Just coolness

I like bikes. I like riding my bike. I like checking out other people’s bikes. I like wandering through bike stores even when I don’t need anything. I like bike related art work. I like people who like bikes. I like anything that causes people to like bikes and ride bikes more. And I like bikes that look beautiful…like this one.

I love the color of this bike. I love the contrasting color of the bar tape. I love the shape of the handlebars. I love the fenders on this bike. I love the old school Brooks saddle. I love that this bike is beautiful yet functional…

I love my bike and love riding my bike, so there is no doubt in my mind that this is probably the coolest flash mob ever! Imagine what they would have done if Tom Boonen had actually factored in any of the stages in the TdF.

Doesn’t need much comment does it?

But it does beg the question of what constitutes ‘a better world’?

Found these online and think they are amazing in their simplicity.

I found this beautiful and poingnant image online. It may sound odd to say that an image where the word ‘Sin’ appears is somehow beautiful. But I find the beauty in the truth that this image proclaims.

When I saw this picture what it said to me is that Sin, or the acts that make it up, at first are like bright lights. They give the appearance of illuminating the darkness because they seem to give us what we want. The lights attract us, draw us in, mesmerize us.

However, after trying, taking, participating, staring into this light we quickly find it hollow, disappointing and their brightness fades. And what once drew us in is discarded to the junk pile until something new can be found to draw us in, tempt us or to defeat us.

The other story this image tells us is about a new life that we can have. That when we surrender to Christ, lay our life before him, and become less so that he can become more (John 3:30), the bright lights, the glitz, the lure of Sin has no more power over us and is forever banished, has no control over us and is banished to the junk heap where it is left to rust until it is no more.

I will admit to in the past being somewhat a fan of Robbie Williams. My appreciation of Robbie and his music was also without knowledge of his previous affiliation with ‘Take That’…whoops. Songs like ‘Let Me Entertain You’ and ‘Jesus In A Camper Van’ just had an energy and attitude and spiritual curosity that at the time that I could appreciate.

In the last month, Mr. Williams has again burst onto the scene here inrobbie_williams-bodies-300x300 the UK with his new single ‘Bodies’ (even showcasing it on the UK hit show ‘The X Factor’ and I can say with certainty that there is very little appreciation for his effort from me this time around. Lyrically, Mr. Williams again ventures into the spiritual in a very ambigious but curious way, leaving the listener wondering and bit confused about what Robbie actually things about Christ’s death: do you think he died for you and me Robbie? Make up your mind on what you think. But it’s not the lyrics or the sound that makes my stomach turn with this song…it’s Robbie himself. Watch the video and see if you see the same thing….

1) You think wearing that motorcycle helmet and popping a wheelie on a dirt bike makes you a badass? Huh? (1:00 in the video)
2) At the 3:00 minute mark you sing standing on the wing of a plane, how do you spell cliche? and you include the lyric ‘We all just want to look good naked’ and at this point in the video you lift your arm in the air and we see your stomach and I vomit into my mouth.
3) 3:19…you rip off Jay-Z with the played out ‘wipe the dust off my shoulder move’? Huh?
4) The dance moves you employ, particularily at 3:25, 3:39, and 3:47 should never ever be done in public…only ever in front of your bathroom mirror…and only before a shower, because after those horrid dance moves you need a shower…filthy.
5) Your little finger wag at 3:53 should only be used by the viewer of this video to chastise you for making such a pathetic video for a very mediocre song.

drumsAs for a song I love…Let’s hear it for Drums of Death aka Colin and the new song ‘Got Yr Thing’. While the slightly morbid and childish face paint isn’t my thing…the song is. Check it:

The beats have an old skool intensity that makes me want to turn it up and jump up and down. It’s also electro without the polish, without the shine…definitely has a bit of a grimey feel to it that is a bit infectious.

I’m always diggin for new music. Like Cake sang in ‘Rock n Roll Lifestyle’ way back in the day I have to have ‘the tshirt to prove that you heard of them first’. Good music always seems to sound better when no one else seems to be listening to it.

Moving to the UK has opened some new doors musically. Vinyl stores are a joy to wander through…and tomorrow I’m headed to Rough Trade…one of best ones.

But lately, what’s been playing on my ipod and my shuffle (on bike rides) is Mat Kearney’s new album ‘City of Black and White’. mat-kearney-city-of-black-whiteIts been a few years since his last and it seems to me to be well worth the wait.

The sound seems to be pretty well produced…maybe a little too good. There isn’t any tracks where he raps, which were my favorite on the last album, which is disappointing. But lyrically, I find his lyrics seem to be trying to follow the path Bono has been blazing. The lyrics seem to have mutiple layers that have cultural cache and real spiritual symbolism.

The album starts with “All I Have”.
In the first verse he sings,
“Tired of the same song everyone’s singing
Rather be lost with you instead”
This line is one of those that could be to a girl, but could be something more.

Later in the song he sings:
Oh I still trying to do my hardest
Pick us all up from the fall oh
Off the little corner of the darkness
Just a crack the light in the middle of it all

Here Kearney seems to be speaking of our tendancy to embrace grace but then still expend endless energy ‘doing it on our own’ in a world that seems dark all over and light that we long for appears to be only a sliver or a glimmer.

Closer To Love is even more intense lyrically:
She got the call today
One out of the gray
And when the smoke cleared
It took her breath away
She said she didn’t believe
It could happen to me
I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees
We’re gonna get there soon

And later in the song:
I’m gonna get there soon,
She’s gonna be there too
Cryin’ in her room
Prayin’ Lord, come through
We’re gonna get there soon

Oh it’s your light,
Oh it’s your way,
Pull me out of the dark
Just to show me the way
Cryin’ out now
From so far away…
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love

Some critics have railed against Kearney for his song ‘Annie’ that it’s too cliche, because it’s about a girl…”“Annie” is the token weepy ballad. A song named after a girl? That never happens! (Forgive the sarcasm, but I definitely thought Kearney was above this.)” So what…Taylor by Jack Johnson is a rubbish piece of cliche trash as well?

At any rate, while Kearney’s new album seems a little more mainstream than I’d like, lyrically he has a depth that reveals a deep commitment and passion for his faith and a commitment to contextualizing in way that is relevant and challenging to his listeners, fans and critics.

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