Ain’t (it about time to restart the Alphabet Game)

There ain’t no way to make the bad man stop babe … “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” TLC “Ain’t Goin’ Down to the Well,” Tom Waits “Ain’t Gonna Rain Anymore,” Nick Cave “Ain’t Got You,” Bruce Springsteen “Ain’t Hip to Be Labelled a Hippie,” De La Soul “Ain’t It a Shame,” The B-52s “Ain’t It [Read More...]

‘Can’t no preacher man save my soul’

Here’s the Civil Wars, Joy Williams and John Paul White, performing “Barton Hollow“: In case you needed any further reason to love the Civil Wars, Bread for the World notes that the duo also provided the score for Finding North, a documentary about hunger in America. Here’s Williams on the subject: Forty-four million people go [Read More...]

I was told there’d be pie …

I forgot the pie. (It’s a tradition. Contentious threads must be followed by pie.) Haven’t got any pie just now, so instead here’s a couple of other things that every right-thinking person enjoys — Martha Plimpton and “Thunder Road”: She’s not the only actress covering this song on YouTube, either. Here’s Jill Hennessy’s version. One [Read More...]

Hallelujah by and by

Shortly after I picked up the first book in the Left Behind series, but before I’d started writing about it, I wrote a post about the otherworldly strain of escapism in American Christianity. That otherworldliness, I argued, derives from the untenable history of trying to belong to a church that included both slaves and slaveowners. [Read More...]

Where’s the work that set my hands, my soul free?

For those who can’t view the video, this is “We Take Care of Our Own,” the new single from Bruce Springsteen from what will be his 17th album, Wrecking Ball, which comes out March 6. Blues on the verses, Gospel on the chorus. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Elsewhere on the New Music [Read More...]

An index for the 99%: 12 items of Christmas with the family will cost you $79.81

The Consumerist reports on an annual holiday tradition from PNC Financial: According to the folks at PNC Financial, who have spent decades tracking the ups and downs of the gifts rattled off in the seemingly endless tune, the total cost of realizing the full “12 Days of Christmas” has crossed the $100,000 mark for the [Read More...]

Praying for time

“George Michael is reportedly worsening after being admitted on Monday to an Austrian hospital for the treatment of pneumonia.” George Michael wrote some of the best and most enduring pop songs of the 1980s. For many people, that sentence probably cancels itself out, with the word “pop” diminishing the word “best,” and “the 1980s” diminishing [Read More...]

My Top 10 Randy Stonehill songs


Since we started our tour of old-school Jesus music last week with Larry Norman, it seems appropriate to follow up this week with his protege and sometime-collaborator Randy Stonehill. (Or, actually, maybe it’s incredibly inappropriate.) The first Stonehill album I ever got — 1982′s Equator — made me a fan, sending me back to pick [Read More...]