My back hurts, believe it or not. My arms and legs, too. Well? That's work, you know, physical labor--and after I put in a full day at work, too!
I'm going to take a shower, then play a little WoW, and try to be in bed by 1 AM. Maybe a little later. We'll see.
I'm glad I asked to have Thursday off. Ideally I'd like to finish the whole thing by Wednesday night, so I can just rest on Thursday, but I took that day as an overflow day so I'd have time to finish if there were issues.
* * *
This is something I've tried to explain to people for decades. Sleep is how your brain recharges itself. Well into my twenties I needed twelve hours of sleep a night.
These days I can make it just fine on six or seven, but damn, I'd love to get more.
* * *
The living room is where Dad's old Detrola record player is--a thing he bought at K-mart which has a record player, a CD player, a tape player, and a radio in it. Can't remember when he bought it. The turntable does not work very well, as it's belt driven and hardly used. (Dad died in January 2007 and the thing didn't see a lot of use even before then.)
Cassette deck works, and I've been listening to cassettes while working. All my tapes were made prior to 1999, which is when I got a CD player in the green Escort and stopped listening to tapes. Lots of these are from before my graduation from college, even.
They remind me of those times.
In 1986, my cohort was barely a year out of high school, and a friend of mine decided he wanted to do a rap song about the humanities teacher at our school, Mr. Vazales. He was the musically inclined member of our group; he'd been in a band in high school and occasionally experimented with recording songs the old fashioned way. (Lay down a track, then play it on one machine and play along with it, recording that to another tape, and repeat.)
This was 1986; you could not fire up a computer and lay down a drum track. At least, not a good one. You could, theoretically, get "house music"--recordings of drum tracks or even music, royalty-free, that could be the basis of a song--but my friend didn't want to spend the money on something he'd use one time. So he took "The Superbowl Shuffle" (which had a plain drum track on the flipside) and used that as the basis for his song.
Mr. Vazales' key phrase was "Please, class," so my friend K tried to get the then-common stutter effect: "P-p-p-p-p-please, class, c-c-c-c-class." lacking the funds for a digital sampling keyboard, he was experimenting with saying "please" into a microphone and hitting "pause" on the tape deck as he started saying the word, over and over again, but that ended when his mother came into the room and asked what he was doing. "Plea-pl-ple-p-Pleas--I can explain everything," went the experiment.
So what he did was jack a wah-wah guitar effect pedal into the mic, with the depth and speed pots all the way up, so when he said "please, class" he'd hit the button and get a weird effect that worked well enough.
That was thirty-two years ago.
Today I happened to put my copy of it into the tape deck. And I rapped along with the whole song like it was October of 1986 all over again.
The Vazales RapAnd of course it fades out on that last line.
Lyrics by K.J.
(Parenthesized lyrics are spoken, not rapped.)
(Hey, class, it's me--Mr. Vazales--and we're going to do the Vazales Rap.)
(I want you to get your white shoes, your plaid jackets)
(Your mustache and your wigs, and jam with me.)
(Turn to page 238 and let's do the Valazes Rap, class. Class.)
I don't like you, and you don't like me
But hey--I'm the teacher, that's the way it's gonna be
When I teach the class, I get the students mad
My head is like a dandelion, I like to wear plaid
Please do the Vazales Rap.
(You know class, just because you got an "F" on the test means nothing.)
(You're still my friend, class, and I love you.)
I'll shut you up if you're talkative
Cause hey! I'm the teacher; it's my prerogative
Hey class, you'll see, my teaching's kind of lame
I know you good students will be the first to complain
My ego's as wide as the ties I wear
I strut in front of the class like a rabid bear
And though I'm a jerk, I think I'm imperial.
Hey class, I gave you the material
It's time for Mr. Vazales to jam now.
(I play a pretty heavy axe, class)
[more guitar solo]
I have no goals
I have no function
I have no skills, and
No compunction 'bout
Pushing my trolley through the halls at school,
And let me enunciate that I'm a fool!
When students say to me, "Hey, you bore us!"
I always shake my head, and open my thesaurus
They don't treat me as if I'm the best,
I say, "How ya doin', buddy? You just failed the test!"
(You failed because you chose not to listen.)
(Hey, What are you doing? Turn that record player back on. Replace that. Sit down. You have no precedent. It's time that you learned that you must have more...hey, leave that microphone....)
What always impressed me about the song was the way he worked Mr. Vazales' excessively bombastic circumloqution into it, and all of his common catchphrases, while simultaneously hitting all the common (for the time) rap elements. (eg, the boast "I'm the best".) It really was a nice piece of work, especially considering the tools he had to work with.
Ironically, K.J. liked Mr. Vazales, or at least he seemed to. I guess after he went to college and experienced what real humanities courses were like (not the watered-down pap we got in the socialized education system here in the Fungal Vale) his opinion of the man changed a bit. Or maybe it was harmless fun.
In later years K.J. got a 4-track recorder. That was 1991, and he paid $50 for it at a garage sale--they didn't know what they were selling--and he used it to good effect. These days, of course, you'd digitize it into a computer and do everything that way.
I can only imagine how 21st century computer technology could have aided our creative efforts (both music and video). Their band would have been able to produce professional-sounding music, for one thing; with the tools they had, their demo tapes sounded about as good as something recorded in the early 1960s--largely because they had to use many of the same techniques.
So, ironically, some of the best-sounding versions of their songs came from a video I recorded, in 1993(?) when their band had a reunion jam session. I was using that camcorder I had between the PRO8 and the PRO-884HB, the one with the fantastic sound.
One song, it gets so loud that the microphone gives up. The guitar is sounding like a Stuka on a bomb run, the bass is going nuts, the drums are all over the place, and it just goes silent for a moment, then comes back, as if it just needed a second to take a breather.
But when I listen to that music, if I do it with headphones, it's like I'm there. I need to find one of those camcorders on ebay or something....
* * *
Anyway--lots of nostalgia music tonight while I was working. Made the work go by quickly.