God Rock Radio #211 – Opera and The Supernatural

Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia who often goes where other historians fear to tread, examines the role of the supernatural within the spectacular operatic art form / medium.  Started in late 16th century Florence Italy by a collective group of poets, musicians and scholars – as a way to emulate ancient Greek theater which was often sung or chanted.  Opera has since its inception utilized mythology, folklore, legends, dark mysticism and occult themes.  Many great works feature gods, goddesses, mortal heroes, spirits , ghosts, phantoms, devils, witches and all manner of strange , wonderous and monsterous creatures- slipping in or parading around the singers, players, sets and scenery.  Jack gets into many of the greatest operatic composers and their musical creations including such luminaries as Monteverdi, Gluck, Mozart, Weber , Wagner , Verdi, Strauss, Prokofiev, Pendereck and Britten (just to name a few).

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God Rock Radio #210 – The Epiphany -Three Kings Day Special (The Magi in Renaissance Art)

In the companion piece to season nines popular and highly acclaimed special program (The Magi and The Christmas Star) , Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the adoration of the Magi as envisioned by fourteen Renaissance masters.  First off – its a historical overview of European Christian art during the Middle Ages.  From the almost glowing supernatural spirituality of the Byzantines , to the Romanesque of Northern Spain and France where dazzling frescoes and vivid reliefs brightened up the somber stone interiors.  And the highly decorative Gothic style considered by many to be high water mark of Medieval art. Jack also examines the development of the Day of The Three Kings holiday from antiquity to its growing popularity in the United States. Last but not least – Jack provides descriptive analysis of 14 Renaissance masters and their amazing artistic interpretations of the Adoration . Including such luminaries as Duccio, Bottacelli, Angelica, Lippi, Da Vinci, Durer and many more.

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God Rock Radio #209 – Aromatherapy and Sacred Essential Oils

Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the healing art of aromatherapy and essential oils. Ancient remedies and techniques that have become transformed into one of the fastest growing forms of alternative medicine. First off, its a spiritual, medicinal and historical overview of aromatherapy’s use in antiquity. As the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Vedics and Chinese keep their pharmacies well stocked with precious essential oils that serve both the living and the dead. Then its the slow Dark Age reintroduction of aromatherapy into European medical systems and their sacred use in religious rites and rituals , folk magic and as a remedy for the deadly plagues that ravaged the Medieval countryside.  Next up , its off to France and the birth of the modern perfume industry which coincidentally sparks off the evolution and development of modern aromatherapy.  As  apothecaries , pharmacists , physicians and scientists investigate the value of essential oil healing techniques and utilize them in both wartime and private medical practice.  Then Jack examines 17 essential oils and their spiritual, medicinal and historical significance. Including such sacred oils as Frankincense and Myrrh , Florals like Lavender and Rose.  Wood oils like Cedar and Sandlewood, herbs and spices like Ginger and Peppermint, and last but not least citrus fruit oils like Orange and Lemon.

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God Rock Radio #208 – Halloween Special – Tales of The Weird, Murderous and Strange Part 2

In the conclusion to the seasons two part Halloween special celebration , Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia recites one of the most  twisted but true New York City tales that you are ever likely to hear.  And then travels back to ancient Egypt to examine the legendary Curse of King Tut’s tomb.  First off , its a trip to NYC in the 1820’s , a time when Manhattan Islands southern tip is bursting at the seams with new people and new buildings . Over developed to the point of sinking into the sea – New Yorkers feel a sense of urgency , and since it was an era of great discoveries and inventions a solution to the massive problem is found. Saw Manhattan Island into two halfs , a scheme concocted by two enigmatic and mysterious characters, Lozier & Devoe.  Who think up the idea in a flash of demented genius and then convince   the mayor and the public that it can be done.  Next up, Jack crosses the sands of time back to ancient Egypt and the days of King Tut , examining the importance of magic, spells ,amulets and curses in Egyptian spirituality and religion and their use in mummification rites, rituals and funerary ceremonies. And last but not least – its the curse of King Tut’s tomb – as ace archeologist Howard Carter inserts a candle through a small hole and everywhere he looks he sees a glint of gold. Within 7 years of the finding and looting of the boy kings tomb 23 people associated with the discovery had died premature and mysterious deaths- a fact that cannot be easily explained.

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God Rock Radio #207 – Halloween Special – Tales of The Weird,Murderous and Strange Part 1

 

In this season’s two part Halloween special – Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia recites four twisted but true tales dripping with comedic gothic horror and bone chilling terror.  First off, its the Bunny Mommy – Mary Toft who becomes a sensation in merry olde 18th century England when she claims to have been sexually assaulted by a 6 foot tall jack rabbit.  Months later Mrs Toft begins to pop out baby bunnies from her womb at an alarming rate.  Next up, its the Sawney Beane family – an incestuous clan of thieves and cut throats who ravaged the 17th century Scottish coast.  The child like Beanes not only robbed and killed their victims , but also butchered and ate them.  Feasting on the body parts in their hidden underground lair.  Then Jack travels to 15th century France to examine the life and times of unhinged knight – Gilles de Rais, a mega wealthy aristocrat and right hand man to Joan of Arc. Who upon the capture and execution of  the saint , runs amok in an unbridled orgy of sex, black magic and death.  And last but not least , its the scheming and scamming psychopath – H. H. Holmes who builds his very own chamber of horrors, a Poe-like Castle of Death filled with secret rooms, hidden vaults and torture devices. Just in time to rent out rooms to pretty young ladies in town for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

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God Rock Radio #206 – The Jewish Autumn Festivals Part 2

In part 2 , Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the mysterious origins of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) .  Two serious holidays known as The Days of Awe – that share a feeling of spiritual and moral responsibility.   First off , its a whirlwind like historical , spiritual and cultural overview of the divided Jewish kingdoms (Israel & Judah) and the devastating effects on the Hebrews after their ruthless conquest and subjugation by the mighty Assyrian empire. Then Jack investigates the cosmic significance of numerology , the ancient moon festival and the Jewish Lunar/Solar combination compromise calendar on the centuries long evolution and development of Rosh Hashanah . Next up , GRR travels the dusty winds of time back to the desert of ancient Palestine and the Temple in Jerusalem. In a descriptive look at what a mystical and impressive Day of  Atonement (Yom Kippur) ritual observance may have been like.

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God Rock Radio #205 – The Jewish Autumn Festivals -Part 1

In a special two part holiday program, GRR travels back across the sands of time to the days of ancient Palestine. As Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the mysterious origins of the Jewish autumn festivals (Succos, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah) .  When nomadic Israelites settled in Palestine they rapidly absorbed cultural influences from the indigenous Canaanite city states, including the worship of nature and fertility cults – something the Hebrew bible not only confirms but complains about.  Part of that spiritual assimilation was the Canaanite  in gathering Pilgrimage festival , a two month long combination Harvest time , New Year celebration that was in homage to the vegetation god Baal and his three consorts (Anat, Asherah and Astarte).  As the Israelite tribes begin to merge into a united people (an imperative for survival) they break with near eastern cosmology and the ideal of one God fully develops.  The Hebrews transform the ancient Canaanite pagan ode to nature into their own unique celebration (Succos) the feast of the booths or tabernacles . Infusing the 9 day long holiday with historical significance as an ode to the ancient nomadic patriarchs.

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God Rock Radio #204 – The History and Mystery of The Rosary

In the season 11 premiere GRR gets back to its spiritual roots as Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines a central part of Christian spirituality, the veneration of the divine feminine via The Marian Mantra (Hail Mary) and the rosary ritual.  First off ,  its the blessed Mother of Mercy in Roman Catholic theology and the parallels to other personifications of the Divine feminine found within Patriarchal religions (The Skehinah, Fatima and Kwan Yin).  Then  its the evolution and development of the Hail Mary prayer and the Rosary throughout the centuries as monks, hermits, mystics , theologians and popes keep adding stanzas and procedures to this ancient form of christian meditation. Next up, Jack gives step by step directions on how to pray the Rosary and how to unlock its amazing spiritual power (something anyone of any faith can do).  And last but not least Jack examines the Symbolism and spiritual meaning behind the 4 sets of Marian mysteries (glorious, joyful, sorrowful and luminous) 20 important biblical events that act as a spiritual backdrop to insights and reflections as we pray and meditate.

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God Rock Radio # 203 – Hong Kong Horror Films Part 2 (1959-1984)

 

In part 2 lover of genre movies, Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the development of the horror film industry in Southeast Asia during the post World War 2, post colonialism era. As Hong Kong cinematic influences and financial investment penetrate into Malaysia , Thailand , India and The Phillipines.  Igniting young indigenous filmmakers who combine westernized genre traditions and themes with native superstitions , spirituality , myths and legends into a viable commercial formula. Next up, its the New Wave of Hong Kong filmmakers whose work featured a more sophisticated visual style , technical competence , extreme choreographed violence , sensationalism and a more westernized consciousness.   Directors like – Tsui Hark – whose forays into horror cinema combined action scenes , deliberately anarchistic shocking violence with grotesque elements of poetic horror and darkly comic sensability.   And The Shaw Bros. steadiest contract director – Gui Zhihong – whose erratic and gory thrillers mixed horror with magical , spiritual and  folkloric elements into box office gold (again and again). And last but not least its – Movies, Movies, Movies – as Jack provides descriptive analysis on a slew of Hong Kong New Wave era horror films – from obscure gems that have seldom been seen in the West , to the better known and loved cult classics that have devoted followings all over the world.

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God Rock Radio #202 – Hong Kong Horror Films Part 1 (1954-1974)

Noted film historian and lover of genre movies, Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues the GRR tradition of definitive programs detailing world wide classic era horror cinema.  This time out its the chopsockey , scripture spouting and swordwielding Asian adventurers who battle evil in the inventive and entertaining films from Hong Kong. Movies often based on classical Chinese literature, legend, folklore and myth.  First off, its a historical overview of the Chinese film industry from its beginnings during the early silent era to the golden age of the 1930’s Shanghai cinema (a remarkable hybrid artform).  Next up , its the development of the Hong Kong film industry during the post World War Two years and the rapid rise of mega movie mongols – The Shaw Brothers. Whose massive film studio (Movie Town) modeled after the old Hollywood factory system ruled the roost for 30 years.  And last but not least , Jack provides in depth and detailed analysis of some of the great classic era Hong Kong horror movies including such gems as – The Enchanted Shadow (1959) , Vampire Woman (1962) , The Painted Skin (1966), Four Moods (1970) , Ghost In The Mirror ((1972) and Blood Reincarnation (1974).

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