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Looking Elsewhere: Mad Max, Slow West, Lawsuit Antics, Sam Phillips, Favorite 2015 Songs, Tara Owens, Sara Zarr, and Lauren Winner

Looking Closer Intern Joe Allen here, catching you up on Overstreet’s recommended links for this week. (If you’re following Jeffrey on Facebook or Twitter, you may have already seen some of these.) [Read more...]

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From the Writer Who Brought You “Amazing Grace”…

“Our pleasure and our duty,
Though opposite before,
Since we have seen his beauty,
Are joined to part no more…” [Read more...]

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Tomorrowland? Or Tomorrow-bland?

I hoped that Brad Bird would experience a much more positive response to his own passion project — the long-anticipated Tomorrowland — than Andrew Stanton did for his passion project, “John Carter.” [Read more...]

Josh Garrels - Home

Josh Garrels Goes “Home”

I admire Garrels’ willingness to sing honestly about the complicated journey of faith—that is, a journey of doubt, questions, and struggle, as well as hope and joy and gratitude. [Read more...]

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Get Your Free Copy of NoiseTrade’s Memorial Day Favorite

Hey, it’s a holiday weekend. How about celebrating with a free ebook? [Read more...]

The Empire Strikes 35

“Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” [Read more...]

How to Hear the New 2015 Looking Closer “Playlist in Progress”

I’ll let you in on a little project in progress. In my deep dive into the music of 2015, I’m adding tracks to a Spotify playlist of the tracks that get my attention, compel me to listen closer, and end up in frequent rotation. This is where I’ll put the songs that I’m considering writing [Read More...]

Looking Elsewhere: Of Milk Carton Kids, Muppets, Vampires, and Gothic Fairy Tales

New music from The Milk Carton Kids is streaming. The year’s funniest comedy so far is now available for rent. The Muppets have a new TV-series trailer. And more… [Read more...]

Turn-It-Up Tracks of the Week: Giddens, TMBG, Marling

During my commute to and from my daily responsibilities at Seattle Pacific University, I often listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and new releases. But most of the time, I just hit “Shuffle” to see what pops out of my lifelong music library. When it’s a happy surprise, I turn it up… and often I’ll play it [Read More...]

Looking Elsewhere: May 7 – Cold Cereal, Twin Peaks, Citizen Kane, David Foster Wallace, Bono, Sean Bean, Gene Wolfe, Leslie Jamison, and David “St. Augustine Fanboy” Brooks

Hello, class! I’m Joe Allen, your new substitute teacher, so to speak. You know how Dr. Evil had his “Mini-Me”?  For a while, I’m going to be Overstreet’s Mini-Me. I’m a new Looking Closer intern, shouting out the news from the Looking Closer front porch, and helping fill the gaps while our usual show host strives [Read More...]

First Impressions: The Salt of the Earth, Clouds of Sils Maria, Predestination

I’ve seen three memorable movies in the last three weeks. Two of them come from world-renowned directors, and one of them is as crazy and strange as time-travel stories get. [Read more...]

Belle and Sebastian’s New Happy Song About Sadness

Want an injection of instant joy? I’ve just heard the most joyful song about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Thank you, Belle and Sebastian! [Read more...]

Two Days, One Night and Something, Anything: Movies With More Than a Comma in Common

I saw all of the Oscar hopefuls, and none of them have stayed with me as powerfully as these unpredictable, suspenseful, and richly rewarding films. [Read more...]

Bruce Cockburn Plays Psalm-Influenced Favorites in Seattle

Legendary guitarist and songwriter Bruce Cockburn spoke about the Psalms as he moved from song to song during his short, seven-song set on Thursday in Seattle. [Read more...]

Q&O: Galaxy Quest on TV. Best Album of 2015 So Far. Favorite They Might Be Giants Albums.

Are you excited about Galaxy Quest coming to television? What’s your favorite album of 2015 so far? How about They Might Be Giants — what’s your favorite album from their 31 years of recording? [Read more...]

Join Me for a Live Podcast Recording About the Best Records of 2015 (So Far)

What’s your favorite record of 2015 so far? Let me know, and I’ll try to make find time to mention it during the live podcast recording of the show. [Read more...]

Madonna, Bettye LaVette, and Joe Henry: Whose Version of “Stop” is the Best?

The new album by Bettye LaVette, produced by Joe Henry, features some excellent test cases when it comes to the subject of cover songs. [Read more...]

And Suddenly… Harrison Ford, Back in Character!

We held our breath. The Lucasfilm logo came up. We cheered. Familiar music. Familiar sights. And then… [Read more...]

This Weekend in Houston: Scott Cairns, Jason Harrod, Doug TenNapel, and Me!

Dear Writers, Artists, Teachers, and Students, HBU’s annual Writers Conference takes place this year on Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11. We have some amazing speakers again, headlined by award-winning poet Scott Cairns. In addition to Mr. Cairns, we’re featuring a number of other high-profile speakers, including current Emmy Award nominee Doug TenNapel (see attached flyer for more). To register, and [Read More...]

In Preparation for Mother’s Day: U2, Over the Rhine, Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, and More

In 2006, when U2’s Bono guest-edited an issue of The Independent, he interviewed comedian Eddie Izzard, and they explored questions about the influences of their mothers over their own desire for the affections of their audiences. Bono has, of course, sung about this. In “Mofo,” rock’n’roll becomes his surrogate mother — a source of identity [Read More...]

Off-Duty Angel: A Few Thoughts on Easter

I heard this somewhere. It stuck. I think about it often, especially at Easter. I think it’s true. The story goes like so… [Read more...]


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