The New Pornographers – Joseph, Who Understood, by Tom Fredrickson

The Joseph of the Nativity story is a cipher: one of those New Testament characters whose very blankness seems to invite us to step into their sandals and ask what we would do if we were witness to such strange events. It wasn’t until I became an adoptive father that I suddenly (if narcissistically) . . . → Read More: The New Pornographers – Joseph, Who Understood, by Tom Fredrickson

Nekromantix & Angie & the Car Wrecks Raise the Dead At Tacoma’s Jazzbones, by Holly Homan

Friday night December 12, I once again made the long drive south to Tacoma, Washington to see yet another great show at Jazzbones. This time it was Nekromantix with Angie & the Car Wrecks opening.

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen Nekromantix, but this was the most fun show I’ve seen them . . . → Read More: Nekromantix & Angie & the Car Wrecks Raise the Dead At Tacoma’s Jazzbones, by Holly Homan

Laura Nyro – Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, by Pat Thomas

For me, this 1970 LP is the best “holiday” album. Why? Laura Nyro wrote all the songs, except one, which Carole King did. Felix Cavaliere and Arif Mardin produced it. The backing band are the Swampers from Muscle Shoals – plus Duane Allman AND Alice Coltrane play on it. What more could you want?

. . . → Read More: Laura Nyro – Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, by Pat Thomas

Free Christmas! EP From Awesome Canadians, Zerbin

Friendly Canadian indie-rock trio Zerbin is spreading holiday cheer with a free download of its latest EP. Premiering on Pancakes & Whiskey, the new release features Christmas classics with a modern pop twist and two never before heard remixes of the band’s hit song, “New Earth.” The free download is available via NoiseTrade.

. . . → Read More: Free Christmas! EP From Awesome Canadians, Zerbin

Anna O – Symphony

After spending the last few months working on new music, Australian songwriter Anna O is excited by the release of her latest single, ‘Symphony.’ The track is brought to life by the artist’s warm, soulful vocals, which glide over a landscape of dreamy synths, strings and an overall sense of intrigue. It’s this unique . . . → Read More: Anna O – Symphony

Barbara Manning – Scissors, by Pat Thomas

For me, the soundtrack of the late 80’s and early 90’s, the definitive ‘indie rock’ artist, was Barbara Manning. Her ethereal vocals over the top of a 1960s English folk / 70’s Krautrock / 80’s Kiwi Flying Nun blend was not only unique, it was transcendent. Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and Robyn Hitchcock . . . → Read More: Barbara Manning – Scissors, by Pat Thomas

Red Sleeping Beauty – Merry Christmas, Marie

As a Christmas gift for you, Red Sleeping Beauty is releasing “Merry Christmas, Marie,” their first new song in 17 years.

Red Sleeping Beauty is a semi-legendary Swedish bedroom pop band. They released two albums and numerous singles on classic pop labels around the world between 1992 and 1997. Highly rated by pop connoisseurs, . . . → Read More: Red Sleeping Beauty – Merry Christmas, Marie

Top Ten Albums of 2014, by Graig Markel, Celebrity Guest Blogger

Unless someone comes out with an excellent Christmas album in the next couple weeks, here’s my top ten of 2014:

St. Paul and the Broken Bones Half the City

The Budos Band Burnt Offering

Lee Fields and the Expressions Emma Jean

Benjamin Booker Violent Shiver

Prince Art Official Age

. . . → Read More: Top Ten Albums of 2014, by Graig Markel, Celebrity Guest Blogger

Jessie J – Masterpiece

The Hunts – O Holy Night

Recently signed to Cherrytree Records/Interscope, seven-piece sibling band The Hunts, have been playing music together almost their entire lives. Ranging from ages 16 to 24, twin sisters Jenni and Jessi and their five brothers Josh, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin, and Jamison all learned to sing and play violin as young kids and spent much . . . → Read More: The Hunts – O Holy Night

ABBA – Why Did It Have To Be Me, by Tom Fredrickson

You need to see this: Frida! Bjorn’s Ovation Breadwinner! Frida’s satin hot pants and charmingly awkward dancing and blithe overconfidence!

That video was discovered in an Internet breadcrumb trail—there needs to be a word for that experience (start with site A, which takes you to video B, which leads to chatroom C, etc.); . . . → Read More: ABBA – Why Did It Have To Be Me, by Tom Fredrickson

Barbara Lusch – Where the Streets Have No Name

Portland jazz artist Barbara Lusch is no novice to the heart and grit that fueled the 80s and brought about rock powerhouse numbers from Springsteen, Bowie, Bon Jovi and many other culture icons. In a creative attempt to underline the passion and emotive fervor contained in the lyrics of these rock ballads, Lusch . . . → Read More: Barbara Lusch – Where the Streets Have No Name

Spaceships by Betsy Youngquist

I’m having fun with videos again. How old were you when man first set foot on the moon? I think we have little idea how deep an impact this monumental event had and continues to have on our species……..

– Betsy Youngquist

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rooaz5lpx2zi118/Spaceships.mp4

BYART.com

Five Surprising Facts about Christianity in the Dark Ages, by Kim Rendfeld

Lorsch Gospel, produced during the Carolingian era

Religion plays a central role in the lives of my early medieval characters, but portraying Christianity in the days of Charlemagne takes more than having prayers in Latin. Here are a five aspects of Christianity in this period that might surprise you.

Midwives could baptize newborns . . . → Read More: Five Surprising Facts about Christianity in the Dark Ages, by Kim Rendfeld

Patti Smith – O Holy Night, by Mike Swanson

She’s come a long way from Rock ‘n Roll N-word. She hasn’t lost the punk rock emotion in her voice though. Beautiful.

– Mike Swanson

Waking Up the Puppy to his Favorite Song, “Let it Go”

Nashville Bluegrass Band & Fairfield 4 – Roll Jordan Roll, by Randy Rendfeld

One of the first stories I ever wrote for a newspaper was coverage of a tribute to black church music for the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale newspaper. I was moved by it. My parents dragged me to a Presbyterian church and we never had cool music like that. The choirs didn’t sway. Nobody tapped their . . . → Read More: Nashville Bluegrass Band & Fairfield 4 – Roll Jordan Roll, by Randy Rendfeld

Washington Educators Spend Black Friday Protesting At Microsoft, by Holly Homan

On Black Friday, braving freezing temperatures and rain, about twenty-five teachers and supporters rallied over a 520 overpass just a block from the Microsoft campus. The rally was to draw attention to the fact that Microsoft is one of many corporations that makes billions in profits but due to loopholes in the taxation system, . . . → Read More: Washington Educators Spend Black Friday Protesting At Microsoft, by Holly Homan

Downhill Racer, by Pat Thomas

I’ve always liked this movie, Redford’s character as an incredibly driven loner from a small town, who is drawn to the spotlight and Europe is a good role for him – the cinematography of the skiing and small towns is incredible (filmed on location providing a great snapshot of small European towns circa 1969). . . . → Read More: Downhill Racer, by Pat Thomas

Don’t Brine Your Turkey If It Has Been Injected, by Randy Rendfeld

Should you brine your turkey if it’s been injected with a solution? No. Most turkeys in the grocery stores are injected now. This is something cooking shows rarely mention when they talk about brining. The only place I’ve seen it mentioned is the Amazing Ribs website: “Meat that is labeled ‘enhanced’ or ‘flavor enhanced’ . . . → Read More: Don’t Brine Your Turkey If It Has Been Injected, by Randy Rendfeld