About Luke Larsen

Luke Larsen is a freelance writer, music lover, and indie game enthusiast hailing from the Great Northwest. His writing has been featured in publications such as Paste, RELEVANT, GameChurch, and Prefix. You can find him tweeting at @lalarsen11.

A Bloody Torso, Video Game Violence and Responsibility

dead-island-torso

People who really love videogames are no strangers to shame. In fact, they've probably dealt with it in some capacity throughout the entirety of their lives, and hide their hobby in the closet. They know what's said about the activity, i.e., it's a childish waste of time. But those who look earnestly to videogames for deeper meaning and artistry sometimes deal with shame on a whole other level.[See bottom of the page for relevant image - just be warned that it is horrific and grotesque and … [Read more...]

The Feedback Loop: Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

Christopher-Owens-Lysandre

The Feedback Loop is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music. Each year, blogs and publications and put out "best of" lists. Best albums of the years, best films of the year, and so on. For me, it's always been important to be able to look back and reflect on the music that really affected me that year -- to look back and see the trends that huddled together over the year and evaluate my own personal tastes. … [Read more...]

The Feedback Loop: Videogames and Other Grammy Nominations That Matter

journey

The Feedback Loop is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Each February millions of Americans gather around their TVs to watch a music award ceremony that very few people take seriously anymore. It's not news either. The truth is that as the ceremony moves closer and closer in line with mainstream pop music, fewer people out there who do take music seriously have much at stake in the ceremony.But t … [Read more...]

The Feedback Loop: Stars Head North For The Winter

Stars

The Feedback Loop is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Stars is a band who has practically built its decorated fourteen year career on melancholy and heartbreak. Co-singers Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan like to let their melodies sink into the lower half of their vocal ranges, trading lines like a pair of star-crossed teenage lovers and letting their catchy indie-pop instrumentals do the rest. … [Read more...]

The Feedback Loop: The Politics and Theology of Macklemore

macklemore-ryan-lewis

The Feedback Loop is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.A single listen of his debut studio album and one thing is clear: Macklemore isn't your typical rapper.His songs don't usually begin with big beats and blaring synthesizers. Even his big singles usually start with something much more subtle--more vulnerable--more daring. A few spoken words or a distant piano. A somber group of horns … [Read more...]

The Feedback Loop: Looking Back In Anberlin’s Vital

Anberlin-Vital-400

The Feedback Loop is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Even though Vital was released just a couple weeks ago, it feels full of history for me. The heavy guitars and yelping vocals, the psuedo spiritual lyrics, and the brute emotive force of the songwriting all trigger very specific memories in my mind. High school to be specific.Anberlin is one of the few bands that I've had the pleasure of s … [Read more...]

The Feedback Loop: Is “Gangnam Style” What America Needs?

Gangam Style

It took me multiple social interactions with the song in order to become convinced that I should probably take a good hard listen to "Gangnam Style" by Korean pop star Psy.First, my mom texted me, asking if I had heard of this "Korean pop video that's becoming popular on YouTube." Of course", I responded in the negative, not thinking much of it considering how many times my mother had asked me that very question about other videos. Then, a guy at work asked me if I had seen some YouTube that … [Read more...]

The Feedback Loop: Derek Webb’s Struggle For “Ctrl”

CTRL

The Feedback Loop is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Technology, especially with regard to human development and evolution, is often used as a means of organizing and making sense of life. It’s meant to give us more efficiency, more control. But at what point do we start losing control to that technology?That is the question Ctrl sets out to explore. But Derek Webb doesn't address the ho … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: In Defense of Pop Music

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.This weekend I got the privilege of MCing, DJing, and running sound at my good friends' wedding. I have a long history of participating in weddings, starting when I played the piano for my first wedding at the age of 11. (I still can't believe they did that to me.)But ever since then, I've enjoyed being able to play piano at weddings—especially fo … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Picking Sides in the Putin vs. Pussy Riot Case

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.The idea of using music as a legitimate tool of protest or political resistance seems to have been abandoned in contemporary Western culture. When we think of music rebellion, we think of Dylan, Baez, and maybe The Clash—these were musicians that governments just did not like having around. However, in our emotionally detached 21st century po … [Read more...]


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