1. Ryan Adams has a new album coming out.

2. 18,000 jobs were created in the country in June. Over half were created in Wisconsin.

3. Here are the details on the 20th Anniversary Edition of Achtung Baby.

4. You love his chicken but did you know all this about General Tso?

5. If you are going to call a group of people “terrorists”, you might want to ask yourself, “Wait…how many terrorists is my boss friends with?”

6. 45 years ago today, one of the greatest albums ever was released.

7. My old pastor and preaching hero is wise.

8. Realpolitik in the church.

9. The 30 best music videos ever.

10. Here is a timeline of all that going on with SGM and the controversy there.

Tuesday’s 10: Reflections On U2 In Nashville

1. I am too old to stay up that late after a day of standing in line in the heat sweating away precious fluids that could only be replaced at great cost within the stadium. Still glad I did it though.

2. Who would have thought 20 years later they would be opening a string of shows with 4 songs from Achtung Baby starting with Even Better Than The Real Thing?

3. The guys from U2 may talk like Liberals but selling t-shirts at $40 a pop betrays they are free market capitalists who understand the glorious laws of supply and demand.

4. U2 has only performed The Wanderer once. And I was there.

5. Maybe the best part of the show was knowing how much my friend Sean was enjoying his first U2 show.

6. Florence and The Machine is a weird, weird deal. (Very “Ferngully” as my friend Jason said.)

7. We were down in the “inner circle” and I still can’t get over how much I felt like we part of the show, not just watching it.

8. Hipsters, there were 2,500 of us in the inner circle. In other words, more than go to you’re favorite indie band’s concert.

9. I got choked up during With Or Without You.

10. It is hard to exaggerate how great U2 is live.

Random Thoughts for Thursday

1. It’s been 10 years since I heard U2 live. Is it like riding a bike?

2. I feel sorry for Pacifists. Cause the Bourne movies are awesome. And Star Wars, Shenandoah, The Godfather and Saving Private Ryan. Of course they do have Bambi.

3. I’d be better at Angry Birds if my kids didn’t need to eat a ridiculous 3 times a day.

4. Finding out John Lennon was a closet Republican has made my week. It’s my double fantasy.

5. Wasn’t feeling very Southern, so I ate some fried pickles last night. Helps.

6. Sometimes I just sit and watch my kids playing. And sometimes I just stand there and watch bacon sizzling.

7. Do you think the makers of the Star Wars prequels thought, “Well, Mark Hamill couldn’t act and look at how well those did?”

8. Emotions are poor substitutes for facts.

9. It is a special day when as a Dad you realize you’re 2 year old son can make crashing noises with his toy cars.

10. On the 4th (sorry Pacifists) I’ll be smoking some ribs (sorry vegetarians) and I’m not sure which I’m looking forward to more, the smoking or the eating (sorry Damerons).

Tuesday’s 10: Favorite U2 Songs (Live)

In a few days I’ll be seeing U2 up in Nashville. Live, U2 is without peer.  So here is a list of 10 favorites done live. I’m not sure I could call them my top 10. That would be an almost impossible list to make after being a fan for 25 years. Enjoy.

1. With or Without You. This version from Rattle and Hum is epic. Make sure you stick around for the extra verse. I think I can say without any reservation that this is my favorite U2 song.

2. Bad. I used to drive around Birmingham in my Audi 4000 and listen to the live version from ‘Wide Awake In America’ over and over and over. “If I could, you know I would…” Lyrics swimming in my head since I was teenager.

3. Sunday Bloody Sunday. When Scott Smith let me borrow his copy of ‘War’, I was 16. We were sitting at the intersection of Esplanade and Mountain Dr. The first song I heard was this one. I still get chills when I hear Larry hit his drum.

4. Unknown Caller. A new song but man do I love it.

5. Out of Control. I’ve always loved the first album. And this was my favorite off the album even before I knew it was their first single. This is going to sound ridiculous but the first time I saw the video of them playing their first single in Dublin as now unarguably the biggest band in the world…well, I got a little choked up. Here it is.

 6. Beautiful Day. We were living in St. Louis when ATYCLB was released. It was Fall of 2000.  And Bethany and I listened to that album one thousand times. And then we saw them live in November 2001. Nothing like it.

7. One. From my favorite U2 album. ‘Achtung Baby’ still holds up after 20 years and this tune is the one that drew us all in even though we had no idea what the heck they were doing at the time.

8. Wake Up Dead Man/Walk On. This is how they closed out every show on the Elevation tour. The Hallelujahs were heard for days on end. “And unto the Almighty, thank you!” There is a word that might offend some of you in the first tune. But pay attention closely to the rest of ’em…

9. 40. “Sing this with me, this is 40!” My favorite Christian band doing Psalm 40.

10. Where The Streets have No Name. Possibly the the best live song ever. When the video starts, they are singing ’40.’ Just as the music starts you will hear Bono quote from Psalm 116. “What can I give back to God for the blessings he poured out on me? What can I give back to God for the blessings he poured out on me? I will lift high the cup of salvation as a toast to my Father. I’ll follow through on the promise I made to you.”

MIdweek Music: The Jennys, Dylan and My Favorite Christian Band

I get asked a lot bout what I am listening to. Maybe I should use this Midweek Music thing to share what I have been listening to over the past week…

I’m actually listening to The Wailin’ Jennys at this very moment and have barely let up since discovering them a few weeks ago.

U2 continues to be my favorite Christian band. 😉

“What Can I give back to God for the blessings he poured out on me?”

I’ve also been enjoying Dylan’s The Witmark Demos.

A week doesn’t go by when I am not listening to The Beatles.

And last, my kids love these guys…

What are you listening to?