February 25th, 2008

Jeff Buckley Concerts

Several people have asked me over the past few months to re-upload my collection of live Jeff Buckley bootlegs, and I've been far too busy to get it done - so please know that I've not forgotten about these requests.

I've added some new stuff to my collection, so the wait is definitely going to be worthwhile. Previously the uploaded shows were single MP3's, but I've just completed splitting the individual tracks and cleaning them up a bit so that they sound better. Each was encoded at a bitrate of 256 kbps, and they are all the highest quality I could manage. There are 16 complete concerts in all, in varying lengths and setlists, and I will begin uploading them this evening. It will likely take me the rest of the week to get everything uploaded and the post correctly written, so look for it around the weekend at the very latest.

In total, I'm uploading 1.66GB worth of VERY rare material, which takes a bit of time, but I'll reward you for your patience in just a few more short days.

Take care everyone, and be well!

- Brad

Well What Do You Know...

Survey: Americans switching faiths, dropping out
The U.S. religious marketplace is extremely volatile, with nearly half of American adults leaving the faith tradition of their upbringing to either switch allegiances or abandon religious affiliation altogether, a new survey finds.

The study released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life is unusual for it sheer scope, relying on interviews with more than 35,000 adults to document a diverse and dynamic U.S. religious population.

While much of the study confirms earlier findings -- mainline Protestant churches are in decline, non-denominational churches are gaining and the ranks of the unaffiliated are growing -- it also provides a deeper look behind those trends, and of smaller religious groups.

"The American religious economy is like a marketplace -- very dynamic, very competitive," said Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum. "Everyone is losing, everyone is gaining. There are net winners and losers, but no one can stand still. Those groups that are losing significant numbers have to recoup them to stay vibrant."

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey estimates the United States is 78 percent Christian and about to lose its status as a majority Protestant nation, at 51 percent and slipping.

More than one-quarter of American adults have left the faith of their childhood for another religion or no religion at all, the survey found. Factoring in moves from one stream or denomination of Protestantism to another, the number rises to 44 percent.

One in four adults ages 18 to 29 claim no affiliation with a religious institution.

"In the past, certain religions had a real holding power, where people from one generation to the next would stay," said Penn State University sociologist Roger Finke, who consulted in the survey planning. "Right now, there is a dropping confidence in organized religion, especially in the traditional religious forms."

Lugo said the 44 percent figure is "a very conservative estimate," and more research is planned to determine the causes.

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