Day 378

I did say last week that I wasn’t going to say much about History of Rock & Roll since it’s an elective course. However, I thought I should share one of our major assignments: we are “required to select an artist, performance, song and/or album from the past 50 years and write a critical review that demonstrates both how and why it represents a turning point in the social, cultural and/or political history of the western world.”

Think about that for a few minutes while I meander on about other things for a while.

In the actual class, we covered the roots of rock & roll–slavery field songs, call & response, ragtime, jazz, swing, the blues, country & western and jump.

On to Business Ethics. We are preparing for in-class presentations about ethical dilemmas next week, so today’s class was spent in preparation.

And then Filtration, Carbonation & Finishing.

No wait, I have a confession to make: I skipped this class. (Which I thought was rather ironic, it being the class immediately following Business Ethics.) Here’s the thing. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about helping to brew up a collaboration beer called Antipodean Wheat at House Ales. Tonight, the brewery I worked at during the summer had a “tap takeover” at barVolo in Toronto, and Antipodean Wheat made its debut. Filt/Carb/Fin is a very important class, but it was scheduled to go until 6:30 p.m., which would have gotten me into barVolo after 9:30 p.m. So if there had been a big run on Antipodean Wheat, I could have ended up not even tasting the beer I had designed–and how ironic and sad would that be?

So yes, friends, I skipped a class in order to be at barVolo by 6 p.m. to ensure I had a taste of my beer. As Hamlet said, “O what a rogue and peasant slave am I!”

But while I was there, I started every conversation with, “What album in the past 50 years has been a game changer for rock & roll?” (Not exactly the assignment as outlined above, but close enough for rock & roll, as they say.) Discussions were vivid and opinions varied widely. Nevermind by Nirvana. Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan. Paranoid by Black Sabbath. A Night at the Opera by Queen.

The upshot is that I now have some excellent leads for my project… Which meant I was actually doing some homework, sort of… Right?

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4 Comments on “Day 378”

  1. Canageek Says:

    What about something early by The Beatles? You can see a huge discontinuity before and after the Beatles.

    I don’t know about Paranoid, but in metal the two I can think of are “Metallica” by Metallica (More commonly known as The Black Album) as it took metal mainstream with its more accessible sound, and Machinehead by Deep Purple, which has been credited as the first metal album.

    But yeah, even though I don’t like them, Nivana is a big one, if recent.

  2. Eric Ross Says:

    I think that personally, I would choose Paranoid over any of the other mentioned metal albums. If I were to go with a metal album.

    How was your beer, Alan?

    • Alan Brown Says:

      I would argue that Machine Head by Deep Purple represents more of a paradigm shift in the early days of metal. That being said, the 8-track of Paranoid had worn out by the end of high school.

      The Antipodian Wheat smelled and tasted exactly like we had imagined; however, a leak in the keg caused most of the CO2 to vent by the evening, leaving the beer a bit flat–very disappointing for a wheat beer where you expect to see a fluffy white head rising above the lip of the glass. Nonetheless, the recipe is a keeper.


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