Monday, June 25, 2012

Don't Curse At The Night (TOTR 162)

Bee Gees – Night Fever
fun. – Some Nights
The Cave Singers – Seeds Of Night
NeedToBreathe – Drive All Night
Elbow – The Night Will Always Win
Death Cab For Cutie – I Will Follow You Into The Dark
City and Colour – Sleeping Sickness
Son Volt – Strength and Doubt
Uncle Tupelo – Left In The Dark
The Flying Burrito Bros – Dark End Of The Street
Joni Mitchell – Shadows And Light
Nickel Creek – Doubting Thomas
The Avett Brothers – Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise
John Frusciante – A Doubt
Coldplay – White Shadows
U2 – Last Night on Earth
Snow Patrol – Headlights on Dark Roads
Tea Leaf Green – Don’t Curse at the Night
Grateful Dead – One More Saturday Night
R.E.M. – Nightswimming
The Moody Blues – Nights In White Satin
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Night Moves

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wild Goose Chase (TOTR 161)

 Aradhna – Namaste
Songs Of Water – Bread And Circus
Over the Rhine – Only God Can Save Us Now
Over the Rhine – The King Knows How
Derek Webb – Dance
Derek Webb – Take To The World
Jennifer Knapp – Whole Again
Jennifer Knapp – Romans
Michelle Shocked – The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore
Michelle Shocked – Strawberry Jam
Michelle Shocked – Strange Things Happening Every Day
Michelle Shocked – Can’t Take My Joy
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens – I’ll Take The Long Road
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens – Jordan River
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens – Lift My Burdens
Damion Suomi & The Minor Prophets – Mustard Seed
Damion Suomi – Darwin, Jesus, The Devil and Me
Damion Suomi & The Minor Prophets – The Lion, The Ram & The Fish
Dave Perkins – Revival
Agents of Future – 2 Hear U Sing.
David Crowder Band – Fall On Your Knees
Gungor – Beautiful Things
Gungor – People of God

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bonnarecap (TOTR 160)

"Epic Bonnaroo" Photo by @TheMaxSavage

Special Guest Co-Hosts & Playlist Curators Austin & Amy

The Dirty Guv’nahs – Ain’t It Strange
Moon Taxi – Mercury
Alabama Shakes – Rise to the Sun
EMA – Milkman
Glossary – Little Caney
Tune-Yards – My Country
Black Box Revelation – My Perception
St. Vincent – Cruel
Radiohead – Reckoner
The Avett Brothers – Laundry Room
Dawes – When My Time Comes
Flogging Molly – Requiem For A Dying Song
Puscifer – The Weaver
Wild Club – Thunder Clatter
Childish Gambino – Heartbeat
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Throw Away Your Television
Black Lips – New Direction
The War On Drugs – Brothers
Ben Folds – Do It Anyway
Fun – All The Pretty Girls
City and Colour – Grand Optimist
The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
The Joy Formidable – A Heavy Abacus
The Civil Wars – I’ve Got This Friend
Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gospel 4 Daddy: A Meditation & Playlist

(photo by Jeannie, wheeling Daddy up the trail to Ash Cave)

I’ve got this gospel playlist ready for my Daddy’s 72nd birthday today, & I want to share it with you. And I want you to play it loud & often, sing along no matter how out of tune, & dance around the house with a blessed smile upon your face. But before we get to the tunes, I have a few things I want to say about my family, about my father Kenneth Smith & what an amazing witness he is for Jesus.

Growing up, I took for granted what a gospel-saturated ethic & Christ-soaked consciousness surrounded me at home & at church. Even more than that, I never quite appreciated (even as I somehow assimilated & ultimately adopted) the profound commitment to the details of peace, civil rights, feminism, & social justice as rooted in the Bible, in prophetic worship & witness. Essentially, my parents are what were called 70 years ago “liberal evangelicals,” faithful activist followers steeped in what today we call “progressive” Christianity, ours with a distinct mystical & contemplative bent.

Being raised in Brady Bunch pop-culture by Barbie & Ken Smith, we also had this typical all-American aspect to our upper middle-class family. But my suburban peers didn’t have parents who marched with Martin Luther King in Selma, who participated in an urban “emerging church” in 1960s Chicago that was steeped in counterculture values. 

As a teenager in the 1980s, on the verge of rejecting the church for about 20 years, I cut my philosophical teeth on Dorothy Day & Jim Wallis & celebrated turning 18 with a string of arrests for nonviolent civil disobedience in anti-nuclear war protests. My Mom & Dad supported me every step of that journey into radical anti-war activism well into my 30s, & often joined me, as we went together as a family in the early 2000s to the annual witness against state-sponsored terror at the School of the Americas in Columbus, Georgia.

Although my parents were never music fans like I’ve become, their modest collection of vinyl LPs wired into my pysche the marriage of social protest & spiritual celebration. It was the 1970s, & the music of the Beatles & Bob Dylan, Odetta & Joan Baez, the soundtracks to Godspell & Hair, alongside our peripheral proximity to the Jesus People whose influence I loosely felt at church summer camp in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, all washed my brain with a baptism into my ultimate embrace of both my Jesus Freak and Tree Hugger identities. Moving deeper into Appalachia as a late twenty-something, I found a region of the country where both of these seeming dissimilar paths feel quite comfortable united. Now, back to Daddy.

As some of you know, earlier in this century, my avid card-playing Daddy got dealt the bad deal of a degenerative disease called Parkinson’s. Watching Mom & Dad wrestle with this reality has been just another testimony to what the love of Jesus can do when you apply it plainly & passionately to your everyday life. Somehow despite all the daily discomforts & visible symptoms that are just impossible to miss, Barb & Ken have maintained such a marvelous, grateful, & courageous attitude throughout the entire struggle to this point. And as long as Ken has suffered, he has also struggled still with an inner flame & amazing attitude, suggesting that he’s not ready to give up this fight anytime soon.

About ten days ago, we were in southern Ohio for a family reunion in the Hocking Hills. One of the most epic & majestic open-air caves in the state park called Ash Cave is accessible to all via a short, paved trail. Just before dusk after a really hot day, we rolled Ken back to the cave in his new wheelchair. I was struck by how many people wanted to smile at or greet my dad. But then we reached the end of the paved trail, where it gave way to a sandy path. Ken seemed satisfied to sit at his perch while Jeannie & I explored deeper, but a few fit & friendly folks insisted on maneuvering him in his chair further into the cave. Somehow, his smiling vulnerability only brought out the generosity of strangers.

With the Saturday’s last sunlight dipping & dripping through the trees to cast a perfect glow upon the entire scene, suddenly about 30 people of all ages marched into our view & headed directly for the dramatic overhang. All dressed in the “plain style,” it turns out they were a local Mennonite congregation. The already profoundly pristine scene got transformed again as our new neighbors proceeded to treat us (& a couple dozen other folk)s to an impromptu acapella gospel concert, enhanced by the surroundings & the subtle echo of cave acoustics.

We were blessed by heart-moving renditions of standards such as “How Great Thou Art,” “I’ll Fly Away,” & “Nothing But the Blood.” When the music ended, several of the singers immediately walked over to visit with us. Like the strangers who lifted his wheelchair just a short time before, these folks were moved by the witness of Dad’s weakness, the paradoxical power of powerlessness that’s central to not just his situation—but to our entire faith journey, to our mortality as humans, & to the Christian mystery itself. It’s that concert & those moments & Daddy’s strong spirit that sparked me in love into making this playlist for his birthday. 

–Andrew William Smith
5 June 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Live In A Van (TOTR 159)

image by Rebecca Fels

Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats – Rocket 88
Burlap To Cashmere – Live In A Van
River Whyless – Great Parades
The Head & the Heart – Rivers and Roads
John Mayer – Queen of California
Dawes – Fire Away
Chris Robinson – Eagles on the Highway
The Band – Endless Highway
America – Ventura Highway
Bread – Truckin’
The Byrds – Wild Mountain Thyme
Crosby, Stills & Nash – Long Time Gone
Eagles – Peaceful Easy Feeling
Joni Mitchell – Night Ride Home
Carole King – Carry Your Load
Jackson Browne – The Road
James Taylor – Country Road
Canned Heat – On The Road Again
Casey Neill – Sisters of the Road
Mike Farris – The Lonely Road
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Oh Susannah
World Party – Where Are You Going When You Go
Levon Helm – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
Delta Spirit – Yamaha
Passion Pit – Take A Walk
Keane – On The Road

Teacher At The Roo -- Part two

Once again this year, Teacher On The Radio will be at Bonnaroo, helping to host this tent!