Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ashdown's New Album

Jasen Ashdown has a new album on its way out. I should know... I produced it. And it's good. Thoughtful contemplative songs for the Lenten season. All adaptations from ancient prayers/poems.

You can go to his Myspace page to check out pre-mastered 'demos' of the new songs.

It was a fun project to work on...definitely his best work yet as a songwriter. Check out his stuff and tell him he should write more songs.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Cobalt Season Interview on the Radio!

Hey. So wanted to let you know that if you click here, it will (or at least should) launch iTunes for a streaming of KMUN, an Astoria-based radio station that Holly and I will be on this evening.

The show starts at 9pm PST and lasts an hour. We'll be playing some tunes and trying to get her to spin some of our friend's discs as well.

Check it out. It streams live...

Monday, March 27, 2006

The War Project: 9 Acts of Determination

Went and saw this play last night. Wow. Unbelievable. If you are in the Portland area, please come down and see this play. It will rock your concrete thoughts on war and death.

From their website...

Sojourn Theatre's The War Project: 9 Acts of Determination is a partially interview-based, poetic investigation of democracy and the most significant choice we make as a citizenry.

Watch seven performers fight for the soul of democracy as debate collides with ethical hand-to-hand combat in a winner-take-all spectacle of truly intimate proportions. Join us as Sojourn Theatre concludes a year of research, road trips, and theatrical investigations with an exploration of the question: How, as a nation, do we decide what to kill and die for?

And a note from the director...

This is not a show with no point of view.

It has a point of view –

killing and dying are less desirable than desirable,


war is not simply a magic event conjured upon the masses by outside forces beyond our control.

It is a part of the world we inhabit...part of the world we make.

How do we engage our ethical muscle in moments of societal choice?

Precisely my question as well...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Oh The Places We Will Go

We are in Portland, Oregon right now. What a wonderful city. Wow. We're in Oregon for another 4-5 days and then we're up into Washington. We have a few shows lined up for both states over the next couple weeks. So if you're around, come check us out or let's hook up for drinks or something. Like the show Monday night at Red and Black Café with Jeff Wetherell. Should be great.

We're getting pretty excited about our upcoming Europe trip. It's something we have wanted to do for some time. Pretty cool that on our 5th anniversary we can do something like this.

I have created a web page that charts where we'll be and what we'll be doing. If you are interested in such a thing, check it out here. I am constantly updating it as we plan and gather resources. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Life Emerging From the Road

Holly and I found out a little while ago that we are pregnant. 11 weeks pregnant today. Pretty exciting.

Just went in for our first midwife appointment a couple weeks ago. Got our first picture.

Meet the newest member of the Sharp family.

So, due date is October 12th. A fitting time for us as fall has always been our time of transition. We're very excited...very excited.

This is life that was birthed out of our pilgrimage...that's the coolest thing. All the ideas/dreams/visions for a different way of living that were planted in us along the way have produced life. Wow.

More on the Family Metaphor Regarding Politics and Society

Props to my buddy Jay for pointing this article out to me. The writer goes on to make the point that we understand complex systems (like say politics and society) via metaphor. And the metaphor given to politics and society is a familial one...

From the Rockridge Institute website... In American culture there are two opposed and idealized models of the family, the Nurturant Parent model and the Strict Father model. The metaphor of the Nation as a Family maps the values and relationships from those family models onto our politics, creating 'liberal' and 'conservative' political positions that we understand through our models of family structure.

It's a fascinating short read.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Loyalty to Authority

Rick didn't write this, but he found it, so I'm giving him props. Interesting stuff man.

The key element that binds Christianism with Bush Republicanism is fealty to patriarchal leadership. That's the institutional structure of the churches that are now the Republican base; and it's only natural that the fundamentalist psyche, which is rooted in obedience and reverence for the inerrant pastor, should be transferred to the presidency. That's why I think Bush's ratings won't go much below 25 percent; because 25 percent is about the proportion of the electorate that is fundamentalist andsupports Bush for religious rather than political reasons. They are immune to empirical argument, because their thought-structure is not empirical; it is dogmatic. If the facts overwhelm them, they will simply argue that the 'liberal media' is lying. Bruce poignantly thinks the GOP is still the secular, empirical, skeptical party it once was. It's not: it's a fundamentalist church with some huge bribes for business interests on the side, leveraged by massive debts. So all criticism is disloyalty; and disloyalty is heresy. The facts don't matter. Obey the pastor. Or be damned.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Track 11: The Great Inversion



Last song on the album. Last song written, last song recorded...and I wasn't even sure if it'd vibe with the rest of the project...but I put it on because it was important to me.

I wrote this just days after watching The Corporation and reflecting on what it means to live truly subversively in a world that is so commercialized, materialized, and militarized.

There is this great part in the Gospels where Jesus basically offers an opposing alternative to all that the religious establishment found to be true. He says, You heard it said this way, but I tell you this... and it's still so moving to me today.

Once again, the religious and political and retail establishments pump out all this shit about how the world really works, as though these are some sort of universal, context-less, ahistorical ideas. So much of what I hear in churches (and I don't hear much in them anymore) is so self-centered, all about me, all about comfort.

I see this revolutionary saying, You heard it said from politicians and pastors that violence for peace's sake is justified or get security in life no matter what it takes or pay no attention to where you buy your stuff... but I say to you love is the only way, and I remind you that the Son of Man had no place to rest his head, and when I said to love your neighbor, I meant all your neighbors... or at least that's what I hear him saying.


Come, my child, away
Come away where we can be
Come, my child, away
Come away, away with me

Don't you know it?
Child, I hear you when you call
All your groaning and moaning, postponing the owning of everything
I can feel it in all

But that was not the plan
Or I should say, it's not the dream
Greedy privitization, big fat corporations, some one Christian nation
How'd they think that's what I mean?

Come, my child, away
Come away where we can be
Come, my child, away
Come away, come and see

They said eye for eye
But I tell you cheek by cheek
They said hustle and work to be comfortable, powerful
I say blessed are the meek

But twist and turn my words
And you could wage war on half the earth
You could kill all the others, the sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers
Mark them by place of birth

Come, my child, away
Come away where we can be
Come, my child, away
Come away and now be free

Don't waste your life away
Waitin' on that brighter day
You really are the one
To bring the healing that's begun... 'cause it's begun

And it's all in love I say
Don't opt for a diff'rent way
Stop swallowin' their cliché
As if it's the only way, it's overplayed

And everyone's overpaid
But feel like we can't get away
A new car won't save the day
It's not the way

I said you would be free
And I mean free indeed
Free from that white, middle-class American Dream
Free from lonliness, free from greed

Just pick up and follow me
To Kingdom Come
A place where we all will run
A new life that has begun
Right now it has begun


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Patrick, the Saint

So I realize that I might get branded heretic for this, but what else is new?


We were having a discussion last night about the 4-leaf clover and the 3-leaf clover. As we'd heard, St. Patrick found the 3-leaf clover to be a great illustration for the trinity...that is, a good way to explain that God was Father-Son-Spirit. He used it in explaining the triune nature of God.

We wondered out loud what the 4-leaf would mean then? Perhaps he would include himself?

And it got me thinking about how so much theology is based around how people are really just pawns...and really heaven is the reality and not here-and-now. And I disagree with so much of that. It just doesn't seem to be much of what Jesus spoke about...with the Kingdom being at hand and his mission being so dependent on the disciples who bore his name.

So perhaps a 4-leaf clover is a better understanding of how God works in this world...that it's Father-Son-Spirit-Creation...all in harmony...connected...inter-reliant.

Or am I just a heretic with some wishful thinking? Or am I just articulating someone else's thoughts?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pretty Cool see that The Cobalt Season is in regular rotation in Olympia, Washington.

If you live near Olympia, please call (360-867-6896) or email KAOS FM to request more The Cobalt Season.

Blogging Blues

So, I just swapped over some of my files to different servers. Turns out that I lost some files along the way...including my banner from the blog. Sad day.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Stars at Night... Are Big and Bright...

...but not in Houston, where Holly and I are this week. It's nice to be back in the 70s temperature-wise. The sticky shirt thing from the humidity? Yah, that's not so cool.

Out here for 10 days producing an album for Mr. Jasen Ashdown...a lenten season album. 6 songs to soothe the soul.

Perhaps a house show as well.

Yes, cell phones and email do work in the Lone Star State so you can reach me should ya need to pardner.

Track 10: I, Obstruction



Life is full of failure. And to succeed is only possible by not fearing failure. Still, I fear failure. I fear having made decisions that ended me in places that are not as important as others.

My friends are writing books, saving the world, giving away all their money. S'pose I'll inspire a revolution? I dunno. Perhaps I should have focussed less of my life energy on ideas and more on relationships.

People, after all, are more important than ideas...says Bono.

Turns out I am the obstruction in the River of Life that is attempting to make its way through, bringing healing into this world. How do I stop being part of the problem? Certainly self-awareness is a place to start?


It's flat for miles around me
Land as far as I can see
S'pose the world is kinda like that
Seems a fine idea to me

So I'll write it in a book now
And I'll sell it to the masses
And I'll inspire a revolution
Until the lonliness passes

And what the hell's wrong with me?
I should have been a father
I should have been a brother
I should have been a friend

So forget about religion
It'll never save your soul
Not even capitalism
Son it could make your wife a whore

Just get rid of all your crap now
Just give it to the poor
So that they can have your crap now
So that they can want some more

Turns out it's never quite that easy
Or perhaps it really is
That man's words, they come to haunt me
Those words they come to haunt me

I need a brand new story
One to set my world at peace
Tired of waiting here 'till Glory
I need that Kingdom to release

Come floodin' down my street here
Come streamin' through my hall
Come swellin' up around my bedside
Come with healing now for all

It turns out I am the obstruction
Turns out I have been one
To loose them or enslave them
And just leave them all undone


Friday, March 10, 2006

Talents Remixed

I'm reading Ched Myer's Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus. Incredible book. Been reading it for a couple months now. Wow. Mind-blowing.

I just was in a conversation about investment, savings, future planning. We pondered the Parable of the Talents. We had always heard it as a pro-investment story. Ched says that we might have once again domesticized one of Jesus' truly subversive parables again. The article is worth the read.

A snippet...

When the sociocultural context indigenous to the story is ignored or suppressed, however, we inevitably recontextualize the story in terms of our own unconscious political assumptions. Our imposed schema often defy the coherence of the text itself.

More importantly, though, this interpretive strategy functions to domesticate the parable to conform with our status quo. Thus stories meant to challenge our preconceptions are used to legitimate them. In this way, we disarm the some of the Gospels' most powerful rhetorical weapons--weapons whose very intent is to rescue believers from domestication by that same status quo.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

LIVE: It's now available...

Very excited to announce the newest album from The Cobalt Season... LIVE: Deconstructing the American Dream. 17 tracks of conversation and song. I think it really captures the vibe and experience of our live shows. Allowing for flub-ups and spontaneous happenings.

It's available exclusively for download...

Or check out the store for more ordering options... Or email me about reviewing it on/in your blog/publication and getting the download comped!

Monday, March 06, 2006

And Just Like That, The World Changes

In the words of Over The Rhine, I can't bear the news in the evening...

While viruses and security weaknesses are almost everyday occurrences for owners of Windows-based computers, they are virtually unheard of in the world of Apple.

But that world is changing.


Track 9: El Greco


Some art to set the tone. Look up close for the original lyrics on this piece that Holly and I did.


Life is fragile. So are relationships. It's hard to know how to live in a certain way communally... how to live expecting and embracing diversity on common themes.

Lord knows I haven't yet figured it out.


If you press to hard, you might break me
And if I say too much, you might crumble
Or is this already done?

Too many times I've tried to save you, but I've lost you
Too many times I've tried and failed
And failed
And this is all I know

So dont try to catch me
You've nothing to say
If I drift farther, walk away


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Photos from the Road

I realized that I have inputed a great deal of text this last month. How about some pics? Haven't taken as many as I ought to have, but hopefully it'll translate our trip thus far...

Ah, barbed wire...

A show at SCU with Mr. Jesse Nason...

The Dave Hanley Band. We played this show with them in Oakland and will do another this week in Modesto. Great folksy-bluegrassy heartfelt songwriting...

A house show in the 3rd story of a house in the Mission District...

An evening at the Brainwash Café in San Francisco...

Headin' north up the 1. View out the car window... Wow.

Pulled off of Hwy 1 just south of Ft. Bragg...

The Cobalt Season on a marquis. This is a first...

The Trinity River (along CA Hwy 299)...

Driving Hwys 1 and 299 were so incredible for me. Such beauty. Few people around. It felt at times what I imagine driving the Irish coast to feel like. On the 299, we found a wonderful little place called Straw House Café where we had one of the better meals we've had this year! Mmm.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Just Now... Really.

I just purchased our tickets to Europe and our Eurail passes. Kinda scary to solidify it. We're really going.

Care to know the details? They have changed.

We leave April 16th from San Francisco. We arrive into Amsterdam the morning of the 17th, hop a train to Brussels where we'll get our first night of sleep. Then we fly to Barcelona and begin our trek across Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, Luxemborg, Belgium, and back up to Amsterdam by May 16th. Then we'll fly back to the States to be home May 17th.

It both wears me out and excites me to type it. Wow. We're really going.


A new painting. It's a diptic (2 pieces to create 1 larger piece). A little something the wife did. I simply scribbled some words on it...and the words aren't even mine.

More of her paintings...