Category : Music

(NBC) ‘Band Grandpas’ helping students through music and mentorship

Arnie Rosen, a retired doctor and amateur musician, created the “Band Grandpas” program in Rockford, Illinois so senior instrumentalists can help students and spread the joy of music.

watch it all.

Posted in Aging / the Elderly, Children, Education, Music

May we Never Forget Sixteen Years Ago Today–A Naval Academy “Anchormen” Tribute to 9/11

Posted in History, Military / Armed Forces, Music, Terrorism

(NPR) Bobi Wine Is Willing ‘To Die Trying’ To Win Freedom For Uganda

“I’m supposed to be a dead man,” says Bobi Wine, a Ugandan musician turned politician.

His driver Yasin Kawuma was shot dead on Aug. 13. Wine tweeted a graphic picture he said was of the man’s dead body. Wine says police were the ones who shot Kawuma, but Wine says he was their real target.

Bobi Wine’s real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. He rose to fame as a musician — first with love songs and dance songs, but more recently turned to political themes in his music. His 2017 song “Freedom” has become a rallying cry for the country’s opposition.

In the same year, Wine was elected to the country’s Parliament as an independent.

He’s become a leader in opposing the country’s longtime President Yoweri Museveni — in power since 1986. Museveni is known for violently crushing dissent. Human Rights Watch says the government “continues to violate free association, expression, and assembly rights.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Military / Armed Forces, Music, Politics in General, Psychology, Uganda

(NPR) Inspired By The Beatles’ Love Gospel, ‘Submarine Churches’ Bucked Tradition

When the phantasmagorically weird Beatles film Yellow Submarine premiered 50 years ago, its psychedelic colors and peace-and-love sensibility quickly influenced fashion, graphic design, animation and music.

But the 1968 movie also influenced organized religion — a fact lost in the hubbub over the release of a restored and remastered version in American theaters on July 8.

Not long after the British-made film landed in the United States, “submarine churches” attracted urban, young people. They adopted the outline of a yellow submarine with a small cross on its periscope as their symbol and displayed it alongside peace signs, flowers and other popular emblems of the 1960s.

There were enough of the churches a year after the film’s release that they operated The Submarine Church Press, which published a national directory of 40 such churches, most with mainline Protestant or Catholic roots, and held a three-day “rap session,” or conference, in Kansas City, Mo. Attendees came from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis and Akron, Ohio.

“In the Beatles’ movie, the submarine was the place where they loved each other in a groovy way and got strength to do battle with the Blue Meanies,” Rev. Tony Nugent, a former co-pastor of a submarine church in Berkeley, Calif., told The New York Times in 1970. “It also shows that a church has to have flexibility and maneuverability.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Church History, England / UK, Music, Parish Ministry

Music for July 4th–Lee Greenwood – God Bless The USA (Home Free Cover)

Posted in America/U.S.A., Music

The Full Text of America’s National Anthem

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

–Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Music

Music For Memorial Day: If You’re Reading This by Tim McGraw

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Military / Armed Forces, Music

(Commentary) Terry Teachout–How Do You Solve a Problem Like Oscar Hammerstein?

AOf all the Broadway musicals written between the consolidation of the genre in the early ’20s and the start of its decline in the mid-’60s, only 20 or so are now revived regularly. Five of them—Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1949), The King and I (1951), and The Sound of Music (1959)—feature lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and music by Richard Rodgers, while a sixth, Show Boat (1927), was written by Hammerstein and Jerome Kern. Hammerstein also wrote the books for five of these shows (the exception is The Sound of Music), and those librettos define to this day how a “normal” musical is constructed. He is thus by definition the most important and influential figure in the history of musical comedy.

No one questions Hammerstein’s historical significance, nor does the popularity of these six musicals show any sign of diminishing. But there is a gap between that popularity and the esteem in which he is held by many critics. Kenneth Tynan summed up the conventional wisdom about the alleged sentimentality and naiveté of Hammerstein’s work when he dismissed The Sound of Music as “a show for children of all ages, from six to about eleven and a half.” Stephen Sondheim, Hammerstein’s protégé, put it more forgivingly when he described him as “easy to make fun of because he is so earnest.”

Hammerstein affected to be unfazed by such criticisms. “In my book,” he told Mike Wallace in a 1958 TV interview, “there’s nothing wrong with sentiment because the things we’re sentimental about are the fundamental things in life, the birth of a child, the death of a child or of anybody, falling in love….”

Read it all.

Posted in History, Music, Theatre/Drama/Plays

TV Recommendation: Showtime’s Documentary on Tim McGraw+Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul World Tour

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Entertainment, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television, Music

Monday Mental Health Break–Alison Krauss: The Captain’s Daughter (Johnny Cash: Forever Words)

Posted in Music

Music for Martin Luther King Day–I’m gonna ride the Chariot in the morning Lord

Listen to it all.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music

(WSJ) David Tubbs+Gregory Thornbury–Finding Faith at Folsom Prison

Johnny Cash recorded “At Folsom Prison” 50 years ago, on Jan. 13, 1968. The live album transcended the usual categories of popular music and ultimately sold more than three million copies. Cash’s willingness to play for a crowd of convicts fit with his outlaw image, but the venue choice reveals something crucial about his Christian beliefs.

Raised in Dyess, Ark., Cash became a Christian in 1944, when he was 12. Throughout his life, he showed an ardent desire to live according to the Gospels. But Cash was no paragon of Christian virtue. Stardom and the demands of his profession, especially the relentless travel, presented him with countless temptations. He could not resist many of them.

Cash’s struggle became particularly acute in the 1960s. He dealt with drug addiction and marital breakdown, and several brushes with the law only made his situation worse. While this drama hurt his career, it also gave Cash an acute sense of his vulnerabilities and enabled him to empathize with the prisoners in Folsom, Calif. As Robert Hilburn noted in his 2013 biography, “Cash knew what it was like to be in jail, to stand before his loved ones in handcuffs, and to walk through the seedy parts of town in search of drugs.”

Cash saw the Folsom concert as an opportunity to redeem himself.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Music, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Soteriology

Is Anybody Listening Dept–the NYT music critic gives a window into too much young adult American Life in the current climate

The tone of that song — mournful, dazed, sullen, traumatized, self-absorbed, defensive, remote, morbid — was pervasive in the pop of 2017. Hit radio and popularity-driven algorithmic playlists lingered on bleak, bummed-out sounds and scenarios, stringing together music that shares the feeling of being alienated, unprotected and besieged.

And why not? Consider the pressures on the millennial and younger listeners who are clicking to choose a song. They’re making their way into an era of accelerating income inequality. They’re awash in social media that nationalizes peer pressure, that expects intricately maintained self-branding and that shows — with photos — how just about everyone else is having a better life.

They are on college-education tracks that could leave them with a staggering debt burden, or they face the prospect of working in a dead-end retail or service-sector job under the ruthless exploitation of a gig economy. Social safety nets are being shredded, environmental protections are being reversed. For young listeners, there’s no guarantee of a fulfilling career or even of nontoxic food, air and water.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Music, Young Adults

May we Never Forget Sixteen Years Ago Today–A Naval Academy “Anchormen” Tribute to 9/11

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Military / Armed Forces, Music, Terrorism

Saturday Mental Health Break–Mandy Harvey: Deaf Singer With Original song ‘TRY’ on America’s Got Talent

Enjoy it all.

Posted in Entertainment, Music

Midday Mental Health Break–the Irkutsk ethnic percussion group “ethnobeat” plays on the frozen water of Lake Baikal

Posted in * General Interest, Music

The Full Text of America’s National Anthem

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

–Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Music

Lee Greenwood – God Bless The USA (Home Free Cover)

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Music

Music For Memorial Day (II): American Soldier by Toby Keith

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Military / Armed Forces, Music

Music For Memorial Day (I): If You’re Reading This by Tim McGraw


Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Music

A Statement from the Manchester Police about the Latest–22 Dead, 59 injured

You may find the BBC live feed there.

Posted in England / UK, Music, Police/Fire, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Pray for Manchester UK Tonight–as of this time, 19 confirmed dead and 50 injured in ‘terror’ incident at Manchester Arena, police say

Read it all and you can follow the #manchester hashtag on tiwtter as well as multiple liveblogs from the best english newspaper+news sites.

Posted in Children, England / UK, Music, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Economist) Chinks of light When TED talks came to a British prison

Soaring performances of songs from “Cats” and “Les Misérables” are unusual fare for a prison. But on May 3rd an inmate at Leicester prison brought an audience to their feet with his renditions. The recital was part of a TEDx conference, a popular lecture series that had never before been held in a British jail. In the midst of a prisons crisis, with violence against inmates and officers at record levels and crippling staff shortages, the event is an encouraging example of smaller efforts to improve conditions.

On a stage covered in prisoners’ art, inmates thundered the words of Shakespeare. An officer recited his own poetry: “I could tell you tales that would make you laugh…tales that would turn your stomach, tales that would break your heart,” he intoned. Organising the event was a logistical nightmare, says Phil Novis, the governor at HMP Leicester. But the enthusiasm of all involved suggests it was worth it.

Read it all.

Posted in Art, England / UK, Music, Prison/Prison Ministry, Theatre/Drama/Plays

A Very Nice ABC Nightline Piece on Sara Bareilles+making her Broadway dreams come true

“Waitress” marks Bareilles’ second role in what has become a passion project for her. She first left the world of pop music to join the “Waitress” production staff as lead composer.

“I was getting fatigued of the cyclical nature of being a pop artist where you write a record, record a record, go on tour, promote, come home, do it all again,” Bareilles said. “So I just was ready to work on something different.”

For three-and-a-half years, Bareilles worked tirelessly to bring the show to life — one song at a time.

“I rewrote the opening number 40 times,” she said. “I wanted to absolutely tear my hair out and throw people across the room. It was so frustrating. But you know all of that again that pressure cooker is I think actually kind of an exciting place to be.”

Read it all (Video highly recommended).

Posted in America/U.S.A., Music, Theatre/Drama/Plays

(Telegraph) Hymns at funerals dying out as ‘celebratory’ pop songs become more popular

Research by insurer SunLife found that 45 per cent of ceremonies now do not include a hymn, and more than half of funeral directors have seen a decrease in religious services.

Younger age groups are more likely to choose secular music, with just 12 per cent of those aged 50 to 54 choosing a hymn, compared to one in four over-65s.

Sandra Millar, head of life events at the Church of England, said: “Perhaps people have a memory of a hymn that feels sad because they have previously sung it at a sad event.

“Because people are also less used to singing nowadays they might also be more likely to have a recording.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(CEN) Jethro Tull–“I never will be a Christian, but I am a 100% supporter of the Christian Church”

[It may seem]…surprising that Tull then released a proper Christmas album that included some pro-Jesus songs among the traditional carols. Anderson has also been performing regular charity concerts to support church buildings. His new release, The String Quartets, was recorded in Worcester Cathedral and sports the logo of The Churches Conservation Trust in its liner notes.

So does this constitute a coming to faith or a maturing of his world view? And what caused that early vitriol? Ringing from Melbourne, where he was touring, Anderson explained those formative influences.

“School assembly was very much C. of E. stuff, and the Revd. Dr Luft, who was the headmaster, was an authoritarian, very conservative Christian, who scared us. As a person, he was very uncompromising, never smiled, and was basically not a very good advertisement for the warm and invitational nature of the C. of E.”

While at the school, Anderson infringed the rules, which he admits deserved punishment, and was due to be caned as a consequence. While he would have accepted another punishment, that was a step too far for him.

“I didn’t think it through terribly, it just seemed not a nice thing to be doing – there was something weird about it, so I refused to be caned. I was handed an ultimatum: ‘Go home and come back ready to face your punishment, or don’t come back at all’.” He went home and never returned.

Read it all (may require subscription).

Posted in --Scotland, Education, England / UK, Music, Religion & Culture

Do not Take yourself too Seriously Dept.-Cockatoo dances to Elvis; 2nd one is not feeling it

Watch it all.

Posted in Animals, Humor / Trivia, Music

Sunday Mental Health Break–One Voice – The Wailin’ Jennys

Listen to it all.

Posted in * General Interest, Music

(CT) Terrence Malick’s ‘Song to Song’ Is Cinematic Wisdom Literature

For Malick, family is a foil to the “song to song” aimlessness and misguided rebellion we so often pursue. Family (including the church family) is something we take for granted, a source of stability and unconditional love that we tragically fail to appreciate. Why do we so often forsake the good people in our lives in favor of the bad? Why do we choose forbidden fruit over the fruit that we know gives life?

If there is an overarching theme to Malick’s work—and certainly one that is central to Song—it’s that what we really need is right in front of us, if only we have eyes to see. But like Adam and Eve, we want more. We are ungrateful, unsatisfied, unable to recognize the good of what we’ve been given. The flashy pleasures and forbidden horizons lure our gaze away, but they always disappoint. “It’s a big candy store out there,” says Portman’s character in Song. But the candy only leads to rot.

God’s grace is closer than the candy, closer than the castles and frontiers that tempt us. But we have to be able to see it. We have to be able to recognize and name it.

Read it all.

Posted in Movies & Television, Music, Religion & Culture

Saturday Mental Health Break–Tomasz Stańko Quintet: Grand Central

Tomasz Stańko Quintet / Grand Central from Kijek / Adamski on Vimeo.

“Grand Central” was nominated for Best Polish Music Video and for The Best Animated Music Video awards at Yach Film Festival 2010; enjoy it all.

Posted in * General Interest, Music