Seattle Rock Class, Tuesday, October 9

Posted: October 11, 2012 in The Strangest Tribe: the College Course

Oh this was so much fun…

We spent most of the class talking about the Boston and Minneapolis music scenes of the ’80s. Students read three chapters from Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life on Mission of Burma, Husker Du, and the Replacements.  I had them listen to “Einstein’s Day,” (MOB); “Chartered Trips,” “Celebrated Summer,” (HD); and “Waitress in the Sky,” (Replacements.)  Overall, the reaction seemed positive…this group of students, many of whom are country-oriented, enjoyed the melodic bent of Husker Du and the Replacements. Two students even compared the latter band to the Beatles.

A couple people contrasted the Minneapolis bands’ touring approach with that of Black Flag, the LA hardcore band that believed one had to truly suffer to be legitimate punk. I think Bob Mould of Husker Du said something to the effect of, “What’s wrong with being happy?”

We also enjoyed two presentations.  Morgan talked about the popular female Nashville country stars of today; Julia presented on the Orange County (CA) ska scene of the ’90s.  I’m biased.  I admit it.  The ska thing proved much more intriguing to me…Julia cracked open a window into a fascinating and idiosyncratic subculture.  At the end, at the behest of a friend and with my encouragement, Julia showed us an animated ska band video (the name escapes me, sorry) where animals play the instruments.  As the song moved along, we see human hunters kill some animals in gruesome fashion, until the tables get turned and the creatures grab the guns and slay the humans.  A bit disturbing, perhaps, but certainly no more shocking than a Family Guy episode.  I thought it was great. (As I was watching the video, I thought of Leighton Beezer’s comment stating that everyone should have a goal to “be Steve.” So I’m watching this video of cartoon animals playing instruments thinking, “I’m getting paid to do this.”)

Overall, the back and forth banter between students has gone well…assisted by Tatiana who introduced the concept of the “discussion ball” to the class. Basically, whoever has the ball gets to speak. When she is done, another student requests the ball, and can talk once the first student tosses it over. (Professor’s note: we have some good arms in this class. Also, we’re using a squishy ball, but I may bring a super ball into the next class just to see.)


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