Monday, March 24, 2008

Free Anti Records sampler

You can stream songs from The Frames (a fuller version of "Falling Slowly" from the excellent movie Once, Devotchka (who did the music for Little Miss Sunshine), The Weakerthans, Bob Mould, Nick Cave, and many others.
If you so desire, you can download the entire sampler here. Check out Anti Records here.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

On the Edge book give-away- last day!

Today is the last day to enter the On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness book give-away. I'll announce tomorrow who will be getting a free copy of this wonderful book.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Book Give-away- Andrew Peterson's On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Alright's time to get excited. Because I have in my hot little hands an extra copy of Andrew Peterson's delightful book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and I want to give it away! Actually, I want to sell it so I can buy another book, but the publisher told me to give it away, so I'm going to do that.

So here's what you've got to do:

First, take a moment to read my review of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. If you don't like my review, try reading some others. I'd suggest starting with Jonathan Roger's review at the Rabbit Room and my friend Chris Hubbs review (where he describes the book as part Narnia, part Monty Python, and part Princess Bride. An apt description!).

Second, come back to this post and leave a comment about the review. Please include your email within the comment or send me an email at natedowney [at] gmail [dot] com with your contact info. On Friday, March 21, I will put all the names in a hat, draw one out and that person will get a free copy of the book delivered to their doorstep.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness- Andrew Peterson

Official Andrew Peterson Website
Official Andrew Peterson Myspace
Order “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of DarknessHERE
Read An Excerpt
Author Bio HERE

I must begin by admitting that I am a bit of a sucker for children's fantasy books. Like those delightful Pixar movies, there's just something wonderful about diving into a story that is ostensibly aimed at someone much younger than you. I would call it a guilty pleasure, except I feel absolutely no guilt for enjoying them. Andrew Peterson's new book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is just such a story- a captivating journey into a world you've never heard of before, somewhere you wish with all your heart you could go to.

The book begins with an brief introduction to the world of Aerwiar and a "slightly less brief introduction to the Land of Skree." Skree is in bondage to the evil lord of the land of Dang, Gnag the Nameless, and ruled by his vile minions, the Fangs of Dang.The story opens in the township of Glipwood, on the western edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. We are introduced to the Igiby family: the boys Janner (12 years old), Tink (11 years old), their 8 year old crippled sister Leeli, their one-legged ex-pirate grandfather Podo and their noble and beautiful mother Nia. Despite the dark cloud of Dang over their land, the Igiby's have scratched out a reasonably pleasant existence. They have their farm, their cottage, their books and most of all, they have each other.

When Leeli is put in danger, Tink and Janner are forced to act and their actions lead them down a road that they could never have imagined themselves travelling. They are forced to deal with perils well beyond their years, primarily the unwelcome attention of one particular Fang. As their somewhat tranquil lives spiral out of control, the Igiby's are forced to lean on one another more than ever. The second half of the book is a brilliant thrill ride of adventure, full of danger, mischief, mystery, frightening creatures such as horned hounds and toothy cows, haunted mansions, and a fairly strange character named Peet the Sock Man. Along the way the kids find out more about themselves than they could have ever imagined and the book ends with a satisfying finish that still leaves you eagerly looking forward to the next book in the Wingfeather Saga (no word on when the 2nd book will be coming out yet).

Peterson's writing is a joy to read. I have long been a fan of Peterson's music and I saw many parallel's between his songwriting and his fiction. They both scratch the surface of deep things in ways that make you laugh, cry and ache for more of what is just out of sight.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness has now placed itself on the shelf of books I can't wait to read to my kids, which is itself a recommendation of the highest sort.

As I mentioned before, the publisher sent me an extra copy of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. I will have more details regarding that contest tomorrow (3/17).

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Evangelism According to Jesus- Ligonier 2008 National Conference

Ligonier Ministries is offering a free, live webcast (in both English and Spanish) of their 2008 National Conference Evangelism According to Jesus. Only your name and email is required to register and it takes just a moment.

From Ligonier:
Because the church has failed to preach the biblical Gospel, our evangelism has too often introduced people to the wrong Jesus.

Sinclair Ferguson, Steven J. Lawson, John MacArthur, C.J. Mahaney, R.C. Sproul, R.C. Sproul Jr., and Joni Eareckson Tada aim to remind us of the great truths of the Gospel and help us evangelize more effectively.
Here's the conference schedule (all times are EDT):

Thursday, March 13, 2008

1:00-1:45 P.M. “The Foolishness of Preaching”
Dr. Steven J. Lawson

1:45-2:30 P.M. “Evangelizing Your Children”
Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr.

3:15-4:00 P.M. “Good News in a Fallen World”
Mrs. Joni Eareckson Tada

4:00-5:00 P.M. Questions & Answers
Steven Lawson, R.C. Sproul Jr., &
Joni Eareckson Tada

7:00-8:30 P.M. “The Saving Power of God”
Dr. Steven J. Lawson

8:45-9:45 P.M. “Who is Jesus?”
Dr. John MacArthur

Friday, March 14, 2008

8:30-9:40 A.M. “Simultaneously Righteous and a Sinner”
Dr. John MacArthur

9:40-10:40 A.M. “Proclaiming the Gospel to All Nations”
Mrs. Joni Eareckson Tada

11:30-12:35 P.M. “The Substitutionary Atonement of Christ”
Dr. Sinclair Ferguson

2:30-3:25 P.M. “The Resurrection of Jesus”
Mr. C.J. Mahaney

3:55-5:05 P.M. “Sola Fide”
Dr. R.C. Sproul

Saturday, March 15, 2008

8:30-9:40 A.M. “The Nature of Saving Faith”
Dr. Sinclair Ferguson

9:40-10:30 A.M. Questions and Answers
Sinclair Ferguson, C.J. Mahaney, &
R.C. Sproul

11:30-12:30 P.M. “Counted Righteous in Christ (Imputation)”
Dr. R.C. Sproul

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Resurgence 2008 Text & Context Video

Resurgence has posted the video files for the Text & Context conference main sessions. You can stream them all from the Text and Context Media page or download the .m4v files below.

Mark Driscoll- Putting Pastors in Their Place
CJ Mahaney- Pastoral Character and Loving People
John Piper- Why I Trust the Scriptures
Jim Gilmore- Fear and Trembling in the Experience Economy
Matt Chandler- Preaching the Gospel from the Center of the Evangelical World
John Piper- How My Pastoral Ministry Shapes My Pulpit Ministry
Mark Driscoll- The Ox: Qualifications of a Church Planter
Matt Chandler- Vision of a Church Planter
John Piper- How I Distinguish Between the Gospel and False Gospels
Jim Gilmore- Decoding the Future, the Phoniness, and the Shifting Sands
Jeff Vanderstelt- Biblical Missiology
Darrin Patrick- Leading the Mission

An easier (in my opinion) way to get the videos is to subscribe to the
Resurgence video podcast (iTunes).

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Wilco @ the 9:30 in Washington DC

NPR's All Songs Considered has streaming audio of Wilco's incredible show at the 9:30 club in DC on 02/27/08.

Here's the setlist (from The Rockist Society):
Sunken Treasure / Remember the Mountain Bed / Company in My Back / You Are My Face / Side with the Seeds / She's a Jar / A Shot in the Arm / Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway (Again) / Handshake Drugs / Pot Kettle Black / When the Roses Bloom Again / Impossible Germany / It's Just that Simple / Someday Soon / Box Full of Letters / I'm Always in Love / Pieholden Suite / Jesus, etc. / Hate it Here / Walken / I'm the Man That Loves You / Hummingbird / On and On and On // Via Chicago / California Stars // Casino Queen / I'm a Wheel / Monday

As you can see, they played stuff from just about every era/album that the band has done but the current band lineup plays the songs so well. Nels Cline is ridiculous (his solo on Impossible Germany...ouch).

Just in case you didn't know by now, you should be listening to Wilco.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Resurgence Text & Context 2008- Audio Files

Resurgence has posted the audio files for the Text & Context conference sessions:

Edit: All session audio is now online and posted here. I will also link to video when it is available.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness- My First Blog Contest

Ever meet someone who's really good at whatever they do, even if they've never tried it before?

Andrew Peterson is just such a man. He's long been one of my favorite songwriters and his craft just keeps getting better. His Christmas musical-stravaganza Behold The Lamb of God is a Downey family favorite. He created a hilarious and amazing bunch of kid's songs with Randall Goodgame. He has sung a duet with Alison Krauss. But Mr. Peterson is not to content to rest upon his musical laurels. No, not this man.

On March 18th, Andrew's book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness will make it's debut.

Here's the publisher's blurb:
"In the once-quiet land of Skree, Janner Igiby, little brother Tink, and crippled sister Leeli stumble upon lost jewels of the mysterious King of the Shining Isle Anniera. But Gnag the Nameless seeks the treasure for purely evil ends, so our brave trio, accompanied by their trusty dog Nugget and ex-pirate grandfather, must escape his minion Fangs."
Thanks to an advance copy, I've started reading this delightful book. I'll be posting a review on March 17, one day before the book releases. But that's not all! The publisher sent me an extra copy to give away on my blog. That's right! The Canvas o' Constancy is going to have a contest and someone will come away with a spanking new book full of daring, dragons, the most hilarious footnotes I have ever read, and fearsome toothy cows.

So check back on March 17, read the review and find out how you might win a copy of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Hint: You may want to start working on your jousting skills.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sigur Ros and YouTube

From Sigur Ros:
Sigur Ros and YouTube make a little bit of history this Friday (Mar 7) with the band taking over the entire front page of the site around the world for a whole day, becoming the first group to ever have a feature-length music DVD streamed on the channel, with their acclaimed 'Heima' documentary shown in its complete 97-minute glory.

All 12 available slots on YouTube's home page will be devoted to the Icelandic quartet for a full 24-hours, putting them before a global audience of hundreds of millions. The link-up follows the success of 'Minn Heima', a competition hosted by YouTube ( for fans of the band to create their own little version of 'Heima', using audio and video clips posted online. The 10 best entries, as judged by the band, will be featured on the home page, alongside the film itself, as well as a special message from the band, taking time off from recording their new album in Reykjavik.

YouTube has only previously hosted a handful of long form presentations, none for music DVDs. It is the first ever UK home page "takeover" since the launch of - the localized home page that allows for country-specific video rankings and comments.

Simultaneous with the YouTube promotion, the band will launch, giving away a free audio-visual download clip of the song 'Ny Batteri' filmed live in Reykjavik in the summer of 2006 as part of the Heima tour. 'Ny Batteri' is just one of a dozen additional songs not featured in the film that the band are intending to make available via the site in the near future. Information about the forthcoming album will also be revealed via

I've seen Heima and I recommend that everyone carve out some time to watch this.

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