Tuesday, March 01, 2005

So, I guess this is it....

Which are you - the kind of person who changes around the furniture frequently, or the kind who leaves it the same for years and years? I am frequent-furniture-changer type. And in the age of computers, the same principle crosses over. My desktop wallpaper doesn't last for more than two weeks, and same with the audio schemes. For a while I had a clip of Bono, from the end of one of his concerts, that would play whenever windows shut down. He would say, "Goodnight, and f*** off!" Well, it was entertaining to me, at least until my mother-in-law heard it as she shut down my computer one night. Her subsequent re-evaluations of her daughter's judgement in finding a good man was something I could have done without.

Why do I babble on so? Because I can't bring myself to face the cold hard truth. It is the end of the line for Herban Sprawl. Anyone watching will have noticed he was on his last legs anyway, and would have seen it coming. But it is time for another re-arrangement of the furniture.

Part of the trouble I have with blogging consistently is that I don't know what my focus is, and I don't really know who my audience is. Who am I writing to? What am I writing about? How well do those two fit together?

Don't worry, I know you were getting worried there. I have the solution. A seed don't fall to the ground without a plant growing up from it. When Old Yeller dies, there's always gonna be some puppies. When the earth is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust, there wil always be some randy New Zealanders to get things going again. Anyway, you get the idea.

So yeah, Herban Sprawl is getting born again, reincarnated if you prefer. And he is coming back as twins:

From here on in, if you want to read about what is going on musically with Diana and I as we gig our way around Nagoya and the internet with our new band, go to this page.

If you actually care to know what I am thinking about in regards to the books I read and the theological storms that brew up in there, go to this page.

See you there!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Daily Dig - Getting Personal by Kallistos Ware

The whole person is on the one side open to God, and on the other side open to other people. The isolated individual is not a real person, for a real person lives in and for others. This idea...could be summed up under the word love. We become truly personal by loving God and by loving other humans. By love, I don’t mean merely an emotional feeling, but a fundamental attitude. In its deepest sense, love is the life, the energy, of the Creator in us. We are not truly human as long as we are turned in on ourselves. We become whole only insofar as we face others, and relate to them.

Kallistos Ware

Gosh, can I relate to that....

William Cavanaugh, a friend and fellow theologian, has this to say about Hauerwas' tough nature: "Indeed, of all the great Christian pacifists over the centuries--Hippolytus, Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther King--Stanley Hauerwas is the one I would want on my side in a bar fight."

Hauerwas himself says one reason he so loudly proclaims his non-violent ethic is that others might keep him from killing someone.


"I'm a pacifist because I'm a violent son of a bitch." A profile of Stanley Hauerwas

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Another mix for your thoughts....

Ok, here is the latest mix of Hope. What do you think of this one? As compared to the last couple?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Shane Clairbourne of the Simple Way

This guy is going to be at CMU in Winnipeg in March. There is one reason why i wish i was home in the winter. Don't come across one of those everyday.

I am going to Iraq to stand in the way of war. Thousands of soldiers have gone to Iraq, willing to kill people they do not know because of a political allegiance. I go willing to die for people I do not know because of a spiritual allegiance. The soldiers have incredible courage, courage enough to die for something they believe in. I pray that Christians would have that same courage.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Mr. O'Reilly

We used to watch Bill O'Reilly on satellite, and this exchange is fairly representative of what I remember of him. You can't say he's not entertaining.

O'Reilly mistakenly thinks that Barbara Boxer calls down Rice on her "respect for the troops" [that's "truth" Bill]. Then he goes on this rant:

CALLER: Yes, Mr. O'Reilly. I just wonder, why we are speaking against Barbara Boxer? I thought she was there doing her job. She was to question Condoleezza Rice on her past performance and her present performance. What she was going to do in the future --

O'REILLY: Well, you're puttin' a happy face on it, though. Lemme ask you a question. Boxer goes in and says, "Your devotion to Bush and your obsequiousness to the administration was more important to you than the welfare of our troops." I mean, that's grossly insulting, is it not?

CALLER: I don't think she did mention our troops.

O'REILLY: Yeah, she did --

CALLER: And you were just talking --

O'REILLY: [Caller], [caller] -- whoa. Yeah, she did. That's exactly what she said. And then Rice came back and said, "Don't you impugn my integrity. I have tremendous feeling for the sacrifices the troops have made."

So, [caller], you gotta understand if you're gonna come on The Factor, and you're gonna say, "Barbara Boxer asked all the right questions and did all the right things." And then I say to you, "What about this?" And you say, "I don't think she did it," when anybody following that hearing knows she did it -- Lis Wiehl?

LIS WIEHL (co-host): Mmm-hmm.

O'REILLY: OK. [Caller], how can we possibly take your analysis seriously? And I'm not saying this to attack you. I want you to call in again. I want you to be a listener. But, I'm trying to send a message out to everybody. If you're gonna call the program -- this isn't the usual talk show where you can just blather about stuff you don't know anything about -- I'm gonna ask you questions. I'm gonna ask you to back up your position with facts. Now, [caller] didn't know about that exchange, which was the most contentious exchange, and played on every news show.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The rough version of that song from before

Here is the rough version of the song that we sent to the producer friend of mine. Thanks for the comments and emails. They are helpful to me. I was actually kind of underwhelmed by that particular mix, because I didn't think it was very "us". Anyway, listen to the rough version and see if you agree.

Manitoba in the winter can br fun be you know how to take it on...

Rally the sleds...

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Lend me your ear...

Hey, could I get some reaction on this from a few impartial judges? Just think of it as blogger idol. I need a few Simon Cowell types to tell me what they think. The following is a song of mine produced and sung by a friend, as we work toward a final mix. I won't say anything of what I am thinking so as not to bias you, but if you would, give it a listen and give your reaction. And don't worry about the goofy lyrics at the end, that was just having fun...

And anonymous comments are perfectly welcome, possibly preferred.

Here is the mix.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Not too much posting this month...

As you can see, I have not spent much time blogging in the new year. That is because I have been busying up my spare time, primarily with Japanese study and music. The music busyness is largely in response to some inspiring words from Jen, who said something in an email a while back that reminded me about motives for the music we do. She basically pointed out that first and foremost it's not about the promoting and the success/failure ratios that we can get so used to measuring ourselves by. She reminded me that we do it because we love it, because we just simply desire to express ourselves that way creatively, whether anyone is listening or not. And I think I had been forgetting that, dwelling too much on my space in life and the fact that any sort of typical musician's life just does not fit very well with a 30 year old, and a wife and two young kids, etc etc. But fact is, I still love writing songs and trying to express myself in music.

Songs can be kind of a riddle in which you try to communicate something that you wouldn't say otherwise. It's an interesting comparison with writing a blog, because it is such a different form of communication. I find it really hard to be too open on a blog, but in a song I can reveal things that I would never otherwise tell; though I guess I always make the really important stuff vague enough that I always leave myself space for full deniability...

But even so, once in while I will get an email where someone has heard one of the songs, and really connected with it, and there is no greater high than that. Once a lady phoned me crying and saying, "Thank you so much for writing that, and I want you to know I understand, I so understand what you are saying." The funny part of it is that, who knows, who knows what she understood or if it had anything to do with what I was trying to communicate. But really, who cares. I just loved the fact that it moved her, and that something that came out of me connected so deeply with something in her. I was high for weeks.

So we are going to try some more stuff, keep making music. We are practicing for some gigs around the city, and a friend in LA is working on a mix of one of the songs that has not yet been recorded. Oh yes, it will be an exclusive Herban Sprawl internet release, and of course I am positive I-tunes will be clamoring to add it to their collection. Probably release a special edition i-pod just for this song.

And more inspiration from jen (she's quite inspiring). She put on the trail of video blogging, which I have been finding quite fascinating. It seems that bandwidth could really limit such a thing, but I would like to give it a try. So I will be making a few video blog posts, if I can get over my fear of talking into a camera. Try it some time. You feel pretty dumb sitting there by yourself, looking into a camera, and trying to think of something to say. But maybe we will just sing you a few songs or something. Anyway...

Friday, January 21, 2005


Originally uploaded by fatblueman.
Not something you see everyday on a sidewalk in Winnipeg. But in Nagoya, not such a big deal.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Nicene baby...

...The Nicene religion of the baby and the cross gives us Christianity without the politics. The Posh and Becks nativity scene is the perfect tableau into which to place this Nicene baby, for like the much-lauded celebrity, this Christ is there to be gazed upon and adored - but not to be heard or heeded. In a similar vein, modern evangelical choruses offer wave upon wave of praise to the name of Jesus, but offer little political or economic content to trouble his adoring fans.

...In the hands of conservative theologians, the Nicene religion of the baby and the cross is a way of distracting attention away from the teachings of Christ. It's a form of religion that concentrates on things like belief in the virgin birth while ignoring the fact that the gospels are much more concerned about the treatment of the poor and the forgiveness of enemies.

Good quote found by Graham in an article in the Guardian.

More from th article:

Nicene Christianity is the religion of Christmas and Easter, the celebration of a Jesus who is either too young or too much in agony to shock us with his revolutionary rhetoric. The adult Christ who calls his followers to renounce wealth, power and violence is passed over in favour of the gurgling baby and the screaming victim. As such, Nicene Christianity is easily conscripted into a religion of convenience, with believers worshipping a gagged and glorified saviour who has nothing to say about how we use our money or whether or not we go to war.