Tuesday, July 14

School Days

"Classes - Part 2 have begun. They seem to be pretty good so far. Bowling is laid back (which is a relief, nobody wants intense bowling) and my Rock n’ Roll class is off to a good start. On the first day of class the professor made a Scorpions joke (as in “Rock You Like a Hurricane) and summed up the history of music in 20th Century America as “dudes getting drunk and stuff happening.” He latter amended it saying “dudes and chicks—gay and straight, black and white—getting drunk and stuff happening. I like this guy.

He breezed by Buddy Holly and paid more attention to Elvis than to Chuck Berry but I can forgive him these things because he made reference today to the fact that Marty McFly was the one that really invented Rock n’ Roll. Anyone who is currently confused should re-watch the first Back to the Future movie. Michael J. Fox’s character plays guitar at his parents senior prom and while he starts off with “Earth Angel” (by the Doo-Wop group the Peguins) he transitions into “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry, who is called by his cousin at the dance and told he should sound like this. Then Marty goes all Eddy Van Halen… I laughed quite hard when he explained all this as if it were actually how it went down.

I’m waiting around at school right now for my final class to being: Film Noir and American Culture. Should be interesting. It’s the only class I haven’t had yet but I’m looking forward to it despite the fact that I’ll have to be at school till 9:15pm.

Listening to “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry. I don’t care what anyone says this song has more rock in its little pinky than in the entire Elvis catalogue. Title from Chuck Berry too, off Chuck Berry: His Very Best, Vol. 1.

Monday, July 6

You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)

So we had to make a postcard for Spanish class today to exchange with our fellow “estudiantes.” I think mine turned out well, considering I started an hour and a half before it was due.

The translation of what I wrote is as follows:

Dear (insert name here),
Greetings from Uruguay! You should come here, this place is close to perfect. I’m at my grandmother’s house in the country. The house is very charming with a good view of the mountains. When I come back here another time I hope things are not so strange though. When I got to the house I saw a polar bear, he was sleeping but I ran to the house. My grandmother phoned an astronaut y he came to the house in a Smart Car. The astronaut scared off the polar bear. Come see all of this and not be afraid of the polar bears. If one comes by again I’ll phone the astronaut because he did a good job.

The media was all cut from magazines and I decided to try and explain my decisions via the postcard’s text. I hope whoever gets mine has a sense of humor.

I’m still loving The Handsome Furs. I really want to go to their show this Fridays at the Black Cat. Anyone want to go? Please?

Listening to “Officer of Hearts” by Handsome Furs from Face Control. Title from Dragonslayer by Sunset Rubdown.

Thursday, July 2

On Our Way

Summer classes have been keeping me busy, mostly with talking about New Order in Spanish. I have a few updates worth mention:

The second summer session is going to super-duper hectic: Monday though Thursday in the mornings I’ll be bowling, then head to my history of Rock & Roll class. I already sort of took this class but due to a different departmental listing I get to talk about Chuck Berry in an academic setting again! The historical and sociological implications of the duck walk are terribly interesting…

I need to start looking for my first real job. I’ve had a bunch of jobs, more than a lot of people I know at any rate. Now with the real world looming large I’ve got to figure out what it is that my BA in history has prepared me for. From the casual browsing I’ve done—not a hell of a lot. At least I’m well rounded. Can I get an Amen from the liberal arts people out there?!

New music for July:

“Fresh Like Us” by Chiddy Bang
Sales Pitch: The song uses the hook from Yelle’s “Ce jeu” and they give a shout out to my favorite NBA player / Star Wars character—Rajon Rondo!
Why I love it: It’s got a great summer vibe to it that makes me think of crusing around Potomac in a friends car with nothing to do and nowhere to go, listening to music that was too loud all the while thinking I was so damn cool…

“Lego” by The Maccabees
Sales Pitch: Intensely catchy guitar (like the Dodos or Cut Off Your Hands catchy) and lyrics that include “And the boys chew on Legos / so we can’t build castles or robots / cause the pieces don’t fit together.”
Why I love it: The catharsis at the end, when it gets slower and then builds back up is the best I’ve heard since “Pitch Black Blonde” by JR Ewing. I’m a total sucker for an epic build up and crescendo.

“Pieces of You” by Wolf Gang
Sales Pitch: A near perfect blend of low-fi funk sound and Talking Heads vocals.
Why I love it: I think the sales pitch is more or less my reason. There’s this awesome swirling flute and trumpet portion that sounds fantastic at around the 1:41 minute marker.

Album of Note:

Face Control by The Handsome Furs
Spazy but controlled, electronic enough that it makes me want to shake a groove loose but rock enough to want to play air instruments along with it. I really like the guys voice too. The songs are well produced and written. It’s been a while since those two things have happened at the same time on a record that I’ve liked a lot.
Tracks to listen to: “Legal Tender,” “Talking Hotel Arbat Blues” and “(White City)”

Listening to “Oysters” by Radiant Dragon from the Island EP and “Sleepyhead” by Run Toto Run from their self-titled. It’s the only cover of Passion Pit’s stroke of genius that Morning of Forced Leisure endorses. God damn I love this song, it sounds like Feist and Aaron Copland got together to make a sick mash up of “Past In Present” and the “Rodeo: Hoe-Down” suite. Title from Chiddy Bang.