Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Rascals - Search and Nearness

Just a Rascal

Of course, rascal that I am, I didn't finish my marking today before listening to all three Rascals' albums mentioned in the previous post - they were too tempting sitting there by the record player to wait for Lennie to succumb to the disappearing light, Ralph to contemplate saying 'shit', the hitcher to get krooklocked to his casual oblivion, or Shakespeare to dive for more orgasmic pearls. So I played all three to prolong the examining experience although as I write I have just finished, placing my red judgements on the last few, those final scripts assessed to the accompanying musical brilliance of Roy Harper.

Search and Nearness was today's biggest treat, as anticipated: Right On thumps out its horn-funk and gospel-soul vibrations with the volume pumped up and the song's energy feeding off the empathetic boost, and I Believe is even more gospel fuelled both in its title and the vocal harmonies supplied by Sweet Inspiration, Cavaliere penning these opening two in his distinctive if perhaps underrated style. Side one ends eclectically on drummer Danelli's jazz Nama, a track that sounds like Blood Sweat & Tears cloned with If and showcasing one of those album-cut drum solos you don't hear from today's recordings. Writing partner and vocalist Eddie Brigati, who left the band before the album was released, sings a sizzling cover of The Letter on Side two. These are my favourites but I enjoyed all the tracks and feel like I am still discovering these others after all these years and knowing those favourites so completely.

This music and marking is clearly my yin yang of fun and focus, caress and critique. Coming to the end of today's prime marking is a by now familiar experience but it has been fascinating that this year's assessing has been the first without also holding down a demanding full-time job. Whilst I also picked up extra and other examining, I have been surprised that I haven't actually finished any earlier that in the past 20 odd years of doing this kind of work. It has obviously made me reflect on and question how I ever managed to sustain this and the job at the same time, but it also demonstrates how one adjusts and uses time in different ways: it has seemed as demanding, but it's more about the mental focus than the physical act of marking.

It's quite possible that in tomorrow's post I will be receiving extra marking where Atticus, Piggy, Curley's wife, Nick and just-a-friend Bill, farting frogs, homicidal hitcher piker-uppers, grieving but beneficent Bens, heart-beating iambic pentameters, and bastard mother-fucking lovers will share their interpretive stages with a further array of musical accompaniments that I will post about when finding an interlude, or needing one!


  1. Well done on finishIng the marking- I wish I could say the same! I like the last paragraph of this blog entry. It made me giggle in a marking related way as I had some real gems ( or should I say pearls :0))in my first centre, especially on Shakespeare's feelings in Sonnet 130!

  2. Strange if this becomes a 'marking' forum! Just remember I wouldn't be finished if working full time.

  3. Marking and music... Could even become a new blog?!?