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« Why I am no longer a Protestant | Main | Bishop Salvatore Cordileone analyzes the facts... »

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Comments

Chad Toney

Hi Carl!

The guys in Atomic Opera are all liturgical Christians and I'd highly recommend their stuff for folks that like to rock. and think.

Also, the singer/songwriter/guitarist for Atomic Opera has a great video of an improvised song using St. Francis' prayer.

joe

At least we have Thievery Corporation in common.

-J.

Nick Milne

Hooray! That time of the month again.

1. Hans Zimmer - "Davy Jones": From one of the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks. A lot of movie music is rather lame on its own, but this one has sort of a melancholy, grotesque quality to it that makes it stand out nicely.

2. "Torture" from Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light, the orchestral/chorale "soundtrack" Einhorn produced to Carl Dreyer's cinematic masterpiece, The Passion of Joan of Arc. A thrilling, pulsing lament. The refrain of "Glorioses Playes" drives through it like the hammer of God.

3. Springwater - "I Will Return": I don't know anything about the band or the song (which is instrumental); it was on a mix CD. Very nice, though. The first few notes are reminiscent of "Abide With Me," but only just. It's hard to describe. Has a classical feel.

4. The Red Army Choir - "Echelon's Song": All of the solemn, militaristic grandeur for which this most curious of musical ventures is famous.

5. A lecture by Jorge Luis Borges (in English) on the craft and spirit of poetry. This was hard to find, and I'm glad I have it. Not really music, per se, but it's on here.

6. Muse - "Apocalypse Please": I don't even know what to say. Eerily beautiful stuff from a very strange group. Their interest in theology bleeds into their music at all stages, but the theology in which they take an interest is of the "conspiracy theory" variety that has frustrated so many.

7. The final "Libera Me" from Verdi's Requiem, as performed conducted by Georg Solti with Horne, Tavela, Sutherland and Pavarotti backing him up. As I remember it, anyway; I haven't got the liner notes in front of me to check the spellings to be sure.

8. The Beatles - "Eight Days a Week": Needs no introduction, hopefully.

9. Tom Waits - "Always Keep a Diamond in Your Mind": This particular recording comes from a concert he apparently did with such luminaries as Philip Glass and the Dalai Lama. A pleasant song in the typically inscrutable Waitsian style.

10. Johnny Cash - "Sam Hall": One of the many songs I learned by heart to get me through the loud, pulsing grind that was factory work.

Carl Olson

Nick: Another wildly eclectic mix, which I always enjoy.

Muse - "Apocalypse Please": I don't even know what to say. Eerily beautiful stuff from a very strange group. Their interest in theology bleeds into their music at all stages, but the theology in which they take an interest is of the "conspiracy theory" variety that has frustrated so many.

Muse is indeed very strange, but in a good way, for the most part. Anyone who writes a wickedly funny song like "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist" is worth a listen. I wonder what they do believe. Any idea?

MMajor Fan

1. “Depending on You” by the Canton Spirituals from “The Greatest Hits.” They are my favorite gospel group, though this is not my favorite song of theirs.

2. “Tearin’ Up My Heart” by ‘N Sync from “’N Sync.’” A remnant of more innocent times. I actually discovered them after they were already hot. I had stopped listening to the radio and virtually all pop and hits music after rap became violent, so I had to have them pointed out to me long after they had become the second coming commercially lol.

3. and 4. Spanish Instant Immersion. I had thought to learn Spanish when I was interning as a psychiatric counselor because I wanted to be sure to understand those who had English as their second language.

5. And 8. Japanese Lesson. I love languages that are character based, and had learned some Mandarin Chinese years ago. I was curious as to the sound of the Japanese language other than from World War II movies lol. Ikebana is a hobby of mine.

6. “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees from “Billboard Top Rock & Roll 1966.” This one sneaked on in a mix CD. Over rated by teeny boppers then and now lol.

7. “Go Tell It On The Mountain” The Mighty Clouds Of Joy from “Legendary Groups of Gospel.” Another favorite gospel group.

9. “You Ain’t Goin Nowhere” by Bob Dylan from “The Essential Bob Dylan.” I like some of his songs and despise others. I let them all download from a given CD though.

10. “Slowly” by Avalon from “Stand.” Beautiful Christian rock.

Nick Milne

Carl:

Thanks! Always glad to oblige with a list. Yours are similarly delightful to me, as they provide a window into worlds yet unknown. As eclectic as my tastes tend to be in all things, there will always and forever be exponentially more of which I've never even heard than there will be of which I have (delicate grammar there).

I noticed your reference to "All That You Can't Leave Behind." It was indeed a good album, though I found myself more impressed with the songs that didn't get much (any?) radio play than with those that did. Not to knock "Beautiful Day," of course, which is a fine song; the line about seeing "Bedouin fires at night," miniscule though it is, gets me every time. I like "Walk On" and "Peace on Earth" better, though. Still, good album.

As for Muse, I really don't know just what they believe. The wiki page suggests that they're into conspiracy theories, as I said above, and it is further intimated that their frontman is obsessed with theories of the Apocalypse. Which can make for some very powerful music (and has so made in this case), though not necessarily for theological orthdoxy. "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist" is indeed a fun song, though the lyrics cry out for a broader context. I don't even bother with their lyrics, to be honest; I can't really hear them over the music as it is. I've made an exception for the song "Take a Bow," however. A monstrous exercise in frenzied rhythm, it concludes with a bellowed and unironic chanting of "you will burn in hell for your sins," which struck me as almost refreshing in such music, where hell, if its reality is recognized at all, tends rather to be subverted and glamorized.

Still, I don't know what to think. As an experiment in heavy rock with orchestral and piano backup their music tends to be excellent, but otherwise I wouldn't take them to the bank. Still, I'd recommend "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist," "Take a Bow," "Apocalypse Please," "Hoodoo" and "Knights of Cydonia" to those interested in experiencing their sound. "Hoodoo" is particularly subtle, though I have no idea what it's about.

6. “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees from “Billboard Top Rock & Roll 1966.” This one sneaked on in a mix CD. Over rated by teeny boppers then and now lol.

I used to think it was overrated, too, but then I heard it mashed up with The Beatles' "Paperback Writer" and the result ("Paperback Believer") was excellent. I appreciate both songs more than ever, now. Worth a listen if you ever get the chance.

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