Archive for the ‘number nineteen’ Category

Elise Grybos Playlist

March 14, 2007

Alias: Elise Grybos
Major: Elementry/Special Education, Reading
Year: Junior

visit culture. ish. on imeem.


Toby Mac — Portable Sounds (2007)

March 14, 2007
Former DC Talk member Toby Mac is dropping his sixth solo effort. He has been a solo artist since 2001. Toby albums are full of diverse elements and mixes of pop, hip hop, rock and gospel music.

His new album Portable Sound is a real treat. He has added a blend of reggae to the mix, including the pure reggae track “No Signal.” That creates a lot of styles for the ear to hear at once, but it’s mixed just right so it’s not distracting. If you’re worried about his skin color he has soul and rhythm. He is very lyrical, skillful and tasteful with the choice of topics he chooses. This is a good album for most ages.

Toby’s albums have a dominating pop sound, but this album has a darker tone than the rest of his albums. This album has something for everyone and if you are a fan of hip hop it is a must buy. However, be prepared to be slightly disappointed at the length of the album. But trust me, this album still worth the money spent–the message of the album is awesome.



The Well Fund Update

March 14, 2007

Donations: $1,216.70
Matched by The Call: $500.00
Total: $1,716.70

Cost of a Well: $5,390.00
Still Needed: $3,673.30

We’re going to take this opportunity to yet again say THANK YOU. We’d have zero bucks without you.

However, we still could use some more. Keep it coming. It’ll help.

Why culture. ish. Part II

March 14, 2007

Why culture. ish.?

Because that question has to be asked. In an atmosphere where every action is expected to be circumscribed and propped up by mission statements that read like the credo printed on top of bathroom hand dryers, where every endeavor is required to submit a financial plan and detailed cost analysis, where some new and trendy vision of the beloved community is always around the corner, asking to be made immediately real, culture. ish. seeks to make its place somewhere else.

We don’t aim to be in conflict with those things, but to exist outside of their tightly-knit world, subsisting in joyous practice. Our aim is not to communicate facts and bits of data. Rather, if we are looking to educate, it is in a deeper and more interactive sense – a mutual education that is found in sharing of ourselves and earnestly listening as we seek to practice a Christian relationship with art and culture, and in drawing those around us into that same ecstatic dance.


Dolorean — You Can’t Win (2007)

March 14, 2007
If there is a defeatist attitude underlining You Can’t Win, it’s easy to miss. The Portland, Ore. band’s breezy folk rock–reminiscent of the Band or Neil Young–drifts along on bright melodies and frontman Al James’ tender voice.

But the lyrics betray sunken hopes, capsized relationships and scuttled dreams. The hypnotic opener has the band–in full harmony–repeating the album title over a growing bed of lush instrumentation. “Beachcomber Blues” evokes the image of an aimless, shuffling mediation by the sea. And despite James’ pretty vocal part, “Buffalo Gal” packs uneasiness into benign lyrics.

But the record hinges on “My Still Life,” the final track. James lists the seemingly mundane aspects of his day to a loved one, but the delivery suggests something better–he’s fine with what he’s been given. You Can’t Win is a disarmingly pleasant album, and is a great aural soundtrack for the shift from winter to spring.



Fall Out Boy — Infinity on High (2007)

March 14, 2007
Infinity on High is a compulsively listenable artifact of the culture that arises from the ruins of a centerless worldview. In lieu of any higher authority, we tend to establish ourselves as the be all and end all of our existence. Fall Out Boy’s lyrics reflect this narcissism.

The album is not just a celebration of celebrity culture, although it certainly comes off as that. There is a pain in these lyrics hidden beyond the poppy tunes that are an enjoyable departure from the pop-punk formula that permeates the band’s previous efforts. “I’m a stitch away from making it and a scar away from falling apart,” cries “the (After) Life of the Party.” While there might not be anything revolutionary about their pain, it is palpable. They are, through their skillfully produced versions of shoddy myspace poetry, declaring themselves to be the voices of a generation of moderately disaffected suburban youth.

While there is much to revile in the hymnody of these self-proclaimed prophets, the fact that it has the potential to be the new Psalter for a large percentage of the youth population is enough to warrant careful listening and consideration.



Menomena — Friend and Foe (2007)

March 14, 2007
So this is how a logical syllogism works: there’s a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion that follows if both premises are true. Something like this: bands who whistle in their songs are always good. Menomena whistles in their songs. Menomena is good. It’s a true story–the syllogism proves it, and syllogisms don’t lie.

This album has a bizarre feel; xylophones and saxophones and all sorts of other instruments mix with affected vocals differently from song to song, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. It’s music that’s easy to get lost in, and difficult to find your way out of once you start. This world that’s so difficult to get out of, though, has a dark undertone, and a grotesque underbelly – and, as the lyrics portray, the grotesqueness is our own, the product of our modern society. It’s a society that creates people who wish “O, to be a machine / O, to be wanted / to be useful” (“Evil Bee”); a society that creates people who twist speech into a tool of destruction: “I’ve got a stranglehold on this decision / All those opposed can rot in hell / Any day now the words will form a sentence / You’ll be reduced to nothingness” (“Rotten Hell”). It’s an intriguing album, if unsettling or jarring at times, and rewards repeated listening.



The Arcade Fire — Neon Bible (2007)

March 14, 2007
“I’m living in an age that calls darkness light.” There’s some capital-T truth for you.

The Arcade Fire’s highly anticipated follow-up to Funeral, Neon Bible, could be one of the most looked forward to albums of the year (next, maybe, to Modest Mouse). The album is clearly a biting critique of the modern age. It snaps at everything from government to church, and it’d be hard to find fault with many aspects of their appraisal.

The pessimism of the album is sharp as the Arcade Fire laments everything, summed up in the phrase “the poison of our age.” From planes crashing into buildings two by two, to the prayer of a father asking the Lord for a famous daughter, to asking if maybe he is the Anti-Christ, Win Butler has serious questions (and concerns) about the society and world in which he lives.

The sound of the album is as emotionally distressing as the message, and it is beautiful. Neon Bible (an overtly modern and blasphemous title) features a church organ and the typical Arcade Fire symphonic sound.

Despite the overwhelming sense of hopelessness Butler allows himself (and others) to dream of the place where no ships/cars/spaceships/subs go. It’s the place “us kids know” and it’s “between the click of the light and the start of the dream.”



Nick Hornby – Housekeeping vs. The Dirt

March 14, 2007
Nick Hornby–author of High Fidelity, About a Boy and Fever Pitch–likes to read. Hornby likes to read so much that he writes about it monthly in the Believer, a literary magazine released by publishing house McSweeney’s.

Housekeeping vs. the Dirt is a collection of 14 book review columns. Each month, Hornby lists the books he bought and the books he read. He may not read the same books he bought that month; in fact, he may not ever read some of the books he bought. The Believer staff also told Hornby avoid negative comments about the books; a madcap writer at heart, he manages to find ways around this.

The reviews don’t stick to any format; he says what he wants, when he wants, how he wants. He’s frequently funny, usually insightful, and possesses an eclectic taste in books. He spent one month reading as much Truman Capote as he could; he spent another trying to figure out why he can’t understand science fiction; he spent another being freaked out by the Motley Crue biography the Dirt. Hornby makes it an entertaining read, but also succeeds in making you want to read what he’s reading.


Amazing Grace (2007)

March 14, 2007
As biopics go, this film is as good as Walk the Line and Ray. Amazing Grace is about the life of English politician William Wilberforce, especially his work in bring about the abolition of the British slave trade in 1807. The movie chronicles a small part of his life as he grows more and more confident of his convictions and influence in the political sphere. The film highlights the people that were around him that kept him going, especially his live-long friend William Pitt.

Amazing Grace mentions a few other important parts of his life in passing: the Clapham Sect that he was a part of, his friendship with former slave-ship captain-turned-composer John Newton, and his fast romancing of his wife, Barbara. I feel like I had an advantage in knowing a lot about Wilberforce before seeing the film–viewers with less background may need to do some research following viewing in order to fully understand the film, but the movie is a much-needed introduction to a great example of a man struggling and eventually finding his vocation.