Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Song: "Question for the World" by Phredley

Awesome video by Phredley, a Detroit-based band. I love this video highlighting the city.

Best of luck in your move to L.A. Phred! Don't forget your Detroit roots and be sure to come back and show some love to the city.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Sign of the Times: Jesus Still Loves You

So the word on the street is that Jesus Still Loves Me. At least the sign on I-75 tells me so.

I noticed the sign a few days ago. It's attached to a chain link fence connected to an overpass heading north from Detroit.

I was stuck in traffic and chuckled when I saw the sign above me. I instantly imagined some crazy old man with wiry gray hair, dressed in a flannel pulling the sign out of a shopping cart and hanging it proudly on the fence.

I thought nothing of it afterward.

Today was a different story. It was a great day...but something just felt different. I was again stuck under it and got to thinking.

Maybe this was therapy for someone out there -- a way to tell the world, or at least hundreds of Detroit-area travelers, that they are not alone.

Maybe the person that hung the sign had a bad day, got laid off, found out a family member had cancer, went home to a deceased pet. Maybe they wanted to end their life, but realized that even though awful things were surrounding them, somewhere, someone was feeling the same way.

Thinking that way changed my perspective on the sign.

Everyone across the U.S.A. knows Michigan is struggling...even my grandma in Nebraska who doesn't even have cable worries about us.

But instead of paying attention to all of the doom and gloom portrayed in the media, how about we all collectively think positive for once? To all the amazing/talented/personable/wonderful Michiganders out there - this message is for you: You're not alone.

Whomever this sign-putter-upper is: THANKS. I only wish there were other folks out there sending us little reminders like this to let us know that we're not alone. We may be struggling, but we're in this together, Michigan. It's all of us, and Jesus too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Song: From 'Once' - Falling Slowly

This theme song from the movie 'Once' is simply gorgeous... and since I just watched the movie and can't get this song out of my head, I figured it would be an appropriate Sunday Song. The harmony is just gorgeous!

And, for the record, I just saw the movie cost $160,000. That's amazing these days! Give it a watch, if only for the awesome music.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Song: Stephen Clark's "We Build The Trucks"

Just another great Detroit-powered song by Channel 7 anchor Stephen Clark. Lovin' this song...hope it's on the radio someday!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Favorite Flick: Young @ Heart

The best movie I have seen in a very long time is "Young @ Heart," a documentary chronicling the lives of some very inspiring folks who have two things in common: their average age of 80 years old and their love for music.

Thanks to Netflix's recommendation (it must know my dorky obsession for human-interest documentaries for some reason...), I added this to the top of my list immediately upon reading the description.

The video above is a song by one of my favorite members of the chorus, Fred Kittle, a hilarious man who sang this beautiful rendition of a Coldplay classic, while hooked to a breathing machine. Sadly, I just learned he died in January.

Regardless of the raw emotion associated with real life displayed in this movie, the docu really shows what life is about -- living it to its fullest and making people smile. Watch it when you're feeling down and you are sure to be lifted instantaneously.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday Song - Skillet's "Rebirthing"

I know I've mentioned this song in a previous post, but I've decided it's worth its own individual post.

I can't get enough of Christian rock band Skillet's rock opera "Rebirthing." I generally like hard rock, but often times I don't like/agree with the message inside in the songs lyrics. This is one I can rock out to and not feel like I need to wash out my mouth out with soap afterward.

I just love the start to the song -- it's almost like going into battle...Plus, I love the female guitarist!

Give it a listen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yippee! Norman Rockwell's Art Coming to the Detroit Institute of Arts

"I paint life as I would like it to be." - Norman Rockwell

When I was a kid, we had two huge built-in bookcases in our house. The shelves were filled with encyclopedias, books about amphibians and apes, and of course, tons of children's books. I remember spending rainy Saturday afternoons plopped down on the floor admiring the pages of books filled with information I had yet to fully comprehend. One book I constantly looked through (besides the 'D' encyclopedia -- D for dogs -- I loved to look at the pics), was a book about Norman Rockwell and his artwork.

Rockwell was one of the first artists I learned of as a kid. My grandpa was an oil painter, so I've always assumed my "artsy" genes came from him and fueled my fascination with a book about art at a young age.

Rockwell, to me, is the one of the best artists ever (although snobby art-lovers might turn their nose up at that notion). He painted what he saw...many times things that were invisible to the naked eye, and many times seeing right through to the heart of the matter. He painted about controversy -- war and civil rights, but also painted what people knew and understood -- love, humor and everyday America.

The painting shown above is my absolute favorite of his. I have a print of it hanging in our guest bedroom. I remember reading somewhere that the painting (from 1961) was a depiction of how Rockwell saw the world and how he wished the world would be. To me, it represents world peace and that's absolutely beautiful, especially considering the time in which it was painted (during Vietnam).

I was ecstatic today when I heard on the news that some of Norman Rockwell's collection is coming to the Detroit Institute of Arts starting on Sunday. I'm excited to have the opportunity to see some of his work in person, right in my own backyard.

"American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell," will be at the DIA March 8–May 31, 2009. The exhibit includes 44 paintings and 323 original Saturday Evening Post covers.

I began with a quote, and now I leave you with a quote:

"The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back." - Norman Rockwell