Sunday 10 February 2013
The Last Pop Star ☀
In the current generation of Pop divas—Ke$ha, Rihanna, Shakira, Britney, Katy Perry, Beyoncé herself—there’s no match for the alienness of Gaga. Pop in 2010 is thoroughly pornographized and tattoo-demented; the mainstream, as you may have noticed, is not very mainstream anymore. But there perches Lady Gaga, in paradoxical elegance, her plumage bristling, with an uncanny feel for just how much of her freakery we are prepared to absorb. She has successfully managed the rumor that she is a hermaphrodite. (She’s not.) Sweetly and demurely, she has ridden the couch of Ellen DeGeneres: “Who doesn’t love Ellen?” she cooed to the audience. The culture will not victimize her. Rather the reverse: with songs like “Paparazzi” she is, as English soccer commentators are fond of observing in the wake of a particularly jarring early tackle, “getting her retaliation in first.” Watching her stalk onstage with her retinue, one has a particular sensation—of aberrant sensibilities on the march, rive gauche visions, a whole underworld of transgression breaking the surface.
Tuesday 1 May 2012
Mumford & Sons “Sigh No More”: A Missional Worship Album? ☀
I believe the reason for their widespread popularity springs from the spiritual thread that runs skillfully through their songs. I’ll even go one step further and label Sigh No More the first truly missional worship album of the 21st century.
No, it’s not praise and worship music. It’s not even “Christian music” in the popular cultural sense because (A) Christ is not the clear object and (B) it’s not “safe for the whole family” as so many Christian radio stations proudly tout.
Saturday 18 February 2012
Friday 3 February 2012
RIP Don Cornelius ☀
Nobody who lived in a college dormitory in the 1970’s went an entire weekend without seeing Soul Train. I used to watch it with the late Maurice Lucas, former power forward for the great, Bill Walton-led Portland Trailblazers teams of the late 1970’s. It was every bit of a great part of the fun of being a feckless college kid on a Saturday or Sunday morning. So it was with great sadness that I read the other day of the suicide of Don Cornelius, the creator and longtime host of the show. In 1986, at the Super Bowl media day, Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton, who’d appeared on the show as a college student, looked out over the crowd of reporters and said, “C’mon, ask me something new.”
My college days were in the 1980s, but Soul Train was my favorite program and I remember many a weekend morning, recuperating from weekend festivities, enjoying the show broadcast with roommates and friends.
Sunday 12 June 2011
What Mumford and Sons Taught Me About Writing ☀
Never underestimate the power of a well-placed expletive.
Everyone loves stories, especially epic ones.
Transparency is essential to building trust.
Great art eventually gets rewarded.
People are fascinated with the divine.
A GNT creation ©2007–2013