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20 January 2010 @ 06:16 pm

First Listen: Patty Griffin's 'Downtown Church' : NPR

First Listen: Patty Griffin's 'Downtown Church'

Patty Griffin
Enlarge Courtesy of the artist.

Patty Griffin.


January 15, 2010 from WKSU - Downtown Church, Patty Griffin's seventh album, is the equivalent of a slow walk into a field of wildflowers — a journey in which you look up at a bluebird sky and take a deep breath with your eyes closed. It sounds like the soundtrack to a spiritual awakening, which makes sense, given that it's a gospel album: On it, two Griffin originals rub alongside gospel standards, including "Wade in the Water" and "Waiting for My Child."

It was EMI's Peter York who first suggested that Griffin record an album of gospel songs — not such a strange idea, if you think about it. After all, she's got the huge vocal range necessary to sing gospel music, along with years of experience writing about life, loss, praise and sorrow. It's also not so strange when you consider that Griffin herself has long believed that gospel music is the foundation of, well, everything.

She got to work with Buddy Miller (among other friends, including Emmylou Harris, Jim Lauderdale and a couple members of the royal family of gospel, Regina and Ann McCrary), producing an album that's so mesmerizing, it's difficult to believe Griffin isn't a card-carrying member of The Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville. (That's where she recorded the album last January.)

But what makes Downtown Church even more relevant — and, frankly, more touching — is that Griffin says she's working through complicated feelings about religion and her own sense of faith. Downtown Church is her way of exploring those feelings. For the rest of us, the music is just plain good. And, for some of us, it's a feel-good re-introduction to ideas and feelings that might be uncomfortably familiar.

Downtown Church will be available in stores on Jan. 26, but you can hear it here, in its entirety, between now and then.

23 December 2009 @ 09:17 am

Have a Merry Couple of Days from Jason Mraz on Vimeo.

02 December 2009 @ 08:13 am
Me Thanksgiving 2008:

Thanksgiving 2008 Me Dad

Me Thanksgiving 2009, 30 pounds lighter:

Thanksgiving Me Becky Drew
06 September 2009 @ 09:37 pm
Today I was watching "It's Me or the Dog" (a show on Animal Planet). I had seen the video of the Australian shepherd and the cupcakes, but I had no idea it was from this show (I had just seen a short clip from "The Soup"). The look on the dog's face is priceless, and when I saw that part of the show and made the connection, I could NOT stop laughing. I rewound several times. Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I don't have to save the episode on my Tivo. Yesterday I couldn't stop laughing over something I read in a newspaper. I'm not sure what's responsible for my silly mood, but laughter is good, good medicine.

21 June 2009 @ 08:47 am
Sometimes I don't know how he did it, living with 4 daughters and my Mom. A few years ago my Mom mentioned going on a Beta Club trip when we were all very young (she was a teacher). I asked her how she was able to be away for a long weekend, and she said, "I had lots of help! Your Dad was able to survive the weekend alone with all of you. He helped out a lot when you all were young." I hadn't thought about that. How much effort he put in for his little girls. I see it now with my niece and nephews, though. Not that my Mom doesn't deserve a lot of credit for then and now, but since it's Father's Day and all, this is about my Dad. :)

As we got into puberty, I think things became harder for my Dad. We had things like periods, and boobs, and hormones. Oh, the hormones. So I think he had a hard time relating, but he tried to teach us what he could about life in his own way. Unfortunately his attempts at teaching us life lessons were often lost on me at the time. "Look out, and see what you can see. You're missing a lot by not looking out the window." What he'd say to us on long car trips, when we were bored, usually picking fights with each other, and couldn't wait to get back home to talk to our best friend or see our latest crush. Other Dad sayings: "Don't pop off!" - what he'd say if we smarted back to him. "Square up!" - if we were slouching at the dinner table. "Any blood coming out? If no one's bleeding, I don't want to hear anything." - what he'd say on car trips if we complained that "so-and-so hit me!"

He coached our church league teams - basketball and softball. I remember being glad that he was coaching them, proud that he was my Dad, and I could tell he really enjoyed it. It was a way for him to relate to us and be a part of our growth as human beings despite us being hormonal teenage girls. He also joined the men's softball league for a few years. He started training to get in shape for it. I remember one night I went outside and he had me race him. And he won. I was pretty quick then, too. I was surprised, and I think he liked that he had surprised me and was also proud of the progress he had made to get in shape. I always enjoyed watching him play. He usually was pitcher, and was always good at strategy, too.

He was a teacher, and in the summer he would mow apartment complexes and clean pools. We often went along to help and would get paid for our efforts.

In the past decade, he's become the photographer/videographer for many family events. I am so grateful for all the time he has put in to compiling videos of everything - all sorts of events over the years that are now on DVDs. It will be nice to have those.

He's older now, so he doesn't do many of the things he used to do. But they still have a garden. The last time I was at my parents' house, I was inside watching him outside checking the garden. Going down the rows, he'd point at each plant as he checked it: "You're ok...you're ok...you're ok...you're ok..." he seemed to be saying to himself as he passed each one, in mannerisms of his I know so well. Although I don't always see eye-to-eye with him on things, I hope he thinks the same thing when he looks at his daughters.
30 May 2009 @ 09:53 am
29 May 2009 @ 09:14 pm
This week I have been taking care of this girl:

Meet Neely. She's so sweet. Even if she did chew up my glasses. She knew I needed a new, more stylish pair, and was just trying to help me be more fashionable. And her peeing on the bed just meant I should live a little and stay up later. To clean up pee. And when she rolled around in that poop? She was just making sure my sense of smell was still working correctly.

We have had some fun - went to movies in the park at Centennial and two different greenways. I am glad we had her on the greenway last night - we came across a coyote! She is currently in the bed laying across my legs sleeping away. And I think I've gotten a little attached...awww.

13 May 2009 @ 07:25 am
04 May 2009 @ 09:42 pm
It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work.

And that when we no longer know which way to go,
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

–Wendell Berry
04 April 2009 @ 11:12 am
A bird made a nest and laid its eggs in the wreath on my sister's front door:

30 March 2009 @ 08:26 am
I spent the weekend at the Farm - http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/

Check it out.

Will put up some pictures and other info. later!
20 March 2009 @ 09:27 am
Birds beneath my window
Dustying their wings upon the lawn.
I hear them in the morning light
A last amen to a migratory song.
They’re never looking 'round for me -
Their eyes are on the sky or the ground below.
I’d rather be the one who loves
Than to be loved and never even know.

Hello blackbird,
Hello starling
Winter’s over
Be my darling.
A long time coming
But now
The snow is gone.
Current Music: Snow is Gone - Josh Ritter
08 February 2009 @ 02:22 pm
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21 January 2009 @ 06:04 pm
Tomorrow is the day to vote! I doubt it will pass, but you never know. Here's an email I got today:

If you haven't voted AGAINST the English Only referendum, the last day to do so is THURSDAY, January 22nd.

With apologies to David Lettermen, here are the Top Ten Reasons to vote AGAINST the English Only measure:

10. A NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT. Nashville will become a laughingstock as the only major city to pass one of these measures. We will make national news and provide unflattering fodder for Leno, Letterman and Conan.

9. PEOPLE COULD DIE: A non-English speaking legal immigrant who calls 911 for an emergency may NOT get access to a bilingual operator when they call. This law might forbid it. That’s not just dumb, it’s dangerous.

8. IT'S REDUNDANT. English is already the official language of Tennessee. We all agree English is important that’s why it’s already on the books as our official language.

7. IT WILL HURT OUR ECONOMY. Nashville will lose countless jobs and millions in economic investment in an already horrible economic time because companies from around the country and around the world will choose NOT to re-locate and invest here.

6. HURTING TOURISM. Nashville has been voted one of the friendliest cities in the world. This will send a message around the globe that we do not welcome outsiders.

5. WASTE OF TAX MONEY: The law is not constitutional and will be challenged. There may be millions of tax dollars spent in court trying to reverse the law.

4. WASTE OF TAX MONEY, PART 2. This special election is costing us hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars. Send a message about frivolous ballot measures like this one that are designed to promote demagogue politicians like Eric Crafton and not designed to help the city. By voting AGAINST the SECOND measure on the ballot you will stop an effort from some to make it even easier to put these senseless measures on the ballot and waste HUNDREDS of thousands of tax dollars. So vote AGAINST both ballot measures Thursday

3. WWB? What would Barak Obama do? He would vote AGAINST English Only.

2. NASHVILLE'S HISTORY OF TOLERANCE. Nashville was one of the few cities in the south to be largely spared ugly racial violence in the 1960's. Nashville had political leadership that was forward-looking on civil rights. On this English Only, WE have to provide the forward-looking political leadership since it is a vote of the people, not the politicians.

1. IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO. This bill is NOT about sound public policy. It is about bigotry and demagoguery of a couple politicians. We are better than this.
18 January 2009 @ 07:32 pm
Good, good weekend. Hope yours was, too.

Mason's 3rd birthday was yesterday, so I went down to Birmingham for that. Sally made little cakes in the shape of train cars from a mold, and the kids decorated those. Mason was telling me what he got in the mail from family for his birthday, and the last thing he said was "..and a TUBA!" I said, "Oh really, you got a tuba?" "Yep, and you put water in it." "Oh yes, tubas and their need for water." Turns out it was a trumpet bath toy.

Barb came with me because Daniella's baby shower was later that day. It ended at 6:00, but we ended up staying and chatting with a few of the girls and didn't leave until midnight! It was an early morning since I was sharing a room with a 3-year-old.

Went walking in the park today. Alex and I saw two V's of geese. It made me happy. Then I came home and saw this quote in my email: "Of all the creatures that I can see in this landscape, the geese best represent the communion of saints. They depend on one another. The lead goose does the most work, but when it is tired, it falls back and another takes its place...The geese fly in the wake of one another's wings. They literally get a lift from one another. I want to be with others this way. Geese tell me that it is, indeed, possible to fly with equals." ~ Gunilla Norris

Sooo, this week, huh? Pretty good week. MLK Day tomorrow, my parents 40TH ANNIVERSARY on Tuesday (so happy for them) and my Mom's birthday, and Lost starts a new season on Wednesday! There's something else...some other thing...that's happening this week...oh yeah: the inauguration of BARACK FREAKIN' OBAMA. Not that I've been counting down the days or anything.

There is one thing that weighs on me, despite the good things. Something that actually made me dread the new year and turning the page to 2009 just knowing it was all the more closer: the execution of my friend Steve set for February 4. I know him through a former co-worker, Rev. Stacy Rector. I talked to him for a while on Friday (I say a while, but phone calls are limited to 30 mins and we talked to the end). What do you say to someone who is going to be killed in a few weeks, knowing this could be one of the last times you talk to him? Especially knowing that he very well could be innocent? You can read more about his case at http://www.tcask.org/cases/henley/henley.html Talk about learning the hard way about the company you keep. If anyone in TN is interested in filling out a card to the governor for his clemency (to get him off of death row), let me know. You can probably get one on the site as well.

The Green Wagon: Nashville’s First “Green” General Store | Nashvillest

The Green Wagon: Nashville’s First “Green” General Store

Entrepreneur Jennifer Casale is opening what she calls “Nashville’s first green general store” this Friday in Sylvan Park, and we’re loving the idea. We love the idea of a neighborhood general store, and we love it even more for being sustainable and environmentally friendly. And Jen herself is the real deal - She even drives a station wagon that runs on the waste vegetable oil from local restaurants.

The Green Wagon will house a classic collection of general store merchandise, with everything from cleaning supplies to clothing to shampoo to crib mattresses. The store will feature a “refilling station” where customers can refill their bottles with certain products at a discounted price, instead of buying new containers. A large portion of the products in The Green Wagon inventory are made locally, therefore reducing the business’ and customers’ carbon footprint that would normally occur during the shipping process. Since the notion of “green” is relatively new and somewhat undefined, Jen uses a standardized assessment that will evaluate products based on their environmental footprint across the product’s lifecycle stages. This standard purchasing process will give The Green Wagon customers peace of mind and allow them the freedom to walk in and feel confident about any item they purchase. The Green Wagon hopes that defining its standards of “green” will simplify and enhance the shopping experience for customers.

The Green Wagon is located at 4429 Murphy Road and opens this Friday. It will be open from 10am-7pm every day. While you’re down there, stop at the Produce Place and grab some local produce. We’re definitely jealous of Sylvan Park right now.
01 January 2009 @ 12:03 pm
It's a beautiful, sunny day here, and I plan to get out in it soon and soak up all the sunshine. :)
24 December 2008 @ 10:23 am
Happy ChristmasHanukkahKwanzaaYuleFestivusBoxingDayNewYear'sWhateverYouCelebrateThisTimeofYear.



P.S. If anyone's in Jackson on Friday night, let's get together! Trying to arrange an outing at a restaurant if anyone's interested.
21 December 2008 @ 12:32 pm
Gets sweaters out,
Puts sweaters up.

Gets sweaters out,
Puts sweaters up.

Gets sweaters out,
Puts sweaters up.

Gets sweaters out.

Anyone else?
19 December 2008 @ 07:14 am
18 December 2008 @ 10:25 pm
Various pictures of peeps in my family.

Mom and Dad at the Country Music Hall of Fame:

More under the cutCollapse )
03 December 2008 @ 07:11 pm
Adios, Plumgood. You have been good to me.

I've stocked up on a lot of groceries this week with their going-out-of-business sale. My freezer and pantry are packed!
29 November 2008 @ 03:34 pm
John Mayer and Chris Botti - "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning"

Audio - http://www.sendspace.com/file/w33pb9

16 November 2008 @ 07:34 pm
10-0! Very exciting season so far.

Had a good day. Took advantage of all the sunshine with a walk in the park with anairdna and her roommate and doggie Roscoe.

My cats get much more snuggly when the weather gets cold. For those of you that have met her, I know it's hard to imagine hell-cat Mya being snuggly, but she is very affectionate with me, and pretty much only me. She is just one of those cats that picks a person, and that is her person. Everyone else can get out, please and thank you. Tigger is her complete opposite in every way. Sweet kitty no matter who you are. They also shed less when it's colder, which is nice. No hairball surprises on the couch.

Ok, off to take a warm bath.
16 November 2008 @ 04:37 pm
Quit being so hilarious and talented that I have no choice but to love you.

If you've seen his other SNL appearances, that one is 10x funnier.

justin timberlake snl beyonce single ladies video

Everyone is great in this one. Beyonce was a good sport.
05 November 2008 @ 10:53 am

This is the 4th Presidential election I've voted in, and finally my person won! It feels especially sweet because I helped volunteer with the campaign. I had never done that before.

To the people whose person didn't win, welcome to my life since I've been of voting age. Now you can be the ones to rub it in to me when the President messes up. I do think he will be a more centrist President than some people think. He's a very smart man. I wouldn't put much stock in the scare tactics and ridiculous campaign commercials. And please remember that there are other issues of Life besides abortion. Poverty. War. Genocide. Health care. I even consider the environment one. Maybe we can make some progress towards reducing deaths in those arenas. Pro-life doesn't end at birth.

And also, please remember:

Probably 3rd party. ;)


"I was originally told we'd be able to move this outdoors to Yankee Stadium. And can somebody tell me what happened to the Greek columns that I requested?"

"I do love the Waldorf Astoria. I hear from the doorstep you can see all the way to the Russian Tea Room."

"I obviously never knew your great grandfather, but from everything Senator McCain has told me, the two of them had a great time together before Prohibition."

"I think it is a tribute to American democracy, with two weeks left before the election that the two of us can come together and sit down at the same dinner table without preconditions."

"Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the planet Earth."

"Barack is actually Swahili for 'That One'."

"I got my middle name from somebody who obviously didn't think I would ever run for president."

"If I had to name my greatest strengh, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness: I guess it would be that I'm a little too awesome."

"My middle name is actually Steve. That's right: Barack Steve Obama."

"Fox News accused me of having two African American children in wedlock."
14 October 2008 @ 06:57 pm
There's a beautiful Hunter's Moon out tonight. I hope you get a chance to go outside and see it.

4 weeks ago my parents came to visit. They don't travel often unless it's for things like weddings, funerals, babies, reunions, etc., so it was nice for them to come. I took them to one of my favorite meat & 3s. We went to Whole Foods since my Mom had never been to one. My Dad saw the 7th Generation toilet paper and made a crack about wanting 1st generation toilet paper, not 7th! Since my parents are on a retired people schedule, we hung out at Starbucks later in the evening. I was ready for bed before they were. We went to the Country Music Hall of Fame, which they both enjoyed, especially my Dad.

Then the weekend after that I went to a play (Kingfisher Days by Susan Coyne) put on by TWTP. I always enjoy plays they do, and this was no exception. I also went to the Titans football game against the Texans. Despite it being hot and getting terribly sunburned, it was fun. The Titans won. We parked on the downtown side of the river and walked across on the pedestrian bridge. We left our seats a little early and watched some from the sidelines (surprising that there was such a good view of the game that was accessible so close), and we even watched the rest of the game from the pedestrian bridge. It was pretty neat. And the Titans won! They are actually 5-0 right now. I haven't followed the Titans very closely the past few years, but it kind of renewed my interest.

The weekend before last, me, my sister Susan, her husband Bob, my sister Becky, and her baby Lucas all piled into Susan & Bob's car to go down to Birmingham to visit my other sister Sally, her husband Chris, and their kiddo Mason, and have a baby shower. We waited until pretty late in her pregnancy to have a shower for her (they moved there in August, and that's just how the timing worked out), and it looks like we had it just in time, as she had him on Sunday! So I have a new nephew! His name is Bennett. I can't wait to meet him. I also got to spend some time with my friend Daniella while in B'ham (or The Ham, as she calls it). She is having a little one, too, due in Feb. And she found out last week that she is having a girl! My incentives to visit B'ham more often are increasing. :) We also have similar tastes in music, and I always end up with lots of musical goodies to listen to when I visit her. Been listening in my car to some Adele and Eric Hutchinson she gave me.

This past weekend was great for the arts, as the Frist Center for the Visual Arts had free admission to the Rodin exhibit. You've probably heard of The Thinker, The Kiss, and The Gates of Hell (particularly the Three Shades). I also liked The Benedictions and Fugitive Love. And the Schermerhorn Symphony Center had a free music day. The center was built a few years ago, and was supposed to be really nice (I had never been). Well, it is really nice. Lots of loge-type seating on the sides and great acoustics. Besides the main performance hall, they had performances going on in 3 other areas. We caught the Belmont Bluegrass Ensemble, The Nashville Swing Band, and the Nashville Children's Choir.

Speaking of cool things in Nashville, the Town Hall Presidential Debate is tonight at Belmont University, just up the street from my work! My friend Barb and I are going to walk from my work up to the festivities - a block party and a debate-viewing party, if anyone wants to join. FYI we will probably be amongst mostly Obama supporters if that matters. Not sure how much of the debate we'll actually see, but I'm TiVoing it if I really want to go back and see anything. Obama or Biden won't be coming here to speak, as we are a mostly red state, so this is the closest thing we'll get. I hope things remain civil in the area. They have spent weeks preparing and there will be tons of security, so I'm sure it will all be good. I'm excited about it, but is anyone else ready for it to be November 5th?
05 October 2008 @ 12:35 pm

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we're left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most.

I've been frustrated with the "You must not have a clue if you think x", "You must not really be a Christian if you think y," or "How closed-minded must you be if you think z" attitudes on both sides that have surfaced because of the U.S. Presidential election. They are always there, but they seem to be more prevalent every 4 years around this time.

It's obvious on my Facebook profile what my political views are and who is getting my vote for President. Because pretty much anyone and everyone I've come across in my life is on there, I sometimes wonder what they think about what they see. I feel a need to justify it sometimes, and other times I think I should just take it off. I remember a few years ago someone judged me after hearing that my LJ profile said that I work for a church, and I just took it down. It's hard having everything, not just views, but facts, being scrutinized and judged, right? And I am not blameless in doing that very thing myself.

I just hope we can all get through this without alienating family and friends because of differences. After all, is it really worth it?
28 September 2008 @ 07:43 pm