I Saw Three Ships & Advent Music


English traditional, arranged by Simon Preston, performed by the choir at King’s College, Cambridge.

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Sunday Music & All Souls & Sting & Soul Cake

Here is a traditional ballad, “Soul Cake,” in a nice acoustic and choral arrangement led by Sting, from If on a Winter’s Night . . . (2009).


Sting’s is a Christmas album, but “Soul Cake,” or “A Soalin'” was originally associated with Halloween. (Peter, Paul and Mary’s version is here.) All Saints Day is November 1, and All Souls Day is November 2. “All Hallows” was the name for All Saints Day, and “All Hallows Evening” (October 31) was the origin of the name Halloween (“All Hallows E’en” –> “Halloween”). “Souling” was a practice during this season in which groups of folks went from home to home offering to pray for the souls of departed ones in return for getting something to eat, traditionally “soul cake.” It was like caroling and was the original version of trick-or-treating.

Zomby Woof & Zappa H@ll&w<<n Sp<c^@l

My blog mentor Nightskyradio has launched his annual Rocktober series, which is a slow burner this year. I’m picking up the vibe, plus I notice the moon’s approaching the full zone, so I offer Frank Zappa’s “Zomby Woof,” from Over-nite Sensation (1973).

Zappa (vocals, guitar), Ricky Lancelotti (vocals), Sal Marquez (trumpet), Ian Underwood (winds), Bruce Fowler (trombone), Ruth Underwood (vibes, marimba), Jean-Luc Ponty (violin), George Duke (keyboards), Tom Fowler (bass), Ralph Humphrey (drums), Tina Turner and the Ikettes (back vocals). Surprised to hear, after all these years, it was Tina Turner back there doing some of those vocals . . .

Sunday Music & Nektaria Karantzi & Vassilis Tsabropoulos

“You are with me” by Vassilis Tsabropoulos (piano) with Nektaria Karantzi (vocals), from the album Eleison (2016), available at Amazon. The text is the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” sung in Greek.

The Lord of glory is my shepherd; I shall lack nothing
In lush pastures He makes me lie
Besides tranquil waters He leads me
My soul He restores
Through I walk to the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil
For You are with me
(May) I shall dwell in the House of The Lord, for all the days of my true life

RIP Geoff Emerick

RIP Geoff Emerick, December 5, 1945 – October 2, 2018. He was chief recording engineer for the Beatles, and is associated with many of the most arresting sounds we remember. Nice commemorative piece in Variety

From Variety:

Speaking to Variety in July 2017, Emerick cited “A Day in the Life” as a high point of his time with the Beatles. “The night we put the orchestra on it, the whole world went from black and white to color,”

Sunday Trailer [ The Island

The Island (2007) was introduced to me a few months ago, and is probably the best Christian/religious movie I’ve ever seen. From the IMDB summary:

Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future.

Trailer here:

Directed by Pavel Lungin, screenplay by Dmitry Sobolev, lead character played by Pyotr Mamonov. The full movie with English subtitles is available on the T’Oobs and can be found pretty easily. (I won’t link directly to it because the movie is so recent.)

RIP Martin Balin & Today

R.I.P. Martin Balin (born Martin Jerel Buchwald) January 30, 1942 – September 27, 2018, founder of Jefferson Airplane and (with Grace Slick) one of its lead singers. This is “Today” from Surrealistic Pillow (1967).

Marty Balin (lead vocals and I’m guessing guitar), Grace Slick (vocals), Jack Casady (bass), Spencer Dryden (drums, percussion), Jerry Garcia (lead guitar). It shows my ignorance, of course, but I had no idea Jerry Garcia appeared on this album. He also is listed as “spiritual advisor” in the credits. Sounds about right.