Music Monday: I’m on Fire – Kate Tucker

EDIT: Apparently this song is well, um…not appropriate. Please disregard the recommendation.

I was working from Starbucks the other morning. I get easily distracted while working in places with people, so I always have earbuds in to help me stay focused. For some reason, I had my earbuds out and I heard this hauntingly beautiful song over the speakers. I pulled out Soundhound to get the song title and artist and then emailed that info from Soundhound into my OmniFocus inbox using their maildrop service.

Upon returning to the office and seeing the song info in my inbox, I quickly plugged the artist and title into Spotify, only to come up with no results. When I typed in just the song title, however, I did come up with some results they just weren’t what I was expecting: Bruce Springsteen. Yes. It seems the song I had been enjoying so much was a Bruce Springsteen cover. While I couldn’t find it on Spotify, eventually I did find a video of it on YouTube (below) and then I found the song on iTunes. It’s called I’m on Fire and it’s covered by Kate Tucker on the Sweetheart compilation.

I played the song one night this past for my wife and she thought it was terrible, so maybe I have bad taste – but there’s something about this song I really enjoy.


Another reason it stinks to be a Twins fan

Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Pucket are dead. Brian Harper was our last solid catcher, and Bert Blyleven has dropped the F bomb on live TV. Can live as a Twins fan get any worse?

According to the WSJ, yes it can. In an article about the strike zone:

While umpires’ individual tendencies vary, some teams end up benefiting from blown calls more than others. The Milwaukee Brewers have benefited from 55.3% of the incorrect ball-strike calls in their games this year, an MLB high. (It hasn’t helped much: The Brewers are buried in fourth place.) The Minnesota Twins have benefited from an MLB-low 44.3% of such calls.

via The Umpire Calls That Replay Won’t Fix –

G. K. Chesterton on Humility

“What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction, where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert — himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt – the Divine Reason…The old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which makes him stop working altogether…We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.”

G.K. ChestertonOrthodoxy p. 31-32

Music Monday: Butch Walker – Peachtree Battle

“I never got to die in Vegas…”

I have been a fan of Butch Walker’s since about 1998 when he was the frontman of Marvelous 3. One day, I’ll write more about how it all started, but that is a post for a day in which I have much time to write.

Butch has a new five song EP out called Peachtree Battle. It’s a little weird that he is only releasing an EP, as he is due for a full album[1]. One of the best (or worst, depending on who you ask) things about Butch is that every album has a signature Butch Walker sound, but one that sounds quite different from the last album.

Peachtree Battle is Butch’s latest maturation as an artist. Many of the songs seem to be reflecting on the impending end of his dad’s life. To me, this record feels like his most personal since 2004’s Letters[2]. Coming Home is my personal favorite on the EP, it is both very singable and tugs at every warm-blooded person’s heartstrings.

I’ve included two different ways to check out the album, iTunes and Spotify. I’m doing this because while I like Spotify, I realize that it really doesn’t pay much to the artists who create music and depend on album sales to help pay the bills. I’ll probably write more about this in the future, but here’s how I’m using Spotify these days. When an artist I like puts out new music, I go and check it out on Spotify first. If I can make it through the album a few times and think I’ll want to keep listening to it, I then go purchase it from iTunes. I’m also of the old-school mindset that I’d like to “own” my music rather than renting it from Spotify, Rdio, or someone else[3]. So if you like what you hear, please, go buy the album from iTunes or Amazon or wherever you buy music. But if you’re new to Butch, check out the EP through Spotify first.

Buy Peachtree Battle by Butch Walker from iTunes.

  1. One of the many benefits of being a Butch fan is that he’s usually putting a full album out every 2–2.5 years. It’s not quite as good as being a Prince fan (I have seriously considered trying to become a Prince fan in the past, because of the sheer volume of his work)), but it’s really awesome to have a great artist putting out so much music. His last full album came out in August 2011, and was technically self-titled, although everyone refers to it as The Spade.  ↩
  2. This was the album that really reintroduced me to Butch after Marvelous 3 disbanded.  ↩
  3. Yes, I know that the files are wrapped in DRM and that generally only Apple devices play the MP4 files that come from iTunes. I don’t care about that.  ↩

Music Monday: Sunday Worship

Let me start off by saying that this is one Music Monday post that will probably not translate very well.

Unlike most of the people at my church, I’m not generally a huge fan of the worship styles our worship leaders choose. The songs are always solid, theologically, but often the styles just don’t sit where I’d prefer them to sit. That’s fine, I get my [musical worship in at other times]. Let it be known , though, that I just do not particularly love corporate worship like I should. This is one of my biggest areas of sin that I am continually fighting.

However, last week at church, the worship was just wonderful. Maybe it was God moving and transforming my heart, maybe it was that it was the middle of a long weekend and I felt less distracted, maybe it was the Mt. Dew Kickstart I had that morning before church, but something was just on about worship then. The tempos felt right[1], the music wasn’t too loud as to overpower the peoples’ voices in the sanctuary, and there weren’t so many songs that your feet start to ache from standing for a long time.

So, I took the song list and made it in to a playlist. Hopefully the content of the songs will surpass the quality of the recordings.

  1. I’ve never understood why so many churches play “When I Think About The Lord” so slowly. It’s hard to believe that He really makes you want to shout at 75 bpm.  ↩

New Gmail Action Buttons

I have really been enjoying how Gmail has been noticing, on certain types of emails, that there’s an action associated with the email and then presenting that action in the snippet line. I’ve mostly been seeing them on email subscription lists I’ve been signing up for, but I have also seen them on Amazon orders and Spotify emails. While the Spotify emails are spam (I believe I’ve opted-out of their email lists many times), it’s still neat that Gmail is recognizing when an email has a specific action associated with it.

This, to me, is where things should be going, even if it means that it’s just a little more obvious that Gmail is scanning your email content.

Have you been seeing this in your email inbox? Let me know in the comments.

Cool Gmail Behavior

Women Selling Positive Pregnancy Tests on Craigslist

Pregnant women across the country have taken to Craigslist to sell positive pregnancy tests for about $25 a pop.

Some ads suggest buyers use the tests to finally get longtime boyfriends to propose. Others suggest pranking mom and dad. And one even suggests asking for money for an abortion and then using it to go on vacation.

What kind of sick world do we live in where having a positive pregnancy test is used as a weapon?

via Women Sell Positive Pregnancy Tests on Craigslist – ABC News.

Music Monday: The Sound of Music

A few weeks ago we were at Clamshell Beach Resort with my wife’s family. My brother-in-law and his wife have two hilarious girls, Hannah and Grace, who are apparently going through a Sound of Music obsession right now. I’ve never seen the movie (unless you count the 2 seconds I saw the second time Robbie Williams was on MTV Cribs), but I have seen the play before. That being said, I know essentially none of the music, which made me feel both a little proud and a little ashamed.

Thankfully, Hannah and Grace were able to educate me on some of the major songs due to their repeat requests to their patient parents to hear Edelweiss, Do-Re-Mi, and, of course, The Lonely Goatherd1. Hannah apparently loves these songs so much, that she will adapt their lyrics to try and sing herself to sleep when she isn’t tired enough yet. One night, as we were sitting in the living room, we started to hear over the monitor:

“Edelweiss, edelweiss, every morning you greet me. Small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to meet me.”

Which eventually became:

“Gredelweiss, Gredelweiss…”2

Anyway, Amy has been listening to it quite a bit with Jane and so therefore I’ve started to learn a few of the songs. Hope you enjoy.

  1. This might be one of the weirdest songs ever written. I would not be suprised if drugs were involved in the writing of it. 
  2. Pronounced “Grey-del-vice” as in, she was putting her sister’s name in there…very creative, Hannah.