Showing posts from March, 2009

Losing My Religion

I gave up Catholicism for Lent. The last time I went into a church for religious reasons was probably around 1980, and even then it was because it was how I was raised, not how I felt or what I believed. I began questioning my own beliefs when I was a freshman in high school, and ultimately decided to leave the church. And I am not alone.

The recent American Religious Identification Survey by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life and Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut found that more and more people are moving away from organized religion, some moving towards a more "spiritual" view, while others are giving it up entirely. Similarly, the Christian Science Monitor recently printed an article entitled The Coming Evangelical Collapse which suggests that Evangelical Christianity will all but disappear within the next 10 years. Good riddance, I say.

Personally, I think Karl …


Last week I came face to face with another bout of mortality. I found out that my old friend Nina is dying of lung and brain cancer, and another friend's mother, for whom I had great respect, died of breast cancer.

I met Nina through some guys I had played with in college and through the years we did a whole slew of small "noise in the corner" gigs, played in a whole crap load of pit bands for musicals from Jesus Christ Superstar, Nunsense and Little Shop of Horrors to a little known show called Baby. In fact, it was on a trip to Mankato for a gig at a convent that I bought my Stratocaster. I learned a lot of music and a lot about being a professional musician from Nina.

She had a weekly gig at the piano bar at a place called Charlie's until Karaoke took her job away. To this day I hate Karaoke because of that, and I'm sure it wasn't just Nina, but piano players across the country who lost some gigs because of it.

She told me stories of her early years, playi…