Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Teresa and the Scapulars

The general attitude toward Teresa and the Scapulars by those in the know is "the less said, the better." Formed at a Catholic girl's school in Los Angeles in the late 1960's, a school that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent and guilty alike, the Scapulars began as a student folk ensemble intended to play at school Masses. The members, all avid listeners to local radio, soon slipped the leash of the school's music teacher, Sr. Mary Incontrovertible, and began to experiment with … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Magisterium

Magisterium is an orchestra of sorts, with full choir, playing original compositions as well as a number of classic standards from every generation. Their members are veteran musicians drawn from every country of the world, much like The College of Cardinals, but Magisterium is a significantly larger ensemble with a great many more releases. Their original choral works are all written in Latin; but most unusually the words are translated and re-recorded in the local language before release in … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Popular Music: Thomas Aquinas

Dominican philosopher Scholasticism was his game Summa Theologica Aquinas was his name.Well, OK, I don't suppose this can be called popular music, even if they did spoof "Venus" by Bananarama. Still, I think this counts as pretty much the most popular pop song written about Thomas Aquinas, so it's good in my book. Plus, whoever wrote the lyrics actually knew something about St. Thomas.In internet terms it's an oldie! Don't miss it if you can! … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The Conventional Friars

The Conventional Friars are a Catholic novelty band started by six sophomores from the Franciscan College of Sts. Bonaventure and Gussie in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho in the fall of 1992. The ensemble first came together for a school talent show, to a strong response from the assembled students. Despite this, they continued to appear at campus events, wearing their signature chicken suits and performing songs like "Make Me An Omelette of Your Peace" and "They'll Know We Are Chickens By Our … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Popular Music: Bedlam Boys

In old times in England, "Tom O'Bedlam" was a name given to mad beggars (or to beggars who pretended to be mad as an aid to begging); the name comes from Bethlem Royal Hospital, or "Bedlam", a place in which the mad were confined. Bedlam spawned two different but related ballads; the first, "Tom O'Bedlam", goes more or less like this:From the hagg and hungry goblin That into raggs would rend ye, And the spirit that stands by the naked man In the Book of Moones - defend ye!That of … [Read more...]

Sixtus A Capella

In response to this post, the geographically named Joe Washingtoncatholic pointed me at a genuinely real and truly obscure Catholic Musical Group made up of seminarians from Washington DC: Sixtus A Capella. They are surprisingly good, and more than a little goofy.Here, for example, is an obviously lip-synced, gymnastically goofy, truly low budget video to a really good rendition of "A Man of Constant Sorrow":And here's a neat piece by another group called Breath of Soul, which I … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Deacon Greg and the Dalmatics

New York cover band Deacon Greg and the Dalmatics is a regular sight on the charity benefit circuit, bringing their low-key mix of contemporary pop tunes and doo wop classics to galas and telethons up and down the east coast. The members of the band, Catholic deacons all, bring a straight-ahead aesthetic to their covers that makes the best use of their combined talents while respecting the source material. On particularly popular tunes the Dalmatics will occasionally add a topical reference or … [Read more...]

The Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The Chasuble Project

The Chasuble Project's unique style of liturgical music, based on a unique fusion of Gregorian chant, vernacular texts, and modern jazz, has gotten them attention from music directors from all over the Catholic world. The Project's mass settings are scored for schola and jazz combo, the combo usually consisting of jazz piano, electric bass, and drum set; however, their more experimental settings have included everything from crumhorns* to dual electric xylophones. Albums include The Birth of … [Read more...]

The Woof Guide to Popular Music: Snoopy vs. The Red Baron

For some reason the subject of Snoopy and the Red Baron came up in conversation the other day, and I thought I'd commemorate it by posting the Royal Guardsman's song on the topic, a relic of my childhood. There are a number of versions of the song on Youtube; this one isn't stellar, but it sounds the best, and it doesn't have a bunch of WWII airplanes flying about like one of them did. … [Read more...]


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