Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Co-eds Darren, co-eds

So, for those of you who might not have heard, ol' Uncle Jubb is finally back in school. About two years ago I enrolled at URI's Continuing Education campus (or Old People's College as I like to call it) in Providence, but never got around to taking any classes. This August I proposed a show to a radio station in NYC but never heard anything back from them. Rather then sit around and mope about it I took that as the kick in the ass I needed to get back to school. Since I was already in the system from two years ago, all I had to do was register for classes and go. Pickin's were slim getting into the game that late, but I was able to get into four classes, some of which are actually pretty cool. I'll refrain from commenting on which classes I like and which I don't since this is a public forum and I have shared this blog's URL with some of my professors, but here are some thoughts on my experience so far.

First and foremost, I absolutely friggin' love it. I am so glad to finally be doing this, and maybe it took a long time for me to get here, but maybe this was just the right time. Not only am I more focused as a student, but I'm also more focused personally. I now have a clear idea of "what I want to do when I grow up." Radio. Period. Now that may take several forms or have different possible career outcomes, it's the clear answer for me. When I got back on the air a little over a year ago the on-air light in my head went on. And while URI doesn't offer a lot in terms of audio or broadcasting classes per se, it does offer me some very cool opportunities.

The most obvious is the radio station itself. As a student (as opposed to a community volunteer which I was before) I am eligible to be on the Executive Board and I have already secured the position of Production Manager. This means that I am in charge of our live room and ProTools equipped recording studio. In addition to that, one of my Communications professors has set up a Sound Lab for students to use which is currently a small room with four ProTools computers and some basic recording equipment. I am also manager for this Sound Lab, which means that I am basically the resident ProTools expert on campus. These two things will give me lots of opportunity to work hands on a variety of equipment and will look excellent on a resume. Oh, and I get paid for both.

So, that's the gist of what's going on with me these days. Now if you'll excuse me, this place is just crawling with college girls... o.O

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two days I waited ten years for

In 2000 I saw two bands I never expected to see again; Orchestra Morphine and Gil Scott-Heron. In early August I saw them both within the span of 24 hours.

Orchestra Morphine is the remaining members of Morphine along with members of Either/Orchestra performing the songs of Mark Sandman. At this point in my life I can pretty safely say that Morphine is my favorite band. No small statement. And to see this music performed live again is nothing short of mind blowing for me.

Russ Gershon has a tendency to send out emails about E/O performances mere days before a show. On a Tuesday morning I saw a notice he had sent out the day before about an Orchestra Morphine show the next day! I got on the phone and rounded up Kyle, Martin, and Linda and off we went. We get up to Boston with no problems, circle the block once and get a spot right in front of the club. To say the Lizard Lounge is intimate is to say Jimi Hendrix was a guitar player. Grab some seats, blah blah blah, they play. Oh. My. God.

These nine musicians both have this music in them and put themselves into this music. They are those songs. Which gives them  the ability to explore while they're playing. Because no matter how far out they take these, well, Pop Songs, they can still turn the train right around and lock it back in. And I dare you not to dance. Go on. Don't dance.

Then the next day:

Erica & I picked up Harry & Bill and we headed to NYC. Pleasant trip down the Merritt (Harrison, You Are Here) got into the city no problem, found $10 parking, went to the MOMA, had awesome salads on 125th, then headed over to Marcus Garvey park in Harlem to see Gil Scott-Heron. Hoe. Lee. Shit. 

Another group of excellent musicians, and at least from my perspective towards the back of the park, Gil looked fairly healthy. When I saw him in 2000, eh, not so much. I spent the oughts assuming I'd one day hear that he had died, so to see him perform live again is also mind blowing to me.

But the thing that *really* blew my mind was that fact that these two show were back-to-back. These are two of my absolute favorite artists, one of whom has been living with a crack habit for decades, and the other has been gone since '99. And they were both near perfect shows in every aspect that I can think of; personal importance of artist, performance, company, parking, over-all experience, etc ...