Hymn Stories

By Christopher Zoukis The stone is red with polyps of purple.  Rough edges contrast with the polished, glass-like front where the name is engraved.  Above the name, floating surreally, two hands posed in prayer indicate that below lies a person of faith.  Below the name are the dates:  September 4, 1912 is the day of […]

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CD Review: Good Boy by Nate Paladino

Album: Good Boy Artist: Nate PaladinoStyle: Nick Cave, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Leonard CohenReleased: November 7, 2014Reviewed by: Christopher Zoukis Nate Paladino is a relic of a different decade. It’s almost as if he climbed into a time machine, traveled back to the 1950s and then returned to the contemporary world. While in the past, he […]

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CD Review: Reviver by The Torn Images

Album: ReviverArist: The Torn ImagesStyle: Alternative Rock, Indie RockReleased: November 19, 2014Reviewed by: Christopher Zoukis The Torn Images recently released their first full-length album, Reviver, and is the follow-up to two previous extended play offerings. Formed circa 2012 in Fountain Valley, California, the band comprises Briand Arabaca, who performs lead vocals and guitar, Tyler De […]

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CD Review: “I Am Love” by I Am Love

Album: I Am LoveArtist: I Am LoveStyle: Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Indie RockReleased: January 20, 2015Reviewed by: Christopher Zoukis I Am Love just released a self-titled album which reflects their personal tastes in music: the psychedelic; the Vaudevillian; a little Seattle grunge; and what, for lack of a better term, is called theatrical rock. At the […]

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CD Review: Be Yourself by Dimestore Prophets

Artist: Dimestore ProphetsAlbum: Be YourselfStyle: Groove, Reggae, Rock, Pop, AcousticRelease Date: April 5, 2014Reviewed by: Christopher Zoukis Dimestore Prophets (not to be confused with “Dime Store Prophets,” a Christian rock band that dissolved in the late ’90s and known for a song called “Hitler’s Girlfriend”) bills itself as a three-piece groove, rock, and reggae band […]

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CD Review: Arisen Upon Oblivion

Artist: Unfathomed AbyssAlbum: Arisen Upon OblivionReleased: October 2014Reviewed by: Christopher Zoukis Black metal music is usually grouped under the umbrella heading of heavy metal music, with the caveat that black metal is a “radical” subdivision of the genre. It is characterized by wailing guitars, screaming vocals, and rapid cadence. Heavy make-up, also known as “corpse […]

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Music Review: ‘Bittersweet’ by Anne-Simone

Artist: Anne-SimoneStyle: Pop, Indie Pop, Electro PopRelease Date: Jan. 11, 2014Reviewed by Christopher Zoukis The music guy sent us some PR-info on Anne-Simone, whose CD, called Bittersweet, and was released on January 11, 2014. According to the specs, she hails from Seattle by way of Vancouver, Canada. Her instrument is the keyboard; her compositions are […]

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Big Rock Candy Mountain

By Christopher Zoukis Big Rock Candy Mountain is a song first recorded in 1928.  More than a mere song, its hillbilly evocation of Cocagne, which is an imaginary country of idleness and leisure, a Utopia, has percolated through many imaginations resulting in many spin-offs: The title of the song attached itself to the multi-hued hills […]

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Pere Lachaise – 2

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy npr.org

Walking over to section 68 of Pere Lachaise, a subtle change in ambience is noticeable, that is, if one has not sacrificed that receptivity assigned to the more vulgar senses.  An association or atmosphere clings to the section:  unseen ghosts, dissipated sounds, a suffused glory which doesn’t fade.  Probably due to two of the sections’ permanent residents, both of who are composers.  Their music pervades the area, because this is where their souls were laid to rest.  And music, of course, being God’s mathematics, is a soulish exhalation. 

And I suspect that angels, who are drawn to cemeteries, especially those like Pere Lachaise, Gothic with soot and stupendous statues, come and sing to the dead.  Whole choirs of angelic beings, like twinkling lights, singing Mozart’s Mass in C Minor.  They come because angels do not die.  Fascinated by the novelty of death, they study it, croon over it, regale it.

This fascination with death explains why, in particular, the angels visit section 68, specifically.  Because of the fiery death scenes in Carmen, and the man who wrote it.

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