oh, man, it’s so sweet.

mmm. tasty and varied week of musical licks.

next trip: well, i guess i should call it my silent retreat, since it’s later this week!

how i’m feeling about this week: really, really stoked about both halves of this week, but not stoked about being gone all week.

the best of 2008: music

so tough to choose my favorite new music of 2008. i’m not even sure all of these were 2008 releases (actually, some of them i’m sure are older); but they were new to me in 2008. in absolutely no order — well, they seem to be roughly alphabetical, now that i look at them…

alanis morissette, flavors of entanglement. brilliantly creative, fascinating lyrics, hooks that surprise. i’m blown away to know that morissette doesn’t actually write any of her songs until she gets in the studio; she just tries to be extremely “ready”.

beck, modern guilt. i’m a long time beck fan. i have 9 of his albums in my itunes. i love his quirky, funky, surprising and weird approach to, i guess you could call it, pop rock.

ben taylor, another run around the sun. can’t remember how i stumbled onto ben taylor; but this is my 2nd of his albums. wonderful singer and great songwriter, with memorable and singable songs. sometimes makes me think of ben harper, other times of jack johnson or donovan frankenreiter.

bluegrass worship. i would not predicted this as being any good. but i couldn’t escape how much i enjoyed it. a double disc of standard modern worship songs that you’ll know, but done in a bluegrass style. not brilliant, but i really like it.

capitol lights, this is an outrage. an excellent christian modern rock group i never would have found were it not for my friend, annie crandall, of tooth & nail. i think this is one of my daughter’s favorite new groups also.

the cobalt season, fragile iconoclast. there are very few singer-songwriters who are as good as ryan sharp. the fact that he’s often singing poetry about his wrestling with god only adds to the perfection. honest and bare, with a musical quality beyond what one would expect from an independent release.

coldplay, viva la vida. yes, you know it. yes, you probably have it. so you know it’s just that good, right?

gnarls barkley, the odd couple.
singer cee-lo has one of my favorite voices in any genre of music. clear and strong, with amazing range, and just a pinch of edge. this is one of those albums i can listen to over and over and over and not tire of the tracks.

gotan project, (all of their albums). what to say about gotan project (which i found through my amiestreet.com obsession). i downloaded one of their albums, and loved it so much, i went back and got two or three more. i think they’re an argentine band, which would explain the regular use of tango music and accordian. there’s a male vocalist who mostly raps in spanish, and there’s a female vocalist who mostly sings in english. it’s a little hip-hoppy, often jazzy, and a lot latin-infused world music, and mostly just very interesting and listenable pop.

imogen heap, speak for yourself and i megaphone.
imogen heap has been around for a while; but i just discovered her this year. and, after getting one album, i went back and got her other one, as well as two albums of her (former?) band, frou-frou. an angelic voice, often layered in levels of harmonies that are rich like cream cheese frosting, and intriguing pop songwriting have made her one of the darlings of the alt-pop scene. and now i know why.

in the name of love: africa celebrates U2.
i borrowed this stunning cd from a friend, and listen to it all the time. it’s a collection of U2 songs, performed by a variety of african musicians and bands. the songs have been given lots of re-interpretation, which is a great strength of the album (tribute albums where the songs just sound like the originals suck). so pickin’ cool.

king khan and the shrines, the supreme genius of king kahn and the shrines. amiestreet.com recommended this to me based on my previous purchases, and they were right. yes, it’s a bit rough on some of the lyrics (i was previously blasted for mentioning this band, since some of their lyrics are on the raunchy side). the music is funky and hooky, almost like a cross between blacksploitation funk and modern rock. whatever it is, i love the sound.

M.I.A, kala. yup, you’ve all heard paper planes (“all i wanna do is…” bang-bang-bang-bang), which got somewhat overplayed on a variety of radio formats. but that’s part of the brilliance of M.I.A. — they’re difficult to stick a label on. hip hop, rap, alt rock, pop, world music? maybe it’s because M.I.A. is the music of the daughter of sri lanken refugees who live in london, and her music is a blend of everything you can imagine. anyhow, the album has a whole lot more depth than that one song.

reeve oliver, touchstone inferno. found this band on amiestreet.com also. they popped up because i said i like bands like weezer and wheatus. reeve oliver is indi-pop with a pop-punk edge. i dig ’em. and i just found out they’re a san diego band, so i might have to try to find them performing somewhere locally.

serj tankian, elect the dead.
i still likes me some harder edged stuff from time to time. having really liked the music of system of a down, this solo album from their lead singer was a natural for me. a few of the songs got a lot of radio play on alt rock stations. sometimes, it’s just the perfect music to blast through my noise-reduction headphones while i’m walking to or from the trolley.

the darjeeling limited, original movie soundtrack. it was a perfectly quirky movie, and it’s a perfectly quirky soundtrack. everything from claire de lune, to some annoying and catchy 50s or 60s songs you’ve never heard, to a few good classic rock songs, and quite a bit of indian music.

the peasall sisters, home to you. i have traditionally liked about every form of music other than country. but these days i’ve found that i like quite a bit more country than i would have expected, but need to qualify that a bit. i don’t like pop country. but i like bluegrass, i like alt-country, i like edgy stuff like old crow medicine show and br-549, i like psychobilly country like reverand horton heat, and some old school stuff like willie nelson and johnny cash. and, i really like what people seem to call “americana”, old timey stuff that sounds like it would be sung by the carter family singers or a few gap-toothed cousins somewhere in the appalachian mountains. the peasall sisters (another amiestreet.com find as i looked through americana music) are three sisters with innocent and beautiful voices who sing simple and beautiful songs. some gospel, some down-home stuff.

weezer, red album. you know who they are, so i don’t need to write much. i just really like weezer, and this is a strong album. my daughter and son like them a lot too, so it’s fun to share!

other posts in this series:
best books of 2008
best tv & movies of 2008
best blogs of 2008
still to come: best ministry moments, best family moments, and my favorite ysmarko posts.