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June 01, 2007

40 Years Ago Today ...

... Sergeant Pepper taught the music world a whole new way to play.

(Yes, I know that doesn't go with the rhythm. Just go with me, here.)

Back some twenty years or so, I had a copy of Sergeant Pepper. Original copy, too -- my cousin had a copy, and he gave it/loaned it to me. I played it to death.

Sergeant Pepper is an album that, for me, defined what late '60s music was. A little eclectic, a little trippy, and very different from what went before. It's also an album that was introduced to the world in a different way than before.

AM radio was king. FM was getting started, but there were doubts as to whether it could make money, and many people didn't have the equipment to listen to it. Station owners would often just mirror their AM broadcasts on their FM stations; after the government put a stop to that, they allowed their FM DJs a lot of latitude in what they played. A lot of new, experimental music was played on FM, and a lot of new bands got their break through FM radio.

Sergeant Pepper was an album that was introduced on FM radio. AM radio stations were afraid of the drug references, so it was up to the renegades on FM to introduce the world to one of the most critically acclaimed rock albums in history. And today, it may not have been made.

Increasingly, bands are going for the hit single. And with the advent of downloadable music, it's happening more and more. People don't get the entire album -- they download the two or three songs they really like and skip the rest. Think of your favorite concept album -- Kilroy Was Here by Styx, The Wall by Pink Floyd, you name it. In today's market, they may never have been made.

So is the concept album doomed? Nope. The renegade spirit of those early FM jock is alive and well in the world today, and if you've paid any attention at all to my music posts lately you'll know what I'm going to say next -- podcasting.

Yes, there are stinkers out there. There were bad early FM shows, too. But there is gold in those podcast directories. Check the link out and find some for yourself.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 06:55 PM | Comments (923) | TrackBack

June 13, 2007

The Summer Reading Pile

I haven't been reviewing very many books lately because I simply haven't had enough time. But I've made myself step it up a bit, because I've got a little bit of a backlog -- and there were two books that I couldn't resist getting to review.

I just finished a book that I'm going to be doing some blogging about next week -- Devices of the Soul by Steve Talbott. I got this one from O'Reilly, which surprised me a bit. The book is about the dangers of too much technology, and that doesn't seem like something O'Reilly (a tech book company) would publish. But the book is outstanding. Talbott's thesis is that there needs to be a balanced approach to the use of technology in everyday life -- and we don't really have that. Along the way, he makes some interesting points about life in general that should make theists in general stand up and cheer -- even though he stops a bit short of using the word God. More about that later on -- keep checking the blog, or subscribe to the RSS feed!

I just got an Advanced Uncorrected Proof copy of Empires, Wars, and Battles by T.C.F. Hopkins. I reviewed Hopkins' Confrontation at Lepanto for Blogcritics back in September, and really enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to this latest book.

I'm also reading Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. I think this book should be sent to every pastor in America -- it's that good, and that important. We're trying to program our way to growth, and we're forgetting that the church has a purpose beyond just getting bigger and bigger -- we're called to make disciples. If our programs aren't directed at doing that one thing, we're wasting our time. And that's the point to this book. I'm almost done -- expect a bigger review here in the near future.

I'm going to have a bit more time to blog soon, but I'll talk more about that when the time comes.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 16, 2007

Like That Prius Now?

OK, I admit that I've considered (seriously, very seriously) buying a Prius. Dumping gas into my Blazer to the tune of three bucks a gallon isn't any fun, I promise. But after reading this article, I'm having second thoughts.

Through a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust,” the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.

The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.

I really think this is symptomatic of a much larger problem -- as a people, we are nearsighted. We look at the immediate impact on us, and not the overall impact. And that's of anything. That's one of the things that Devices Of The Soul talks about: we have to learn (or for some of us, relearn) to consider the opportunity costs and production costs of what we do, and not just the cost of use.

So now I guess I'll have to go get me a Hummer. Those H3s are kinda nice ....

Posted by Warren Kelly at 11:48 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

June 18, 2007

I Wasn't There, Either!!

Everybody is doing their "I'm not in San Antonio" posts. I'd have liked to have gone this year, but the funds weren't there -- I've always wanted to see San Antonio, and I've never been to Texas. But I didn't go, and so I'm hopping on the bandwagon that Steve and Joe started.

Sunday, the 10th, I preached (as I've been doing for the past ten months or so). I preached on eternal security -- there are some folks at the church who grew up in Free-Will Baptist churches, and even though they realize they're secure, they don't always seem to understand why. So I reminded them, and gave them Scripture they can rely on. Sunday night was the first night of VBS. I got to be VBS director this year, so now you know how I spent my entire week last week. Friday was family night at VBS, and we had some food after the kids got their certificates and sang their songs.

Saturday, I recovered from VBS. Tried to mow the lawn, but couldn't get the lawnmower started.

Sunday, I preached on Joseph, the father God chose for His Son. We tend to ignore the important job that Joseph had, but there are some things all fathers could learn from him. Sunday night I spoke on Luke 2:52 -- a verse that we don't hear preached often enough. Jesus grew internally, externally, and upwardly -- just as we all need to.

So now you know all about my week, and I'm in good company. And maybe the trackbacks will let everyone know that I'm starting to actually blog again, even though more substantial posts are still to come.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 02:32 PM | Comments (380) | TrackBack

June 25, 2007

Who Said It?

I may make this a semi-regular feature (as regular as anything on this blog is right now, anyway). Interesting quote that I've picked up. Below the fold you'll find out who said it.

“Doing the Lord’s work is a thread that’s run through our politics since the very beginning. And it puts the lie to the notion that the separation of church and state in America — a principle we all must uphold and that I have embraced as a constitutional lawyer and most importantly as a Christian — means faith should have no role in public life.”

Senator and Presidential candidate Barak Obama, at United Church of Christ in Hartford, Conn. this past Saturday. In front of 10,000 people, no less.

Sounds like something that the religious right has been shouting for the past couple of decades, doesn't it? 'Bout time the Democrats caught up.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 09:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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