I had a music-filled evening yesterday. It started with singing at the Cathedral for the annual Chrism Mass. This is when they bless sacramental oils. It’s done right before Easter because oil is used to baptize and confirm the people who join the church at the Easter Vigil.
The music we sang was nothing special, but it was a really enjoyable event, because the entire diocese is involved. All of the priests come to renew their commitment to the church, which means that during the eucharistic prayer you have 100+ priests all saying the same words and making the same motions. I love watching that. Also, women from the SE Asian Vicarate wear traditional Vietnamese clothes, each reading is done in a different language, and there are women religious in their orders’ habits. The one new group represented that I hadn’t seen before were Native Americans. Four women wearing fringed blankets and wafting incense (sage mixed with something spicy) participated in the presentation of the third type of oil to be blessed. They held the incense in what looked like large shells, and used feathers to fan it out into the church.
Afterward Lucas and I went to the Doug Fir for a free live show. A few weeks ago we saw a poster advertising that Hillstomp would be there. We heard them perform at one of the beer festivals last summer, and really liked it. They play blues, with a great dirty sound, just two guys on slide guitar and bucket drums.
The second group playing was one I hadn’t encountered before, so it was a pleasant surprise when they turned out to be good. They’re called The Vinos. It sounded kind of like indie-rock Leonard Cohen, especially because of the lead singer’s low, scratchy voice, and the great instrumentation: two violins, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums. They also had a bellydancer who came out for a few songs, dancing and clicking her finger cymbals with the music. You can listen to samples of their music on their website.
And one non-music thing: I decided to try out the blog feature on Bloglines, to share links to posts and articles I like. It’s at http://www.bloglines.com/blog/ame.