Category Archives: Music

Roll Over

Chuck Berry wrote it. The Beatles recorded it. But my exposure to the ELO cover in the 70’s sticks in my mind. My brother was really big into this band. I heard they blew the roof off with their concert … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, With Mountains

When I think of American mountains, blue-green majesty is more what comes to mind. Two musical pieces to intersperse with your bands, anthems, and fireworks: From Paul Winter’s Missa Gaia, “The Blue Green Hills of Earth.” Alan Hovhaness’ Symphony number … Continue reading

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Giving Up Everything

The young miss is not as much of a music hound as I am. We have a few overlaps in what we like. I still haven’t got Raising Sand back from her. Natalie Merchant’s Tigerlily is also at the bottom of her room … Continue reading

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A London Symphony

Readers here know me as a lover of American music of all sorts. And early music, too. Music from about 1750 to about 1900 interests me little. There’s just a lot of it and orchestras seem to play it all … Continue reading

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Helping Engaged Couples

A few months ago I began collecting YouTube links to music that might be chosen for a wedding liturgy. It’s relatively easy to find the mainstream classics–the pieces that were in your and my piano book from our days in … Continue reading

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Violin Octet

Searching for a missing piece of music tonight, I pulled off my shelf the Scientific American book The Physics of Music. Decades ago, I was fascinated by a proposed reconfiguration of the violin family to optimize instrument size, resonance, and sound. In the age … Continue reading

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Lachrimae Caravaggio

Jordi Savall is one of my musical heroes. I found a concert of his Lachrimae Caravaggio on YouTube. Recommended for listening. The disk is available on Amazon. Recommended for acquisition. I find this fusion of different forms of art–the inspiration … Continue reading

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Catching Up With the Quiet Beatle

After the big media bask on the Beatles’ 50th anniversary of their explosion into American pop culture, I’ve been reviewing their recordings online the past week or two. It was a revelation to find everything remastered on YouTube. Someday I’ll … Continue reading

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How Surprisingly Profitable

Brian Pellot writes a weekly Monday blog for RNS on religious freedom. Since he writes from the UK, the post is up before most of us in the Americas wake. Today’s installment is here. Lots of angry Muslims lead off. And most prominently, … Continue reading

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Paco

Guitar great Paco de Lucia has died. One of his more memorable recordings was his live album with Al DiMeola and John McLaughlin. It’s amazing fun. Super fast, but that doesn’t necessarily make for great art. Check the man’s recordings for … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Simple Dreams

I confess an indulgence for musician biographies. Especially rock artists. So I think I enjoyed Linda Ronstadt’s “musical memoir,” Simple Dreams, well enough. The writing early on caught me as highly thoughtful, and revealing of a deep intelligence and discerning heart. … Continue reading

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Anniversary Week

While I was at Mass Sunday night, the family signaled me of the Beatles love-fest on network tv here at home. The music, naturally, was great. I had a laugh at all the aging celebrities in the seats. If he … Continue reading

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Long Songs: “Bombshell”

Few musical genres express such a range as bluegrass. Maybe only the blues go deeper into human sorrow. But I can’t think of another style that gets human joy quite spot on. If you have some minutes today, check the … Continue reading

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What Inspires?

Another illustrative thread at the CMAA here. First a citation to an editorial that seems to confuse the decades: In the 1960s, many of our church leaders were seminarians.  It was a time when Gregorian chant was forcibly submerged below … Continue reading

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Does Romance Fit A Christian Christmas?

Jesus doesn’t seem to be faring well in my Christmas listening this week. One song out of eight today. I think it was some contemporary CW song. I didn’t catch the whole thing, but I heard “Jesus” and “prayer” clearly enough. You … Continue reading

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