The Personals

Falling in love for different reasons

Lissa Townsend Rodgers
Las Vegas, Nevada

So this spring I had some fun teaching a class of predominantly non-music-student undergrads about the joys of Afro-beat, Fluxus, Serialism, Jazz, Aliatory, and even DIY musical techniques in a course called "Music in Our Time." While the reviews (in the form of student evaluation forms) tell me I was universally loathed, I got to expose kids whose ideas of a musical good time went from Jay-D to Ashley Simpson and thought they covered the waterfront to "A Love Supreme," Laurie Anderson, John Cage, Fela and Femi, Steve Reich, music for flowerpots and synchronized toilets (not the same recordings), and mash-ups (one of the few bright spots as far as they were concerned) and watch the shock, but not see the awe. Awwww.

Hank Bordowitz
Suffern, New York

Five lessons learned by University of Iowa undergrads in my 2005 "Popular Music & Culture" class, in which they had to answer the following throwaway final exam question: "In a couple sentences, explain why— although it is important to reserve the right to rock—24 hours a day." 5. Because you have to eat and drink water to survive, and neither is possible while you are rocking. And although it would be "rad," you might get tired. 4. If one were to rock it hardcore 24 hours a day, it could cause severe whiplash, multiple STDs, and cirrhosis of the liver. Though many of these side effects are considered very "rock and roll, motherfucker!," they also can lead to death, and very bad haircuts. 3. Because even though rocking might make you seem cooler to your friends, we all still have to remember why we're here: to learn. That's why it's so damn cool to take a class about rocking, like a two-in-one deal. 2. Rocking it hardcore twenty-four hours a day may have some negative side effects: headache, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. These side effects are rare, but occurred in 8% of the experimental group of 24-hour hardcore rockers, as opposed to the control group that was able to reserve the right to rock. 1. Twenty-four hours a day is too much rock. Like all revolutions, rock should be concealed and sustained until the perfect moment, when it will rise from the bonfires of hell and unleash a moment never before seen on this earth!

Kembrew McLeod
Iowa City, Iowa

Warmest regards to all of you who continue to believe in the power of music, from wherever and whomever it might emanate.

Chip Stern

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