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. ...

Seven Deadly Sins: A Playlist
Originally Posted: 03/20/2014 - 10:45am | Type: Blog

Seven Deadly Sins: A Playlist Seven Deadly Sins: A Playlist   Wrath Rolling in the Deep — Adele Mama Said Knock You Out — LL Cool J Sloth Laz ...

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 ...

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. ...

Is New Katy Perry Video Blasphemous? Some Think So
Originally Posted: 02/27/2014 - 12:52pm | Type: Blog

disintegrate. “Blasphemy is clearly conveyed in the video,” reads the petition, started by 22-year-old Shazad ...

VIDEO: A Tribute to Pete Seeger
Originally Posted: 03/12/2014 - 1:21pm | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors In remembrance of Pete Seeger In " Singing in Pete Seeger's Choir " ( Sojou ...

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. ...

New and Improved Christmas Hymns
Originally Posted: 12/13/2013 - 10:56am | Type: Blog

As a public service, I have written historically accurate versions of three of the most beloved holiday hymns. Without personally endorsing any of the theology below, I also offer some alternatives to those wh ...

Rapper Shad Wrestles with Humanity and Humility
Originally Posted: 11/13/2013 - 4:29pm | Type: Blog

There is no mistaking it: Shad Kabango's music is authentic and tenacious. With incredible humility, he speaks from his heart, with no fear of calling out the inconsistencies he sees in the world. ...

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 ...

The God of Rap
Originally Posted: 10/30/2013 - 3:04pm | Type: Blog

No, this is not a critique of consumerism or materialism within hip-hop culture. On the opening night of the  Yeezus Tour , multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning rapper Kanye Wes ...

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 ...

Beyoncé, Religion, and the Crowd: Desiring Mercy, Not Sacrifice
Originally Posted: 09/19/2013 - 8:58am | Type: Blog

It was a depressing beginning to the week. I mimetically absorbed much of this violence, hatred, and racism. Misanthropy settled into my soul and I began to loathe myself and the entire freakin’ human race. Bu ...

'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 ...

Catching Up and Catching Grace with Singer-Songwriter Sam Phillips
Originally Posted: 09/03/2013 - 12:13pm | Type: Blog

"Push Any Button,” the first new physical album in five years from singer-songwriter Sam Phillips, is a blithe, fetching exploration of life’s flip side — after the flush of youth, after the heartbreak, a ...

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 ...

The Spirituality of Fun.
Originally Posted: 08/16/2013 - 1:16pm | Type: Blog

I love Fun.. I especially love the wacky period at the end of the band’s name. But Some Nights is full of philosophical and spiritual gold. It asks questions about identity, friendship, violence, and the purpo ...

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. ...

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

I’m excited to share this mixtape in honor of the Wild Goose Festival, Aug. 8-11 in Hot Springs, N.C. I’m excited to share this mixtape in honor of the Wild Goose Festival , A ...

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 ...

Mumford & Sons: Hootenanny for The Soul
Originally Posted: 06/20/2013 - 9:41am | Type: Blog

“Listen to the words,” the young woman behind me stage-whispered to her chatty date. “Are you listening?” “Listen to the words,” the young woman behind me stage-whispered to her ...

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 ...

Protest Songs, Revisited: New Campaign from ONE Features Mumford & Sons, U2, and More
Originally Posted: 06/14/2013 - 6:07pm | Type: Blog

The ONE Campaign, co-founded by music legend Bono of U2, has launched a new platform to promote global messages of social justice, women’s rights, and putting an end to apartheid, war and poverty — just to nam ...

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 ...

Hugging Bono, Engaging Critics, and Wishing 'The Frontman' a Happy Birthday
Originally Posted: 05/13/2013 - 12:44pm | Type: Blog

Like Bono, I am no economist, but also like Bono, I take seriously the Biblical teachings about poverty and justice. Back in December 1984, I went to my first U2 show at Detroit’s ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Justin Bieber at the Anne Frank House: Our Addiction to Scandal
Originally Posted: 04/16/2013 - 10:53am | Type: Blog

On Saturday, the pop culture icon Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam while on a world tour. At the end of his visit to the museum, Bieber wrote a message in the guest book. ...

Local Natives and Salvation
Originally Posted: 04/10/2013 - 3:52pm | Type: Blog

The passion translates into fresh, catchy indie rock laden with eclectic beats, rich harmonies, huge swells, and lots of “Ohs” that may eventually have — dare I say it — mainstream success. In a culture that’s ...

Marcus Mumford and the Trouble With Labels
Originally Posted: 04/03/2013 - 3:59pm | Type: Blog

In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Marcus Mumford, the 26-year-old lead singer of the wildly successful British band Mumford & Sons, raised the hackles of religious folks (in some quarters) when he decli ...

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! ...

The Gospel Roots of the ‘Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll’
Originally Posted: 02/20/2013 - 6:00pm | Type: Blog

Before Elvis and Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash. Before Aretha and Whitney and Beyonce. Before the blues met gospel and conceived rock ‘n’ roll, there was Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Be ...

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 ...

Punch Brothers: God-Honoring Musicianship
Originally Posted: 02/08/2013 - 5:29pm | Type: Blog

People often say the mark of a true “master of a craft” is one who makes something ridiculously difficult look easy. Chris Thile, former member of Nickel Creek and front man for folk group Punch Brothers, is o ...

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 ...

Finding God in Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell?
Originally Posted: 01/07/2013 - 10:09am | Type: Blog

Who would have thought that a chance encounter in a kids pizza joint and a subsequent search online for some pop culture trivia would reveal a glimpse of the as-yet-unrealized but nearly tangible kingdom of Go ...

Christmas Music That Isn't Horrible
Originally Posted: 12/14/2012 - 5:23pm | Type: Blog

A roundup of this year's best Christmas albums. Christmas is less than two weeks away, and even though most of us probably started cranking the Christmas tunes the day afte ...

Folk Artist Noah Gundersen Talks with Sojourners
Originally Posted: 12/06/2012 - 4:16pm | Type: Blog

Up-and-coming singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen stopped by the Sojourners office to talk with our Brandon Hook about music, his new album Family, God, and creativity. The Seattle-based folk artist was recently ...

CULTURE WATCH: Yeasayer — Musical Mad Scientists
Originally Posted: 11/26/2012 - 10:05am | Type: Blog

There are some artists whose work leaves you walking away thinking, “How in the world did they do that?” The Yeasayer performance at the 9:30 Club in D.C. on Nov. 15 was one such performance. ...

CULTURE WATCH: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: A Different Kind of Hip Hop
Originally Posted: 11/20/2012 - 10:06am | Type: Blog

Seattle based hip hop group Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who recently hit number one on the iTunes album charts and stopped by D.C.’s 9:30 club on Nov. 13, chose a different approach to the whole clothing concep ...

ICYMI: Andrew Bird's 'Hands of Glory'
Originally Posted: 11/09/2012 - 4:15pm | Type: Blog

If you were overwhelmed by all that election business, you might have forgotten that October just happened, and with it came a new release from one of my personal favorite musicians, Andrew Bird. ...

Election Night Jitters: A Video Playlist
Originally Posted: 11/06/2012 - 6:43pm | Type: Blog

"Freedom," by Richie Havens (Live at Woodstock, 1969) 22.   "I'm So Blue," by Joe Cocker ...