May 15th, 2006


Today was the first day since last summer in which A) no one knocked on my office door; B) no one spotted me in the hall and commenced a conversation; C) no one saw me in the Department office. For the most part, I'm pretty social at work, at least in that superficial around-the-office-cooler way. As busy as I am right now, though, the absence of human contact was a welcome change of pace. If only I could have spent more of that alone time on something besides grading. One class down, one to go. It's going to be a long night. . .
  • Current Music
    the sounds of the first Harry Potter movie

Coincidence Means More Than One Cut Into the Same Source

It's hard to find the pulse of anything in 2400 words per issue. But the music section at Tikkun seems to have stumbled upon a surprising Pitchfork tributary. Today's edition of the latter features an interview with Sufjan Stevens, whom I profiled last year, in which he makes an intriguing statement of preference:
Pitchfork: Can you think of any examples where you've tried to "sabotage" your music responsibly?

Sufjan: I love the electric guitar, and the Ex is one of my favorite bands, this punk band from The Netherlands.

And in college, I was blown away by Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation, Sister-- that kind of guitar-rock is still very musical but very dark, heavy, and dirty. I think there's moments where I'm playing around with that element, and everything is harmonious and melodic, then there'll be this undermining chaotic guitar line that rises up out of it, trying to sort of sabotage the harmony. I really want to experiment with that exclusively and get rid of all the pretty, listenable acoustic stuff.
My piece on The Ex appeared in the next issue of the magazine. I never would have guessed, though, that the band's name would be linked to Stevens in any way. Nor that he would also namecheck the records that changed my life as a college freshman. What's next, a Matthew Herbert remix of "Decatur"?
  • Current Music
    a memory of Plush
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Whatever else you want to say about Lute Olson, his former players sure do perform impressively at the professional level. Jason Terry had one hell of a game tonight. Richard Jefferson was playing great before the sprained ankle. Gilbert Arenas was a force, even though he missed those free throws. And even Luke Walton had his moments in the series against the Suns. Then again, it is hard to believe that a team with those last three didn't win an NCAA championship. While I was writing this, Terry made an amazing step-back rainbow jumper over Duncan. Awesome!

Calling Roger Ebert's Lipstick Taupe

It's a good thing that Oakland A's starter Rich Harden isn't Barry Bonds, because if he were this article would have an entirely different slant:
Proper stretching is not an issue, either. Harden does rotational exercises for his torso and plenty of work to maintain flexibility, and he also does active-release techniques and deep tissue massage to keep loose. He's extremely flexible, in fact, putting the back of his hands on the floor to demonstrate. He conducts much of his winter work with Canadian sprinters who are Olympic hopefuls, and his sessions are monitored by personal trainers.

So Harden is as baffled as anyone why he has spent more than three months on the DL in the past year. He is so fed up, his usually sunny disposition has been much less in evidence.

"I've never had problems my entire career," he said. "I just have to try to figure something out. If this were hockey, I'd throw my skates on and go, but these (injuries) are so specific to pitching, I can't do that. And there's nothing worse than not being able to play. You don't feel like part of the team when you can't help out. I mean, this is my job. I want to go out there.

"I don't want to be known as that guy who's always hurt. I don't believe I am. People try to come up with theories -- me, too. But it's not me, my body is not just going to break down. So it's just really bad luck."
Working out with Canadian sprinters. Hmmmm. In our culture of suspicion, that's almost as bad as eating French fries.
  • Current Music
    the humming in my ears
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