No Time to Die

Well, it has been quite some time since I posted anything on this site, but I felt compelled today. I guess I should start with a little mini-auto bio of recent events. I live in New Haven, CT. I am an employee of Yale University currently in the  interim employment pool or IEP. My job ended on June 30th, and because of the recent economic downturn my labor union renegotiated their contracts early which has me in the employment pool until January 2010. What does that mean exactly? Well it means that I am an employee of human resources. They can assign me to jobs that my skill-set would lend its self to efficiently…I think. After three weeks I haven’t been called in once. What does that mean? Either I have no marketable skills. or they have no jobs. In the meantime I get paid my full salary, accumulate vacation time, have sick and personal time, and keep my healthbenefits. I also can take any courses that would help me be a stronger candidate while seeking jobs.  I am taking Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Powerpoint, etc. I take all these for free. I am astounded to say the least. I never would have fathomed being in this position. It’s funny thinking about the course of your life sometimes. It’s strange to think I work for Yale, live in CT, and made it to 32 years old.

Other than my job, I have been writing music, trying my hand at photography. and spending more time in my art studio. I’ve been learning how to make my resume stand out more, catching up with old friends, contemplating what it is that I am interested in doing for a living, and trying to enjoy the few warm days without rain. I’ve been tending to my garden, spending time with my girlfriend, and seeing my family in Pennsylvania. I’ve also been recording a lot  more on my laptop…which brings us to le blog du jour.

Yesterday I spent six hours cleaning my studio including repainting a wall, organizing all my scattered tools, and vacuuming like a madman. Afterward I thought I would treat myself to a few beers with friends. My friend Silas and I retreated to the back of Rudy’s to play some pool. When we got to the back some dudes were already on the table, so we played doubles for a few games. My ego started to rise. We lost only one game, but the games were really close. I knew I could do better. After a while Silas left, and I ended up playing them by myself. I turned into a machine. No one could beat me, and I was proud. At some point I nearly ran the whole table, and decided to leave. I went to the front. I bought a beer and realized my bag was still in the back. I grabbed it finished my beer, and went home. Immediately I realized that I was without my computer. Fuck. I rode back to my studio. No luck. I rode back to the bar. It was closed. The only people I saw in that room were the dudes I was playing. They also kept going out the emergency door (which apparently sounds a silent alarm) even though the door guy showed up every time to berate them, and explain that the door needed to remain shut. I didn’t want to blame them. I just haven’t thought of any other reasonable explanation.

A few things have run through my head since the events of last night. One: If you have the most expensive thing you own on your person, then keep it on your person. Two: People aren’t all decent, and even in one of he places you feel highly comfortable bad things can happen. Three: I hate money, because it causes people to do things like this. Four: All I can do is pick myself up, and figure out how to recover my losses. Money is just money. Things come and go. Also, I realized how little I have not been fully utilizing the technology that was at my fingertips for a time. I didn’t keep up with my blogs, post all the photos I had taken, or read the current news. Not having that access for a day has made me realize how little I did with it. I came to realize, as well, that the whole time I thought I was showing these guys that they couldn’t beat me on the pool table I was being hustled off the pool table. Funny huh? I’ve never had good luck with electronics. If I buy an amp it doesn’t have a ground plug, and I get shocked by the mic when I sing. If I buy a computer it gets a virus that I can’t recover from, or in this case just walks away. I just bought a mic to record with a few weeks ago from Guitar Center, and I got one song recorded before it started shorting out. They told me a new one would be there in two days…it’s been a week. I wasn’t surprised that the one highly functioning device I owned would somehow be taken away (thieves, floods, an anvil dropping from the sky landing only on my computer and vanishing into thin air) That didn’t surprise me so much that I didn’t even  flip out last night. I just went into some self evaluative state thinking questions like “What should I be learning from this?” etc. So, that’s the story. Tomorrow I order a new one, and move forward. Oh, I also woke up to a flat tire on my back…sometimes life’s little tests are greater than others.

Published in: on July 28, 2009 at 7:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Virgin Voyage with Jim James and Calexico

This is my virgin blog, so I’ll give you some background. I am currently 31 yrs old. I live in New Haven, CT. I work as a Museum Technician at the Peabody Museum at Yale University. I am a visual artist, a musician, a photographer, and a music addict. I spend the better part of my day talking about, reading about, listening to, watching, or playing music. I have been this way my whole life. Recently I was discussing this with a friend, and I thought I should start a music blog. The impetus for it started with the ongoing debate over downloading music from soul seek(or whatever you use). I have a theory that if you are anything like me then you can sequester your guilt by taking what you’ve been given (free music), and spread it around as much as possible. I spend a lot of time collecting music, and I am gracious to have the opportunity to do so. What I give back to the musicians is all the people I turn on to their music. I have been the reason for other people coming to your shows, buying your merch, and playing your music, just by turning them on to it. I think it’s a fair trade.

It is a beautiful day in New Haven, so I won’t spend my whole day in a dark room staring at a screen. I’ll start with something easy. Recently I got the song Goin’ to Acapulco done by Jim James and Calexico. I think I’ve listened to it a hundred times (at least). It’s from the soundtrack for I’m Not There. I remember seeing the movie with my mom, and I remember seeing Jim James in the movie, but for some reason the songs didn’t stick out to me at the time. Here’s what it looked like.

I guess there was enough happening visually that I didn’t make a mental note about the song. A few weeks ago I started snooping around to try and find some Jim James solo stuff, because I had seen him at the Revenge of the Bookeaters benifit in NY last year and he was amazing. He did some things with his voice that sounded inhuman. There are a few things I’d like to say about this track in particular though. The sparse beginning with a guitar and a few stitched in bass notes really gives emphasis to Jim James’ voice. When you’re satisfied with the simplicity after a few bars the drums, horns, and chorus vocals swell up like a rogue wave. For the rest of the song the horns and drums stay subdued until the chorus. One of the best parts of this track is Jim’s “yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” straight into the horns. Just a brilliant song, and the collaboration was match made in heaven.

***current recommendations:

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Walk It Off

Architecture in Helsinki – In Case We Die

Dodos – Visiter

Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St.

Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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Published in: on October 28, 2008 at 7:23 pm  Comments (1)