20 Aug 2017

Arcade Fire Now

Arcade Fire’s latest is lighter and more streamlined — the most danceable thing that they’ve done. They’re making a whole career out of variations on “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

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27 Feb 2017

Jesca Hoop’s faith frustrations

Perhaps you’ve been around long enough to remember when, in the late ’80s, Leslie Phillips released an album called The Turning.  It was a life-changing experience for me, hearing her bravely sing about how she couldn’t reconcile her faith-born questions with the judgmental certainties of Christian fundamentalism. The Turning was the prelude

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05 Feb 2017

Overstreet’s Favorite Recordings of 2016: The Top Ten (Post 3 of 3)

And so we’ve come to the final list: my top ten favorite recordings of 2016. (If you want to read the list that leads up to the Top Ten, well… here’s Part One and here’s Part Two.) I’ve recorded short videos that feature my personal reflections on each of these

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04 Feb 2017

Overstreet’s Favorite Recordings of 2016 (Post 2 of 3)

This year, difficult circumstances at home and work — and, let’s face it, all across America — delayed my annual Favorite Music marathon. I know, I know… you’ve all been sitting there, postponing meals and sleep and self-care, just waiting for this to be published. Well, here it comes! These are

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21 Jan 2017

Overstreet’s Favorite Recordings of 2016 (Post 1 of 3)

I’ve been publishing lists of my favorite albums annually since I was eleven years old. In the early days, I published them in little magazines that I wrote for an audience of one. Today, I offer them to you as treasure maps. You’re invited to explore. This year, I’ve recorded

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26 May 2016

Simon says

Until its release next week, you can stream the new Paul Simon album Stranger to Stranger at NPR’s First Listen, and it is well worth a listen. Simon’s been hinting that he might take a long hiatus from songwriting, and I hope that isn’t the case… especially in a year of sudden, unexpected,

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25 May 2016

Bob Dylan — from faith to faith

He’s 75. And I’m grateful for him.

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29 Apr 2016

Bono. Eugene. The Psalms. (Version 2)

This post has been amended for the sake of clarification. If you read Version One and were offended, I ask you to read Version Two closely. Thank you! • Eugene Peterson, author of The Pastor and sometimes-celebrated/sometimes-criticized translator of The Message, is — in my humble opinion — a national treasure. I may not

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28 Feb 2016

In retrospect: the most amazing film of 2012

In 2012, a short film that didn’t play on big screens was overlooked for awards and was treated as a joke by a few snarky Facebook users. But in retrospect we can now see that it was not only relevant, it was downright prophetic. [Source.] Meanwhile…

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16 Feb 2016

Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Maria McKee cover Blind Willie Johnson

Well, this is cool! Howl & Echoes has determined my soundtrack for today: A new album paying tribute to Blind Willie Johnson is about to be released, including covers of his blues tracks by Tom Waits, Sinead O’Connor, Lucinda Williams and more. That “more” happens to include Cowboy Junkies, the Blind

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