Listening Closer: Bjork’s “Stonemilker”

Sharing your heart with someone who in turn takes sledgehammer to it understandably leaves an impression. [Read more...]


Looking Elsewhere: Starring… American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Sundance, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, Fairy Tales, Global Warming, Bob Dylan, Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Marilynne Robinson, and More

I’ll conclude with a few words about the American Sniper hubbub. But first, here are some of the things that caught my attention on the Wild Wild Web in the last couple of weeks… [Read more...]


Listening Closer to Joe Henry’s “Sparrow,” The Lone Bellow, and Jessica Pratt

The first song of Joe Henry’s album Invisible Hour — my favorite record of 2014 — is the subject of the second installment in my new series called “Listening Closer.” Plus: Two new albums well worth your time and attention. [Read more...]

June 8, 1964. Photographer Walter Albertin.

“Our nation was born in genocide…”

He’s the great orator. Let’s make a space for him to go on speaking. If you read great words from this great man today, feel free to share them in the Comments here. [Read more...]

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Why We Need SELMA

We need this movie. We need it for this reason: Wherever Martin Luther King Jr. carried his dream, racists and scoffers assembled. Americans have made some admirable progress since then. But is it over? Was the dream realized? When I praise this movie that was made in celebration of King’s dream — guess what happens. The taunters and scoffers assemble. [Read more...]

Do You Hear What I Hear? A New Weekly Adventure in “Listening Closer.”

This week, I begin a new year-long adventure: “Listening Closer.” I will write about one song every week, opening it up to consider what’s inside, where it came from, what it might mean, and why it has caught my attention and stayed on my mind. [Read more...]

The “Most Christian” Movie of the Year?

In Selma — and I’m pretty sure about this — there is more gospel quoted, more gospel celebrated, more gospel embraced and openly lived out than in any so-called “Christian movie” released in 2014. (Except the one that was, you know, a Jesus movie.) [Read more...]

Looking Closer at Selma: My Review and Some Other Perspectives

By choosing intimacy over an epic scale, by going small instead of large, by discernment and selectivity over throwing everything available to her at the screen, Ava Duvernay has surpassed all expectations with a masterfully crafted film that will become a standard by which historical films are measured. [Read more...]

Overstreet’s Favorite Recordings of 2014: Part Two

Albums I wanted to hear every week; albums I would be happy to own in a variety of formats; albums I would like to put in the trunk of my car so that I can give them away to everyone I know; albums that made a significant difference in my head and heart this year. [Read more...]

Overstreet’s Favorite Films of 2014 [v. 2]

This year’s Favorite Films list accomplishes several things for me: 1) It reminds me that — for a variety of reasons (including the fact that I’m working full-time and going to school, and the fact that Seattle is getting major releases much later than New York and Los Angeles) — I have not yet found opportunities to [Read More...]

Overstreet’s Favorite Recordings of 2014: Part One

Overdoing it? Yes. As long as War & Peace? Yes. But here it comes anyway: The list of my favorite recordings of 2014. I look forward to this every year. I started making “Favorite Music of the Year” lists when I was about 12 years old. I never dreamed that I would still be making those lists [Read More...]

Win a Lucinda Williams Double Album: Tell Us About Your Favorite 2014 Album

What album meant the most to you in 2014? Tell us about it, and you may win a copy of the excellent 2014 double album by Lucinda Williams: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone. [Read more...]

The Complete 2014 Christmas Playlist

It started as a spur-of-the-moment experiment. I asked Joe Henry if he’d be willing to share his Christmas favorites playlist. I so admire his music, the projects that he chooses to produce, and the way that he listens. I wanted to hear what he hears at Christmas time. But by the time I finished writing [Read More...]

The Last 2014 Christmas Playlist : Some of My Own Personal Favorites

I couldn’t have asked for a bigger Christmas surprise, or a more enjoyable Christmas blessing, than the personal, thoughtful, revealing Christmas playlists that so many friends have sent in over the past few weeks. Thank you, one and all. I sincerely hope to host Round Two next year. Are you tired of Christmas music yet? [Read More...]

Nurse Claire Nieman Presents a Christmas Playlist

It just made sense. Inviting people to share Christmas playlists, shouldn’t I invite someone who spends her days welcoming newborn babies? [Read more...]

W. David O. Taylor and Phaedra Taylor Present a Christmas Playlist

W. David O. Taylor and Phaedra Taylor bring us one step closer to Christmas Eve with their own Christmas playlist. [Read more...]

Andy Whitman Presents a Christmas Playlist

Nobody I know writes about music with more passion, personality, and insight than Andy Whitman. And here he is with a Christmas playlist. [Read more...]

Overheard at the Movies: Will Unbroken Inspire You to “Hate Your Enemies”?

How many movies that promise to “inspire” you actually inspire you? I don’t mean “Do they make you feel good?” Inspiration changes people. It motivates them. It spurs them into action. In my experience at the movies, 9 out of 10 that promise they will be “inspiring” … aren’t inspiring. (It may be closer to 99 [Read More...]

Robert Deeble Presents a Christmas Party Playlist

I first encountered Robert Deeble‘s music on Seattle alt-rock radio, and I was immediately taken with his hushed delivery, his haunting lyrics. Think Leonard Cohen meets Sparklehorse. Earthside Down was my first Deeble album. [Read more...]

Steve Taylor Presents a Christmas Playlist

It is a thrill for me to share this Christmas playlist from one of my heroes for more than 30 years of artmaking. [Read more...]

Award-Winning Author Robert Clark Presents a Christmas Playlist

You may know the name Robert Clark because of his celebrated writing. Since I pay attention to his recommendations in almost everything, I knew that I wanted to include his Christmas playlist in this series. [Read more...]