Tuesday, January 27



University of Maryland, College Park is closed for afternoon and evening classes.


Title from Pedro the Lion.

November Was White, December Was Grey

Well, it’s day one of the 2009 Spring Semester for me at the University of Maryland. And what a glorious day it is! Snow, sleet and freezing rain are making me wish I lived on Frat Row. For any of you not in the know, Frat Row (the home of UMD’s numerous fraternity houses) is the epicenter of douche-baggery for the Mid Atlantic. Except for Jersey… come to think of it most of the people on Frat Row are from Jersey.

At any rate College Park is open for the first of what I can only image will be many Snowpocalypses this winter. Having consulted with the weathermen of News Channel 8, ABC and CBS, along with my father and the contractor across the street I have decided to stay home.

It was not an easy decision. I dislike missing the first day of classes as they are usually when syllabi are handed out, icebreaker games played and I get to size up my fellow students and our faculty. But I don’t want the last thing I see before shoving off this mortal coil to be I-495. And you know it would be some dumb SUV who thinks 4 wheel drive allows them to break the laws of physics…

So I’ll be missing three classes: 19th Century European Art History, British Lit from Romanticism to Modernism and The Jazz Paradigm, all of which I look forward to taking. Hopefully there will be a lot of absences since it is legitimately bad on the side streets.

In other news my vacation was nice. I found a temp agency that will hopefully get me some work starting in February, and looking back now, I actually enjoyed most of my time off of work. This is definitely the longest I’ve gone without a job since 2004.

I was in DC for the Inauguration. Elizabeth and I didn’t go do the Mall thing as we didn’t want to get up at 4am. We also skipped the festivities that night for fear of long lines and the National Guard invasion. It was a great ceremony though. I think his speech was great. Equally up-front with the citizens of this nation about how fucked we are and soaring with the high rhetoric that Obama always brings to the game.

I’ve given up trying to write a clever Meursault album review so just listen to it. I think it kicks all ass. Additionally check out these releases:

1.) Fleet Foxes - Giant Sun EP
2.) Sigur Ros - the new album, I don’t think I could spell it properly in Icelandic.
3.) Matt & Kim - Grand
4.) Pedro the Lion - Control (an old one but new to me)

As for things to look forward to / look out for:

1.) New Say Hi album in March
2.) Passion Pit at the Black Cat in February
3.) There is a new Cut Off Your Hands Song that kicks ass.
4.) Funeral Party… it’s a band I need to learn more about.
5.) New Peter Bjorn & John album to come.

Listening to “Submarines Of Stockholm” by A.C. Newman. Post title by Say Hi from the upcoming album Oohs & Aahs. It’s a really good song but it makes you feel colder...

Wednesday, January 7

In A Big Country

I’m still thinking about Meursault. It’s definitely one of my favorite albums of 2008. I want to try and do something interesting when I talk about it here and have yet to figure out a clever angle from which to approach it.

I spent a lot of today finding 80’s singles. The joys of being unemployed! I don’t entirely know why I love so much of this stuff. Everything from Fine Young Cannibals to Oingo Boingo to Genesis. Apparently I used to dance to Genesis when I was a little kid a lot. This could explain my love for Peter Gabriel of Phil Collins but there isn’t a lot of hits made between 1981 and 1989 that I can’t get down to. Even Huey Lewis and the New, especially "Power of Love." Though we can chalk that up to Michael J Fox and American Psycho.

I really can’t stop listening to “In A Big Country” by Big Country. I seem to remember hearing on the radio as a little kid and then seeing it in a movie. I can’t remember the name but it was probably starring Andrew McCarthy and involved New York, a montage and a highly unbelievable premise.

Anyway… I love guitar that sounds like a bagpipe. Sing along with me (cause I’ll have this on repeat for the next two or three days):

I've never seen you look like this without a reason,
Another promise fallen through, another season passes by you.
I never took the smile away from anybody's face,
And that's a desperate way to look for someone who is still a child.

And in a big country, dreams stay with you,
Like a lover's voice, fires the mountainside..
Stay alive.

(I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can't stay here with every single hope you had shattered)

I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert,
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime.

So take that look out of here, it doesn't fit you.
Because it's happened doesn't mean you've been discarded.
Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming.
Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted.
I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can't stay here with every single hope you had shattered.

I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert,
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime.

Happy New Year too!