Soul Food {June 2015}

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I love the arts. I love making them, I love studying them, I love consuming them. The arts are tools that help me grow my perspective about the world, and the people and ideas in it. Sometimes I adopt new things; sometimes I reject old things; sometimes I am strengthened in current things. It’s still exciting to me that I get to experience that.

I thought it would be a fun idea to start sharing the arts I’ve experienced over the course of each month, paired with a few little thoughts on them. You can take this as a recommendation list, but you can also see it as an indirect peek at what I’ve been stewing over and what I’ve been needing to have spoken over me. The art that each individual enjoys is always interesting to me, because we’re all so diverse. Maybe you’ll enjoy seeing my little piece of diversity.

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  • Everything by Jon Foreman, but especially “Caroline” and “The Moon Is A Magnet.” The first ep for his project, “The Wonderlands,” came out recently, and I was actually in Yellowstone when it did! It was a lovely soundtrack to have with me. His lyrical depth and cadence flow straight through me; he is one of my artistic heroes.
  • “Where Are You Now” by Skrillex and Diplo featuring Justin Bieber. None of these artists are ever my normal listening, and I wouldn’t recommend the rest of their music, but when I heard this song I immediately clicked with it. I’m increasingly enjoying electronic, dubstep-inspired sounds. P.S., this remix and this one both make me actually laugh because of how much fun I have listening to them.
  • “Broken Into Better Shape” by Good Old War. I was able to sneak a listen of their new album through Noisetrade before it released with a little sampler they offered. This song is hands-down my favorite from it, and always encourages me a little bit.
  • “Five Months” by Rusty Clanton. This man’s music comes from a place of heart and brings me into a place of calm sentimentality; all of it. This song especially makes my soul smile a little bit. “Your heart is safe and sound with me…”
  • Twenty One Pilots’ new album, “Blurryface.” I’m late to the party with these guys, but wow I love them! Their creativity is boundless, their choices fearless, their lyrics moving places few artists dare to go. I’ve been streaming their new album on Spotify frequently. I know they’re not for everyone, but they are definitely for me.
  • Tow’rs‘ self-titled album. I found it on Noisetrade and it is no longer offered there, but it’s still on iTunes (I checked just for you!). My favorite songs from it are “Belly of The Deepest Love” and “December.” Sweet folksy music is always okay with me.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack. My sister and I sang songs from Hunchback as we drove around the city trying to find our way, and it was seriously so fun. This is possibly my favorite Disney soundtrack. So much depth, and gorgeous choirs and orchestras to go with it.
  • “I Need You, I Love You, I Want You” by Tenth Avenue North. The entire “Cathedrals” album is good, but this song… I’ve listened to it on loop for hours at a time, because it’s a heart-capture. It’s something I must sing.

Movies/TV/YouTubego on

  • Green Gables Fables. This adorable adaption of Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorites in the literary-based web series world. I watched it within 48 hours. Season two is in production and I cannot wait to see it!
  • Mary Poppins. Burt is my love, the music is fantastic, and visually it is just so fun! I was remarking about the visual quality still being great despite the age of the film.
  • Touch. Season two was terrible, but I’d forgotten that season one was so beautiful! I love the themes of connectedness, purpose, and all things working for good. [It can occasionally be violent and have mild language.]
  • Ratatouille. I don’t completely know why I love this film so much, but I definitely love it. Linguine is adorkable, we get to see such character development in Ego, Remy learns about the importance of risk-taking for what matters, and it’s all set in Paris.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney). I cry every single time, in so many places. Every theme presented is deeply important to me and hits me in the soul– mercy, the deep value of every single human being, beauty in strong character and kindness, restoration, love winning out over lust… please watch this film if you haven’t before. It is one of my absolute favorites, ever.
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. This film means so much to me. It’s honest, it’s silly, it’s kind, and those are my favorite things. I love seeing Walter learn that his life is worth too much not to use all the courage he has to live it. Visually it’s lovely, too. [There’s a little bit of language in it.]
  • Anastasia. I love the characters; I think Dmitri was a cartoon crush of mine before I was even aware that was possible (haha!). The music and the animation style are also gorgeous. The only thing that deters me in the slightest is how gross Rasputin is; I actually skip the scenes of him in the underworld because ew.
  • Inside Out. So. Stinking. Good. Pixar used a heartfelt, entertaining, engaging film to teach me about emotions and my brain. THANK YOU, Pixar! I am so excited that children get to have this information subtly presented to them! I got to see it with some of my favorite people, and it made it even better.
  • How to Tell People About Jesus. A beautifully sarcastic rant by Blimey Cow; sometimes they really get me.
  • Elmo Cooks Waffle Grilled Cheese with Jimmy Fallon. Because Elmo and Jimmy Fallon together is fool-proof. Elmo’s humor kills me in this, oh my gosh!
  • Meet the Artist. A short by Yulin Kuang that most creative young adults can relate to, I think. Plus, it stars an adorable cat. [A teeny bit of language.]

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  • “The Princess and Curdie” by George McDonald. I somehow carried a beautiful feeling the entire time I read this book, as I usually do with MacDonald. The characters are admirable but relatable, and I absolutely love that when the story worked as an allegory, the God-figure was a graceful but powerful woman. MacDonald shares lovely truths through lovely stories, and I was encouraged by this simple tale I plan to make part of kids’ childhoods. [By the way, I’m on Goodreads and you can find all my bookwormy thoughts there!]
  • “Lust Doesn’t Hurt Anyone” on Mike Donehey’s blog. He explains so many of my thoughts about scaring kids into purity and about the heart of lust. This is important!
  • “Who Killed The Contemporary Christian Music Industry?” This was just an interesting read for me because I took a class called “Music, Culture, and Christianity,” and it echoes a few things we studied. The music industry in general is also just an interesting subject to me. The history of CCM is young and we may be living in a pivotal part of it!
  • “How to have what all our hurting hearts want most this Father’s Day” on Ann Voskamp’s blog. I call her my internet mom because her words hug me and challenge me almost every week. “You can’t deeply love your parents— until you grieve the deep wounds of their life.”
  • “Is Suicide a Cowardly Selfish Choice?” on Shaun Groves’ blog. This is possibly the most important piece about depression you could read. This voices every thought I’ve wanted to voice about suicide for almost a year now. Unless you’ve experienced these things yourself, they can so easily be misunderstood. This will help you understand.

What were some of the best things you consumed this month?

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