Four (from around the web) for Friday

Today’s edition of Four for Friday is a little gathering up of some stuff from around the intranets…

1) In about a week, I’ll be heading west with eighty friends for a little organized madness in God’s country. This video is inspiring me to keep my skis on the snow as much as possible.

2) Jonas David – Let Me Live // Time to get my mellow on.

3) As you are listening to the above song, take a moment to read some thoughts on a “sanctified imagination” by Kevin Vanhoozer.

My concern is that many Evangelicals are suffering from malnourished imaginations.

Reading is a kind of strength-training that flexes the muscles of our imagination.

I need a sanctified imagination as I seek each day to improvise my life to the glory of God.

Of course, the whole piece is worth reading.

4) You probably remember the magazine National Geographic. I used to love flipping through the pages and looking at all of the stunning photographs.

As all of life has been shifting toward digital, there is a chance that this venerable publication has become something of yesteryear. I don’t know how the magazine is fairing (I haven’t seen one in years), but they seem to have found their niche online. They are still doing what they have always done well… putting incredible photographs out there for the world. My favorite feature they have is their “Photo of the Day.”


For those of you who came looking for tunes, I feel a little bad about short-changing you. Here’s a little extra something.

Tim Fite – Joyriding

Four (feat.) for Friday

I’m sort of a sucker for the “feat.” in a song title that means one musical artist has agreed to work with another. Here are a few that I’ve come across recently. I realize that for some the definition of “artist” is being stretched beyond credibility here. So be it.

Greg Laswell – Come Back Down (feat. Sara Bareilles) // Nice collaboration here.

Skrillex – Summit (feat. Ellie Goulding) // It is what it is.

The Beatards – Get Lite (feat. CSWS) // I’m sort of slow, but is there a chance that these young men are talking about using mood enhancing substances?

Ane Brun – Worship (feat. Jose Gonzalez) // I enjoy most all of the music that Mr. Gonzalez makes. This song is no exception. Video is sort of interesting.

Four for (a Youthful) Friday

We live in a culture obsessed with youthfulness. This is neither a novel idea nor is it really open for discussion. It is a fact.

I don’t want to get all philosophical and morbid about it, but I’m pretty sure that all our attempts to hold on to youth stem from our fear of dying. It is amazing how much money we spend on postponing death or erasing the signs that indicate we are aging (i.e. getting closer to dying), as if somehow it could be avoided.

With that cheerful thought, I bring you four songs that underscore the point I’ve just made. They are all “young” songs, and I don’t mean Neil.

fun. – We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monae) // Currently, numero uno on iTunes singles chart. Maybe you’ve heard it.

Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now? // Sound sort of familiar? Punch Brothers’ frontman, Chris Thile, used to be with Nickel Creek.

Death Cab for Cutie – Stay Young, Go Dancing // Strange juxtaposition of “death” and “young.”

The Band Perry – If I Die Young // I think you know how much it kills me to put a pop “country” group on here, but the “death” and “young” thing again was too much to resist.

Join me next week when I’ll encourage all of us to reflect on the decimation of the ozone layer.

Four for Friday

Sorry, missed a week or two of Four for Friday. I know you’re life has been empty and hollow as a result. If you need to blame someone, blame Suzanne Collins. You’ve probably never heard of her, but she has written a relatively obscure trilogy that you might find interesting.

Ok, on to the music….

Lana Del Rey – National Anthem // I’m not familiar enough with Ms. Del Rey to know if this is meant to genuinely reflect her own beliefs or if it is a cultural critique. Surely it is the latter.

The Lumineers – Ho Hey (Fuel Session) // Hard not to like this song. Looking forward to their album release sometime in March.

Buxton – Boy of Nine // This is like lots of music I listen to (The Head and The Heart, Seryn, Typhoon) which is why I like it.

White Denim – Street Joy // From their wiki page… White Denim is a four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas. Their music draws influence from dub, psychedelic rock, blues, punk rock, progressive rock, soul, jazz, experimental rock with home-based recording, jamming approach, intense looping work and unusual song structures. Not sure what any of that means.


Four for Friday… is back

It has been several weeks since I’ve done one of these. There was music overload (as if that’s possible) there at the end of December, so I’m guessing you’ve appreciated the break. But now, back to business.

Teen Daze – Let’s Groove // This is a re-working of a classic from Earth, Wind & Fire.

Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid // Sleigh Bells is back and I believe they have an album coming out sometime soon.

Boy & Bear – Part-Time Believer // “I hope you know how lucky you are.”

Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars – Safe and Sound // Love me some Civil Wars. Taylor Swift I can tolerate. This song is somehow connected to The Hunger Games movie coming out soon.


The Barr Brothers – Beggar in the Morning // That these folks got left off my end of year wrap-up is inexcusable. There is such a flurry of activity in putting those collections together that I’m often not in my right mind. This is better than most of the stuff that managed to find its way on there. Here they are bringing it on Letterman.

Four (Christmas Songs) for Friday

I say four, but since Christmas is about giving, I’m choosing to [give more] than the usual amount. Needless to say, this is Christmas music in the key of Chino.

Sleeping at Last – Christmas Is All Around // Do you remember the movie Love Actually? Of course you do.

Seryn – Go Tell It On The Mountain (feat. Mark Apel) // Some Seryn nearly made it on my “Best Of’s.” Love what they have done here.

Beta Radio – The Song the Season Brings // “Ring your bell now / Hear the swell now / The Christ is come a child our king!”

Andrew Belle – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas // I’m not really a huge fan of this song in its original form, but somehow Belle makes is sound so good.

The Civil Wars – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel // One of my favorite Christmas songs sung by one of my current favorites.

Quiet Company – O Holy Night // I should mention that several of these songs come from Fuel/Friends’ 2011 Midnight Clear December Mix that my good friend Bryan made me aware of.

Red Mountain Church – What Child Is This? // Goodness.

Sufjan Stevens – Silent Night (with Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National and Richard Parry of Arcade Fire) // No Christmas is complete without Sufjan. Add some The National and Arcade Fire and it is enough to make your head explode.

Should you desire all the songs in a handy .zip file, HERE it is.

Merry Christmas!

Man CD (2011)

Ok, so now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, the moment you have all been waiting for… Man CD.

Download the whole enchilada HERE.

You may be unfamiliar with how this works, but the short version is that several men submit one of their favorite songs to be compiled into a single CD-length playlist. These songs are our gifts to one another. Always interesting. Always revealing.

For the first time this year, we ran into the problem of having too many submissions. Therefore, I refrained from including a song so that everyone else could have their say. Truth be told, I have two CD’s worth of submissions, so it isn’t like I’m not getting my two-cents in.

As always, for the interests of keeping friendships intact, I’ll withhold my commentary on the tracks. You can probably guess what I’d have to say.

Ok, so here it is to enjoy. Or at least tolerate.

Big Wheel – The Bridge // Jamey Henderson

Mike Tompkins – PYT (MJ Cover) // Charlie Rogers

Glossary – Trouble Won’t Always Last // Jeremy Jeffery

Gogol Bordello – Immigraniada (Bassnectar Remix) // Ben Jackson

State Champion – Old Green Room // Andrew Vess

Cookie Monster – C Is For Cookie // Daniel Jackson

Zac Brown Band – Let It Go // Chris Shelton

Hot Chip – And I Was a Boy From School // Dero Sanford

The Band Perry – If I Die Young // Craig Loibner

Son House – John the Revelator // Jeff Killingsworth

Switchfoot – Vice Verses // Rob McBryde

Gungor – Beautiful Things // Adam Holsted

Dan Mangan – Starts with Them, Ends with Us // Peter Loibner

Josh Garrels – Farther Along // Bobby Harrison

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues // Rob Callaham

Blackthorn Project – Whisper Your Love // Nathan James

Ray Charles – America the Beautiful // Jonathan Elder

Ferlin Husky – I Hear Little Rock Calling // Gerald New

Ok, that’s it. Until next year!

Oh yeah, and since I didn’t get one on there, here’s my little Christmas gift to you.

The Civil Wars – Disarm (Smashing Pumpkins Cover)

Best in Music (2011) – Part 2

Now to change things up a bit. Any of these songs could have landed on the “best” side of things, but they didn’t fit the overall feel of that playlist. That means this line-up has a slightly different energy, but is equally enjoyable. Under the right circumstances, of course.

I know I sort of shortchanged you with no comments in Part 1. I’ll try to do better.

Download the .zip file for Part 2 right HERE.

Big Kenny & Little Mike – Chino Man // What else it there to say? Nothing really.

Skrillex – First of the Year (Equinox) // With Skrillex’s grammy nomination this year, I think it is safe to say that 2011 is the year that dubstep went mainstream. If you are unfamiliar with this genre, prepare for an assault on your eardrums.

Architecture in Helsinki – Contact High // I used to think this song was about the standard usage of the phrase “contact high.” I don’t think it means that.

Foster the People – Helena Beat // So Foster the People soared to fame with their single Pumped Up Kicks. Before it was played to death, I sort of like it. Fortunately, I like a few of their other songs.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Yellow Missing Signs // No idea what the band name means. Or the song title. Or the song lyrics.

Phantogram – Don’t Move // “all you do is shake, shake, shake / keep your body still”

Tedashii – Dum Dum (feat. Lecrae) // Like it or not, I heard this song about a thousand times this year.

M83 – Midnight City // As always, we all need more synth in our lives.

Coldplay & Rihanna – Princess of China // So in case you didn’t hear, Coldplay released an album this year. More or less typical Coldplay stuff. Which means good. This song received lots of criticism for the Rihanna collaboration. I sort of like it.

Mat Kearney – Hey Mama // Don’t want no drama.

Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out // “I am done with my graceless heart / So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart” Word.

Manchester Orchestra – Apprehension // I think these guys came to town, and I missed it. Dang.

Houston We Have a Solution – Gun and a Grandfather Clock // I’m probably this group’s biggest fan.

That’s No Moon – Grey Haired Prince Charming // Ditto above.

The Morning Benders – Last Night (Strokes Cover) // Think I’m about done with comments.

Ben Ottewell – Lightbulbs

The Naked & The Famous – Girls Like You

Bon Iver – Michicant

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Act on Impulse

Generationals – Ten-Twenty-Ten

The Roots – The Other Side // We got started with a rap song (of sorts), so it seems fitting to end with one. Sorry about the profanity, I guess.

Best in Music (2011) – Part 1

Been wondering what I’ve been doing for the last couple months? This is it. Prepping the end of year “best” in music. The “Part 1” in the title means that there is more to come.

Download the .zip file with track list and liner notes HERE.

It will come as no surprise to you that it was difficult to get it down to the bare essentials, but this is it. Well, this and another disc. But if I had one 80-minute playlist that I was forced to listen to all year long, this would be the one. It is “most” me. This is the music that you want playing in the background regardless of what you are doing. Hanging with friends, studying, cooking, whatever. This is a collection of songs that will never disappoint.

Beirut – Santa Fe

Peter Wolf Crier – Settling It Off 

Pepper Rabbit – Rose Mary Stretch

The Head and The Heart – Down in the Valley

Benjamin Francis Lefwich – Atlas Hands

The Milk Carton Kids – Michigan

Andrew Belle – The Ladder

Ben Rector – Without You

Blind Pilot – We Are the Tide 

Death Cab for Cutie – You Are a Tourist

TV On the Radio – Will Do

Josh Garrels – Farther Along 

Typhoon – Summer Home

Dan Mangan – Leaves, Trees, Forest

AA Bondy – Rt. 28/Believers 

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse – Revenge (feat. The Flaming Lips)

The White Album – Guns and Ammunition

Freelance Whales – Girl U Want (Devo Cover)

Four for Friday (fast forward)

And just like that a month goes by.

It has been a full one. They are all full ones. So by way of update, I thought I’d throw together four random things.

1) A couple of weeks ago, I went to a Blind Pilot show at Sticky Fingerz. As I expected, it was great. But real treat was that the opener, Dan Mangan, who was unknown to me ended up being a pleasant surprise. Here’s one of several songs I’ve enjoyed off his latest album, Oh Fortune.

Dan Mangan – How Darwinian

2) A while back, I shared the trailer for a book and video called Bloodlines. I had the chance to watch the full-length video with the rest of the church staff this week. It is worth seventeen minutes of your time.

3) Tomorrow evening, I’ll be going to my first Waterdeep show. It is right here in town. In fact, it is at my church. If you came, then we would both be there.

4) And finally, I crossed a milestone birthday last month. Yep. I’m old. Anyway, to celebrate the occasion, my family (minus one… or two?) slipped away to Banff. This little town in the heart of the Canadian Rockies is an outdoor lover’s paradise. We hiked every day. Over the course of the week, we probably covered somewhere close to 40 miles. Even little Si was up for some of the longer treks. Alison has a few posts and several photos on her blog. We loved every minute!

Dan Mangan – Leaves, Trees, Forests