Twenty-eight minutes ago, I submitted my comprehensive exams to the Office of Graduate Studies at Kent State University. Holy fucking shit. I recognize that this is a "music blog" and that you, dear reader, come here for "music" and "criticism." However, we generally inject our own lives to a greater or lesser degree into our posts. It's part of the evolution of non-ficitonal writing, yeah? This emphasis on the first person singular? This idea that "I" am somehow interesting? I'm probably not, but, right now, I don't give a shit. You're here for tunes? I have them coming up in a minute. For several seconds, I just want to stand on an imaginary hilltop in the internet and scream to the limits of digital creation: "I am done with my Jesus Christing comprehensive exams." I recognize that I still have to write a disseratation, but I am really, really, really close to a terminal degree at this point. Shit yeah.
This is relevant to you, dear reader, because I am now emerging from the doctoral cave. For at least a few weeks I'll be able to interact with the "blogosphere" in a more meaningful fashion. I'll have a show review from Megafaun's latest visit to Cleveland for you in a few days and, soon thereafter, a review of the recent release from local heroes Good Touch Bad Touch. I'll also be back for Lazy Saturday fun. I'd like to reassert my presence as a Dick with an iteration of that self same recurring post right now. I know that it's Monday, but, given the completion of my comps, it seems like the greatest Saturday ever. Today, I'll ply you with the tunes that got me over the hump.
After hitting send on the mammoth file containing my exams I hit play on a killer live version of "Surfin' with the Shah" from Mike Watt. He's been this Urinals track with The Minutemen and his solo groups for thirty some odd years, but it absolutely still gives you what you need when you want to celebrate an accomplishment. Mike Watt knows what it's like to do something meaningful and difficult and time consuming. Dude speaks to the punk rock soul of every doctoral student. I've posted a different version of this track here at some point in the past, but this one is the tits. One, two, surf's up! Yeah!
I listened to the new Local Natives record approximately one thousand times while hammering through the comps process. Holy balls. That record is so good. Kevin had to hold a gun to my head to get me to listen to it, but I am super glad that I did. Good lord. There's not a bad song on that thing and "Sun Hands" is the best single track since "Two Weeks." True story. You've seen this video a dozen times already, but we've never posted it, so I feel like it's fair game.
The other thing (other than classic jazz (I probably listened to Live from Birdland thirty times over the last month) that got me through was good old-fashioned psuedo-psychedelic rock music. There's never a next time, friends, there's only a this time.
Lastly, to all of you poor saps still working on some rdiculously challenging intellecutal (or non-intellectual, for that matter) activity: you'll make it; you can do it; it'll feel awesome when you finish. I've got your back. You'll never walk alone. Not on my fucking watch.