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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Concerts, house, international politics, etc.

Still pretty dang busy this week, thus the lack of posting. Hopefully things will be less hectic by next week. (Be warned, you may find this post to be a rather tiresome listing of what I've been doing lately, but it's perhaps more for my benefit than yours.)

Last weekend was that Belle & Sebastian/Broken Social Scene/Ted Leo concert. (It's sort of funny, it's the only show where those three bands are playing together...not sure what the impetus was.) It was a great show. I go through cycles of enthusiasm for Belle & Sebastian, and hadn't been blown away by my first few listens to their most recent album, so it was nice to find that they were really excellent to see live. They played the three songs I most wanted to hear -- If You're Feeling Sinister, Judy And The Dream Of Horses, The Boy With the Arab Strap -- so that was satisfying (though no Fox In The Snow, Jesse/Seb). Their stage banter is also really good (and really Scottish!), which I've come to realize makes a significant difference in how much I enjoy a show, since my tendency is to want to place the songs in the context of the artists that make them. Broken Social Scene and Ted Leo were also very good (I'd seen each of them twice before), but BSS had the singer from Stars in place of regular member Leslie Feist, who is probably irreplaceable. (Thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can watch a variety of crappy videos of the performances.)

Last week I saw the Weakerthans at the 9:30 Club in DC. It was also a great show. Their music is obliquely political, and the lead singer made a remark that it felt strange to be playing in "This dying capital of the world...or is it the capital of this dying world?" Which, as the news got more depressing over the course of the week, felt a little too true. And while I'm on that topic, you should really check out this blog written primarily by Raja and Doha, whom I know from my program (Raja just graduated, Doha is his girlfriend). Raja is in Lebanon right now and provided gripping dispatches from the field as things unfolded. He's been out of touch for a few days now, though, so Doha is now writing the entries from DC. Seeing the Lebanese point of view is valuable, and in the comments there are Lebanese and Israelis talking, debating, and wishing things weren't so screwed up. It's heartening.

In more domestic matters, last weekend I auditioned five women who responded to our Craigslist ad for the room (we wanted to keep the house gender-balanced). In the end, only one person wanted it, but she was probably the one we would have chosen anyway. Dana needed a place right away, and she moved in on Friday. She's a student at Hopkins, too, and has spent the last few years in various countries outside the US, so she'll be good to talk to.

Meanwhile, Caitlin, one of the two incoming students in our program who was going to live here, bailed out, so I am now finding someone else to take her spot. Are you a woman looking for a place to live in Baltimore? Talk to us. I will be glad when this is all done, it's kinda stressful and time-consuming.

Oh, and did I mention that Zach (who I hired as an intern for Local 33 back in MN, and is now the national legislative liaison for AMFA in DC) got a letter published in The Economist? Not only that, it's about nuclear weapons and it's semi-rebutting the letter in front of it by Ted Turner! Holy crap!

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