Brandon's Notepad

July 27, 2016

Royalty Free Music

Filed under: music — Brandon @ 3:25 pm
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Home > My Lists > Music & Literature > Royalty Free Music

I needed a royalty-free tune for a project at work and found some good sites. Here is the list. I will add to it later if I find more.

Kevin MacLeod / Incompetech (Favorite; I used a score from here for my project; Creative Commons)

Brett Von Donsel
Free Music Archive


April 2, 2013

Christian Rock Music

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I’ve never acquired a taste for contemporary Christian music. I’m not talking about church music per se (the best of which was written between 1650 and 1950, IMHO), but the “praise and worship” music on the radio. I’m into pipe organs and rock guitars, and the stuff in the middle just doesn’t do it for me. So, I went on a quest for Christian rock music and here’s what I’ve found so far.

Catholic Bands

Katholicus. This is my favorite band on the list. The guitar work is phenomenal, reminiscent of big hair band ballads peppered with orchestral scores here and there. There is some Metallica, some Malmsteen, and a few other influences that I cannot quite pick out. The lyrics are overtly Catholic and make use of Latin.

Ceremonya. Great composition! Firehouse and Scorpions. They really make the music and the lyrics work together. The guitar bridges and solos are top-notch and the scores are versatile. They even worked in a short organ solo (Hammond B2?) in the song Our Lives.

Eterna. Good clean guitar and clear lyrics! This band leans word the guitar-driven power ballad and I love the cover art on the Arcanjo album, an action portrait of Saint Michael the Archangel (think Molly Hatchet).

Theandric. Adoro Te Devote was written by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century and translated into English by Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in the 19th century. Theandric managed to set the traditional chant (Plainsong Mode V) to rock!

Illuminandi. This awesome band from Poland is classified as Gothic Metal, incorporating heavy guitar with classical strings, cello and violin. Some songs are in English. Some have a Celtic sound, such as A Blessing.

Demon Hunter. If you like Pantera (R.I.P. Dimebag) then you will like Demon Hunter. The band is not strictly Catholic, but a survey of sites and forums revealed that a few (two?) of the band memebers are (or at least were) Catholic, and that their lyrics contain Catholic-friendly themes.

Cradle Catholic. Latin prayers superimposed on a rock backdrop. The music is rather flat and the prayers (which come from various sources, some of which I recognize) sound disjoint. All in all, it’s just mix work and nothing more.

Seven Sorrows. Basic metal coupled with sloppy, nasty, angry vocals (i.e. everything I don’t like about metal).

Last Rites. Just a shade better than Seven Sorrows on the creativity scale. I’ll give them bonus points for the song Lorica (Latin: armor), a trimmed rendition of St. Patrick’s Breastplate.

Other Bands

Theocracy. Another progressive power metal band. Very melodic with excellent drums and shredding!

War of Ages. Good old-fashioned screaming metal with solid guitar and drums. These guys are serious about their work! The video for Silent Night is a little disturbing but powerful. Through the Flames features plenty of head banging, hair swinging, and barrels on fire.

Creed. This band was very popular in the late 1990s and was played ubiquitously on secular rock stations at that time. I liked them then and revisiting their work brought back a lot of memories. They are not explicitly Christian, but

Coldplay. I don’t follow this band, but I know their songs Clocks, Yellow, and The Scientist from the radio. Some of their work includes hints of the Christian theme, such as ‘Til Kingdom Come, an obvious presupposition. The one that caught my attention was A Message, which was inspired by Samuel Crossman’s 1664 hymn, My Song is Love Unknown.

February 3, 2011

American Pie

Filed under: music — Brandon @ 4:12 pm

This post is dedicated to Don McLean’s song “American Pie”. I was prompted to post this after watching a YouTube video that explains the lyrics in a series of photos displayed as the song played…a documentary in music video format if you will. I’ve always loved this song, though I doubt that I will ever appreciate it as much as someone who was alive to see all of the events referenced in the song as they unfolded. It is a lesson in American history.

This is a very complex song and I want to capture as much of the meaning behind the lyrics as I can. I probably have a lot of research to do on this, but for now, here is the video and a few links to get started:

July 13, 2009

The Book of Rock Stars

The Book of Rock Stars
This is a short review of The Book of Rock Stars. The text was written by Kathleen Krull and the art produced by Stephen Alcorn.

Attracted to it by the colorful, iconographic art on the cover, I checked this book out from the childrens’ section of the local library. The pages contain the histories of nineteen rock legends: 16 artists, 2 duos and, 1 band. The text is straightforward and honest, holding back the more lurid details of their lives while not failing to explain how some ended in suicide or by substance-abuse. Older children, especially those taking an interest in rock music, could benefit from this text if coupled with parental guidance, but I would not recommend it for young readers in, say, gradeschool.

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