Monday, January 23, 2006

books and music

Although I keep thinking I am going to change my blog completely (move to a dedicated url, find a great template, try another blogging engine), it is yet to happen. So, in light of that, I have made a few subtle changes around here (ones even the most diligent detail person would miss without my guidance).

I have added a few new books on my reading stand and albums on my iPod, along with dedicating a special section of links to missionary and international living friends (small now), along with musical friends. I hope the new music and books give you some ideas.

I am presently reading Get Back in the Box by Douglas Rushkoff (writer of the most influential book upon my thinking of the past 5 years, Coercion- which anyone that believes in independent thought or anyone in ministry must read). It is subtitled Innovation from the Inside Out.

Here is a quote from the book.

"American companies are obsessed with window dressing because they are reluctant, no afraid to look at whatever it is they really do and evaluate it from the iside out. When things are down, CEOs look to consultants and marketers to rethink, rebrand, or repackage whatever it is they are selling, when they should be getting back on the factory floor, into the stores, or out to the research labs where their product is actually made, sold, or conceived."

Is it just me or does this sound like an indictment of American churches, as well as American companies? Rushkoff also deals with the culture of fear and survivalism, as opposed to calling and experience that today's companies live in. It is a facsinating read and would be loved by fans of Malcom Gladwell and Steven Johnson.

Also, I am reading The last word : beyond the Bible wars to a new understanding of the authority of Scripture by N.T. Wright which I am stoked for, and preparing for Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter, Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman.

On the musical front, I am spending time with death cab for cutie (especially Photo Album), rogue wave (thanks Linda), Deerhoof, Derek Webb, Animal Collective, Andrew Bird, Matt Costa and The New Pornographers, along with Okkervil River and Jay Z's Black Album.


kidpositive said...

nice...animal collective. we saw them live back in april. it was amazing. they are amazing. but the middle east downstairs still sucks. the acoustics are just all wrong. however, when they played the fourth song off of 'feels', the one where it has that really loud white noise fading in, you pretty much went deaf every time they played that white noise. it created an almost hallucinatory experience, which is cool if you're looking for something amazing from the music, but really bad if you want to retain your hearing. either way, i hear a lot of brian wilson in their music.

your fired friend said...

chuck klosterman will kill you. his writing is incredibly uneven, but when it sizzles, it shazzizzles!

ER said...

Agree wholeheartedly on Rushkoff, Rick. Great stuff. Musically, I think of you on a few of the songs from Derek Webbs' I See things upside down CD.
Hope you are well.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Man, more books I now want to read. Thanks alot! (wink)


PReSON said...

Velvet Elvis, a personal favorite of mine! I also recommend "sercahing for God Knows What" by Miller.

Rick said...


Webb is one of the few "Christian" artists I enjoy listening to (even though I listen to a lot that are Christian in my understanding- and yours probably).

I do sometimes think I am reading and listening to myself, if I was eloquent, thoughtful, talented, etc.

I used to know Derek and we were kindred spirits, so I am not surprised.

I am glad you have read Rushkoff. I have been trying to get so many other people to read him, but they do not. Coercion truly changed my life. It really messed me up with how I approach leading and organizing worship experiences and teaching, to make sure I am not coercive, which is such a danger for Christian leaders (and I see so often from people I really respect- i.e. Giglio, Passion crowd).

Preson- I do enjoy Miller's stuff. It is more intuitive that I am reading someone I already have a commonality with. He does not challenge me as much as affirm my strange brain, which is nice.