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Monthly Archives: July 2009

The layers each, were plain to see…it was a dream…

(5,000 points and bragging rights to whoever can name the obscure reference the title of this blog came from!)daniel-lanois

I so rarely remember any of my dreams, I thought I needed to share this.

I was hanging out at Daniel Lanois’s studio with Daniel Lanois.  (If you don’t know who he is; shame on you.  He’s an amazing musician/songwriter/producer best known for producing such albums as The Joshua Tree and So by Peter Gabriel.  Thanks to Rustin for turning me on to his solo music.)  Of course, I don’t know Daniel Lanois personally, but in my dream, his personalilty and the way I was talking to him was kind of an amalgam of two Nashville producers that I know.

We were pretty much just hanging out, listening to music, discussing songs and production and I said something about how all of the records I’d recorded so far, I felt like I’d found the best producer for my money/songs/project/circumstance I could find at the time.  But, I also knew that I’d not done anything to that point that could compare with what Daniel Lanois could do with me and my music.

Daniel’s response was as gentle and as nice as he could be while it was obvious that he was trying to be honest and just tell me the truth.  He told me that what I’d done so far was good, but that I might need to accept that maybe the producers I’d worked with were the best I should hope for.  Essentially saying he didn’t think he saw the potential in me and my music to feel compelled to work on a project with me.

He was very kind and I appreciated his honestly, but I was still very saddened and a little crushed.

At that point, we were all supposed to go to this debut performance at this little theatre coffee shop.  A friend of mine had taken all of my songs from Gypsy Heart and fashioned them into this 1 man musical/operetta/review that he was performing for the first time with a keyboard player.  I was not looking forward to it.  I thought the whole idea was kind of dumb and I was afraid it would be really cheesy.  Not to mention, when I agreed to let him use my songs, I had no idea I’d be going to see it the first time with Daniel Lanois, who’d just told me my music was good, but he didn’t think it would ever be great.

So, we went to the show.  And it was AWESOME!  By the time the lights came up, I was in tears, Daniel Lanois was standing and clapping with tears streaming down his face.  He turns to me and tells me “I get it.  I’m so sorry.  Forget everything I said before.  I’d listened to all your past records and didn’t really pay close attention to Gypsy Heart when I listened to it before.  Please, I would be so honored if you’d let me work with you to produce your next record.”

Then, I had to go around the corner because I had a taste test.  It was at a little bar and it was a mixed drink, so there were all these ditzy sorority girls hanging out in this little salon. They handed us each a drink.  I said it was good.  And then everybody started to leave except a bunch of the sorority girls because they’d ordered more drinks.  Then, I was confused and didn’t know if I was supposed to pay for the drink I had or if I was getting paid for the taste test.

it was a dream…

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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Favorite Movies a decade ago

A writer/movie critic that I enjoy reading, Jeffery Overstreet, challenged his readers to consider favorite movies from ’99.  He posted a list of all the movies released that year, so it took me awhile to figure out what even came out then.  I posted this on his website in the comment section and thought it might make a good blog over here.

What would make your list?

He said top 10. This is Top 10 in no particular order.

Magnolia– still love it. Began my love of P.T. Anderson and wish that he’d get movies out more frequently.

The Matrix– First movie was beyond awesome.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace– I’d been waiting 15 years for that movie and when the fanfare began and creeping intro began, I cried like a baby. It wasn’t till much later that I realized just how awful that kid playing Anakin was and how JarJar was really just annoying. I can’t escape the fact that the lightsaber dual between Darth Maul, Qui Gon Jin, and Obi Wan was the payoff for 15 years of waiting to see Jedi knights kick ass.

Fight Club– Edward Norton rocks and this movie was twisty and creepy and interesting even though it was stylized to death. The ideas in this movie stuck with me long after I got out of the theater. Oh yea, and Meatloaf? Fugettaboutit…

Cider House Rules– I love John Irving and this was his redemption for leaving his masterpiece to the idiots who came up with the crap can that was Simon Birch. This was a great adaptation of the novel with pitch perfect casting and stellar performances all around.

Office Space– Wasn’t really successful until it played on repeat on USA channel. I liked it and was quoting it after the first time I saw it in the theater.

Notting Hill– I’ve got to get one romcom on here and this is one of the best. This was sweet and funny and I loved the way it charmed American audiences with its very British sensabilities.

The Sixth Sense– M. Night hit it out of the park the first time out. Maybe he hasn’t reached this masterpiece since, but this was a fantastic movie. I will never forget the way I literally sucked in my breath when it dawned on me at the end. Perfect setup and execution.

The Green Mile- Love Stephen King.  Love Tom Hanks.  Great adaptation.

Toy Story II– Unbelievable that Pixar pulled off a sequel that is as amazing as the first. They get it: story, story, story. Why can’t the rest of Hollywood figure it? They keep trying to feed us swill the likes of Transformers II (and I)? We’ll see if Pixar can do it again.

Honorable Mentions:

Election– Didn’t see this in the theater and don’t think I saw it in ‘99. Especially insightful to me since I grew up in the Midwest.

American Beauty– Never saw it in the theater and saw it a couple of times before I decided I liked it. I seem to recall that Jeff and I disagree about this movie which surprises me. It’s not perfect, but there are a couple of things in it (voice over during the dancing bag) that make it fantastic and redemptive to me.

Dill Scallion– Never even heard of this movie until I caught the last half of it on a free Starz weekend.  I wish somebody would release it on DVD so that I don’t have to worry about my (used) VHS being destroyed.  I quote this movie all the time and nobody has even heard of it.   I also wish somebody would release the soundtrack (all songs by Sheryl Crow!)  Hilarious!

Being John Malkovich

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2009 in pop culture

 

Are you kidding me? #127 or “Mother Theresa- Heretic”

images“If you really want to bless the Lord and pour out your love on Him [worship],  he has told us how to do it….’In as much as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.’ (Matt. 25)”  -Mother Theresa

Apparently, Mother Theresa said these words to some one whose area of expertise is supposed to be “worship”.   The bio blurb of his credentials said that he’s a songwriter, producer, publisher of “worship” music.  He’s an author who has written books with a name like “The Adventure of Worship”.  He’s a “worship teacher” for some organization called “worship schools”.

Whatever.  I’ve never heard of the guy.   But it really bothered me to think that Mother Theresa’s words were so revolutionary to this person who’s supposed to be an “expert” on worship.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the most dissappointing part of that article.   There were 4 comments at the bottom of the page.  3 of the 4 articles were jackasses informing anyone unfortunate enough to read their BS that Mother Theresa’s beliefs in general was not accurate and that she taught a “false gospel”.  Let me give a short quote from each of these idiots:

“We need to minister to the poor, but if we fail to give them the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, we have oppressed them worse than anyone.”
“Have you researched, on your own, the Catholic Church and it’s core and true beliefs? Misinformation is the reason we are separate. Jesus weeps at our separation…”
“M. Theresa, humanly speaking, did a lot to help the suffering of the lepers of Calcutta, but by teaching a false gospel she condemned her hearers to a Christless eternity. “

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

If anything, Jesus weeps at your ridiculous, asinine, pharisaical blather.  Shut the frak up already!

I really need to read The Myth of Certainty again…

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2009 in belief, Uncategorized

 

Book Reviewer

So, I found this thing where Thomas Nelson Publishing is trying to sign up 1000 bloggers to review their books.  I’m thinking:  Free books?  Ok.  All you have to do is write a review on your own blog and post a review on a commercial web-site like Amazon.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to check and see what kind of books Thomas Nelson publishes.    The first time I logged in (after being accepted into the program) they gave me about 6 books that I could choose from to review.  None of them looked interesting.  In fact, they all pretty much grossed me out.  That’s why there’s a review of the I Believe Bunny on my blog.   I figure that if I’m going to need to read a book that I’m not interested in, make it the kid’s book so that it won’t take me long.

As far as that goes, the book wasn’t too bad.  But who the hell am I to be critqueing a book for 3 year olds?

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

The I Believe Bunny by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Frank Endersby

Apparently, The I Believe Bunny by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Frank Endersby is the first in The I Believe Bunny Series.  I can only conclude that because of the matching titles.  There’s no “#1” written anywhere or list of additional books.  (This sort of thing annoys me.)
Bunny is annoyed by a rainy day.  A small mouse had fallen in the river and didn’t know how to swim.  The Bunny rushes to help, although worried the he won’t be able to reach, prays to God for help.  No sooner does he pray than his friends come running to help also; saving the desperate mouse from watery doom.
This story is written in relatively simple rhyming and rhythmic poetry that make it fun for parents to read and children to listen.  Most of the book handles this very well, with just a couple of instances where the lines/verses seem forced and don’t really propel the story.  When faced with a problem, I appreciated that Bunny didn’t just throw up his hands and pray, but also took action however he could.  The illustrations seem adequate and support the story well. However, I’m not sure the pictures are interesting enough to hold a young child’s attention without a reader.  I’d think this book would be appropriate for little one ages 1-5.

Apparently, The I Believe Bunny by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Frank Endersby is the first in The I Believe Bunny Series.  I can only conclude that because of the matching titles.  There’s no “#1” written anywhere or list of additional books.  (This sort of thing annoys me.)

Bunny is annoyed by a rainy day.  A small mouse had fallen in the river and didn’t know how to swim.  The Bunny rushes to help, although worried the he won’t be able to reach, prays to God for help.  No sooner does he pray than his friends come running to help also; saving the desperate mouse from watery doom.

This story is written in relatively simple rhyming and rhythmic poetry that make it fun for parents to read and children to listen.  Most of the book handles this very well, with just a couple of instances where the lines/verses seem forced and don’t really propel the story.  When faced with a problem, I appreciated that Bunny didn’t just throw up his hands and pray, but also took action however he could.  The illustrations seem adequate and support the story well. However, I’m not sure the pictures are interesting enough to hold a young child’s attention without a reader.  I’d think this book would be appropriate for little one ages 1-5.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

What do you think?

I couldn’t really get the hair right.

animated shack

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Welcome, Facebook Fans

I finally got around to fixing/adding a music page on facebook.  If  you’re new to this page,  thanks for stopping by.

Check out the music page here at shacknotes.   Come back to visit.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2009 in Uncategorized