October 19, 2012
Award Winning bathrooms at Jungle Jim's
Contributed by Brad Fuller
What a crazy week it has been! Actually, it has been a crazy past four weeks. Like I keep saying, first semester of junior year is really really hard. But I’m learning a lot and I know it will prepare me well for physical therapy school.
This past weekend I hosted a hall activity where we went to Jungle Jim’s International Marketplace during the day (with a stop at chipotle) and I cooked an Indian meal for my residents afterwards. If you have never been to Jungle Jim's, I highly recommend it. They have any type of food you could imagine! I love to cook but I have never really cooked Indian food because it is difficult to find the spices and all the essential ingredients at Kroger in Wilmington. However, I took advantage of the Indian section at Jungle Jim’s and bought all kinds of spices to make different curries and dals. I decided to cook masoor dal with cinnamon rice and asparagus. It was delicious! And the leftovers are lasting all week. If you like spicy food at all, you would love Indian cuisine. I’m hoping to make a somewhat authentic Asian dish of some sort for my residents next month, any suggestions on what to make??
Now listening: Balam Acab – Wander/Wonder
(Tri Angle; 2011)
September 06, 2012
Something I really need to work on: Organization Skills
Contributed by: Brad Fuller
Although my classes are hard this semester, they still seem very manageable; much more so than I thought. I’m only taking 14 credit hours this semester because of how much everyone talks about junior year in the athletic training program being the toughest. Judging on the material and the syllabi from the classes, I agree so far. My classes are Head, Neck and Spine, Physiology of Exercise, Upper Extremity Evaluation, and clinical practicum (with a British Literature class and an honors seminar as well). Many students come to Wilmington College thinking that Athletic Training is simply taping people’s ankles and carrying them off the field when they are injured. These students quickly realize that this is not what the profession is about and that there is a great deal of work involved. Coming in as a freshman, I was mostly aware of what I was getting into. There is no sugarcoating; its hard. But so far, I’m loving everything I’m learning about.
In unrelated news, I began my first training shift as a barista at Joe’s Java, which is located within Sugartree Ministries, out local food pantry. Sugartree is one of myfavorite establishments and I love the work they do, and with a little more training I will be serving drinks at the coffee bar there! It is open at night and is a great place for students to hang out, do homework, and drink low priced, high quality coffee. I’ll give more specifics once I fully start serving there.
Now Listening: Timbre – Little Flowers
(self-released – 2010)
August 27, 2012
Twin Shadow - Confess : A solid 2012 release..
Contributed by: Brad Fuller
Although today is the sixth day of classes of the 2012 fall semester at Wilmington College, I feel as if class actually began today. The first week of class is always generally easy, with professors going over the syllabus and reviewing from previous classes (within your specific major, specifically). In my athletic training classes specifically, we reviewed the basics that apply to every class in the program, such as evaluation techniques, basic terminology, and Athletic Training Room (ATR) paperwork information. Today, however, was different than the first week. After class, I went to work in the ATR from 2-9 for football treatments, as well as winter and spring sport physicals. At 9 I began duty in alternative housing (which I am currently in the middle of) and will run until 1 a.m. This is providing me some time to relax, catch up on studying, and listening to music, but it is still a long day. Part of being in the athletic training program here requires a great deal of time management skill. If you are passionate about learning the material for a career or for graduate school preparation, it is a great experience; you just have to expect some long days/nights along the way.
Now listening: Twin Shadow – Confess
March 26, 2012
A study location of mine from last week (on campus)
Contributed by Brad Fuller
If for some unfortunate reason you did not notice, the weather was perfect last week! While this is nice for outdoor activities, it can sometimes be hard on study habits (no matter how unusually warm winter was). However, there are ways to get around the temptation to quit studying and [in my case] do nothing but go on long bike rides every day after class. One way is simply to study outside. Studying does not have to always be boring, in silence, or in the library. Once you are to a point where you can do more learning than organizing, it is easy to find a spot on campus to study. Another nice weather study tip is to walk somewhere off campus to study. You still get the stimulation of being outside, but you also go somewhere with a purpose. This purpose will help you study more without the temptation of taking a nap or snacking. As an athletic training major here at Wilmington College, I have a ton of studying to do. However, there are definitely ways of easing the load a little bit! Finding a study strategy takes a little while, but you will be relieved once you found one that fits your style.
March 21, 2012
Contributed by Brad Fuller
The weather the past couple of weeks has been incredible! For me however, that is not always the best thing during the school year. I love being outside; road cycling is one of my favorite activities and I cannot resist the temptation of a perfect day. When I have schoolwork to do, this could be a minor issue. Yesterday, a fellow athletic training student and I rode a 33-mile loop around the eastern portion of Clinton County. I am still getting in shape for the season, so today will be a rest day for sure!
Also on the topic of cycling, I bought a cheap fixed gear bike over spring break, just for getting around town on and for fun. Fixed gear bikes are exactly what the name says they are; one gear that is fixed to the rear wheel. It is a machine in its simplest form, no gears, breaks are optional, and no coasting. If the wheel is moving, the pedals are moving at the same rate. To some, this sounds like a horrible ride. To me (and a lot of urban cyclists around the world), it is a cheap, efficient, and fun way to get around!
February 25, 2012
Contributed by Brad Fuller
Over the next few weeks, I will be listening to Grimes’ new album entitled “Visions”. The album just came out the past week, and I am very impressed after a couple listens. Grimes is the stage name of Montreal based Claire Boucher, and she describes the latest album as “post-internet”. Whatever this means to you, her music is heavily influenced from electronic sounds she has heard growing up. There are layers, loops, and catchy rhythms with human-emotion based lyrics. I still have a lot to listen for, but so far this album is great!
In the Wilmington College Athletic Training world, the new week brings another rotation switch for the sophomores and juniors in the program. Next month, I will be with the Baseball team. I have never worked with baseball, so it should be a good experience! The week after next will be spring break, and I couldn’t be more excited. I never understood what a break really meant until this year, but I will fully embrace nine days without class. My schedule is very difficult this semester, with 14 credit hours of athletic training classes, but I guess I can’t expect it to get any easier in the future. I hope I can adjust soon!
February 07, 2012
Contributed by Brad Fuller
Today, I have my first big exam for my rehab class. I’ve been preparing for it basically since the first day of class and I’m nervous! It starts in about an hour from now, but I need a break from studying. Hopefully it’s not as hard as I’m thinking it will be!
I am thinking the end of this week will be a little more relaxing. Over the past week, the Wilmington College Table Tennis club has received a few exciting shipments. We now have court dividers, scoreboards, new rackets and balls, and a new table (that still needs to be put together). On March 3, a few of us will be traveling to Columbus for the Arnold Table Tennis Tournament, which is held at the Columbus Convention Center. We went to a tournament last semester and it was a lot of fun, and this tournament is part of a much larger fitness expo, so some of the areas best athletes will be there. Hopefully I find some time soon to work on my table tennis game! Athletic Training keeps me very busy, but that’s what I am here for.
January 30, 2012
Contributed by Brad Fuller
So far, this semester is by far my hardest and I’m starting to feel the effects of it. I’m getting tired and worn down, but I can also feel myself acquiring a vast amount of knowledge. Yesterday was the first time in my life when I did homework from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, only breaking for meals (this is not a common occurrence and it was partially preventable, so no worries). In my athletic training classes, we are learning how to do ankle evaluations, the basis of theory of rehabilitation, and different muscles of the body. Today is also the first day of my new clinical rotation, softball. They either practice at 5 in the morning inside or in the afternoon outside. Today they will be outside, so I got a little extra sleep! However, I am looking forward to what this rotation has to offer, since I have never worked with the softball team. This week should also be a nice slow down after last week(end), but I do have that research project to start… In other news, I’m looking forward to some new music in February. The two biggest releases I’m looking forward to are Grimes – Visions and Of Montreal – Paralytic Stalks. I will share my opinion as soon as its available!
January 11, 2012
An interesting photo of me from winter break
Contributed by Brad Fuller
After being away from class for about a month, it feels good to be back, but I am feeling the stress of being an athletic training student now. This semester is my toughest one yet, in which I have 14 credit hours of athletic training courses, plus a philosophy class and an honors seminar for a full schedule of 18 credit hours. While I will be very busy in the upcoming months, I’m looking forward to gaining an immense amount of knowledge this semester, which will help me in my future career as a physical therapist. I know that all of the study time will pay off. This month in my clinical rotation, I am with the men’s basketball team, which I am really looking forward to! One major way basketball is better than indoor track is that it is all indoors! Sounds confusing, but the indoor track team runs outside and we cover their practices.
This semester, my blogs will again focus on Athletic Training, Residence Life, and Campus life in general. However, I may have the occasional blog about some new music that I am into. I can’t wait for the 2012 releases to start rolling out! Best regards to you this month, wherever life may lead you.
December 04, 2011
Contributed by Brad Fuller
When I went to College, I started listening to more music than I ever had. I can't explain why, but it is something that is very comforting to me and will always be a part of my life. I may be a little annoying when analyzing new music, but I believe I have come up with a solid "Top 20" albums list that encompasses a wide spectrum of genres. Feel free to comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further clarification, questioning, criticism, agreement, or any other concerns. Also, you can check out my last.fm page to see what I am currently listening to. http://www.last.fm/user/bfuller92.
[????] Radiohead | The King of Limbs
Radiohead may be the greatest band of all time, so it is hard to ignore when they post on their Facebook page on a Monday that they will be releasing a new album on Friday of the same week. It was a complete surprise, and I was completely excited when I read it at 6:30 in the morning. However, this album may be the most confusing one I have ever heard. I didn’t understand anything about the album; the music, the lyrics, the cover art, or the “newspaper edition” of the album. Nonetheless, it is a Radiohead album and it deserves to be mentioned. I hope Radiohead does not end with this album.
[19.] Talib Kweli | Gutter Rainbows
Turn on any popular music radio station and you may hear the likes of Lil Wayne and Soulja Boy rapping about a superficial fantasy life that will more than likely never exist for anyone and in my opinion should never exist for anyone. What you won’t hear is Talib Kweli, who creatively rhymes about truth in the lives he encounters. I think in General, society tries to avoid truth in every way possible, including music, and this pushes them away from seeking out more quality works such as Gutter Rainbows. If you are dead set on listening to only hip-hop/rap, give this album a shot and you won’t be disappointed.
[18.] Toro y Moi | Underneath The Pine
Chillwave: the subgenre that several popular indie bands fit the criteria to but none of them want to be associated with. For me, I don’t need the genre of an album to be set in stone to know it is a solid work. From Start to finish, Underneath The Pine contains catchy grooves and fairly plain vocal lines, yet the homemade electropop feel is warm and welcoming. I can’t wait to hear what the future has in store for Toro y Moi.
[17.] Girls | Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Remember that time you were riding with your parents on a long road trip when you were eight years old? You were in the backseat staring out the window thinking about present time and possibilities, dad driving, mom sitting in the passenger seat, and classic rock on the radio? This album brings you back to this time, but in a whole new way. Girls is one of the few bands I can think of that makes plain old “rock” music interesting again while creating that nostalgic feeling everyone longs for.
[16.] Balam Acab | Wander/Wonder
Balam Acab’s psychedelic outfit creates a sound that is more visual than auditory; whether you are in a dream or underwater or flying, this album will take you somewhere else and the intimate sounds are liberating and free-spirited… Wait, its not raining outside?
[15.] Grouper | A | A
Divided into two parts, A | A is an ambient masterpiece that will continue grow on you. When listening, you will never hear the album the same way twice, and it always finds a way to develop new thoughts across the spectrum. Be warned: This is not homework or sleep music; the ambience will get to you sooner than you think if you are not accustomed to it.
[14.] PJ Harvey | Let England Shake
This album is disturbing, grotesque, and frightening, yet most of it is based on truth in the word we live in. Topics range from agriculture to war, seeing “soldiers fall like lumps of meat.” This may turn some away, but truth in general tends to turn people away. While the album is not forceful or urgent, PJ gets her point across quite effectively.
[13.] Iron & Wine | Kiss Each Other Clean
Iron & Wine was criticized for changing his style on Kiss Each Other Clean, yet I embraced the change. His first album was a collection of loosely recorded simple folk-guitar tunes with a fuzzy sound and raspy vocals. These songs were beautiful in themselves, but the expansion of sound allowed Iron & Wine to evolve as an artist and remain interesting and relevant.
[12.] The Paper Kites | Woodland – EP
The shortest work on the list, The Paper Kites, a band out of Melbourne, Australia, expresses real human emotions in a traditional upbeat folk outfit; Perfect for the fun and carefree spirit.
[11.] The Weeknd | House of Balloons/Thursday/Echoes of Silence
I’m usually not a huge R&B fan, but this is a good exception. I think the music and image gets me more than the lyrics, but this Trilogy of albums makes me feel really chill. Yeah.
[10.] tUnE-yArDs | w h o k i l l
I don’t really understand why I like this album. I enjoy that the album touches on issues such as body image, race, inequality, and injustice and that Merrill Garbus is so confident in her ability to sway opinions and views. I also enjoy the fact that this album doesn’t fit the mold at all (starting with the stylization of the name of the group and album name). Maybe I really do understand why I like this album. i DoN't KnOw.
[9.] Neon Indian | Era Extraña
The Neon Indian project started [somehow] after front man Alan Palomo missed a date in which he and a girl were supposed to spend an afternoon on acid. Knowing this, you know that the music is way out there. However, he writes about relationships and emotions felt by normal people, it just so happens that he does it in a very intellectual way with a crazy sound.
[8.] Cut Copy | Zonoscope
A modern day 80’s dance floor anthem, Zonoscope remains interesting throughout its entirety. This is the album that you want to listen to out loud when it is warm and sunny outside and it will bring instant joy, and perhaps even some childhood nostalgia.
[7.] Nicolas Jaar | Space Is Only Noise
Nico Jaar plays live sets in clubs and dance venues, but he doesn’t necessarily play what you would think of as “dance music”, it is more of a distantly ambient electronic sound with a beat and lyrics in some songs. The sounds come from a variety of sources and open-ended lyrics keep the listener thinking. I was immediately interested after hearing on the first track, “ Look, it’s a body, floating into the land. Now it’s a body swimming out into the water. Now it’s the land itself, here, that is a body; a body of land. It’s the water itself that’s a body of water”. In general, the album will force you to search for meaning in more than just the music itself.
[6.] MC Lars | Indie Rocket Science/Lars Attacks!
MC Lars truly embraces what being an independent musician is all about. He Created his own subgenre (Post-Punk Laptop Rap), started his own label, paid for the production of this album through a Kickstarter campaign (which I donated to and was rewarded with physical copies of the album), tells people to “illegally” download his music because he would rather them hear the music and potentially come to a show than to simply not buy the music and never hear it, and writes songs that are blatantly political and socially driven. Some may listen to MC Lars and think, “wow, this guy is a nerd.” But if you give these two simultaneously released works a chance, you will realize that his songs are about the same things you complain about or get excited about or read about. He also writes songs about his whole music philosophy idea that he is huge on promoting, and to me, it is a seller (no matter how bad he wanted me to download his albums).
[5.] Destroyer | Kaputt
Probably the first solid album released in 2011, Kaputt reveals an elegant surface sound that goes much deeper than what is first apparent. While there is beauty on the surface, we are reminded that the life we may want to live may not necessarily be appropriate and that while our culture may be very superficial in general, there is always a tragic complexity that lies within. Mmmmmmmmmm, cue saxophone…
[4.] Bon Iver | Bon Iver
Bon Iver is incredibly interesting. Perhaps the most poetically philosophical album on the list, it brings a new idea to the table with each listen. While no one may never know the exact intent behind each song, we can only infer what has happened in lead singer Justin Vernon’s life that lead him to his two solid albums of life stories. On another interesting note, Bon Iver was nominated for a Grammy recently, and reacting to the nomination, Vernon said, “ We should not be gathering in a big room and looking at each other pretending this is important.” This is exactly why the emotions expressed in each Bon Iver album are as credible as they are; It is all about what he wants to make the music, not what the general public wants.
[3.] Tim Hecker | Ravedeath, 1972
For the past year or so, I have been really into ambient music. At first, I listened to it simply for “homework music” purposes, but then I realized that there is so much more to it. When you listen to an album with lyrics, your thoughts are generally headed in one direction based on the music, lyrics, concepts, song titles, etc… which is not necessarily a bad thing, but when there are no lyrics to work off of, and no organized rhythm, your mind starts to wander, and you never quite know where it is going to go. Tim Hecker is my favorite ambient artist, and Ravedeath is his best work yet. The assortment of layered electronic sounds and pipe organ-based drones seem to come and go throughout the albums different “sections”, leaving the listener reflecting on the past and what the future will become. Or perhaps that isn’t what the album is about at all, its up to you to decide.
[2.] Gang Gang Dance | Eye Contact
“I can hear everything……. Its everything time.” I didn’t discover Gang Gang Dance on my own, and more than likely you did not either; consider this your open invitation. Gang Gang writes albums that are weird and abstract, and Eye Contact is no exception. Seven songs are slurred together to play as a single work without breaks in sound. They describe their music as “spiritual”, and I couldn’t agree more. I constantly search for God in music that you wouldn’t expect to find Him in, and this album does just this. For you, a completely different interpretation may be in store. At first, it may be difficult to digest but on a third or fourth listen, you will understand. While the sound may be very different, the lyrics are something that anyone can interpret in a different way. The album embraces a constant struggle for understanding, acceptance, and questioning in a way that will leave you answering the same questions revealed in the music. Without spoiling the album too much, open your mind, soul, and heart and give this incredibly unique album a chance. #LIVEFOREVER
[1.] Fleet Foxes | Helplessness Blues
When I first heard Helplessness Blues in May, I knew it was going to be near the top of my albums of the year list. The album flows so nicely; perfect folk rhythms with perfect backing vocals. The lyrics are reflective of lead singer Robin Pecknold’s life and struggles, and are apparent to reflect him throughout the album. We learn how he has grown as a person, how he views the world, and how Fleet Foxes has grown as a band since their last album. Some artists turn these instances into meaningless fairytaleish ballads, but Fleet Foxes are real and straightforward without simply restating basic life clichés. Although the sounds seem so familiar, they are so new and different, never a dull moment from start to finish. Give this album a listen; you won’t be disappointed, I promise.
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