Getting a bit closer to the start of a new school year, but there are still things to do that are less than scholarly, so. . .
About that gig we were supposed to play last night? Well, last Monday night I got notified that the venue (Simpsonville’s Soundbox Tavern) had closed down. That’s a drag. Of course, it always is for the people who work at a place that’s gone out of business, and so I feel first for the bartenders, cooks, and other folks who worked there. But it’s also a bummer because it was a nice place to play, and venues that are open to original music are hard enough to find that when one goes away, it’s a big chunk out of the options for bands like ours and the others with whom we play. And if you like music that may be a little quirky, or just something other than a reflection of “I Heart Radio”, this reduces your chance of finding something different, or even your next favorite band.
In the poetry workshops of my M.A. years, James Baker Hall (my instructor and guru) would talk about getting published. He always pointed out that writers need to buy small press books or issues of the little magazines in which they want to appear — not in a quid pro quo or reading fees/scam sort of way, but because (particularly in a niche like poetry or — ahem — short fiction) it’s an act of self-preservation. If a magazine or journal prints the kind of stuff you like to read or write, you should want it to stick around for your pleasure. . . and as a possible habitat for your own work. The concept holds for a wide variety of creative fields.
So adieu to the Soundbox — we enjoyed playing there, and you made good pizza.
In other Berries-related news, we have a show scheduled for two weeks from today, as part of the region’s festivities for the Great American Eclipse on 21 August. We’ll be playing at the New Brookland Tavern in Real City with friends from Turbo Gatto, Pig Head Dog, and the New York Disco Villains, and the show will be headlined by the punky soul or soul-infused punk of Debbie & the Skanks. So if you’re one of the million or so people expected in the Real City/Mondoville area that weekend, we’d love to see you!
Speaking of the eclipse, Mondoville College’s football stadium is actually a NASA-approved viewing location for our two-and-a-half minutes of totality. As it happens, Eclipse Day is also check-in day for our returning students, and classes begin the following day. Safe viewing glasses are being distributed to faculty, staff, and students, and honestly, you can’t swing a cat around here without smacking the safety goggles. (No cats were harmed in the composition of this post.) Still, I keep finding myself thinking about Triffids.
Mrs. M and the Spawn are making a Real City run today to take care of a bit of back-to-school shopping. I, meanwhile, am starting to assemble syllabi for my classes. One of the classes (the one on theodicy in literature) is a new one, and another (History of the English Language — HotEL for short) I haven’t taught in a number of years. Meanwhile, our admissions staff worked overtime, and we have 400+ incoming freshpeeps, which has led to larger sections of Froshcomp than we’ve had in quite some time. Should be an interesting term.
We had a Freshman Orientation session yesterday, and while I was having lunch with some colleagues, the subject of celebrities who write poetry came up. The obvious/famous ones came up first (Leonard Nimoy and Jimmy Stewart), but after a bit, we started imagining “Collections We’d Like to See.” Some of them were “The Collected Sonnets of Carl Weathers,” “Bonnie Bedelia’s Haiku,” and “An Epic by Meredith Baxter Birney.”
We’re an odd lot, sometimes.
And I’ll go ahead and close now with a bit of music. I’ve mentioned in the past that my fondness for garage rock and progressive rock includes a common DNA strand in the form of psychedelia. Still another genre of that ilk is a particular sort of hard rock known variously as stoner metal, desert rock, or doom metal. It’s pretty much Music to Watch the Walls Breathe By, and although I’ve never engaged in the sort of chemical augmentation associated with this stuff, I’ve always dug the music.
Well, I was listening to a stream of this kind of thing today when I ran across a track with a decidedly late-60s/early-70s vibe that really caught my attention. It turned out that it’s a group called Fuzz, which includes noted garage revivalist Ty Segall on drums, rather than on his usual guitar, and that they still seem to be something of a going concern. So here’s “Let Them Live”; I hope you like it.
See you soon!