Archive for September, 2011

Yeasayer

HAHN: A Take Away Show

Yeasayer

Two years ago a friend of mine, Jake, showed me a music video on YouTube by a band called Yeasayer. It captivated me somehow. I played the video almost non-stop. I made my friends watch it and listen to it. If there was ever an occasion to play music from a laptop I would inevitably switch over from iTunes, load the video and play it. I loved this video — and still do.

The title of the video is “Yeasayer – No Need to Worry / Redcave — A Take Away show.”

The video features four members of the band — Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, Anand Wilder, and Luke Fasano — singing two songs, “No Need to Worry” and “Redcave,” as they walk through and eventually board a subway in Paris.

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After seeing the video, I got my hands on one of their albums, “Odd Blood.” I enjoy listening to it, from time to time, but it doesn’t have the same appeal as the YouTube video. It lacks a certain je ne se quoi, pardon my French.

What I find so incredibly cool about the video — which sets it apart from most other music videos — is that it was apparently shot in one take, was filmed on one handheld camera and was sung almost completely a cappella. The only instruments used were a few spoons (most likely pilfered from the venue where they preformed just prior to the filming), some bottles of beer, a glass (most likely also pilfered) and a pitch pipe (used for tuning).

This is very impressive to me is that typically Yeasayer uses very heavy instrumentation and musical effects in their studio recordings. The extremely stripped down versions of these two songs have an almost haunting quality than compared to their studio versions.

The video seems all the more cool for the fact the band members even debate whether or not they want to participate in the filming of the music video during the first minute of the video. There is no way to adequately relate to you the neatness, spontaneity or just shear coolness of this video without watching it. Watch it, please.

Kevin Hahn

The cast of the Jersey Shore. Yep, no stringent social code here.

HAHN: Water at restaurants

In late August, my friends and I celebrated the 22nd birthday of my friend Mike. Following the conference of conflicting tastes, wants and needs which occurs every time a largish group of people try to decide where to eat out, we decided to eat someplace where none of us had been before, Gem City Pizza. We got there, walked in and we were seated. As the waitress took our drink orders, something peculiar happened. Out of the seven of us, not a single person ordered anything but water.

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At first glance this doesn’t seem to be all that odd. There is no rule that seven people can’t all order the same thing. It just seems improbable that out of seven college men not a single one got soda, tea, beer or any of the 26 other drink options listed on the menu. (Yes, I counted http://www.gemcitypizza.com/menu_jpg_6.php.)

Normally, I would have just thought it weird and let the occurrence fade into my memory. However, now I have a blog which mandates that I try harnessing my random thoughts into something useful. Also, since the first instance several weeks ago, I have noticed similar occurrences time and time again.

In order to help put to rest this question and hopefully further scientific progress, I will explore the reasons for this behavior. Following is a report on my attempts to answer this random question: Why do my friends always order water at sit down restaurants?

Through limited study and observation, I have determined four possible reasons why this trend occurs.

***WARNING: This report fails to apply any standards or scientific principles of any type. It fails to meet even the most minimum benchmarks of any science including psychology, anthropology, sociology, ornithology or mixology.***

Theory 1: People order only water because there is a massive underground movement to topple the partial hydrogenated corn syrup industry. This boycott of soda makes sense because corn syrup is a major ingredient in most soda/pop products, and since there is an unexplainable coolness about anything that is “underground,” people feel the uncontrollable urge to participate.

The cast of the Jersey Shore. Yep, no stringent social code here.

Theory 2: Our society is becoming ultra-polite where soon it will be socially unthinkable to order anything different than what the person before you ordered or else you will terribly insult him or her, his or her tastes, and his or her family. This would effectively ruin the premise of the Samuel Adams commercial where four business men sit around a table, two of the snively yes-men order waters until the one young up-and-comer orders a Sam Adams. Upon seeing this boldness the obviously older and most senior business man throws three sheets to the wind and gets a Sam Adams too, thus condoning drinking at business functions. If theory 2 is true, society would effectively stamp out individualism and free thought in exchange for a strict social code. This stringent social stratification is an incredibly unlikely scenario based on evidence proffered by the cast of the Jersey Shore.

Theory 3: Everyone orders water because they are college students who want to save money. Since water at most restaurants is free, it makes sense that college students — who are normally strapped for cash — would opt for the lowest priced item. Even though this is a generalization not backed up by any evidence, it appears to make a lot of sense.

However, I feel safe in saying the following theory carries the most weight and the highest probability of being correct.

Theory 4: Somehow humanity has evolved to a point where some individuals can telepathically control each other’s actions, and then for laughs, those people with this ability get their jollies by making the rest of us order water. This is the most likely scenario. Almost all the evidence supports this claim. We should therefore accept the yolk of our new telepathically superior overlords and simply hope that they spare our feebly minds.

Kevin Hahn

Hahn

HAHN: Good, wholesome blogging

Hahn

Hello readers. My name is Kevin Hahn, and I will hopefully be providing you with some good wholesome blogging for the next few months detailing all things college. You will get to accompany an eclectic, diverse and motley group of my friends and I as we live in, explore and discuss things in and around Quincy.

This blog will span the wide range of things to do AND places to see, all while offering some stunning social observation and commentary. One week might include a visit to a local restaurant, the next maybe we’ll take in a movie, perhaps visit a local store or shop, and who knows this could devolve into a chronicling of the minute life details of a college student in the Greater Quincy Regional Area. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

I am a senior at Quincy University. So, many of my posts will revolve around the area surrounding QU, and in stereotypical college student fashion — I don’t want to spend money on gas. Likewise, as the “poor college kid who thinks Ramen Noodles® and beer are their own food groups,” I won’t be able to review really fancy restaurants. Most likely any restaurants I might review will be ones that I go to in the course of my regular daily life; unless of course, the Great River Restaurant Association wants to start subsidizing this blog (wink wink).

From time to time, I might depart from the everyday experiences in the area and delve into discussions about pop culture, current events or random thoughts that cross my mind. Please bear with me on those occasions, but I’ll try and make them as entertaining as possible.

I hope you are as excited as I am to get started on this blog. I promise that it will be worth your money. I’m assuming of course that you have to pay exorbitant sums of money for the supreme privilege of accessing this wonderful website: www.thelocalq.com. I would guess somewhere around $50/month would be sufficient.

So, if you are a grownup living in the “real world” and you want to relive your time at college, a fellow studious college student looking for some cool unique things to do in the area, or anyone wanting to waste a few minutes before watching a YouTube video of a cat who can stand on its hind legs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVV_HXtEbLo), please check this blog out in the future.

Kevin Hahn