Swimming Alone: Radiohead’s A MOON SHAPED POOL

Pop Theology contributor Benjamin Drew Griffin has had some time to swim in Radiohead's new album, A Moon Shaped Pool. His thoughts after the jump. … [Read more...]

Presbyterian Reflections on the Death of Prince

Strange things happen at summer camp. Even Christian summer camp. Away from parents, out in the woods, under the supervision of mildly responsible college students. It was at my Christian summer camp in 1985 that I first heard the music of Prince.There in the meadow shelter at Camp Wildwood, the picnic tables had been pushed aside for the talent show. Some of the performers were doing lip-sync. (When did this even become an art form? With the invention of more portable music on cassette? … [Read more...]

New Songs for Springtime

PopTheology contributor Benjamin Griffin gives your ears a workout with some of the warmest and most fertile tunes for spring. New Songs for Springtime by Benjamin Griffin These first few months of 2016 have been an embarrassment of riches when it comes to tunes. I want to write an individual review for all of them but, in the interest of time and space, I’d like to instead offer a little sampling for your springtime listening pleasure. Without further ado, here’s a small review of what I’ve b … [Read more...]

Church in PA Does Peter Gabriel Mass

No more miracles, loaves and fishes/Been too busy with the washing of the dishes.-- “Lay Your Hands on Me” Peter GabrielThere was a buzz among some of my Facebook friends last week when one of my former students, The Rev. Lauren Schoek, posted an upcoming service at the church where she serves, St. James Episcopal in Lancaster, PA. It was a Saturday-night Eucharist featuring the music of Peter Gabriel. Many prog-rock-and-theology nerds (and there are more of us than you think) on three co … [Read more...]

The Art of Forgetting Fossils: A Review of Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Carrie and Lowell’

Benjamin Griffin is back. Now a resident of that hipster paradise of Austin, TX, he reviews Sufjan Stevens' latest album, Carrie and Lowell.The Art of Forgetting Fossils: A Review of Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie and LowellBy Benjamin Drew GriffinWe don’t know who Sufjan Stevens is. Some have claimed him as this generation’s greatest folk artist, a master of Americana orchestration and literary construction – but they were foiled by the glittery psychedelia and opaque personal deconst … [Read more...]

‘Montage of Heck’: A Gospel of Kurt Cobain

Last year I got a chance to see and review Seattle’s Experience Music Project’s exhibit on Kurt Cobain and the grunge era. The occasions for the exhibit were the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death and Nirvana’s induction into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.Now director Brett Morgen has added further to the Nirvaniana with a documentary on Cobain’s life, Montage of Heck. The film debuted at Sundance this year and had a limited theater release before being broadcast on HBO May 4th . It is now ava … [Read more...]

The Sixties Were Groovy — But So Is Today

Last week, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. This was a beautiful moment for my family as we gathered with friends in our adopted home in Northern Kentucky. By “adopted” I mean our extended family mostly lives in and around the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, where my mom grew up and my parents met. I’m the only member of my immediate family that was born in the Bluegrass State. My parents are transplanted Southerners in a border state.The fun part for me as a student of cu … [Read more...]

The Apotheosis of Grunge: the Nirvana Exhibit at Seattle’s Experience Music Project

In Seattle this past weekend, I had the opportunity to take in the Experience Music Project’s Nirvana exhibit. The show at Microsoft founder Paul Allen’s personal rock-n-roll hall of fame draws connections between the iconic grunge band and the blossoming of the Seattle sound in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It marks the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s first album and the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.At one particular moment in the exhibit I was struck by a spark of a memory while st … [Read more...]


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