Sunday Night Potpourri: Back Home Edition

Yesterday concluded my impromptu chauffeur duties as I schlepped home from Terpville. The traffic itself wasn’t too bad, and even flowed pretty smoothly through the 95 meatgrinder south of DC. However, conditions were rainy and misty throughout, which again made for about a 9.5-hour trip (including a couple of stops for fuel for the car, and for the driver as well. I spent a large chunk of the drive (four hours) listening to Chris Carter’s British Invasion show on Little Steven’s Underground Garage at Sirius XM. At least this time I managed to get through without feeling like this:

My root beer survived the trip as well, so I’m counting it as a win.


Mrs. M and I welcomed the new year in last night with our usual fizzy Welch’s, and I slept an extra hour or so this morning. After my usual Sunday lunch of leftover pizza (I’m a creature of habit — usually it’s Chinese food on Friday nights, takeout pizza for Saturday dinner, and the leftovers on Sunday), the two of us took down the Christmas decorations. We don’t usually wait this long; my parents firmly believed in having everything down before the new year. However, I figured that as long as we had stuff down before Epiphany, we were doing okay, especially when I factored in my road trip. After that, I took a few things over to the office, including my new copy of the 5-CD Revolver box set. It’s the third CD release of the album in my collection, to go along with the vinyl copy I’ve had since I was eleven or so. It may seem a bit much, but what the heck — people create and other people buy variorum editions of other works. Why not this one, particularly since it’s a masterpiece (to my ears, anyway.)

My Christmas gift from the Spawn also made the trip to the office — it’s a book on medieval clothing that she found on a Ren Faire trip. I’ve never been to one of those events, figuring that I’m probably exactly the wrong audience for it. On the other hand, a lot of medievalists (including Your Genial Host) have a fair amount of D&D-type stuff in their biographies, so maybe it’d be a better fit than I think. In any case, the book will come in handy when it’s time for me to remind my students that medieval Europeans weren’t mere filthballs in rags. I mean, I already use photos from Sutton Hoo to make my case, but some classes are a hard sell.


Speaking of classes, one hardy soul is taking my online Brit Lit survey that begins on Tuesday. Fortunately, I have a canned version of most of the course material, so it’s not like I’m having to build an entire new course for what I get paid in these situations ($300/head, $3000 max). And with luck, I’ll still find time and material to do some writing before the full class schedule kicks in at month’s end.


And with that, I think I’ll go ahead and wrap this installment up. One of my favorite songs is the Beatles’ “Rain,” recorded as part of the Revolver sessions and released as the B-side to “Paperback Writer.” That version is a major piece of the soundtrack both of my life and of the Spawn’s — it was one of the songs I’d sing to her at bedtime for years (along with “Moonlight Becomes You”; go figure).

However, the version that was released was based on a slow-speed playback of the instrumental track with the lads’ vocals over the bed. That slowed track provided the “bottle of cough syrup” feel that makes the song a classic of early psychedelia. But thanks to the variorum Revolver I just mentioned, we now have access to the instrumental track as originally recorded — at speed, and in a correspondingly higher key. The song as we know it (and as I’ve covered it) is frequently praised for Paul’s bass line and Ringo’s drumming, and deservedly so — the parts are inventive, tours de force that somehow manage to complement the song without distracting from it. But at the original speed, we’re reminded of just how skilled the Beatles’ rhythm section really was, and that they may have been better even than we thought. So this is Take 5 of “Rain,” at actual speed. These guys were good.

See you soon!

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Culture, Education, Family, Literature, Medievalia, Music, Pixel-stained Wretchery. Bookmark the permalink.

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