While most of us can’t say that our claim to fame is beating Steve Wozniak at something, Rutherford Chang ’02 has achieved this distinction. As a Guardian article last month reported, he’s the second best Tetris player in the world – four places ahead of Wozniak with a high score of 614,094.
But Chang doesn’t play Tetris for mere procrastinating pleasure; as a visual and performance artist, he views the strategy of Tetris as mirroring the corporate workplace where repetition and competition dominate (as he told The Guardian): “Every 10 lines you complete, you advance one level and the pieces fall faster,” he says. “Eventually they fall so fast that you can’t keep up and you die… You can’t ever beat the game. It’s about squeezing in as much perfection as possible in this limited time before your inevitable death.”
If his Tetris skills and creative capitalist critique weren’t enough, Chang made news back in 2013 as the primary collector of first pressings of The Beatles’s The White Album. His installation “We Buy White Albums” displayed 100 of the staggering 1,394 copies he now owns. I decided I’d have to investigate Chang’s awesomeness further so I hit him up for a quick chat about Tetris, The White Album, and his art. Hit the jump for our interview on all things Rutherford.
This Procrastination Destination post is about Twitter. Have you heard of it?
The Internet woke up this morning to the strange and potentially disturbing news that Paul McCartney will be fronting a reunited Nirvana (or, more accurately, surviving members of Nirvana’s rhythm section) at tonight’s 12.12.12 Sandy relief benefit concert. As the AV Club tells it, “McCartney allegedly told The Sun that he didn’t even know who he was playing with when Grohl invited him to ‘jam with some mates,’ and that he was surprised when ‘somebody whispered to me, “That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.”‘” There’s no guarantee that McCartney will be performing songs by the Beatles or Nirvana, especially considering he told The Sun that he “didn’t really know who [the surviving members of Nirvana] were,” but it’ll probably be weird and disorienting anyway, and it sure is fun to imagine combinations of songs by both seminal groups, isn’t it, Internet?
The AV Club comment thread is naturally brewing with erudite snark, ranging from “I guess Kid Rock wasn’t available” to “They should call this new supergroup the Grateful Dead because both Kurt Cobain and John Lennon must be now grateful that they are dead,” but the real winner is the new Twitter hashtag this unholy collaboration has spawned: #nirvanabeatlessongs. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but here are some of my favorites:
Forgot to fill out your Teaching freakin’ Evaluations in time for eternal life? Chelsie Green ’14 sends in a much more interesting survey pertaining to a September music happening that will transcend time, space, and all earthly matter:
There is a student committee working with the CFA to plan The Mash, a music happening being planned for the Friday after classes begin (Sept. 7). Inspired by the Fête de la Musique in France, the event will kick-off the year-long celebration of Music & Public Life. It will open with a faculty band, continue with student bands playing all over campus and culminate in an alumni band (to be announced) on Foss. The band will lead a campus-wide play/sing along of a song everyone is encouraged to learn over the summer. The song is set to be some Beatles song, but it is up to the student body to choose, so please vote here.
More information about this event will be announced in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, “Revolution 9” doesn’t appear on the ballot, but here’s what does: “Come Together,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Hey Jude,” “All You Need is Love,” “She Loves You.” So choose The Right One, guys. You know.
Pictured above: Denton, TX-based punksters Teenage Cool Kids bring some unholy fusion of garage punk, snide banter (“we’re from Montana; Teenage Cool Kids is up next”), and sheer sweat to Eclectic’s dining room late Saturday night. The band alternated between cuts from last year’s Denton After Sunset and ramshackle classic rock covers—including a filthy 90-second assault on “Helter Skelter” eventually credited to The Kinks. In attendance were about 18 people and a beach ball, but they were 18 of the most sincerely freaked out concertgoers I’ve ever encountered at Wesleyan.
Opening the show were Third Wheel—a former Awesomefest project featuring Adrien DeFontaine ’13, Molly Balsam ’14, and some third wheel—and DIVE, an appropriately reverb-drenched side project of Beach Fossils guitarist Z. Cole Smith and friends.
Pics and a “Helter freaking Skelter” video after the jump. Props to CG ’14 for organizing.
Here at Wellesleyan, we have a design-your-own-major option. It’s called the University Major. It’s really cool, and also really demanding, according to people who have undertaken to create one. It’s how students major in The Internet, or “history of psychological theory,” or The Beatles.
At Liverpool Hope University, way across the pond, turns out students can do just that. Major in The Beatles, that is. The new Masters program—entitled “The Beatles, Popular Music and Society”—graduated its first student today. She’s the first person in the world to hold an MA in The Beatles:
A former Miss Canada finalist has become the first graduate of a Liverpool university’s groundmaking degree program based on analyzing the Beatles’ music and their impact on Western culture.
Liverpool Hope University officials believe the master’s program offers the first advanced degree based on the life and times of the Fab Four.
Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy joined the program when it started in 2009 and graduated Wednesday. She is one of 12 full-time students of the program — “The Beatles, Popular Music and Society.”