Tag Archives: gospel

Dance to a Different Drummer: Groovology and Politics

14 May

Groovology, about the groove, the human groove, the dancing and music-making at the heart of human community and togetherness. A line of thinkers going back through Darwin and Rousseau argued that it’s music that made clever apes into human beings – and, wouldn’t you know? that connects to the apes, the rabbits, fish, bees, flowers and the earth as well. Because we sing and dance we are human. Groovology is lightness and joy, but also sorrow and healing. It binds us together in common action and feeling, in community.

What has that to do with politics?

Politics too is about community, about negotiating among that various needs and desires of people living in a group. When the group is small, the negotiations are face-to-face, as is grooving. When the group is small, groovology and politics are commensurate, their connection is obvious.

It is when the group gets large, very large, that the connection is obscured. The USofA is very large, our political leaders distant from the local places where we politic and negotiate. And yet there are obvious connections, still.

Politics is not all backrooms and stolen votes. Politics is also ceremony, and ceremony has music: Hail to the Chief, The Star Spangled Banner, Battle Hymn of the Republic, Washington Post March, Taps, and much else. Continue reading


Edgar Kendricks Is Maestro of Gospel Music in Harlem – NYTimes.com

24 Dec

A little more Truth and Tradition:

Mr. Kendricks, who never married and has no children, is the unofficial mayor of his church-laden neighborhood, which is Gospel Central on Sunday mornings. Tourists often outnumber congregants in local churches, even at Metropolitan Baptist.

On Sundays, Mr. Kendricks sweeps in at the last minute for noon services. He is greeted and fussed over by the women, in white uniforms, who serve as ushers, and then makes his way past his (long since assembled) band to the organ, just in time to lead the assembled through opening hymns. “I don’t think there’s a church in Harlem that I haven’t been in,” said Mr. Kendricks, who turned 69 last Sunday. “This has been my life for 40 years.”

via Edgar Kendricks Is Maestro of Gospel Music in Harlem – NYTimes.com.