Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finals, Gavin Bryars, Howling Wolf and Burl Ives, Edge of the Word

So Sorry for the lag time between posts. I just figured I had to put my mind focused on Studying for Finals. Things went ok. Could've gone slightly better. I think I ended up with a B+ in Corp Finance, A- in Marketing, A in Physics, and an A- (crossing fingers) in Physiology. Man the Physiology final was brutal!!! So much information to know. He never goes easy on the tests it seems. I had an extremely late night studying for that one. I thought I pulled a better grade than I actually did, but thats the way of things sometimes. Needless to say I am extremely tired.

The other day I bought this great album off of Itunes. Its a bit weird, but its amazing, its called "The Sinking of the Titanic" and is a very long orchestral piece by Gavin Bryars. It is basically a repeat of the same melody over and over again with varying instruments and sounds of water. He basically wanted to simulate the sinking of the titanic, with the string quartet playing as the ship sinks into the ocean slowly. So year hear really strange sounds like screeching metal, water rushing, clanks, soft shreaks...all kind of breaking ship sounds. And then he mixes in very muffled accounts of the story by various survivors. It makes for a very interesting hour of music. Some people probably wouldn't care for this little experiment, but I think its a great idea. In fact, without exaggerating, I probably listened to that thing at least eight times this week so far. Mostly because it was excellent to study and try to memorize things to, but I would listen to it alone as well. And if you fall asleep to it you will have some crazy ship sinking dreams. I guess a while ago he recorded a version in a water tower and its hard to find...but its on vinyl. I think I will have to look for that one. He also does a similar thign with another song "Jesus Blood Never failed me Yet" and mixes in some Tom Waits vocals...which is never a bad thing.

I bought that album because I got a 25 dollar Itunes Card from the Village Inn Christmas party. I also go two others with it...a Howlin' Wolf compilation, and a "Best of Burl Ives" album. I know those may seem like some strange choices, but I am really getting excited about some of that older stuff these days. Howlin' Wolf does Blues like nobody ever does, and Burl Ives actually writes some great sad love songs. I think "Funny Way of Laughing" is like what an angry teenager today would write if he were clever enough to come up with the lyrics...just expressed differently. I always thought it was a little goofy when I was younger...but tastes and opinions change.

I like how Howlin' Wolf holds up that dollar up while he is looking so seriously at the audience. Such a weird captivating performance. And here is Burl...

There voices sound great together. I know some people might say it was a bit prideful to have his own show...but I think this would be the type of thing I'd like to watch today even. Instead you have to watch Pink sing on Saturday Night Live. I heard Elvis Costello has his own show on some channel, I should look into that.

Speaking of the Christmas Party, my group played for it, we did about a 50 minute set with a ton of originals and some covers too. Andrew a. played with us and I added some bells to the tunes. We actually plugged a friend's Minidisc recorder into the mixer and recorded the show, so we have a pretty good mix from the soundboard. I will get it uploaded for you to check out, but that probably won't come up until January. Some of it sounds pretty good...some of it sounds cringe-inducing. But it is what it is.... I also won 10 dollars to Hamiltons STeak House.

Tomorrow the goal is to finish off the Dental Packet and be done with that. So its not over yet. That will take some time. Friday Coltan is coming and I have to get ready to leave that night for California and the cruise. That is going to be awesome. I just have to figure out what I want to do during the few days I will be there all by myself. Maybe I can pick up one of these while I am down there.

Last weekend I did have the chance to watch the newest Herzog film. Its called Encounters at the Edge of the World and is about the people who work in Antartica. It was pretty interesting...its like only a certain type of person is willing to leave society and go that far into nowhere. They are like today's pioneers...they are looking at things very few other people see. It was pretty well done. Here is the trailer incase your interested in it.

I will try to post something funny tomorrow if I get time.

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