Category: Blog Posts

Infographic: George Orwell’s 11 Golden Rules for Brewing Proper Tea

19th July

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A list of things you really shouldn’t name your boat.

8th April

The following is a list of awful names that were actually taken from the BoatUS custom lettering website, which many boaters use to physically create the decal that becomes their boat’s name. In an attempt to help new boat owners with their brainstorming, the BoatUS website features a huge, alphabetically-sorted list of thousands of possible names. And some of them are just astounding.

I admit some of these are funny, but I think I can speak for everyone when I say please, for the love of god and decency, do not give your boat any of the following names: 

Ahoy Vey
Aft Oar Ours
big tool the milf man
Captain Stabbin
Cheeks & Thong
Chicken Of The Sea
Cirrhosis of the River
Current Wife
Deez Knots
Father’s Mercy
Fish Paste
floating beer keg
Frying Nemo
High Jack
Hot Ruddered Bum
Hope It Floats II
Humphrey Boatgart
In Deep Ship
I AM …

The songs that made my year

1st January

This year, in lieu of any categorical rankings or countdowns, I’ve simply decided to highlight my favorite music of 2014 by offering a smattering of songs that have been particularly significant to me. I think it’s worth mentioning that not all of these tunes were released this year, it isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, and they’re organized autobiographically (High Fidelity-style). That is, they’re listed in order of when they were significant to me, starting with this Vampire Weekend remix that I discovered on January 2, 2014, and finishing with D’Angelo’s recently released single. All have links to YouTube or Soundcloud where you can hear them.

I hope everyone enjoyed the past year as much as I did. I also hope you’re all as excited for 2015 as I am. We live in a crazy, exciting, unpredictable time — let’s …

…Feel like I do.

15th November

I feel like I’ve packed about six months of experiences into the past six weeks of my life, and it has stirred up some thoughts in my mind about how our own life experiences affect the way we consume, interpret and internalize the art that we encounter along the way. And of course when I say art, I’m really referring to music — the indisputable champion of contemporary art forms (remind me to expand on this idea sometime, it isn’t something I’m saying thoughtlessly).

Of course, some songs are universal. This might be because a song is vague, bland and non-specific (All About That Bass), or it could also be because it speaks to something so fundamentally human that anyone can form a personal connection to it (“Lean on Me” by Bill Withers). Those are the extremes though, and most songs …

Video: Band of Horses – Neighbor

8th March

I’ve been listening to Band of Horses’ new live acoustic album a lot since it came out. It’s really very good.
After listening to the remarkable vocals on “Neighbor” a bunch of times I thought about finding a video of it. The album was recorded at a concert after all, and at this point anything cool that happens at any concert is going to end up on YouTube. I found a good video but it had pretty bad audio, so I went ahead and sync’ed it with the album recording. I think it came out pretty great.


Straight Outta Bennington: Sylvan Esso

12th February

I’ve been living in Bennington for five months now, and in some ways this post has been in the pipeline since my first week here back in September. When I took over the Arts desk here at the Banner, one of the first things I did was scour social networks, music blogs and other corners of the internet for any mention of my interesting new little town. I liked what I found.

As it turns out, a handful of my favorite young musicians started out at Bennington College, including Alex Bleeker of Real Estate (and his own cool projects) and the amazing women of Mountain Man.

I’ll get back to Bleeker soon I’m sure, for now I really want to talk about Mountain Man.
I heard Mountain Man for the first time at the 2011 Newport Folk Festival. Actually, I wasn’t technically at …

Link farm: Updated February 9

9th February

I spend a solid amount of time on the internet, and during that time I sometimes find things that I really like. I’m going to start keeping track of them on this post, adding new ones whenever I may.

Added February 9

Twitter: Never underestimate Mastodon

New Yorker: I will always love you Left Shark

Open Culture: I think people forget that jazz cats party the hardest.

 Added January 14

Teamteam: You may know Matt. Matt loves skiing, and now Matt has a skiing website

VPR: This is real. Bernie Sanders made an amazingly goofy album in ’80s, and it includes a reggae interpretation of “This Land Is Your Land”

Added November 7

Imgur: Unquestionably the world’s greatest headline:

Twitter: Digital advertising can be wrought with peril.

Tumblr: They’re starting to post unrelated stuff now, but the basic premise of this is amazing.

Always look on the lobstery side of life:

Added September …

Blog Post: Newport Folk ’12 Playlist

23rd October

I completely forgot that I wrote this. I just found it and I think it’s pretty good. I remember it being fun to write, and there’s plenty of music nicely served up for you. I should revisit this post format on my own.

Setlist: Josh Ritter at Hamilton College, Feb. 12, 2013

13th February

Setlist from Josh Ritter’s performance at the Events Barn at Hamilton College. Trio songs included Josh, Austin Nevins on acoustic or classical guitar and Zach Hickman on upright bass. Duet songs were just Josh and Zach. The set included 8 songs from Josh’s upcoming album, The Beast In Its Tracks. The printed setlist also included “In The Dark,” “Change of Time” and a 3 song encore of “Bone of Song,” “Snow is Gone” and “To The Dogs or Whoever,” but they weren’t played because of time constraints.

lights: 9:10 PM
Idaho (s)
Monster Ballads (s)
Rumors (2)
Wolves (3)
Long Shadows (3)
Temptation of Adam (s)
Evil Eye (3) New Song
Certain Light (3) New Song
Bonfire (3) New Song
Me and Jiggs  (3)
Girl In The War (s, U/A)
Naked As A Window (s, U/A)
Rattling Locks (s, U/A)
Harrisburg (3)
Appleblossom Rag (2) New Song
Folk Bloodbath (3)
Joy To You Baby (3) New Song
New Lover …

Thanks for 2012, the best year of my life.

31st December

Exactly a year ago, on a day that looked much like this one, I drove out to Northampton, MA to ring in 2012 with Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band at the Calvin Theater. At the end of the show Josh played Auld Lang Syne on the violin and then led a crowd sing-along to “Empty Hearts,” the ultimate New Year’s anthem. It was a perfect moment of happiness, peace and togetherness. After the show those feelings followed me back to my hotel room, then to Ireland, New York City, back to Clinton and now home to Boston, where tonight I’ll celebrate the end of 2012, the best year of my life.

A list of things you really shouldn’t name your boat.

The following is a list of awful names that were actually taken from the BoatUS custom lettering website, which many boaters use to physically...

The songs that made my year

This year, in lieu of any categorical rankings or countdowns, I’ve simply decided to highlight my favorite music of 2014 by offering a smattering...