Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hump Day Treat, Summer kickoff edition

One of my biggest complaints about grad school is that you get so wrapped up in it that you can't keep up with current events. And of course, for me 'current events' means what records are coming out and when. So imagine my surprise when I found out during my first week of summer break that one of my favorite musicians of all time put a new record out just yesterday! That's right folks: it's time to give it up for Anita Robinson, underrated guitar hero of Viva Voce:

So in celebration of the release of Rose City, and first single/video "Octavio", I present what I believe is the first video from VV, "Alive With Pleasure". A true summer jam with a great melody and fantastic lead guitar part, there's no better introduction to these guys and their garage-y, soulful, just slightly psychedelic sound. There's also no better introduction to Anita's skills, which are nothing short of inspiring.

Great song, good beat, positive vibe, and hot guitarist = awesome way to start a vacation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hump Day Treat, Semester Survivor Edition

In celebration of having made it through my first term of school as an instructor/"professor", I present this surprisingly good video of Pretty Girls Make Graves performing "Selling the Wind".

It's hard to believe, but two years ago yesterday I saw PGMG on their farewell tour. They announced their breakup just a few months after my other two favorite bands, Sleater-Kinney and Rainer Maria, announced their breakups. As you can guess, it was a rough year.

That spring I finished my MA, and I had been accepted by my program to stay for my Ph.D. I didn't know exactly what I was doing, or even I wanted to be doing that; I just knew that three more years of school would give me enough time to figure out what to do next. This probably isn't the best reason to get a doctorate degree, and I wouldn't recommend that anyone else use a graduate program that way.

I still don't know exactly what I'm doing, though I have a much better idea of it two years later, but I can say this: spring comes again, and it might seem obvious, but it's easy to forget when you're bogged down in winter for so long. The members of Sleater-Kinney, Rainer Maria, and Pretty Girls Make Graves have all moved on to new bands and projects, which will soon result in new cds. But for now, listen to "Selling the Wind" on this hump day, and celebrate this seasons and all the seasons before, no matter how turbulent they might have been.