Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Offending Homosexuals..

I always find it disturbing and strange when people get so offended by what the pope says. He is the head of the catholic church; a church which believes that homosexuality is a sin. Therefore, why would people get offended when he re-iterates that point of view?
Should a Christian be offended if a Muslim tells them their faith is wrong? I shouldn't think so. A Christian should know a Muslim believes very different things to him/her and vice versa.
The same for a homosexual hearing the Pope condemn their behaviour. Whether it's good or bad, it should be expected as it's what he believes. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it's what I think when I read the above article on the bbc website. You can read it all here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

a draw??

Saw this today on BBC's website. A 2-1 draw, that's a pretty exceptional result!

Following my post on Dave Matthews new live album, I just found out that they have now decided to join the likes of Pearl Jam, Metallica, Counting Crows and release shows via download on their new website.

The first three shows to be released are

4.22.93 (Dave and Tim) - Prism Coffeehouse - Charlottesville, VA
10.24.02 (Dave solo) - Benaroya Hall - Seattle, WA
3.29.03 (Dave and Tim) - Appalachian State University - Boone, NC

They cost between ¢12 and ¢16 dollars depending on what quality you want, ranging from mp3 256kbps and flac lossless.
It's a great new move from them, saves on silly postage costs and will hopefully lead to a big catalogue where one can pick and choose the best setlists from the shows available to own.
I'm not sure if they will take the route of Pearl Jam and Metallica where each new show is available for download a few days after the show. Perhaps they won't go down that road but hopefully they release plenty of old shows and a few from new tours to give us a nice big choice. The great thing about Dave Matthews Band and especially bands like Pearl Jam is that there setlists change every show which leads to the customer genuinely being spoilt for choice.
I guess that's one reason why u2 will never go down the same route as their setlists are unfortunately very static. I'm still very surprised that apart from 'Under a Blood Red Sky' they have never released an official live album to buy.

No Line on the Horizon

Details for U2's new album have been officially released. It's out on Monday, March 2nd, that'll mean in Ireland and Britain it'll most likely be released the previous Friday. No details on tracklisting yet, however have it available for pre-order already.
There are 4 (yes, FOUR) different editions available. The most extravagant which is worth a hundred dollars is
...a deluxe limited-edition-collectors item: packaged in a special box, album CD in a cardboard folded sleeve w/ 36 page color booklet and fold out poster. Box also includes 60-page hard cover book plus an additional fold-out poster and a DVD of the new film from Anton Corbijn featuring the music of U2 in a slip case cover.

The amazon link is here; check out the right hand side of the page for the different versions of the album.
I'm looking forward to hearing it.
Here's the official blurb from

No Line On The Horizon, the new studio album from U2, will be released on Monday 2nd March 2009.

Written and recorded in various locations, No Line On The Horizon is the group’s 12th studio album and is their first release since the 9 million selling album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, released in late 2004.

Sessions for No Line On The Horizon began last year in Fez, Morocco, continued in the band’s own studio in Dublin, before moving to New York’s Platinum Sound Recording Studios, and finally being completed at Olympic Studios in London.

The album calls on the production talents of long-time collaborators Brian Eno and Danny Lanois, with additional production by Steve Lillywhite.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kings of Leon: The o2 Dublin December 19th 2008

First gig for me (& Jane) in the new Point Depot, now called the o2. It still looks like a home depot from the outside, however it's very impressive on the inside. It appears to be much bigger than the old venue, it now holds 13,000 people and despite the fact that we were pretty much in the rafters (the photo attests to that) our view was very very good and the seats were really comfortable.
On to the more important information; the gig. It was excellent. A really enjoyable gig with a very solid setlist. When you look at the list of songs and realise how good they all are it makes for impressive reading and even more impressive listening. They are a very tight band who pretty play song after song without much crowd interaction. I don't mind that so much, especially as all the songs were winners.
Highlights were opener 'crawl', 'king of the rodeo', listening to 13,000 irish people sing that strange accent that Mr. Followill has along to 'milk', actually I'll end up listing most of the songs if I list the highlights. I should add that the light show was extremely impressive.
Let me add two lowlights, 1. no arizona, it's been on the setlist for the whole tour until the last 3 weeks, oh well. and 2. Mr. Followill telling us that we were the best crowd of the tour. Does he really think we fall for that one? 'seriously you guys, it's been a really hard tour (he had previously told us it was the best year of their lives!?) and we have wondered sometimes how we'll keep doing it and keep going through the motions, but then we come to a place like this and well....we wish this was the last night of the tour. This has been the best show and you've been the best crowd'.
Us Irish suckers lapped it up and applauded our greatness. Perhaps I'm too cynical so maybe it was a highlight for them, I hope so. I know that I loved it and was thoroughly impressed.

1. Closer
2. Crawl
3. My Party
4. Razz
5. Molly's Chambers
6. King of the Rodeo
7. Joe's Head
8. Fans
9. Revelry
10. Milk
11. Four Kicks
12. Pistol Of Fire
13. Wasted Time
14. Sex On Fire
15. The Bucket
16. Notion
17. Use Somebody
18. On Call
19. Cold Desert
20. Trani

21. Knocked Up
22. Charmer
23. Slow Night, So long
24. Black Thumbnail

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dave Matthews Band Live at Mile High Music Festival

Dave Matthews Band just released their 27th official live album. Yep, that's 27. Not as bad as Pearl Jam's 290 official live shows, but for some reason there's a difference. Pearl Jam's are so much cheaper and easier to obtain from Ireland than the Dave Matthews Band releases.
For some reason I always get suckered in to buying the live Dave Matthews Band shows. This new one is without the sax player LeRoi Moore who was injured at the time, he has since passed away. The excellent Jeff Coffin from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones stood in for him and he makes a difference. It's not better or worse, it's just a different style of playing. Rashawn Ross guests on the trumpet, I don't care for him playing along. He ruined the Dreaming Tree in the 'Live at Piedmont Park" release and I'm not a huge fan of the trumpet anyway. Tim Reynolds also plays with the band on electric guitar. He's just exceptional. He adds so much, especially when he's relatively discreetly like on songs such as 'Don't Drink the Water'. The show doesn't have Butch Taylor who has played regularly since he joined the band in the studio to play on a few tracks on 'Before these Crowded Streets'. He played every show from summer 01 until April 08 when for some unknown reason he quit (ironic his last song to play with the band was 'stay'). A lot of fans are relatively glad he left as they weren't too enamored with him. However, I think his absence is a loss.
This cd repeats a lot of the songs from the previous live release; eight in total. It has one unreleased song, an incredible cover of 'Sledgehammer' by Peter Gabriel.
It's not the best Dave Matthews Band live release (perhaps I'll do a top ten some day) but it's very good nonetheless and if you're someone who doesn't have any live Dave Matthews Band cd's it's definitely a very good place to start.

Disc one:
"Don't Drink the Water"
"You Might Die Trying"
"Eh Hee"
"Two Step"
"Proudest Monkey"-->

Disc two:
"Stay (Wasting Time)"
"Old Dirt Hill (Bring That Beat Back)"
"Jimi Thing"
"Tripping Billies"
"So Damn Lucky"

Disc three:
"So Much To Say"-->
"Anyone Seen the Bridge?"-->
"Too Much"-->
"Ants Marching"
"Louisiana Bayou"
"Thank You (Falettin Me Be Mice Elf Agin)"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Electric Six - The Acadamy, Dublin. Saturday 13th December

I bought tickets for this gig back in July, but it was touch and go as to whether we'd be able to go. As I've been super sick and Jane was starting to come down with the flu we weren't going to go but we decided at 7pm that we'd regret not going so we'd drive in so we could leave if we needed to.
When we got to the venue Jane asked one of the staff could we sit upstairs in the vip section; for some bizarre unknown reason he said yes. Sweet. I would say that God has our backs cause we were sick but I don't know if he's particularly an Electric Six fan.
The gig itself was fantastic. As rediculous and entertaining as one would except from E6. I saw them last year in Maynooth College and was so impressed. This one was just as good. Dick Valentine is an exceptional front man and kept us fully entertained. They played a great setlist; more songs from their first album that their latest album which is pretty impressive. Some of his banter in between songs is so ludicrous it's amazing that people believe it and clap for it. Such as informing us that the drummer is Larry Mullin Jnr the third and that Ireland should be so proud that we helped elect America's first Irish American President. It was amusing watching the band trying not to laugh as he talked rubbish to us. The setlist isn't in order, but it's all the 18 songs they played. The picture isn't from the gig on Saturday it's from the last time I saw them. He's doing push ups during one of the songs!

Dance Commander
Naked Pictures
Danger! High Voltage!
Improper Dancing
Gay Bar
Rock N Roll Evacuation
Dance Epidemic
I Buy The Drugs
Night Vision
Germans In Mexico
Down At McDonnelzz
Gay Bar pt. 2
Formula 409
We Were Witchy Witchy White Women
Dirty Ball
Your Heat Is Rising


These past few weeks I've had a nasty skin condition called Eczema. Anyone who's had it will testify to it's nastiness. I used to get it as a kid but never as bad as the last while. It flared up exceptionally badly over a week ago and I've been off work since. I hope to go back on Wednesday. I'm off to see a skin specialist today.
The thing I have found so hard to deal with over the past few weeks, especially the last two weeks is that I know if I stop scratching I'll get better. Pretty much simple as. The trouble is, I can't stop. Well, I find it very difficult to. I've had some good days of not scratching but at night time it just gets ridiculous. It's like my body goes on auto-scratch-pilot. I then get in a tizzy of "Oh, man I can't be doing this cause I'll get worse" and then I scratch more. I even then get stressed thinking God is disappointed in me for scratching when I know not scratching will make me better.
My only sanity the past couple of weeks has been my wife. She is so much more patient, gracious and kind than I had dreamed of. Applying cream to a crying from pain/frustration 29 year old husband is not something she had thought she'd signed up for 7 months ago! Not one word of complaint has she uttered from her mouth. I just thought everyone should know how wonderful she is.

Oh, the subject title is my attempt at spelling what a scratch may sound like!

Monday, December 8, 2008

One million trees for Israel...

Ever since Mr. Bentley graced our screens I've flicked on to God tv to check it out. Please don't judge me on that fact. Sometimes there can be some pretty good messages, but lately I've been seeing quite a lot of talks that have caused me great concern. Perhaps the Lord is opening my eyes to what has always been there or else it's getting worse.
They have just finished their 'missions week'. What would one think a missions week would consist of? Raising money to help child soldiers in Uganda, helping women and children in the 'worst place to live'the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, helping street kids in Sao Paulo? i could go on. The answer is none of the above. What missions week is about is planting 1,000,000 trees in Israel to prepare for Jesus to return. Yep, thats the plan.

Saints, the time is now to petition the Father for breakthrough in your own life… in your families’ lives… in your neighbors’ lives… in the lives and ministries of the GOD TV family around the globe. As the world faces grave financial crisis, the Father has promised to keep us from the eye of the storm, but we need to trust and set our hearts upon Him.

So how do we get this breakthrough?

1. Pray fervently that the Father would bring breakthrough in these coming 40 days.
2. Give generously as Missions Week continues, we are ready to plant trees across
Israel in your honor as you strengthen GOD TV with your generous gift and ensure
the Gospel is taken into more homes, in more cities, in more nations.
3. Wait expectantly… for the breakthrough that we together are trusting the Father

Now I understand that God tv needs money and that people can be blessed by it. But planting a tree in my honour when I pledge money so we can welcome Jesus with a pretty garden? It boggles my mind, that is unless I'm missing something key about the significance of planting trees with some of the money instead of actually helping people. Apparently it's a prophetic display to welcome the king.

I believe that when your tree is planted, you will see multiplied blessings as your tree grows to maturity.

What kind of blessings? I've been seeing a lot lately on God tv about blessings being financial. One preacher stated proudly "Do you think I flew here in Delta Airlines? No, I flew here on my own jet, cause the Lord has blessed me!". Ridiculous. What about the man who doesn't own a private jet, or a car, or even a house; is the Lords favour not upon them? A young orphan taken captive by the LRA in Uganda is that punishment from God? If he comes to know Jesus as his Lord and Saviour will he become materially rich? I think the miracle of being rich in hope is enough, and maybe some of that preachers money that went towards his private jet could help put some food in that kids belly and clothes on his back.

Whether it is legit or not, I know I have been challenged, and that is the challenge to not sit and be satisfied with sending some tv station money so they can get their hands dirty in the mission field. I have to take part somehow and perhaps the biggest thing I can give is my time. Sometimes it can be easier to reach into our wallets and give money rather than reach into our schedules and actually spend time with the broken around us. I do pray God's blessing and wisdom upon God tv and what they do however I'll be giving my money and time to things I feel are more kingdom like.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What comes out when you're squeezed?!

It's been a while.
The last few weeks have been tough. Work has been really hard as well as a schedule that has been filled to the brim. And I'm covered in the most horribly itchy and dreadful scabs and sores! yep, a break out of eczema. enough to send me insane trying to not scratch. Still I have never felt closer to Jesus and for that I'm so incredibly thankful.
Two things I've been really thinking about.
1. It's times like this when most of who I am is exposed. I've been squeezed a lot (metaphorically that is!) and I keep praying that Jesus will come out - not me. When people reject me will pride come out, or humility. When I'm extra tired will I get grumpy or will patience ooze out. You see where I'm going with this. Think about it for yourself. Is Jesus all over you in ever season or just in certain areas at certain times?
2. It's times like these when I realise that it's not a matter of having to love people, it's a matter of getting to love people. Because of what Jesus has done I need to have the attitude that it is more than a privilege to serve and love people. It's not just a command, it's something that brings delight to our Father when we treat his children as he wants them treated by us.

I'm trying.