Friday, April 05, 2013

Pop Culture Roundup

I've read Rob Bell's new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God. In fact, I pre-ordered it as soon as I heard about it...I make no secret that I'm a big fan of Bell's work. In this offering, much like what the title says, Bell explores, essentially, his definition of God. But he does so while pulling in quantum theory and particle physics and all sorts of anecdotes about faith and doubt and a whole bunch of other stuff that you wouldn't think go together until he puts them together. Such is his way. And of course his writing style is such that it took me maybe 2-3 days to read it...a 60-page chapter took me maybe a half hour. I won't call this my favorite Bell offering, but it was still very thought-provoking.

The season finale of The Walking Dead was this past Sunday (SPOILERS AHEAD). There was something about it that was a bit anticlimactic. There wasn't truly a big showdown with The Governor so much as the prison group taking advantage of the vast hallways of their facility and scaring them away. This led to The Governor completely alienating himself from the Woodbury residents by shooting a bunch of his own and then just kind of disappearing. I suppose it was a little less predictable than other possibilities. Meanwhile, we finally said goodbye to Andrea, who was a pretty inconsistent character at best, which made her annoying. But Carl is stepping up into being the next Really Annoying Person, so there'll be that next season.

I'm finally all caught up with Mad Men, just in time for the new season this Sunday night. Of course, Wrestlemania is also this Sunday, so there will likely be some DVRing involved.

Also, there's this to look forward to:


Vernian Process, Behold the Machine - Vernian Process as a steampunk band that draws from a lot of weird stuff. Think what would happen if The Cure, My Chemical Romance, and Franz Ferdinand had a love child that ended up going goth. Something like that.

Atoms for Peace, AMOK - If you aren't familiar with Atoms for Peace, this is Radiohead's Thom Yorke and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea along with a few others. They started as a bit of a lark, but are now a real live band, like with an album and a tour and everything. I was of two minds about this. On the one hand, this is very much a Thom Yorke album. It's a lot of understated beats with Yorke's singing over top like some of the quieter Radiohead stuff. The others in this "supergroup" don't really seem to contribute all that much. That said, I really liked it for what it is. It's a mellow album that caused me to remember St. Louis and some of the music I enjoyed during those years.

Madeleine Peyroux, The Blue Room - Madeleine Peyroux is cut from the same cloth as Diana Krall or Over the Rhine: a smooth, bluesy sound best enjoyed with a glass of wine, hunkered in with your significant other. Also good background music for sermon-writing.