Friday, June 27, 2008

"Power and the Passion" Midnight Oil

"Power and the Passion"
People, wasting away in paradise
Going backward, once in a while
Moving ahead, falling behind
What do you believe, what do you believe
What do you believe is true
Nothing they say makes a difference this way
Nothing they say will do
Take all the trouble that you can afford
At least you wont have time to be bored

Oh the power and the passion, oh the temper of the time
Oh the power and the passion
Sometimes youve got to take the hardest line

Sunburnt faces around, with skin so brown
Smiling zinc cream and crowds, sundays the beach never a cloud
Breathing eucalypt, pushing panel vans
Stuff and munch junk food
Laughing at the truth, cos gough was tough til he hit the rough
Uncle sam and john were quite enough
Too much of sunshine too much of sky
Its enough to make you want to cry

Oh the power...

I see buildings, clothing the sky, in paradise
Sydney, nights are warm
Daytime telly, blue rinse dawn
Dads so bad he lives in the pub, its a underarms and football clubs
Flat chat, pine gap, in every home a big mac
And no one goes outback, thats that
You take what you get and get what you please
Its better to die on your feet than to live on your knees

Oh the power...


Fairfax Media Newspaper Album Poll anoints Oils Number One

[Patrick Donovan] June 27, 2008 The Age, EG

"THESE days, Peter Garrett spends his time making consequential decisions about the arts and the environment as a federal minister. But an album released by his band Midnight Oil 26 years ago has been judged the greatest-ever Australian album by an Age EG poll.
Its uncompromising and passionate 1982 album 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ,1 came in ahead of classic albums by AC/DC, Skyhooks, Radio Birdman, Paul Kelly, You Am I, INXS, Triffids and the Easybeats.
Midnight Oil also polled the most amount of votes.
There is no more uniquely Australian band than Midnight Oil. From Garrett's impassioned lyrics and jerky dancing to the band's driving rhythm, they couldn't have come from any other country. And this album was so fiercely passionate, with important messages hidden in singalong pop anthems.
With catchy, edgy political anthems that defended land rights and Aborigines and attacked Australia's foreign policy, such as US Forces and Power and the Passion, and the catchcry "Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees", the album galvanised politically minded rockers around the country.
"With the spectre of the Cold War hanging over us, it was full of brooding and minor chords, but it worked because we played so hard and we didn't let it ever get preachy," said Midnight Oil's Rob Hirst, who described the album yesterday as career defining and the band's creative peak.
"We were hugely in debt at the time. If we didn't have the success and support with it, I don't know if we would have managed to go on."
It reached No. 3 on the charts and stayed there for more than three years, selling more than a quarter of a million copies. It was also its first album to be released around the world, making the world stand up and take notice.
The poll, generated by a panel of critics, musicians, broadcasters, record store owners and industry folk, featured albums from the Easybeats' 1965 Easy (13) to the Drones' snarling 2006 classic Wait Long by the River and the Bodies of your Enemies Will Float By (No. 20).
The EG poll inspired many hard decisions and thought-provoking debate. Author Clinton Walker wondered why acronymically named sibling acts the Bee Gees, AC/DC and INXS have been Australia's most successful music exports.
The most nominations went to AC/DC with four, followed by two for Midnight Oil, the Saints, You Am I, Paul Kelly, Cold Chisel, Crowded House, the Go-Betweens and the Easybeats.
Powderfinger, the Living End, the Vines, Wolfmother, Missy Higgins, Savage Garden, Kasey Chambers and Kylie Minogue missed the cut."
Need I say more.... check out the 'Rolling Stone' review.

Sharapova knocked out of Wimbledon

There are certain landmark cultural or sporting events across the globe which remind me of what time of year it is or that we are in a certain part of any given year!! The tennis at Wimbledon is one such icon!!
I basically hate winter but know it's well and truly with us when Easter seems a distant memory and suddenly, the French Open tennis is over and it's all strawberries and cream at the outer London location of so many of Aussie sports great triumphs or heroic attempts!!
Over the years I have enjoyed many late nights during the business end of the second week of this historic grand slam. The grass starts to wear, the seeds fall and some firebrand emerges to claim an unlikely grass court victory... especially against grass master Rafter on 'Aussie Monday' a few years back when somehow Goran Ivanisevic beat Patrick Rafter in a rain delayed Final!!
This year before the whips are cracking it's been all 'Sharapova'... the grunting, the fashion... and just like that she's knocked out by a compatriot 6-2 6-4 and her tuxedo inspired shorts and top make a hasty exit!! Guess I'm just left with watching the tennis now... and wondering how far 'our Lleyton' can get with the dodgy hip!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vale Jane McGrath

Every day in this country [and right across the globe] people die from cancer! We don't know all their names but in any given month we probably do hear about someone we know... but they don't make it into the newspaper. Why then would I be extra sad when a 'well known' so called 'public figure' passes away?
Well, that would be because in this case Jane McGrath came to our attention as the girlfriend and wife of one of this countries best ever cricketers. When discovered to have breast cancer she and Glen McGrath became tireless campaigners for medical and research resources in this area. Having entered remission Jane discovered in recent years that a bone cancer was present.
The couples 'Enough Rope' interview on ABC TV was compelling viewing and confirmed that the disease was still an issue. They talked about Glen travelling and playing cricket as being a 'return to normal' and so it was no surprise that he fulfilled his 'IPL Twenty20' contract in India recently.
I saw one match and an interview several weeks ago on TV and thought 'that's a bloke with other things on his mind?' and thought nothing more of it. Apparently Jane McGrath became quite unwell in the last week and died yesterday morning! It's very sad and especially for two small kids who've obviously walked every step of this journey alongside their parents!!
"Ooh Aah! Glen McGrath was a brilliant crowd enetrtainer with his cricketing exploits on the field and a noted practical joker in the dressing room. A shy lad from Narromine in rural NSW I hope the family are buoyed by what I predict will be a wave of public support and well wishes.
Nobody could know the wherefore of these diseases and the 'why' question makes no sense at any stage BUT it's just sad for the McGrath's and for every family who loses a parent or child in this way!! I reckon a donation to the 'McGrath Foundation' is a fitting response!!
Vale Jane McGrath!!
[Photo from News Limited]

Friday, June 20, 2008

Faith & Film at Hoyts

Over the two weeks surrounding World Youth Day here in Sydney the HOYTS movie chain are celebrating a "Faith & Film" Festival with a range of films and perspectives including "Amazing Grace" and the "The Ten Commandments."

I have been doing some work at Blacktown in Sydney's west in recent weeks and sometimes checking out the films locally for an early arrival through traffic...

I also noticed their overt reference to the cinema complexes as ideally placed for hosting worship or youth group events... must check out the fee structure!!

I also noticed the "Halfpipe" cinema in Mt Druitt, Perth and Melbourne so far... with intimate size, bean bags and snack tables.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Apple Store Opens in Sydney tonight

367 George St Sydney and open tonight from 5pm
2nd largest in the world apparently!!

Punters were lined up yesterday and some travelled from the US for the ocassion!!
Free t-shirt for the first 2500 thru the door... open til 11pm local time if you hurry!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Viva La Vida" Coldplay

I have spent time working this afternoon with the sounds of the new offering from Coldplay echoing in the background! Chris Martin seems able to polarise critics and fans alike with music that's popular but panned as lightweight. I like Coldplay and fall into the category of appreciating the mood and vibe of their music with it's veiled and one line references to weighty life issues!
There are any number of religious images and stories in this collection and I laugh out loud at the fan websites with the four entirely different takes all shared with equal conviction... is it Jesus referred to in the title track or a leading figure from the French Revolution... given the CD artwork and title itself... it comes from a painting by surrealist Frida Kahlo. The cover features Delacroix's romantic depiction of the spirit of revolution, Liberty Leading the People Over the Barricades.

The sound and production have Brian Eno's fingerprints all over them so the comparisons' with U2 will happen!!

I am still listening so will no doubt come back with a few selected tracks where I already can hear possibilities for use in coming weeks!! So far I like 'Cemeteries of London', '42' and the tile track...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Bullet the Blue Sky" U2

"Bullet the Blue Sky" U2
In the howling wind
Comes a stinging rain
See it driving nails
Into the souls on
The tree of pain
From the firefly
A red orange glow
See the face of fear
Running scared
In the valley below

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

In the locust wind
Comes a rattle and hum
Jacob wrestled the angel
And the angel was overcome
You plant a demon seed
You raise a flower of fire
See them burning crosses
See the flames higher
And higher

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

This guy comes up to me
His face red like a rose
On a thorn bush
Like all the colors
Of a royal flush
And he's peeling off
Those dollar bills
Slapping them down
One hundred, two hundred
And I can see
Those fighter planes
And I can see
Those fighter planes
Across the mud huts
Where the children sleep
Through the alleys
Of a quiet city street
You take the staircase
To the first floor
Turn the key and
Slowly unlock the door
As a man breathes
Into a saxophone
And through the walls
You hear the city groan
Outside is America
Outside is America

Across the field
You see the sky ripped open
See the rain through a gaping wound
Pelting the women and children
Who run into the arms
Of America

This weekend we were getting ready for Winter Camp where the theme will be about "YOU"!!
It's inspired somewhat by reflections on where campers are at, the NOOMA video 'NAME' and the whole topic area of identity, who we are, what we believe and how that impacts our actions!!
The starting biblical story is that of Jacob who 'wrestled and angel' and comes away a bit bent out of shape but how this allows/leads to change/opportunity and growth in relationship to God.
The conversation of course reminded me of this U2 song where it's theme is not very related by the one line about Jacob creates an interesting link between what a complaint about US policy and action in Central America and its outworkings has to do with identity, beliefs and actions out of those beliefs.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Tales from Outer Suburbia" Shaun Tan

"From the much-acclaimed creator of The Arrival, The Red Tree and The Lost Thing, fifteen intriguing illustrated stories about the mysteries that lurk below the surface of suburban life."

Darren Wright shared one story today from the excellent writing and illustrating pen of Shaun Tan. They look to be whimsical and well told stories!!

Wallabies New Era Begins

The 'QANTAS Wallabies' [do you think commentator Tim Horan is on an incentive deal for calling them that] survived 18-12 at Melbourne's Telstra Dome under a closed roof!

New coach Robbie Deans [who beat me to the job this time around] influence was terrifically evident in the quick clearance of ruck ball intentionally, where the ball went two passes off the ruck quickly. Then when players ran into space they were popping the ball off the ground to support runners and expressing their skills. They didn't commit quite enough people to the tackle/ruck and maul contest and the Irish stepped up their offensive tackling and made a game of it in the second half...

We also finally got to see the best of Brian O'Driscoll who has been hampered here by weather, injury and a poor team on past visits... he did a couple of classy things tonight.

Best thing about the Wallabies is that they have often been awful in game one of past seasons and they were generally pretty good tonight!!

What a relief to have a coach who encourages players to play the game, not the over analysed playbook of up to five or six phases of set activity... even Tiquiri looked OK tonight!! How good is it to see a halfback with a passing game... and from Maitland of all places!

Well done boys, I look forward to the rest of the season now!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Say Hallelujah" Tracy Chapman

"Say Hallelujah"
Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Close your eyes
And bow your head
To rest your soul
And to praise the dead

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Dry your eyes
And stand upright
Put a smile on your face
He wouldn't want us to cry

The sun will rise
The stars will shine
Turning day to dusk
And night to dawn
We'll pass on
But until that time

Say Hallelujah
Say Hallelujah

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Have mercy
It's a wonderful life
Eternal rest for the weary
Mourners party tonight

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Wave your hands
But don't say goodbye
We're all gonna meet you
On the other side
from "Let It Rain" 2002

Despite many listenings I only really heard this song today for the first time on the radio. It was a striking and hopeful tune and so a little different to most peoples impressions of Tracy Chapman. More than one person on the web suggested they'd like this song at their funeral.

It's a song of celebration for a time when we talk about that but don't always manage it. As such I offer it here for use maybe at Easter or some other significant journeying moment!!

Just when you don't have your Camera!!

Walking through MYER today and saw a great snapshot on the 4th floor trendy and hip fashion floor BUT DIDN'T HAVE MY PHONE/CAMERA WITH ME...

It was a set of mannequins in full catalogue pose looking out to the distance on one little podium and sitting in a gap on the edge of the podium was a young guy dressed fully in similar lables with required new era cap on slightly askew!! He was checking his sms and I thought for a milli-second that he was just another mannequin [in some ways I think I was right]...

Lifelike Babies

Under the guise of a promotion for the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair there was a fascinating feature on local ABC Radio this morning...

"So cute - but is this a real 'baby'? And what shall we name him/her?
Take a close look..a very close look.

Are your eyes fooling you, or can you spot a telling sign that this is actually a doll?
The 'baby' is the handy work of Beverley Graham, who is exhibiting at the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair...

Apparently 'Neighbours' commissioned a doll for the TEN TV soap opera, families who are unable to have children or who've lost a child and are seeking therapy, school training programs etc are regular customers.
In one case an elderly mother in a nursing home was not communicating with anyone and after trying just about everything else a nurse brought one of the dolls in and the lady talks to people through talking to the doll!!
They are also sold as children's toys for a range of $300-700!!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Worship Unplugged #51 "Magnetic Poetry"

After years of thinking 'I must get a set of those' I have finally splashed out and bought myself a set of the original 'magnetic poetry' with 4000 words on tiny fridge magnets for use as a reflection tool, discussion starter and worship station!!
Here's just one place to buy your magnetic poetry sets

Horrific Cycling Accident Caused by Drunk Driver

This horrendous accident happened near the Mexican border when a 28 year old driver [charged with killing two of the cyclists while drunk driving] ploughed into the group!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Worship Unplugged #50 T Shirts or Underwear

Opportunities for response or self expression in worship are many and varied. I am always looking for unique, visual, tactile and creative ways to allow this and to fill the worship space visibly with the evidence of activity...
Picture a clothesline ir series of same where pegs hold up a collection of either underwear or t-shirts which have been written or drawn on and hung up by participants given some focus activity, prayer or question for response...
Light coloured undies or t-shirts, brought along, purchased as fairwear, obtained from the Op Shop or ???
This could be supplemented with famous/celebrity contributions for a cause and auctioned for charity... they could all be in response to an issue that is also prayed for and fundraised for!!
Some child abuse support groups have used the t-shirt idea for their programs