Category Archives: Music

On A Lighter Note

I commend to your attention the Hebridean Celtic Festival BBC webcast of live performances by Admiral Fallow (if you don’t know of them yet, pay special attention so that you can out-hipster your hipster friends) and the Proclaimers, among others. … Continue reading

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Well, Alright

This morning I opened an email from someone who professed admiration for and interest in my blog — which is a good start, although that’s often the sign of a request for a link exchange, ‘maybe this would be of … Continue reading

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What Makes It Good: The Beat

As Mattie Z. said in the comments to my previous post, ‘rock is all about the beat’. Can’t argue with that — both the authority of one of my oldest longest vintage music-arguing-friends and the compulsion of the beat brook … Continue reading

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What Makes It Good

About a year ago, maybe more, our friend Rich pressed me to articulate the grounds for my music snobbery. ‘If,’ he reasoned, ‘you are going to sneer at my taste, you at least owe me an account of why your … Continue reading

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Predigital

Reading this piece from Language Log brought back memories of my semesters studying/practicing electronic music as an undergraduate. The studio had an ARP 2600, two two-track tape machines, and was coated in a film of splicing tape. That was the … Continue reading

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One Way In, No Way Out

For other fans of the Mountain Goats only: One of the members of tMG forums started a blog with review-essays about Mountain Goats albums. At first it seemed as though that would be an ample category definition, since John “New … Continue reading

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Kinesthetic Preaching

(You will not be surprised to note that I am simultaneously working on tomorrow’s sermon and listening to my iTunes DJ playlist.)   People frequently comment on the physicality of my sermons, the extent to which I preach with my … Continue reading

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Mind Flowers

The great Amy Morrison (that link isn’t working right now, but it might start again so I’m including it anyway), two decades ago, in the context of an Honours Seminar at Eckerd College, reminded me of the classic Schoolhouse Rock … Continue reading

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Great Moments in Popular Music 2

I have some of the ambivalence about Graceland that many politically-concerned listeners have expressed. I admire Paul Simon’s New York craftsmanship in composing infectious, compelling pop melodies, arrangements, and lyrics; his work isn’t always to my taste, but it’s always … Continue reading

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Thanks For All The Goats

I finished my article on biblical interpretation in the songbook of The Mountain Goats a couple of weeks ago, and since a couple of people from the tMG web forums had been very helpful and interested, I contacted one of … Continue reading

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Great Moments in Popular Music

And by “moment,” I really mean “moment” — those transient little gestures that make so much difference. For instance, this morning, consider the piano roll-into-chords at the very beginning of the Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” (I love the … Continue reading

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Multivariate Weighted Shuffle

After Apple had been propagating iTunes for a few versions, they (at length) released a version that allows its DJ function a binary option that instructs iTunes to “play higher rated songs more often.” Break out the champagne, everyone! Woohoo! … Continue reading

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