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Posts tagged "Sufjan Stevens"

Another Week Ends: Rote Religion, Prison Basketball, Google Search Data, Repentant Economists, Arrogant Philosophers, Space Music from Sufjan, and Water Slide Wonders

Another Week Ends: Rote Religion, Prison Basketball, Google Search Data, Repentant Economists, Arrogant Philosophers, Space Music from Sufjan, and Water Slide Wonders

1. First up this week, we have an amazing piece by screenwriter Dorothy Fortenberry, who is currently working on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. In “Half-Full of Grace,” for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Fortenberry explains why she still goes to Mass, every Sunday, despite all her expectations to the contrary as a child. In a world of performance, that gracious yet monotonous hour provides a break from the wheel:

I do not impress anyone at church. I do not say anything surprising or charming, because the things I say are rote responses that someone else decided on centuries ago. I am not special at church, and…

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The Ubiquity of Grief (and How I Tried to Climb the Ladder)

The Ubiquity of Grief (and How I Tried to Climb the Ladder)

Another powerful one from our friend Connor Gwin. 

Last year I wrote a piece for Mockingbird about grief and Sufjan Stevens. I wrote about the cathartic experience I had at a Sufjan Stevens concert featuring his newest album (Carrie & Lowell) which centered on the death of his mother.

It has now been two years since my father died and I am still grieving. Do you know how frustrating that is for me? I believed the cultural maxim that eventually things would return to “normal” and I would “move on”. I believed that if I allowed myself to feel my feelings in the…

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The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

Our family of four was shopping the other day (and by shopping, I mean my husband was pushing a cart stuffed with two whining kids while I looked for an escape hatch) when we dead-ended into one of those homespun signs that make me cringe a little. I read the words, looked at my husband, and rolled my eyes forcefully enough that I’m still waiting to hear back from the ophthalmologist. “GOD,” I hissed in a combination of prayer, exasperation, and self-righteousness. “So now it’s the non-cleaners’ turn to define what’s good?”

Full disclosure: I am one of the cleaners. To the…

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We're All Gonna Die: Sufjan Stevens and the Unavoidable Reality

We’re All Gonna Die: Sufjan Stevens and the Unavoidable Reality

This one comes to us from Connor Gwin:

It was perhaps one of the most interesting gatherings of people that I have ever seen. Bearded, flannel-clad hipsters crowding into a concert venue next to political operatives in dark suits wrinkled by the days ordeals. Teenagers with their parents, young and old couples, friends and strangers – the whole muddled mess of humanity gathered in DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. to see Sufjan Stevens.

While not up-to-date with his current work, I still had a place in my heart for his warbling falsetto when a friend of mine offered me a ticket…

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An Imaginative Festival of Lessons and Carols

An Imaginative Festival of Lessons and Carols

A yearly Christmas pleasure is King’s College at Cambridge’s famous Festival of Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve, nine lessons and nine carols with a beautiful choir and traditional music. For those who just can’t wait, here’s a bit of the rationale of the King’s College service, followed by an Mbird-friendly, fresh and down-to-earth spinoff to tide you over:

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first held on Christmas Eve 1918. It was planned by Eric Milner-White, who, at the age of thirty-four, had just been appointed Dean of King’s after experience as an army chaplain which had convinced him that…

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Grace and Other Precious Remedies

Grace and Other Precious Remedies

Here’s one from William Randolph Brafford:

There’s a new album out by The Welcome Wagon, and it’s called Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices. The music is all written by Thomas Vito Aiuto, who plays guitar and sings on the album. The other half of the band is Vito’s wife, Monique, who sings and plays harmonica. It’s probably worth mentioning at the outset that Reverend Aiuto is the pastor of a Presbyterian church in Brooklyn, and those of his parishioners that I’ve met call him Vito.

The album’s style runs the gamut from the jaunty, up-tempo folk-rock of songs like “I’m Not Fine”…

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Joe Paterno and the Banality of Evil

Joe Paterno and the Banality of Evil

Recent news out of Penn State University is, of course, horrible.  No one who has read the news reports has managed to come away without a sickening feeling.    Commentary in print and on radio and television has been mostly somber, as the crimes are so outrageous that everyone has been measured in their tone.  I say, mostly, however, because there has been an obvious air of self-righteousness to the news of the cover-up, usually accompanied by some version of “Why on earth didn’t he report…” or “I would never fail to stop…”

Before I wade into this swamp, let me get…

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The (A)Peal of Maundy Thursday

The (A)Peal of Maundy Thursday

If you are part of a church that is celebrating Holy Week, then chances are you will be going to a Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday service today. This is a service where there is a celebration of the institution of both the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist, and the mandatum, or “new covenant.” This Latin word mandatum, the first in the Vulgate’s (the Latin New Testament) rendering of John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another,”–is the etymology of the name…

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GuestList: Top Ten Pieces of Culture (That Impacted My Life in 2010)

GuestList: Top Ten Pieces of Culture (That Impacted My Life in 2010)

Another treat to tide you over until we shift back into full-speed next week, a guest year-end list from Carl Laamanen of the excellent Losing Sight of Land blog. 

Human beings, especially those that really like popular culture, must love lists. This is the only explanation for the hundreds of year-end “best of” lists that begin to pervade the internet at the onset of December. This is also the only reason I can provide for why I find them so fascinating. Heck, Popmatters had two weeks of music lists alone, leading up to their top 70 albums of the year,…

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December Playlist - A (Vegas) Xmas Story

December Playlist – A (Vegas) Xmas Story

Another guest playlist this month, this time from long-time Mbird friend Taylor Foran. Fully annotated too!

As far as the Incarnation is concerned, I believe firmly in it…Eternity steps into Time, and Time loses itself in Eternity. Hence Jesus, in the eyes of God, a Man, and, in the eyes of men a God. It’s sublimely simple: a transcendental soap opera going on century after century in which there have been endless variations in the script, in the music, in the dialogue, but in which one thing remains constant—the central figure, Jesus. ~Malcolm Muggeridge

Prelude—“For my Lord, for my Lord”

1. Workin’ on…

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October Playlist

October Playlist

1. Slow Emotion Replay – The The

2. Bad Reputation – Freedy Johnston3. Christ Church Woman – Justin Townes Earle4. Wax Minute – Michael Nesmith5. Hard Enough – Brandon Flowers6. I Shall Call Her Mary – Montage7. Angela Surf City – The Walkmen8. Tragic Girl – Weezer9. Buttercups – Fran Healy10. In Christ There Is No East Or West – Mavis Staples11. The Ghost of Rockwood – Belle & Sebastian12. Follow The Plan – Colin Hare13. Jug of Water – Honeybus14. I Walked – Sufjan Stevens15. Space Captain – Joe Cocker and the Shelter People16. Roll Away Your Stone – Mumford…

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2009 Christmas Playlist (And Presents)

2009 Christmas Playlist (And Presents)

A little on the late side, but nonetheless yule-rific!

1. The Christmas Song – The Raveonettes
2. Just Like Christmas – Low
3. O Holy Night – Duvall
4. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) – The Ramones
5. Child’s Christmas In Wales – John Cale
6. Christmas Must Be Tonight – The Band
7. Christmas Party – The Walkmen
8. Come On! Let’s Boogey To The Elf Dance! – Sufjan Stevens
9. Season’s Greetings – Robbers On High Street
10. A Great Big Sled – The Killers
11. A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss) – Glasvegas
12. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love/Phil Spector
13….

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