Sunday, March 13, 2016


Selection Sunday

Jaylen Adams of St. Bonaventure
Today is the day the NCAA announces the 68-team field that will make up this year's Men's Basketball Championship Tournament, a.k.a. March Madness.

Aside from the three schools from Iowa who figure to be in the bracket, I am also pulling for all of the Catholic universities, including so-called "bubble" teams like the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure who have to sweat out Selection Sunday.

It will be much the same once the actual tournament starts: I shall root for the three Iowa teams so long as they are still in, and for all of the Catholic institutions in the field. If two Catholic schools face each other in the bracket, I use other criteria to determine who I'll root for, but if I told you what those are I'd have to go to confession...

"Aren't you forgetting something?"

Yes, yes...the field for the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) will be announced shortly after the NCAA announces its field, and we're hoping the UC Irvine Anteaters
get picked...

Springing Forward

How do I feel about the silly and possibly unhealthy practice known as Daylight Savings Time? I'll let Johnny Cash answer for me...

Enough, already...

Dreams of Glory

From the delightful comic strip FoxTrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday, as I do.

Until Next Time...

It has been a hectic past few days, so I didn't hear the news right away, but on Thursday legendary progressive rock keyboardist Keith Emerson died at age 71. According to several news accounts, he took his own life.

Emerson, widely considered the most technically accomplished keyboard player of his era, had a somewhat checkered career musically. His greatest commercial success came with the progressive rock supergroup Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, which produced several hit albums in the 1970s.

I liked much of the group's output, but by far my favorite was Tarkus, released in June 1971, about a week after I graduated from high school. It became the band's only No. 1 album in their native U.K., and reached No. 9 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart in the United States.

The album is dominated by the 20-minute title suite (Side 1 of the original vinyl record), which is for me the pinnacle of progressive rock music from that era. I listened to it pretty obsessively that summer.

Emerson himself noted in a 1977 interview that that piece of music "has taken on a life of its own." The album's cover artwork, by painter and graphic designer William Neal,
is one of the most iconic album covers in rock music history as well.

Emerson's playing on the suite is magnificent, and along with the piano concerto he composed he considered it his finest achievement. I agree completely.

Today's send-off is the 2012 remix of the original album recording. Requiescat in pace, Keith...

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