Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas at home in Australia

blistering heat
crass commercialism
visiting local Christmas lights
Gracelands and Macquarie Hills
excessive eating
nativity debates
struggles to avoid snowmen
carrots, rum balls and a cold beer for Santa
reindeer footprints in the sprinkled powder
a lack of peace of on earth
mad relatives
bombs in Iraq
boxing day recovery
cricket on the radio
follow up chocolates
packing up the tree
stowing the lights
doing it all again next year!!

Above all the paradox of the weak and vulnerable child born in difficult circumstances living a vision of how the world could be different and getting it so right it challenges the established 'God in a box' arrangements and leads to the death of that child. Not a model for "success" NO but a model for grace, life, hope and direction...

To be reminded of any of this, read the story for yourself... whether Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and the rest...
or catch 'Jesus of Montreal' and give Mel Gibson a miss!!

Happy Christmas from the pumphouse!!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Unreliable Idea # 21 BIG Hair has just featured a great idea for traditional youth ministry/group activity!!
Have a theme focused on creative and crazy BIG Hair.... using temporary spray colours or longer term colours if you're game or have parents permission. Punters make desings and crazy doo's with each others hair eg. hang upside down and have it sprayed...

In Australia you could link this to 'crop a cop' the Police Charity event or 'Shave for a Cure' for Luekemia Research sponsors for your shaved or coloured head on the set Friday annually/

Again, have parents permission/involvement for more radical and long term stuff like head shave or dye!!

Maybe lnk with some biblical characters of note:
Samson, John the Baptist, David [reputedly DDG... drop dead gorgeous]

Friday, December 17, 2004

Our Kylie keeps an eye on the blessed couple Posted by Hello

Graham Norton keeps a cheeky eye on the troubled couple Posted by Hello

Madame Tussauds NATIVITY

Great bit of trashy pop culture from the ax Museum in London [until someone objected and damaged Posh and Becks heads in protest]

ARIA Charts continued...

1. "Welcome to My Life" Simple Plan see 'The Alternative Hymnal"
Great clip from a band who do a good job of lyrcally representing the life of an average adolescent... themes of esteem , relationships, goals and experiences...

The film clip is [deliberately] reminscent of REMs 'Everybody Hurts'

2. "Pointless Relationship" Tammin Sursok
'Home and Away' starlet crosses over with a standard pop rock tune about a non attentive boyfriend and the dilema of hanging in or moving on.... worhty discussion starter for a girls group

3. "Do They Know Its Christmas" Band Aid 20 remake of the original collaboration
Chris Martin, Dido, Bono and the usual chart topping suspects do a good job reworking the fundraiser for African need... Its actually a good soundtrack for real images and questions in relation to Christmas good will and cheer vs a world in dire need!!

4. "Out of the Blue" Delta Goodrem
Another god discussion starter about relationships, transience, disappointment and the talent of such a young artist.

5. "Ten Days" and "Scar" Missy Higgins
Journey songs, somgs of wishing for a scar to remind one so young of what they've learnt along life's so far short but real and meaningful journey...
Great story of a Yr12 Triple J Unearthed winner and her subsequent recordings...
Kicks butt live by all reports!! Upstaging more than one headline act over the last 12 months...

6. "American Idiot" Green Day
Reaction and comment to the current climate in the US and its slipping place in the world. Green Day bring the irreverence of punk and the energy of great musos to a serious subject

Beyond that 'Grinspoon' have agreat album out and are worth a listen!!

Unfortunately someone else will have to bring you Ja Rule, Usher and Co.... I have the integrity to sugges that I can't get near their stuff for more than one song at a time...

Eminem review coming soon!!

Australian Recording Industry Association ARIA Charts

This is the first of what will unreliably be a monthly input about the charting songs in Australia!!

The last few weeks I have continued my usual habit of having Rage, Video Hits and/or Channel V on in the background or as a shared activity with 3 year old Lucy [who loves to dance and is a big Missy Higgins, Kylie, Avril, Hilary Duff.... fan!] despite the curious notion in peoples minds that I'm stuck in a 1980s U2 vortex... which ignores the chart success of albums [and their singles] 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' and 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb'!!

There are plenty of more authoritive sources on chart songs than my humble view, perception or ministry suggestions.... The Alternative Hymnal amongst them!! HOWEVER....

My look at the Charts [ans some songs I've used or will be using away from the mixed audiences of the rarified air of a synod or Sydney based event...

1. "Listen With Your Heart" Casey Donovan
Not her chsoen style of music, but whats an Australian Idol winner to do... Great story of a 16 year olds talent and personality, of the clothing firm working out of Gowings city store who did the makeover work on Casey's skater wordrobe and the blended family as her support base and a part of her indigenous background. Maybe wait for Casey's second or third album to see what she is really capable of?

2. "What You Waiting For?" Gwen Stefani
There's a running joke at my place about how you can't pick up a magazine of any kind without finding a picture of Gwen in it somewhere... often with guitarist boyfriend Gavin...
This is a departure from the music of former band 'No Doubt' and sounds too autbiographical to not be..... Gwen breaking out of expectations, seeking affirmation and struggling to be 'free'... Common angst riddled issues and questions faced by most young people at some point in time

3. "These Kids" Joel Turner and the Modern Day Poets
Joel surfaced doing 'beats' for Idol and is a very talented kid with a Timberlake like voice [no wonder he's toured as Justin's support act]. It's a great representation of the youthful and other voices not often heard...

These Kids
These kids trapped in a struggle and
Don't know where they're heading, no
A head full of trouble is all they're getting
And nobody knows the suffering they go through
And you wouldn't believe 'em if they told you
These kids trapped in a struggle and
Don't know where they're heading, no
A head full of trouble is all they're getting
And nobody knows the suffering they go through
And you wouldn't believe 'em if they told you
So many songs, so many times
The world had to hear so many rhymes
About how life is for strugglers
Minority groups, kids with single mothers
Young homies turn hustlers, stealing for money
It's kinda funny how the crime rate is so high
In suburbs where family ties are low, 'n suicides on the rise
Oh why, so many die coz in their eyes
The mistake they made, cant be erased the only way out is to take their life
And if they dont do it sudden then they'll do it slowly
Polluting themselves with drugs, because they on this world lonely
So we as a nation just class 'em as a waste of space
And if they don't help the economy then strip 'em naked
Put 'em on the streets 'n make sure the police hate 'em
And feed the public phony information on the evening news
Kids may bomb police stations, to get at the boys in blue
This song goes out to the whole justice system
Instead of listening to the kids with the problems
They just tick them off more
Until these kids in prison or dead before they twenty four
These kids trapped in a struggle and
Don't know where they're heading, no
A head full of trouble is all they're getting
And nobody knows the suffering they go through
And you wouldn't believe 'em if they told you
You probably heard the news about the 14 year old kid
Who went to Woodridge to get a stick but got his neck slit
What you'll expect in, the situation that he was facing
With all of these expectations he just wanted to get wasted
But the mistake he made was fatal
What about my mate who put a rope around his neck
But he choked to death instead coz the fall never broke his neck
See both of them, were trapped in a struggle none of us could comprehend
The younger was in need of weed, the other had problems with his head
Now they're both dead, and the same thing happens time 'n time again
Kids dying all the time 'n leave us asking why my friend
And then there is those who run away from home
Live on the streets 'n chrome
Can't deal with tha pain of the world so they get stoned
Sit in a zone, become known as the local drones
With low vocal tones, they communicate with hopeless groans
And nobody knows they came from broken homes
Plus to us they're just emotionless clones
And the pain plagues their brains they can't maintain healthy lives
Change is all but easy, a life of crime is all but nice
Plus life isnt worth living unless ya given the chance to fight
Drugs might not be the answer, but who knows wrong from right
When ya parents drinks 2 whole bottles Of wine, 'n puts the hose in the coke bottle,
A lot of the time, kids dont know any different
It's like they losing their minds, cant get a hold of their visions
Think they're doing just fine, but they still in the struggle
Yeah the kids of this time, in a whole lotta trouble If you in trouble, jump over that puddle
Some where out there someone really loves you
Loves you like you never been loved, yeah
Loves you like you've never been loved
These kids trapped in a struggle and Don't know where they're heading, no
A head full of trouble is all they're getting And nobody knows
Nobody knows
These kids trapped in a struggle and
Don't know where they're heading, no
A head full of trouble is all they're getting
And nobody knows the suffering they go through
And you wouldn't believe 'em if they told you
These kids trapped in a struggle and
Don't know where they're heading, no
A head full of trouble is all they're getting
And nobody knows the suffering they go through
And you wouldn't believe 'em if they told you

Thursday, December 09, 2004

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

This U2 record reminds me about why I like U2s music!
The thing I like most is "listening to it"

There are some great if typical tunes on this record... stuff that would be at home on Joshua Tree and Achtung baby [especially some riffs lifted almost directly from the Zoo Station era]

Of course music is a taste thing and you either like U2 or you don't... I have liked them since the days of listening to 'War' in a former friends car while we took turns to drum on the dashboard and marvelled at this distinctive band who seemed to be saying stuff that resonated with our faith and lives!!


I have used this track as a worship 'Call' or pipe opener for no reason other than the up, rocky sound and the energy.... there are hints of 'the temptation' in this for me and the idea of vertigo is an image worth exploring!!

Miracle Drug
A beautiful song about seeking more than the superficial in a relationship. In fact seeking healing for past struggles and letdowns. Its just a romantic tune!! Interesting style for reflecting on Drop the Debt and African AIDS education!

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Inspired by the death of Bob Hewson and Bono's difficult relationship with his dad.... this is one of my favourite tracks!
Its an intimate sharing of things that should and need to be said, its a glimpse of pain and grief and a moving tribute... it sits well alongside 'Kite' as the precursor and a tellig of how Bono was feeling about the need to be together and the need to let go, prior to his dads death.... I doubt there'll be a dry eye in the house for either song LIVE [maybe laye 2005 but likely early 2006 we hope!!]

Love and Peace or Else
A stripped back rocking and drum driven tune that will be one of those 6 to 8 minute concert fillers no doubt!!

Its about priorities and a wish that the person who is the object of the song would focus on peace and love and living life... rather than accumulating stuff!!

Its saying.... with all thats going on.... Iraq, the Middle East etc then what we need is peace and love.... its an urging song!!

City of Blinding Lights
"The more you see the less you know
The less you find out as you go"

Another great listening track with the driving guitar of the Edge!
It would fit onto Joshua Tree with the instrumental driving behind Bono's signature voice!

Its a song of loneliness and seeking connection with the brave familiar one who may sometimes be taken for granted!! Its qritten up in lots of magazines as a song connected with New York and thats obvious BUt its themes are universal...

Crumbs from Your Table
"where you live should not decide whether you live or whether die"
Pop Quiz.... who is that a quote from?

Brilliant psalm and useful 'sending out song' asking that God take and use us for meanigful purposes rather than us wasting our time.... It also acknowledges that we have to 'go through stuff in life' to learn and grow

Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit
Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean
Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I’m waiting for the dawn

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don’t make a fist
Take this mouth
So quick to criticise
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I’m waiting for the dawn

Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city
If it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break
U2 “How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” Island Records 2004

For more info and depth check out

I look forward to exploring these further at our National Youth Gathering NCYC in South Australia in January in a Workshop about U2's music AND a couple of tracks for Easter this year!!
I have amazingly been asked to speak at Uniting Church Easter Camp in the Hunter [Hunter Region around Newcastle NSW]. I've only visited the Camp over the last 5 years after being the resident Youth Worker 1991-2000 and a leader and punter before that stretching back to 1982.
[I have a self imposed limit of 2 U2 tracks for the Camp as my reputation preceeds me!! One Midnight Oil song if any at all as wel!!]

The theme:
HOPE IS... which is a great, scary, powerful, caring theme!!

Time for Review Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Puzzled and somehow getting used to God's 'appearances' Posted by Hello

Joan of Arcadia

Well!! The Nine Network finally let Joan out of hibernation. I wonder if they really did buy it to keep it away from the others...
Is it that Joan's Dad is Police Chief and every episode is snadwiched with a serious or violent crime [in a six feet under sort of way]
Is it the quirk of 'God' turning up as all kinds of people and whether or not they thought this show would really work here??

I like the show... better than I thought I would...
Its not quite Geeks, not Dawsons Creek, not Charmed, it has pathos and developing story lines... some people will hate it!!

Every episode has that one dialogue moment over a 'God question' and those snippets alone will be useful in promoting discussion.....

Guide to follow in a few weeks!!

There are a few more sites linked in a webring

The grungy look, good choice of music and choice of Joan Osborne's 'One Of Us' give this show a depth and I reckon its audience will be a slow grow..... like the Gilbmore Girls here last summer!!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

You fire with the position and constraints of Oswald and see just how difficult it was Posted by Hello

Outcry has of course followed the release of the game Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

JFK Reloaded

Mmmm, not sure about this one..... interesting exercise, but maybe for a private research project!!

Assassination game worries police11/22/2004 2:47 PM
By: Jaime Fettrow, News 14 Carolina and The Associated Press
JFK Game
A British company said Sunday it was releasing a video game recreating the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. CHARLOTTE, N.C. --
The release of a video game that recreates the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy has caught the attention of local authorities who say such things desensitize people to violence.
Glasgow-based firm Traffic said "JFK Reloaded" was an educational "docu-game" that would help disprove conspiracy theories about Kennedy's death.
The game was released Monday on the 41st anniversary of the shooting in Dallas. It challenges players to recreate the three shots fired at the president's car by assassin Lee Harvey Oswald from the Texas School Book Depository.
The most accurate player wins a $100,000 prize.

"JFK Reloaded" recreates the three shots fired at President Kennedy's car by assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
Traffic's managing director, Kirk Ewing, said the game -- available as an Internet download for $9.99 -- would "stimulate a younger generation of players to take an interest in this fascinating episode of American history."
"We've created the game with the belief that Oswald was the only person that fired the shots on that day, although this recreation proves how immensely difficult his task was," Ewing said.
But Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they are concerned that "JFK Reloaded" and other violent video games promote crime.
"It's the fact that there's such a lack of value put on human life," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesman Keith Bridges. "You look at some of the homicides that take place, the events this weekend, and you see there's just no value put on human life and obviously that's a concern."

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said such violence games desensitize people to the value of a human life.
Bridges said in real life, there is no winner when it comes to guns.
"If they see someone get shot in the movie, that person gets back up," he said. "(But) it's not real. When the event happens in real life, they don't get back up and a life is lost. And if the person is caught, there are two lives, two tragedies."
Not surprisingly, the Kennedy family is unhappy with the game. A spokesman for the president's brother, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., called the game "despicable."
Sen. Kennedy's spokesman, David Smith, would not comment on whether the family was taking any action to stop the game's release.
"It's despicable. There's really no further comment," Smith said, adding that the Washington office started getting calls about the game Friday.
Web Journalist: Megan Butler

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Polar Express

Amazing CGI and a fun story to see with groups... even though I personally prefer to embrace Aussie Christmas conditions of 34 degrees, backyard cricket, bbqs and melting chocolates!!

Brilliant work!! Posted by Hello

Small electrodes map the facial expressions needed Posted by Hello

Rail Guard Posted by Hello

"One Of Us" Joan Osborne

It's been just long enough that this song from the album "Relish" could be useful!!
It generated huge response on Aussie talkback radio where people rang in and poured out their stories of pain, struggle and loss... asking... where is God in all this?

A great Advent Question...

"One of Us" Joan Osborne

If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with him
In all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home

If God had a face what would it look like?
And would you want to see
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
in things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints
and all the prophets

Trying to make his way home
Back up to heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
'cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

Just trying to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just trying to make his way home
Nobody calling on the phone

What's one question you'd ask God if you had the chance?
What is your picture or image of Jesus?
What does 'God One of Us' really mean to you?

Advent Christmas Upsidedown continued...

Great Leunig in today's Sydney Herald.... you'd need to ask Michael's permission to use it of course!!

Another poignant and timely Leunig Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 20, 2004

U2 First of a few Posts No Doubt


A quarter of a century into their career, most rock bands are content to wheel out a greatest hits album every now and then. Not Ireland's U2, who, according to their manager, are still getting better.
"The album we are releasing [this weekend] is their best work," Paul McGuinness told AFP from the band's global headquarters next to the River Liffey in their home city of Dublin.
After ten studio albums, U2 are a strong contender for the title of the world's favourite band, shifting millions of records around the globe and selling out concerts wherever they head.
Coupled with this, singer Bono - born Paul Hewson - has carved out a parallel career as one of the best-known activists for helping the developing world through debt relief.
Regularly hobnobbing with presidents and prime ministers, the globe-trotting rock star won a standing ovation in September at the annual conference of Britain's ruling Labour Party with a rousing speech about Africa.
Things were not always this way, said McGuinness, who has looked after Bono, guitarist The Edge (once known as Dave Evans) bass player Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen since two years before their debut album was released in 1980.

"They started out very hesitantly, tentatively," he said.
"I started managing them in 1978, they were not very good then, but they were convinced they were going to be a great band.
"The spirit of the band was greater than its expertise, they formed the band first and learnt to play instruments later," McGuinness said.
The new album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, has been eagerly awaited - so much so that a rough cut was stolen in the south of France in July.
"U2 have always tried to make of the last album their best record," said Niall Stokes, editor of Hotpress magazine, Ireland's leading music publication, which has long championed the band.
"They have a collective commitment to do great work which distinguishes them from a lot of rock 'n' roll bands who have been around for a long time, and who are happy to take their foot off the gas and rehearse what they have done in the past, their creative ambition diminished over the years," he said.
McGuinness is keen to measure his charges against the standards of the rock and roll greats.
"If you compare them to the Rolling Stones, they have been making records for 40 years, U2 for 25 years," he said.
"A typical (new) Rolling Stones album nowadays sells about two million, the last U2 album sold 13 million.
"If you go to a Rolling Stones concert they will play a lot of their old songs and may (play) one or two from the new album. If you go to a U2 show you will hear all of the last album and some of the older material as well. But that's what keeps them fresh, an ambition to be better."

U2's band members all turned 40 several years back, but they have somehow managed to keep their guitar-led music relevant to music-buyers of all ages, irrespective of the fashions of the time.
"For a band of their vintage to still be able to realign and reinvent themselves every couple of years is incredible," said Stuart Bailey, a BBC radio DJ and a writer for Britain's New Musical Express.
"There's no competition. Plus, Bono has a humanitarian side, and it gives him a validity for being famous," he said.
In the generally fickle world of popular music, Bono's commitment to political causes makes him an easy target for mockery as well as charges that he is pompous and self-important.
But for McGuinness, it is as much a part of the singer's life as the music.
"For Bono, his political work is the result of his deep convictions and it has become his second job," he said.
"He talks about U2 as his day job, but he spends half his time on his organisation, DATA, which stands for Debt Aids Trade Africa. He lobbies governments all over the world on the question of the responsibility of the rich world to assist the poor world."
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, released through Universal Music, will be in stores on Sunday.

Leunig Animated

Three or four of the one minute animations on this DVD have a Christmas theme plus sundry other ones on life themes in general... my favourites include: 'Get A Life' and 'Jumper Leads'
Christmas looks at: slim line santa, three wise men and choosing the right tree etc...
The DVD is available through most outlets including ABC Shops.

Friday, November 19, 2004

From the CD "All That You Can't Leave Behind" Posted by Hello

"Peace On Earth" U2

Anger and frustration inspired by happenings llike the Omagh bombing help U2 remind us that all is not good at Christmas time and "Jesus can you spare the time, throw a drowning man a line, Peace on Earth"? is a valid question and one that many people are asking...

The song lends itself to images or lyrics projected as backing

Heaven on Earth
We need it now
I'm sick of all of thisHanging around
Sick of sorrow
Sick of pain
Sick of hearing again and again
That there's gonna bePeace on Earth
Where I grew up
There weren't many trees
Where there was we'd tear them down
And use them on our enemies
They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you
And it's already gone too far
Who said that if you go in hard
You won't get hurtJesus could you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on Earth
Tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth
No whos or whys
No-one cries like a mother cries
For peace on Earth
She never got to say goodbye
To see the color in his eyes
Now he's in the dirt
That's peace on Earth
They're reading names out over the radio
All the folks the rest of us won't get to know
Sean and Julia, Gareth, Anne and Breda
Their lives are bigger, than any big idea
Jesus can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on Earth
To tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth
Jesus this song you wrote
The words are sticking in my throat
Peace on Earth
Hear it every Christmas time
But hope and history won't rhyme
So what's it worth?
This peace on Earth
Peace on Earth
Peace on Earth
Peace on Earth

copyright U2

There was even a competition for the cover art Posted by Hello

702 ABC Radio Sydney Stars Christmas Carol CD

First released in 2003 the competition has just closed for listener entries onto the 2004 CD... Highlights from 2003 include: Wiley Park Publc School "Silent Night" and Three Blind Whites "Mary's Boy Child".

As someone who would prefer to listen to others when invited into community singing.... these versions aren't bad left field renditions, which if learnt locally could breathe life into some very old if traditional songs

"Christmas Must Be Tonight" Paul Kelly

This cover of 'The Band' version is typical Paul [Australian Pub Folk Rock] Kelly and just evokes a familiar feel for the story in this context i.e. southern hemisphere, 35 degrees etc

Christmas Must Be Tonight
Come down to the manger, see the little stranger
Wrapped in swaddling clothes, the prince of peace
Wheels start turning, torches start burning
And the old wise men journey from the East
How a little baby boy bring the people so much joy
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light
This must be Christmas, must be tonight
A shepherd on a hillside, while over my flock I bide
Oh a cold winter night a band of angels sing
In a dream I heard a voice saying ";fear not, come rejoice
It's the end of the beginning, praise the new born king";
How a little baby boy bring the people so much joy
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light
This must be Christmas, must be tonight
I saw it with my own eyes, written up in the skies
But why a simple herdsmen such as I
And then it came to pass, he was born at last
Right below the star that shines on high
How a little baby boy bring the people so much joyS
on of a carpenter, Mary carried the light
This must be Christmas, must be tonight

This is a B track on Paul Kelly's single from 2003 "Won't You Come Around"

Using a bit of humour to encourage people to take another look at a supposedly familiar story Posted by Hello

Worship Unplugged # 28 ADVENT

Over the next week I'll add some ideas that might be useful during this lead up to Christmas...
The full resource paper I've put together will soon be available on the Uniting Church Board of Education Resources website.... but for now, bits n pieces!!

The Fourth Wiseman
You would of course need Gary Larson's permission to use one of his cartoons on a colour overhead transparency or in a powerpoint slide as a pre worship focal point...

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

"How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" U2

Available from HMV Pitt St Midnight Saturday!!

Will Bono's line make it onto the record? Posted by Hello

Live Aid It Ain't

As per the Daily Telegraph and Its sources!!

Band Aid on rocky ground
November 16, 2004
IT was meant to be a re-creation of one of pop's finest moments, where the cream of the British music scene came together in the name of charity.Instead it turned into a ego-fuelled squabble between one of rock's elder statesmen and a flashy young pretender.
The 20th anniversary of Band Aid was hit by an alleged row involving U2's lead singer Bono and Justin Hawkins of The Darkness over the new recording of Do They Know It's Christmas?
Hawkins had been given the task of singing one of the most famous lines "well tonight thank God it's them instead of you" originally sung by Bono, who did not attend the weekend recording.
Insiders said Hawkins did so with aplomb, leaving Bono's contribution to the project, which he had recorded in Ireland, apparently in doubt.
On Sunday an angry Bono was said to be on his way to the UK to re-record the line, after his management insisted his version had to be included, even if it was only the performance from 1984.
"Bono's people say he definitely has to do that line," one insider said.
"Justin's version was brilliant, but they are adamant."
Hawkins said last night: "I did it and I did it better than him. So his management kicked up a stink. It obviously means a lot to him. It's a valuable line for him, he needs it, so I think he's going to fly back and try again to beat me.
"If not, they're going to use the original one he did when he was my age."
It is not the only controversy prompted by the new recording.
Sir Paul McCartney, who plays bass guitar on the song, was banned from singing because he was too old, and artist Damien Hirst's CD cover had to be scrapped because it was deemed to be too disturbing.
On Sunday, only Band Aid founders Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure were present from the 1984 line-up as a new generation of pop stars recorded the
song at Sir George Martin's studio in Hampstead, North London.
Among them were Will Young, Jamelia, Ms Dynamite, Rachel Stevens, Natasha Bedingfield, the Sugababes, Busted, Katie Melua, Damon Albarn, Lemar, Coldplay's Chris Martin and Travis singer Fran Healy. Robbie Williams and Did had already recorded their lyrics.
Sir Bob is said to have reduced many of them to tears by showing them a video of the Ethiopian famine 20 years ago.
Band Aid 20, which will raise money for famine relief in the Darfur region of Sudan, will be released on November 29 and is expected to be the No. 1 Christmas single.
The original song, which featured stars including George Michael and Duran Duran, raised $19.3 million.
Some of the stars on the new version were not even born when the original was made. Soul singer Joss Stone, 17, admitted she had never heard of Geldof, who she called Bob Gandalf.

It'll still make Number One in the UK!!

Back After Some Work

Sorry Folks,
I've been busy with a 'Context and Mission' Workshop in Taree and then preparation and running of our NSW/ACT UCA Youth Workers Conference in Wollongong!!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Interested in seeing what he comes up with! Posted by Hello


According to the blurb on the Penguin Books site:
Since its genesis in 1976, Midnight Oil - fronted by the charismatic and passionate Peter Garrett until his departure from the band in late 2002 - has at various times been synonymous with beer-barn angst, green political activism, indigenous advocacy and musical nonconformism. At the same time this hugely popular band has been a mainstay of commercial radio and an icon of contemporary Australia culture.
Despite the band's high profile, its members are notoriously private people who have never before revealed details of the inner workings of Midnight Oil. In Beds Are Burning, Mark Dodshon tells the full and frank story of the remarkable career of the band and its members - Peter Garrett, Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey, Bones Hillman, Rob Hirst and manager/'sixth member' Gary Morris. Far more than a 'rockography', Beds Are Burning is a book about music, sensitivity, culture, relationships - and, above all, integrity and passion.

Mark Dodshon befriended Peter Garrett whilst at ANU and has travelled a journey alongside the story of this book [including campaign management for Pete during the Nuclear Disarmament Party... when Garrett was cruelly denied a spot in the senate by a Labor-Libs cross preference deal] and even with this long association not all the Oils were happy to go along with this project. Martin Rotsey reportedly refused to speak... However, anyone interested in the journey of this fiercely independent group... from the music industry and from each other, or wondering how Garrett ended up the Federal member for Kingsford Smith, it would be an interesting read.
Out November 1 in a bookstore near you [yet again I recieve no royalty for this free plug!]

After the very sad last Chapter of Rob Hirst's 'Willie's Bar and Grill' I'm interested in future stories about this band and they're amazing story... and still harbour hopes that their last gig is not Twin Towns Leagues Club November 2002... good try Homebake... next up Big Day Out or more likely Splendour in the Grass at Byron!! There's always the Hall of Fame at the ARIA's!!

Saturday, October 30, 2004


Nobody ever responds to these invitations BUT if you have a:
  • resource
  • idea
  • weblink
  • question
  • topic
  • need
  • dilema
  • worship unplugged
  • etc

Then please don't hesitate to post a comment on this blog or to email me about it and I'll explore adding a post if I can


Those who know me well are aware of my love for the city of New York [part of an ongoing love- hate connection with pop culture, politics and values of the USA]...

We have been lucky enough to travel overseas three times [twice to New York] and I love it... I had planned to return earlier this year to the Tribeca Film Festival but other events and budgetary needs overtook. The thought of the trip had even motivated me to submit six years of income tax details...

However, back to New York...
While I love the views and feeling of Spring/Summer in Sydney, nothing beats the activity, bustle, excitement and pace of a city designed around the tourist... history and pop culture in every block!! We visited the first time in late Spring 1998 on the way home from eight weeks backpacking in Europe... it was 34-38 degrees C most days in New York and Washington and it was brilliant!!
My highlights included:
Standby ticket success and getting into David Letterman's Late Show
Kenny Kramer's Seinfeld Reality Tour
NBC Store and studios
160 Broadway Marble McDonalds
Empire State
Yankees baseball game v Atlanta Braves
Food, Tower Records, and Barnes and Noble
Walks thru Central Park
T-shirt and electronics and sports stores...
BUT most of all just hanging out in Times Square anytime day or night.....

Our second trip was specifically taken to include THANKSGIVING and the Christmas Lights at the Rockefeller Centre [plus seeing the Wiggles in the Macy's Parade]
That trip included:
The lights and the parade
Thanksgiving Dinner at the Westside YMCA [accommodation of choice]
New York Rugby 7's
The Soup Kitchen [deserved inspiration for the Seinfeld Soup Nazi]
Christmas Shopping
The Lion King on Broadway
Hot Coffee escaping -5 to -7 C temps
Planet Hollywood

If you have broadband or similar net speed you can check out the technology and vision of the LIVE EARTHCAMs including Times Square and links to some at Ground Zero!!

OK OK, sometimes I just sit and watch and dream of being there... I admit it!!
Everytime I see a TV show or movie set there you can pick out places you know!!

I would go there tomorrow if it were possible!! And I'd arrange with friends to be outside TGIF's or Wendy's to wave and call on the phone like a geek!!

Life as War visuals Posted by Hello

Worship Unplugged # 27 Naqoyqatsi Trilogy

The lastest in the audio-visual trilogy... this one featuring Phillip Glass and Director Steven Soderberg.... depicts visuals of 'Life as War'. Its predesessors and this one are excellent audio-visual backdrops or feature films in their own right... in worship of coffee shop settings!! Yet more work inspired by the likes of Baraka!!

I like to use these on one of a number of screens, with sound low or muted totally as a changing visual to support the experience of other planned aspects of a worship. The bigger the screen/picture the better!!

I've seen them used well as part of an outdoor cafe space or lawn for movie watching as part o a week long program.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fashionable Faith

The weekend papers magazine a few weeks ago had an article and this radio interview transcript covers the same territory with Nikkie Gemmell et al... in relation to their rediscovery of Christianity!!

Great Band Photo Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Music # 19 How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

Continuing on a theme... U2's new work is due out November 22.... 21st at HMV usually!!
All I've read and picked up suggests it'll be an interesting and poignant CD with accompanying DVD and other features in 3 different formats.

They are also advertising concerts in London in July next year without official confirmation...

Why so interested [nay obsessed!!] Well, I like the music.... I like that they sing about stuff that matters and that a band I grew up with can still chart successive records and gain worldwide headlines... the bonus is that they sing about stuff that matters about life and faith and although they clearly struggle with the church, there's a clear belief, spirituality, mission and..... I like the music!!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Vertigo Clips

Catch a few versions of 'Vertigo' here

All from legal copyright free ethically upstanding sources of course!!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Single Nov 8 an album to follow 20th?? Posted by Hello

Music # 18 Vertigo

Downloaded the Top of the Pops clip and live performance and can't wait for the new album from U2 'How to Disarm an Atom Bomb'. See you at the Sydney concerts in Feb/Mar 2006!!
Will post website asap

Monday, October 18, 2004

Even Lucy aged 3 was helped around by the girls... she's the orange blur taking her third piece of cloth!! Posted by Hello

Televideo and CD Player plus the general layout Posted by Hello

Candles to remind us of God With Us and Assylum Seeker Pics in the background Posted by Hello

The Lost Sheep Questions Posted by Hello

Prayer for Others Posted by Hello

Worship Unplugged # 26 Labyrinth ADAMSTOWN

As per WU # 17 we continue to develop the Labyrinth ahead of getting friends to paint/construct a more permanent and larger pattern. This time my home congregation of Adamstown [a venue well suited to the activity] saw us use the Labyrinth with two extra stations and a group of wide age range [giving permission for some to whisper about what was being asked of them so all coul participate].

Soundtrack: was a mix of contemporary instrumental and lyrical tracks
Footprints: began our journey with messages of thanks or laving bhind for the journey
Candle Lighting: was reminder of 'God With Us'
Time to Just Be: involved taking time to watch beach footage on a televideo
Rocks: Were there to be taken as unique objects
Bible: The Lost Sheep and questions about 'value' and our uniqueness to God
Take: A strip of ornage wollen cloth as a symbol of not being forgotten
Offering: Leave cash and a pile of our rocks
Prayers for Others: Big Screen images and/or newsclippings and/or paper and pen to write
Jesus Prayer: Reflect on a modern translation/addition
Sending Out: Chocolate reward
Food and Drinks: from when yo finish and encouragement to talk about your experience

MUSIC # 17 Check 'The Alternative Hymnal' Blog for more but 'Pictures of Jesus' and one or two other tracks standout as Harper works with these blind orphanage survivors with an amazing story!! Posted by Hello

ARIA Awards Not Quite Cruelled by ROVE

While clearly any good, timely and humorous material Rove McManus planned to use for the ARIAS was lost in last weeks Office Block fire.... he didn't quite cruel the whole night with some deserved winners receiving the dangerously pointy awards for 2004!!

JET and The John Butler Trio had a great night while Ben Gillies visibly cringed at the thought of a popular vote for Channel V Artist of the Year [won six times in a row by Silverchair] went to Guy Sebastian... no wonder teenagers are being crippled under the weight of mobile phone bills across the country!!

List of winners for the 2004 ARIA Music Awards:
Jet - Get Born (EMI)
Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl (EMI)
Jet - Get Born (EMI)
John Butler - Sunrise Over Sea (Jarrah/MGM)
Kasey Chambers - Wayward Angel (EMI)
Guy Sebastian - Angels Brought Me Here (BMG)
Delta Goodrem - Innocent Eyes (Sony)
Missy Higgins - Scar (Eleven/EMI)
Jet - Get Born (EMI)
Koolism - Part 3 Random Thoughts (Invada/Inertia)
John Butler Trio - Sunrise Over Sea (Jarrah/MGM)
Infusion - Girls Can Be Cruel (BMG)
Kasey Chambers - Wayward Angel (EMI)
Paul Kelly - Ways & Means (EMI)
Hi-5 - Holiday (Sony)
Scared Weird Little Guys - Bits and Pieces (Shock)
John Butler Trio - Sunrise Over Sea (Jarrah/MGM)
Midnight Oil - Best Of Both Worlds (ABC)
Jet - Get Born (EMI)
Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl (EMI)

MUSIC # 16 Enhanced CD single with Video Clip Posted by Hello