26 September 2009

One for the Shareholder

After a wonderful trip to Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland (photos here) I was exposed to some great music. Much was bands and artists that I had heard a lot about. After all, the really good music eventually finds its way to the US, right? Well, I had seen the name, The Bear Quartet, several times prior, but had never heard any music and could not have even told you that they were Swedish.

After a trip to Pet Sounds Music in Stockholm, I was told that I had to check The Bear Quartet out. I wasn't told what they sounded like, but a couple of employees at Pet Sounds assured me that I'd like 'em.

And... I do. The album, 89, is awesome. Stay with me on this, but I'm going to attempt to describe their sound. Of course, you can check it out yourself, but what can you expect? If I were to try to nail it down, I'd say that you'll hear a bit Interpol, Radiohead, Johnny Cash, Band of Horses, Muse and The Hives.

So, here's the plan. You check it out, give it some listens and see if I'm way off or if you have some other ideas for how to describe it. Either way you call it, the record is bold, unique and will keep you on your toes from track to track.

I hope you're not lonely without me

Recently I found that Netflix had delivered a quirky, British comedy to our house and I was a little unsure of my feelings towards watching it. I had see the previews and even tried to catch a showing when it was in the theaters. However, when I watched Happy Go Lucky I laughed. A lot. And quite enjoyed it.

The main character, Sally, has a true whit whose speed and delivery would rival that of Ricky Gervais from The Office (The *original* office). And with much joie de vivre, you can assume that Sally is not only hilarious, but also extremely happy and completely go-lucky.

Honestly though, the film doesn't have much of a story. There's not much character development, no huge climax, zero suspension. But simply watching a person live and fully enjoy her life is inspiring and a great reminder that we all take life way too seriously. All the time. And Sally reminds us to laugh at misfortune. To love others unconditionally. To be uninhibitedly silly. And above all, to enjoy your life.

I wasn't 100% sure that I was going to be able to say such great things about this one, but there's no doubt that you should check out this movie. It's certainly one that I'll be watching again.

10 September 2009

Women and children first

Last night's Presidential address to congress was one of the better speeches from a President I've seen in my adult life. It was direct, pointed and eloquent. At face value, it was inspiring to hear. His brevity on each point made the entire speech very digestible. He even threw Republicans a bone by mentioning the need for medical malpractice reform (although, there's nothing on the table to tackle this). And his conclusion with the ode to Ted Kennedy was nothing short of perfect.

However, this wouldn't be a true Copeland blog without a healthy dose of skepticism. So I did some reading and listening and more reading and found a few articles of interest.

First, you may (if you feel so inclined) download many documents on these proposed reforms directly from the Health Reform website. You're likely to find information about how our current health care costs stack up with our annual GDP (super interesting stuff) and find such easy-to-decipher equations as 1 – (ht – HSt).

Ok, now onto articles that are easy to read and digs a bit deeper into the validity of Obama's statements. The first is a fact check article composed by AP writers CALVIN WOODWARD and ERICA WERNER.

This article is very important to read as it points out the inconsistencies and a few non-factual statements. It's very fair and to the point and I think everyone should have a look at some of the facts behind the speech.

The second article is an op-ed piece by foodie and author, Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma. This article is great, because it reinforces the point that - in addition to health care reform - we need food industry reform. The fact that we're letting the food industry continue to lobby congress for cheap, unhealthy and poorly regulated food is continuing to lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cancers that have been linked to the poor (read also: cheap) diets of many US citizens.

One of my favorite points from the article: "But so far, food system reform has not figured in the national conversation about health care reform. And so the government is poised to go on encouraging America’s fast-food diet with its farm policies even as it takes on added responsibilities for covering the medical costs of that diet. To put it more bluntly, the government is putting itself in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing both the costs of treating Type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup."

Now, I repeat, that the speech was a great one. There's no debating that. I just want to try to make sure that everything we're being told is something we can hold to truthfully. I think that's everyone's responsibility. And if you have any new things you can point me to, I would love to have a look.

If you want to see a great example of a horrible speech, check out THIS VIDEO. Classic (and very sad at the same time).

08 September 2009

One More Time.

Made to Love from Come&Live! on Vimeo.

I'm extremely excited to announce the official launch of Come & Live. This is an organization (some might call it a record label) that strives to work with artists whose hearts are inspired to serve. To serve God and others. And to share every penny of profit with those in need and with organizations whose heart is to serve those in need.

The kicker? The music is ours for the taking. Actually, sharing music as a gift, is one of the tenants of C&L and one that can essentially turn the standard music (as a) business model on its head.

Head to the website and download I Am Living: Vol 1. You may find something you like and it is totally free. But let's be honest with ourselves... We probably wouldn't have paid for it anyway, right? I mean, who pays for music these days?

Exactly why Come & Live is brilliant.