Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

On the Yahoo Music Machine

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Holy, Holy, Holy – Jim Nabors (don’t laugh!)

Lay, Lady, Lay – Duran Duran

Ordinary World – Duran Duran

Immaculate Mary – Grey Foxx

St. John Passion BXV245 – Eckhard Weyand

Chimes of Freedom – Bruce Springsteen

Back Street Girl – Bobby Darin

Cara Mia – Jay and the Americans

A Change is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

Love’s Been Good to Me – Kingston Trio

One by One – Wilco

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing – Fernando Ortega

Dr. Worm – They Might Be Giants

The Crying Game – Dave Berry

A Few Music Top Fives

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

I really like music, so here a few of my favorites:

Five Favorite Albums
Desire – Bob Dylan
Byrds Boxed Set – Byrds
Decade – Neil Young
Hot Burritos – Flying Burrito Brothers
Barry McGuire Anthology – Barry McGuire

Five Favorite Artists
Bob Dylan
The Byrds
Joe South
Barry McGuire
Vigilantes of Love

Five Favorite Unknown/Unpopular Artists
Rod McKuen
Albert Hammond
Terry Jacks


Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

I have always enjoyed music. I like a variety of styles from classical to rock. Since I subscribed to Yahoo Music I have had a great time finding old songs I love and discovering new ones. Here are a few new ones on my computer:

Pancho and Lefty – Townes Van Zandt
Fox on the Run – Dale Watson
Whistle Song – Kent
Kevlar Soul – Kent
Orly – Jacques Brel
If You’re Gone – Gene Clark
My Death – (Tribute to) Jacques Brel
Neon of Nashville – Flatlanders
Yahweh – U2
One by One – Wilco
Santa Fe Thief – Jimmie Dale Gilmore
He was a Friend of Mine – Jerry Jeff Walker

Of all the ones I listen to, Kent and Jacques Brel stand out in terms of their uniqueness. Kent is a Swedish band that has had 2 albums in English, Isola and Hagnesta Hill. I have both. Jacques Brel was a French singer who wrote many tunes that became hit songs in America ("If You Go Away" and "Seasons in the Sun"). I don’t understand a word he is saying, but the music is good. He died of lung cancer in the 1970s, and you can hear him breathing heavy on "Orly," left with one barely functioning lung, one of his last songs. An English tribute to Bel recorded a song called "My Death" which goes like this (excerpts):

Old Records
My death,
is like a swinging door,
a patient girl,
who knows the score,
whistle for her,
and the passing time…

My death,
waits like a Bible truth,
at the funeral,
of my youth,
weep loud for that,
and the passing time…

My death,
waits like a beggar blind,
who sees the world,
with an unlit mind,
throw him a dime,
for the passing time…

My death,
waits to allow my friends,
a few good times,
before it ends,
let’s drink to that,
and the passing time…

In the first and stanzas of "Orly", he sings (translation help please?):

Ils sont plus de deux mille
Et je ne vois qu`eux deux
La pluie les a soudés
Semble-t-il l`un à l`autre
Ils sont plus de deux mille
Et je ne vois qu`eux deux
Et je les sais qui parlent
Il doit lui dire: je t`aime
Elle doit lui dire: je t`aime
Je crois qu`ils sont en train
De ne rien se promettre
C`est deux-là sont trop maigres

Pour être malhonnêtes

High School Band DirectorEt puis il disparaît
Bouffé par l`escalier
Et elle elle reste là
Cœur en croix bouche ouverte
Sans un cri sans un mot
Elle connaît sa mort
Elle vient de la croiser
Voilà qu`elle se retourne
Et se retourne encore
Ses bras vont jusqu`a terre
Ça y est elle a mille ans
La porte est refermée
La voilà sans lumière
Elle tourne sur elle-même
Et déjà elle sait
Qu`elle tournera toujours
Elle a perdu des hommes
Mais là elle perd l`amour
L`amour le lui a dit
Revoilà l`inutile
Elle vivra ses projets
Qui ne feront qu`attendre
La revoilà fragile
Avant que d`être à vendre
Je suis là je le suis
Je n`ose rien pour elle
Que la foule grignote

Comme un quelconque fruit

The images are (left) of the woofer for my computer’s speakers and (upper right) my cat sitting beside some of my records. The records are (clockwise):  Joe South "Introspect," Badfinger "Say No More,"  "Introdicing the Beatles,"  Lemon Pipers "Jungle Marmalade," P.F. Sloan "Measure of Pleasure," and finally Barry McGuire "Eve of Destruction." The bottom right photo is the band director at the school where I work. Thanks to Picasa2 for jazzing these photos up.

Yahoo Music

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

I subscribed to Yahoo Music Unlimited a week or so ago, and I have been enjoying having access to over a million songs. Here is what I am listening to (you’ll see that I truly enjoy a wide variety of music):

Red is the Rose – The Chieftains
Sky Pilot – Eric Burdon and the Animals
Railroad Earth – Railroad Earth
The King of Love my Shepherd Is – Various
Wild Mountain Thyme – The Chieftains
Cross the Green Mountain – Bob Dylan
Remember When – Alan Jackson
Give Me Jesus – Fernando Ortega
I Don’t – Danielle Peck
Red is the Rose – Makem and Clancy
Pange Lingua – Craig Furkas
Kyrie – Craig Furkas
Girl From the North Country – Dylan & Cash
I Threw it all Away – Bob Dylan
Pass it On – Gary Richards
My Song is Love Unknown – Robin Mark
Arlington – Trace Atkins
Raglan Road – the Chieftains
If I Don’t Make it Back – Tracy Lawrence
Moon River – Jim Reeves
Jimmy Grove and Barbara Ellen – New Christy Minstrels
All Creatures of Our God and King – Ashley Cleveland
Christ the Lord is Risen Today– Ashley Cleveland
Come Thou Fount– Ashley Cleveland
Anything But Mine– Kenny Chesney
The Long Black Veil– Chieftains and Mick Jagger
Long Journey Home– Chieftains and Elvis Costello
Sing Me Back Home– Byrds
Close Up the Honky-Tonks– Byrds
Since I Don’t Have You– Manfred Mann
With God on Our Side– Manfred Mann

Ain’t It Great…

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Painted…when two of your favorite musicians have blogs? Roger McGuinn, former lead singer of the Byrds, has the Roger McGuinn Blog. Barry McGuire, a singer most well known for his work with the New Christy Minstrels and his #1 1960s hit "Eve of Destruction", has Barry’s weblog.

Rogerstanding3Both musicians have been very influential in my life. When I discovered "oldies" back in 1994 as a 15 year old, I drifted toward the folkier sound of McGuire and others. I was certainly out-of-place listening to the Byrds, P.F. Sloan, Bob Dylan, Joe South, Bob Lind, and Barry McGuire at that time, when most teens were listening to Nirvana or Boyz 2 Men. I can still listen to these artists, and they always sound fresh.

What a nice surprise it was to find out that both McGuire and McGuinn are now Christians. Barry has been a Christian since the early 1970s (and has worked with Terry Talbot, whose brother is the praised Catholic musician John Michael Talbot), and Roger since the late 1970s. Jonathan and I have a Byrds page set up, and I have compiled a Discography of Barry McGuire. Thanks for having blogs guys!

Barry is on the left (as pictured in the 1960s)
Roger on the right (from


Thursday, July 14th, 2005

Gsroadcut_1Sometimes I feel like I am just kind of wandering, since I am deciding what I am going to do about school and work. I kind of naturally like wandering I think. Just the other day I was browsing former Byrds lead singer Roger Mcguinn’s Home Page, looking for free music. I found "Wanderin," with lyrics written below, and it kind of resonated. Of course, we must remember as J.R.R. Tolkien reminds us, "all who wander are not lost." Plus, despite a tendency to wander, I never enjoy doing it alone.

The song was originally written during the first half of the 20th century about a soldier who returned from World War I to find hard times. McGuinn recently added some of his own lyrics. The MP3 may be downloaded for free here.

My daddy is an engineer,
my brother drives a hack
My sister takes in washing
and the baby balls the jack…
And it looks like I’m never going to cease my wandering

I’ve been out a-wandering
both early and late
From New York City
to the Golden Gate…
And it looks like I’m never going to cease my wandering

Been across this country
so many times before,

But I never lose the feeling,
that’s what God made me for…
And it looks like I’m never going to cease my wandering

Been working in the city,
working on the farm
I always have a guitar
underneath my arm…
And it looks like I’m never going to cease my wandering

Played most every country,
played most every town.
Want to keep on playing,
this whole wide world around…
And it looks like I’m never going to cease my wandering

There’s fish in the ocean,
and eels in the sea

And everywhere I haven’t been,
that’s where I want to be…
And it looks like I’m never going to cease my wandering

*Traditional, New lyrics by Roger McGuinn (C) McGuinn Music 2005 / BMI*

Image is my own, enhanced

Rock On!

Sunday, March 13th, 2005

Last night I went to a Christian rock concert. I haven’t been too active on the weekends lately, and a friend called me up and asked if I wanted to go. I said "sure" mainly because I hadn’t seen Steve in awhile and, to quote Golden Girl Sophia Petrillo (describing her village in Sicily), "what else is there to do in this God-forsaken town??" I was pretty open, but wondered how well this Catholic would enjoy such an evening.

Toddagnew_1I enjoyed the opening act quite a bit. I found out that they don’t even get paid for their services. That seems unfair to me, especially for a Christian tour.

The second artist, Todd Agnew was my favorite (photo on left). He and his band produced some quality songs, both lyrically and musically. He gave a mini-sermon that challenged the audience to not put Christian musicians on a pedestal. He also attacked those who would divide churches over music styles. He was speaking out against a lot of what I saw before I left the "contemporary" church I once attended. He reiterated Jesus’ words: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." In other words, having enough money to buy all of your favorite Contemporary Christian CDs (or classical or whatnot) but not having enough to help out a homeless person shows a lack of true worship. He also spent a lot of time hammering home the importance of taking to heart the lyrics to the hymns and songs you are singing.

The final act was my least favorite (and they were the headliners). The lead vocalist was trying to get the audience emotionally roused the whole time, and he suggested "punching with love" those of us who weren’t jumping up and down (to get us jumping I guess).  With everybody jumping up and down (including baby-boomers whose feet barely left the floor), it looked like a junior high dance mixed with a secular rock concert. I just didn’t feel any splendor or awe, just pressure to get emotional. Before playing one of their most popular songs, the lead vocalist went on about King David acting in an undignified way when the ark had been returned to Jerusalem, and basically used that moment to get on Christian leaders who have stifled the weird behavior of holy free-spirits. Of course after every sentence came the plea for an "amen" from the audience. I think he could have said "you all are fat pigs….AMEN??" and he still would have gotten a lot of "amens" in return.  Of course, what he failed to mention was that King David danced practically naked in the story he was telling. I told Steve that if the lead singer took his clothes off, I was gone!

The song that followed this speech had lyrics that went like this:
There’s a place where religion finally dies,
there’s a place where I lose my selfish pride…

I disagreed with the theology behind these lyrics. This theology posits the old false dichotomy of "relationship versus religion" that never made sense to me, even while I was Protestant. Our word religion comes from the Latin religio, which means "worship," "awe," "holiness," "ritual," etc. I don’t see why these are bad things at all. Why should any of these things die? Perhaps "ritual" is the evil meaning here. However…what about the ritual of jumping up and down to this band’s songs? I wasn’t into that particular ritual, and I was told to get ritualistic or get punched (I know he was joking, but the social pressure was the same). About this point, Steve and I left for hot wings. I did enjoy the evening though. I had a good time and learned a thing or two as well. Plus, I enjoyed seeing people of all ages have fun without resorting to harmful or immoral behavior.

Image from: