A couple of musical posts to liven up your Monday. First, blog friend David Stowe, author of the very-soon-to-forthcome No Sympathy for the Devil: Christian Pop Music and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism (which we blogged about a few weeks ago), has a guest post at the UNC Press blog based on a conversation in 2007 with Christian rock pioneer Larry Norman, shortly before he (Norman, that is) passed. The stories, full of musical celebrities, are fun. And he continues:
This is a fun read, highly recommended.
As is Douglas Harrison, Repurposing the Gospel Aura, in today's Religion Dispatches, which takes the use of a gospel choir as a backdrop to Eminem's much-commented-upon Chrysler/Detroit commercial as a way of reflecting on how and why this music invites audiences "to imagine themselves as part of a colorblind fellowship of humanity bound together by the soulful sound of a black gospel choir." Harrison reflects on what is gained, and what is lost/missing, in that process. Black gospel is a "universal language of inspiration and transcendence that cuts across race, class, and history," but in the process, "the very real racial tension surrounding the struggle for equality of opportunity in America isn’t so much resolved or reconciled or even recognized. It is simply ignored in these digestible little pageants of musical and psychosocial harmony."