And May Christ Be In Our Midst

Bybee Cross

Today is a day of powerful, overwhelming emotions for many of us — a day when words feel hopelessly inadequate. For me, that means today is a day for music. (For as long as I can remember, music has helped to guide me through moments just like this, when my thoughts and the words I [Read More...]

A Little Labor Day Yodeling


I hope y’all have the opportunity to celebrate Labor Day by not laboring. Good times. But for those who are finding today’s holiday more literal than they might otherwise wish, I offer this video as mollification. It’ll be good for what ails you. (I speak from experience, having spent almost the entire 9+ minutes smiling goofily [Read More...]

Testing the Ol’ Tear Ducts


This video’s been making the rounds over the past few days, but for those that have not yet clicked on it, now’s the time. If it doesn’t make you cry, you might not have tear ducts. …or a heart. For me, its power lies not in the music (which is fairly pedestrian), nor in the generosity [Read More...]

Claude Debussy: More Than Just Moonlight


Knowing my propensity for both classical music and whimsical animation, a number of friends notified me of the Google Doodle commemorating Claude Debussy’s 151st birthday when it first appeared last night. I’m grateful, because it’s wonderful. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. I love the way the lit windows serve as visual [Read More...]

The Musical Soul of Pixar’s “Blue Umbrella”


I wasn’t as impressed with Monsters University as I was hoping. It was a pleasant (and thanks to my son, a memorable) theatrical experience, but the backstory of Mike and Sully’s friendship lacked the emotional teeth I’ve come to (perhaps unfairly) expect from Pixar. I was impressed by The Blue Umbrella, though. It was wonderfully made, [Read More...]

The Unassuming Genius of Franz Schubert


A few nights ago, a quick (but rewarding) YouTube session — instigated by a friend’s casual remark on the “Mozarty-ness” of Franz Schubert’s 5th Symphony at the live concert he was attending — reminded me of something I have forgotten with demoralizing regularity: Franz Schubert was a genius. The fact that I routinely forget the truth [Read More...]

A Little Mid-Week Tempestuousness


I’m still spreadsheeting, so my emotional state is not entirely stable. …OK, yes. “Not entirely stable” is a pretty generous way of describing it. Let’s just say that this Beethoven portrait is an accurate representation of my mood at the moment. So the  first (and paramount) order of business this morning was to hunt down [Read More...]

‘Tis the Music Dreams Are Made Of


My first brush with the legend of Scheherazade was a beautifully-illustrated, age-appropriate adaptation I found on the bookshelves of my childhood home. I was hooked, and instantly. There was something so exotic, so intoxicating about the stories and their settings — and the episodic (even unconnected) nature of the narrative — that my young love [Read More...]

OK Go Forth and Conquer


For those not yet familiar with OK Go, they’re an alternative rock band who exploded onto my radar a number of years ago as a result of their absurdly complex, gleefully imaginative music videos. “This Too Shall Pass,” for example, is a masterpiece of Goldbergian, single-take extravagance that must be seen to be believed — and [Read More...]

The Soothing Genius of Leo Kottke


I can still vividly remember the first time I heard Kottke play. It was during those early college days, as my roommate and I were just starting to feel each other out. Discovering how much we had in common (and also, not); what we liked and disliked (musically, ideologically, liturgically, snack-food-wise, etc.); negotiating how to [Read More...]