Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let's hope these saner heads prevail...

I've never been so proud to be from Alabama. ;) I heard this on the radio this morning:

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) weiged in on NPR as to why the bailout plan as written now is a stupid idea and we should just let the market run its course.

"What about alternatives. ... Is nothing an alternative?"
Shelby: "Oh, absolutely! [Doing] nothing is always an alternative. The best disciplinarian we have is the market itself."

For a longer and more in-depth look at the situation from a similar perspective, Ron Paul gave his opinion on the proposed bailout in this audio clip from yesterday. (Thanks, Travis!)

Hopefully, Congress is listening.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Randall Goodgame Concert Review

On Saturday night, we drove up to Duluth to see our old friend Randall Goodgame play and talk about his songwriting as part of Old Peachtree Presbyterian Church's Alethia Forum. We hadn't seen him play a solo show in many, many years so we were looking forward to this opporunity! Besides, they offered free nursery care and who are we to pass up a chance like that?

Jacob even got to meet Randall briefly before the show. That makes the second Square Peg he's met in his short life so far (Eric Peters being the first!). We've got to indoctrinate him into a love of quality indie music early, ya know?

Randall always puts on a good show and we were not disappointed. He opened with "Bluebird," a song we first heard in 2006 at Andrew Peterson's Christmas show at the Ryman. He told us afterward that it will (finally) be on the new record, and it's the only guitar-driven song on the album. The rest are all piano tunes! Yahoo! We couldn't be more delighted. I love all of Randall's songwriting, but someohow I just feel he's in his element on the ivories.

He began with a few familiar favorites and talked about the stories behind the songs, including "Susan Coates' Pants" and the ENTIRE Peanuts trilogy, which he wrote after hearing about the death of Charles Schultz. I think we might've heard all three songs live only once before, so this was a treat.

Randall then gladdened our hearts by playing some new tunes on the piano, including "Reverie," a song for his wife Amy, and "Heaven Waits," a response to hearing all the stories from survivors of Hurrican Katrina. That particular song reminded me of a blend of New Orleans jazz and an old-time gospel hymn, which seemed fitting.

Somewhere in the set he played "Bears," a song he wrote for his son Jonah. It's from Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies, an album he co-wrote with Andrew Peterson and a Team Redd favorite. Apparently, that album is the favorite of many, because Randall said they have sold more copies of Slugs and Bugs than all of their other albums. He acknowledged, "I guess we've found our niche. We always needed a niche!" By the way, if you didn't already know, Randall and Andy have written the Silly Songs for the last three Veggietales videos. A niche, indeed! They're hilarious!

I'm sure he played some more songs, but I can't remember them all. I think one of the piano tunes was called "42 Dollars," and it was fun! At one point, he stopped to take requests, and so of course I shouted out "Laundromat!" (Any BSC grad just can't help but like a song that begins "There's a laundromat on Arkadelphia Road...") He responded "But I thought you guys wanted to hear NEW songs?!" Heheheh. He hadn't played it in a long while and at one point he got so into the music that we had to help him out a bit with the lyrics. I didn't mind. :-)

Randall stayed at the piano (joy!) and played another new song, "California," which recounts the tragedy of a young unwed mother who, in 1968, was sent across the country to a girls' home and forced to give her baby up for adoption. My friend Sarah and I were bawling. I swore I'd never be one of those people who cried in public because of a song, but this one was just too powerful. (It probably also had something to do with being a mom and also swirling with pregnancy hormones.) Still, even if you're not a mom and not pregnant, when you hear this song, I dare you not to cry!

From that tear-jerker he moved on to "Jerusalem," which helped to remind me of the One who holds our hearts. I can't remember what he ended on, but the organizer (Thanks, Dan!) had included some time for Q&A at the end. I missed part of that, but I did return with Jacob in tow to hear him play a hymn off of his church's new worship album called "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say." Apparently, it was originaly a children's song, and he fell in love with the simple gospel announcement, but the lyrics are so much richer than any children's song written today.

So, if you read my rambling review and are wondering what all these songs sound like, you can buy most of Randall's albums at his website. His new six-song EP is set to be released in October (I think they are mixing it this week)! His church's new worship project, The Midtown Project Vol. 1, can be found here. And you should definitely pick up a copy of Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies, even if you're not a parent.

(By the way, that church has some great discussion forums coming up so be sure to check out their calendar. Who knew that local newscaster Tony Thomas was a Christian? He's going to be speaking about Christianity and Journalism next March along with Joel Belz, founder of World Magazine.)

Next up, a review of our Sunday afternoon trip to see MPJ. It was an action-packed weekend of free live music!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tech Football is Looking Good

Georgia Tech Downs Mississippi St. 38-7

After an agonizing loss to Virginia Tech last weekend, the Yellow Jackets bounced back to chalk up a win at home against Mississippi State. Actually, "win" is an understatement -- it was a thumping, and against the same team that held Auburn to only 3 points the week before. Tech scored on our opening possession and never looked back, racking up an impressive 438 yards of rushing offense. Oh, and most of that was with our backup quarterback, since starter Josh Nesbitt went out with a hamstring injury on the first drive. Hopefully, he'll be able to recuperate soon. Thankfully, we have two weeks before the next game.

It looks like Coach Johnson's new spread option is really starting to click. The rest of the season should be fun.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Andrew Osenga -- Letters to the Editor, Vol. II

Good news, music fans! Andrew Osenga has released a new EP via his website. As with the first installment of Letters to the Editor, Andy has taken song ideas, fragments, and stories from friends and fans, all for the purpose of turning them into songs. (It's even got a song about Canada, complete with Geddy Lee reference!) The result is a cool little self-produced EP. Best of all, it's totally free. That's six songs, and a nifty little downloadable booklet. For free.

Download it now. FOR FREE.

If you like it, please consider sending Andy some $$$ via PayPal, if only to ensure that he can continue releasing little gems like this. (That, and helping him to support his family and whatnot.)


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Snips and Snails

That's right, it's a boy!

Sometime around Feb 5, 2009, Jacob's going to have a baby brother!

Baby Redd #2 is already quite the active little guy, and was even playing peek-a-boo with us this morning at the ultrasound. I still don't quite understand what they see in those pictures, but you can see a nice profile here, sort of. Jacob didn't quite know what to make of the whole thing either, but he definitely cheered "Yay!" a few times and clapped when he saw the excitement of his parents.

It's nice to know that this "li'l brudder" won't have to make it on his own, since he'll have Jacob to get him into trouble and guide him through the ins and outs of this whole growing-up thing. I'm excited about being the mom to two boys! I can't wait to see them playing together one day. I bet they might even appreciate But not just yet.


Monday, September 15, 2008

If you are in Atlanta this weekend...

You should know that this is the concert weekend of the month! Two FREE shows in one weekend! (Though you may have to drive a bit, depending on where you live...)

Randall Goodgame (a fellow BSC alumni and fantastic songwriter) is playing on Saturday, Sept. 20th at 7pm in Duluth, GA at the Alethia Forum (Old Peachtree Presbyterian Church). Free! And to top it off, for parents, the church is providing child care for infants and toddlers! Woot! Just call or e-mail and let 'em know you're coming! (We already did! We can't wait!)

Also, the next day, former Atlantan Matthew Perryman Jones will be kicking off Dave FM's Acoustic Sunset Concert Series in Smyrna Market Village at 4pm, Sunday, Sept. 21st. Free! And since it'll be outside, we're planning to make a picnic out of it! Why don't you join us?

By the way, if you haven't gotten MPJ's new CD "Swallow the Sea," you should. It rocks my face off. Also, apparently Randall will have a new EP available this month, hopefully at this weekend's show. Yay!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wendell Berry backs me up!

I do find it a bit ironic that my most of my limited experiences with the writings of Wendell Berry, a well-known agrarian and one who eschews technology, have been through the internet. But that is our modern world, and as he says, we must live in it.

From a recent Sun Magazine interview:

Real reading, of course, is a kind of work. But it’s lovely work. To read well, you have to respond actively to what the writer’s saying. You can’t just lie there on the couch and let it pour over you. You may have to read with a pencil in hand and underline passages and write notes in the margins. The poet John Milton understood that the best readers are rare. He prayed to his muse that he might a “fit audience find, though few.

In college I was told by a particular professor that in order to read properly, I must "read violently." He would actually check our books for underlinings and notes in the margins for each assignment, and if the pages looked too pristine, we wouldn't get credit. When reading something profound or beautiful I still get the urge to underline or make comments in the margins. My dear husband, however, disagrees with me and only takes notes in a journal, far away from his crisp white pages. But I like to see the words on the page and my interactions with them. At least Wendell Berry agrees with me. I wonder what the books in his library must look like?

The above interview, by the way, is chock full of thought-provoking quotes about such wide-ranging topics as faith, farming, and the free market. It is well worth your time. I might create a post or two about it, but I think I'll have to print it out first so I can underline and make notes in the margins. ;)


Monday, September 08, 2008

Tech Wins ACC Opener

Is it Monday night already? This is overdue:

Tech Tops Boston College, 19-16

It wasn't a pretty win, but hey, a "W" is a "W." Plus, the team, young as it may be, is proving that it can come through when it counts.

Next up: VA Tech. I'm guardedly optimistic.

(Yeah, I know -- Fall means Team Redd turns into a GT football blog. But it's better than no posts, right?)