Upon reading Chapter Four of Romano’s book, I found it interesting the distinctions that were made through two different types of writing about one person. The first was a biography of William Basie. This type of writing does show information and facts about a person and makes it flow from one thing to the next. Bosie has also had a poem written about him, which showed a different side of what music was and what he meant to people and the world of music. Below is another example of a musician’s biography and a song they have written. Now this is a little different but the poetry of the song can bring insight onto what the artist is like. This is a biography of Greg Graffin.

“Dr. Gregory Walter Graffin (born November 6, 1964 in Racine, Wisconsin), better known as Greg Graffin, is the vocalist and co-founder of the punk rock band Bad Religion. He attended El Camino Real High School.

In 1980, at age 15, Graffin and a few high school classmates formed Bad Religion in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. After making a name for themselves in the Los Angeles punk scene, releasing three EPs and two full-length albums, they disbanded in 1984. However, the band re-formed in 1987, with the How Could Hell Be Any Worse? line-up with an addition of former Circle Jerks guitarist Greg Hetson, and released their highly acclaimed comeback album, Suffer, in the following year. The album was a comeback for Bad Religion as well as a watershed for the Southern California punk sound popularized by their label Epitaph Records, which is owned by guitarist Brett Gurewitz. The band has recorded and toured frequently ever since the release of “Suffer.” Bad Religion is known for its articulate and often politically charged lyrics as well as its musically sophisticated (yet fast-paced) harmony, melody and counterpoint.

Graffin and Gurewitz are the band’s two main songwriters, though Graffin wrote the bulk of the material on his own for a three-album period in the late 1990’s when Gurewitz left the band. Graffin recorded a solo album in 1997, called American Lesion, which consisted of softer, more pop-oriented songs. After a stint with major label Atlantic Records ended in the early 2000s, Bad Religion re-signed with Epitaph and Gurewitz rejoined to record two more albums, and the band released their fourteenth studio album, “New Maps of Hell” in 2007.

In June of 2005, it was reported that Graffin would continue his solo work with the release of Cold as the Clay[1]. The new album is an amalgamation of new songs by Graffin and 18th and 19th century American folk songs. It was produced by Brett Gurewitz and released on Anti- Records on July 10, 2006.

Graffin double majored in anthropology and geology as an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles. He went on to earn a masters degree in geology from UCLA and received his Ph.D. in evolutionary paleontology from Cornell University. However, according to a video clip originally from the Bad Religion official website and also available from The Cornell Evolution Project homepage, the PhD thesis was officially a Zoology PhD thesis, supervised by William B. Provine at Cornell University. The thesis was entitled “Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology”. It is described as being essentially an evolutionary biology PhD but having also relevance to history and philosophy of science.

Greg Graffin currently resides in Los Angeles, California and is teaching life science at UCLA.”

From this biography you can see that he formed a punk rock band named Bad Religion, they have had some success and longevity, he has had a partnership with the guitarist when it comes to releasing records and writing songs, and he is a professor at UCLA with a PhD. His thesis involved evolutionary biology. All of these things are true and is every bit a part of Graffin.

Now here is a song by his band:

“Fertile Crescent”

Come and see the brilliant light
Don’t let your emotions mask your sight
It’s the manifestation of a deeper fight
That affects me and you

My optimism was running high
A new world order was on my mind
But I couldn’t believe it when I heard them say
They’re blowing it away

The fertile crescent is burning today
And baby my emotions are too
The cradle of humanity has led us all astray
And we’re all in this together don’t you know
‘Cause our species has nowhere else to go

Aggression rears it’s ugly head
Retaliation brings further dread
The two are linked by unseen threads
That wind back through time

I don’t agree with this outdated trend
Nationalism is an evil friend
But hatred is instilled by invisible lines
Drawn in our minds

The fertile crescent is haunting us today
And baby our instincts are too
The ghost of humanity is warning us this way
And I think that we all should heed it don’t you know
‘Cause we’ve got nowhere else to go

The fertile crescent is haunting us today
And baby our instincts are too
The ghost of humanity is warning us this way
And I think that we all should heed it don’t you know
‘Cause we’ve got nowhere else to go

Now this song shows a different side of Graffin. It shows  a side of humanitarianism, worry for the world and society, and a personal account for his feelings of the world. None of this, unless the biography talked about each song,  would have been shown in a biography. Narrative thinking shows completely different emotions, feelings, and thoughts about whatever they’re talking about. In a multigenre paper the student will need different ways of showing a theme. Here it shows that Graffin double majored in anthropology and geology which shows he likes to work with the ground and learn about the physical world and how humanity is affected. This song shows his struggle with humanity and there affect on the world.

These two different methods of writing are both important, it’s just the matter of thinking that is involved. Biography’s show facts while the poetry, and in my example the song, shows an emotional and a more thinking way of thinking about the person.

Mentor Texts:

http://www.last.fm/music/Greg+Graffin/+wiki, and http://www.lyricspond.com/artist-bad-religion/lyrics-fertile-crescent

Sentence stalking:

In 1980, at age 15, Graffin and a few high school classmates formed Bad Religion in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley.

This is a sentence that has commas. In class I would teach them that in conversation, the person would pause. I will also show them that without “at age 15” the sentence would still make sense. This is added in to emphasize the importance of what year and how old Graffin was when he started the band.

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