Halloween Mix VII: People Are Strange

As promised, it’s the seventh and final Halloween mix!  Ella Fitzgerald, the Doors, Talking Heads, Snob Scrilla, Flogging Molly, the National, and many others.  Hope you’ve enjoyed these mixes.  Happy Halloween! 1. Bewitched theme (1964)      1:02 The theme to the television sitcom (1964-1972) about a witch named Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery), her husband Darrin…

Halloween Mix VI: Season of the Witch

Welcome to the sixth Halloween mix.  Lambert, Hendricks & Ross; Curtis Mayfield; Charlie Daniels; Billy Bragg; Van Halen; Donovan; and, of course, many more…! 1. Halloween Spooks Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (1959)      2:17 The vocalese trio from their Hottest New Group in Jazz LP.  If you like vocalese, then — well, then you…

Halloween Mix V: Wicked & Sweet

And… here’s the fifth of seven Halloween mixes.  They Might Be Giants, Tom Jones, Undertones, Flaming Lips, the Archies, and more!  It’s a very busy week, but I’m going to do my utmost to get these all up prior to the 31st. 1. Dr. Evil They Might Be Giants (1999)      1:50 From Austin…

Stephen Fry vs. Language Pedants

If you’ve not already seen Matt Rogers‘ brilliant kinetic typography video of Stephen Fry‘s critique of linguistic pedantry, then you’ll want to watch it.  And if you have already seen it, then you’ll want to watch it again. Before my fellow teachers raise an objection to Stephen Fry’s injunction that writers be less constrained by…

Halloween Mix IV: Living After Midnight

And now, it’s part IV of my Halloween mix series — to be followed in short order by V through VII!  Judas Priest, Belle & Sebastian, Old 97’s, the Puppini Sisters, Sammy Davis Jr., Echo & the Bunnymen, and more!  Enjoy! 1. Living After Midnight Judas Priest (1980)      3:27 From the band‘s album…

It’s a Joke, Jackass

I’m surprised by the extent of the kerfuffle over the use of a single word in Lane Smith’s It’s a Book.  In her Amazon.com review, librarian Margaret Burke writes, “I usually love Lane Smith’s books but was disappointed with the word jackass in the first page. I will NOT put this book in my library…

Happy Birthday, Crockett Johnson!

104 years ago, David Johnson Leisk was born in New York City.  For his pseudonym, he would later add his childhood nickname “Crockett” to his middle name… becoming “Crockett Johnson.”  Below is an ad for the second collection of the comic strip that made him famous: Barnaby (1942-1952). After this volume (published 1944), Johnson planned…

Halloween Mix III: That Old Black Magic

Welcome to the third Halloween Mix!  Some more by artists from previous Halloween mixes (the Clash, Robyn Hitchcock, Squirrel Nut Zippers, They Might Be Giants), plus plenty that appear here for the first time: Laurie Anderson, Cozy Cole, Garbage, Hoodoo Gurus, Rockwell, Spike Jones, Swan Dive, and many more. 1.     This is Halloween Panic! at the…

Procrastigrading; or, How to Grade Efficiently

Not That Kind of Doctor‘s delightful post on “The Five Stages of Grading” prompts me to share my own grading method: Procrastigrading.  While the word is a portmanteau of “procrastinating” and “grading,” I do not mean “put off grading indefinitely.”  Instead, give yourself a one-week deadline for each assignment (quizzes, exams, papers, anything), and begin…

Halloween Mix II: Zombie Jamboree

On last week’s mix, I felt obliged to include many of the songs people expect on a Halloween mix.  You’ll hear more such songs in the coming weeks (“Zombie Jamboree,” included on this mix, is one).  But you’ll also hear other songs, such as Roybn Hitchcock’s “The Devil’s Coachman,” Eyeball Skeleton’s “Eyeball Skeleton,” and the…