October 2, 2012

Autumn Arrivals & Departures

It's been a long time since I've gotten really excited about the release of a new album. I used to love that feeling of anticipation in the days before a favorite band's latest work would hit the shelves. The trip to the record store was an event. Just seeing that new title for the first time and holding it in hand was magical. It makes me feel nostalgic to think about it. I'm happy to say that I recently got a double dose of that anticipatory feeling for new music. 

The first album that has piqued my interest is the new release from Mumford & Sons called "Babel." For me, their first album, "Sigh No More" (2009), is an absolute classic. I love every single note of that record and I've been very excited to see what the follow-up would be. As soon as I found it on iTunes, I immediately clicked "Buy Album." I got so anxious as the songs downloaded. I've listened to it thrice through so far and their unique sound is definitely there. It's a dynamic batch of songs and I'm looking forward to delving deep into them in the weeks ahead. My early opinion is that I like the album a lot. 

The second album that I'm really enjoying is Joe Bonamassa's "Beacon Theatre: Live from New York." With his consistently great albums filled with electrifying bluesy guitar and vocals, I might have to say that Joe Bonamassa is my favorite artist of this time period. My first experience with his music came when I previewed "Live from the Royal Albert Hall" on iTunes and bought it on a whim. It proved to be an exceptional move. That album has been in heavy rotation on my iPod ever since. I've picked up a few of his other albums along the way and I really can't name a song of his that I don't like. He's got a couple of area concert dates coming up soon and I'm hoping to go to at least one.

Having two of my favorite music artists put out albums in the same week is special. Of course, this week also saw the arrival of "The Avengers" on DVD to the stores. I was sure to pick up a copy on the first day. So much fun! I like the film so much that I actually saved my stub from the theater. That's something that I've never done before for just a movie.

The other noteworthy arrival of this week: October! This month has got me craving some of the great flavors of autumn. Over the weekend, I made a trip to the Farmer's Market to pick up a few ingredients for a new recipe called "Butternut Squash Soup with Spinach Ravioli." It was delicious and I'll definitely make it again. Also, if you get the chance, try blending up one of these Pumpkin Spice Smoothies; add a little soy milk if it's too thick; you won't be disappointed:

After talking about all of these new arrivals, I'll going to end this post by mentioning a few things that I just finished. Through Netflix, I just watched the complete series of Battlestar Galactica (2004). It's amazing to me how fast 75 episodes can go by when the writing is so good. I haven't gotten so involved with a TV show since "Lost." I'm sad that it had to end. So say we all...

Which brings me to my last item of the day. On Saturday, September 29, we celebrated the Grand Finale of the 2012 season at the Avant Garden Poetry Amphitheatre. It turned out to be a wonderful evening, though, just like it was for Opening Night, it started out as a very rainy day. Once again, as I was watching the drizzle soaking the ground around noontime, I prayed to God for His will to be done. And, once again, the clouds would let up and give way to a beautiful, clear evening. When the guests started to arrive at 7:00, I was surprised to find out how many others had also prayed throughout the day for the weather to clear up in time for the party. That made me very happy to hear.

This season has been a remarkable success. We were able to have 4 celebrations with excellent performances and attendance. Lots of great memories. We've had epic poetry and stories, costumes, dancers, singers, harps, guitars, ukuleles, accordions, recorders, banjos, djembes, tambourines, trampolines, and hula hoops. While standing around last Saturday's campfire, someone pointed out that we were looking up at the Harvest Moon and an impromptu chorus of "Shine On Harvest Moon" broke out. I love special little moments like those. I want to thank everyone for making the this year such a joy. It was well worth every bit of effort. I can hardly wait for next spring! Love & light...

"How great you are, O Sovereign LORD!
There is no one like you,
and there is no God but you."

~2 Samuel 7:22