Archive for March, 2007


Some Sweet Guitar Players.

March 29, 2007

Thought I’d write about some of my favorite guitar players and my favorite moments of theirs. In no particular order.

Tom Morello: Of Rage against the Machine and Audioslave, as well performs acoustically as the Nightwatchman. Best known for the amazing sounds he coaxes out of his guitar using effects. My favorite riff of his is probably “Sleep Now in the Fire” by Rage. My favorite solo is “Shadow on the Sun”, it is anguish conveyed as sound.

The Edge: U2, need I say more? This man is iconic. Not just a great guitar player but also a great song writer. I mean, he wrote “Where the Streets have no Name”, need I say more? No, but I will anyway. His use of delay continues to inspire people right into the present day. You can’t listen to rock radio for more than 25 minutes without hearing that “edge” sound that he created. My favorite riffs are probably “Discotheque” or “Where the Streets have no Name”. My favorite solo is “Until the End of the World”.

Billy Howerdel: A Perfect Circle’s Billy Howerdel started off as a guitar tech with a number of bands including the Smashing Pumpkins but it was while he was helping Tool in the Studio that he met Maynard Keenan. Billy played Maynard a couple of his own songs and Maynard told him that if he ever needed a singer he would do it. Turns out he did and got Maynard involved. They had a short but awesome output. My favorite riffs of his are “Judith”, “Blue”, and “the Outsider”. My favorite solo is “Orestes”. You should also check out what A Perfect Circle did to “Imagine” by John Lennon. I actually like their version of the song, even if I still hate the lyrics.

Slash: Guns n’ Roses is not where I first heard this guitar player. No, it was with his new band Velvet Revolver that I was first introduced to Slash. This man has no theory training, everything he knows he knows by ear. Not only does he have great tone but he has some sweet solos in his output. My favorite riffs of Slash’s are “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Superhuman”. My favorite solos are the almost eastern sounding second solo of “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Slither”

Andy Summers: The Police are probably my favorite band. Andy Summers guitar is one of the most distinctive aspects of their music. Though I love Sting’s songs you have to love what Andy brought to them. Favorite Riffs: “Synchronicity II”, “Secret Journey”, and “Message in a Bottle”. The solo in “King of Pain” has great tone, even if it is just a restatement of the melody.

Going through my iTunes I realized there are still quite a few more that need a mention, however these are the most important to me as an artist. I’ll have to write more posts about this stuff.


Bearing Scars.

March 28, 2007

It isn’t because I don’t want to that I haven’t. I want to tear off this mask I wear so you can see what was left by the wolf who wears the mask of a sheep. I want to explain how it is only because of a youth group that took me in after another abandoned me that I have any faith at all. I wish I could talk about the people who feared God more than their pastor and still talked to us.

I wish I could get this log out of my own eye. I wish I could forgive, really forgive, the kind that also means forgetting the pain. The kind of forgiveness that lets you love the person who did you wrong. Because sometimes I think I’ll never be able to let go of this hate.

This largely comes after reading my Dad’s post The People formerly know as The Congregation. He says ” We are The People formerly known as The Congregation. We do not hate you (pastors). Though some of us bear the wounds you have inflicted.” Some of us do hate some of you. I wish I didn’t.


The CBC does something right.

March 26, 2007

Now I’m going to be honest here, I’m not a big fan of the CBC.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved it when Peter Mansbridge took Paul Martin to town, but they’ve always bothered me a bit.  Now I’ve started downloading the George Stroumboulopoulos Hour Podcast and he’s a very good interviewer.  Check out the interviews with Franklin Graham and Tony Campolo.  They are both very interesting in terms of how he interviews someone he probably disagrees with.

I love Campolo’s line, “On [judgment] day, He’s not going to ask you theological questions… its not going to be ‘Virgin Birth… strongly agree, somewhat agree, no opinion…’ Its gonna be ‘I was hungry, did you feed me? I was naked, did you clothe me? I was sick, did you care for me? I was an alien, did you take me in? …because I’m not up in the sky somewhere, I’m waiting to be loved in people who hurt.”  Perfect.


Forgotten Parables

March 21, 2007

Emily and I were talking after book discussion a while back… Wait, you probably don’t know who Emily is. She is the Resident Advisor to us Augustinians. Anyway, we were talking about certain “parables” that seem to be prevalent today. Here are a couple.

The Kingdom of God is like a business.

The Kingdom of God is like a monarchy.

Any others that are funnier or better?

UPDATE:  When I said the Kingdom of God is like a monarchy I meant it in this way.  “The Kingdom of God is like a monarchy, God makes me (the pastor) the leader, and I run the show as I see fit.”



March 18, 2007

Nothing could be more provocative. Leaving aside questions so far as I can tell unraised about how easy it is to do an opinion poll in Iraq, this is very interesting. You see, apparently Iraqis are happier, only 1 in 4 believe there is a civil war going on, and over half are sure things will get better as the external forces leave Iraq. This in the face of almost everyone knowing someone who was kidnapped or someone who had a family member kidnapped.

This is interesting. We in the west, myself included, love to pontificate about the situation a world away. We speak based on second hand information from what can only be described as biased reporting. Why do I say this? Because if two out of three iraqis “believe military operations now under way will disarm all militias” then it seems obvious that they acknowledge the need for external forces to be present even if they also believe they need to be leaving Iraq for Iraq to come around completely.

So how is it that we believe the Iraqis as a whole hate the Americans and other forces in Iraq? It seems that it is only because we listen to and believe the loudest voices. The voices of those who preach their message of hate and incite violence among the malcontents. The voices of those from other foreign countries such as Iran that tell us we are wrong to be there, while helping those who would overthrow an attempt at self govenrnance by the people of Iraq. We listen to the voices and ignore the majority who believe that life is getting better and will continue to do so. Even in the face of extreme hardship.

I for one feel betrayed again by the purveyors of “fact” for once again twisting the story to suit their perceptions en masse.

UPDATE:  I messed up that sentence near the top, it originally said 1 in 4 don’t believe there is a civil war going on, I should have said, “only 1 in 4 believe there is a civil war going on”.  It makes a bit of difference.



March 17, 2007

Contemporary Christian Music or

Christian Copies of the Mainstream



March 14, 2007

Today I felt connected.  I don’t mean connected in the pretentious, life force flowing through us all kind of way.  It was kind of like I was seeing just a little bit below the surface of the waters of people’s lives.  It was terrible.

The homeless man I walked past.  I felt his pain, his hunger.  I felt his anger as I walked past with two dozen eggs and couldn’t even bring myself to look at him.   Couldn’t bring myself to offer him some dignity.

The guy mopping the floor in the bank around the corner.  I felt his dreams.  His dreams of making it as an artist.  His paintbrush is now a mop, wiping clean the footprints of those who have more than he does.  Wondering how he’s going to pay the rent this week.

I looked up into the window of a second floor restaurant.  A couple was sitting eating.  They weren’t talking.  I felt his wanting to say how much he loved her.  And how much she wanted to hear it.  But the fear they both felt in the work that love is.  Her parents had split up.  His barely talked to each other.  Neither wants that to be them so they leave important words unsaid.

I saw my reflection.  The lies I speak when not speaking.  How fake the words seem to be that come out of my mouth.  How fake my actions are with everyone around me.  How I couldn’t think of a way to offer anyone else hope.  I couldn’t even find hope myself.

I felt terrible.