English Department

at the University of Michigan-Flint

As strange as it is to consider, English teachers do more than just grade papers, read books, and grade papers.  It turns out that we listen to music too.  There’s still more, so this is only the first in a series of occasional posts that will tell you a little about just who we think we are.

For this edition, faculty were asked to provide lists of artists in a “Personal Hall of Fame” (HOF) and of who they’ve been listening to lately (Now).  The results follow, in no particular order.  What do Garth Brooks, Nicki Minaj, Erroll Garner, and Rush have in common?  You won’t find them below.  You will find lots of variety, however, and maybe some surprising, amusing, or even depressing choices.  Follow the links for still more fun (for 1,000 points, can you find the bad one?).  Comments are welcome (at least we think so, but watch that punctuation)!

Cathy Akers-Jordan
: Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Seger, Johnny Cash
Now: Howard Shore, James Horner, John Williams (I like to listen to movie soundtracks while I grade)

Catherine O’Connor
Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin
Now: Presently listening to Frank Sinatra and Otis Redding.  Also, very much liking Adam Lambert

Kazuko Hiramatsu
  Aaron Copland
Now: Michael Bublé Pandora channel

Steve Bernstein
Maurice Ravel, Elvis Costello, Thelonious Monk, Prince, Chris Isaak, Beck, Pavement, Pixies
Now: The Shins, Radiohead, Lower Dens, Transglobal Underground, Aimee Mann

Brian Boggs
filled with the classics, opera, and jazz. Some of my all time favorite composers would be Mozart (especially his Requiem and the opera Don Giovanni), Vivaldi (often called the Red Priest because he was a Catholic priest and had red hair), operas by Verdi (including Don Carlos), George Gershwin (especially An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue), and Bix Beiderbecke.
Now:  I am currently listening to various renditions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake because I have tickets to go see both of them this year. In addition, my dial is almost always set to 90.5 FM, which is WKAR – MSU’s classics station and an NPR affiliate. They play a variety of classic music, including jazz on the weekends, and live broadcasts of New York’s Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoons.

Scott Russell
Tom Waits, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Paul Simon, Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Dave Matthews
Now:  Wall Flowers, Jonny Lang, Death Cab for Cutie, Audioslave

Tom Foster
  Oscar Peterson, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, anybody named Allman, Hank Williams, Miles Davis, Nanci Griffith, Keith Emerson, Keith Jarrett, Leo Kottke, Joni Mitchell, Patsy Cline, The Band, Jerry Garcia, and the principal Bach, and Mozart
Now: The Lash, Slide, Rootstand (with our own Brant Losinski), Solas, and (nostalgically) The Junkers

Stephanie Irwin-Booms
Queen, Bob Marley, and Metallica
Now: Adele

Erica Britt
Terence Trent D’arby, Baden Powell, Anita Baker, Sade, New Edition
Now: Kem, Talib Kweli, Jill Scott, Tiger JK, Colin Hay, GD & TOP

Stephanie Roach
Counting Crows, Ani Difranco, Barenaked Ladies
Now:  The National, Frightened Rabbit

Julie Colish
Johnny Mathis, Neil Diamond, music from plays and piano

Monika Ehrlich
Bruce Springsteen, U2, The Beautiful South/The Housemartins, Eric Clapton, Norah Jones, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Blues Traveler, The Pretenders, The Rolling Stones
Now: The Avett Brothers, Adele, Florence and the Machine, Ray LaMontagne, Old Crow Medicine Show, Brandi Carlile, Chris Isaak, Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, Lily Allen

Suzanne Knight
Queen, Styx, Elton John, Carole King, Patsy Cline
Now: Adele, Lady Antebellum

James Schirmer
Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and Tom Waits
Now:  Battles, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and We Were Promised Jetpacks 

Jacob Blumner
Motown, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Beastie Boys, The Ramones, Al Green, Johnny Cash, The Clash, Son Volt/Uncle Tupelo, Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise
Now: Whatever my kids want (Soul Coughing, Beastie Boys, anyone singing Hallelujah written by Leonard Cohen, Jack Johnson, What a Wonderful World/Somewhere Over the Rainbow mashup (preferably by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole))

Scott Caddy
-Bob Dylan: the quintessential songwriter and lyricist of the 20th century. His ability to tell a story and offer biting critique at the same time is rare. He might be one of, if not the most influential artists of all time too.
-Elvis Costello: As far as I’m concerned, Costello and Dylan are the two absolute best songwriters and lyricists of the 20th century. Costello gets lots of love from me for being very tongue-in-cheek.
Bruce Springsteen: You have to love The Boss, if only for his ability to turn the mundane experiences of life into epic, emotional, and engrossing songs full of life, struggle, and the desire for something greater.
-Jeff Buckley: His ability to move an audience with just his voice was something that most singers wished they could do. Buckley not only did it, he did it with what seemed like little or no effort.
-The Beatles: Quite possibly the best group to ever make music. Favorite album by the Beatles – Revolver
Now:  Counting Crows, Jimmy Eat World, David Gray,  Foo Fighters, Amos Lee

Vickie Larsen
  Coldplay, Nora Jones, Eminem, Rod Stewart, Cowboy Junkies
Now:  Feist