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David Bowie: The Next Day Video Review
David Bowie is not an artist without controversy. Since the release of his first album in 1967, the sometimes androgynous performer has always possessed the ability to stir the pot, especially when rock and roll needed it the most. One of the first patrons of Glam Rock, if not the first, Bowie has taken music to another level that has satisfied the ears as well as the other senses. Unlike many of the transparent musician-songwriters of today, Bowie cannot be contained to a particular box of genre. In fact, just when you think you have him figured out, you find...
dave matthews
Dave Matthews Band: Review of Away From the World
“Life is like a Dave Matthews album, Forrest.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”  As this truth about life resonates with each of us from Forrest Gump, so it is for the faithful fan of the Dave Matthews Band.  With a collection of eclectic musical expression that spans almost 20 years, the group has tested most genres of music that produces live shows that draw upon most human emotions.  Even when sampling one particular record, one cannot rest into any single pattern of listening. If “variety” can be named as the number one quality of The Dave Matthews Band,...
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U2 and the Call to Follow
Every time I hear the word follow, every single time, I think of my 16 year old self, getting ready for Club, and then I think about Bono. Yeah, that Bono; the dude with the shades from U2. I hear him making his fervent pronouncement, “I will…follow!” at the end of the song of the same name. Who’d have thought Bono would be a sort of John the Baptist for me, making the way for Jesus in my heart? It was U2 and the noblesse oblige of some suburban mothers who taught me that follow wasn’t a four letter word....
mountaingoats
The Life of the World to Come
I can remember very clearly the first time I heard my favorite artist blaring through the van speakers. I sat sipping on a red bull, beside my friend Jordan in a fifteen passenger van. Disillusioned with life, I roamed aimlessly across the country side with my friends on a nationwide tour. We listened to the entirety of the new Mountain Goats album, The Life of the World to Come, as we trekked through Texas. It was like falling in love. I felt vulnerable and human. I go out of my way to avoid the cringe that often accompanies my exposure to Christian...
metallica
The Redemption of Metallica
Yesterday, as I was driving home from a long road trip, I shuffled through my iPod and I put on Metallica’s Fade to Black. The long drive home, framed by the country road and grazing cattle, had given me the space to reflect on some important realizations about life. It had put me in a melancholy mood. I was half dreaming of my life and remembering some painful things that I needed to contemplate.  It was good. It was necessary, but it was painful. The song Fade to Black is one of Metallica’s very best.  At first glance the song...
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We Shall Be Free
I can’t state it for a fact, but I may be the most conservative writer on Provoketive. That being said, I love the opinions that are shared here. I don’t always agree with my fellow writers, but I would die for their rights to share their opinions. All of us have the absolute right to share our opinions. The freedom we have to express our opinions is guaranteed by the Constitution. And the suppression of any of any person’s rights is the suppression of all of our rights. I was surfing the glorious Internet tonight and came across Garth Brooks’...
chris-brown
“We Don’t Care if You Beat Your Girlfriend! We’re the Grammys!”
Chris Brown, the twenty-two year old rapper and singer, performed tonight at the 2012 Grammy Awards just three short years after beating his girlfriend so badly she had to go to the hospital. Sasha Pasulka of HelloGiggles.com, speaks of the disparity between amount of outcry over the Komen/Planned Parenthood situation compared to the Chris Brown performance: We were so mad when the Komen Foundation pulled its funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. “This is not fair,” we shouted. “This is not fair to women, and this is not fair to the women who don’t have a voice, and...
leonard cohen
Leonard Cohen: “Old Ideas”, Acceptance and Redemption
I have to admit it; I am not a big fan of “Christian” music.  I find more personal satisfaction in secular music and actually find that more of the “spiritual” is revealed to me in the honesty of my favorite artists.  In a church culture of shallow and transparent worship music, it is refreshing to be able to access depth in the secular, which actually seems to contain more true spirituality than the latter.  Leonard Cohen in particular, has the ability to delve into the deep places of faith that few of us do, all the while being unsure of...
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The Salvation Of Love
Rihanna has a way of making the most interesting videos about the tension of love. Her video with Eminem, Love The Way You Lie explored a deep tension of trying to love in a broken world.  We live in relationships with people, searching for someone who will love us, who will speak to something deep within our soul that says, “You are worth it.” To find it is intoxicating.  It is the ever present feeling of love that comes from the affections of the other. In many ways, to be loved feels like salvation. But live in relationship is to...
Jesus_Cross
Eroticizing the Cross
As the lead pastor of a contemporary worship service, I have had a lot of time to meditate upon the lyrics of Jeremy Riddle’s song “Sweetly Broken,” which we sing perhaps every other weekend. The verses are a catechism of penal substitution theology: “For on [the cross] my Savior both bruised and crushed / Showed that God is love / And God is just” and “I was under Your wrath / Now through the cross I’m reconciled.” I often cringe at the way that an overzealous worship of substitutionary atonement creates an account of divine justice in which God is...
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