We’re heading into the home stretch of the semester. Gradeapalooza hasn’t arrived quite yet, but I can see it in the middle distance — indeed, I have some grading to do this afternoon, as well as some work on the college’s lit’rary journal for tomorrow. Mrs. M, on the other hand, is now doing the Spring Break thing through next week, and has left me instructions not to wake her when I get up in the coming days. Oh, well — I get most of a month off in May.
Larry from the Berries gave me a copy of Robert J. Sawyer’s Red Planet Blues, the adventures of a hard-boiled P.I. working the mean streets of New Klondike, Mars. As the town’s name implies, it’s an outpost in the midst of a great resource rush — the resources in this case being Martian fossils, which are zillion-dollar collector’s items back on Terra. But really, it’s just another sort of frontier town, so we get elements of P.I. fiction and the Western in an SF setting. I’m about a third of the way in, and while the pastiche is strong in this one, it also has a certain charm. Further reports as reading warrants.
One of my classes this fall will be a Special Topics course (aka “Prof’s choice”), and I’ve decided to take a look at theodicy in literature (and vice versa) for the term. Planned readings will include the Book of Job, MacLeish’s JB, and Wiesel’s Trial of God, as well as Paradise Lost, Tennyson’s In Memoriam A.H.H., and readings from folks like Boethius, Pope, Voltaire, Camus, Andrew DelBanco, and Jeffrey Burton Russell. If you nice folks out there have suggestions, give me a holler in the comments, or via my e-mail.
On the music front, The Berries have a show coming up on 21 April, hitting Art Bar for one of the venue’s rare Friday night shows. The scheduling is actually a fortuitous error — the usual Saturday night had been double booked, but all four bands on our bill were able to do the preceding night, so we moved over. So if you’re planning ahead, you’ll get a chance to see us along with our friends in Pig Head Dog, Italo & the Passions, nd the New York Disco Villains. And the Mad Dog may even make a special appearance as well.
And speaking of music, here’s a weird one that I’ve wanted to share for a while, but was unable to find on YouTube before last night. Their Eminence was a SoCal garage combo that as far as I know only released this single, back in 1967. It pulls a trick I’ve seen before, using the progression and tune from the Animals’ version of “House of the Rising Sun” as a basis for unexpected lyrics — “Amazing Grace” is occasionally done this way, for example. However, this particular group decided to take a well known nursery rhyme as their text, at least for the first two verses. It’s in verse three where the acid and juvenilia apparently kicked in. So you’ve been warned. Here it is — a bizarro version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
See you soon!