Friday, December 14, 2007

Kirtan Plugged

What do you get when you cross indian/sanskrit chant/kirtan (ala Krishna Das) and jammy guitar-based '90s Brit rock?

Kula Shaker's "Govinda" (live).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Adventure and the Hero's Quest

Last year while watching Peter Jackson's retelling of KING KONG (starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black, etc.) I had a revelation: I love adventure movies.

In fact, if you recall, King Kong is broken into 2 main parts: the traveling to the island and discovery of all that lived there and then, later, the taking of King Kong back to the States. I found myself entranced with the first half and bored with the second. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Goonies, The Lord of the Rings, The Fisher King, 2001 - all stories that steal us away on an adventure.

There's something about discovery, magical lands, long journeys, and the process of uncovering the veiled that I find both primal and fascinating. Alan Watts talks about the zen concept of Yugen: "To watch the sun sink behind a flower-clad hill, to wander on and on in a huge forest without thought of return, to stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands, to contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds."

And though I'm not always in this mindset, I've had fun in the past "playing" my day as though it were an adventure story: seeing each person I came in contact with as a fascinating character that would change the course of the story, looking on my environment as a magical place, taking on apathy, temptation or other distractions as dragons to be slain, and treating goals as if they were grails to attain.

It is for this reason that I've finally picked up Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" (though I've read plenty of other of Campbell's work) and have begun making my way through it.

"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man." (Joseph Campbell)

Now playing on Trev's iTunes: Sting - I Was Brought To My Senses
via FoxyTunes

Friday, December 07, 2007


"If I were to begin life again, I would devote it to music. It is the only cheap and unpunished rapture upon earth."
[Sydney Smith]

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Life-Altering Music

While at a stoplight in my wife's car earlier this week, I began fumbling through our CD stash and stumbled upon Jeff Buckley's album Grace.

I've listened to this album plenty in the past, but something really struck me this time. The CD rolled over to Track 4 - "Lilac Wine" - and, maybe it was the mood I was in, but I was quite literally blown to smithereens with tears in my eyes. I realize this isn't his original composition, but it might well be the most moving piece of music I've ever heard in my life.

In an age of overproduced, computer-tweaked, soul-less pop shit-music, I found myself engulfed in Buckely's raw emotion, musical simplicity and extraordinary talent. I had it up so loud I could hear every breath and subtlety in his voice. Listen to that vocal control throughout, but especially in the last line. Completely breathtaking.

The lyrical poetry is amazing and the arrangement is sweet and heart-felt. A thousand churches don't contain the depth of spirit that's in those four and a half minutes.

Now playing on Trev's iTunes: Jeff Buckley - Lilac Wine
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A new commandment I give you: Love one another.

While driving home last night and scanning the radio stations for something to listen to, I stumbled upon a preacher on the local Christian radio station. He was talking about Islam so I thought I'd take a listen.

In front of what seemed like a very large congregation - not to mention anyone listening over the airwaves - he was doing his damnedest to both negate their faith and make them look like "the bad guys."

The majority of his message was how Islam flourished because they were converting people "by the sword" and how violent their scriptures are. Similarly, anytime he got to a passage where it said Allah is "forgiving and merciful" he had to make a comment like "well, ya, only if you do what He says."

What he failed to mention was his own tradition's horribly violent past, including similar conversion techniques (the Crusades and Native Americans ring a bell?) and graphically violent scriptures (anyone read the Old Testament?)

I'm not dogging Christianity or Judaism. It just sucks that people of power are able to turn groups of people against other groups of people using false information and misguided truths.

Perhaps the appropriate way Christians can learn about Islam is to invite Muslims to speak at their worship services. God forbid we actually seek to understand each other and reach common ground.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm certainly thankful for all the friends I have through this little online community.

Here's to your own Thanksgiving being significantly better than Big Bird's...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

For the true video game fan...

This video probably won't mean much to you unless you grew up with the Nintendo and are familiar with the theme songs and imagery from Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, Tetris and more. But if you are familiar, check out this absolutely amazing Cal marching band doing a Video Game Halftime show.

As one who spent my high school both playing Nintendo and marching around a football field with a snare drum holder on my shoulders, this video just plain rocks. (NOTE: I didn't realize this until the end, but it is filmed from the back... everything is upside down)

Psalm 23

Putting aside my mild uneasiness with teaching kids to quote scriptures from memory that they don't even fully understand yet, this video is just too cute.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


My favorite definition of it is this:

Self-discipline is not the suppression of desires (or an attempt to keep us from doing what we think we want), rather it is choosing your highest/deepest desire instead of your superficial desire(s) in that moment.

I can't tell you how many times going at it from that angle has helped me stay on track.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Prank

As I've mentioned before, Halloween is my favorite holiday. If, however, you decide to prank your friends, please make sure that you're not in arms reach.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Dark Side of the Pumpkin

One of my good friends (and the drummer for the Pink Noise band I'm in) is a fantastic "pumpkin artist." Each year he has been making cool pumpkins for my daughter and besides doing one for her this year, he also made this... sweet!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Viral Friday

Well, as you already know, I'm a sucker for viral videos... sharing everything on this blog from "Chocolate Rain" to "Dramatic Chipmunk" and beyond. Some smarty-pants with too much time on his hands put the following viral video compilation together. Pretty fun. I'd say I recognized about 75% of the stuff in there. Here is "We Didn't Start the Viral."

We Didnt Start The Viral - Watch more free videos

Thursday, October 25, 2007

LINK: The 10 Most Terrifyingly Inspirational '80s Songs

"Great music can inspire us to do anything: love one another, protest an unjust war, make sweet, sweet love to a large black man in the 1970s. But in the '80s there were a series of songs that inspired us to kick ass in every way possible. None inspired more ass kicking than these." (Robert Brockway at

One of the funniest articles I've read in a while. Click over here to reminisce about songs like "Holding Out for a Hero" and "The Final Countdown."

My favorite paragraph explains the only way Foreigner could've made "Juke Box Hero" any better: "Ramp it up. If hearing "just one guitar" while standing outside a venue in the pouring rain can cause an innocent farm boy to mutate into a vulgar, screeching, musical demi-god, imagine hearing 17 guitars on top of a mountain in a thunderstorm! You could instantaneously transform altar boys all across the heartland into 80-foot tall rock ogres, shredding on nuclear guitars and ejaculating fiery magma into the horrified faces of America’s enemies. Serve your country, Foreigner. Give a little back for once."

Don't stop believin'...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


In honor of the upcoming Halloween, here's one of the funkiest jams of the past 35 years performed by the saxophone-wielding, strapped-on-keyboard playing Edgar Winter and company: - Frankenstein!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Living Life or Being Lived By Life

THEY SAY: let life live you, go with the flow, surrender, relax and let be, don't push.

THEY SAY: imagine your intentions and then bring them to be, set your mind to something and it will happen, persevere, make things happen.

Although it certainly seems so, I don't think these lifestyles are mutually exclusive.

I've just spent a little too MUCH time in the first camp.

I've begun dabbling in the second and it feels pretty damn good to grow up and get my life in order.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Creativity MASH-UP

"Creativity is a way of living life,
no matter what our vocation,
or how we earn our living."
(Madeleine L'Engle)

Chris Seay - "Art and Beauty"

"Each time I begin a creative endeavor, I discover that creativity is a mystery. I am reminded that though I am the creator, I have little control over the final outcome of my creation. The creation itself determines its form, and it will emerge on its own terms."
(Janice K. Stanton)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

iTunes Help?

Anyone know the answer to this question?

Until recently, I have been able to open my Music folder in iTunes, set the Preference to SHUFFLE, and it would cycle through my entire catalog.

For some reason, now there is a tiny checkbox just to the left of each song title (which wasn't there before) and in order to play any group of songs (or all my songs), I have to individually check each checkbox.

What the...?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Elms

We opened for these cats - The Elms (Universal) - at the VOGUE in Broad Ripple (Indianapolis) last night.

The Elms - Nothing To Do With Love

The Elms on the Logan Show

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Sacred Heart of Kalli

Something about her hands, stance and gaze in this picture made me think of an Orthodox Icon of Jesus.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I forgot to mention...

...last Sunday my family and I went to see Dan Zanes live in concert. Though they had some sound issues, it was an afternoon of great folky music that was kid-friendly and yet enjoyable by adults (my daughter did fall asleep, however, due to lack of napping). Plus they cleared out rows in the theater so there could be a dance party. Oh, ya.

Now playing on iTunes: Al Green - Let's Stay Together
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Quote: "Press On"

"Press on: Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

[Calvin Coolidge]

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Live Recording

Here's a LIVE recording of Pink Noise (my Pink Floyd Tribute Band) playing "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." While it's not without a cringe-moment here and there (and some of the mix could be changed), it turned out pretty dern good for a recording of a live performance. Enjoy.

The song is rather long (14 min) so if you'd rather download it and listen to it later (instead of being parked on my blog), right-click and "Save As..." or "Save Target As..." on the link below.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Snap, Crackle, Pop (Kinky)

I can still very much recall when it happened.

About three years ago I had taken up a yoga practice and was getting pretty regular at it. Up until that time I would say I had a fairly bad (but common) posture of rounding my back all the time.

Well one day while in downward-dog, my shoulders rolled back a bit and my back straightened in a way that - quite frankly I'm not sure ever had - and there was a very intense *POP* in my spine right between my shoulder blades. It wasn't a bad pop, in fact it was one of the most insanely pleasurable things in my entire life.

I remember going to a friend's house that evening with my wife and feeling like my body was floating on air - like some sort of kink that I had carried for years was finally blasted open. In fact to this day, I still like to stretch against a wall and recreate that "pop" (though it is now a fraction of the intensity it was that first day).

It's amazing what happens when we butt up against resistances, knots and tough situations and - instead of recoiling in fear - find what it takes to blast through. We've all got quirks and kinks and while some must be accepted as limitations, others are ready to be blown through to find release and freedom on the other side.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

TV for Toddlers who take Acid

Holy crap.

Nickelodeon has introduced a new show called Yo! Gabba Gabba and I must say again: "holy crap."

Take 80's rap beats and video game references, a bunch of colorful and creepy puppet-people, celebrity cameos (see the 2nd clip), an emcee named DJ Lance and put it all at an ADD-inducing editing speed and you've got Yo! Gabba Gabba.

I can only imagine how absolutely hilarious this show would be under the influence of any number of substances. Actually, I'm glad my kid likes it because I get a chance to watch it guilt-free... and it's totally cracking me up.

There's a Party in my Tummy"

Elijah Wood does the Puppet Master

The show's intro

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I really enjoyed this video below. At most schools there is a tradition of the students pulling off a class prank. Many times these things are malicious, causing destruction and harm. (A couple of us, for example, in high school wanted to put a live goat in the Library... which never came to fruition, by the by.)

In the clip below, the Junior Class at some high school blocked traffic for some time by walking in a steady stream across the street, running through the underground tunnels and getting back in line. It's quite the humorous display. One can only imagine the frustration of those waiting in their cars to get through.

There ARE stories throughout the world's traditions of God being the Divine Trickster: Krishna as the butter thief, the Native American coyote, etc. I think a healthy amount of mischief is good for the world. It helps us see that our little dramas are mostly superficial (like being stuck in a traffic jam) and since EVERYTHING ends, then NOTHING is to be taken too seriously (sincerly, yes, but not too seriously).

Enjoy "The Junior Prank":

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Unbelievable / "3"

I'm not sure how it happened this fast, by my little girl started school this week. Yes, it is preschool, but it's still school.

On a related note, she turns a big "3" this weekend. Happy Birthday, Kalliopi!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Meatman Cometh ("Delicatessen")

One of the great things about Netflix is my ability to see films that I normally wouldn't go into a store and rent. Though this French Film (from the director of Amelie) is over 15 years old, I had never heard of it. Check this vid for the trailer to DELICATESSEN:

What a fun, delightful, atmospheric dark comedy. If you like Terry Gilliam movies such as Brazil, this is right up that same alley. The characters are outrageous, the sequences are fun and the comedy is creepy and fantastic. Though the entire movie is not this choreographed and goofy, here's one clip to give you a taste (pun intended):

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Peaceful Warrior

My Netflix queue finally sent me a copy of Peaceful Warrior over the weekend. While admittedly I can see how casual viewers might dismiss some of it as cheesy fluff, if you remain open to it, there's some really good stuff in here. As Jon puts it "there is no movie I am aware of that more honestly and movingly shows what learning with an authentic spiritual teacher is like, capturing the traps, lessons, pains, and joys experienced upon the way." Though not perfect, Peaceful Warrior is a definite "see" for anyone interested in stories of spiritual awakening.

Dan Millman: Life has just three rules?
Socrates: And you already know them...
Dan Millman: Paradox, humor, and change.
Socrates: Paradox...
Dan Millman: Life is a mystery. Don't waste time trying to figure it out.
Socrates: Humor...
Dan Millman: Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure.
Socrates: Change...
Dan Millman: Know that nothing stays the same.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Arena Rock

Last night the Waltz for Venus boys and I had one of the highlights of our musical careers. We played Boiler Gold Rush (one of the Welcome Events at Purdue University) and had the privilege of performing at the Elliott Hall of Music - a stage that has been rocked by the nation's biggest acts from Kelly Clarkson to Dave Matthews to...

Anyway, the crowd was incredibly responsive - jumping, singing, fully engaged - and it was either the biggest thing we'll ever do - or just the beginning: the start of WFV ver 2.0 (lets hope it's the latter).

Enjoy SET ONE of the pics. I've got more to post when I get them from the other camera-woman. Mad props to Brandy Brooks for this fantastic photography...

 more more from the Green Room for good measure...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Giving. Now.

"Most men make the error of thinking that one day it will be done. They think, 'If I can work enough, then one day I could rest.' Or, 'One day my woman will understand something and then she will stop complaining.' Or, 'I'm only doing this now so that one day I can do what I really want with my life.' The masculine error is to think that eventually things will be different in some fundamental way. They won't. It never ends. As long as life continues, the creative challenge is to tussle, play and make love with the present moment while giving your unique gift."
[David Deida, in "The Way of the Superior Man"]

This reminds me of the cliché (yet deeply true) phrase, "If not now, when?" When does sleeping ever get us to tomorrow? If today - even right in this moment - I'm not living as the fullest expression of what I am or what I want to be, then I never will. Situations and atmospheres will change, but that everlasting, constant hum of dissatisfaction and wanting will never change (as long as I'm waiting for it to). The only thing one can do - as Deida points out in this book - is to artfully transmute your wanting into giving: to give your gift - your life - fully now and not assume that you'll do it later when ____ happens.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Home Brewing: Part III

After several weeks of waiting for my first home brewed beer to age properly, here we go:

Scotch Ale ("Wee Heavy") in a "thistle" tulip glass

Appearance: Pours a 2 finger-width head which reduces down to a very thin lacing. The color is deep brown with a copper tint.

Aroma: Spicy sweet molasses, cherry, chocolate, plumbs, and alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Bold flavors of bitter coffee, dark chocolate, tobacco and caramel with the cherry returning in the finish. Mouthfeel is soapy and slick, with a slight buzzy carbonation. There's a good blend here of the bitterness from the hops and and that overarching "scotch ale" sweetness.

Notes: There was an initial "sourness" that decreased as the beer aged. The first bottle I opened made me think the lot was ruined, but as the weeks rolled by each bottle got smoother and sweeter. The drinkability is high as it is not so heavy that it can only be enjoyed by the fireplace in the winter, but it still is also not a casual summer beer. A very successful first try - and it's a good thing I like it because I've got about 40 more waiting in the closet.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Some Lightness For Your Weekend: "Speaking Of Music..."

Speaking of music...

Once again, I'm catching the tailwind of internet fads/memes, but for those of you not blessed to experience this, here we go.

It's called "Chocolate Rain" - but I think you'll pick up on that after hearing him say it 4,000 times. Watching this creates the strangest internal dialog that is some combination of the following:

-"this is funny"
-"this is sad"
-"what the eff is this?"
-"whoa, this is kinda catchy"
-"how is that voice coming from that head"
-"is that James Earl Jones?"
-"is that Janet Jackson?"
-"what the hell is chocolate rain?"
-"i think he's singing about something serious"
-"isn't that the MegaMan theme song on the keyboard?"
-"why can't I stop watching this?"
-"why can't I sleep at night without this song invading my brain"
-"please, God, make it stop"

Watch it. I dare you to go the whole 5 minutes.

And then, to make things more funny, endless people have done parodies:

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Magic in the Music

What’s the magic in the music?
And why does it bring us together like this?
We all have a longing inside
And it keeps us singin’ song, after song, after song.
(from "The Best Song Ever," by Chris Rice)

Is there not something mystical about music? Are not the themes of rhythm, harmony, and melody metaphors for life's deepest truths? Have you never been part of a live concert that morphs into one body with one heart and one voice?

I remember hearing a story from a friend about a "Godspeed You! Black Emperor" concert being more spiritual than any church service ever experienced. I remember times of songwriting where I am completely out of the way and "it" quite literally writes itself. I've found that if nothing else breaks the ice, conversations about music will quite certainly do so.

YOUR TURN: What's one mystical/magical moment you've had in regards to music?

"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
(Aldous Huxley)

Friday, July 27, 2007


"If you're not failing every now and again,
it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."

[Woody Allen]

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Spiritual" blogging...

... is inspirational encouragement - a way to share your life and reflections as a gift to others, those who read your words.

But there is virtually no substitute for actual practice and experience. Religion as we know it has far too long made spirituality a masculine, heady proposition - and blogging, too, lives in that realm.

Bring the attention out of the head, down into the body, live as a gift to others, and see if that doesn't make all the difference.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In Select Theaters This Fall: AWESOMENESS

Ok, let me get this straight: a Wes Anderson film starring Jason Schwartzman about a spiritual quest in India? I can't think of three cooler things in one sentence.

Click here for the trailer to The Darjeeling Limited

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Glory Days of Mind Wasting

Had a few minutes last night and decided to look up some TV shows of ages past. A couple of these I haven't seen for AGES and it gives me crazy nostalgic feelings to see them again. Crescent fresh!

(the theme song to) SALUTE YOUR SHORTS (love this one)






Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Start Small / Don't Push

Act without striving.
Work without interfering.
Find the flavor in what is flavorless.

Enlarge the small, increase the few.
Heal injury with goodness.

Handle the difficult while it is still easy.
Cultivate the great while it is still small.

All difficult things begin as easy things.
All great things begin as small things.

Therefore, the True Person never attempts anything great,
and accomplishes great things.

[from Tao Te Ching #56
Thomas Knierim,]

Friday, July 13, 2007

Be There / Mark Thy Calendars Now

Hunters Pub South - LAFAYETTE, IN

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not sure how I feel about this...

...though the Dancing one near the end looks kind of ok. (Lord, they're going to sell a jillioin of these things)

"Wii Fit" for the Nintendo Wii game system:

By the way, I'd assume the Yoga portion is a bit of a SHAM because you're not really going to do a full Yoga workout/experience all within a little square area (trying to imagine doing floor poses on that elevated pad) ... I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Take a deep, deep inhalation and once your lungs and belly are full, hold it. Hold it, feel the tension and the growing burn. A little longer. As long as you can.

And release.

That... that's it. Feel that? That's what the world needs. It's easy to get so damned involved with horizontal life - with all its anxieties and troubles and appointments and excitements - that you are knocked out of balance, all bloated with crap and needing to exhale. As I said in a previous post, it's a kind of contraction "anytime we live from the level of Ego. It's like a muscle tightening up when we desire something or get caught up in ourselves. It's relaxing that contraction that allows us to spread out, surrender, release..."

YOUR TURN: Books? Beer? Backrubs? Hot Baths? Yoga? Sex? Porch swings? Swimming? Bike riding? Dancing? Napping? Laughing? What helps YOU uncoil, expand, release and open?

Friday, June 29, 2007

"The Hardens" Episode XIX: The One Where They Go On Vacation

Aren't these cool? Go to to make your own "Simpsons" avatars. (Sorry, Amy, yours looks a bit ... stoned?...stiff? There are only so many options with these things.)

Anyway, "The Hardens" are headed for vacation July 2-9th. I'll probably still be cruising ya'lls blogs throughout the week, but I probably won't be posting much.

We're headed back to the lowcountry - smack dab between Savannah, GA and Hilton Head, SC - for a little R&R with Amy's mom and stepdad.

See ya around...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007