Archive for March, 2007

number twenty-one

March 28, 2007

give emily’s playlist a listen.
check out some stories about live shows on page two or click the pictures below.
plan on attending a great show at geneva.


Official Concert Announcement

March 28, 2007



Tuesday. April 24, 2007. 7:30 PM.

Here’s some amazing pictures from the Over the Rhine, David Bazan and Rachel Zylstra show taken by Caryn Azure.

The Concert

If you were there, let us know what you thought of it. If you have some pictures, link to them in the comments and send them to us. If you weren’t, sorry you missed out on a great time.

Thanks for your support.

Emily Colledge’s Playlist

March 28, 2007

Alias: Emily Colledge
Major: Master of Arts in Higher Education
Year: Second

visit culture. ish. on imeem.

David Wilcox at Club Cafe

March 28, 2007
Rarely do you get to experience a concert from on stage, looking out at the audience. Apparently, arriving late can have its advantages. The last available place to sit in Club Café, a small lounge/bar in Pittsburgh’s Southside, was a speaker just off of stage left. It made for an awkward crick in the neck for the two hours of stories and songs with David Wilcox…but oh, it was so worth it.
Wilcox is not only a great musician, making his acoustic guitar keep the rhythm while sustaining intricate picking, but his ability to tell stories makes him unique. In fact, most of the audience was there because they knew Wilcox’s work (another advantage of seeing the crowd sing along to some of his more famous songs). Wilcox’s songs focus on human relationships, mostly the intensity of love, the pain of heartache, and the comedy of human mortality. Wilcox moved seamlessly from the laugh inducing “Reaper Sweepstakes” to the tearful “Deeper Still” (“In this life, the love you give becomes the only lasting treasure/And what you lose will be what you win/A well that echoes down too deep to measure”) to narrating the philosophical in “Inside of My Head” (“I’ve got to empty out the inside of my head/This could be a room with such a view,/but its covered up with junk/Blocking off the place the light gets through”). Wilcox claims his best song is “Three Brothers” from his latest album, which explores the religious conflict in the Middle East in a subtle and beautiful way.

The well-told stories interspersed throughout the set helped explain the inspirations to the songs, making the music take on heighten meaning. Wilcox is pretty honest about his faith and how it helps him see both the funny and serious sides of life, brokenness and spirituality; pointing out that our love for one another is a mired and grace-filled reflection of God’s love for us.

His latest album is called Vista. Wilcox was quick to point out came out before the latest version of Windows.


listen to david wilcox.
visit greg’s blog.

The Hold Steady at the Rex

March 28, 2007

The Rex Theatre on the Southside of Pittsburgh apparently used to serve as an actual theater. The only give-away to this storied past is the lit, carpeted walkways. This is a fantastic place for a concert, especially the Hold Steady.

Listening to live music can easily be compared to watching a live sporting event. Rarely (except on dumb commercials by TV companies) do you hear the claim that it’s better to sit at home and watch the game than go to see it–everyone knows what you’re missing.

The Hold Steady show is the same way. As I stand packed in, listening with friends I came with and a couple hundred other people I may never see again. There’s a pretty intense energy flowing through the room. Yet, we’re willing to stand abnormally close and even smile and laugh with each other (which certainly wouldn’t be acceptable if we passed each other on the street).
There’s very little more enjoyable in life than getting a glimpse into the life of someone who totally loves what they’re doing. The guys from the Hold Steady are a great example. From their constant smiles to their incessant thanking, they certainly looked like they might have been enjoying the concert even more than the exuberant audience.

During the final song, vocalist Craig Finn told the audience that “there’s so much joy in what we do” and started grabbing people by the hand, pulling them up on the stage. Finn just stood there smiling–surrounded by the twenty people he brought on stage–and mouthed “thank you.”

This is the kind of stuff that makes it more than worthwhile to go hear live music.


listen to the hold steady.
photo credit: Rex Sorgatz.

number twenty

March 22, 2007

check out
terry’s playlist or click the pictures below to see the article on page two. we have a big announcement coming soon. so, stay alert.
leave some feedback. thanks.

Terry Thomas’ Playlist

March 22, 2007

Alias: Terry Thomas
Major: Philosophy
Year: Fifteenth

Richard Mouw — Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport (2004)

March 22, 2007
I am Dutch and a Calvinist (more specifically a neo-Calvinist). The obligatory joke here is that God decided this before the beginning of the world. Words like “Calvinism” make people feel uncomfortable; people are suddenly confronted with theological conversations that seem to mean everything and nothing at the same time. Lucky for us, in contemporary times getting burned at the stake for small distinctions is unlikely. But we also shouldn’t be lazy when it comes to knowing what we believe about the “ultimate things.”

Mouw takes his book title from a scene from the Paul Schrader film, Hardcore. This film focuses on a Dutch Reformed man from Grand Rapids who goes to LA in search of his daughter, who has run away while attending a Christian youth conference. He ends up in the Las Vegas airport with a prostitute who has a lead on where his daughter might be. They have a brief conversation about their beliefs in which he can only manage to say that he believes in TULIP—the five points of Calvinism. The film suggests that in the emerging postmodern world, TULIP is a shabby antique of a theology.

Mouw has written this small book (127 pages) to show that the Calvinist heritage does indeed speak to a diverse and pluralistic culture. Using clear and concise language, he gives a brief explanation of the five points of Calvinism, and then goes on to apply them to contemporary conversations about God’s sovereignty, the basis for cultural renewal and evangelism. Mouw is always reiterating the need for humility and compassion along side of conviction, in order to change the stereotype of Calvinism as an arrogant view that can be used as a pedestal and hammer—or in the case of South Africa, apartheid. For all of its downsides, Mouw also points out the valuable contributions that Calvinism has made to thoughtful Christianity, and a Christian engagement with culture and the public sphere.

I recommend reading this book, you might be surprised to find that God had you listed a Calvinist the whole time.


A First Hand Look

March 22, 2007

Too often we define the city of New Orleans, by the devastating affects of hurricane Katrina. My perception was proved wrong, after returning to New Orleans for the second time on the spring break missions trips.

The people of New Orleans are filled with a spirit of hope, and a commitment to rebuilding their lives and communities. They are not defined by the storm, but rather by their incredible culture, and their perseverance to embrace change and continue the progress being made.

There still is a huge need for volunteers, so if you are interested in volunteering and visiting a unique culture Google Trinity Christian Community, Hollygrove, New Orleans. Or email me at


Spike Lee — When the Levees Broke (2006)

March 22, 2007
In this 4 hour documentary, made for HBO, Spike Lee investigates the disaster that was Hurricane Katrina. Lee looks at all the angles: the natural, social, governmental, and human disaster that Katrina created in its wake and aftermath. It is an eye opening film, and tries to ask more questions than it is able to resolve about the stakes and impact that Katrina had and has on the lives of those who were born, raised and continue to call New Orleans home.

The documentary starts with the events leading up to the storm, and the government’s failure early on. The second part focuses more on the media, and the good and bad that resulted from information on a mass scale. Lee does a good job of weaving together the big picture with the lives of individuals and the personal stories that those at the center tell about their experience. This film made me realize the filter and blinders that I have as a person who has never been to the southeastern US, and the difficulty of discerning the info-glut of CNN and the Internet.

The best insight of the film is not that we have a race problem in America (which is true, and may be the reason Crash won best picture immediately following Katrina), but rather the film points out the integral nature of human relationships that are mediated by social institutions. A personal disruption of your everyday life can be traumatic, but this can be exponentially damaging when social structures also start to fail in helping people recover a sense of normalcy and meaning. We all want personal freedom, and often times we overlook our intimate connection to the reality of a social world, involving a massive web of relationships. What we need is a politics that takes into account the reality of both.