Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Japandroids, Sleigh Bells, Neutral Milk Hotel, Zedd and Wavves: 5 Songs Stuck In My Head

First of all, I'd like to say that Alumni Weekend was a success at PC.  Many stories were created, many bad decisions were made, and many drinks were consumed.  That's all I'll say about that.  Just a quick update here, I wanted to post 5 songs that have been stuck in my head for the past week.  These are all from bands that I like a lot.  I never mean to tell people what they should or shouldn't listen, but I just want to help get these bands out there.  If you guys like what you hear then I'll be very pleased, but what you like is what you like and I respect that. 

Japandroids: The House That Heaven Built

Sleigh Bells: Comeback Kid

Zedd: Clarity (Acoustic Mix)

Wavves: Demon to Lean On

Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

Just as a brief follow up, Japandroids new album Celebration Rock was named the #1 album of 2012 by Spin magazine.  Sleigh Bells consists of just two people, and seems to be a rock band that may have a slight cross over into the EDM crowd with the drum machine and samples that they use along with the guitar and vocals.  Zedd is most likely the next big DJ, coming off a performance of the song above on David Letterman.  I'll be seeing Zedd with in Boston a week from tonight with two of my best friends, which will most likely be an awesome time.  Wavves has had a few minor hits and has been shown some love from MTV which is kind of rare these days.  The song 'Demon to Lean On' is their newest single, coming from an album that comes out March 26th.  They will be playing in Boston in April and I would highly recommend seeing them live if you liked the song I posted.  Neutral Milk Hotel hasn't done much since 1998 when their album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea came out, but this whole album is beautiful.  I saw the frontman/mastermind of NMH play at Lupo's two nights ago, and to say that it was an incredible show would be an understatment.  Some of the songs that he (Jeff Mangum) played were beautiful, which is a rare term to use these days when it comes to music.  I have been to numerous concerts over the past 10 years, and Mangum may be the best sounding musician that I have heard live.  Impressive for just one guy and a couple of guitars. 

I hope you guys enjoyed some of the songs here.  Again, I do not mean to push this music upon anyone, but I just believe in these bands and felt that I should share them with you guys. Please, feel free to comment your thoughts/opinions/whatever in the comment section below.  I'd love to hear what you guys think about this stuff. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Providence College Alumni Weekend 2013

Tomorrow begins the shitshow that is alumni weekend at Providence College.  Yes, the alumni weekend.  Legends return to their own stomping grounds, months older and probably not yet wiser.  Poor decisions will be made, cheap beers will be consumed, old flames may reignite, and depression at the realization that you are no longer in college will ensue.  This is the time where new alum will come back to campus to see how much they have been missed by the juniors, sophomores and freshmen who are now seniors, juniors and sophomores.  Normally, it is an ego thing for these new alum and they are not missed all that much.  I went through a similar thing when I visited East Providence High one day when I was home for Christmas break.  In my mind, there was no way my old high school could function without me being there.  Chaos would be rampant in gym class, pandemonium in the hallways, people getting mugged in the parking lot, all because I graduated and wasn’t around anymore.  It was a hard pill to swallow, but I realized that places that you leave can still survive without you, which brings me to returning to Providence College tomorrow.  The real question concerning alumni weekend is what can we expect?  Well, let me tell you.

The Old Watering Holes:  Bars kind of played a big role to PC students during our 4 years.  There have been numerous changes to the bar scene, mostly downgrades, which people coming back to Friartown need to be aware of.  First of all, McFadden’s is gone.  Looks like all those VIP Thursday nights finally caught up to them.  Sad to see this place go as it was easily the classiest establishment that us Friars frequented during our senior year.  Next change was the closing of 412.  This one hurt, but more so over the fact that their 5-Cheese pizza was fantastic.  Seriously, even all those kids from New York who would consistently complain about pizza in Rhode Island (I mean you Sean Mottola) saying “This pizza sucks.  It’s nothing like New York Pizza” had to admit that 412 pizza was good.  As for a bar, it was way too small, but it was always nice to stumble into after Olds closed for the night. 

The last, and most drastic, change that was made to the PC bar scene was the blasphemy that was Clubbies, dear, sweet, lovely Clubbies, changing owners and being rechristened to “Ava’s Wrath”.  What?  1. Who the hell is Ava?  2. What is her wrath all about?  3. Where does she get off changing the name of an institution, no, a historic landmark like Clubbies into Ava’s Wrath?  It’s nonsense.  I feel like if I had to tell people after Civ on a Friday afternoon that I was going to Ava’s Wrath that night I would have to kick my own ass.  It doesn’t feel right.  When I think about PC bars I think about 3 things: Awful beer, waiting for Eddie Money’s ‘Take Me Home Tonight’ to play, and awful beer.  Wrath was never on my mind.  This is a bad decision on Ava’s part, and she should be worried about some drunk degenerate alumnae who will take this information personally and cause property damage.  Besides that, I’m sure Old’s still smells terribly, and other PC bars are just the same. 

Campus:  Class of 2012, we got boned.  We had to deal with goddamn PC Perk and its mediocre panini’s and poor excuses of Starbucks coffee for the good majority of our 4 years as students.  We leave and all of a sudden Dunkin’ Donuts replaces PC Perk?  Are you kidding me?  I’m sure that all current students are thanking Lady Luck for that change up.  I am a firm believer that the class of 2012 should all be given $25 gift cards to Dunkin’ Donuts and/or Friar Lax Pinnies as a “thanks for putting up with that PC Perk shit”.  In addition to the change to DD, I’m looking forward to seeing how crowded campus will look with that new Civ building that is still under construction.  Did anyone else feel like that was a weird spot?  Yeah, I thought so too.  Besides that, I’m sure campus will look just about the same, with a lot of bricks, dirty snow, and a nice touch of crushed Keystone cans which is always a prominent feature in Friartown. 

Can We Still Hang?:  I’d like to think that a lot of you are in the same boat as I am when it comes to drinking capabilities in a post-PC life: we suck.  I believe that upon entering school, St. Thomas Aquinas gave us drinking powers that somehow made us survive our four years, drinking the way that we did.  The class of 2012, at least, was made up of mostly degenerates who would be considered alcoholics in any other setting.  Along these lines, on graduation day, Fr. Shanley took our drinking capabilities away when we shook his hand up on stage while grabbing our diploma.  This explains the all of a sudden harsh hangovers and earlier pass-outs a mere few weeks after graduating.   Although times have changed and some of us can no longer go out on Tuesday nights to Whiskey’s just because we don’t have to wake up before 11 a.m. anymore, I believe that this weekend will be a chance for us real world people to redeem ourselves and drink like we were living in McDermott, Guzman, McVinney and Ray (I’m still not counting you Dorr and Fennel).  I believe we can, in fact, still hang and drink past parietals no problem, and still make the bad decisions and foggy memories that made PC so much fun to being with.  After all, we’re back in Friartown, what can go wrong?

Last year during alumni weekend, my house on Pembroke hosted a few alum from the early 90’s.  Stuff got real weird and before we knew it two guys named Primo and Casey stole a keg from our neighbors while they were partying in their living room.  Still trying to figure out how that went down, but it did.  Anyways, this weekend gives us a chance to reunite and do stupid shit like this which we cannot always do, or get away with, in the real world.  This is why I believe this weekend will be a blast.  This being said, for anyone reading this, it’ll be a pleasure to meet again.  If you see me at some bar on campus/off campus/anywhere, mention to be that you saw this blog and that you would like to buy me a drink.  I’d gladly oblige. 

Let’s get weird.  Let’s party like its 2012.