Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A marker's cry for help.

The relentless searing heat is not conducive to the calm, dispassionate and rational state of mind required to fairly mark (screw you, split infinitive weirdos) re-submitted essays by students who failed the first time round.

And yet here we are and it's not going well. Some have actually managed to perform worse. Others have replaced poor but original work with plagiarised stuff.

For instance: if you're going to plonk in a beautifully modulated, sophisticated sentence amidst standard-to-poor first year work, expect me to Google it. What do you think I'm going to do if I find that the source is What should you have learned from that site's title? For Christ's sake, students, try a little bit harder even at cheating. And while we're at it, if you continuously get the books' titles and protagonists' names wrong, you're not going to thrive.

Oh dear. I am getting a little tetchy. It's either time for a little lie-down or time for another meeting, the second of the day. And some calming music. Here's some Klaus Wunderlich.

I have quite a lot of Wunderlich albums on vinyl. Not in any spirit of postmodern irony. I just like Hammond organs and Klaus Wunderlich. They all cost about 10p in charity shops.

In other music news, I've just bought the 80s Indie compilation Scared To Get Happy. I've already got about half the tracks on the 5 CDs, and I'm quite surprised at the absence of certain bands, like The Field Mice, but it's good fun. It's weird looking across the office to see one of the featured musicians working away: I share a room with The Nightingales' guitarist. Some of the liner notes describe other bands as 'like The Nightingales crossed with X' and I laugh and ask Alan what he reckons. He usually laughs scornfully but it must be weird to be a critical influence on people. Especially a critical influence who gets no royalties!

The other intriguing LP I bought this week is Unreal, by Hebronix, and produced by Neil Hagerty of much-missed Royal Trux, whom Allmusic describe as a 'dissonant junkie nightmare'. It turns out that Hebronix is actually Daniel Blumberg of defunct indie-popsters Yuck. Which surprised me because I saw Hebronix peform recently, supporting Low. As I said at the time, it felt like watching someone having a nervous breakdown with gentle musical accompaniment. I'd have bet serious money that the man on stage had never performed to anyone other than his hamster before, so painfully withdrawn was he. And now it turns out he's a professional musician and the album's been reviewed in all the hip mags.

Is it any good? Yes. It's shoegaze with a bit of laudanum-infused pop. It's interior without being self-regarding or solipsistic, and really rather lovely.

OK. I'm in a slightly more serene state of mind now. Time to get back to the marking.

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