A couplet

Where we will sit gently 'round a fire;
Entranced by orange light.


Post #543

Yes, that's how many times I've hit "Publish Post" on this blog. I saw that figure and was kind of astounded.

This blog IS, after all, approaching 4 years old... time is the scariest thing ever.

Not much has changed in my life since early October, other than the fact that the stress has been mounting. This weekend alone, for instance, I have 2 art projects, a civics project, an English essay, and research on North Korea to complete. I also have a cross-country meet, collecting cans for a can drive on the night of trick-or-treat (Happy Halloween), and a 5-hour shift at the storage facility. All one weekend. This two hour gap between what was potentially my last cross-country practice ever and a carb night at Trevor's house is pretty much the only time I'm gonna be doing nothing this weekend. Although I may be spending the night at Nesbit's as well to de-stress, which would be much, much appreciated.

(Update: Nesbit's house isn't happening tonight)

Like I said. Time is the scariest thing ever.

Anyways, enough about life and how overwhelming it is. Let's talk about music a little.

The two most recent things I've downloaded have been Efterklang's "Under Giant Trees" EP from 2007 and Marnie Stern's self-titled which came out earlier this month. Both are fantastic.

The overall feel of Under Giant Trees is of a really brooding, slow-paced march into hell. The longer pieces combine funereal percussion, strings, and horns that intertwine with electronic aspects flawlessly to produce a really full and immersing sound. The shorter pieces are starkly different from the long pieces and each other, and it's where the album breaks from its identity a little bit. "Hands Playing Butterfly" is a gentle piano-and-violin movement that would fit comfortably on a medical drama, and yet maintains a life of its own through its stark minimalism and forboding intro that completely contrasts the body of the song. "Towards the Bare Hill" is at first a particularly glitchy romp that later evolves into a mini-climax with immense tribal drumming. By the end of the album, you can't help but feel like you're lost in the woods. I strongly recommend.

Marnie Stern's album also has been a standout out of all the music that I've purchased and listened to this year. This was my introduction to her, really, although I had already read up a good amount. What kind of turned me off at first listen was the fact that the shredding I had been so anticipating wasn't all that present. There's a lot of focus on the rhythm section (reasonably so, Zach Hill drums for her for godsake) and her voice in the production. On further listening, it's there on most every song, but in some cases, like on For Ash, it's a little farther back in the mix. This is a triviality in the grand scheme of things. This girl produces some awesome music, and she's become one of my favorite math-rock artists as a result of this album. What sets this apart from a lot of other math-rock I've heard is that there is clear variation. The sound ranges from straight-up rockers (Nothing Left, Female Guitar Players are the New Black) to droning, tripped-out segments (Transparency is the New Mystery, Her Confidence), and it ends rather simply with just her on a couple of guitars and a few vocal tracks (The Things You Notice). There's a lot to sink your teeth into here, and for any fans of mathy rock, this is a must-have.

I somehow managed to get all that out in under an hour. And now it's time to go!



Mica Eyes

This is the first set of lyrics I've written in such a long time. The song itself borders on 7 minutes at the moment, but there's going to be some clear edits.

The inspiration originated from the phrase "mica eyes" showing up in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and me being like "hmm, that imagery alone is kind of gorgeous." So I stole it. Whatever.

What a waste!
To be living here for thirty thousand days
Mica Eyes,
You are what is keeping me from signing off
On a bridge
There are wanderers and ghosts a million strong
We can watch
In this cardboard box for two a little longer.
Before the light fades.

If I live in filth
You're still clean when I'm around
If there's nothing beautiful
I'm lying to make sound
We're so useless we're so washed up
We're so prone to stealing drugs
Covered in our snowy armor
White coats, winter's code of honor
But I've still got.
My Mica Eyes.

I'll start being someone better, I suppose
But for now,
I'll keep looking out upon South Seventh Road.
Watching half-caste boys
standing at the red light looking for some fun
Rich and grey.
Avert your gaze from all these hungry men!
I'm begging
I need you so much more than them.
But they've got cash and you are strapped.
They've got cash for you to go strapless.
They've got cash and we're that desperate
But let this pass we'll find other outlets.
You smile like you will never leave,
But your stare tells me that you are all packed up.

If I live in filth
You're still clean when I'm around
If there's nothing beautiful
I'm lying to make sound
We're so useless, we're washed up
We're so prone to stealing drugs
Covered in our snowy armor
White coats, winter's code of honor
But I've still got,
Or I once had,
My Mica Eyes.
Mica Eyes.

Where am I if you're not there?
Trapped inside concentric squares.
Where am I if you're not there?
Trapped inside concentric squares.
Where am I if you're not there?
Trapped inside concentric squares.
Where am I if you're not there?
Trapped inside.



Hey. Haven't seen you around in a while.

The short answer to where I've been is not here.
That's not sufficient. This blog has always been meant for my open-ended rants of various lengths in which I try to wax poetic about my relatively plain life.
The long answer is the following:
I'm starting the college application process.

Here's where I'm applying:

: Muhlenberg College
: Vassar College
: Connecticut College
: Middlebury College
: Amherst College
: Hampshire College
: University of New Hampshire

All are a little bit on the selective side/kinda far away, except for UNH.

I've once again wound up putting my face on public access television.

About three weeks ago now, I was asked by my former chemistry teacher/former Granite State Challenge coach to quickly assemble a team for another appearance on the show. I was ecstatic: having a second chance at this was literally a realized dream. Our first taping occurred only five days after we had assembled the team, which was without a doubt the least amount of preparation of any team this season. I'm legally obligated to keep the results a secret, but I can tell you that I felt a lot more confident this year, and I am infinitely more satisfied with the outcome.

I got my wisdom teeth pulled.

Outside of the terrible bedside manner, the operation went smoothly. Laughing gas is great. All I remember is repeating this phrase over and over again in my head while they drilled my teeth out:

"You're on a ship. Bring it on, doc. You're on a ship. Bring it on, doc."

There was one point while I was acclimating to the nitrous, where I felt my teeth getting really heavy. The heaviness spread to my head, and then later my entire body. My head was being pressed into the seat. I felt like screaming out for help. In fact, my mind was shrieking at me to call for help. Eventually, I managed the words "I'm feeling really... heavy." That's when they lessened it and I stopped feeling like I was going to be absorbed into my seat and never emerge.

Post-op has been awful. I've been lagging behind in school ever since, and my running ability has depreciated CONSIDERABLY. This is how it's gone:

- First 1.25 miles of race: Feels really good
- Mile 1.25-mile 2.5: Feels bad, man. I'm running in place and I can't get enough air to my head.
- Mile 2.5-finish: a random surge of energy takes over my entire system and I nearly sprint to the end.

My goal this year was to break 20 minutes, but that goal is unfortunately evaporating as quickly as my will to run.

Oh yeah, and music. I still make it, relatively.
Lately, as you can tell, I have been enormously busy and the album I had nearly finished has been put on the backburner. I hadn't written lyrics for about two months until today, when, after visiting Topsfield Fair, society frustrated me once again. I spent $30 doing almost nothing, and I felt so hollow by the end of it. Granted, being with Bobina made everything more or less the best, but the mindless, en masse consumerism I was witnessing all around me was actually sickening.

While the lyric department's been kind of stagnant, the music department's been flourishing. I've been working on developing more technicality in my playing, more notes, more complex melody, key change, tempo change, the whole nine. So there's been progress, just not the apparent type.

So that's what I've been doing. Everything.

I'm going to New York City tomorrow with my family to bring Bobina back down to college, and then I'm gonna be checking out Vassar early in the morning the next day. Hopefully this long, long trip affirms my decision to apply/potentially go there.

SONG OF THE DAY, Vader in Burgos by Mimas.

Mimas is one of those bands that really deserve widespread recognition. If you, by any small fraction of a chance, happen to live in Scandinavia or England, you can purchase their album either physically or on iTunes.

The album accidentally leaked onto the US iTunes store a few days ago, and I eagerly downloaded it without knowing that I wasn't supposed to. They've since taken the album off of the store (I tipped them off by posting to their facebook wall that I was downloading the album and was brimming with excitement and anticipation), but I still have my copy. I may be the only person in the United States to legally own this album at the moment, and I can say that this is a title that I hold proudly over my head.

This was a very long post.
Now it's over.
Guten nacht.