I just learned that John Martyn died. A great loss to music I think, there were few like him. I actually did a tour with him once, a long time ago, in the early days of my forays into the music business. I had no idea who he was at the time, I was just put on his tour of colleges and universities. Wow, he would sit on stage with an array of guitars and effects pedals and completely mesmerize audience after audience with his amazing skill, larger-than-life personality, and soulful singing. He was pretty wild, liked to drink (an understatement), and was generally a bit out-of-control, but I have to say that he was one of those people that you would never regret having known in some small way. While he claimed that, "If I could control myself more, I think the music would be much less interesting. I'd probably be a great deal richer but I'd have had far less fun and I'd be making really dull music," you have to think that it might also have cost him immensely both physically and emotionally in the end. A seminal figure in popular music is gone way too soon, he was only 60 years-old, it would seem that there was more music to come, but we will have to fall back on what he has already created--I think today calls for a listen of The Church With One Bell. RIP.
Scholz and Friends have a nice little animation on changes in marketing realities. I think some of the points made here have easy connections with challenges facing other institutions and organizations--churches etc. (The animation also matches the colour of my socks today)
Damien Hirst created this piece for the 150th anniversary edition of Charles Darwin's culture-shifting book, On the Origin of the Species. You can read his explanation of the work here. The new edition will be released on February 12, Darwin's birthday (oh those bloody aquarians, always pushing the edges)
"President Obama argued that the questions we face today need entirely new thinking, because not only is the old thinking incapable of resolving them, but in most ways it is what created them in the first place. When all the dust has settled, these are essentially spiritual questions. Those faced with unemployment, or diminished pensions, or just uncertainty, are trying to figure out what it means to live a life that is at least worthy, if not wealthy. And we are all wondering who and what we can now trust in, and why? Not to mention how we can personally respond to the laying waste of social and individual life, to take us forward into a better place. The spiritual traditions that engage honestly and openly with the big questions of our age are the only ones that will be part of the new future that so many of us now seem to be searching for. It’s enough to send you back to the stories of Jesus, another one who called for a radical rethink of how we live and who we are becoming. History repeating itself?"
The paragraph above is just a taste of the creative thinking of John and Olive Drane, who are blogging now over here. J+O offer some of the most creative and critical theological thinking and practice around, and if you don't know them this is a great way to get an introduction.
The creators of the forth-coming animated film, Coraline, sent 50 boxes to their favourite bloggers. Each box is unique and contains stuff from the movie. Quite an inventive ad campaign if you ask me. The Internet has been filled with back and forths about who got a box, what is inside it etc. You can check out the movie site here and just Google-around for images of the different boxes.
On a similar note, the latest issue of World of Interiors, features an article on Andy Warhol's boxes. Apparently he stuffed all kinds of things that he had purchased/collected into cardboard boxes. By the time he died, Warhol had filled 612 boxes, which are now archived at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.