The Philippi Sessions & Alan Lomax

The Philippi Sessions & Alan Lomax

As every Dylan fan knows, or will fully pretend to know if they didn’t already and you call them out on it, there would have been no Dylan without Woody Guthrie.  In fact, the better of the two original songs that Dylan wrote for his eponymous debut album was called...
Otis Will Make You A Better Lover

Otis Will Make You A Better Lover

Listening to Otis Redding will make you a better lover. How, you ask?  Take Otis’s gem ‘Try A Little Tenderness.’  This song has a mysterious power to it: it not only talks about tenderness; it is tenderness; it drives you to be tender.  In Catholic theological lingo,...
Christology Part 1: Ecce Homo

Christology Part 1: Ecce Homo

  In 1998 my friend Anime Emily gave me this tape that had a “mix” on one side and Athens, Georgia indie-rock band Neutral Milk Hotel’s album In the Aeroplane over the Sea on the other. I spent three weeks listening to the first two songs on Side A over and over...
Mavis Staples, Mediatrix of Grace

Mavis Staples, Mediatrix of Grace

I was a bit surprised when she first showed up in my prayer. You see, God reveals himself to each person individually in a way that person can understand.  St. Ignatius of Loyola firmly believed that.  Musically inclined, he experienced the Trinity as three notes...
Mementoes

Mementoes

I heard this song by Hem a couple of weeks back, and it’s stuck with me. (Note: no, I did not first hear it on the Liberty Mutual ad.  And as nice as it is to think that big insurance companies are into random acts of kindness and the ‘pay it forward’ attitude, I...