Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two Tongues

Saves The Day has been my all-time favorite band since sophomore year of high school. I've listened to a bit of Say Anything, though not my favorite. I recently learned that two members from each group have formed a sort of super group called "Two Tongues." The group consists of Chris Conley and David Soloway of Saves The Day and Max Bemis and Coby Linder of Say Anything.

On their myspace, Max Bemis said:
"Chris has been my favorite songwriter since I was 15. Ten years later he is now is one of my closest friends. The Two Tongues record is really an expression of the yin and yang; how two "opposite" souls stimulate and battle each other in any truly loving relationship."
Once I met Chris Conley and it was the best day ever. I am planning to get a Saves The Day related tattoo in the early spring.

I like the new song, here it is as a still youtube video. The song is called "Crawl"

The record won't drop till February 3, 2009.

Wilmington Town Crier

OOF! This is pathetic. This paper is always at my parent's house, though rarely read. Apparently it is the "newspaper of choice for people of Tewksbury and Wilmington." Hardly. I open the website for the homepage to say that the requested URL is "not found". The website is already largely unimpressive.

I called the phone number listed on the site to check that it still exists. The phone line still works, got the machine... but their site hasn't been updated since 2004. Guess they aren't into writing for the web.

How good is it you ask? - I'd say it pretty much sucks.

What economic model do they seem to be following? ...I'm gonna go with... none. Not online related?

What could they be doing better to reach readers like me? First off - they could update their website at LEAST once per year, that'd be minimum, it could be running, the pages might work. I would enjoy that. Being out of town I can't pick up the paper so their whole no website at all model kinda doesn't reach me at all.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Neutral Milk Hotel

Neutral Milk Hotel released In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, one of the most highly regarded albums of the 1990's, 10 years ago. The album was a concept album based around the Holocaust. The band quickly dropped out of the spotlight following their most highly acclaimed release, never recording another album since.

After years of seclusion, playing his last known show in 2002, Jeff Magnum, the creative mind behind the band showed up and played at numerous shows this fall including the Elephant Six Collective Holiday Surprise Tour. Magnum is a member of the original Elephant Six Collective which also consists of members from The Apples in Stereo, Of Montreal and Olivia Tremor Control. The label seems to have an affinity with psychedelic pop rock music as well as psych folk and indie influenced work.

You'll have to excuse me for not plowing over a bunch of kids whose hearts had stopped just to snag a few photos of Jeff playing "Engine" in the near total darkness. It was an experience best not encroached on by our culture of rampant documentation technology anyway, and yet who could blame the folks haphazardly setting off flashes in the hopes of capturing something they might take home with them. Still, you've got to hand it to Mangum for finding a way to play out in the sort of intimate spaces that befit Neutral Milk Hotel, even as the project's stature has grown well beyond them.

I would have killed to see Magnum live.

Here's a live video of "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea", my favorite song of theirs, at a 1998 show during their heyday. It sounds pretty good considering it's a homemade recording.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Put a Ring On It

I was starting to wonder what happened to good old Beyonce. Her singles are always really fun. She is dropping a new album this month and her first single off the dance CD of her double disc is called "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)."

Honestly i can't stop listening to it. My roomie and I are trying to learn the dance hahaha. Failing miserably so far but having fun doing it. The dancing is crazyyy.

i guess last Saturday SNL spoofed the video, with Beyonce but the back up dancers were Andy Samberg, Justin Timberlake and newcomer Bobby Moynihan. Someone had put it on youtube where it garnered over 600,000 hits but NBC had them take it down, yet they haven't posted it to NBC.com yet! i have only seen small clips of it, but it looks good.

Beyonce's video.

E!News has some of the clip in this online feature.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Joan Miró assasinates Painting

I love going to New York City to see the great Art museums like The Metropolitan, The Whitney, The Guggenheim and The Museum of Modern Art.

Unfortunately I don't often have the time or money to get there. The MoMa's ticket prices are no joke, but luckily the NYTimes.com photo gallery, , lets me see a bit of what I am missing. Here is the gallery.

I hadn't heard of Miró before, but he apparently assaulted art. The images of his work are varied, being unfamiliar with his work, it is hard to know if it is representational of it as a whole.

I appreciate the chance to become more familiar with what is currently in the New York City museums. Not as good as the real thing, but still nice. I didn't realize until I was searching for a photo gallery that the NYTimes even offered pictures of current exhibitions.

Grappling With Instability

Grappling With Instability

I found a nice photo gallery on NYTimes.com entitled Grappling with Instability. The photos center around the conflict happening in Congo between rebel forces and the government.

I thought this was a powerful gallery because the images from Congo are ones that I rarely get the chance to see. I think photo galleries or audio sideshows in general are really essential for many readers to connect emotionally with an event.

Since August, the forces of Laurent Nkunda, the rebel general, have been battling Congolese government troops. Fighting climaxed last week, with rebel forces poised to seize Goma, the strategic city in eastern Congo. Congolese fled areas of fighting.

The captions are short and sweet, allowing a taste of the story, but is more fulfilling visually and emotionally than reading a large article about the same subject.

Boston.com's Big Picture

This is my favorite website that has been assigned to look at in this class. The pictures take up the whole width of my browser and are in vivid color.

In particular I looked at the "Peering into the Micro World" and the Obama photos. These pictures were all brilliant, I had seen only one or two of them. I think these pictures are very powerful and are something valuable to a news website like Boston.com

Working at a paper myself, I often see a lot of good pictures go unused and unseen by our readers. These large photo galleries give a clearer picture of what happened at events.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sondre Lerche

My friend Oliver invited me to go see Sondre Lerche tonight. But I had to decline as I was already late in passing in my 8 page paper on a chapter from a Kafka book. I had never heard him before... but if I was free I would have taken up the offer.

It's kind of indie and retro. In one song I heard of his, the music reminded me of something like Dean Martin or Sinatra.

Studies ruin everything!

Here is a "video" a.k.a. still with music playing over it, but it's Sondre Lerche having a duet with Regina Spektor.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Party Update

So tomorrow is the day of the party that I earlier mentioned.

Here are the totals for Facebook RSVP.

37 Confirmed
45 Maybes
14 Declines
30 Awaiting reply

My guess is to expect 40-50. Some maybes are definitely coming, some people don't use facebook and could come.

I will be interested to see the turn out. I was hoping to have a firepit going outside because my neighbors on the other side of the house recently built a pit... but it's going to be too rainy. Way to rain on my parade.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Dutchess and The Duke

Over the summer when I interned at the Dig I often times got to open and sort the mail for the Arts Editor. I would listen to any CD that sounded promising, so when The Dutchess and The Duke's She's the Dutches and He's the Duke showed up, I popped it in. I probably briefly read their press release and it sounded promising. They sound very similar to the Rolling Stones except also with a girl and a bit more folky like Bob Dylan. I love classic rock from that era and The Dutchess and The Duke's sound is refreshing compared to a lot of newer music.

They hail from Seattle, WA.

Here is a video of them performing live at Criminal Records.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Internship #2!

There's nothing I love more than a good unpaid internship.

As this semester comes to a close, I have been looking into an internship to have in place of classes next semester. I have no requirements left besides R1 Math, which I will take the exemption test for.

I just found out no less than 5 minutes ago that I will indeed be an Arts and Features Intern at the Daily Hampshire Gazette next semester.

This is my second internship and it will be very different than my last one. Over the summer I interned at Boston's Weekly Dig as an Arts and Entertainment Intern.

First of all, the Dig is a weekly publication, and the Gazette is obviously daily. That in itself will be interesting to see the change in environment with.

I got a few writing opportunities at the Dig, but they were smaller articles. I know that at the Gazette I will get to do much more in depth stories. The Gazette is also a much more serious publication than the Dig.

My first week at the Dig, the News Editor Cara Bayles sent me an e-mail something to the effect of "In the future, you can swear. Welcome to the Dig." I used words like fuck, shit, and internet lingo like (!!!), LOL, ROFL, etc. in these articles. They'd probably have sent back whatever I wrote if it didn't have a swear or some sarcastic remark in it.

I like both of these styles of writing, but it will be a very different atmosphere. The Dig was very young, I would say I never saw a person in the office over 40, mostly in their early 30s though. I expect the Gazette to have a very diverse range of people.

Anyhow, I already see internship paying off for me, my resume is getting quite bulky and it makes me a bit more hopeful for a good job even though I will more than likely be graduating in a terrible job market.

I have my first assignment for the Dig to cover a theatrical production when I am home for Thanksgiving break. Money! sweet freelancing money... it will be a 400 word piece on this. I know from filing freelance worksheets for them over the summer that the freelance world is not that lucrative.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Media Experience

While I was at the Paradise City Tavern last night the bar had MSNBC on their T.V.s. I was very pleased with the coverage on there, they had real time updates from each state and showed all footage of Obama and McCain's speeches without commentary.

That was the only media that I paid any attention to last night. This afternoon I checked out some of the usual news websites like CNN.com, NYPost.com, and WashingtonPost.com.

On CNN.com, in this story entitled "Obama's election redraws America's Electoral divide" they quoted my favorite part of Obama's speech last night:

"To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too," he said.

On NYTimes.com, WashingtonPost.com and NYPost.com, the main story is about Obama's new transition team.

On CNN.com the main story is entitled "Obama's Job Creation Challenge."
"Economists generally believe there's little Obama can do to stop more job losses in the short-term, even if he's able to get a new economic stimulus package passed by the lame-duck Congress and signed into law by President Bush.

"Superman couldn't change what's in store for the U.S. economy. It's going to be ugly," said Rich Yamarone, director of economic research at Argus Research."

None of these sites seem too biased to me, they each featured coverage of the general events including Palin's future.

I most loved watching MSNBC in real time and experiencing the news with other Americans around me. That news was delivered faster and I felt the most involved with those stories because they had engaging video and there was no delay.

Presidential Election Night 2008 in Northampton

Last night Barack Hussein Obama became the 44th president of the United States of America with a landslide victory over John McCain with 349 electoral votes vs. McCain's 156. Missouri's 27 electoral votes have yet to be decided, but either way it is a land slide victory for Obama. He is the first bi-racial and African American president of the U.S.A. ever.

I spent election night from 10:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. in downtown Northampton. My roommate Edy and I went to the Paradise City Tavern where we had to wait a good 10 minutes just to get inside. The crowd seemed upbeat but nervous until Obama had won. When Obama won the entire bar was screaming and cheering, many cried and hugged others. Many others bought more celebratory drinks as they awaited McCain's concession speech. They began playing Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" as soon as the win was announced.

After Obama's speech the bar played Nas and Lauryn Hill's "If I Ruled the World." As the night wore on, it all really started to hit me. I was living history, watching Colin Powell cry and villagers in Kenya rejoice in real time with those of us in the bar. I cried tears of joy while watching the footage and a fellow American next to me noticed, patted me on the back, and handed me a tissue. For the first time in my life I really felt connected to every person with me as an American, and I also felt the most proud that I had ever felt to be American. This night surely changed the entire world.

In the streets of Northampton after we left the bar, cars did victory laps around town honking as did bicyclists. Cops were out and watching as crowds started to form outside of Dirty Truth and La Veracruzana. It was pretty insane.

Every time I've thought about it today I've almost cried, tears are perpetually welling in my eyes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



What an incredible night. So much to talk about.

Instapundit v. Daily Kos Coverage

Today is election day and many news outlets online and paper have been covering an immense amount of stories up to the this day. More often than not, these online outlets show an overt lean to the far left or far right.

On this post I will be taking a look at the coverage of the election race on two online news outlets, Dailykos.com and Instapundit.com.

The Daily Kos blatantly glorifies Obama. On their front page is an AP video of Obama voting. They refer to "our candidate" in which they make it obvious that they mean Obama.

"What a difference two years of hard, smart campaigning makes."

This came from a story where they show a poll from 2 years ago showing that Obama only had IL, DC and HI then. They really glorify the Obama campaign here.

Both sites are confident that "their candidate" will win, aka Obama for Daily Kos and McCain for Instapundit.

Instapundit looks distinctly republican just in the design of their site. They seem to be covering stories in direct opposite view of Daily Kos.

There is less info on Instapundit, more just link outs. Instapundit also did not focus solely on the presidential race, they featured many other stories.
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