Sunday, March 26, 2006

My Enneagram

My friend Angela posted this test on her blog, so I followed the link and took the test. Here are my results. They're pretty accurate from what I know about myself and have even given me some useful perspective (thanks Angela!).

Enneagramfree enneagram test

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Things I'm sick of

1.) Below freezing weather.

2.) Working in below freezing weather.

3.) Feeling like my life is going by and I'm missing the boat.

4.) The mean-spirited, impatient, narcissistic, self-important, entitled, clueless suburbanites who populate so much of the Chicagoland area.

5.) People who claim that science and reason have disproven the Bible and/or Christianity.

6.) The continual abuse of the word "fundamentalist" in order to caricature and disenfranchise anyone who takes orthodox Christianity and it's teachings seriously, or who holds a moral or political view that secularist liberals find threatening.

7.) The shallowness and self-important posturing that so frequently passes for serious intellectual engagement or political radicalism these days.

8.) Knee-jerk reactions to anything.

9.) People who accuse other people of being intolerant while being intolerant themselves.

10.) The media.

11.) Trendiness.

12.) The culture industry and the way its marketing schemes influence so much of how we live our lives.

13.) My own disorganization and laziness.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Suffering for Christ

Has anyone else seen this article about an Afghan man who is being persecuted for his faith in Christ? He faces a possible death sentence for having converted from Islam to Christianity. And this in a country that the U. S. has supposedly freed from oppression.

I find particularly interesting the fact that the Afghan judge quoted in the article describes this man's conversion as "an attack on Islam." Exactly how does converting to Christianity constitute an "attack" on Islam?

In any case, this should be a reminder to those of us who are Christians that we are called not to force our beliefs on others, but to be prepared to suffer for the truth and to love our enemies, even though it may not be easy. Those of us who live in places where there is religious freedom (especially in the West) should also remember that many people in the world today suffer because they follow Jesus. Let's remember them, and especially this man, in our prayers.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

free ambient music part II

At the end of my last post, I promised to list any more good internet record labels I discovered. Since then I've discovered several more offering high quality, album length releases entirely FREE. So, without further ado, here's the goods:

Stadtgruen: A netlabel focusing on both ambient and techno music. Offers releases by a large number of artists including lomov, renniac, motionfield, and selffish among a host of others.

OPEN: A self-described "mix-tape netlabel" offering a variety of mix albums in different styles, predominantly but not exclusively electronic. Most of the material for their mixes seems to come from other netlabels, which makes this a good site for discovering labels and music you haven't heard of yet.

Thinner-Autoplate: This seems to be two separate netlabels that share the same webpage. When you go to the homepage, you can click on an icon for either one of the labels (on either side of the top of the page) and it will take to a list of their releases. They focus on ambient and minimal house with dubby elements (their own description). Includes releases by the aforementioned motionfield and lomov.

Eastern Recordings: A netlabel featuring a broad array of styles including house and techno, ambient and experimental, minimal techno, and mixes. I haven't heard any of their releases yet but their site is excellent and has a section of links to other netlabels.

tonAtom: Another great netlabel featuring a ton of releases from what appears to be a broad variety of electronic based styles of music. Includes at least one excellent release of minimalist/ambient by punkteins who also features an excellent track on the realaudio compilation Liquid Times.

It's late at night and I'm sleepy, so I'll stop here for now, but there is more to come in a later entry. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Free ambient/electronic music available on the web

For those who are interested, I thought I'd list several places where I have found some excellent ambient and electronic music available free on the web. Aside from web pages that offer selected downloads, there are numerous internet based record labels that facilitate the release of actual albums and EPs by various artists. Many of them are quite good, and all of them are FREE. Here they are:

Laidback Electronica: has some great melodic, atmospheric ambient/IDM by artists like Seestrings, lomov, and kratarknathrak. Also worth checking out, if you like beatless ambient, is their release "The Journey Towards Ashand" by Ambient Ashand.

Musictrade: Focuses on more experimental and deep ambient. Has released several compilations and a number of projects by an artist who goes by the name Doc.

Realaudio: focuses on several different styles of electronic music including ambient, breakbeat, and techno, as well as offering several mix albums. Releases by artists like Holger Flinsch, Navarro, and the already mentioned lomov. Has a good ambient compilation called "Liquid Times."

Aerotone: A great label for all kinds of melodic, downtempo electronic music. Their latest release is an excellent compilation called "Soundtrack For Your Wedding." Especially great is the track by Cignol, who has several downloads of his own available here.

Epitonic: A virtual feast of many styles of cool music by artists both well known and unknown. Apparently there is nothing new being added to the sight anymore, but you should find plenty of great stuff to keep you occupied for quite a while. Focuses on numerous styles of music, with a strong inclination towards post-rock, but also has a great ambient section. This site focuses more on making people aware of what's out there and offers links to various places where artist's music can be sampled or downloaded. I have found some great ambient/experimental/soundscape albums through this site, such as "Unknown Land Meaning" by Cesare Marilungo, and "The Final Finalist" by Xenoglosia.

Full Code Media: A net label focusing on various kinds of electronic music. Released the above mentioned album by Xenoglosia. I haven't heard any of their other stuff yet.

That's it for now. I'll list more good stuff if I find it. Happy listening! Peace.