Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Work hard, party hard.

Today was a busy one for me, but I end it not feeling too tired, so it's all good.

The first meeting (for 2007-08) of the Graduate Education Council was this afternoon. I sit on this body as a graduate student rep for the humanities division. Not much happened, but I learned some good-to-know things about the university and graduate education matters.

After that I trotted off to lecture. I ended up only half paying attention to the prof, because---like last week---I found my mind wandering to my own dissertation while he was talking. Going to lecture is actually turning out to be really useful for me! I get bonus points with the prof and the students, I learn new things about the course I'm TAing, and I'm inspired to come up with good ideas about my own research. Good, good.

I made my way over to Robarts Library to pick up some needed books, running into a couple historians while there. (Outside the department, the library is the best place to find history grad students. Perhaps this is obvious.) I got what I came for, then had a quick---and enormous---dinner at Hart House. At which point it was time to dash off to Massey College for yet another lecture.

This time a fellow junior fellow was presenting her work on bubbles. (The ones in space that have stars inside them.) She did a great job explaining complicated things, and I think I managed to come away having learnt something about astrophysics.

When the lecture ended, and everything was put away, I found myself energetic enough to want to continue my day out. So I walked over to Sneaky Dee's for a show. LA's The Deadly Syndrome, playing their first show in Canada, was first, followed by new Toronto band Oh No Forest Fires---unfortunately named, perhaps, for playing a show with guys from LA right now, and the headliners, Oh No! Oh My! I enjoyed TDS's set. Good, creative musicianship and energy. I thought the drummer was especially fantastic, while the main singer has a great voice. (Or so it sounded to me, through my earplugs.) Oh No Forest Fires was fine. I was glad to see all the players rocking out this time, and as they play more shows they will only get better at connecting with the audience. Their music is interesting and complex, but I felt like it didn't always work. But then, what do I know? (Not a lot.) I will see them again for sure, and not only because I like the guys in the band. Seriously, they just started playing shows, and they perform like they've been together for ages. It's impressive.

I wasn't excited about Oh No! Oh My! Their recorded songs are fine, but there's nothing special about them, I don't find. I'd read in the blogosphere that they were some kind of next big thing in 2006, but my sense is that this didn't pan out. They have a second album out now, and as they are touring, I suppose it's doing ok. Once they started playing, though, it was soon clear to me that these guys are actually a good group. They completely drew me in, and I was moving along with everyone else in the by-now quite small crowd. (It was after midnight on a Tuesday, after all.) I thought they were just fantastic. Their music was a good mix of standard pop, indie rock, folky ballads, and the occasional edgier bits, performed enthusiastically but still with a "we're just regular guys" kind of vibe. Well done, guys.

Ok, now I'm really starting to feel like a poser since I really don't know anything about music. My point, finally, is this: the show was good, the last band surprised, and I came home with a charming bit of stage memorabilia (see photo below), and an Oh No! Oh My! t-shirt and CD. Not a cheap night, but still cheaper than Spoon, and I will remember this one much more fondly.

1 comment:

santaynezca said...

love those guys- thanks for the post.