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Healing Wings on Highway Winds: An Interview with Wesley Randolph Eader

Healing Wings on Highway Winds: An Interview with Wesley Randolph Eader

This review comes to us from Daniel Melvill Jones.

Several dozen children were gathered around an upright piano in our church’s basement. They were loudly singing a song that succinctly describes the life of Christ with melody and words so well fitted that they could pierce the listener’s heart. The children performed the song at our annual Christmas concert and since then, I’ve lost track of the number of parents who’ve told me how it’s impacted their family and have asked for more details.

The song came from a collection of old-time hymns written by Portland, Oregon’s Wesley Randolph Eader and featured on his…

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Dear Evan Hansen, I'm Missing Richard Simmons from S-Town, or: A Note from the Outcast

Dear Evan Hansen, I’m Missing Richard Simmons from S-Town, or: A Note from the Outcast

I saw the emotional avalanche that is Dear Evan Hansen two weeks ago, on a yearly childless pilgrimage my husband and I make to the city where we fell in love, and conveniently, where Mockingbird holds an annual conference. Maybe it’s the range and sincerity displayed by headliner Ben Platt, with whose image I am considering adorning my bedroom walls (I think my husband will be fine with it; considering our age difference, it would be more of a proud Teen Mom situation). Maybe it’s the poignant and earworm-ridden soundtrack. Maybe it’s the tendency of the cast to depart from the…

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DJ JAZ and the Church of Episco-Disco

While we were in NYC, as if on cue, the good people at Vice/Thump finally shared this with the world beyond the app where it made its debut last year. Too bad they missed this year’s cameo by the NY Fire Department:

May Playlist

Those who attended JAZ’s breakout session in NYC may recognize a few numbers:

p.s. Anyone interested in worship music would do well to check out that Andy Squyres record, Cherry Blossoms – holy moly it’s good.

A New Musical, an Old Story: Amélie on Broadway

A New Musical, an Old Story: Amélie on Broadway

Readers of the blog may be familiar with the 2001 French film Amélie, an indie love story powered by actor Audrey Tautou’s impish smile and director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s whimsical storytelling. It’s on Netflix right now–if you’ve got time this week, put the kids to bed, snuggle up with a loved one, pop open a bottle of wine, and enjoy a bit of that inimitable French joie de vivre. 

Once you’ve caught up by seeing the movie, you can join the rest of the viewers in confusion over the reality that Amélie is now a musical. Attendees at last week’s NYC conference could have taken the N train to…

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Exploring the Oddball World of Leftfield Christian Music 1973-87, Pt. 2: A Mockingbird Breakout Preview

At last year’s NY Conference we mined deep, but there’s a ton more to share. In this breakout, we will continue to explore the world of obscure Christian funk and electronic music from yesteryear. We will learn about why early Christian hip-hop floundered so after its inception (hint: the reason is theological). And we’ll remember how radical it is to introduce a Moog into your worship band, in 1974 (!!). Then there’s Mr. T’s song about the Ten Commandments. Are you wondering what happened to Jimmy Mamou when he read the Bible in Hawaii? What about the nu-wave album that Gary Numan’s favorite guitarist made about the Holy Ghost? Or what Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s poetry sounds like when read aloud over a funky, clavinet-heavy groove? (note: Germany will be making a strong showing this year).  I can’t wait to share it all with you… Praise the Lord!

Today is the last day to pre-register online!

All the Grief We Can’t Relieve: A Meditation on Pearl Jam and Holy Saturday

All the Grief We Can’t Relieve: A Meditation on Pearl Jam and Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday may have come and gone, but its meaning and importance remain ever with us. This moving piece was written by John Alexander.

My friend Dave died in a car accident in 2007. The ten-year anniversary of his death roughly coincides with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction of Pearl Jam, a band that is inseparable from Dave’s life and times. Their debut album Ten recently turned 25 years old (the Hall of Fame’s minimum age requirement for a band’s nomination), which was Dave’s age when he died. Their induction ceremony was held in Brooklyn last weekend, on…

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April Playlist

A little late, but no less sweet:

P.S. After Monday we can no longer guarantee food at the conference. Please pre-register ASAP if you’re planning on eating. Thanks!

Video Premiere: For The Songless Hearts on Easter

Very excited about this opportunity: It is our distinct privilege to present to you the video premiere of “For the Songless Hearts,” the latest song by the celebrated musical duo, Jon & Valerie Guerra:

“Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not sing.” – George Herbert, “Death

There’s a lot of hubbub around Easter weekend in churches. And for good reason. But our hearts can’t always cooperate with the prescribed mood of the Easter season: “Celebrate! Be happy! Sing!” Sometimes the last thing we are able to do is sing. Thankfully, Good Friday and Easter are not about mustering a mood. Good Friday and Easter are about remembering that there is One who meets us in our life and meets us in our death. He sings for us — and over us — when we can’t.

“For the Songless Hearts” is now available to purchase or stream. For more information, about the project, read Jon’s recent Mockingbird post here; check out Jon and Valerie’s website here, and follow them on social media here and here.

First Look: "For the Songless Hearts" by Jon and Valerie Guerra

First Look: “For the Songless Hearts” by Jon and Valerie Guerra

The following was written by our friend Jon Guerra for the occasion of his and his wife’s latest release, “For the Songless Hearts.” Music video premiering on our site today! Check it out here.

When he was laid in the tomb, he laid right next to you.

Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I knew there were two times we were never allowed to go on vacation: Christmas and Easter – two weekends when churches pull out all the stops. I suppose it’s not completely out of left field. After all, paramount to Christian theology are the day God was born and the…

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Six Highlights from Bob Dylan's New Interview

Six Highlights from Bob Dylan’s New Interview

Late last week, in anticipation of his upcoming triple album Triplicate, Bob Dylan’s website published a rare, lengthy Q&A with the man himself, and while the whole thing’s very much worth reading, a few of his answers were simply too remarkable not to reproduce here. No, not as remarkable as these but nevertheless. Talk about an independent soul:

1. Interviewer: No one can hear “As Time Goes By” and not think of Casablanca. What are some movies that have inspired your own songs?

Dylan: The Robe, King of Kings, Samson and Delilah, some others too. Maybe, like, Picnic…

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Blind Pilot's Biblical Paradox

Blind Pilot’s Biblical Paradox

Half album review, half theological forage, this one comes to us from Madeline D’Elia. 

Panic in the first beat of the morning
Even what I’ve got isn’t worth offering
Even faces change—my heart stays the same.

After five years of waiting for their album release, I was hooked on And Then Like Lions in the first fifteen seconds. Once again, with trumpets, banjos, guitars, ukuleles, and mountain dulcimers, Blind Pilot poetically captured the experience of being a human. But this album was markedly different content-wise because it focused on tragedy from beginning to end. Called a “darker shade of folk” by the Wall Street…

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