If you’ve noticed, I switched up the format of Radio Dick over the last couple of weeks into semi-review mode as opposed to the bag-o-tunes mentality. However, just this once, I’m going back to the old-school mode, specifically using the “I’ve got too much grading to do” argument. The end of the first nine weeks just ended at the high school where Brian and I are gainfully employed. This equates to very little time to write prose on the merits of these tracks. Just take our word for it and check out each of these bands; most of these tracks just popped their heads out this week and, although I’m not writing much about each, they’ve all got my stamp of approval.
No kidding, folks, Halloween brings out the worst in kids. Last night, kids from down the street ran through the neighborhood smashing jack-o-lanterns and spray painting graffiti on various houses. Luckily mine was spared, but it begs the question, is morality shifting? This week I did a little experiment to go along with my British Literature class reading of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. If you’re not familiar with that Arthurian tale, in a nutshell, Gawain shatters his honor and lies in order to, literally, save his neck from The Green Knight’s axe. To pound home this idea, I passed out a quiz to my class. What they didn’t know was that I had randomly placed three answer key quizzes with the answers already filled in. I didn’t say a word and simply passed them around the room, half-expecting at least ONE student to chime in and let me know I had accidentally passed out the answers. In the three courses I did this with all day, not one student raised their hand and took the honest route. All students used the answers to their advantage and cheated. Interesting, eh?
When all of the students handed in the finished quizzes, I spoke to them about honor and integrity and Sir Gawain, then politely asked why nobody in the class thought to let me know I had passed out answers to the quiz. Mouths dropped and students were shocked (mildly excited, too). The cheating students (when given complete immunity) fessed up and most had no problem and said they’d do it again. Maybe I got unlucky and accidentally passed out the answers to kids that would paint graffiti on innocent peoples’ homes. Maybe they’ve just not advanced very far on Kohlberg’s morality scale. Or, perhaps, we’ve got no hope left at all. What was interesting about all of this is the dichotomy between what all of the students SAID they believed and what they actually DID in the heat of the moment. Did I entrap them? Sure. A little. Could they still have been honest? Absolutely.
All this to say that Halloween has come to pass, and hopefully the kids were just charged up on chocolate and that explains the trashing of my neighborhood. Musically, I thought at first about steering into Halloween based tracks like every other blog has done this weekend. Instead, I decided to stick with the new music route. Look for long-form album reviews of a lot of these artists as the tracks start to hit the shelves. I’ll at least mention one of the tracks, “Floating Vibes,” by Surfer Blood, as I just received the album in advance last week. The hype machine’s already rolling on this band and keep your eyes peeled for tracks as they start hitting the ether. The album is fresh, unique, and reminds me of the game changing sound Weezer presented us in their debut release so many years ago. I’m excited for this release, so at least enjoy this tune for now. Have a good work week, and hit the gym to work off the sixteen bags of peanut M&M’s you downed last night.