Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meeting Friends

A few weeks ago when I was visiting Benny in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, some heavy weather afforded the opportunity to cruise around on the internet and look for entertaining videos. I happened across this video, which is an episode of MTV's "Weird Vibes" featuring the band Holy Ghost! as hosts. There are a few reasons this video succeeds: the whole funky 90s aesthetic is actually executed pretty well here, hitting a nice balance between the use and abuse of nostalgia; Holy Ghost!, in addition to being an awesome band, they are genuinely funny; their dads are pretty cool too; oh yeah and the music and music videos are rad. One song and video that caught both my and Ben's immediate interest was "I'm His Girl" by the band Friends. Neither of us had heard of Friends before, but we were both immediately hooked by the sauntering bass line and the empowered percussion. (Percussion should never be marginalized.) The video is as catchy as the song - roughly speaking, it is about being young and cool and living in New York City. Also, it's about being young. And hip. In New York. Sounds sweet, right? No, not really, but it actually is somewhat satisfying to watch - it is clearly part of the ~~~NYC Scene~~~ without shoving that scene too far down your throat.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Use Your Head(phones)

Some songs just require headphones. Sometimes certain sonic intricacies reveal themselves only when given immediate access to the eardrum. Deeply layered tracks suddenly appear; harmonies emerge, seemingly from no where; the interplay between instruments that sounds flat on speakers becomes compelling through headphones. And the neat thing is that upon finding those little bits of music that are buried in the mix, which could only be discovered with a good pair of headphones and perhaps even a darkened room, they remain ever audible thereafter, even through variously imperfect speakers -- a laptop, for instance, or a car stereo with plenty of noise bleed from the highway rushing by. However, there is also another kind of discovery that can be made -- rather than finding something new occupying some heretofore unheard part of the overall soundstage, you find a certain lack. An absence or a void. It's the recognition of some sort of intangible space in a song. A property of there being something more contained in the song than just sound. It's the air in which instruments and voices can both mix together and still retain their isolated individuality. I'm sure there is some technical process, some cut-and-dry way to engineer this vague, ethereal property, but I feel no need to attempt to demystify the space. Regardless of how it's done, it's very difficult to describe an absence, so instead of going any further down this increasingly abstruse path, I will just share some songs.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Last Sunday afternoon L. Turino, NVN, and I were sitting at a raised table at a Boylston St. bar eating buffalo sliders, waffle fries, and cheese pizza, and discussing the Occupy movement. We tried for quite a bit to distill what was really going on down into a few points. At the risk of lumping them in with my ideas unfairly, you should ask them personally their uptake from the conversation. Here’s mine though. Attached with each is a poster I believe sums up the point I’m making. All the posters are distributed freely from “occupy together” the website.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I know this has happened to you. You’re walking down the street, a path, a hallway, and someone else is walking toward you. You can see for a good distance in front of you so the both of you know that you are walking toward one another and there aren’t really any other people around, so you will soon be passing right by each other. If you know this person well, at this point you have probably already waved or said hi or started thinking about what you will talk about when you both inevitably stop and chat. If I were walking across Colby for example, and saw a good friend walking toward me, I would be psyched. I would probably wave, and smile, and she probably would too, and then when we met we might hug, and chat for a few minutes. I might even turn around and start walking with her instead of reaching my original destination.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I’ll start off with a good quote:

"Archaelogy is a thing of the past." – P. Johnson circa last night in reference to the age of data and literacy potentially eliminating the need for future archaelogists.

You know what else is a thing of the past? Me blogging. Maybe it’s because I’ve been busy, but mostly I think it’s because I’ve been using all my creative brain time on other things. For some reason today I felt inspired to play a bunch of guitar and now write about music.