May 31, 2009

blazing through Friday

Friday was a bit of a crazy day for me. But at least it was a musical, poetically crazy day.

In 2nd period, a group presented its research on "old school rappers" that launched a discussion of image versus authenticity. (I learned that "old school," for sophomores, means the 90s. Ah, youth.) Third period took a poetry walk around the school, lucky enough to see the red-winged blackbird that occupies the freshman pond.

As they've been studying Langston Hughes' poetry, my three junior classes were introduced to the world of the Blues, hearing classics performed by Big Mama Thornton, Muddy Waters, Skip James, T-Bone Walker, and more. I started with Walker's "Stormy Monday," since it fits the classic pattern of the 12-bar blues. This would become significant later.

Class got out, and it was time to prepare for a Student Congress tournament for middle schoolers, with a small, but boisterous turnout. It was mostly a dry run for another we'll offer this coming fall.

But the day was just getting started. Up next: a drive out to Elma, or, more specifically, the Grays Harbor County Fairgrounds.

The formula: The Elma Relay for Life + The Mike Dean Project = annual tradition. Friday night from 11 until two, we played for the third time in three years.

As the Luminarium ceremony started, I saw a few Capital students from my junior classes across the way, waving frantically. Turned out they were part of a walking team, and they were as surprised to see me there as I was to see them. They eventually joined the energetic Elma crowd, right up front, blasted by Mike and Brian's rockin' guitars, Jeff's funked up bass groove, Kent's keyboard antics, and the powerful vocal stylings of the audience's other favorite teacher, Kim Hinderlie.

A couple songs into our set, Mike turned around and said, "Stormy Monday."

We launched in, and the Capital crew busted out in smiles. Later on, during a break, one said I must have planned it that way.

Of course I did.


Anonymous said...

In regards to your second period class, the history of rap music can generally be divided up into 4 different eras. The first being the roots of hip hop, from 1973 to about 1980 where the genre was mainly confined to neighborhood parties around New York City and was largely ignored by the public eye. Old school rap generally refers to the years between 1980 to 1986, which begins with some of the first major record deals given to hip hop artists. Then, the years from 1986 to 1996 are generally called the golden age of hip hop, not old school, although some of the earlier golden age work is often referred to as old school, as there's no strict cutoff date between the two but rather a difference of styles. Then, most rap music after 1996 is refered to as modern rap.

In conclusion, the 90's are not old school. I hope you have enjoyed this very brief history of rap music. Keep blogging.

Jim Anderson said...

Much enjoyed. Thanks!