Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The Dogmatics

Los Angeles-area group The Dogmatics are a straight-up no-nonsense rock-and-roll oldies cover-band. They claim to play only the best, most classic rock-and-roll hits; and their chief distinction is their skill at performing them with perfect fidelity to the best known recordings. Not content to impersonate just Elvis Presley or just the Beatles, they impersonate all the greats, one song at a time, live on-stage. At one of their shows you might hear them perform "I Heard It Through The … [Read more...]

The Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The College of Cardinals

Choral group The College of Cardinals is one of the longest lived ensembles in history, and would probably be the top-selling a cappella singers in the world today were it not for their eccentric release schedule. The Cardinals are a kind of all-star group, drawing the best singers from choirs all over the world, yet it is not unusual for a newly tapped member to die before ever having recorded a note with the full group.Rare as they are, however, each new track receives a great deal of … [Read more...]

It’s (Mostly) All Good

So, you may ask: this blog is a Catholic blog, on the Catholic Channel at Patheos. There's some Catholic content, but there's also a bunch about fiction, writing, popular music, and general foolishness. What's up with that? How come this blog isn't all Catholic all of the time?And I answer that, on the contrary, it is.Thomas Aquinas teaches us that love is naturally expressive of itself, and so with God: the universe around us, and everything in it, is an expression of God's love. … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Popular Music: Levon Helm

The best rock concert I ever went to was something of an accident. Early in 1986, my friend got four tickets to a Crosby, Stills and Nash reunion concert in Orange County, and gave two of them to Jane and I. The concert was scheduled for 8 PM, but we happened to hear on the radio that this group called The Band were going to open, starting at 7 PM or so. I'd heard of the band—"The Weight", and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" were standards on the stations I listened to—but I didn't rea … [Read more...]

The Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Pauline Privilege and the Annulments

Born Minerva Murphy, Pauline Privilege was a singer and band-leader in the waning years of the Big Band Era. Not only a singer but also a lyricist and arranger, she was well known for her arrangements (some said re-arrangements) of such popular tunes as "I Can't Get Started," "Tipi-Tipi Time's Up," "One O'Clock Stump," and "It's Over." She was a lively performer, interspersing her songs with comic patter and bad jokes. The name of her band, the Annulments, was both a running gag and an … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Wimple

The girl group Wimple emerged on the Seattle music scene in the early 1990's with a not particularly infectious blend of pop standards, show tunes, and contemporary worship music. Although the band performed live in full habit, wimple and all, it was never clear whether or not the members were actually Catholic sisters, as they refused all interviews and never gave their personal names. They released two albums, the self-titled Wimple in 1989 and a follow-on, Roses and Thorns, in 1990, neither … [Read more...]