Category Archives: music

Recent happenings

I honestly don’t really know what to write about.  So much has happened/been happening that it’s hard to figure out even where to begin.  I guess since it’s freshest in my mind I’ll write a little bit about grad school first.  For the past few months I have been working in a lab as a temp because my grad student status doesn’t officially begin until September 1st.  Unfortunately, that means I have to stop working in said lab at the end of August.  Even worse, it means that I have to get my ass in gear and write up a lab report summarizing my research so that this will count as one of my mandatory three lab rotations (though I’m going to do four).  This is a problem because in addition to all the work involved in “my” project my boss has made me take over parts of three other projects that no one wants to do (I’m decent at a particularly finicky and tedious technique that involves a lot of front end work that no one else wanted to do).

Because of this situation I have a very odd problem.  I’ve been generating data like it’s my job (literally and figuratively… wait, nope, just literally) but I haven’t learned anything new.  I’ve missed the big picture.  I feel like a lab tech again.   Such feelings are not good when one is in grad school.  So for the past week I’ve been trying to play catch-up and figure out what my results have added to this particular field and while I’ve been having success in doing so there’s just so much more I need to learn before I feel comfortable with it.  Maybe it’s a lost cause and no one really expects me to know all that I expect myself to know, but since those people aren’t telling me otherwise I am just going to assume I do.  Well, grad school is off to a fantastic start!  Can’t wait for more of this!

Sarcasm aside I actually can’t wait for the school year to begin.  I haven’t been intellectually stimulated in years and very much look forward to the challenges that await me in classes that range from how to build a patch-clamp rig so we can study individual ion channels on the surface of an axon to how large-scale neural circuits underlie complex behaviors.  It’s gonna be awesome and I am truly excited for the long term, but now is all I know and now sucks.  Oh well, it will get better soon.  It always does.  In the meantime I’ll just listen to a little M83, Drive-by Truckers, Broken Social Scene, and MGMT to get me out of this funk.

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Filed under crazy, grad school, life, marriage, music, sleep deprived, Those Other Sciences

And now for something completely different

I know I have been seriously neglecting this blog and I apologize, but since no one really reads it I don’t feel so bad.  I’ve just been getting ready to move (signing the lease, packing, painting, etc) and spending a ridiculous amount of time at work.

So, instead of some sort of thoughtful post I thought I’d post something about a longtime hobby of mine that has somewhat fallen by the wayside in the past two years.

I’ve always been a fan of music.  In some cases I have been known to get into “pretentious dick” territory, but only rarely and only under extreme circumstances.  Music is art and therefore mostly subjective (or purely, but I refuse to get into another art debate [from a family of artists]) so I tend to be somewhat opinionated.  Overall, I’m a rock kind of guy; I have Grunge flowing through my veins.  I swing from alt-country (pure or “true” country depending on who you talk to) to heavy metal and most in between.  In fact, the only genres I cannot stand are pop-country, gangsta rap, classical, and ska.  Oh god how I hate ska…

Even thought I’ve been a rock sort of guy the only thing that I never really got were bands fronted by women.  I don’t know why but they never really did it for me.  There are exceptions to the rule (Yeah Yeah Yeahs kick ass!  And Cat Power rocks as well) but they are just that, exceptions.  Does that make me a bad person?  Am I just missing some kick ass bands fronted by women?  You be the judge.

Anyway, in college I was picking up new bands left and right.  Now, not so much.  In order to remedy this situation I made a concerted effort last week to catch up on some of my lost time and also to listen to a bunch of music I’ve had for years but never really got around to listening to.  To commemorate this time I will now compose a very short list of some old and new music that I think pretty well defines my taste.  You have no idea how difficult it is for me to make such a short list, but I will try.

Jeff Buckley – All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun (live) (youtube)
Tool – Vicarious (youtube) (listen/download)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll (youtube) (listen/download)
MGMT – Electric Feel (youtube) (listen/download) – awesome video
Kevin Drew – Backed Out On The Cocks (youtube) (listen/download)

That was way too hard, and if I look at the list any longer I’m just going to continue to change it over and over and never be fully satisfied so I’m going to post this and then forget about it.

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Filed under music

I prefer my nails to be of the nine inch variety

I went to the NIN concert last night and it was amazing.  I got a few small bruises, about a beer and a half spilled on me, and an ass rocked clean off.  Totally worth it.  Trent and crew were absolutely amazing.

However, the opening band was Tom Morello’s new group Street Sweeper Social Scene and they were seriously disappointing.  It didn’t help that they were wearing THEIR OWN BANDS T-SHIRTS ON STAGE!  Completely unacceptable.  Speaking of which, I have come up with a small list of rules for all the people who attend concerts from someone who has been to more than his fair share over the past decade.

Some rules for concert goers.

1. You are allowed two (2) pictures and one (1) 30 second video on your damn camera or phone.  If you attempt to take more you will take an elbow to the back or an attempt to break your recording device.  Concerts are about the immediate experience, not posterity.  How about you enjoy the show instead of worrying about taking a freaking picture.

2. Band t-shirts are NEVER to be worn to the concert.  I don’t care if it’s the new tour shirt, it is still (and always will be) unacceptable.

3. Screams and clapping are allowed.  That stupid, high-pitched dog whistle thing people do is fucking annoying and useless.

4. Don’t sing all the words.  Focus on rocking out and being caught up in the moment.  That’s what a live show is all about.

That’s about it for now.  I have more stuff to write about, but I have other junk to take care of first.

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Filed under music, ROCK