FULL! Both January dates are now full. We’ll start taking RSVPs for February later this month.
We’re kicking 2015 off in style. Mike will be at North Wind Manor at 7:00pm on January 13th and 27th for the first two sessions of a series he’ll be leading on the life of Jesus.
We’ll be making his Gospel commentaries available soon in the Rabbit Room store, and they’ll serve as fine companions to the discussions he’ll be leading.
These events are open to everyone, free of charge, but we’re limited by space, so if you’d like to attend please RSVP to [email protected] (we’ll respond with directions). We also encourage everyone to bring a snack to share. Drinks are on us.
We’ve been waiting a long time to make this announcement. When Walt Wangerin spoke at our first-ever Hutchmoot we had no idea that it marked the beginning of an ongoing friendship. In the years since, it’s been a joy to get to know him and work with him. He’s contributed short stories to each volume of the Molehill (including volume 3, out any day now), and we’re incredibly humbled and overjoyed to be able to announce the forthcoming publication by Rabbit Room Press of his new memoir: Everlasting Is the Past.
In this new memoir, he invites the reader into the past to experience his loss of faith as a young seminarian, his struggle to find a place for his chosen vocation amid a storm of doubts, and his eventual renewal in the arms of an inner-city church called Grace. With his inimitable style and keen eye for detail, Walt remembers his own story and gives it to us as an everlasting testament to the faithfulness of God.
The book will be available everywhere this spring, but it’s available for pre-order now through the Rabbit Room store.
Here’s a first look at the cover. Design by Chris Tobias. Illustration by Jamin Still.
This week I’m putting the finishing touches on the new edition of The Molehill. Once again, we’ve got a great mix of shorts for you to feast your eyes on–stuff like a ghost story from Lanier Ivester, a folk tale by Walt Wangerin, Jr., new poetry by Luci Shaw, a new story and illustrations by Jamin Still, a new collaborative work from cartoonist Jonny Jimison and poet Jen Rose Yokel, an art heist by Russ Ramsey, recipes by Lewis Graham, and a lot more.
Special thanks to Jason McFarland for the cover design!
Preorders are now open. We plan to have these shipped in time for reading by the fire on Christmas Day. Remember that if you have a 2014 or 2015 membership, this edition of The Molehill will be mailed to you free of charge as soon as they arrive from the printer. Not a member? Click here for more information.
For the past two years, we’ve offered Rabbit Room memberships to our readers, and a whole lot of you have put your membership benefits to good use. For some strange reason, though, we began by offering memberships in May, which meant that the 2014 benefits were good from May of 2014 until May of 2015 which, if you think about it, really makes it a half of a 2014 membership and half of a 2015 membership—or something. Weird.
So this year we’re setting things right. Memberships for 2015 are on sale now and they will be good for the entire duration of 2015. It just makes sense.
So what are the benefits of Rabbit Room membership? I’m glad you asked. Read on:
—A free copy of the Molehill, vol. 3, which should be shipping before Christmas
—A free download of the Hutchmoot 2014 audio archive (that’s over 18 hours of audio!)
—A free 2015 Certified Member mug only available via membership (ships as soon as they come off the potter’s wheel—which may or may not be before Christmas.)
—deep and abiding satisfaction
—15% off of all purchases in the Rabbit Room store (we’ll email your membership ID right away so that you can use it in the Rabbit Room store during the holiday season.)
—A nifty membership card that you can flash at certain Rabbit Room events (like the Local Show) to get free or discounted admission rates
—powers of tremendous insight
That’s a good bunch of stuff, but some of you are asking yourselves, “Wait a minute, I just bought my 2014 membership a few months ago, does that mean I’m getting short-changed?”
Happily, the answer is no. In order to get the membership schedule on track, we’re extending all 2014 memberships until the end of 2015. So technically, you’re getting long-changed. You can still purchase the Hutchmoot 2014 audio archive separately by clicking here. And your copy of the Molehill will be on its way soon.
So that’s the deal. From here on out, each November you’ll be able to renew your membership for the following year, and that means you’ll always have access to the Hutchmoot archive for current year.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales coming up? Yep, we’ve got some of that too. Stay tuned.
Assignments have been sent!
It’s time once again for the Rabbit Room Christmas Exchange. Click through for full details. Assignments have been sent. Check your email and have fun. If you expected an assignment and did not receive one, please email me at [email protected]
Here’s a little taste of what might be going on at North Wind Manor this Saturday night during our Julie Lee & Friends (Sarah Masen Dark, Corrie Covell, and Ron Block) house concert. The first is Julie and Ron Block playing “Battlefield” at Nashville’s own Belcourt Theater. The second, from Under the Radar, is Sarah Masen singing “The Human Scale” backed by Julie Lee and Corrie Covell.
There are just a few tickets left and they are available here.
Next Saturday night we’re hosting a house concert for Julie Lee at North Wind Manor. We told you last week that Julie would be joined by Corrie Covell and Sarah Masen Dark, and this week were happy to announce that Ron Block will be joining in as well. We can’t wait to have you over for the evening. Bring a snack and enjoy the music (and the company). There are only about 20 tickets remaining and they’re available here.
Unfamiliar with Julie’s music? Check out this video of her performing the title track from her most recent album, Till & Mule.
And don’t forget about Rich Mullins Cover Night at next week’s Local Show. Tickets here.
On Saturday, October 25th, we’re hosting Julie Lee for an intimate house show at North Wind Manor. There are only 30 seats available. She’ll be joined by Sarah Masen Dark and Corrie Covell. This is going to be an awesome show, and if you aren’t familiar with Julie’s music, you are in for a real treat. You’re all invited. Please bring a snack to share—we’ve got the drinks and music under control.
What: Julie Lee—with Sarah Masen Dark and Corrie Covell
When: The show starts at 7:30pm on October 25th. Doors open at 7:00pm
Where: North Wind Manor, Nashville, Tennessee
Why: Because you love great music
Click here for your tickets. Rabbit Room members, don’t forget to use your member discount.
I know it’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally time to announce this year’s special Hutchmoot concert. Jill Phillips is both one of Nashville’s best songwriters and one of its most extraordinary vocalists, and she’s been working on a new record for most of the past year. There’s no firm release date yet, but I can tell you for 100% certain that on Friday night, October 10th, at Hutchmoot 2014, folks will be treated to a full evening of Jill and a stellar band of players performing the songs from the new record (and more). If you’ve only seen Jill perform solo, you’re in for a special night—prepare to be blown away.
The new album is called Mortar and Stone and those who have heard the new material know this record is going to be yet another fantastic collection in Jill’s line-up of classics. We couldn’t be more delighted to have Jill play such a big part in this year’s moot.
Don’t have tickets to Hutchmoot? You can also see Jill (along with Andy Gullahorn, Jeremy Casella, and Andrew Osenga) tonight at The Local Show (tickets available here).
I’ll go ahead and assume everyone’s already heard that U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, is available for free from iTunes. That’s a great deal right there. I’m a giant U2 fan and I’m still waiting for a chance to listen to the record. My fingers are crossed. The release reminded me of this, though, which I meant to share several weeks ago. It’s a cover of U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” by Jenny & Tyler, with special guests Sara Groves and a virtual choir of internet folks (anyone here in that choir?). It’s pretty darned awesome. Check it out.
There’s less than a month left until Hutchmoot 2014! I can’t believe how quickly it’s sneaking up on us. Ninety percent of the sessions are set, and I’m hoping to get the website updated with the schedule very soon. It’s time to start making name tags and printing linocut folders, so look for an email later today to confirm the names associated with your tickets. I’ve been contacted by a couple of folks who are trying to sell their tickets, so if you find yourself in need of one at this late hour, send me an email ([email protected]) and I’ll see if I can put you in touch with someone who might be able to help.
Next up: The Local Show. We had a packed house last week for the first show, and the songwriters treated us all to a great evening. We got to hear new music from everyone involved, which was pretty darned awesome. A personal favorite was a new tune from a grumpy Eric Peters (is there any other kind?). The next show is coming up this Tuesday, and the featured songwriters are Andy Gullahorn, Jill Phillips, Andrew Osenga, and Jeremy Casella. Tickets are on sale now. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, or just $5 if you are a Rabbit Room member. Come out and enjoy the show. Here’s Randall and his wife Amy at the September 2nd show singing one of the best songs ever:
Sam Smith is “Sticking it to God” in his latest post. We’re not entirely sure what “it” is, but we hope he’s not using duct tape to do it—that stuff is almighty painful when it comes off. In all fairness, the subtitle of the post does hint at meatier fare: “Rebellious Stories as a Cliche to Play Against.” As his editor, I choose not to point out that the correct subtitle would have been “Rebellious Stories Against Which to Play,” because that would seem rebellious and I don’t want Sam to play against me or duct tape me to a pole. His post, however, is far more edifying than this description would lead you to believe. If you’re feeling like a rebel, don’t click here to read it.
Jonathan Rogers’ The World According to Narnia has been out of print for years, but Rabbit Room Press is rectifying that situation. The new edition is in the final phase of production and we should have them in hand within the next week or so. Pre-order now and we’ll get your order in the mail just as soon as the books arrive. Available in the Rabbit Room store.
Jen Rose has a new post up called “The S Towns” in which she reveals that there’s an actual town called “Seekonk,” which was named after one of the entries in Pembrick’s Creaturepedia. Okay, that last bit isn’t entirely true, but we wish it were. All Seekonking aside, Jen writes about the need to sometimes get lost in order to really know where you’re going. Read the post here.
We gave away quite a few tickets to this past week’s Tokens Show. Congratulations to the winners. We hope you enjoyed the show. I know I did. The topic of the night was “Shame and Presence: Fig Leaves, Truth-Telling, and the Encumbrance of Things Hidden”—did you get all that? Well, over the course of the show, we actually did get all that, believe it or not. It was a fine evening featuring music by Ellie Holcomb, Andy Gullahorn, and some crazy-talented kids called Brother Parker. Brother Preacher brought the comedy, Odessa Settles brought the soul, and Al Andrews of Porters Call brought the wisdom. Great show. Thanks for coming.
Andrew Osenga recently released the second EP of his Heart & Soul, Flesh & Bone project, which many of us kickstarted. This time around the music’s got a groove and Andy gave us a song-by-song breakdown of the record in Monday’s post. Check it out, listen to the tracks, and pick up the EP in the Rabbit Room store if you like what you hear. What I want to know is whether or not the next EP, Flesh, is going to be entirely comprised of Bobby McFerrin-style music using only sounds made by Andy thumping his chest and beatboxing—because that would be awesome.
Chris Yokel delivered a great post called “The Thin Places of Fantasy,” in which he discusses the ache we feel for enchantment in our stories and our lives. If you’ve ever peeked at the back of a wardrobe—you know, just in case—then this post is for you. It’s also got some Elizabeth Barrett Browning poetry to recommend it. Read the post here.
From Smallest Seed is a new album put out by a whole slew of familiar songwriters. It’s part of the A Rocha Project, and Sandra McCracken wrote a great post describing its origins. A Rocha is a great organization centered on creation care, something that goes sadly overlooked in far too many churches. The album features folks like Andy Gullahorn, Jill Phillips, Don and Lori Chaffer, Rain for Roots, Julie Lee, Buddy Greene, Sarah Masen, Sara Groves, and lots of others including Sandra. Click here to read about it and here to pick up a copy in the Rabbit Room store.
Thanks for all the entries, folks. The contest is now over and we’ve chosen four couples for the eight available tickets. The winners will receive an email in the next few minutes with details. If you missed out, tickets are still available at TokensShow.com. If you’re a Rabbit Room member, check your email for a special treat. We’ll see you at the show.
Jonathan Rogers’ new (old) book is heading off to the printer today and we thought we’d give you a look at the final cover, which was ably designed by our own Chris Stewart (who also designed the covers for The Molehill). Pre-orders are available here. We expect to start shipping the books in the next couple of weeks.
Friday night at North Wind Manor we hosted the venerable Michael Card for an evening of discussion about the Gospel of John. Andrew Peterson both kicked off the evening and closed it with a song (one of them brand new), and in the intervening 90 minutes Michael kept the room spellbound as he talked about his approach to the gospels and researching his commentaries on each of them. He has a way of talking about Scripture that kind of blows my mind. His knack for putting things in context and enabling the listener to see the story come alive in new and exciting ways is something I’ve rarely experienced. Here’s hoping he’ll be back for more in the months to come.
But enough about last Friday night. Tonight kicks off the first of what we hope will be a long-standing tradition: The Local Show. It’s at The Well Coffeehouse in Brentwood (right off I-65) and each show will feature a different line-up of songwriters and special guests. Tonight we’ve got Don Chaffer (of Waterdeep), Randall Goodgame, Eric Peters, and Sandra McCracken. They’ll be playing in the round and having a blast starting at 8pm. Doors open at 7pm and you’re invited. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door (Rabbit Room members can flash their cards at the door to get in for only $5).
Tonight at North Wind Manor we’re delighted to be hosting Michael Card. Mike, who Andrew affectionately dubbed the “Gandalf of Nashville,” has just published the last of his Gospel commentaries, this one on the Gospel of St. John. He’ll be at the Manor tonight to discuss the book, and more importantly the Gospel. Seats are filled for this event. If you RSVPed, don’t forget to bring a snack to share. The event begins at 7:00pm.
Join us at The Well coffeehouse in Brentwood next Tuesday for the first of what we hope will become a long-running tradition: The Local Show. This first show will feature Don Chaffer, Eric Peters, Randall Goodgame, Sandra McCracken, and at least one special guest. The Local Show will take place every other Tuesday in September, and then we’ll ramp it up to EVERY Tuesday night in October. You never know who’ll show up, so you may as well come every chance you get. Tickets are $12 in advance, and $15 at the door. If you’re a Rabbit Room member, just flash your card at the door and you can get in for only $5.
Jonathan Rogers has just unveiled a writing seminar he’ll be leading called “From Memory to Story.” It takes place on Thursday October 10th from 10am-3pm so if you’re coming to Hutchmoot this is a golden opportunity to come a little early and get a little more out of your time in Nashville. Here’s how he describes the course:
“You have a story to tell–many stories, no doubt. You need to tell your story, not only to be understood, but in order to understand yourself. In this one-day seminar on the short memoir, Jonathan Rogers will help you find your voice and shape your memories into written stories.”
David Bruno fears he may have permanently scarred his children by exposing them to Les Miserables a few years too early. But might some scars be worth carrying? We should clarify that we’re talking about the theater production here; No one will ever be old enough to avoid being scarred by the movie abomination—and those are definitely not the sort of scars you want to be saddled with. Read the entire affair in “Comic Parenting Guilt.”
We had an excellent guest post from Shannon McDermott in which she discusses how the Wingfeather Saga has taken old superstitions about names and naming and used them for better ends. The piece is called “A Superstition Transformed” and it’s a worthy read. Sadly, however, it does not address why my wife has forbidden me to eat any animal we’ve named (our chickens for instance—good thing we don’t name the eggs).
Russ Ramsey has taken a step into true manhood by committing an entire year of his life to the music of the Boss, Bruce Springsteen. Not only does Russ now have more hair on his chest, he’s also got a little gravel in his throat, and way more hats hanging out of his back pockets. He’s written this great post about the experience, and I have it on good authority that he plans to dedicate next year to Lita Ford.
Sarah Clarkson, student of Oxford University, was in London recently when Britain observed the anniversary of their entrance into World War One. This post about her experience at a concert that evening is extraordinary. Don’t miss “Light Eternal in London.