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Category Archives: Random links

Learning from Radiohead

About a month ago now, Mike Cosper wrote a post for the Gospel Coalition blog asking us to consider what we can learn from the band Radiohead. In particular, he highlights the increased electronic element in their sound, drowning out anything human. Cosper informs us that Thom Yorke’s lyrics point out the bleakness and despair of world increasingly dominated by the machine, by the computer. Understood in this way, Radiohead’s music is an exercise in irony.

Such a message, no matter how insightful, seems fatally undermined when we consider the degree to which Radiohead has profited by their contribution to the very problem they lament. To offer a parallel: there is no small element of irony in Neil Postman’s appearing on a television interview to discuss the ways in which television undermines serious discourse. But who could take Postman seriously if he had a nightly television program dedicated to that topic, if he were a celebrity for being exactly the sort of talking head he impugns? This, to me, seems to be Radiohead’s position, and for that reason, to attribute to them some kind of knowing social critique is far more generous than they merit.

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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Music, Random links, Society

 

Microcosmic music

“Our music is our view of the Christian life in microcosm.” http://ow.ly/3YfSH

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Music, Random links

 

An article about me

I thought it was odd to find an article about myself on First Things this morning.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2010 in Personal, Random links

 

A link, posted with envy

I don’t own a real smartphone, but that doesn’t stop me from being jealous of this writer, who managed to turn off his phone. Some thoughts worthy of consideration there.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2010 in Random links, Society

 

The illustrated guide to facial hair

Note with particular attention the entirely accurate description of the full beard. I think that the illustrated guide in tandem with Ryan Martin’s timeless historical theology of beards are sufficient arguments to draw into the question the spiritual wisdom of the clean shaven.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2010 in Random links

 

A good deal on music

I think I’ve previously mentioned eMusic on this blog; at the very least, I know that in some of my posts on various music issues, I’ve linked to some of their track samples. I was introduced to eMusic by Ryan Martin, who directed me to this great (read: cheap), relentlessly addicting music store.

Anyway, the point of this blog post is simple: eMusic is currently running a really good offer on music, and I thought I’d pass word along for those interested in building their collections. The Annual Basic plan is now $99.99, which gets you 24 credits per month, plus 100 bonus credits for choosing an annual plan.

And now I have to explain credits. eMusic used to be a “one credit equals one track” store, so that 24 credits meant you could download 24 songs. I’m an album guy; I hardly ever (read: never) download individual tracks from CDs; this means that I used to hunt eMusic for things like long symphonies (for instance, Beethoven’s 9th), so that I could download a whole CD for only 4 credits.

However, in recent years, eMusic has made two significant changes: they’ve added some of the major music labels (Sony, etc.), and they’ve switched most CDs to a flat 12-credit-per-disk price (regardless of the number of tracks).

Bottom line: at 24 credits per month, plus the 100 bonus, you get 388 credits for the year. That’s just over 32 CDs, and because some labels (like Telarc) still function on the old plan (one credit per track), you can actually get that number up higher with a little digging. For $99.99, you’re looking at just over $3 per CD, which is hard to beat for really good CDs.

And now for the full disclosure: if you’re reading this, and it sounds like something you’d be interested in, shoot me an email (mpatrickriley@gmail.com). If I send you an invitation to eMusic and you join, I get 50 free credits. Quite frankly, however, it’s just a good deal, and even if you don’t email me and you just go to eMusic directly to take advantage of this, you’ll have a good way to get music for a great rate.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2010 in Music, Personal, Random links

 

Online education

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the paper referenced here, but the conclusions of a recent study are heavily against internet-based education.

The medium is the metaphor.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2010 in Random links, Society