Wednesday, March 08, 2006

World "Youth" Day

We now interrupt our normal programming for this special announcement: G-d's favorite Reggae singer has released his second album.

His name is Matisyahu and the CD, called Youth, was released yesterday. Yes, I've already purchased it. And I never buy whole albums anymore.

To think: a Hasidim of Crown Heights singing the music of Jamaica.... That sound you hear: the heads of SSPXers, exploding.

One reason I love Matis -- who I'll (finally) be seeing in concert in a couple weeks -- is his crossover appeal. I'm told his shows attract everyone from Rastas (to which your humble scribe almost converted in college) to 90 year-old yentas, all without compromising his orthodoxy.

But will we ever see a Catholic version of this -- i.e. an artist with broad appeal irrespective of religion and critical acclaim able to draw wild amalgams of the populace toward his craft and his message? (Sorry, Mel Gibson doesn't count -- he's in schism and, ergo, excommunicated.)

For example, one Matisyahu track from his first album -- Aish Tamid -- is "about the destruction of the Temple, and the eventual building up of the Third Temple that [Jews] are waiting for." And, to an outsider, it's absolutely glorious.... Along these lines, could you imagine a song about, say, the building of St. Peter's that would lure a mass secular audience without being downshouted as "heterodox" by St. Blog's?


I'm not going to go so far as to say it'll never happen. But if it ever does, then I can sing my Nunc dimittis....