Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bell x1 Vicar Street, Dublin November 11th 2008

Vicar Street is a great venue, especially for seated gigs. The only slight problem is you sit at a small table with three other people. I was with Jane so we were wondering who the two strangers would be that would sit strangely close to us. We were sitting there having a lovely time with our drinks when behind us I hear a familiar voice say “I think this is table 26”; we both turn around and there’s two friends, Ross & Lucy who we haven’t seen in ages. It was such a wonderful surprise. We had a great time catching up and being encouraged hearing their story of their journey with God over the last while. Good times.
The gig itself was absolutely brilliant. We loved it. The first 3 songs nearly sent us over the edge. A lovely way to start a show. They played 7 new songs, they’re the ones with a star beside them in the setlist I have written below. Mr. Noonan was playing a strange little guitar called a casio dg20 for a few of the new ones, the only other time I’ve seen one was on flight of the conchords! It’s a computerised guitar is the only way I can describe it.
Standout new tracks were 'blowins', 'one stringed harp', amelia' and 'is that all there is?'. All the familiar tracks were stellar.
If you don’t know Bell x1, get to know them. They are a cracking band and it’s great to hear their new material and like it. It’s got a familiar yet different feel to it, which is positive to know they’re progressing and not just sticking to the same old formula.

Pinball Machine
Just Like Mr. Benn
Rocky Took a Lover
How Your Heart is Wired*
The Great Defector*
My First Born For a Song
Bad Skin Day
One Stringed Harp*
The Ribs of A Broken Umbrella*
Eve, The Apple of my Eye
Next to You
Is That All There Is?*
I'll See Your Heart and I'll Raise You Mine

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Cardinals - Dublin, November 8th 2008

I love Ryan Adams. He has only disappointed me once, a gig a few years ago that was horrendous, but I blame that on his album 'Rock n Roll' which is equally horrendous so I shouldn't have expected anything else. 1 bad album out of 10 (13 if you include whiskeytown) isn't a bad return.
Another time I saw him was without doubt one of my favourite gigs of all time. Tonight, while it was not as good as that, it didn't disappoint. It was a very solid performance from a band that has obviously gelled very well and has written some killer tunes together. A great sound, pretty honky tonk but one can't really go wrong with that as we all love a bit of twang now and then! Highlights for me were reworked versions of please do not let me go, desire, wonderwall, come pick me up, and i see monsters. A few more older solo songs and maybe a Whiskeytown song would have made this a truly stellar performance. My wife loved it, I'm starting to wonder has she more honky tonk in her than she's letting on! Here's the setlist. 27 songs is good going for a gig.

1. Cobwebs
2. Everybody Knows
3. Born into a Light
4. Please do not Let Me Go
5. Fix It
6. Natural Ghost
7. Goodnight Rose
8. Off Broadway
9. Wonderwall
10. I Taught Myself how to Grow Old
11. Sun Also Sets
12. Come Pick Me Up
13. Grand Island
14. Go Easy
15. Sink Ships
16. Crossed Out Name
17. Stars Go Blue
18. Let it Ride
19. Desire
20. Evergreen
21. Cold Roses
22. Freeway to the Canyon
23. Like Yesterday
24. La Cienega
25. Stop
26. Two
27. I See Monsters

God loves you...

I've been wondering lately about the sincerity of this statement. When I say it, I mean it. I know that God loves everyone, God wants everyone to come in to relationship with him and his Son and the Spirit.
However, I've been wondering can a calvinist truly tell someone that God loves them?. Now, I've been told that God has a general love for people such that he causes his rain to fall on the just and unjust and his word is available for all which is a sign of his love. But does he actually love everyone?
To a Calvinist God loves the elect (when they turn to him), while as John Piper would say about the non-elect "I think we need to go the full Biblical length and say that God hates unrepentant sinners". As Mark Driscoll says in this video "God Hates us".
I wonder then when a Calvinist looks upon his/her theology can they with integrity tell someone that God wants them to come in to relationship with him when in fact, God may not because he has decreed from the very start that he will eternally hate them, crush them and pour his wrath out upon them.
I for one find it a very depressing outlook on who our Father in heaven is and a reminder of a complete distortion of what the holiness of God truly is. It's like holiness and love are seperate in God when in fact they are not.
Sometimes it feels like some think that God was reconciled to man on the cross such that God had to be changed from being against us to for us when Jesus died for us. It says in 2 Corinthians 5:19 that in fact we were reconciled to God. our view of God had changed. God despises our sin and yes we don't deserve anything good from him but what is so amazing and miraculous about him is that He does love us and pursue us and implore us to come in to relationship with him.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

McCain in PA

I flicker between being intrigued by the US Election and being completely bored of it. One of my favourite clips I've seen is this one.

I couldn't agree more with how much McCain messes up.