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If you’ve been watching the Sunday Song of the Week for a while now then you probably have realized that I like pulling in music from all around the world.  From Canada to Japan and everywhere in between I believe that great music can be found anywhere and I love that our modern society affords me the means to easily discover what is great anywhere in the world.

In honor of that, today I wanted to bring you an artist that hails from the lower-east side of New York City and exemplifies the celebration of world cultures as well as the melting pot of the United States.

Enjoy.

Gogol Bordello –Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher)

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Like anyone I am prone to the occasional bout of melancholy and that tends to affect my listening habits.  At the same time, though, I’ve developed a bit of a loathing for the self-pitying whining that’s common in a lot of music these days.  No, when I am in a mood the kind of music I go for is the kind that acknowledges that life can sometimes suck but, hey, “them’s the breaks”.  Just have to deal with it, get over it, and move on.  This song is one that fits that need perfectly.

This particular musical discovery came courtesy of NPR’s World Cafe program.  I’ve found that NPR’s musical programs are a great place to pick up on great artist that normally fly under the radar.  Go check it out sometime.

Dan Mangan – Road Regrets

NASA image of Kiribati

On the way home from work today I was listening to Morning Edition on NPR when a story came on about the island nation of Kiribati.  Kiribati is a nation consisting of a string of islands in the Pacific Ocean that, due to climate change, is sinking and may be rendered uninhabitable within the next century.  This particular story focused on 20-year-old Tiibea Baure who is taking part in a program that seeks to relocate citizens of Kiribati.  Baure is now living in Australia where she studies nursing.  She wants to do well and get a job so she can bring her parents over to Australia with her.  The problem with that, though, is that her parents don’t want to leave because they don’t believe climate change is real.  This particular quote from Tiibea’s mother caught my attention:

“I don’t believe, because it’s something beyond me. It’s something beyond my knowledge, and it’s beyond my capacity to understand it. We just believe that God will look after us, and he will do his own way to save us.”

This reminded me, a bit, of an old story I once heard from comedian Jerry Crowder about a man who’s house is being encroached upon by flood waters.  The man is sitting on the porch with the water up to his feet when a boat pulls up offering to save him.  The man simply responds, “Go on ahead.  God’s gonna take care of me.”  Later on when the water is up to the man’s knees the boat comes back.  Again the man responds, “Don’t worry, God’s gonna take care of me.”  Finally, when the water is covering the house and the man is perched on his chimney a helicopter comes and a rescue worker throws down a rope saying, “Sir, grab a hold of the rope.  This is your last chance.”  Once more the man responds, “Go on, God’s gonna take care of me.”  Well, the man drowned and when he got to Heaven he told God, “I’m disappointed in you.  You said you were going to take care of me.”  God then looks at the man and says, “Ya dummy.  I sent you two boats and a helicopter.”

In a way I envy faith like that.  Especially since my own can seem so weak and doubtful at times.  At the same time, though, I wonder if such sentiments of faith can cross over from hope into foolishness.  To be sure, I believe that God takes care of us and that worrying is an utterly pointless and counter productive endeavor.  At the same time, though, I believe that God wants us to be pragmatic.  We are children of God but that doesn’t mean that he’s going to do everything for us.  Much of the time we have to simply dig in and solve our own (and each other’s) problems.  Typically what God does is provide us with the means–a boat, a helicopter, or even a scholarship program.  Most of all, though, He provides us with each other and that is how it should be.

We created our own messes of men so the least that should be expected of us is that we help each other work our way out of them.  God will always be with us and will even help us out in seen and unseen ways but through it all we’re going to have to keep working if we want to see a better world.

Of course we could all just sit around until we get to Heaven but that sounds kind of boring to me.

Hello there lovely people.

I was actually at a bit of a loss trying to think of what I wanted to feature this week on the Sunday Song of the Week.  In times like this friends can come in very handy and my friend Meagan can always be counted on for impeccable taste in music.

She did not fail and provided me with this fine pick.

DeVotchKa – How It Ends

I was not familiar with this band until Meagan directed me towards them but after checking out this song I realized I had heard this band before.  In fact they were on the soundtrack for one of my favorite movies.  Just for fun I’ll offer you that song as well.

DeVotchKa – Till the End of Time (From Little Miss Sunshine)

To my Church family:

When it comes to the fight over gay rights in Iowa I find myself in a peculiar position.  For my entire life I have been a Christian and for my entire life I have been straight.  Growing up this way in this state that I call my home I have truly never known the sting of persecution.  On top of that I can’t even boast having a single gay family member or close gay friend.  By all standards I have nothing to lose or to gain from the debate over gay and lesbian rights in Iowa.  Why, then, do I even care?

I care because, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  I care because, as a Christian, it is my duty to stand on the side of justice and to protect those to whom justice would be denied.

Many times in the past we Christians have found ourselves standing on the wrong side of history.  So many times we have taken a stand along side prejudice thinly veiled in a cloak of false piety.  We have fought unholy battles only to find ourselves stained and humiliated in the aftermath.  The past lays bare our sins before us.  This time, though, we still have a chance to change that.  We can stand beside the oppressed with faith and with love.  We can be champions of justice and messengers of peace.  Then when we stand before our Lord one day He can truly say to us, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

This time around we can find ourselves on the right side of history.  When our descendants look back on us might they see not a fearful people who hated their neighbor but a people who shown so boldly with the love of God that Love and Justice became synonymous with the title of Christian.

We are once again being presented with a choice and it is a choice we cannot ignore.  Which side will we land on?  That is something only we can tell.

With Love,

Tylor

Hello there.  It’s been awhile.  Did you miss the weekly tunes?

Yes, after a bit of a hiatus the “Sunday Song of the Week” is back and to make up for lost time this week I bring you a double helping from one of my long-standing favorite bands.

Cake is a band that has been kicking around the music scene since the beginning of the 90’s and have been consistently awesome for their entire career so far (how many bands can boast that).  With a mixture of many styles, infectious energy and a rapier wit Cake is a band I never tire of hearing.

Enjoy.

Cake – Sheep Go To Heaven and Frank Sinatra (Live)

I ended up taking a break from the site for a while after the holidays.  Life didn’t really change much from the status quo but for some reason it started to frustrate me a lot more (possibly because of the status quo).

But now I am back and will hopefully be getting back in the habit of updating regularly.  For now, though, I will leave you with this teaser of what might be coming down the line:

from the amazing xkcd.com

*This post title is a riff on the title of a book I recently read.  If you can guess what the book is then you are most likely a huge geek.