More assorted notes

(1) Still sore over missing TARCon :(. Sounds like the TARFlies had a blast. Well, there’s still Amazing Race 12 this fall unless CBS does something weird. I did pick the winner right in a March blog here : Eric and Danielle. Just about everyone else in the late going (poss. excepting Charla) showed some sign of serious fatigue. Even Dustin & Kandice (their little fight, and their struggle with the last task). Oswald and Danny were hit the worst, with all the classic signs : arguing, disorientation, bleary eyes, and bungling tedious tasks. Heck, even Phil looked a bit weary.

(2) I’m still getting good feedback on the singing groups special, especially the Alvin Chea interview. Take 6 fans a re coming out of the woodwork. See below, April for a played-list. Acappella fans should know that while the Fall WUSB ‘thon will probably generate a different show (on ethereal music), I’m still hoping for an acappella jam show on one of my regular shows in September/October. But I’m going to need a lot of groups to show up. So if you’re in a Metro NY, Jersey, or Connecticut bandless band, leave me word here as to availability and contact. And keep checking here for further developments — they will be posted.

(3) Revamped many of the word definitions on the site. That includes clearer sections on homiletics and “deliverance ministries“. If you’re a student of religion or of Christianity, or you’re a news reporter or talk show producer searching for information on a topic on Christianity, is what you’re looking for. There’s no end to what you can find there.

(end of shameless plug for my own site….)

(4) I still can’t get over those who keep calling the expression of religious belief in the public and political realms “dangerous”. The Constitution specifically protects religious practice. Christian religious practice is based on loving one’s neighbor, and being of help even to those who don’t hold our beliefs. This is often unavoidably public, and sometimes unavoidably political. If I can’t fully follow through on that, then I am not free to practice my faith. The Founders of the US understood that. Yet some writers, mostly but not exclusively on the Left, just don’t get it, mainly because some religious person says something they oppose, and they (sometimes rightly) fear that the advocates are tyrants in disguise. But that’s irrelevant; you fight them by opposing their viewpoint on the subject matter, not by telling them to shut up like O’Reilly does. You’re free to oppose. Just don’t even try to cut off the social space for the public parts of religious practice. You’ll have me in your face. For your own good. For our freedom to speak is also yours, and if we don’t have it, you also won’t have it before long.

That said, some Christians should learn when to speak and when to listen. Listening, too, is part of loving one’s neighbor.


Played-List, Singing Groups special

This is what I have in my notes; I fully expect to revise it as I go over it. But this is how it went :

When I Needed Him Most — Blind Boys of Alabama
Heaven’s Joy Awaits — Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
A Voice From On High — Bill Monroe & his Bluegrass Boys
Helplessly Hoping — Crosby Stills Nash
Down to the River to Pray — Alison Krauss (fr. ‘O Brother’)
All Is Well — Ollabelle
An tAiseirl (the Resurrection) — Noirin Ni Riain
Blue Shadows On the Trail — Roy Rogers / Sons of the Pioneers
Oklahoma Wind — Tonic Sol-Fa
Very Last Day — Peter Paul & Mary
Tone-Whole — Just 4 Kicks
Poppity-Pop — Just 4 Kicks
Vinterlude — Take 6
If I Fell — the Essentials
Why I Feel This Way — Take 6 / Stevie Wonder
I Believe — Take 6
++ [start of interview with Alvin Chea, bass singer of Take 6]
Harmony — Take 6 / Queen Latifah
You Can Make It – Go On — Take 6
++ [end of Chea interview]
Gypsy Woman — the Persuasions
Inside Of You — Ray Goodman & Brown
(You Gave Me) Peace Of Mind — Johnny Maestro & the Brooklyn Bridge
Everything’s Coming Up Roses — Realtime
Pretty Baby — Sean Altman
Zombie Jamboree — Rockapella
++ [ start of interview with Sean Altman, founding member of Rockapella ]
Under the Boardwalk — Rockapella w. True Image (fr. Spike & Co. Do It Acappella)
Secret Santa — the GrooveBarbers
U’vnay Yerusalayim — Kol Zimra
Change In My Life — Rockapella
++ [ end of Altman interview ]
South American Getaway — soundtrack of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
[several other songs)
How Many Psychiatrists — P.D.Q Bach
2 — m-pact
++ [ start of interview with Trist Ethan Curless of m-pact ]
I Thought You Cared For Me — m-pact
My Favorite Things — m-pact
What Are You Doing the Rest Of Your Life — m-pact
++ [ end of Curless interview ]
(something or other)
Tal Vez Seja Voce — Groove Society
Rockin’ Chair — the Mills Brothers
We Three (My Echo, My Shadow, and Me) — the Ink Spots
Uncloudy Day — Staple Singers
Morse Code of Love — the Capris
All Mine (acappella mix) — the Five Satins
In the Still Of the Night — the Five Satins
Vowels of Love — the Poets
Silence Is Golden — the Four Seasons
Whispering Bells — the Dell Vikings
You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me — Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
Papa Was A Rolling Stone — the Temptations
Lovers Never Say Goodbye — the Flamingos
Splanky — Toxic Audio
Amazing Grace / Nearer My God — Ladysmith Black Mambazo w. Emmylou Harris


The interviews, esp. Chea, were so good I had to let them run on. I didn’t get to soooo much stuff, including segments on the Mint Juleps, the Ravens, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, as well as songs from the Beach Boys, Prelude, Dixie Hummingbirds, Comedian Harmonists, and some 1990s improv from Extempo. Both time and weather shot down the idea of a jam (maybe during the fall?)

Any questions? Make a comment.

great time at the show

The singing groups special went quite well, thank you. (Even with having to use the guest mic for nearly the whole show.)

I was thinking about how I was tiring of the “contemporary” acappella groups — the ones patterned on Rockapella and then infused with boy-band slickness and a sort-of-jazzish calculated cool. What could they do to make a sound that had inventiveness, soul, guts? My show, oddly enough, held part of an answer; it had all sorts of great sounds in it. The “contemp” groups, well…. they don’t. They haven’t put these sounds to use. Do they know how to do it? I would guess they know how to do some of it. But the point comes in a song where you could really use, say, a sharp Beach Boys or Crosby Stills Nash or Delfonics harmonic, or a lead that really ran with the song’s end like Phillippe Wynne of the Spinners, or a bass who talks it through like Hoppy Jones of the Ink Spots. Or maybe sharing leads with the precision of the Temptations, perhaps, or they could add a touch of Celtic or Dalmatian voicings, maybe even a burst of Bulgarian choir or Black Mambazo if they have enough singers. But when the time comes … it passes….

I’m well aware that no group can do all those sounds well, but any of them can draw on more of them than they use now. The harmonics, leads, lyrics, and feel are different for each, but lessons can be learned from all of it, and having these modes in your arsenal means it’s there when the song or the live moment calls for it.

Their palettes are just too skimpy. (Just one part of the puzzle, but an important one, I think.)