Category: Music

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Cites The Odyssey, Moby Dick, and All Quiet on the Western Front in Noble Prize Lecture

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture is a meditation on the relationship between literature and lyrics. It’s a powerful witness to the lifelong influence great literature can have on a person’s life. Dylan explains that the books he read in grammar school have had a profound influence on his life and on his songwriting: Don Quixote, Ivanhoe, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, A Tale of Two Cities, but most especially Moby-Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front, and The Odyssey. He says the books he read in grammar school gave you...

Bob Dylan in Toronto

The Spirituality of Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate

Today Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” In honor of this recognition I’ve collected a few resources that explore the spirituality of his works. You’ll find articles from America Magazine, videos from Bishop Robert Barron of Word on Fire, and concert footage of Dylan himself singing one of his spiritual songs that always moves me. America Magazine Shortly after the announcement today, Fr. James Martin posted the following links from America Magazine on his...

Leftoverture by Kansas

Carry On Wayward Son: K-Tel, Kansas, and a Story of Regret

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since “Carry On Wayward Son” first rocked the airwaves. But it’s true. Kansas released their breakthrough album Leftoverture in 1976, and “Carry On Wayward Son” hit number 11 on the charts in early 1977. That song was so important to me as a teenager that it was one of two song titles that I wrote in permanent marker on the front of the boom box I owned as a kid. But as much as I love that song, it...

The Long Run by the Eagles

Soundtrack of My Life: The Long Run by the Eagles

What was your first record or cassette? How about the first time you heard a song that hadn’t been played on the radio? For me it was The Long Run by the Eagles. It was Christmas of 1979, and deep inside me a lifelong love for music was lying dormant under a denim jacket, a pair of brown corduroys, and a t-shirt with the Fonz on the front. (Aaaay!) I was in eighth grade. I owned a little one-speaker cassette/radio player and made my own mix tapes by recording my...

The Voice Logo

The Voice – Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Easter – Year C

Some of you might be familiar with a reality TV show called The Voice that’s been on for a few seasons. Contestants come on stage one at a time and sing to three [actually four] judges whose backs are turned. Based solely on the sound quality of the singing voices and their potential, the judges try to choose the most promising contestants to continue on in the competition. There’s something compelling about a distinctive voice. The music industry is filled with great voices from many different genres and...

Student Boot

Sights and Sounds from NCEA 2013 in Houston

As my time at the NCEA Convention is coming to an end, I see that I didn’t really get to post as much as I wanted to. I still want to share some of the sights and sounds of the convention however, so I’ve put together a few things in this final post. First, I’ve attached a recording from the second Eucharistic liturgy of the conference. This is a performance of “Be Still, My Soul” by the Houston Catholic Schools Choir. It’s a tragedy that my recording is...

How Is the Music of Les Misérables Like Liturgy?

That’s the question that Jeffrey Tucker looks at in an article at The Chant Café. The score is unusually text driven, just like liturgy. The singers in the film were chosen not for their singing ability but for their acting — which makes the singing more authentic in some way. Their voices were not ruined by too much training and affectation. They seemed authentic because of this — again, a point that is replicated in a liturgical context. I highly recommend that every priest and singer needs to see...

Tommy Emmanuel T-Shirt

“Is this heaven?” “No, it’s a Tommy Emmanuel concert.”

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of seeing Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel in concert at the Bing Crosby Theater here in Spokane, and it was a true “Life-Is-Beautiful” moment. Not only was I jaw-dropped by his finger-contorting playing, but I was happy to see a similar reaction on the face of my teenage son. Though Joseph and I don’t share the exact same tastes in music, we both admire talented guitar work, and it doesn’t get much better than Tommy Emmanuel. According to his web site, Emmanuel has been...

Gregorian Chant Notation

A Playlist of Achingly Beautiful Music

Since I recently finished John O’Donohue’s book Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, I’ve been trying to actively bring more beauty into my life, and to recognize the beauty that already surrounds me. The first place I went to was my digital music collection, where I tried to put together a playlist of beautiful music. As I scanned through my collection looking for songs and pieces of music to include in the list, I was struck by how many of them dealt with sadness or longing. Songs like: “Everybody Hurts”...

Weird Al in Concert

Video and Set List from the Weird Al Concert in Spokane, WA

We had a great time seeing Weird Al at the Spokane County Fair last night. Best seats I’ve ever had at a concert–four seats from the front. The video shows some of the great costumes Al wears and features clips from “Party in the CIA,” “Wanna Be Ur Lovr,” “Eat It,” and “The Saga Begins.” Here’s the complete set list: Polka Face TMZ Smells Like Nirvana Skipper Dan Party in the CIA CNR Canadian Idiot Wanna B Ur Lovr Medley: Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies Whatever You Like Another...

Moody Blues

Moody Blues in Concert

I’ve been experimenting with the Posterous iPhone app, and I thought I’d check to see how Posterous integrated with my blog. Please pardon me if this post disappears. This is video from a Moody Blues concert I attended a few weeks ago. Great concert. I never thought I’d have a chance to see these guys perform live. Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS

Classical Artists for Haiti

A Fitting Use of Angelic Talent

When angels sing, the heavens rejoice, and when angelic voices sing, we should should do the same–especially when those voices sing for those in need. Some of the most beautiful voices of our time have come together for Haiti in this gorgeous rendition of “The Prayer”: Information about how to obtain a copy of the recording and help raise money for Haiti, visit this link. Thanks to Deacon Greg Kandra for sharing.


No One Can Dance Like the Pope Can!

My 8th grade students just wrapped up a video project for Religion and here are two of their creations, based on the music of the Catholic band Popple: Little White Square: Papal Disco: The class would love to hear what you think of them, so please leave comments on the videos or on this post. And please spread the word. Thanks, and enjoy!