now that's what i call pop music

You can now check out my pop/rock theory presentation on Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" here. Yeah, I'm a dork, but I fuckin loved doing it. One file is a handout, the other is my written-out oral presentation. The presentation was restricted to ten minutes, so I had to condense and cut a lot of interesting shit. Hopefully someday I'll get around to stretching it out, because there's lots more to be said. Hmmm perhaps I might also get around to posting mp3's to accompany the pres... anyway, let me know what you think if you get around to reading it.

Boring gray Saturdays = sleepy Victor. Nap time!

Listening to: "People's Parties (live)" ~Joni Mitchell


all-day commando

I finished my score for orchestration. I don't feel like doing the parts until tomorrow morning, so instead I'm gonna chill with my month-old opened quarter bottle of cabernet-merlot and listen to some tunes. How life should be.

Wrote this about Venetian Snares' newest album on RYM...

Rossz Csillag Allat Szülletett is a remarkable work in many respects. Aaron Funk (Venetian Snares) deftly melds early twentieth century classical and jazz styles with his usual heavy drum & bass breakbeats, resulting in an album that is often vicious, icy, chilling, and downright melancholy. He occasionally missteps, as in "Szamár Madár," which loops the theme Elgar's woeful Cello Concerto over Funk's furious beats. This seems interesting in theory, but ends up sounding forced and trite out of the context of the rest of Elgar's piece. Where Funk succeeds, though, he does so with great inventiveness. "Szerencsétlen" makes Bartok seem destined for Funk's drum & bass stylings. "Második Galamb" and "Kétsarkú Mozgalom" are epic aural paintings of stark loneliness, both alternating haunting brass wailings and cold, thoughtful spoken samples with relentless battering of Funk's stutter beats. "Hajnal" is unquestionably the centerpiece of the album, a blending of Eastern and jazz styles with perhaps the most unique of Funk's electronic whimsies. Rossz Csillag Allat Szülletett isn't perfect - where Funk's imagination abounds in some spots, it is completely lacking in others. I still highly recommend it for its stylistic invention and its surprisingly penetrating emotional punch. [4 stars]

listening to: "Stay Loose" ~Belle and Sebastian


they should change "orgiastic" to "orgy-tastic"

The dead squirrel moved closer to the sidewalk sometime between yesterday and today! Probably about 2 feet from its original resting spot. How did it move? Did some dog drag it? Strong gust of wind? Toddler wanting to play? It still looks exactly the same. The mystery of the dead squirrel continues...

current music: "A Love Supreme" ~John Coltrane



sipping coffee with the cigarette smoke built in
face smaller
Tyl3 = yes. yes.
post- morning rain spring haze
karaoke in twelve hours
12 bars of E (in my orchestration final project)
on the up and up

current music: "Music Is the Victim" ~Scissor Sisters


asymmetrical chipmunk

According to Ross, that's what I look like.

[warning: following story is gross. I don't usually give a warning for such things, but this is fuckin nasty.]
So I wake up yesterday morning feeling as though someone socked me in the left jaw while I was asleep. It was slightly swollen and sort of painful, like a few days after my wisdom teeth were ripped from my skull. I looked even more retarded this morning, so I went into the oral surgeon to get it looked at. After listening to the likes of Lisa Loeb, Gin Blossoms, Creed, and Tori Amos (that's right, "Sleeps with Butterflies" is still in heavy rotation on AAA radio! I'm so embarrassed.) for almost an hour, this crazy young Amazon woman with a thick Eastern European accent chaotically tromps into the room, followed by a much shorter white man in his late fifties. Panicky giant woman reaches into my mouth and squeezes my tender swollen cheek, saying "eet is infected. Look, see? That is pus," she points out as she lets my mouth fill with blood. Gross, I'm thinking. She then hurredly grabs a giant syringe, saying that I'm going to be numbed up so they can drain the infection. Awesome. So she jabs me with the massive syringe, once... twice... three times in different places. Hurts like a bitch. The man hands her a tube, and she promptly forces it into my extraction site. I flinch and flail like a 4-year old getting vaccines. It hurts like a MOTHERFUCKER. I am not numb, I'm seeing tons of blood being hoovered out of my mouth, and these docs want to get it the fuck over with. I'm about to toss my nonexistant breakfast up onto myself. After 30 excruciating seconds, I start making pathetic pleading animal noises. "You are not numb?" asks psycho lady. I get another jab of anasthetic, of course to no avail. I say that I'm about to ralph, and the bitch asks me "Vere you drinkink last night? How many beers?" Har har. More draining ensues; at this point it hurts so much I'm beating my fist on the chair and kicking my legs uncontrollably. This apparently doesn't faze Boris and Natasha, who seem to be more concerned with the mental problems of a patient in the adjacent room. I don't know. After a lot more cheek-squeezing and tube-shoving, they finally finish, the whole process having taken about 3 minutes. I still can't recall a more painful three minutes, to be honest. The intense pain pretty much subsided after another five minutes or so, and they told me to come back in two days so they can check up on it. I'm positively thrilled.

At least one good thing came out of the whole ordeal, and that thing is in the form of Tylenol 3. Codeine rules. I'm happy.

Saw dead squirrel again today. Went up close to inspect, and was amazed to find minimal decomposition and only one ant crawling down its head. It was missing both its eyes. From its flat appearance, I'd say it's being eaten from the inside out. Hopefully it will stay where it is so I can watch the process in all its disgusting, maggoty detail.

Did I mention today was the last day of classes?!

Listening: "Ghost" ~Neutral Milk Hotel


you talk funny


Your Linguistic Profile:

70% General American English

10% Upper Midwestern

10% Yankee

5% Dixie

5% Midwestern

one little piggy

The theme of 2005 is slowly shaping up to be "I'm A Bad Person." It's catchy, it's fun, it's me! So what makes me a bad person this week? I have Wirehog now. Yeah, I know file-sharing of copyrighted matieral is "wrong" and everything, but when a rabid popular music consumer such as myself also happens to be a cash-strapped college student in over his head with undergrad loan debt, does he really have any other choice? I didn't think so. Whatever, fuck morality. I'm paying the artists lip service. The Dismemberment Plan's Change is really good, as is Modest Mouse's The Lonesome Crowded West. I'm still sort of on the fence with Bloc Party's Silent Alarm and M83's Before the Dawn Heals Us (My initial thoughts with each of these albums was "Yeah... I think I'll stick with Interpol and Air." But I'll probably end up liking them anyway.) Anyway, good thing Wirehog arrived just in time to keep me from working on finals! Today I just realized I have a week to write my research paper for theory history. Shit.

In other news, the same dead squirrel is STILL outside the Power Center. I'm surprised at how undecomposed and unmaggoty it is; it must have been there for five days now.
If it's still there tomorrow, I'm gonna inspect it up close. Maybe it's fake.

Listening to: "Shit Luck" ~Modest Mouse


how the damage is done

How do I keep missing these albums when they are initially released?! I've been listening a ton to The Notwist's Neon Golden (2002) recently, and all I can say is wow. Okay, that's not all I can say. The acoustic and electronic blend here is probably the most successful I've ever encountered. Electronic blips and crackles pervade the whole CD, but they never cloy like they can with Radiohead and Bjork. Woodwinds, brass, and acoustic guitar color the different tracks with tremendous effect, never sounding forced or trite. Maybe more on this later. It's still working on me. But WOW.

Other older releases that have spun my world right round baby right round: The Microphones' The Glow, pt.2 (2001) and Gravenhurst's Flashlight Seasons (2004). The former is a masterpiece in soundscaping atmospherics to express the utterly ineffable. I really can't properly describe the haunting mystery and wonder in every minute of this work; it has to be experienced. The latter is an emotional journey of the best and most beautiful kind. I haven't really allowed an album to confront my most guarded feelings for such a long time now, and I hardly expected this album to find its way inside me without my expressed consent.
Don't let the delicateness and fragility of these gorgeous songs fool you: they possess far more power than meets the ear. When music affects you like this, how can you deny its awesomeness?

[warning: rant of a Tori Amos fan follows.]
Saw Tori in D-town a couple days ago. It was fine -- awesome seats -- but I was pretty disappointed with the setlist. She switches it up every night, and since I keep tabs on her every move like the good stalker fan that I am, I expect to hear rarities when I go to see her DAMMIT! She did play "Snow Cherries" and "Butterfly," definitely my highlights. She also played the extremely rare but sort of boring "Abbey Road". But other than that (and her cover of "Penny Lane," which was precious), it was a pretty lackluster set. Then, to add insult to injury, her show in Chicago the night following had an incredible setlist! I'm talking TOP FUCKING NOTCH. Debuted five songs. And to think I could have made it out there for the show! Auuuughh!!
[okay, rant over]

In non-music-related news, check out this link Paul sent me. Most interesting is the quote found ten paragraphs down. Now that's balls.


I don't care, it's still 99 cents


I just heard about this. Wow. All I know is, this only gives me MORE reason to order Wendy's fantastically sketchy chili. As if I didn't have to wonder about it enough about it before, now I'm getting a spoonful of mystery with every bite. And at a bargain price, too!

I just ate sooooo much food at Ross's house, it's not even funny. Grilled chicken, fish and rice, macaroni salad (get this - I made it myself! and people liked it! Maybe I'm not so inept in the kitchen after all), fruit salad, banana bread, rum cake, peanut butter pie, chocolate mousse, ice cream, beer... yeah, so I'm in pain right now. I had to return to my place to take an breather because my stomach felt like it was going to burst. People say this as an exaggeration a lot, but I'M NOT KIDDING. I'm afraid it's going to rupture, and my insides will be sprayed with the remains of Maggie's birthday party. owwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

In other food-related news, I finally decided to quit being a pussy and order myself a drink at a restaurant. I got a caipirinha, which is basically a Brazilian drink made with lime and cachaça. It was pretty good, got me nice and liquored up for the Glee Club concert. Holla!

listening: "Jezebel" ~Iron & Wine


chasing squirrels

I can't help it. Ann Arbor squirrels are seriously the cutest animals EVER. I saw two chasing each other hopping from tree to tree yesterday, and the insane cuteness of it all almost caused me to explode with happiness. It was intense.

I passed the same dead squirrel outside the Power Center walking home today as I did yesterday. It had a lot more flies around it this time, and it looked deflated (literally.) I want to know how it got there in the first place.

I gave my "Since U Been Gone" presentation today in pop/rock. Easily my favorite class thing I've done all year. I talked a lot about blogs in my presentation, coincidentally, so I thought it'd be appropriate and shit to start blogging again. Damn (dzamn) I haven't blogged since freshman year! I think it's still up and archived at dzamn.blogspot.com actually... hmmm I haven't looked at that fucker for ages. I need to figure out how to put in a link for responses again, too. Whatever.

Seeing Tori tonight!!

listening to: "Since U Been Gone" ~miss Kelly C.
"Wrapped Around Your Finger" ~The Police