Kings K Concert

I never did talk about the Kings kaleidoscope concert. I’m only reminded of it now while listening to a Spotify playlist I created after the concert containing the entire set list and man I have the feels.

What really struck me, thinking back to the most evocative images of the night, which turned out not to be the band members or stage lighting or even Chad screaming his lungs out, leaning with his toes over the edge of the stage, precariously balancer over us all; no, I most fondly remember looking at my sister and my friends. I remember how we squealed when they played some of our favorite deep cuts (“Safe Retreat”, “A Prayer”, “Felix Culpa”) and the knowing glances between Carter and me when they began “Aimless Knight”. I can’t listen to “The Coma” without envisioning the crowd’s shrieks. I remember our dance party at “About to Break”. And “Same Blood” formed a unity and fellowship so thick in the room you could smell it (and the underarms of every other indie-Christian-loving college student in a three yard radius). And “A Prayer”. The only worship song I know to drop the F-bomb. Is it good? Proper? Christian? I don’t know, and I don’t care. It was a powerful moment, between the crowd, Chad, the band, and God. I doubt it’s the first time someone, in their desperation, swore in his prayer. And it won’t be the last.

What I realized just now is that these guys are our rock stars. They’re the indie Christian folk legends. They’re our idols. (In a good, healthy way, of course). In our little sub-culture, we have quite a few of them; so many, in fact, that we have one for almost every taste in music. Heck, we even have spoken word heroes like Levi the Poet. (Next on my list for people to see in concert).

It was one of the best nights of my year. I have never wanted to hug my friends and total strangers alike so much as in those short, much too short, hours. I can’t wait for the next time they come around.

Note to self: purchase Zeal album soon.

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Dark Tower V

Come-commala.

I finished the fifth book of the Dark Tower. Up until the final tenth of the book, I had decided the plot was unimportant (compared to the overall arc), the side characters were boring, and the book was the worst one in the series so far.

Then I finished the book. The climax: cathartic. Euphoric. The ending? Cliffhanger, of course.

And thinking over the book, I understand how this series would be all the less without it. Far from being a tangent from the Dark Tower main plot, this book is a side-step, a moment to get our bearings. I believe, honestly, that this is our answer to Britain’s Lord of the Rings. Actually, DT 5 feels a lot like how The Two Towers adds in new plots aside from the main story. New characters, (much more interesting once we fully understand their motivations), new connections, (this book establishes the extended universe that surrounds the series, even going meta near the end), and new depths to my favorite characters’ pathos.

Oh man.

I’m scared where we go from here. I have no idea how it’s going to end, and I’m guessing King had no idea either.

Gilead

Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson. This book was nothing like I expected: a chunky, meditative novel that dwelled too much on ideas more than reality (I like a healthy balance of both). I want to get my thoughts down permanently before I lose whatever feelings I had when I read that wonderful, wonderful novel. Words; objects and actions and people that came to mind.

So here they are: memoir. Father to son. Pastor to pastor kid. Society norms. Traditionalism vs. rebellion. Enjoying the small things in life: lovers running through the rain, popsicle stains down a child’s belly, playing catch at dusk. Serah. Loving life. The pain of life. The beauty of theology and the beauty of transcending theology because there is no possible way we can comprehend everything there is to comprehend about an all-powerful, all-knowing, albeit unchanging, God. How easy it is to misjudge someone based on their marriage or past history. The danger we create when we refuse to forgive someone. The ache of childhood. The beauty of childhood. Heck, the beauty in nearly everything. Old, run-down, close-knit towns. Poetry, gardening, grandparents, tough decisions, churches, traditions, hunger, baseball. Shy children. Prayer.

I don’t know how to describe how this book made me feel — and I hope that is something I can change. No writer should say, “It was indescribable.” You must describe it. And I will try, but my time is short, (I have to get up early tomorrow and it is already past ten), and I hope some of that feeling already transcended our minds in the previous paragraph. I did love this book, a lot more than I expected, though I should have figured I would have, based on the Pulitzer Prize sticker on the front. It’s a memoir, and split into three parts, if I remember. No chapter headings, no chapter titles. Each section is separated by only a double paragraph space. I really appreciate the rambling nature of the book, especially as I never feel lost, and weirdly enough I never lost interest. It was hard to put down at night, no less so from the lack of page breaks to signal me to switch off the lamp.

One of the admission counselors to APU recommended Gilead to me. Must remember to thank him later on. He also recommended The Goldfinch, which I listened to halfway through as an audiobook and still intend to finish sometime. More notes to self. Current music: “Please be patient with me”, Wilco. Loving Tyler’s new album. Goodnight.

In League with Dragons – pre-thoughts

I’m writing this instead of doing homework because Economics appeals only so much to me, and one of The Mountain Goats’ new songs came on recently (Done Bleeding, an excellent opened track on par with Amy Gladiator 1 and Rain in Soho), and I want to listen through the full album sometime and do my best to dissect it. Not a review per se, but like a kid pulling apart his ham sandwiches so he can eat the ham, cheese and bread separately, I want to see if there’s anything substantive inside this 45 minute ballad.

A couple albums from my favorite artists got released within the past weeks, including The Tallest Man on Earth, Citizens, Kings Kaleidoscope, Vampire Weekend, and, thank you Lord, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. (Note: consider ranking these albums later on). However, the Mountain Goats’ record has really stood out among the bunch (though I do enjoy KK’s Zeal a lot; I should talk about that one as well sometime). In League with Dragons. What a title. But I was a little anxious heading in at first.

Look, I love The Mountain Goats. I feel I can say that honestly by this point after a rocky relationship with their music. I’m saying it here and now, take note: the mountain goats will be my most-listened to band of 2019 according to Spotify. But for a title like “In league with Dragons”, I was hoping for something of the mix of Lord of the Rings meets John Darnielle’s “Beat the Champ”, with a strong lyrical narrative. Instead I’m coming out of it like I did from watching the three Hobbit movies: initially excited, but ultimately disappointed at the lack of re-watchable value. I don’t want to assume John’s days are behind him, (and they aren’t, just look at Goths), but I just didn’t feel excited about many of the singles.

Pray I’m wrong. Maybe there’s something extra in this sandwich I missed on my first time listening-through. Mustard, some mayo, and a tomato would be nice. Lettuce for some crunch. And, of course, albums usually grow on me with time. Goths holds some nostalgia for me, just because it was released when I first stumbled upon these guys. I’m going to take this album on its own terms: embrace that wizard on the hill terrorizing the town below. Tame a dragon/ride a dragon. And so far, the album seems bookended by two rock-solid tunes.

Please, pray I’m wrong.

bear sketch (drawing? What constitutes the difference between a sketch and a drawing?) from a bit ago for my ego

i appreciate I labeled it correctly. Also my dude Judah wrote “I can’t . . . you” in faint script around the word so boom baby there’s a pun.

mouth should have been bigger apparently.

Manifesto

I solemnly declare this a place safe for all sorts of rambling, babbling, shenanigans and heterogenerous tomfoolery, in leu of everything to be published here, including:

  • Posts concerning progress of seemingly-perpetual projects
  • Public-facing journal jogs
  • Art, if so desired, mostly composed of sketches and notebook doodles
  • Complaints, rants and full-blown emotions
  • An archive that I can return to in years to come with a heart of nostalgia and a packed portfolio
  • Music I find interesting / Music I find disinteresting
  • What SSBU character everyone is sleeping on
  • Guitar clips
  • Communal reflections on love, life, Lord of the Rings and God.
  • Imitations of writing by people I admire and I hope to pass off as my own
  • Podcasts & audio drama I enjoy (because this blog is about me me me)
  • A brief summary of why tumblr sucks and wordpress rules
  • Whales
  • Nostalgia for anytime between six to two years ago.
  • Thoughts on daily Bible readings
  • The constant comedy of comments compounding the commonplace (idk I guess I’m just going to laugh at your comments or ignore them)
  • Consonance ^
  • documentary of the last months I have before college begins (pray for me)
  • an all-out appreciation for Abe the Pioneer of tumblr legend
  • bi-monthly playlists v. mixtapes
  • obscure videogames
  • old books
  • octagons
  • the short time I have before I have to leave to go carpet clean with lim tongo
  • What are my future progeny going to think of this?
  • More narcissistic discussions
  • small beagles