31 October 2012

Give This Guy a Listen

Heath McNease, a a hip-hop and acoustic folk singer from Atlanta (I don't know how this is possible, but it apparently is), has released a new EP on his bandcamp page. Losing Daylight is the name of this new project, and it's unique in at least two significant ways.

Here's his description of the project:
This is an EP that I recorded in one day (15 hours to be exact). I wanted to make an album that conveyed the fleeting nature of autumn, and I felt nothing could convey that feeling of melancholy and urgency more naturally than to produce the songs in one single day. Every second was precious. There was no time to mull over decisions or bring in extra hands. The end result is a project that is both organic and polished...raw and full.
A little bit astounding, no?

Well, here's something more astounding: Out of Heath's last eight projects, this is the only one he hasn't given away for free. You can check his stuff out at heathmcneasemusic.com or on his bandcamp site. It's really good, and it's amazing that he has given so much of it away to his fans.

He's asking for $5 to download Losing Daylight. That's less than some bowls of chili, so I don't think it's too much to pay for what promises to be a delightful taste of autumn.

30 October 2012

Honey Boo Boo and Flannery O'Connor

Here's a great post from Jonathan Rogers on Why Honey Boo Boo Is Like A Flannery O'Connor Character. He draws some insightful comparisons between O'Connor's writing and TLC's "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." My favorite:
In a detail prescient of Honey Boo Boo's go-go juice and Pixie Stix, the mother [of a white-trash family] remarks that her grubby children subsist on "Co' Cola and candy." Mrs. Turpin [the hypocritical protagonist of O'Connor's "Revelation"] knows exactly what to think of them.
 Rogers is spot-on, too, in his analysis of O'Connor's ultimate purpose: to show her readers that we all are the freaks, the misfits, the monstrous pariahs. "Revelation" is a perfect counter-point to our culture's righteous indignation (commingled, of course, with voyeuristic obsession) over people like Honey Boo Boo's family, whose problems are so much more visible than ours.

O'Connor's warning to us is just as relevant as it was to her original readers: In the Kingdom of Heaven, the respectable-looking people will be upstaged by the lowly. More than that, when the day of judgement comes, even their virtues will be burned away, leaving nothing but their reliance on the King.

I reckon this will make me think twice next time I am tempted to have a derisive laugh at the expense of Honey Boo Boo and her family.

29 October 2012

Burning Out

As someone who experienced painful burnout periods no less than three times in his (admittedly short) adult life, I found this blog post refreshing and spot-on: When the Soul Needs Rest, by my Hutch-friend Jen.

This part hit especially (not "expecially" -- never, ever, EVER "expecially"!) close to home:
Rest is hard for me. It's hard because I want to be doing, accomplishing, making, participating... all kinds of -ings. I know I need it to function correctly, but at the same time, I hate missing things or letting people down
And yet our Creator made us to need rest. He modeled a rest-day immediately after creating us, and woe to those who are so enamored with all the -ings that they forget to follow His example.

Blessed are those who find rest, even in the face of Valuable Things that need to be accomplished.

28 October 2012

Capitol Craze 5k Obstacle Run

This weekend, I ran* in the Capitol Craze 5k Obstacle Run. It was amazingly muddy, wet, and cold. I can't remember having a better time running. If waterslides, mud pits, and ridiculously steep hills in 30-degree weather are your idea of fun, you should have been there.

I loved it.

Here's a picture that does a pretty good job of capturing how it felt. The granola bar was delicious, but a little muddy-tasting.

*By "ran," I mean "jogged as quickly as a fat, out-of-shape IT guy can."