A Soap Box Interview at Solidarity Hall

Solidarity Hall has a thing for lefty Catholic native Texans. Their Soap Box interview series began with Elizabeth Stoker-Bruenig and was followed by Hunter Sharpless, both originally from the Republic of Texas. I am now their third. We talked about my review of God's Not Dead, the Christian film that came out this summer.Read the write-up that goes along with the recorded interview. … [Read more...]

Black United Students at Kent State University Stage a “Die In”

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Today at 1 pm EST, Black United Students organized and staged a "die in" at Kent State University in response to continuing violence against African Americans and other -- often young and male -- people of colour. Photos and video taken by Walter Gershon.  #‎kentstatediein   … [Read more...]

‘Late to Love’ Round-up!

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My debut album, Late to Love, was released in all formats on the feast of St. Augustine. Here is a round-up of reviews and notes about its progress.*Running on just under two hours of sleep, I played a solo concert at Regent College on the evening of the release. Considering that I am new in town, it was well attended, with about 40 people. Here is the entire video:Here is a photo album of the evening, courtesy of Justin Tse. (And here is another one, courtesy of Richard Wu … [Read more...]

A Hesitant Defense of Cliven Bundy

I've stayed away from the Bundy story until now. It seemed like the latest bit of 24-hour news sensationalism, and I still think it is. Even as I type these words I'm not exactly interested in the whole story. I don't plan to do my homework and could care less what I've missed or what will show up later.I only became interested in the story after the racial remarks Bundy made that were decried by every ideological color on my spectrum of social media. That was what caught my attention.I … [Read more...]

Profane Praise: On Estuary Music

The expression for 'fresh water' in Spanish is agua dulce — sweet water. I always liked that way of putting it. An estuary is a place where sweet and salty water meet and combine into a brackish ecology of life between land and sea.*I grew up in the sweet waters of the charismatic Roman Catholic Church, leading worship where open major chords strummed in 4/4 and unison choruses ended singing acapella, in men's and woman's parts.Over the last decade of my life, I've discovered and fall … [Read more...]

LIVE at The Empire UPDATED

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Last night I played the first all-original set I've played since 2006, at Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis, at The Empire theatre in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota. The show lasted just over an hour and a half and I played songs I've written from 2003 to the present. I was joined by my brother-in-law, Shawn Kolles, on drums. Here is most of the full show (with part II below)  and, below that, I'll add links to the individual songs as they get uploaded. Enjoy!SPANISH CHOIR THERE WAS A … [Read more...]

A Sunday Letter: Bikers and Fishing, Rhythm and Harmony

My dear readers,Happy Pentecost! Here's something of a weekend review:Friday I played drums for the opening act and guitar for the headliner --- "Little Bobby and the Storm" --- at a biker charity event in St. Hilaire, MN. It felt very retro. Biker leather and tattoos don't age much and there were not the usual smart phones everywhere. I never knew that bikers like to slow dance as much as they did. The beer was unlimited and the outdoor stage allowed for smoking, so the air was ripe … [Read more...]

Open Mic Night: Is this the New Evangelization?

It's not everyday I get to post on Patheos Catholic from a neighborhood dive bar.But I'm headed to Wabash College today, to give a noon talk and an evening lecture on Thursday, and I need to give you something in the meantime. (I had a warm-up talk/conversation here at the University of North Dakota on Monday. I'll post all three here once I get back, in case anyone's interested.)On Tuesday nights, I've started attending a local open mic, in hopes of knocking off some rust to start p … [Read more...]

“White History Month”

Two years ago, during my first year of teaching at Wabash College, I was invited to give a "Chapel Talk," a weekly lecture on the speaker's choice. Since I have a natural aversion to controversy, I wrote and delivered the following talk on a bland and safe topic: Black History Month and the notion of race.Since it's February again, I share it here in video and text. I have not done much more work in the philosophy of race since writing this talk, but I do hope to return to it sooner than … [Read more...]

Was Columbus White?

On another side of this holiday, we find another lesson: a lesson about whiteness.Columbus Day is often treated, on both sides, as the day that so-called white people discovered/conquered (see my previous post) non-whites.This is mistaken: in 1492 "white people" hadn't been invented yet. The invention of Whiteness didn't happen for several hundred years later.In the British colonies and Whiggish United States, Columbus --- and all of Spanish and Italian culture --- would never … [Read more...]


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