Posted inPsychology

Solving the musical mystery of my life

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ever since I was a wee babe, one song always made me spontaneously burst into tears: “Wiegenlied,” better known as Brahms’s Lullaby: For at least the first 20 years of my life, just a few notes of Brahms’s Lullaby would draw a convulsive wet snurk from my face. My brothers would miss no opportunity. In the […]

Posted inMusic

The most hopeful music in the world

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s hard to know when to broach the subject of mid-20th-century radical modernist composers with your kids. My daughter was six when I decided it was time. At bedtime one night I told her the story of a piece of music by John Cage—and this piece so captured her imagination that she still mentions it […]

Posted inMusic

Thank no god for XTC

Reading Time: 3 minutes In the beginning, there was XTC. And by the beginning, I mean the dawn of the contemporary atheist awakening: the explosion of best-selling books by the New Atheists, the proliferation of thousands of humanist groups all over the world, the emergence of movements like Camp Quest, Black Nonbelievers, Ex-Muslims of North America, the Secular Student […]

Posted inArts

Is the Pussy Riot ‘Punish’ music video calling out Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church?

Reading Time: 3 minutes I don’t typically write about music, but the Satantic references (along with some interesting commentary on Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church) in the latest Pussy Riot music video, definitely caught my attention. While it’s certainly not the first time a band has used its platform to spotlight current issues, whether social or political, and […]

Posted inArts

Interview: Rogiérs Fibby on the demonization of African culture in the West Indies

Reading Time: < 1 minute International artist, singer-songwriter Rogiérs Fibby grew up on St. Croix before moving to Washington D.C., where he is a member of Black Non-believers DC. We talked with Rogiérs about attempts by Christian slavers to suppress the indigenous culture and music of slaves, and how African traditions persisted and evolved for those living under slavery in […]

Posted inMusic

Fifty years of ‘Free to Be You and Me’

Reading Time: 5 minutes The coaches and assistant coaches – from both the varsity team and the junior varsity team – surrounded me, scowling. Their faces were ruddy and red. They were going to have a “serious talk” with me. And by that, they meant that they were going to yell at me, curse me, call me every name they […]