What I read

  • I read two great pieces about the precarity of higher education teaching:

    1. Bret Deveroux’s Academic Ranks Explained Or What On Earth Is an Adjunct?
    2. Éireann Lorsung’s the precarity tax

    Between the two of these pieces you can get a very good sense of how fucked up higher education is in the US and how physically and emotionally exhausting it is to work as a contingent faculty member.

What I listened to

  • This month I discovered the great Providence, RI band Six Finger Satellite, and I feel like I have found my new favourite noisy dancepunk band.
  • I went through a bit of a Replacements thing for a while there, mostly listening to Let It Be and Tim.
  • Can’t stop listening to Planxty’s track “Cúnla” from The Well Below the Valley. What I find most interesting is the arrangement–the band keep bringing in and dropping out different layers of instrumentation so that no single run through the verses or the chorus is quite the same as any other. And when everyone plays at the end is just thrilling.

What I did

  • I attended a duo concert with Eiko Ishibashi and Jim O’Rourke at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. They played to a packed room. It was about one hour long. They each had a laptop. Ishibashi would frequently play flute or piano, both of which were processed in real time by one (or both?) of the latops. O’Rourke mostly performed the laptop, but at one point he played harmonica while Ishibashi played flute and it was riveting. It was a brilliant set.
  • I had two performances this month:
    1. On April 24 I played in a session at the Cobblestone, here in Dublin, as part of a class on traditional Irish music at UCD. The class is taught by Peter Moran and Dónal Lunney, and Paul Brady showed up to join in as well.
    2. On April 28 I played electric bass and sang in a concert of new works by undergraduate composers at UCD, directed by Peter Moran. This concert was in the Kevin Barry room at the National Concert Hall.
  • I was a guest on a Podcast! The first podcast I’ve ever been a part of. The name of the show is Song Sandwich and it’s hosted by Clover Nahabedian, who runs the record label Dollhouse Lightning, and Mark Dennis, my old bandmate from Wizard Party. I talked with them about 4 songs I love. It’s due to air in May I believe. ADDENDUM: I wrote more about this podcast here.

What I made

  • As I mentioned in this post, I had an essay published this month in the Bewilderment newsletter. It’s about Lankum’s new record, False Lankum. Someone in Lankum saw the review and tweeted about it, and that freaked me out big time. I’ll try to be sneakier next time.