There is no need at all to make long discourses; it is enough to stretch out one's hand and say, “Lord, as you will, and as you know, have mercy.” And if the conflict grows fiercer say, “Lord help!” God knows very well what we need and He shows us His mercy.
Abba Macarius

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Is “Carol of the Bells” Really Copyrighted?

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Ring Christmas Bells cover art
Ring Christmas Bells,” an instrumental arrangement of Leontovich’s “Щедрик” (“Shchedryk”), produced and arranged by the author.

I recently received from CD Baby a PDF entitled, “Christmas Songs in the Public Domain (and Those That Aren’t),” listing some Christmas songs that are not under copyright — and several that are. Surprisingly, “Carol of the Bells” appears in the copyrighted list! Seriously? A traditional Ukrainian carol, copyrighted? That can’t be right! I did some sleuthing to see what’s up. It turns out this “traditional Ukrainian carol” is not as old as it seems.
Read the rest of “Is “Carol of the Bells” Really Copyrighted?”

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Filed under: — Basil @ 10:23 am

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Who Killed Captain Video?

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Reason Magazine – Who Killed Captain Video?

This is the golden age of television.”

This essay, extolling the virtue of free markets in broadcasting, with a case study in government stifling of the same, is a valuable lesson.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 6:58 am

«— Saint Athanasius
—» Sabbath

Technological Terror

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Star Wars: Episode IV | Technological Terror

With a hat tip to Binary Bonsai, I point you to this hilarious little piece about the irritation of mobile phones in movies.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:38 am

«— Snapfish is teh 5ux0r
—» Joyous Feast

Personal Memories of Basil Poledouris

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A week and a half ago, Basil Poledouris passed away. With a name like Basil Poledouris, I always knew there was Greek Orthodox faith there, so a resounding “Many Years” is surely in order. Poledouris’ friend and agent reminisces: Some Personal Memories of Basil Poledouris. Poledouris credits his Greek Orthodox faith with inspiring him to make music.

Hat tip: Binary Bonsai (Michael Heilemann)

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:47 pm

«— Firefly Available from iTunes Music Store
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Superman Returns Trailer

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Apple – Trailers – Superman Returns – Large

This is probably old to some of you, but I just saw this, and my heart is pounding.

When I first saw pub photos of the new Superman and his new outfit, I was nonplussed, to say the least. However, the more I’ve learned about this film, the more excited I’ve gotten.

First, I saw the teaser trailer several months back. It did exactly what it was supposed to: tease and capture my attention. Then, just before going underway about a month and a half ago, I read an article in the Sci-Fi Channel’s monthly print mag on Brian Singer, the director. It talked up the new movie a lot, but the thing that really fascinated me was this: Brian Singer is the director of the first two X-Men films, and left the third X-Men project to direct Superman Returns. I loved both X-films, and I was thrilled, to say the least. (I highly recommend the article; check your local library.)

This trailer tops it. The character driven story lines, Kevin Spacey as Luthor: I’m tingly. I haven’t felt this way about a new film in a very long time.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 4:04 pm

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Firefly Available from iTunes Music Store

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Stop the presses! iTunes Music Store: Firefly, Season 1. Why are you still reading this?

Firefly aired on Fox for an aborted season of 12 (out of 14) episodes. Creator Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spin-offs) crafted a series about realistic characters and freedom that just happened to be set after a galactic civil war had been won in favor of an empire that looks suspiciously like a mix between post-bellum federalist America, the current United States, and the Galactic Empire of George Lucas’ imagination. (The losers — that is, the protagonists of the story — are Rebels. Go figure.)

But, let me reiterate, the story is about people — believable characters. As such, it appeals to far more than just the nerd who wears Darth Vader outfits to Comicons. For proof, see the critical reviews of the film that resulted from this series last year, Serenity (such as the one by Orson Scott Card that I mentioned just after its release).

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Filed under: — Basil @ 4:17 pm

«— XXX: First Impressions
—» Irenaeus on Softness of Heart

Triple-X Marks the Spot

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Chicago XXXLike many fans of Chicago, I have awaited a new album from them for fifteen years. Now that my initial excitement over brand new material has abated somewhat, let’s take an extended look at the new album.

Color my world very happy. Even after twelve listens, I really like this album a lot. Chicago XXX is the thirtieth album from one of the oldest rock acts still playing on the concert circuit. (The XXX is Roman numerals for thirty, of course. You pervert.)

Read the rest of “Triple-X Marks the Spot”

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Filed under: — Basil @ 10:49 pm

«— OCA Chancellor Relieved of Duties
—» Triple-X Marks the Spot

XXX: First Impressions

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Chicago XXX chicagotheband.com
Use this 80×80 public domain image as a gravatar.

I’m already late for sleep, but I simply could not let the great day pass without publishing my first impressions of Chicago XXX. I’m ecstatic with this release. It is the first album of all-new material in fifteen years: Twenty1 was release just before I graduated from high school! But that’s not why I’m ecstatic. This is Chicago at their best. I’m accustomed to disappointment, and so part of me was ready for a disappointment. I have some quibbles, sure — I am a fan, after all! On the whole, though, music like this is why I fell in love with Chicago so many years ago.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:54 pm

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Feel It

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“Feel,” (iTunes) the first single from Chicago XXX, is now available from your favorite media outlet. Download it, play it, request it until your favorite DJ is deaf.

I haven’t figured out whose lead vocal that is. Lee Loughnane? If some other Chicago fan has a clue, help a brother out and leave a comment.

Update: “Feel” debuted in the number one position, which should surprise no one. It beat out such hits as “Troparion for the Sunday of Orthodoxy,” by Capella Romana, Chicago’s “If I Should Lose You,” cowritten by Burt Bacharach, and King’s X’s “Complain.” I’m talking about my own Top 25 playlist, of course.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:43 am

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Not Porn: Chicago to Release Thirtieth Album

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The Official Site of Chicago the Band – XXX MARKS THE SPOT FOR CHICAGO’S 30TH ALBUM

Chicago, the legendary rock ’n’ roll band with horns and one of the best-selling and longest-running American bands, begins a new chapter in their history with the release of their 30th album, Chicago XXX. The first single, “Feel,” will be released on February 14. The album will be released March 21 at all retail and digital outlets and at www.rhino.com.

OH YEAH, BABY. I’ve been waiting for a new Chicago record for years. This is going to be awesome. Only a week until the first single is released.

Also, according the press release linked above, they’ll be touring with Huey Lewis and the News this summer. I’m sorry I missed their collaboration with Earth, Wind, and Fire, although that’s available on DVD. But, seriously, I’m familiar with a relatively small number of EWF tunes. I love Huey Lewis and the News and know a bunch of their songs; seeing them together will be something I just can’t miss!

Ooh! I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 10:54 pm

«— Why I’m Happy I Evolved
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Grammy-Winning Singer Lou Rawls Dies

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Grammy-Winning Singer Lou Rawls Dies on Yahoo! News

Memory eternal.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:54 pm

«— Personal Update
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Like “Crocodile” But Not Spelled That Way

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Somewhere along the way, I heard Mark Knopfler‘s name mentioned along with the names of thoughtful lyricists. I also heard it mentioned among the names of great guitarists. Yet, I don’t think until now that I’ve heard anything he’s done since Dire Straits.

Thanks to the wonderfully diverse radio stations here in Portsmouth, I heard “Boom, Like That” (iTunes, lyrics) the other night. It gave me a tingly feeling that I haven’t had in a long time — the same feeling you get when you meet a beautiful girl who likes you. It’s not the kind of song that would do well on radio that caters to the Top 40 demographic; it’s the kind of song that musicians and writers tend to like.

Or my name’s not Kroc / That’s Kroc with a “K” / Like “crocodile” / But not spelled that way, now / …Well we build it up / And I buy ’em out / But, man they made me / Grind it out, now / They open up a new place / Flipping meat / So I do, too / Right across the street / I got the name / I need the town / They sell up in the end / And it all shuts down

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:21 pm