Monday, May 3, 2010

No Questions, Please

This is a week of drear and despair – a week lost to grading final exams and papers. I have an intimidating stack of term papers demanding my attention, even after days of effort to reduce the pile, and still two more final exams to administer and evaluate.

What heightens the pressure is that we are in the midst of buying a “new” car (new to us – a 2009 Hyundai Sonata) and the day of graduation for Grace is rapidly approaching. Grace is thinking about graduate school and finding housing in her new North Carolina home town, and that’s an issue requiring some attention and thought. Immediately after Grace’s graduation, I will be leaving the country for a while. I am not at liberty to reveal the exact nature of my activities or my whereabouts on this trip. (I’ve always wanted to say that!)

So given all this, I didn’t expect to be blogging at all this week, but I will put in a word this morning before I get back to that humongous stack of papers. I just want to take a minute to say that some music can really bring your soul back to life. Like Jackson Browne’s “The Load Out – Stay” medley, for example. It’s a great song, the first part being a kind of ethnographic sketch of life on the road for a 70s rock band, and the second being an irresistible plea for the audience or whoever is listening to “please, please stay.” The heart of the “Stay” segment features Rosemary Butler swooping in with her vocal, “Oh won’t you STAA-aay, just a little bit LONGerererer, Please, please, please, say you will -- SAY you will!” Her voice is wonderfully strong, clear, and electrifying, it rings every bell in the bastion of my being. Her solo is followed up by a comical parody by David Lindley who repeats the same lines in falsetto. The whole song rocks and it’s one of those I have to be careful not to sing along to while I’m walking about, lest I be mistaken for an escapee from an Alzheimer’s ward. (Who IS that guy, cruising along the sidewalk singing “And the union don’t mind…?”)

Anyway, Jackson Browne has done some good stuff in his day, and he always reminds me of LA, a town where I spent a little time a few decades back. Rock on, JB.