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Derek Webb’s worship album – FEEDBACK (an atheist’s perspective)

2nd Nov 10 (Tue) 11 comments

So, overnight (midnight CST), Derek Webb put out his new album Feedback.  I’ve been a fan of Derek Webb since I first got into his band Caedmon’s Call back in 1996.  They’re a christian band… and I’ve since “left the church,” as it were.  I mentioned this in my review of his show in Portland this past spring… even as an atheist, I find his music to be well conceived and well executed.  He’s not a discriminatingly judgmental person.  If he writes a judging lyric, it’s usually full of fingers a-blazin’ at himself first.

He also tackles many issues that I think are relevant and important to everyone (not just christians).  “What Matters More” from 2009’s Stockholm Syndrome is one of my most favorite songs he’s put out (that album was stellar all around)…

Anyway… back to his new album FeedbackFeedback is a self-proclaimed “worship album.”  I first heard about that moniker and was worried.  I mean, what does an atheist desire to hear in a “worship” album?  Not much, that’s what. I’ve heard many since leaving the church (Jars of Clay, Leigh Nash from Sixpence, other miscellaneous compilations with Derek and/or Caedmon’s Call), and… no offense is meant when I say this, but they really make me cringe.  It’s the “subject matter,” and I know it’s not intended for me… so I move on.  No harm, no foul.


Well,when I found out it was an instrumental worship album, well, again… no offense is meant, but it made me really happy.  I’ve listened to the album in full by now (10pm PST on Nov 1st is midnight CST on Nov 2nd), and I dig it.  It’s an “instrumental album based on the Lord’s Prayer.”

Worship is a complicated idea. Arguably, it’s what we all do, 24 hours a day (regardless of what we’re worshipping). And I’m aware of a lot of “worship product” in the marketplace I sometimes occupy. So I was cautious when I first started receiving the coordinates that would lead me to make ‘Feedback’. It was immediately conceptual and ambitious, so much so that I genuinely wasn’t sure I could do it. But this seemed to be the perfect posture in which to create something worthy of being called a “worshipful” piece of art. So I studied, meditated, struggled and prayed my way through this creative process, and it’s easily the most challenging thing I’ve done in my career. But I believe it’s been worth it, even just for the ways it’s stretched both my creative process and my faith as a follower of the Way. –Derek Webb

I could definitely see this being created (and used by listeners) in a worshipful manner.  I also love the general aesthetics of it.  It’s definitely got some electronic elements, but it has a more sweeping feel as well.  Some of it feels like a mix of a happier ambiance of Amiina/Sigur Rós meets an acoustic-electronic bridge in a Sufjan Stevens song meets a gentle Ric Hordinski lyrical guitar solo (I am in a Monk mood).  It’s a great quality instrumental album from a man who I loved via his witty voice from the get go.  It’s nice to see him expand outside his comfort zone.

While I don’t want to make a big deal about the christian and atheist thing… the slant of the record’s purpose (worship) makes me look at it from that angle.  I don’t think it needs to be that way.  But in the way the album is framed from a songwriting, production, and marketing point of view… yes, I definitely see this album as a conduit for worship.  As an atheist, I take it as a conduit into introspection and the worship of the divine as I see it – music.

Here’s a trailer for the short films that accompany the album:

Find out more at:
http://www.derekwebb.com/

Oh, today is also November 2nd – aka Election Day.  Regardless of who you vote for… don’t forget to do just that… VOTE.  It’s important.

~Dan – np: Monk (Ric Hordinski) – Quiver

Greydon Square – The Kardashev Scale

15th Aug 10 (Sun) Leave a comment

About two years after The CPT Theorem, atheist rapper Greydon Square comes roaring back with his third opus… The Kardashev Scale.  I ordered the CD and got the digital immediately for free.  If you only want the digital, it’s priced right at only $8.99.  It’s excellent – gonna be in my best of 2010 list!

http://greydonsquare.bandcamp.com/

“Its title comes from the Russian Scientist, Nikolai Kardashev, who in 1963 Kardashev upon examining cosmos came up with the idea that some galactic civilizations would be perhaps millions or billions of years ahead of us, and created the Kardashev classification scheme to rank such civilizations. With the Kardashev Scale, Greydon employs creative samples from respected astrophysicists like Michio Kaku and Carl Sagan, a feature track with Canibus, and 19 new songs to add to his expanding catalogue of music.”

~Dan – np: Greydon SquareThe Kardashev Scale

Bill Maher on Larry King re: Religion

22nd Aug 08 (Fri) 2 comments

Bill Maher & Larry Charles’ religious comedy Religulous comes out October 3rd. It was supposed to come out in June (I mentioned way back in April during my review of Expelled).

Bill Maher was recently on Larry King

Part1 – Also available for download at the RDF (warning: 17.5M)

Part2 – Q&A: Rick Warren, environmentalism, stimulus checks, etc…

Part3 – more Q&A: more religion & politics, cockiness, marriage, etc…

Best interchange from the Religulous clips (in Part 1)…

It worries me that people are running my country who think, who believe, in a talking snake.” – Bill Maher
You don’t have to pass an I.Q. test to be in the Senate, though.” – Senator Mark Pryor [AR-D]

*SIGH*

Why can’t God just defeat the Devil and get rid of evil? Because then there’s no story… and no reason to pass the plate.” – Bill Maher

What we really need is a dense ecumenical bandana.

~Dan – np: Radiohead – In Rainbows

Greydon Square, Ani DiFranco & Steven Wilson

7th Aug 08 (Thu) 2 comments

Atheist rapper Greydon Square comes back strong on his latest album, The CPT Theorem. This is his third album, though his debut (Absolute from 2004) is long out-of-print… so it’s only the 2nd album of his that I am lucky to own. His album The Compton Effect was one of my favorite albums in 2007. This album branches out more beyond the primarily atheist lyrics, more about his life and other topics (to some extent). I’m on my 2nd time through, and I’m diggin’ it. Fav track thus far… “Cubed.” The album is on some internet stores, specifically iTunes. Give it a listen… as well as his last one (The Compton Effect), too…

In non-atheist rap news, Ani DiFranco‘s got a new song posted to her MyScpae page*. The song is called “Smiling Underneath.” I dig its more “band-oriented” sound. Her new (20th studio) album, Red Letter Year, comes out on 9/30/08.

Yep, 20 albums in, what, 18-19 years?!  Crazy… but I dig just about all of ’em.

Regarding Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson, of whom I posted a news bit 2 weeks or so ago, there’s a YouTube trailer for his upcoming solo album, Insurgentes:

Coming up this weekend for me… King’s X and Extreme playing on the same stage. Woot! How’s that for diverse music in one post: atheist rap, hipster folk, progressive rock, the founders of grunge, and a hair band. :)

~Dan – np: JudeCuba

*MyScpae is a new networking site for people who can’t tuckin’ fype.

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