Back in February, I posted about New Space, a fantastic collection of measured guitar buildups and stirring drones by homegrown guitar hero Ben Seretan ’10. The Duchampion alumnus recorded the record alone in a friend’s Greenpoint studio during the Superbowl. There was no bass or drums, because who needs bass and drums?
If you need bass and drums, Seretan writes in about In Two, an unsurprisingly stellar collaboration record between The Early, a Portland-based indie rock outfit, and himself. The album features more masterful six-string arpeggios, more emotionally fragile tales of driving cross-country and sleeping on porches—as well as full-band noise flare-ups (“Drive to Michigan”), feedback-laden spoken word (“All Dogs”), and muted guitar pop (“Onion Boy”). Lyrically, its themes include “dogs, Parsifal, stairs, driving around and listening to music, sleeping in places and on things, intimacy, earth cracking.” It’s also a good bit more song-driven and instrumentally varied than New Space, if that’s your thing.
As the album’s press release explains,
“We’ve been pregnant with this record for nine months, but this baby couldn’t wait any longer.”
When I caught up with Ishmael last month to talk about the band’s brand new EP, I asked about recording the whole thing in the dead of night at New York’s Tarbox Studios. “There was something indescribable about being so creative, and loud, while most of New York slept,” the band told me, “and it freed up our inhibitions so we could try some weird stuff.” “Feet Stomp,” the first tease from that EP, hinted at some weird stuff. It also hinted at the catchiest—and shiniest—pop music that the prog/funk/rock/whatever outfit has written yet. Who says 9/8 time signatures and Tool covers aren’t sexy?
This week the band, which includes Jordan Lewis ’13 and Andy Werle ’12 plus non-Weskids Nick Otte and Aaron Silberstein, finally delivers the goods. The EP, creatively titled Ishmael the EP (and previewed on the WEUS airwaves a few weeks back), is available online for $3.96 at iTunes (and coming soon to Spotify and, eventually, physical formats). At just over twenty minutes, it consists of four of Ishmael’s most diverse tracks yet, including
“It’s the kind of good time you can have with friends at 2 am, with the neighborhood kids the next afternoon, and with the whole fam around the fire on that special December night of your choice.”
Last year we posted about a collection of “wild (dare we say ‘zany’?) reinterpretations of classic holiday music from several faiths,” from campus reggae/funk faves Buru Style. This year, drum teacher/grad student/all-around percussion wiz Bill Carbone writes in to remind you of the omnidenominational holiday treat and let you know it’s available on iTunes, eMusic, and burustyle.bandcamp.com—actually in time for the holidays this time. It’s been a year since I first heard this EP, but these takes on “Jingle Bells” and “Hannukah, Oh Hannukah” don’t sound any more sane.
The album features Jake Schofield ’12, Andrew Fogliano ’10, Jake Gold ’10, Eric Sherman ’11, Ian Coss ’11, and Bill Carbone (grad) as well as seriously alumni MC Kabir Sen ’99. Here’s a seriously funked out “Jingle Bells,” featuring the aforementioned MC Kabir:
Khalif Diouf ’11, aka Leif, has his latest EP, Flossy Bounce, available for download and streaming on Chazology. The mix incorporates everything from Sufjan Stevens to Fergie to Crystal Castles. Listen to it. Also, go to this show if you are in NYC tomorrow. It will be fun.
Software for Starving Students is a free collection of programs organized for students (but available to anyone). We’ve gathered a list of best-in-class programs onto one CD (one disc for OS X, one for Windows), including a fully-featured office suite, a cutting-edge web browser, multi-media packages, academic tools, utilities and more.
Note that you’re downloading a virtual disk image, not physically getting a disc. You’ll need some sort of disk image emulator. The OS X version is ~648MB, and the Windows version is ~675MB. And take advantage of the torrent link, would ya?
The software bundle contains:
- Carbon Copy Cloner
- Crack Attack!
- Pac the Man X
- VideoLAN Client
- Ant Renamer
- DeepBurner Free
- Exact Audio Copy
- GNU Chess
- Juice Receiver
- Portable Apps
- Spybot S&D
- The GIMP Toolkit
- Tortoise SVN
- Tux Paint
- Tux Racer
- Tux Typing 2
Get ’em here!
If you’re addicted to Winterbells but can’t stand that bleedin’ cute background music anymore, fear not. Flashmute is a tiny app that lives in your system tray that allows you to mute your browser without having to mute your entire computer. And making that little bunny hop from bell to bell to the Pixies is a different experience entirely. Windows only, unforch.
Here are four songs to get you through the next week. I have been listening to these every morning to get pumped. And man, I am so PUMPED!! It’s so EXTREME!!! I’m so fucking ENERGIZED that it’s 5:30am and I am watching my friend play Final Fantasy XII!!!!
I’m not even going to tell you their names. It’s a guessing game. You like games, yes? Especially ludicrously easy ones? Unlike your life right now? Fine, okay, the song titles are in the file names, I don’t even care.
Man, fuck finals.
Because speculating about grades is more fun than working for them.
Instead of studying for finals I made a GPA calculator, available for download here. You can either input your current GPA and number of credits and find out how future grades will affect you, or keep track of all your grades ever.
I promised I’m not obsessed with my or anyone else’s GPA. Just with spreadsheets, and calculating things, and academia. Yay!