Yawn: another rock video mocks the Catholic Church

Hasn’t Madonna already done this to death? Details:  Gary Oldman and Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard star in the latest video from David Bowie, featuring debauched Catholic clergymen. The promo, which premiered online this morning, depicts French star Cotillard as a dancing girl who bleeds from stigmata marks on her palms while Bowie plays a Jesus-like [Read More...]

Want beautiful sacred music? Don’t go to church. Head to the train station.

Proof, from the New York Times:  On a recent Sunday afternoon, 17 people with sheet music gathered in a semicircle in the Graybar Passage at Grand Central Terminal. People streamed by. After a brief warm-up, the group’s conductor, John Hetland, dressed in dark jeans and a green plaid shirt, lifted his hands and the chorus began its [Read More...]

Kids in kilts: this is spectacular

Check out this grin-inducing drum line performance from a talent show two years ago at Lake Howell High School in Orlando. These guys call themselves the Hot Scots. Enjoy. [Read more...]

“Back to church, we goin’ back to church!”

This was put together last year for “Back to Church Sunday,” a Protestant outreach event that happens every September.  A friend just posted it on FB.  It’s a scream. [Read more...]

Planning a wedding? Good luck topping this…

Last May, British singer-songwriter Tom Fletcher stood up at his wedding reception and sang a speech to the bridal party. Last week, he decided to post it online. It’s become a sensation, with over eight million hits so far on YouTube. After you’ve watched it below, you’ll understand why. He set the speech to some [Read More...]

Heavenly and heartbreaking: Newtown kids singing “Over the Rainbow”

Kids from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown appeared on “Good Morning America” yesterday with singer Ingrid Michaelson for a sweetly moving rendition of a song that, I dare say, has never resonated quite like this. Check it out, and learn the story behind it, below.  Warning: Kleenex suggested. [Read more...]

One Take More…and another and another: Shooting “Les Mis” and seeing songs as prayers

Director Tom Hooper discusses the work that went into his interpretation of the musical, and offers this interesting insight:  He said that he had consulted Australian director Baz Luhrmann who pointed out that moving between singing and talking can be difficult for an audience: “He said unless you can make some kind of contract with [Read More...]

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” re-imagined for Christmas

We’ve all heard Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” sung in a variety of styles — from the sweetly simple to the epic and grandiose.  But you’ve probably never heard it quite like this, beautifully re-imagined for the Christmas season by the band Cloverton.   Purists will blanche.  But I loved it.  See for yourself and decide. Consider [Read More...]

A Christmas carol about mass murder?

Yes. It traditionally commemorates today’s feast and has a tragic resonance right now: The “Coventry Carol” is a Christmas carol dating from the 16th century. The carol was performed in Coventry in England as part of a mystery play calledThe Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew. The carol refers to the Massacre of the [Read More...]

“Once in royal David’s city…”

Still and forever my favorite Christmas hymn. This serves as the processional for Midnight Mass at my parish.  The lights dim, a hush falls, and a small armada of 40 or so red-cassocked altar servers begin gliding into the church, working down the side aisle, rounding a corner, then up the center. The line grows, [Read More...]