The Common Good

Results for Music

Holy Week Music Sets a High Bar, But One Church Rises to the Challenge
Originally Posted: 04/16/2014 - 2:39pm | Type: Blog

Think Christmas, and carols come to mind: “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” “The First Noel.” But think of the other great Christian season — Holy Week and Easter — and most people draw a musical blank. ...

Sweet Soul Paradox
Originally Posted: 04/09/2014 - 9:23am | Type: Magazine Article

Danny Duncan Collum The glory of the FAME studio had its roots in the deep shame of rural Southern poverty. O ...

Art, Liturgy, and the Future of Music: A Q&A With Gungor
Originally Posted: 03/19/2014 - 9:32am | Type: Blog

Last week, Sojourners’ Associate Web Editor Catherine Woodiwiss caught up with musical collective Gungor at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Here’s what Michael Gungor has to say about art, liturgy, and th ...

Spring Is Victory Lane
Originally Posted: 03/18/2014 - 3:03pm | Type: Blog

Some day soon, pop music will start wafting through the urban canyons where I live. Some day soon, pop music will start wafting through the urban canyons where I live. Rap, sal ...

Visionary Vapor: Starting Lent with Michael Gungor and The Liturgists
Originally Posted: 03/10/2014 - 3:08pm | Type: Blog

If you were not on the Gungor or Michael Gungor Twitter feed over the first two days of March, you might have missed the news about a new band, a new record, and a new mini-tour. ...

SXSW 2014 Where Faith Joins The Convo
Originally Posted: 03/10/2014 - 11:18am | Type: Press

March 8, 2014 Sojo in the News DJ Chuang ...

New & Noteworthy
Originally Posted: 03/12/2014 - 9:18am | Type: Magazine Article

Julie Polter Just Jesus by Walter Wink with Steven Berry / On "Strangers No Longer" by Paulist Press / Eve by Angélique Kidjo / ...

Singing in Pete Seeger's Choir
Originally Posted: 03/12/2014 - 9:18am | Type: Magazine Article

Danny Duncan Collum He didn't just sing for the audience. He got them to sing for themselves. WHEN I MOV ...

Not Afraid of the Dark
Originally Posted: 02/17/2014 - 10:30am | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins The Coens realize that sometimes, of course, comedy is bleak. But the point of gargoyles is to remind us that sacred and p ...

Forget Swords and Plowshares: Turn Guns Into Guitars
Originally Posted: 01/30/2014 - 2:59pm | Type: Blog

When properly presented and engaged, great art invades our dreams and haunts our waking hours. It causes us to see reality in a new way, and sometimes even presents an alternative vision for what the future co ...

New & Noteworthy
Originally Posted: 01/08/2014 - 10:28am | Type: Magazine Article

Julie Polter Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk by Delores S. Williams / Social Music by Jon Batiste and Stay ...

A Year in Music
Originally Posted: 12/30/2013 - 12:45pm | Type: Blog

This year I have been trying something new to me. I’m trying my hands at a little music or concert review. It’s a chance to experiment with this nascent methodology I’m developing. ...

Why Switchfoot Won’t Write Christian Songs
Originally Posted: 12/10/2013 - 2:40pm | Type: Blog

Way back in the day (circa 2004), Switchfoot's lead singer, Jon Foreman, was asked if the band is a “Christian” band. Even though it's been a while, his response is worth looking at again. ...

The Spirituality of Katy Perry -- Pointing Toward Unconditional Love
Originally Posted: 12/05/2013 - 11:24am | Type: Blog

Despite Katy Perry's "Unconditional" love song, in real life, romantic feelings are highly conditional. They come and they go. But God's love is unconditional. ...

New & Noteworthy
Originally Posted: 11/12/2013 - 10:26am | Type: Magazine Article

Julie Polter A blog by David Hilfiker / Sing to the Moon by Laure Mvula / High Rise Stories:Voices from Chicago Public Houses by Audrey P ...

ICYMI: Brooklyn-Based Lucius' Vintage Pop Tunes Are A Must Listen
Originally Posted: 10/31/2013 - 4:20pm | Type: Blog

Brooklyn-based Lucius have managed to craft an album with diverse songs, catchy hooks, and really powerful vocals and harmonies stick in your head for days. It seems rare these da ...

ICYMI: Heavy Hearts on The Head and the Heart's Sophomore Release
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 4:12pm | Type: Blog

While not nearly as upbeat as their last record, “Let’s Be Still” is perhaps deeper and rawer. The standout songs don’t pull it up enough to eclipse its predecessor, but it’s still worth giving a listen. ...

WATCH: The Head and the Heart's New Single Written in the Wake of the Newtown Tragedy
Originally Posted: 10/02/2013 - 3:14pm | Type: Blog

Seattle-based folk group The Head and the Heart released their newest single, "Another Story," off of their anticipated upcoming album, Let's Be Still. Seattle-base ...

'I Was Wrong, I’m Sorry & I Love You:' Album Review
Originally Posted: 09/04/2013 - 8:44am | Type: Blog

In previous albums, Derek has been more critical of what we could refer to as the “Christian Right” — those who vote for politicians just because they are anti-gay marriage (“Freddy Please”) or that support ev ...

Problems with Christian Contemporary Music: An Interview with Trey Pearson of 'Everyday Sunday'
Originally Posted: 08/30/2013 - 10:26am | Type: Blog

No offense to the artists that are ruling Christian music, but it's just not at the peak of the creative music spectrum. It almost never is. It always feels behind, and that's because the gatekeepers ...

Let It Ring: Indigo Girls Grace The Goose
Originally Posted: 08/13/2013 - 11:35am | Type: Blog

To be frank, I have been to a lot of secular music festivals that pay admirable lip service to activism, but these did not feel like they were anything close to being part of a movement. Wild Goose, on the oth ...

Troy Bronsink’s 'Songs To Pray By' Travels To Wild Goose
Originally Posted: 08/08/2013 - 11:03am | Type: Blog

A solo Bronsink will be presenting his musical work tomorrow at the Wild Goose Festival. We both took a break from packing and planning our journeys to North Carolina for this email interview. ...

Presbyterians Stir Theology Debate by Rejecting Popular New Hymn
Originally Posted: 08/07/2013 - 9:59am | Type: Blog

The committee putting together a new hymnal for the Presbyterian Church (USA) dropped the popular hymn “In Christ Alone” because the song’s authors refused to change a phrase about the wrath of God. ...

Second Time Around: Wild Goose Mixtape 2013
Originally Posted: 08/05/2013 - 1:44pm | Type: Blog

Café) Phil Madeira – Mercyland (Fri 8.9 – 9:00pm @ Main Stage) The Collection – Lazarus (Thu ...

New & Noteworthy
Originally Posted: 08/07/2013 - 9:38am | Type: Magazine Article

Julie Polter The March by PBS / Secular Days, Sacred Moments edited by David Cooper / One True Vine by Mavis Staples / The Israeli-Palest ...

David Wimbish: Life, Death, Fundraising, and Festivals
Originally Posted: 07/24/2013 - 11:57am | Type: Blog

At the 2012  Wild Goose , for an afternoon set at a tent tucked away on the backwoods of the festival site, a young North Carolina band blew minds and won fans. More than just a band — more like a multicolored movement of sonic jubilee —  David Wimbi ...

Animal Collective: ‘With It’
Originally Posted: 07/03/2013 - 5:21pm | Type: Blog

Animal Collective create intricate soundscapes that take themselves and their listeners into an experience that, whether they like it or not, is reminiscent — at the least — of an experiential look at eternal ...

The Price of Holiness
Originally Posted: 07/02/2013 - 2:04pm | Type: Blog

I have been talking to a friend lately about the nature of achievement. We have been talking about money and art and what it means to care for oneself and the concept that human beings deserve to be happy. Or, ...

Bobby McFerrin: Praying as He Sings
Originally Posted: 06/27/2013 - 11:33am | Type: Blog

He’s best known for his iconic 1980s feel-good hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” but Grammy-award winning artist Bobby McFerrin explores a deeper side of life in a new album. He’s best ...

ICYMI: Vampire Weekend Wrestle with Faith ... Wait, Really?
Originally Posted: 06/19/2013 - 1:50pm | Type: Blog

On this album, the third in what Koenig sees as a trilogy, Vampire Weekend manage to mature their poppy, eclectic sound, drawing from all sorts of genres and international songs — as they normally do — but als ...

Mumford and Sons: Eschatological Banjos
Originally Posted: 06/18/2013 - 2:03pm | Type: Blog

As the people of the earth can enter into the city of God bringing what they have (Rev. 21) so too does the congregation bring all that they are to worship. A couple of weeks ago ...

Catholic Rocker Matt Maher Finds Cross-Over Appeal Among Evangelicals
Originally Posted: 05/20/2013 - 1:49pm | Type: Blog

Growing up Roman Catholic in Newfoundland, Matt Maher never imagined that his childhood interest in music would lead to a career as a Grammy-nominated, chart-topping Christian rocker — let alone a crossover ar ...

The 2013 Sweetlife Festival: At the Intersection of Passion and Purpose
Originally Posted: 05/14/2013 - 6:06pm | Type: Blog

Hopefully Christians can learn from what sweetgreen has accomplished in just four short years to provide a culturally impressive and respected music experience with a delicious and nutritious food experience a ...

Old School Harmonies, Hold the Irony
Originally Posted: 05/15/2013 - 10:05am | Type: Magazine Article

Brittany Shoot Then Sings My Soul: The Culture of Southern Gospel Music. University of Illinois Press IF YOU ...

Stornoway: Hopeful and Honest
Originally Posted: 05/08/2013 - 4:12pm | Type: Blog

Stornoway delivered with hopeful, honest songs about life, love, and everything in between. Delightful is probably the best word to describe their music and the experience of seeing them live. It’s like taking ...

Julian 'J-Kwest' DeShazier on Rhymes & Reasons: The Stories of Hip-Hop
Originally Posted: 05/03/2013 - 10:43am | Type: Blog

For nearly a decade, the ministry of Julian “J.Kwest” DeShazier has been an exploration in the relationship between music and faith. As artist, this Chicago native has used his unique rhythm to tell stories of ...

Modern Hymn Writers Revive a Lost Musical Art
Originally Posted: 04/30/2013 - 2:22pm | Type: Blog

Most songwriters in Nashville want to get their songs on the radio. Keith and Kristyn Getty hope their songs end up in dusty old hymnbooks. NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Most songwriters in ...

Still A Believer: A Talk with Singer-Songwriter Nataly Dawn
Originally Posted: 04/24/2013 - 12:43pm | Type: Blog

A while back I had an opportunity to sit down and talk with up-and-coming singer-songwriter Nataly Dawn about faith and songwriting. Dawn grew up in France, went to Stanford for undergrad, and made it big on Y ...

Former ‘Jesus Freak’ Traces the Evolution of Christian rock
Originally Posted: 04/18/2013 - 10:54am | Type: Blog

Today, at age 65, Gersztyn’s religious fervor has mellowed; he rarely attends church and calls himself “an allegorical Christian.” But he has put together his love of pop music and photography to publish an il ...

George Beverly Shea, the Voice of Billy Graham Crusades, Dies at 104
Originally Posted: 04/17/2013 - 4:44pm | Type: Blog

George Beverly Shea, whose signature baritone voice was a standard feature of Billy Graham crusades for more than half a century, died Tuesday at age 104. George Beverly Shea, who ...

Sojo Stories: The Last Bison
Originally Posted: 04/17/2013 - 1:00pm | Type: Blog

Chesapeake, Va.-based folk band The Last Bison talked with Sojourners about music, creativity, and God before their show in Washington, D.C. a while back. Be sure to listen to their recently released debut alb ...

Is God on Our Side?
Originally Posted: 03/05/2013 - 11:44am | Type: Blog

What's it like to wrestle with the Divine One? You know, like Jacob did there in the desert one night. You can contend with God, can you not? Is God not then your enemy in some way? ...

Tame Impala: Some Psychedelia
Originally Posted: 03/04/2013 - 1:08pm | Type: Blog

When I first listened to Tame Impala, I was almost convinced they were the late-60s Beatles reincarnated. Lead singer Kevin Parker’s nasally yet gentle voice sounds about as John Lennon as you’re gonna get. ...

From Lent To Love: From Your Friendly Neighborhood Troubadour
Originally Posted: 02/26/2013 - 3:48pm | Type: Blog

If you read the text as a propositional description of God, it can be a rather disturbing image as God keens agonizingly one minute, and rages menacingly the next. It is almost a frightening glimpse of someon ...

Sojo Session: Branches
Originally Posted: 02/22/2013 - 11:32am | Type: Blog

Our friends and up-and-coming musicians Branches trekked all the way from California and stopped by our office in D.C. last week to play a couple of their songs during their East Coast tour! ...

ICYMI: February Music
Originally Posted: 02/18/2013 - 4:48pm | Type: Blog

Just as the winter months tend to bring a mellower, melancholic feel to life, so too can music. And some of this month’s more obscure releases do just that. If you’re looking for an album to check out on a dre ...

Walk the Moon: A Fun Pick-Me-Up
Originally Posted: 02/05/2013 - 5:57pm | Type: Blog

If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, look no further than Cincinatti’s Walk the Moon. The group recently stopped in Washington, D.C. on their world tour and performed in front of an uber hyped audience. ...

Art As An Act of Faith
Originally Posted: 01/08/2013 - 4:51pm | Type: Blog

I’m cloaked in Bible stories and Christian tradition, and therefore I live in hope that there’s a Creator and that this God is working quietly to heal the world. Almost two years ...

People Get Ready
Originally Posted: 01/14/2013 - 10:51am | Type: Magazine Article

Danny Duncan Collum The "hope and dreams" in Springsteen's song are those of the immigrant, the refugee, and the runaway s ...

Sleeper Awake!
Originally Posted: 01/14/2013 - 10:51am | Type: Magazine Article

Will O'Brien Unto Us the Sun by Aimee Wilson. Self-released. IN THE TITLE song of Aimee Wilson's ne ...