Today in Ohio there will be a concert at the Board of Elections during early voting. John Legend is headlining the concert. Do you think John Legend might be pulling a slightly different crowd to the polls than, say, Randy Owen?
Category Archives: Music
Recognition depends to a great extent on chance, but given enough time, chance produces fairly reliable results. In general, however, a single human lifetime is not long enough. And so there will always be people whose excellence goes unrecognized in their lifetimes. Van Gogh is the most extreme example, the painter who never sold a [...]
My father’s idea of a good evening was to sit in the half-darkness getting drunk and listening to classical music; he had us kids turn the record or tape over for him. I always had preferences for some of the music above others – when I was five I conceived such a passion for “The [...]
Amazing and weird religious drawings from a band called The Desert Fathers. Amazing.
Along I-40 I had to pull off to the side of the road to get a glimpse of a plant. I was fairly sure it was Yucca brevifolia, a Joshua Tree. It is a signature plant of the Mojave Desert, and is as far as I know naturally absent from the Sonoran Desert area around [...]
Hard not to think of the quiet parts of this song staring out into the desert as the sun begins to slant into the horizon. See the sun rise over her skin Don’t change it. See the sun rise over her skin Dawn changes everything. Mississippi and the cotton wool heat Sixty-six – a highway [...]
A very nice poem, part of the play Belshazzar’s Feast, where it gets a beautiful setting from Sibelius. An improvement on the psalm. Original text follows the translation. I sat by the rivers of Babylon And wept with my brothers, day and night. And my sisters were moved by my tears, By my brothers’ deep [...]
Listening to The Cure recently, I was surprised to discover that their song Killing an Arab – which to my youthful mind seemed merely the intentional offensiveness we are so often told is the proper province of (modern) art – is in fact a fairly close pop-song rendition of Albert Camus’ The Stranger. I didn’t [...]
A friend spoke to me about writing polyphonic music – “It must come together, of course,” he said. ”But also individually, every part must sing.” I keep the same principle in mind constantly when writing a novel, with its counterpoint plot lines. Here’s the Rolling Stones song “Shelter”, fascinatingly taken apart track by track. Fabulous [...]
In my last piece I noted quickly that music tends to go with religion, as indicating a life of pure ornament without further purpose, like a wayside shrine or a stained-glass window – indeed like everything treated as holy as opposed to useful. Here’s another perspective.