Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On Being a Convert

I was home for Thanksgiving, and among various conversations I had in the course of this Tuesday-through-Sunday visit to Philadelphia many stand out in my memory. One involved how my mother almost was confirmed into the Catholic Church over 3 decades ago. She ended up not only joining the Episcopal Church, but eventually being ordained as a priest in the Episcopal church and is active in ministry to this day. Today, as I return home with many major projects on my plate, one brought me back to thoughts of conversion.

The project I have in mind is one I've been dreaming up for awhile and involves a combination of uploading new music to my almost year-old ipod and creating playlists that I hope will soon feed into a flurry of holiday musical gift giving. Along the way I was also hoping to get myself into the habit of reviewing some disks here and there and posting them to a certain blog... eh hem... this one. What? Who said that!?!!?!?!

Oh wait.

Yeah, I've been posting that thought for how long now? Crapsticks. Anyway, I was working my way through some music today, and I was thinking about when somebody tells you about a band that you've heard about but has never been of interest to you. One example for me is Martin Sexton, who a friend told me about years ago. He's got a very gospel-tinged singer songwriter sound, and one that I really just couldn't get into when I first heard about him. This was back in college, and I was very steeped in a number of types of music very distant from gospelfolk. In September I saw Martin Sexton perform live in New Haven at Toad's. Talk about a conversion. Wow... what a show.

Martin Sexton was not, however, the conversion I sat down to write about. Nor did I intend to write about my mom's religious life. I wanted to write quickly about a new joy in my life, 30 Rock. Until the last month and a half, I entertained a curious dilemma. On one hand, I had my love for Tina Fey, something true and heartfelt... but it was tempered by an ill-conceived notion that 30 Rock simply wasn't that strong as a show. I now am unsure how I came up with such a bizarre idea, but I am glad to say, such craziness is no longer part of my life.

In late October I started watching episodes of the first season via NetFlix, and was hooked right away. I'm now all caught up and seriously frustrated with waiting a week between new episodes. I also dread the prospect of the writer's strike taking away new episodes for a long period. Isn't it bad enough that we're without new Daily Show and Colbert Report?

Supposedly there's a chance the strike could be ending this week... at least the blog over at unitedhollywood.com talks about such rumors today. I say... the end can't come soon enough, and I hope all the writers make a reasonably nice haul out of this whole strange thing being resolved. Imagine... the people who are responsible for all the laughs, all the cleverness wanting a cut of the online $$! Incredible that more major media companies aren't being overthrown by the power and possibility of new avenues.

Along those lines, check out:
www.pandora.com where you can type in songs or bands you like and have a radio station created that will try to match your interests with other similar bands or songs (and you can always veto their choices if you don't like 'em)
www.funnyordie.com which is more-or-less just a comedy focused skin of youtube but they've got some great original content from Will Ferrell and his buddy who started the site.

...and my new discovery of the day:
www.etsy.com where you can see, learn about and purchase all sorts of hand-made goods. It's like a ginormous craft fair that's searchable.

1 comment:

Stamford Talk said...

I adore 30 Rock. I hope you saw the one a few weeks ago where Kenneth had the party.
Alec Baldwin is amazing. My friends and I said, and this is terrible: "So he left a rant on his daughter's answering machine, cursing her out? And he wants to leave the show so his private life doesn't bring it down? Alec! ALEC! You ARE the show. We know TV is not real, so we can separate YOU from Jack Donaghy. We're OK ignoring your private life." It's definitely the best thing I watch on TV.
I bet the DVD has some good extras!
Hmm you're right... it is a little Stephen Colbert-ish in its outright hatred of Bush.