Do You Ever Dream a Movie?

This morning, my friend Bob Denst — a gifted poet who is studying in Seattle Pacific University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, and a new Looking Closer Specialist — sent me this note… (more…)

Music Rising from the Ruins of Mars Hill: Listening Closer to Dustin Kensrue

“If you know anything about the story of Mars Hill [Church in Seattle],” says Bryan, “if you know the story of the downfall and disintegration of Mars Hill Church, the story of [the pastor’s] resignation, and the relationship between him and Dustin, then you’ll know what Dustin is singing about when you listen to ‘Gallows.’” We listen. And, frankly, even if I hadn’t heard testimonies of hurt and betrayal and loss from so many who experienced Mars Hill’s disintegration, I... Read more

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. And it’s time to catch 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.) (more…)

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: It is our highest pleasure, No less than duty’s call— To love him beyond measure, And serve him with our all. – John Newton This hymn relates to the subject of this site. Trust me. (more…)

Tomorrowland? Or Tomorrow-bland?

“Is anything more dispiriting than a failed attempt at inspiration?” That first line of Steven Greydanus’s latest film review reminds me of some of the reviews I read for Andrew Stanton’s first non-Pixar feature film — the unfortunately named, and more unfortunately reviewed, John Carter.  That movie and its critical reception (rejection?) were hard pills to swallow for this faithful Pixar fan. Stanton’s a great storyteller, and I had been excited about his labor of Edgar Rice Burroughs love. The film was... Read more

Josh Garrels Goes “Home”

It’s easy to praise Garrels’ mad skills: his confident command of so many styles that it’s just unfair; his seemingly effortless musicianship; the way he can plant melodies—not just hooks or earworms, but whole melodies!—in your memory so that you’re singing them in your sleep; the way his voice acrobats its way from rapid-fire rap to a soulful falsetto that would bring tears to Sam Cooke’s ears. (Okay, I’m sorry about that last one. It made sense when I wrote... Read more

Get Your Free Copy of NoiseTrade’s Memorial Day Favorite

Hey, it’s a holiday weekend. How about celebrating with a free ebook? (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.” (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 about for my “Listening Closer” column. (more…)

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

Looking Closer Intern Joe Allen here, counting down the days until I get to see Mad Max: Fury Road, which has all of the buzz and momentum of a summer action-movie classic. Overstreet is off to Vancouver B.C. to check out the opening weekend of U2’s Innocence + Experience tour, so we can assume we’ll get a report about that at some point. In the meantime, here’s what he wanted me to share with you — a few highlights from... Read more