Sunday, June 17, 2018

The New Zanzibar Crew


I thought it would be a good idea to introduce the new Zanzibar crew.  They'll be taking my COR 220, Aesthetic Expression, in the fall semester and my friend and colleague Steve Wehmeyer's COR 250, Sacred and Secular, in the spring - and traveling to Zanzibar over winter break.



Whitney Bain

My major: Professional Writing with specialization in Creative Writing

The countries I've visited: Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, and Canada.

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I have hiked two of Colorado’s 53 14ers and I hope to hike them all some day. Only 51 to go!”


Aaryck Carlson
"Erik Carlson is my legal name, but I go by Aaryck (same pronunciation, different spelling) most of the time."

My major: International Business 

The countries I've visited: “I have visited 48 of the 50 United States ( I'm missing Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy.”

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I enjoy making cosplay, which is when someone dresses up like a character from any form of media. I mostly make outfits for myself but I've also done a few outfits on commission.”


Victoria Cipriani

My major:  Psychology Major with a Criminal Justice Minor

The countries I've visited: Dominica, Antigua, Saint Thomas, and Saint Martin

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “Something unique about me is that I was named after my great grandfather Victorio for my first name, and my middle name was after his wife Louise.”


Patrick Davin

My major: Creative Media

The countries I've visited: Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Ireland, Costa Rica 

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I was bitten by a wild monkey in Costa Rica.”


Sam Dykes

My major: Game Art and Animation

The countries I've visited: France, Jamaica, Canada

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I'm a little less than half Native American, even though I don't look like it.”


Jonathan Hanyok

My major: Cyber Security and Networking

The countries I've visited: Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Spain, France, Andorra, Belgium, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria. 

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “My favorite place to be is on an airplane because the destinations are endless.”


River Hoffman

My major: Business Administration

The countries I've visited: Germany, France, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and around parts of Canada

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I collect limited edition sneakers like yeezys and Jordans.”


Heather Mansfield

My major: Law Major with Psychology Minor

The countries I've visited: Canada, England, Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “One random thing about me is that I live and work on a farm.”


Emily Mazzara

My major: Professional Writing

The countries I've visited: Ireland, Scotland, Canada

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I'm blood related to Hall-of-Fame recognized New York Yankee, Joe Dimaggio, on my dad's side.”


Joshua Meranda

My major: Computer Science major with a Cybersecurity minor

The countries I've visited: England, United Arab Emirates, Germany, and Austria

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “As a young child I attended a Clown Camp for two years.”


Amelia Payne

My major: Game Programming

The countries I've visited: Greece, Turkey, Italy, Barbados, Canada, England, BVI, USVI, Mexico, Grenada

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I do Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs) and cook sometimes.”


Miranda Rodriguez

My major: Creative Media with concentrations in Visual Art, Creative Writing, and Filmmaking

The countries “I've visited: Ecuador, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, and The Bahamas. Hopefully Puerto Rico in the very near future.”

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I was in color guard in high school, which basically means I got to spin flags, wooden rifles, and sabers in our high school marching band.”


Miller Roman

My major: Game Programming 

The countries I've visited: -Thailand, Mexico, Honduras, solid part of Europe

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I grew up in Mexico so I have been sailing competitively, diving and surfing from a young age. I love to be in the water. I know it’s a bad photo but I don't have many photos that are just of me or able to present to professors “


Cameron Schneider

My major: Game Programming

The countries I've visited: Germany

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I don't need water because I'm dripping in sarcasm and drowning in bad puns.”


Lydia Selman

My major: Communications with a Sonic Arts specialization

The countries I've visited: England, France, and Canada

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “Fun fact: I don't like posting about myself on the internet..”


Ariel Simpson

My major: Environmental Studies & Policy

The countries I've visited: Israel, Italy, France, Germany, Iceland, Canada, England 

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “My dog’s name is Dobby, like the house elf.”


Destiny Somers

My major: Elementary Education

The countries I've visited: “have only been to a few states including, Boston, Massachusetts, rural New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and last summer I took a road trip to Tennessee.”

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “My favorite music is reggae, and currently my favorite artist is Damien Marley, with my favorite song being Speak Life, and his album Stony Hill being my top, though it is a close run with the collaboration with Nas, Distant Relatives.”


Victoria Thompson

My major: Education

The countries I've visited: England, Ireland, and Wales

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “Something unique about myself is that I’ve lived in Vermont my whole life and wanted to stay here for college because I love the state so much. Excited to meet all of you!”


Kai Wilens

My major: Computer Science and Innovation (CSI)

The countries I've visited: Cambodia, South Korea, England, Canada, Iceland

Something funny or cool or unique about me: “I love to dance, especially to disco.”

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Discography Year Two - Week 41

As we enter into the last quarter of this year's Discography discussion I find myself in a reflective mood - or, as my friends would doubtless point out, I continue to find myself is a reflective mood or an especially reflective mood.  Part of it is purely personal in that I've passed through another Ramadan (which is an odd marker because, unlike New Year's or Graduation, Ramadan advances across the calendar; essentially, it's nine days earlier every year).  Some of it is more communal and happy, in that close friends of mine, in this case Bill Wixon and Mike Lange, have recently gotten married. Some of it is communal and not so happy, as in we began this year's Discography with GB and we're finishing it without GB.


Dave Wallace

Lou Reed - Satellite of Love

I recently realized that I've made it through nearly two years of this blog without a song from either Lou Reed or the Velvet Underground.  Somewhere, Gary Beatrice is shaking his head in disappointment.  Starting with Lou as a solo artist, Satellite of Love is an obvious choice, but it's still one of my favorites by him.  Part of a long list of classics by Reed.


Kevin Andrews

Blake Mills is a producer, songwriter, and deceptively talented guitar player. Eric Clapton revered to him as “the last guitarist I heard that I thought was phenomenal.” He’s produced Alabama Shakes, Conor Oberst, John Legend and worked with Lucinda, Don Was, Mr. Clapton, Fiona Apple. An impressive list for a 31 year-old. He seems to be a musician’s musician.

This is the opening song from Heigh Ho, If I'm Unworthy  This video has the lyrics which may be hard to understand. Like many of his songs they’re deeply personal, and beautiful. There are some live versions of this song if you poke around the YouTube. You can find the entire album too.


There are two good NYT write ups on him here and here if you’re interested.


Phillip Seiler

Nada Surf

 Nada Surf is best known for their mid-90s song "Popular". They've grown beyond that and have produced some good, mature music while not losing their rocking roots. Their 2012 album The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy is a gem from start to finish. I choose the lead track because it sets the tone for the album and is just a pure power rock jam.The bass in this track is relentless driving the piece forward even while front man Matthew Caws explores some interesting themes in the lyrics. It's hard to capture the depth of a person struggling with their place in a larger universe in a pop song but he succeeds here. 

The stars are indifferent to astronomy
and all that we think we know
Mars will salute your autonomy
But he doesn't need to know


The little layered harmony on top of this chorus is just gorgeous and the song's final notes hit with conviction and then just left to fade...as we all must.


Dave Kelley

"Sweet Old World"     Lucinda Williams

I admit that Anthony Bourdain's suicide hit me much harder than it should have considering that I never met him.  I was a huge fan of his shows.  Food was featured, but it was never a cooking show.  He traveled everywhere, but it was not a travel show.  To me, he was just a smart, opinionated, empathetic, curious  guy who traveled the world rubbing shoulders with every day men and women finding out what mattered to them.  He emphasized both the differences in different cultures and the similarities in all humans.

We can never know what is going on in someone else's mind.  That is why the credo of Patton Oswald's late wife, "it is all chaos, be kind" strikes me as one of the truest things I have ever heard.
This is a classic Lucinda song in which she lists some of the beautiful things this world has to offer that the person who killed himself left behind.  The only flaw is that she neglected to mention bacon.


Gary Scudder

Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, In A Sentimental Mood

This is just about a perfect song, and one that is impossibly beautiful.  It's difficult to improve upon Ellington's original from 1935, but I think this re-imagining did.  It's drawn from a 1963 collaboration album which is just wonderful.  It's one of a series of collaboration albums that Ellington did late in life, and right before Coltrane went completely off the rails musically (his later music just takes a lot more work and patience and study from the listener).  I was thinking about why I liked this version better than the original, and I think it is because it is more stripped down, more simple.  This is something I've been thinking about a lot generally, and when I was putting together the different covers of NY's Only Love Can Break Your Heart inevitably the simpler versions were the ones I liked the best (even more than NY's original).

Ellington did not record this with his band, but instead with Coltrane's quartet. It reminds me, not surprisingly, of Young recording Mirror Ball with Pearl Jam and how it changed the vibe for the better.  The Ellington/Coltrane collaboration is required ownership.


Shots

As the great Canadian philosopher wrote, "I keep hearing shots."  Recently I went to a local high school for some kid event and came across this work of art in the lobby. I found it brilliant and humbling, and also worthy of celebrating, even if only to the few people who read my blog.  The students who created it are: Robert Kemkowski, Lena Ashooh, Nate Fillion, Audrey Olson and Suzy Zimmerman.  The students of today just get it in a way that older generations don't, especially those who sell their soul to the NRA. I recently discussed the Drive-By Truckers sobering Guns of Umpqua on one of our Discography discussions, and the song was playing through my mind as I looked at this work.




Thursday, June 14, 2018

Too Much Jordanian Coffee

Nothing profound here, other than me getting caught up on some blogging.  When we were in Jordan we stopped for a break at a little coffee stand that overlooked a dam.  It was so green that it didn't even look like Jordan (to be fair, it was around a body of water and it was March so we hadn't hit the dry season yet).  I don't know what started the madness, but at a certain point Michael began training Isa on the fine art of boxing.  It was made all the more insane because we were on the edge of a pretty precipitous drop off.  Clearly, the coffee was pretty strong.

The tentative beginning . . .

. . . and then shit got real.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Discography Year Two - Week 40

After last week's inspired theme week we've returned to our normal anarchic style: each noted musicologist for her/himself.  It's hard be believe that we only three months left in this incarnation of the Discography. Quick, MK, what are the betting odds that Trump is removed from office through Second 4 of the 25th Amendment before we're done with this year's Discography?

I officially vouchsafe this as a Week of Excellence.


Dave Wallace

Bettye LaVette – Things Have Changed

Bettye LaVette has been singing soul music since the 1960's, but she's only really broken through the last couple of decades.  She's a masterful interpreter of songs and has released several terrific albums.  She has a new album composed solely of Dylan covers, and it's excellent.  Things Have Changed is the title track.  DK and I are seeing her in concert later this month, and I'm really looking forward to it.


Kevin Andrews



As Gary mentioned, some of us partook in a lovely day in Burlington’s City Hall Park for part of the Discover Jazz Festival last Saturday. It was especially nice to see many children out in the park. As we know, Jazz is particularly healthful for young children as it encourages active listening, emotional intelligence, hand-eye coordination and spatial recognition. Yes, I made that up. The fine weather and spirited music made for a sublime day. The experience brought a song to mine that has nothing to do with Jazz and I present it here without comment. Mike Doughy’s I Just Want The Girl in The Blue Dress To Keep On Dancing.


Dave Kelley

"When did the land of the free
Become the home of the afraid
Afraid of the world
Afraid of the truth
Afraid of each other"

"The World is on Fire"  American Aquarium

American Aquarium is a fine band out of North Carolina fronted by BJ Barham.  I saw them play at a festival in Cincinnati and was very impressed.  Jason Isbell produced one of their old records.  Apparently Isbell and Barham were drinking buddies before they went dry.

Last year Barham came back after a solo tour only to discover that the rest of the band had quit.  They understandably had gotten tired of constantly touring in busses and vans and making very little money.  Instead of packing it in too, Barham put together another band.  Inspired by the Trump election and the implosion of his band, he wrote a set of his songs for their next album which was released last week.  The result is fantastic and easily the best thing he has done.  The release is titled "Things Change", and I would encourage you to give it a listen.  It is classic roots rock with pedal steel providing some nice flourishes.  Another song has a classic line "I traded in my youth, for three chords and the truth."  That should have been a Clash lyric!  

I think the lines quoted above constitute the essential question facing our society.  Anger is rooted in fear which stems from ignorance.  When did the nation become so ignorant?


Cindy Morgan

This article went around this week and generated a pretty interesting discussion on my FB page which focused in part on Lolita (it's a super interesting article and I encourage you to read it if you haven't). I have a powerful connection to the book--I read it in high school when I was involved in a Lolita-esque relationship with one of my English teachers (though he was no Humbert Humbert I assure you). I'm sure at this point you all are thinking--oh this is going to be a "Don't Stand So Close to Me" kind of post. And it might have been had Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain not chosen to end their lives this week. The man I had this relationship with died 6 years ago in what I can only assume was a suicide--he had profound neck problems that left him in a great deal of pain and limited his once very active lifestyle. 

We stayed in contact if not always close, all the years since our relationship ended, though saw each other only twice, once when I was 24 and the last time when I was 30. I was and still am profoundly effected by his absence. There are days when I want to call and ask him if a sentence I am working on is right; if he has read a book I love; if he saw a certain movie and what he thought of it. He was a beacon for me through some of the hardest times and I knew he would always be there. Until he wasn't. He helped make me the student I became, the reader that I am, the writer that I aspire to be. The song that I will always associate with him is "Verdi Cries" by the 10,000 Maniacs. He introduced me to opera, to Verdi, which is part of it. But the other part is the melancholy nature of the song--the solo piano with orchestra evoking and Natalie Merchant's voice, all soaring emotion, telling of a summer that has passed--the happy memories associated with it--all of it gone now. But still alive in memory. The last lines were my senior yearbook quote (a tribute that only had meaning to me and to him) and I leave them here in memory of Eric Muirhead.

All is memory
taken home with me
the opera, the stolen tea, the sand drawing, the verging sea
all years ago


Phillip Seiler

As I mentioned last week Kathy and I got to see the documentary movie Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes as a benefit for the Burlington Jazz Fest. It was good but a little frustrating because, frankly, it is impossible to capture all one wants to see and know about Blue Note in just 90 minutes. However, I really enjoyed the trip through time and to see how artists on the label today are building higher and higher on top of the label's legacy. One such artist is Robert Glasper. 

His straight jazz is pretty beautiful but I am absolutely enraptured by his collaborative work with rap, R&B, and pop artists. My track today is from his album Black Radio 2 under the name Robert Glasper Experiment. This track features Common and Patrick Stump of Fallout Boy.



I don't have much to say. It's just an excellent hook with a positive vibe and thoughtful lyrics. I can't ask for much more these days and I was glad to have found it.


Gary Scudder

John Coltrane, Alabama

Recently someone, could be anyone, although I guess it was me, tweeted the following:

Growing up as a white male in #Indiana, a terribly racist state, I never wanted to believe that everything in #America was about race, but, you know, in the #US everything is about #race and #racism.

You would think that someone whose favorite artist wrote both Southern Man and Alabama would have fully understood that earlier, although it is, as Al Gore would remind us in a different context, an inconvenient truth.  A couple of years ago when I was putting together the 110 NY songs better than Heart of Gold I commented that when Young wrote Southern Man it wasn't really that many years past the worst of the worst racially based southern violence, and in many ways was still in the midst of it - but also how depressing it was to consider that he could have written the song last week.

With that introduction out of the way, what I really want to talk about this week is the extraordinary John Coltrane song Alabama.  It's off his 1964 album Live at Birdland, which is a mixture of live tracks and studio material.  Coltrane wrote the song as a tribute to the four African American children killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham.  If you're familiar with A Love Supreme it has that feel (especially, and appropriately, Psalms), except that where A Love Supreme is immersively transcendent Alabama is heartbreaking and reflective and elegiac (without descending to being downright desultory). Last week I watched a documentary on Coltrane called Chasing Trane and it is highly recommended; it made me love him even more, which is really saying something.

Like KA, I will also, without further comment, celebrate the extraordinary cultural benefits of last Saturday's jazz fest.





Thursday, June 7, 2018

Little Petra

I just wanted to post a quick picture (I'm absolutely buried at the moment with study and writing and home chores) from the recent trip to Jordan.  While I've been to Petra many times I think this last trip was only my second time in Little Petra, which is simply a different entrance to the ancient city.  It doesn't get nearly the visitors that the main area gets, which is alone a good reason to go.

This is a picture I snapped of the students from inside a cave as they looked out at the facing wall.  One of the things that makes Petra amazing is the advanced efforts they made to collect water (not surprising in a desert).  You can really see it more clearly in Little Petra.  Look at the wall, and you can see the little channels that were carved into the rock face to capture all the water and bring it together for collecting.


Belief and Righteous Deeds

Not too long ago I wrote a deeply personal post on what I thought Islam was about, which I entitled What It Means, appropriately enough, and with the requisite nod to the Drive-By Truckers album. I will not include another lengthy exegesis (I've included a link instead).  Essentially, my point was that as I work my way through the Quran, which I read throughout the year but obviously much more intensely and holistically during Ramadan, it seems to me that what really matters is faith (and not blind submission; but instead based on thoughtful reflection) and righteous deeds (which is mainly just giving back more, time after time, than you received).  So, I culled out all the times (or at least most - I'm sure that I missed some, in which case I'll go back and amend later) that the two concepts are paired in the Quran, which is, obviously, a lot. It's not as if everything else isn't important, but to me, in its most simple form, what we're talking about is what we can control and what we can't control.  Or, what we can know and what we can't know.

"And give glad tidings to those who believe and perform righteous deeds that theirs are Gardens with rivers running below." 2:24

"Truly those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabeans - whosoever believes in God and the Last Day and works righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord. No fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve." 2:62

"And those who believe and perform righteous deeds, it is they who are the inhabitants of the Garden, therein to abide." 2:82

"Truly those who believe, perform righteous deeds, maintain the prayer, and give the alms shall have their reward with their Lord.  No fear shall come upon the, nor shall they grieve." 2:277

"'And as for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, He shall pay them their rewards in full. And God loves not the wrongdoers.'" 3:57

"They believe in God and the Last Day, enjoin right and forbid wrong, and hasten unto good deeds.  And they are among the righteous." 3:114

"But for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, We shall cause them to enter Gardens with rivers running below, abiding therein forever.  They they shall have spouses made pure, and We shall cause them to enter plenteous shade." 4:57

"But for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, We shall cause them to enter Gardens with rivers running below, abiding therein forever. God's Promise is true, and who is truer in speech than God?" 4:122

"And whosoever performs righteous deeds, whether male or female, and is a believer, such shall enter the Garden, and they shall not be wronged so much as the speck on a date stone." 4:124

"As for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, He shall pay them their rewards in full, and will increase them from His Bounty." 4:173

"To those who believe and perform righteous deeds, God has promised forgiveness and a great reward." 5:9

"Truly those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Sabeans, and the Christians - whosoever believes in God and the Last Day and works righteousness, no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve." 5:69

"There is no blame upon those who believe and perform righteous deeds for that which they have eaten, so long they are reverent, and believe, and perform righteous deeds, then are reverent and believe, and then are reverent and virtuous.  And God loves the virtuous." 5:93

"Those who believe and who do not obscure their belief through wrongdoing, it is they who have security, and they are rightly guided." 6:82

"As for those who believe and perform righteous deeds - We task no soul beyond its capacity - it is they who are the inhabitants of the Garden; they shall abide therein." 7:42

"But the believing men and believing women are protectors of one another, enjoining right and forbidding wrong, performing the prayers, giving the alms, and obeying God and His messenger. They are those upon whom God will have Mercy. Truly God is Mighty. Wise." 9:71

"Unto Him is your return all together; God's Promise is true.  Verily He originates creation, then He brings it back, that He may recompense with justice those who believe and perform righteous deeds." 10:4

"Truly those who believe and perform righteous deeds, their Lord guides them by their Faith. They shall have rivers running below them in Gardens of bliss." 10:9

"Truly those who believe and perform righteous deeds and are humble before their Lord, it is they who are the inhabitants of the Garden; they shall abide therein." 11:23

"Those who believe and perform righteous deeds, theirs in blessedness and a beautiful return." 13:29

"Those who believe and perform righteous deeds shall be made to enter Gardens with rivers running below, abiding therein by the leave of their Lord.  Their greeting therein shall be, 'Peace!'" 14:23

"Whosoever works righteousness, whether male or female, and is a believer, We shall give them new life, a good life, and We shall surely render unto them their reward in accordance with the best of that which they used to do." 16:97

"Truly this Quran guides toward that which is most upright, and gives glad tidings to the believers who perform righteous deeds that theirs shall be a great reward." 17:9

"Praise be to God, Who sent down the Book unto His servant, and placed no crookedness therein, upright that He may warn of a great might coming from His Presence and give glad tidings unto the believers who perform righteous deeds that theirs shall be a beautiful reward . . ." 18:1-2

"As for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, surely We neglect not the reward of one who is virtuous in deed." 18:30

"But as for the one who believes and works righteousness, he shall have a reward, that which is most beautiful, and we shall speak unto him that which is easy from our command." 18:88

"Those who believe and perform righteous deeds, theirs shall be the Gardens of Paradise as a welcome." 18:107

"Then they were succeeded by a generation who neglected prayer and followed their desires. So they shall meet [the reward of] error, save for those who repent and believe and work righteousness.  It is they who shall enter the Garden, and they shall not be wronged in the least." 19:59-60

"Surely those who  believe and perform righteous deeds, for them shall the Compassionate ordain love." 19:96

"But whosoever comes unto Him as a believer, having performed righteous deeds, theirs shall be the highest ranks - Gardens of Eden with rivers running below, abiding therein.  That is the recompense of one who purifies himself." 20:75-76

"And surely I am most forgiving toward the one who repents and believes and works righteousness, and thereafter is rightly guided." 20:82

"But whosoever performs righteous deeds and it a believer, he shall fear neither wrong nor deprivation." 20:112

"And whosoever performs righteous deeds and is a believer, there shall be no ingratitude for his endeavor, and surely We shall write [it] down for him." 21:94

"Truly God will cause those who believe and perform righteous deeds to enter Gardens with rivers running below." 22:14

"Truly God will cause those who believe and perform righteous deeds to enter Gardens with rivers running below, adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearl, and therein their clothes will be of silk. And they shall be guided unto that which is good in speech, and be guided unto the path of the Praised." 22:23

"And as for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, theirs shall be forgiveness and a generous provision." 22:50

"Sovereignty that Day shall be God's.  He will judge between them, and those who believe and perform righteous deeds shall be in a Garden of bliss." 22:56

"God has promised those among you who believe and perform righteous deeds that He will surely make them viceregents upon the earth, as He caused those before them to be viceregents, and that He will establish for them their religion, which He has approved for them, and that He will surely change them from a state of fear to [one of] security." 24:55

"He shall abide therein, humiliated, save for those who repent and believe and perform righteous deeds. For them, God will replace their evil deeds with good deeds, and God is Forgiving, Merciful. And whosoever has repented and works righteousness does indeed repent to God with true repentance." 25:69-71

"And as for the poets, the errant follow them. Hast thou not considered that they wander in every valley, and that they say what they do not do? Not so those who believe and perform righteous deeds, and remember God much, and help one another after having been wronged." 26:224-227

"As for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, theirs shall be Gardens of refuge, as a welcome for that which they used to do." 32:19

"Those who disbelieve say, 'The Hour will never come upon us.' Say, 'Nay! By my Lord, by the Knower of the Unseen, it will surely come unto you.' Not a mote's weight evades Him in the heavens or on the earth, nor smaller than that, nor larger, but that it is in a clear Book, that He may recompense those who believe and perform righteous deeds; theirs shall be forgiveness and a generous provision." 34:3-4

"He said, 'He has indeed wronged you in asking that your ewe be added to his ewes. Truly many associates transgress against one another, save those who believe and perform righteous deeds. Yet how few are they!' And David understood that We had tried him; so he sought forgiveness from his Lord, fell down kneeling, and repented." 38:24

"And We did not create Heaven and earth and whatsoever is between them in vain; that is the conjecture of those who disbelieve.  So woe before the Fire unto those who disbelieve! Or shall We make those who believe and perform righteous deeds like those who work corruption upon the earth? Or shall We make the reverent like the profligate?" 38:27-28

"And the blind and the seer are not equal; nor are those who believe and perform righteous deeds and the evildoer. Little do you reflect!" 40:58

"Truly those who believe and perform righteous deeds, theirs shall be a reward unceasing." 41:8

"And who is more beautiful in speech than one who calls unto God, works righteousness, and says, 'Truly I am among those who submit'? The good deed and the evil deed are not equal.  Repel by that which is better; then behold the one between whom and thee there is enmity shall be as if he were a loyal, protecting friend." 41:33-34

"Thou seest the wrongdoers wary of that which they have earned; for it will fall upon them. And those who believe and perform righteous deeds shall be in flowering meadows of the Gardens.  With their Lord they shall have whatsoever they will. That is a great bounty." 42:22

"He responds to those who believe and perform righteous deeds, and will increase from His Bounty. Yet as for the disbelievers, theirs shall be a severe punishment." 42:26

"As for those who believed and performed righteous deeds, their Lord causes them to enter into His Mercy. That is the manifest triumph." 45: 30

"And those who believe and perform righteous deeds, and believe in what has been sent down unto Muhammad - and it is the truth from their Lord - He has absolved them of their evil deeds and set their state aright." 47:2

"Truly God causes those who believe and perform righteous deeds to enter Gardens with rivers running below, while those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as cattle eat; and the Fire shall be an abode for them." 47:12

"Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Those who are with him are harsh against the disbelievers, merciful to one another. You see them bowing, prostrating, seeking bounty from God and contentment; their mark upon their faces is from the effect of prostration. That is their likeness in the Torah. And their likeness in the Gospel is a sapling that puts forth its shoot and strengthens it, such that it grows stout and rises firmly upon its stalk, impressing the sowers, that through them He may enrage the disbelievers. God has promised forgiveness and a great reward to those among them who believe and perform righteous deeds." 48:29

"The day that He gathers you for the Day of Gathering, that is the Day of Mutual Dispossession.  And whosoever believes in God and works righteousness, He will absolve him of his evil deeds and cause him to enter Gardens with rivers running below, to abide therein forever.  That is the great triumph." 64:9

"And whosoever believes in God and works righteousness, He causes him to enter Gardens with rivers running below, to abide therein forever.  God has indeed prepared for him a beautiful provision." 65:11

"But God knows best what they conceal. So give them glad tidings of a painful punishment, save those who believe and perform righteous deeds; theirs shall be a reward unceasing." 84:23-25

"Truly those who believe and perform righteous deeds, theirs shall be Gardens with rivers running below: that is the supreme triumph." 85:11

"By the dig and the olive, by Mount Sinai, and by this land made safe, truly We created man in the most beautiful stature, when We cast him to the lowest of the low, save those who believe and perform righteous deeds; for theirs shall be a reward unceasing. What then will make you deny religion? Is not God the most just of judges?" 95:1-8

"Truly those who believe and perform righteous deeds, it is they who are the best of creation." 98:7

"By the declining day, truly mankind is in loss, save those who believe, perform righteous deeds, exhort one another to truth, and exhort one another to patience." 103:1-3