Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Iowa is the color white

Trista and I had a show in Fairfield on Sunday. It was the third day of shows celebrating Dominic's birthday. The show went insanely well. I almost feel like a sham at times because most of the music that we play live is improvised and all the practicing I do (which is mostly sitting in front of a computer screen, editing samples) is done for music that I don't play live, but then after we get done playing I don't feel as bad because we keep playing better and better together. Trista's echoey vocals, piano, and organ just add so much, what I call, cloud-cover to the noise that I make. It's great.

The whole night of shows was opened up by this band Caution Comma Lemmy, which was just two guys and the singer wore a gas mask with a microphone built in. At one point, through delayed out vocals, he said he was going to play his favorite Animal Collective song, and proceeded into a really creepy and cool cover of Banshee Beat. He was the first person I've ever seen cover an Animal Collective song.

We also drank really bad coffee at this small coffee place around the center square in Fairfield and I had the distinct impression that all the meditative locals were watching us and taking notes on our behavior. I glanced over the shoulder at a tiny notebook of one of the locals and he was taking notes in as many as 3 different languages including what looked like Korean. At one point, one lady even burst out laughing at something we said that seemed entirely ordinary conversation to us, and then apologized for her outburst.

After the show, we stayed up late and talked about music at Phil and Dom's house in Fairfield. Dominic also showed me this list of unexplained radio broadcasts that really freaked me out, and then I feel asleep on a bed made of chair cushions.

Here is the link to the list of those broadcasts:


On Monday, we drove to Iowa City so Trista could have a saxophone practice with the director from the University of Iowa. Porter and I talked about the future of pop culture and went record shopping. I found Holland by the Beach Boys, but it didn't include the weird 7" or Brian Wilson's 2-part fairy tale song, which is kind of why I wanted it.

That is all about that.

I heard a radio commercial today filled with quotes from teenagers who were happy with their decision to go back to high school to "get an education" and it kind of got me thinking. The idea (and largely, the wording) of "getting an education" is weird to me. It separates everyday learning from the kind we get in school. As I often quote from a friend of mine, "schools teach us what to think, not how to think," and when you are being taught what to think in the form of "an education" (which is the same thing as a major or field of study in college), it suggests that you can actually "get" an education which means there is a logical end point in which you have your education and can go do something else. This seems entirely opposite from the concept of lifelong learning which everyone actually goes through, and in fact gives your "education" higher value than the learning we do on our own. I hope this isn't actually the case for anyone.

Galaxie 500 is great. They were making what current bands call "glo-fi" as early as the late 80's, and their albums were finally released on vinyl by someone who has the power to make decisions like that.

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