Archive for the ‘number eighteen’ Category

Rob Sheffield – Love is a Mix Tape (2007)

February 26, 2007
“Music allows emotionally warped people to communicate by bombarding each other with pitiful cultural artifacts hat in a saner world would be forgotten before they ever happened.” Rob Sheffield is a man for whom music is almost everything; including the only connection he has left with his now deceased wife. Love is a Mix Tape is his way of dealing with his life, providing some fascinating insights about the nature of love and its relation to music along the way.

Sheffield’s book is structured around mix tapes, each chapter opening with the play list of a tape made by him or his wife. The chapter that follows is full of ruminations that were kick-started in his mind by that particular tape. His writing is warm and personal, inviting the reader into the world of his reminisces.

In its tracing of his relationship with his wife from the day they met until the day she died, the book takes an inevitable turn in to the melancholy without being dark or depressing. Despite his past experiences, Sheffield is a man who believes in love and in music, and he has an optimism and confidence lacking in so many memoirs of personal pain. Sheffield concludes that love is a mix tape–sometimes it’s good, sometimes bad, but always worth the effort.



Lucky # Slevin (2006)

February 26, 2007
Lucky Number Slevin is delightful–not only visually, but entertaining in its twist-filled plot. In staying away from spoiling the twist and plot the movie is about two mob bosses who used to run their mobs together. The main character Slevin (Josh Hartnett) gets thrown in between these two bosses because of a mistaken identity, and has to pay off the debt by some means to each boss. To make it even more complicated, he also meets a girl.

The visual cues in the cinematography played so well together that is was almost a reminder of the Sixth Sense. With these cues in mind, not all the flashbacks would have been needed; if someone can remember something from forty-five minutes ago they could puzzle it together.

Sure, the plot isn’t completely original, but with good acting (including Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu and more), awesome cinematography and thought-out direction Slevin is a completely pleasurable movie. So, delight yourself and watch.


Half Nelson (2007)

February 26, 2007
This is not your typical film about a teacher in an urban school. Most of the films in that category usually work on the premise that the teacher comes in as a sort of renegade savior, and changes students, the school and the world.

There are, of course, degrees of this. Dead Poet’s Society, the History Boys and Stand and Deliver do a pretty good job of staying in the realm of the real, which gives them more relevance to actual situations; films like Dangerous Minds and Coach Carter, on the other hand, make education trivial and simple if the teacher just asserts themselves.

This film does the opposite of these films. You are sympathetic to the main character Dan (Ryan Gosling), a junior high history teacher in an urban school. He is somewhat of a renegade teacher in that he frequently leaves the set-out curriculum to give his students his own view of how history works. Added to all this is the important fact that he is hiding his drug addiction from everyone. One of his students, Drey (played excellently by Shareeka Epps), accidentally discovers this secret and their relationship is forever changed.

The rest of the film develops the nuances of this relationship and how it changes both Drey and Dan. This secret connects them to the truth and while it doesn’t ultimately set them free, it allows them to recognize the potential to be set free.


G-DEP and Loon – Bad Boy (2007)

February 26, 2007
Loon and G-DEP are both artists looking to regain their status in the rap community after a long time forced underground. Both Loon and G-DEP are Harlem natives and former Bad Boy Entertainment artists that gained some success early in their careers. Loon signed with Puff Daddy in 2000 and, after making some featured appearances, left to form his own label in 2004. G-DEP still owes Bad Boy Entertainment four more albums as part of his deal.

The album is below average at best. It has a mixtape quality in the mixing department, and the lyrics are average and sound like every one else in gangster rap. Loon does take time to respond to the beef between him and fellow rappers the Dipset. The production is the best part of Bad Boy; it’s the only part that doesn’t make the album seem like it was made in some basement last week. If you like good beats and reparative gangster rap, this album is for you. If you require depth from the artist and good musical quality then save your money.


Why culture. ish.?

February 26, 2007

culture. ish. is about education; the habits of knowing and doing. Education here means “being transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:1). So how does this happen? Contemporary college students, and the colleges that are supposed to serve them, have fallen into a horrible dualism (taken something whole and divided it into separate and disintegrated parts). On the one hand, is “Christian” education and the classroom that is suppose to teach students a Christian worldview, and on the other is the culture that surrounds students in all areas of their life, “it is the air we breathe,” the water we swim in.
We often separate knowing from doing. These are not two separate entities, with labels like “good” and “bad,” sacred/secular, etc. Rather, “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” ( Ps.24:1). Culture.ish. longs to see life holistically, like the Biblical narrative teaches. This does not, however, mean that Culture.ish. is a priest that baptizes and makes holy everything that it reviews and talks about so that students will know that it is safe and pleasing to God. Culture.ish. is the beginning of a conversation about what it means to live in God’s world, to see the world and hear the world the way God does.
It is deism to say that God doesn’t listen to U2 and watch <em>The Office</em>, because the Christian God is a God who is involved in our redemption, on a very physical level… “lowering himself…”(Phil. 4). God redeems us by making us discerning participants of this world, to be culture critics, culture lovers, and culture makers and shapers. Culture.ish. places its hopes in God being able to transform Geneva students from a view of a legalism that damns them to a view of God’s grace manifesting itself in all the places we sometimes fail to look. The Christian God is huge; we are merely the small and finite creatures. Hopefully Geneva College can be a place where people are known for having “eyes to see, and ears to hear,” and hearts and minds to practice wisdom and resurrection. Culture.ish. is an attempt to step faithfully into God’s world.

Why culture. ish.? Introduction.

February 26, 2007

Every Wednesday afternoon the culture. ish. contributors gathers on the third floor of Old Main for planning and conversation. Because one of our hopes in producing culture. ish. is to encourage conversation about popular culture, maybe getting at the “why” of our cultural participation, we thought as a group we should ask the question “why culture. ish.?” Over the next few months the black box will include individual and collect responses to the question “why culture. ish.?” and more fundamentally “why engage culture?” As always we encourage your contributions to the conversation online at

Thom Yorke – The Eraser (2006)

February 26, 2007
Somewhere in between all the blips, beeps, twitches, ticks and clicks Thom Yorke’s solo endeavor is artfully and creatively crafted into a must-listen album. The Eraser is a smooth yet tension-provoking album that embraces electronic alternative rock in its most raw form. Its nine tracks–some worthy of the repeat button–reveal a dark tone that somehow becomes beautiful in its own way. Others grow awkward, leaving you feeling uneasy; they demand a few listens to get past this.

At times you wait for a band like Radiohead–Yorke’s main project–to kick in, but it never happens. There is no grand entrance of instruments or a climax in each song, which is probably why he makes such a statement. The album does not follow what is expected– it’s linear and not begging for attention. The Eraser is not something you’d hear on the radio, but an album that can be downloaded on your “chill” playlist. It forces you to examine the uniqueness of generated sounds not often heard.


of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (2007)

February 26, 2007
of Montreal’s album Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? sucks you in with a whirlwind of high pitched happy voices, poppy beats and a technoish background mix. In some ways it’s a reminder of the music of the ’70s (from the voices) and the ’80s (with computerized noises in the background), but that’s the best part of the whole album. If music videos were based on the sound of the songs then a confusing fairy land of weirdness would ensue, but it would be fun! To put it lightly, this would be a fun band to see in concert.

About halfway through the album of Montreal takes a turn into an eleven minute song, “the Past Is A Grotesque Animal.” It’s still their style, but the fact that this song goes on for eleven minutes makes the hair on one’s back stand up. Thankfully, halfway through the next song the album returns to its fun pop feel which brings joy to the soul. Simply, it’s a delightfully enjoyable album, but it’s best to skip the eleven minute song and get right on to the “so-o-o-o-o-o-o-oul” of the album.



Steve Robbins’ Playlist

February 26, 2007

Alias: Steve Robbins
Major: Business/Musical Performance
Year: Junior

here’s as much of steve’s playlist as i could find. check it out.

Dustin Kensrue – Please Come Home (2007)

February 26, 2007
“I get a little heady with the Thrice songs. And I like doing that—I think people like engaging in that—but I wanted these to be more folky, in the sense that this is music coming from a natural place.” Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue’s newly released solo album came about this way, as an outlet for his songwriting outside of his band.

Please Come Home is an eight track album that pulls from a variety of musical directions. Kensrue and guitarist Teppei Teranishi crafted this album using heavy folk, country and blues tones while adding a driving beat that leads you through the song. The first ten seconds of the CD begin with a fast guitar while the last ten seconds of the CD end with a slow drumming and quiet cymbals. Kensrue reaches to each of those rustic genres in individual songs in addition to fraternizing them; this combination is done with his use of guitar, drums, bass, organ and harmonica.

Many of his songs deal with girls, drinking, bars and cars. While Kensrue is a Christian–but not an exclusively “Christian artist”–his lyrics show a clear witness of Kensrue coming to grips with his faith. His voice in Please Come Home is harsh and similar to that of Gavin DeGraw, moreso than his work with Thrice.

The transition from the vocalist of an emocore band to a rough folk singer may seem to be unnatural, but Kensrue presents it effortlessly.