Robert Rackley

I don’t know how long I’m going to want to examine the previous four years, at least as we climb our way out of this mud pit. Maybe when we’ve left the pit far enough behind us, we can talk about it on a walk between the oak trees, breathing air that we aren’t afraid is diseased.

I started a blog post about the beginnings of the Trump days, when any strong objection brought with it the label of derangement. I don’t feel like finishing it now, though. I’ll save it to come back to when my friends who need visas and green cards are past the worry. …


It feels like we should be able to take a mulligan and call this New Year’s Day.


My youngest son, my wife and I enjoyed reading this piece about what made Jesus angry for our devotional time, a couple of nights ago. There were very specific things that drove Jesus to frustration and those can help us to understand the character and values of the God that we Christians worship. Dan Foster writes for a publication called Backyard Church that has been putting out some really thoughtful pieces on Christianity lately. Some of my other my favorite posts in Backyard Church have been those on the subject of engaging with doubters. They are written with openness, humility and honesty. Those are good places to start when talking with others about your faith.


One of my favorite (former) music bloggers from back in the days of the old blogosphere, Frank Yang of Chromewaves.net, just posted his 2020 music list. Yang has been diving into a lot of post-punk lately, and reacquainting himself with some of the genre’s past luminaries (Echo & The Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Bauhaus, The Sound, Sad Lovers & Giants).

It’s interesting to see how his fascination with 80’s staples of alternative rock informs his choices of what was appealing in 2020. Although, a couple of the choices are new LP’s from some of those post-punk progenitors. As a bonus, you get a picture of Yang’s little guy in a cute Stone Roses onesie.


This past year fed my appetite for dream pop.

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My favorite songs from 2020 in one playlist.

For the past 2 years, I’ve been making a playlist for each month. I put together the playlist, throughout the month, pulling tracks from my New Music list on Apple Music, my favorite music blogs and sometimes even rereleases of classic material. As Jason Morehead wrote of 2019, I always worry that I’m not going to find the same amount of good music as I did in the previous year.

It’s a silly, completely irrational thought: Shortly after the new year begins, I despair that I’ll find any new music that was as good, beautiful, or evocative as the music I discovered in the previous year. And I’m always wrong. …


St. Patrick of Ireland - Theophilia is a Catholic artist who creates wonderful modern icons that you can check out on her Deviantart page.
St. Patrick of Ireland - Theophilia is a Catholic artist who creates wonderful modern icons that you can check out on her Deviantart page.
St. Patrick of Ireland — Theophilia is a Catholic artist who creates wonderful modern icons that you can check out on her Deviantart page.

I am a Protestant, but I can appreciate the purpose of icons that remind us of the great communion of saints. I have a hard time imagining asking for intercessory prayers from a saint, but a Catholic friend once put it to me as being like asking a friend to pray for you. I have to admit that made some sense.

It seems like reminders of the great cloud of witnesses is more important than ever. This past year has been disruptive to religious and political beliefs alike. …


Beautiful Noise is available on cassette, CD or as digital downloads.
Beautiful Noise is available on cassette, CD or as digital downloads.
Beautiful Noise is available on cassette, CD or as digital downloads.

Beautiful Noise. A simple title to a record label compilation, but a more accurate descriptor could not have been employed. Beautiful Noise from Sunday Records is just that, slices of mostly synthetic instrumental dream pop that are as ethereal and gorgeous as any your imagination could conjure. Almost every song is uniquely transportational, taking the listener to a different liminal space, but the pervading aesthetic fuses the parts together as a magnificent whole. By the time the drums pads hit on the second track, “Million Years” by Mariana In Our Heads, you will likely be someplace else entirely.

The Bandcamp page for the compilation describes its conception. …


Just updated my Now page (the longest winter edition).

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Today I got this shirt from my loving wife as a Christmas present. The Local 506 is where, in 1993, I saw my first rock show. The headlining act was a local math rock band from the Merge Records stable, Polvo. Proceeds from the t-shirt go to help the club reopen when the pandemic is over.

I’m pretty sure this winding and twisting, muscular but emotive instrumental track was played at that show.


Merry Christmas!

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About

Robert Rackley

Robert is a Christian, aspiring minimalist, software dev manager and paper airplane mechanic located in North Carolina.

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