Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Television and Music

I haven't been watching much television lately. Really, I watch Lost every week and that just about does it.

In the absence of my viewing eyes, TV has gotten way weirder--faster paced, worse advertising, and so forth.

For example, I saw a commercial for, what must be a movie, Despicable Me, and it left me wide-eyed without a thought in my head for it.

This isn't the exact commercial I saw, but it is a trailer for the movie and basically does the same thing:

Is it possible to remove yourself from your own advertising demographic?

Then there are things like NASCAR sponsors and the way they are advertised.

Let's say one of the racers drives a, I-don't-know, Ford (it is possible that no NASCAR racers drive Fords and this is a bad example, but I don't watch racing and I wouldn't know) and this particular car and driver is sponsored by Snickers. Every time that racer is interviewed, he or she will make sure to mention the performance of his "Snickers Ford Car". Does a race car driver saying the word "Snickers" really make people want to go out and buy a candy bar? I would be pretty embarrassed with the American public if this were the case. But, sponsors keep handing out money for these figures to mention their product, so something has to be working, I guess.

Then, there are Geico commercials, which I don't even want to try with, because I can't decide if the advertising is brilliant or entirely absurd.

In other news, there are some pretty good shows coming up around these central Iowa parts.

March 4 - Vaudeville Mews - A Sunny Day in Glasgow
March 13 - Grinnell College - Vivian Girls
March 14 - M-Shop - Bowerbirds
March 30 - Iowa City - Mission Creek festival starts
April 2 - Minneapolis - High Places, Tobacco, Hood Internet
April 4 - Minneapolis - Beach House
April 12 - Vaudeville Mews - Dum Dum Girls

And plenty of other alright stuff coming to the Vaudeville Mews, which is a venue I always tell myself I need to attend more often.

I'm really going to try and make it to all these shows and take pictures and remember things to put into words on this here blog for each and every one of these shows. Actually, Trista and I are playing on March 4th with A Sunny Day in Glasgow, so I will for sure be making it to that one.

Keep it up.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weirdest Night of My Life i think

It has been the weirdest night that I can remember out of all the nights I have been alive.

Some combination of everything in this picture, probably. Feels like I just woke up, but I've been awake for a while.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I think I am getting old. That is, I feel as though I am an adult or maybe somewhere close. I have come to this conclusion for a number of reasons:

1. Recently, I have started listening to NPR as opposed to popular radio. Talk shows, the news, classical music. One might make the argument that pop radio sucks and that NPR is a good alternative. I would agree, but does pop radio suck because I'm old and have grown out of it?

2. In fact, I don't really listen to much new music at all it seems. Every time a band I like releases a new album, I tend to gripe that it is not as good as their old stuff. Common thing among fans. But when I look at my father, who listens to no new music whatsoever, he seemed to have decided right around his mid 20's what bands he liked, and he still listens to them today, and nothing else, though in a few cases he has expanded his collection of music from those particular artists.

(It is interesting for me, here, to include the band No Age among my favorite bands with overall regard to this post.)

3. On occasion, I lie about my age. It probably doesn't help my case that I usually get away with it, too. I don't understand why I do it. A lot of the time, I am the oldest one in a given situation, and I feel embarrassed about it.

4. I drink a lot of coffee and have trouble functioning during the day without it. I am trying to eat healthier and continue to attempt to drink less soda.

5. I am fed up with politics and feel that I have already heard my life's worth of it. In addition, I have begun to realize why adults pick a political party and blindly vote for it, as awful as an idea as it is.

6. I pay attention to gas prices.

7. I consistently wake up between 6 and 9 AM, which I, in theory, believe is early for people my age.

8. For the most part, I strictly listen to records and I hate most technology. Ipods are convenient, but I don't like cell phones and I'm okay with having to wait to get to a computer to access the Internet. Bluetooth headsets, Ipads, Netbooks, and Kindles are a bit too close to robotic attachments for my taste.

(Sidenote: The word "kindle" to me implies fire, and because the Kindle is a portable, digital book which literature can be downloaded to, it seems to imply further that the Kindle will "burn" books, which, historically and when mentioned in literature, is a bad thing)

All that being said, I also don't really believe in age stereotypes and I think that people should pick up what ever habits or behaviors they want to--no matter how old they are, which is what I have done.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Radio, Books, and Movies

A lady on Iowa Public Radio's Talk of Iowa today stated her opinion that people today are making films where people in times past would have sat down and wrote a book. She believes that this is the way things are moving currently.

I don't think I agree. Largely, I still believe in the importance of random scrubs (such as myself) sitting down and spending the time to relate thoughts and experiences to others through written word--fiction or non-fiction. Also, I don't think I have the financial ability to go make a movie. While I do occasionally make attempts to write screen and stage plays, and plan to hopefully complete a few in my life, it seems that it would be much more difficult to produce a film from them rather than a short story or novel.

I do, however, accept that, despite how important I believe it is, a lifestyle made from written literature is probably at a point where it will never allow financial success. In accepting this, I am forced to accept that I will probably never make a large amount of money from doing the things that I want to do in life. This is okay, I don't know what I would do with money anyway. Thinking about the near future and the potential of having a salary that is roughly 5-10 times what I make now is hard to comprehend. I'm getting by now on a couple of bucks a month. I'll just have to see how obligations change when I finish college.

In related news, I have really been trying to write more lately. I started a remake of a past short story I wrote and I have also been writing a story through letters to my parents from the point-of-view of me as if I did drop out of college to go explore the continent and settle in a coast city. My roommates and friends are a good inspiration, because they seem to be pursuing the same general lifestyle that I am, and seem to understand the consequences as I do.

I gnabbed an Adolescent Psychology book from the psych building on campus here. It was written in the early 90s, but still seems relevant in many ways today. I found this paragraph interesting:

What are the values of today's adolescents? Are they consistent with the common negative stereotypes of adolescents? According to one view, moral values favoring self-fulfillment have increasingly strengthened , whereas values favoring the welfare of others have increasingly weakened. In particular, there is evidence that the values of college students have become more oriented around personal financial gain and less around meaningful philosophy of life. Thus, current college students may judge selfish actions, especially actions producing financial gain, less severely than college students of prior generations.

This is pretty clear today in the way that the question "What are you going to do with that?" is consistently asked of English, Philosophy, and various Arts majors and rarely, if ever, asked of Engineering or Business-related majors. Even Agriculture kids get more credit than we do, which kind of sucks.