Falling on Deaf Ears

So then, what is the point of recycling basement tapes if actual tapes are not involved? It was long enough ago that I am not sure about the basement, but in addition to some songs from Angelfood, I hope also gradually to post some other songs here as well -- these from an album called Falling on Deaf Ears. The attached photo is what we used for the cover art. This set of songs was sort of an in betweeny thing with Mountain Angel Band on one side and The Jenny Geddes Band on the other. Here is one cut from that if-you-want-you-can-call-it-an-album -- it was on cassette only. This song is called White Falls Down From the Streetlight. The lyrics are below. Sorry for the one part that cuts out near the end. White Falls Down From the Streetlight White falls down from the streetlight, The sidewalk is gray like a bone, A young man dies in a street fight; He dies alone. Red light is over the doorway, A young girl is standing inside. I don't think that her … [Read more...]

Peace Peace Peace

Angelfood Front

So one of the things I am trying to learn how to do in these new digs -- like the foolish women in Paul, I am always learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth -- is how to post an audio. In the spirit of adventure, let us try this . . . And of course, it is another cut from Angelfood.           Correction: this song is actually from Falling on Deaf Ears. Just goes to show how long ago it all was. … [Read more...]

Hold Your Peace: ICYMI

So, then, there is this little side activity of mine that shows up in public from from time to time, and which would seem to require some explanation. The Jenny Geddes Band is a group of friends that like music as much as I do, and which has a floating, inchoate, but very loyal membership. The band is named after the stalwart Scottish woman who threw her milking stool at the head of the minister when he attempted to introduce Anglican forms of prayer at St. Giles Cathedral in 1637. When she threw the stool, she yelled, "De'il gie you colic, the wame o’ ye, fause thief; daur ye say Mass in my lug?" which was a quaint way of expressing the pious wish that the devil would give the minister colic in the stomach, for he was a false thief, who dared to say Mass in her ear. None of this was printed beforehand in the bulletin, and it all led to the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. She needs more things named after her, and so we obliged. But I got distracted. The Jenny Geddes Band is pleased … [Read more...]

A Mind-Bending Apologetic

Hound Heaven

The Hound of Heaven is premiering in London later this week at the Raindance Film Festival, and you can see the trailer for it here at The Hollywood Reporter. It is a short film, so it will not be releasing in the usual theater way. When it is available I will beat the drum here in such a way as to help you find out how to see it. This short film is remarkable in any number of ways, but the most remarkable thing about it is that it exists at all. A Victorian opium addict wrote a Victorian poem about all the baubles he had decided to pursue instead of Christ, and as he pursued them, he realized that he was being inexorably pursued. Bring this poem into a 21st century setting, have the pursuing hound of Heaven be represented by the rap artist Propaganda, mix in a hard series of surrealistic images, and you have a short movie that can speak across centuries. When you consider the dilemma of mankind, you realize that there is nothing peculiarly Victorian about it -- although the … [Read more...]

Being Out of Place Doesn’t Mean Uncomfortable . . .

Roll Coal

I had the pleasure of filling the pulpit this morning at All Souls in Lewiston, a church plant of Christ Church. We were joined there by IV Conerly, who was visiting, along with the Chocolate Knox and his delightful family. After the service IV gave us his recent (rap) album entitled The Unknown God. A little bit later, Nancy and I had our nice drive back to Moscow, and so we listened to our very first rap album together. Now I cannot claim that I rolled down the windows at intersections, in order to make the windows of the other cars throb, but I have to confess that I did at least think about it. Before making my (appreciative) comments, let me confess that I really am out of my element. I am like the owner of a Prius at a Rolling Coal conference. I am like Chris Rock at a Monster Truck rally. I am like Richard Dawkins at a soup kitchen testimony meeting. The first thing is that it reinforced my earlier thoughts on rap. This was good work, and a great example of what I was … [Read more...]

Are You Looking for the City?

Angelfood Front

http://dougwils.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/AreYouLookingfortheCity.mp3 Artist: The Mountain Angel Band Year: 1979 So here is something I found while rummaging around in my computer. Call it "found art" in a ratty old cardboard box. This means I now have my very own set of basement tapes. Kind of like Dylan did. Actually, not a basement tape at all. This is a cut from an album some of us made in the late seventies. When Nancy and I were up in Vancouver, BC in 1979, we went into a Christian bookstore, and I found a copy of our vinyl disk in their record bin. "Look, honey," I said. "We're internationally unknown." Nobody was buying it up in Canada either. If I feel like it, and if you all are sufficiently appreciative, I will put some others up, along with some color commentary. And you need not worry -- I won't post any problematic ones. … [Read more...]

Obamamandias

With apologies to P.B. Shelley . . . I met a traveler from bankrupt land Who said: ‘One vast and hapless head of stone Lies in the desert. Near it, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered website lies, still down. That haughty look, and sneer of cold command, And photo-op poses, a myriad! Still cannot get it, overwhelmed by “things” Like “If you like it, you can keep it. Period.” And on the teleprompt these words appear— “My name is Obamamandias, king of kings: Look on my work, ye uninsured, and despair!” Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, A once great health care system stretches far away.’ … [Read more...]

A Cycle of Pomes: Reflections

There once was a president-king Who could do most any cool thing Except writing code, (His limits there showed,) Now our health care is broke, in a sling. There once was an Obamono-whiz Whose health care rollout kinda fizz Led. And it crashed A new clunker for cash, Because that is just what it is. Envoi There once was a man named Obama, Who gave us all his health-o-rama. He thought healthcare.gov A gift from above, But which we thought was just blunt force trauma. … [Read more...]

Simply Beowulf

Beowulf Book

Well, I have to admit that I am kind of whipped up about our pending release of Beowulf. This was a project I was kind of chipping away on in the background, and then the need for a usable version for the new Logos Press curriculum arose. So I got things in gear, and finished the manuscript last fall. It has been in production since, and is now officially and safely at the printer. With that in mind, Canon wanted to offer a promotion for those who preorder, and so here's the deal. If you order before October 8 (the official release date is Oct. 15), you will get your copy signed by me, and free shipping. Sorry, the free shipping doesn't apply to international orders. Here are some blurbs from the cover, followed by a sample of the first eleven lines. "I've long been waiting for a rendering of Beowulf by someone sensitive to its muscular verse, its palette of irony that ranges from grim understatement to barely suppressed hilarity, its profound humanity and Christian faith. I'm … [Read more...]

High and Lowly

Not to worship, but to serve, Not to worship, but to save, Christ wrapped a towel around His waist, And as He knelt He gave A glorious affront To pious expectation here. Peter faltered at the grace, Peter faltered in dismay, Christ knelt to wash the grime and dirt As Peter tried to say His stammering rejection of This high and lowly gift. Place your hands upon His head, Place your sins upon His head, And think of what the ancients wrote Which you, while trembling, read. Majestic, royal, dignity Was figured in a goat. … [Read more...]

The Minister and the Parrot

One time a minister bought a parrot, and it wasn't until that he had brought the parrot home that he discovered a key difficulty with his purchase. The parrot was almost a non-stop cusser. His previous owner had apparently taught the parrot every bad word found in the English language, and it was to these words that the parrot inevitably gravitated. The minister was entirely nonplussed. Nothing he tried worked. One day, the parrot was expressing himself freely, and the man of God was just staring at him. Suddenly, the doorbell rang and the minster sprang up startled. The parrot, he knew from past experience, could not be shut up, and the party at the door was his appointment with the Ladies Aid Committee, one he just now remembered. The minister grabbed the parrot and darted around the room aimlessly, needing to figure out what to do in a matter in seconds -- then inspiration struck. He dashed into the kitchen,  which was right off the living room, opened the top freezer, and threw … [Read more...]