Friday, November 27, 2009

Crazy Love

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeff Bridges, Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall all in the same movie? Oh my goodness; that'd better be one great movie.

And T Bone Burnett's doing the music.

Oh, and the movie's called "Crazy Heart" not "Crazy Love." My bad.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Five Favorite Albums of 2009

  1. Written in Chalk, Buddy and Julie Miller (and friends)
  2. It's All Crazy, It's All False, It's All a Dream, It's Alright, mewithoutyou
  3. Elephants, Aaron Strumpel
  4. The Hazards of Love, The Demberists
  5. No Line on the Horizon, U2
Albums I still need to hear or give a better listen to:

Together Through Life, Bob Dylan
Blood from Stars, Joe Henry
... many more

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Installment Number Thirty Six...

    "Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."
    — G.K. Chesterton

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Installment Number Thirty Five...

    "Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."
    — Frederick Buechner

    Wednesday, November 04, 2009

    Picasso had his "blue" stage...

    When people look back at the stage of filmmaking I'm in right now, they'll have a name for it. I'm not sure what the name will be, but it'll be something close to "the bizarrely-weird stage: The stage where Andrew Price just went completely nuts and made the strangest films he's ever made." Seriously folks. I'll link to them soon on YouTube, but over the past couple of months or so I've made my strangest films ever. Everything I touch these days seems turns to weirdness.

    I'm going to blame two factors here: my experimental video production class and high school boys. The first has got me in an almost 'throwing all rules out' mode and the second is actual, real reason that two of my more recent projects are weird. I don't think of ideas by myself like Darth Vader in a grudge-settling dance off with a terrorist. I do like bringing them to life, though.

    Monday, November 02, 2009

    What Else Me But You? (A Look At mewithoutYou's "A Stick, a Carrot and a String."

    The Tooth&Nail band mewithoutYou released an album this summer called... well, let's nevermind the name of the album; it's really long and somewhat pretentious, and really want you to focus on this one song in particular right now. The song is "A Stick, a Carrot and a String." And it's been such an encouragement to me this summer. I think it is one of the best worship songs of the year.

    It starts out as a Christmas song. At first, I thought the whole song was a Christmas song, and I got really excited because I like odd Christmas songs (to find out how I feel about traditional Christmas songs [or at least, radio's approach to the traditional Christmas song], click here).

    The song is however not merely a Christmas song, and I'm fine with that. The song's territory is one I don't hear explored that often (in song, anyway), and I'm very happy to have my expectations dashed.

    But before I get too far ahead of myself, the first part of the song:

    the horse's hay beneath his head
    our Lord was born to a manger bed
    that all whose wells run dry
    could drink of his supply

    We're in the first stanza, and we're already dipping into the Gospel a little bit. Sweet.

    Then we get into "The Friendly Beasts" territory:

    to keep him warm, the sheep drew near
    so grateful for His coming here
    come with news of grace
    come to take my place
    the donkey whispered in his ear
    "child, in 30-some-odd years
    you'll ride someone who looks like me

    I like what the sheep say here. If I were a sheep, I'd be excited about Christ coming too.

    Also note the donkey introducing the concept of the upside down kingdom (makes me think of G. K. Chesterton). This theme is important to Aaron Weiss and central to the song.

    Let's keep listening:

    the cardinals warbled a joyful song
    he'll make right what man made wrong
    bringing low the hills
    that the valleys might be filled

    then "child", asked the birds
    "well, aren't they lovely words we sing?"
    the tiny baby layed there
    without saying anything

    Okay. So far we've heard from all the 'normal' (um, except cardinals) or accepted manger scene animals (for the record, I can see cardinals working their way into a manger scene).

    And now at the margins:

    at a distance stood a mangy goat
    with the crooked teeth and a matted coat
    weary eyes and worn
    chipped and twisted horns

    thinking "maybe I'll make friends someday
    with the cows and the hens in the rambouillet
    but for now, I'll keep away
    I've got nothing smart to say"

    I identify most with the goat, by the way.

    Now the song shifts, it dips into the weird, parable/fable feel of the album overall. It serves as a response to the goat's hesitation

    there's a sign on the barn
    in the cabbage town
    "when the rain picks up
    and the sun goes down
    sinners, come inside
    with no money, come and buy

    no clever talk, nor a gift to bring
    requires our lowly, lovely king
    come now empty handed, you don't need anything"

    and the night was cool
    and clear as glass
    with the sneaking snake in the garden grass
    deep cried out to deep
    the disciples fast asleep

    and the snake perked up
    when he heard You ask
    "if you're willing that
    this cup might pass
    we could find our way back home
    maybe start a family all our own"

    "but does not the Father guide the Son?
    not my will, but yours be done.
    what else here to do?
    what else me, but You?"

    and the snake who'd held the world
    a stick, a carrot and a string
    was crushed beneath the foot
    of your not wanting anything