Archive for the ‘number twenty-three’ Category

Andrew Bird — Armchair Apocrypha (2007)

April 18, 2007
Cliché or not, Andrew Bird has come a long way in past ten years. From his stint as violinist for hot-jazz revivalists Squirrel Nut Zippers to the non-stop barrage of eclectic solo albums, the dude isn’t afraid of tweaking his sound to improve it. And thankfully, the little tweaks make Armchair Apocrypha his best release.

Handling the bulk of instrumental duties himself, Bird piles violin, guitar, glockenspiel and whistling (he’s an ace whistler) atop one another to form structurally impressive pop songs. Tracks slap everything from gypsy swing to folk rock together, more often than not using Bird’s deft lyrical imagery as glue. And from the metaphysical “Dark Matter” to the pop culture-probing “Plasticities,” the album is as thoughtful as it is impossibly catchy.

Armchair Apocrypha is that rare album not only provides common ground for classical musical purists and Top 40 radio listeners, but also ends up being Bird’s most accessible release without sacrificing anything in the process.



One Night With The King (2006)

April 18, 2007
The makers of this film had great source material for this. You can read the book of Esther in less time than it takes this movie to draw out the mundane parts of the story.

The film doesn’t even qualify as a good Sunday-school lesson. The important parts of the story are pushed to the margins to make the film the story of one woman’s courage to change the heart of King Xerxes (also one of the stars of the film 300). At times the film seems forced into trying to be a romantic tale. I found the interpretation of the story to be trite (there are overt references to Haman being a Nazi; red and black flags with a frightening symbol on them).

Where the text allows for high drama, the audience of the film gets bad montages and didactic narration. I have always found the story of Esther to be fascinating, but this version makes it seem absurd.


David Batstone — Not for Sale (2007)

April 18, 2007
The current hot topic of justice is the subject of David Batstone’s “Not for Sale.” Offering detailed accounts of slavery found in the United States and in outside countries, the words flowing from the pages touch close to home. This is not an easy read. Although it is intriguing and heart wrenching, it is also scary, holding stories of which we would rather claim ignorance.

The official book of the Amazing Change campaign, this book both challenges and offers hope. Batstone skillfully networks together the different abolitionist efforts such as International Justice Mission and Free the Slaves, showing that this is a joint effort that needs more energy. He writes with passion and high expectations as he challenges readers to become abolitionists, a vocation that he believes still continues. This book tells stories of college students who have made successful efforts towards abolition.

Read this book. I challenge you to read it and to not feel a fire burn inside of you as you read of children soldiers in Uganda, of little girls being enslaved, of women continually tricked into prostitution. My hope is that after reading “Not for Sale” you will be unwilling to except the sight of injustice without digging past the surface.


N.O.R.E. — Y la Familia…Ya Tú Sabe (2006)

April 18, 2007
This band is part of a noticeable trend that has been occurring in the past couple years known as “Spanglish.” Bands like N.O.R.E. (pronounced NOR-EE or Ene-O-Ere-Eh), Daddy Yankee and Shakira have been throwing both Spanish and English into their songs, making their potential audience larger.

Dedicated to Puerto Rico, the album features Fat Joe, Diddy, Ja Rule and many others. For the genre lovers this album is known to be reggaeton, rap, and hip-hop. The album title translates to something like, “[N.O.R.E.] and the family…Now you know.” What they are trying to relate by this is that they are going to talk about how things are in Puerto Rico. Then, in the end, you will understand.

Many of the songs have definite references to Puerto Rican culture and history. In the song “Y Voy,” they speak of a Jibaro, a specific reference to the working-class man on the island. There are also references like “Boriqua,” slang for a Puerto Rican male or female.

It is surprising that this album was not more popular. It is a great compilation of genres, cultures and artists. Though the lyrics may not be the best, it is a good album. The artists put thought into what they were making and made conscious efforts to make this album very specific to Puerto Rico.


God Loves Film (Got a Light?)

April 18, 2007
I’ve been making short films since the summer before my Senior year of High School. Since then I’ve made over 70 short films. As to why I make films on my own, instead of just for classes, it’s mainly because I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. I believe this is what I was meant to do.
I always think of Eric Little from Chariots of Fire when I think about making films. He says that he feels God’s pleasure when he runs, and he can’t stop running because God made him fast. I feel the same way about making and watching films. When I see a film by directors like Wong Kar Wai, Jia Zhang Ke, Chan Wook Park, or Hou Hsiao Hsien I not only see God in the humanness and artistry of those films, but I feel God calling me to go out there and do the same.

God loves films. He loves new innovative styles and cinematography. And I love films because I see God’s beauty and truth in them. He made me to love films, and I’m just doing what he created me to do. That’s the amazing thing about movies–they capture God’s creation. Films capture humans in God’s world, and we can experience so much of God’s love, truth, and beauty in his creation through films. And the cool thing about it, is that we experience them through a film in a new, fresh, unique way that we could never do in real life. A minimalist film like Last Life in the Universe shows a real-life situation in Bangkok. But the style of the film makes it extraordinary. The music, the cinematography, the pacing– all of these things add to this world that would not be there in every day life. Films celebrate the possible beauty of everything! As Christopher Doyle says, “maybe–just maybe–by celebrating the possible beauty in things, films can change the world just a little.”

The other huge reason I make films is because I think (I hope at least), that I have something to say that will mean something to someone. I want people to walk out of my films asking big questions. I want people to love people more after watching my films. I want people to love God more after watching my films. I want to challenge people in the messages I bring across.

I hope my latest film Got a Light accomplishes some of that. I hope I showed the beauty of God’s world and God’s people in this film. The film is showing on at 7 p.m. on April 21, in John White Chapel in Old Main, but people can show up as early as 6 for refreshments.

–Mark Sanders

Light for Darfur

April 18, 2007
The Light for Darfur Project arose from the desire of students to raise awareness about the situation that has been going on in the Sudan for the past four years. The project will culminate with an event in Johnson Gym on Saturday, April 21st from 4-7 p.m.

During the first hour, attendees will have the opportunity walk through a pictorial history of genocide. Dr. Ali Dinar, a native of the Sudan and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, will be speaking at 5 p.m. Students have been hard at work to create a multimedia experience that will challenge you to move from being a bystander to an active participant in the fight against the injustice of genocide. There will be opportunities for prayer support and also monetary support through donations and the purchase of t-shirts. Come and be educated, informed and challenged.

For more information on the Light for Darfur Project, visit our website at

-Rachel Veydt

Bayside — The Walking Wounded (2007)

April 18, 2007
This is the basic four-man band: the singer with his guitar, another guitarist, a bassist and a drummer. Singer Anthony Raneri has a unique enough voice in contrast to popular music out on the charts right now, but the band doesn’t stray much from the rock/pop-punk sound.

Regardless, they are definite material to be popular soon. It is easy to understand and sing along to the words. The rhythm is simple enough to rock and dance to in concert. And they actually have a band name that is someone easy to remember.

So, let’s suppose that this band does get popular with their new hit “Duality?” This is a song about two personalities. It is almost like any other, “I’m frustrated with everything” song. It is very insecure lyrically: “There’s no telling what tomorrow holds / There’s no telling which voice takes control / Is there anybody out there? / Is there anybody calling? / What if what I think is really wrong? / I’m not in control”

Being a fan of fun music when it comes to rocking out or dancing the night away at a concert, this song leaves me very conflicted as I see it is going mainstream and will be listened to mainly by young people.

I guess like many other bands, this band’s lyrics can not be taken all too seriously. Although, the sound is great, so have fun with it.


Joss Stone — Introducing Joss Stone (2007)

April 18, 2007
Joss Stone is a British soul and R&B singer. Her third album, Introducing Joss Stone, is not like her previous two. This album shows off her ability to sing over different rhythms and styles. Introducing… not only features guest appearances from Common and Lauryn Hill, but also is produced by Raphael Saadiq, the former lead singer of early ’90s pop music band Toni, Tone, Tony.

Saadiq brings a lot syncopated rhythms, off-beat drums and catchy loops to the album. This all blends for on awesome pop and soul sound. This forces Joss to sing in different styles; as a result, she’s not able to showcase her voice as much. This is good if you just want to hear some good music, but if you want to hear her strong voice, buy her first two albums.

It is a good album to have for a second date, relaxing with a special friend during open hours; it’s also good if you just like Joss Stone or Raphael Saadiq.


Ben Guiles’ Playlist

April 18, 2007

Alias: Ben Guiles
Major: Sociology
Year: Freshman

Ben says the transitions on this playlist are amazing. Too bad imeem didn’t have all the songs. Make sure you check out that claim though.

check out culture. ish. on imeem.