[Article] Notes and Music The words of Virgil Thomson, composer and critic

Algis Valiunas of The Weekly Standard writes on one of the most ‘American’ of composers, as well as an essayist par excellence, Virgil Thomson, who is rightfully remembered by those who love literary criticism, especially when it comes to the arts. His fame deserved to be spread to laymen as well.

[Article] Neal Morse, A One Man Arian Rock Band

I’ll be the first to say that I happen to like Progressive Rock in all its many forms, from avant-prog to Christian symphonic, and everything in-between. I am also a fan of Neil Morse, who is the subject in question in this article written by Brendan P. Foht over at First Things.

What I don’t care for much is Morse’s Catholic bashing. The ground he attacks from is shaky at best, heretical at worst. Though I’m not Roman Catholic (I’m Eastern Orthodox), some of the lyrical content is amusingly bad when Morse strays into overly deep theological matters, and it never dawns on him that Sola Scriptura is itself unbiblical, rendering the whole of Protestant criticism moot.

Still, he is a fine musician, and it seems that First Things, a Christian-based magazine more focused on the arts, philosophy, culture and politics, seems to have a a thing for Mr. Morse and one of his side bands, Transatlantic. It’s nice to see prog make its way up to academia, and I’m thrilled to see it written about rather well, though I think that Foht’s tagging prog rock a ‘disreputable’ genre to be a bit of overkill. Glam, however…

On The Passing of Pete Seeger

Three articles regarding Pete Seeger’s demise – one pro, two contra, provide a good appraisal of the man’s life, work and views.

I loathed Seeger’s politics, his slavish devotion, until 1995, to Joseph Stalin’s murderous regime, and the fact that he stole ‘Wimoweh’ (see the story about Solomon Linda). Still, his own body of work will live on as part of Americana, and should be remembered as some of the finest songs to ever come out of the United States, as they are, indeed, timeless. One should never attempt to separate a man from his works, however, as the soul of each artist imbues his craft, whether we like it or not.