“Plastic People”- Four Tet and the first week of med school

Guess who survived her first week in med school? Well, every single person in my class but that is beside the point. I survived, and I am super smart now. Just kidding about that last statement. Yes, I learned a lot but sort of in an intimidating way. It seemed like for every fact I learned, it led to a hundred more things I was going to have to know in the future. Example: Oh, the phrenic nerve innervates the diaphragm? Well, what spinal nerve does the phrenic arise from? And what nerves branch from the phrenic? And what happens when the phrenic is severed/damaged? I have no idea how I am going to remember all of this information. But I must admit, I love it. So, as a follow up to the top five things I am looking forward to in med school, here is the best things from the first week of medical school.

1. Anatomy Lab
Sure, class is interesting but nothing compares to learning about the human body by taking apart. I got to hold the lungs in my hand! I got to feel the differences between the bronchi, artery, and vein. I got to see how all the organs intricately fit together in the thorax. And I learned how fragile the human body can be.

2. People!
I have found a few great people in my class that I feel really comfortable around. Like be-myself-comfortable. So all my fears about being alone for 8+ years will hopefully

I do this on a regular basis. NBD

3. Free Mental Health Clinic
In medical school, you can’t really see/diagnosis patients until your third year. This is a huge problem because med students sometime forget why they came to med school in the first place–to help patients. Instead, they only focus on memorizing parts of the body, symptoms, diseases, risk factors, metabolic pathways etc etc etc. At U of Iowa, there are a couple of places where you can see patients starting as a first year in med school. One is the free mental health clinic. Don’t worry, I am not diagnosing or giving patients medication. Instead, I am learning how to most effectively interview patient….which is a lot harder than it looks. Asking the right questions, making the patient comfortable, and getting accurate information out of patients takes a lot of practice.

Might be a bit of an exaggeration. But not by much.

4. The professors
Most are great, funny, scary smart, and very helpful.

5. Not having an exam the first week of school
Starting in a few weeks, I will have a test every Friday. Normally 2+ hours. Almost always followed by a night downtown at the bars (only what I have been told). So having a exam-free Friday was great.

 

There is Love in You by Four Tet

Not not much time to listen to music this week, besides when studying or working out. So here is a song from this summer. When we were on a trip about a month ago, one of my best friends described this as a great driving song. Especially at night. The trees insulate the car on each side of the narrow road, only the headlights illuminate the dark asphalt. I always feel so safe, comfortable, and alive when driving at night. It is like all my senses are sharpened somehow. Weird, I know. But it is the closest I have come a “religious” experience. Well, and when riding my bike at night.

Driving at night: Super nerve-racking or amazing? 

ll

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Filed under Ambient, Electronic, Four Tet

“Basique”-Little People and 5 reasons I am excited for med school

So, I am starting medical school on Monday. Am I excited? Yes. Am I nervous? Oh my god yes. I know that everyone is probably nervous too, but I just feel sometimes that everyone else has their act together besides me. Plus, it is pretty hard for making new friends, probably because I am a bit shy and a little quirky. I mean, I have a perchance to walk around without shoes on where ever I am, sing/talk to myself in public, and make very dry jokes that only a select few people understand while everyone else looks at me like I am insane. But I do have friends, I promise! It is just difficult for me to meet new people.

Instead of this post being all about why I am nervous (since that would be just a huge downer), I am going to write about all of the reasons why I am excited to start medical school.

1. Anatomy Lab
This may sound weird, but I have wanted to cut people open from a very early age (I am talking about 7 yrs old). I just want to understand how the human body functions so beautifully. I mean, just think about what your body does on a daily basis without you being aware. Yes, if it worked perfectly all the time I would be out of a job, but still it works flawlessly most of the time without you knowing.

What every kid wants for their birthday. Actually, I would have been thrilled to get this when I was younger.

2. Biochemistry
I Love Biochem. Yes I might be a bit weird but it was my major in college and it combines two of my favorite loves. Plus, the prof is wonderful.

3. Medical Organizations
A few days ago, we had an organization fair where we could sign up for different extra-curricular events (because med school won’t keep us busy enough!). I found two great organizations, the free mobile clinic and the free mental health clinic. Both are places that allow me to have contact with patients right now, instead of in two years. Plus, it is volunteer-based and really helps the undeserved in the community.

4. A schedule
So, my summer has been a bit of a nightmare. I sometimes stay up until 3am and don’t wake up until 12pm or later. I know this is a really lame reason for wanting to start med school, but it will keep me on a better schedule…and my body will like that.

Need to stop doing this.

5. I AM WORKING TOWARDS MY DREAM JOB!
Yes it will be 8 years before I can practice medicine and years after that before I can legally practice on my own (most hospitals/private practices require a doctor to have a residency of 3-6 years after med school). But I am on my way.

Me at the White Coat Ceremony. Basically a ceremony that officially makes me a medical student. Plus, I have a sweet white coat.

 

When I am nervous (aka right now meeting tons of people), I do tend to listen to music a lot. Mostly really calm, repetitive music to create sort of a feeling of stability. A few months ago, I discovered Little People, a single guy that produces this dream-like music perfect for studying, or making me less nervous about everything.

Anything you have been nervous for recently/right now?

ll

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Filed under Ambient, Little People

“Lights”- Ellie Goulding

It has been awhile hasn’t it? I have an excuse: I have been too busy. But who isn’t really. So, an update on my life since my last blog post in APRIL!!

1. Ran a triathlon
Got fourth place for women. Not as good as I wanted but my bike sucks.

2. Graduated from College

I don’t know why I look so solemn here, but there really aren’t a lot of pictures of me during the ceremony so I went with this one.

This is a way better picture of me with one of my favorite professors on graduation day.

3. Went to London with my mom as a graduation gift

Not my picture since my mom has all of those still. But the British Museum with the Parthenon marbles was my favorite museum/site that we visited.

4. Moved to a new apartment with my best friend

5. Started Graduate/Medical School at U of Iowa
I am in the MD/PhD program, meaning that in 8ish years, I will have both my MD (needed to practice medicine) and PhD (probably in biochem or cell bio or something like that). I did my first research rotation this summer and am starting medical school classes next Monday. Less than a week! I am a bit nervous.

So yes, I have been busy. But I have still been listening to tons of music and have been wanting to blog about it. I have a list about a page long of new (or new to me) songs that I want to feature. Now I can’t promise anything since I am starting med school soon, and I have heard that it can been pretty difficult, but I would like to update more often than in the past. I am thinking about once a week (probably on Saturday), but we will see how it goes.

For now I leave you with a song that is very popular right now, but that I am obsessed with. “Lights” by Ellie Goulding. I probably should have picked something less “mainstream” or with more substance or at least something that wasn’t in Billboards Top 10. But I really, really like this song. Unlike the hard-core electronic songs by Skrillex or deadmau5, Goulding’s works combine her beautiful voice with an electronic landscape that truly compliments the lyrics.

Plus, I really like Goulding as an artist. She comes across as someone who is really down to earth and not caught up in her rapid rise to fame. She is also gorgeous without conforming to the super skinny, super made-up pop star. Instead, she is athletic and simplistically beautiful (in a good way). Apparently, she had a contest where her fans could register to run with her before a show. That would have been amazing to win.

Okay, I will stop gushing about Ellie. Here is the music video (also good). Side note: I really dislike the Bassnectar remix of this song. Don’t mess with perfection! Same with Skrillex ruining Benny Benassi’s “Cinema” (but that is another post).

And yeah, hang in there with me on the updates. I am sorry that I haven’t posted in awhile and I am really going to try to post more regularly. Also, I will probably be posting about my life/school more too since I already have some great anecdotes about grad school.

What has been keeping you busy this summer?

ll

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Filed under Ellie Goulding, Pop, Techno

“Too Close” and “Treading Water”- Alex Clare

Although Internet Explorer is the slowest internet browser on the face of the planet (or at least in my experience), it has done one thing right recently. It ran a commercial with great music. Music that I wasn’t aware existed until a few months ago and now am in love with. More specifically, the music of Alex Clare, a British musician that released his first demo this past June.

If you have watched TV or TV shows on the internet recently, you have heard bits and pieces of his song “Too Close” in Explorer’s attempt to remarked themselves as a “more beautiful web,” what ever that means. But I advise listening to the whole song. The build-up from a very soulful sound to the drop is amazing. Plus the video is great, although not seemingly related to the theme of the song, which is friendship that became a little too much. If you have any ideas about how the video fits with this theme, please share!

My favorite song of Clare’s though is “Treading Water.” Like one of my other favorite songs at the moment (“Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye–hopefully a post on that in a few days), the song to me is about someone that is still hung up on his last relationship and thus is failing in his present relationship. Although I can’t really relate to this message, the imagery in the video and Clare’s voice are so powerful that I can’t help but love it.

Interestingly, Clare used to date the late Amy Winehouse. I think it is a travesty that they never made any music together because they both have these rich voices perfect for soul/R&B that I think would work perfectly together.

So thank you Internet Explorer for surprisingly doing something right. And although IE9 might be better than IE8, I stick with Firefox or Chrome.

ll

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Filed under Alex Clare, Amy Winehouse, Dub-Step, R&B, Soul

NIN Covers

Oh my god, I haven’t posted forever. I have so much music I want to share and not enough time to do so. Okay, so as a second semester senior I probably do have time since my classes are pretty easy this semester. But I have been way too busy enjoying some of my last moments in college. Four weeks and I am onto grad school. Scary… but I am really excited.

Okay, onto the music. I still haven’t really finished up my “remix” series. So here are a few amazing covers of NIN songs I found. And I must warn you, these are literally the only good covers of NIN songs that I found. There are some horrible covers out there. I think that speaks volumes about Trent Reznor’s craft. For one, his voice is a integral part of the song. And two, he creates music that is harsh, chaotic, and at times grating but somehow comes together to be beautifully haunting and emotionally charged.

The first cover is of “Sin” from Pretty Hate Machine by Razed in Black. “Sin” is one of my favorite songs and this gothic electronic band gives a more dance feeling to it. The vocals are of course not as good, but overall something that I would listen to for the novelty of it.

The second cover is of “March of the Pigs” on The Downward Spiral by Vika Yermolyeva on the PIANO! I cannot even express how great this woman is on the piano. I don’t know how she moves her fingers that fast … nor how she figured out how to make a heavy drum/guitar piece that literally had Trent throwing microphones in his version into a piano solo.  You should definitely check out her other amazing songs.

The third cover is of “The Only Time” on Pretty Hate Machine by Godbox. Now, I absolutely loved Trent’s lyrics. They perfectly embody this raw, sexual feeling… one that will prompt you to be wild and passionate.

I swear, I just found everything I need.
The sweat in your eyes the blood in your veins are listening to me.
Well I want to wrap it up and swim in it until I drown.
My moral standing is lying down. Nothing quite like the feel of something new.

However, I felt like the original dragged on and was really repetitive near the end. This version still has the amazing lyrics but gets rid of the repetitive problem.

And the last cover is of “Closer” from The Downward Spiral by TNTT. It is completely different sound. Like I said before, this song is probably one of the saddest songs I have heard. It is not, like everyone believes, about wild sex but about depression, self-hatred, and a tumultuous downward spiral. TNTT’s version is the exact opposite. It is sexy and fun, with the added lyrics “everybody wants a lover like that.” But because it is so different and conveying a different meaning, it is almost a completely different song.

Are any of these as good as the original. Not in my opinion. But they are great mix-ups that I will probably return to again.

ll

 

 

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Filed under Closer, Godbox, March of the Pigs, NIN, Razed In Black, Remix, Sin, The Only Time, TNTT, Vika Yermolyeva

“Lord of the Rings Medley” and “Crystallize”- Lindsey Stirling

So, I promised you an amazing remix last post. And I hope you will not be disappointed.

I am not that big on classical music on my blog. I listen to it infrequently, mostly only when I am studying. I have never found that I can connect with it the same way I can connect with rock or electronic music. However, Lindsey Stirling has found a way to combine the sound of one of the most classical sounding instruments–the violin–with a ton of different musical genres. I first found her music through her Lord of the Rings Medley.

Now, I was and still am a huge fan of LOTR. I mean, in sixth grade I had a map of Middle Earth on my desk with “the One Ring” and basically every single book Tolkien had ever written. My obsession for LOTR is now confined to one shelf, but I still get extremely emotional when I hear the music or watch the movies. This video had me transported to Middle Earth both through the music and the visuals.

Plus, I am so jealous of Lindsey in this video because she is in New Zealand, one of my bucket list destinations. Okay, I am totally jealous of her because she can sing, dance, and play the violin amazingly.  And she is beautiful on top of everything else.

You are probably asking yourself right now, “so where is the remix? I mean, a medley of LOTR’s songs doesn’t count as a remix.” Well, in this post I am doing sort of a meta-interpretation of the idea of remix. I believe that Lindsey is “remixing” genres. She writes violin music for all different musical genres and sort of adds something foreign but beautiful to each one. Is it a stretch? Probably. But wait until you hear her dubstep violin song. Yes, you read correctly. Dubstep Violin. And it is so well done, I could literally listen to this all day without getting bored.

And the way she moves. When she pirouettes at around :35 …amazing. It also helps that the location of her videos are breath-taking along with her music. And her outfits, her creativity with sound. Basically I could go on about how many reasons I now love Lindsey Stirling. If she doesn’t make it big soon, there is something extremely wrong with the music industry today.

And make sure to check out some of her other stuff. “Crystallize” is my favorite song of her’s but I have yet to find one I dislike.

What other instruments would you love being featured in modern music today that are not?

ll

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Filed under Dub-Step, Lindsey Stirling, Violin

“Mysterious Ways”- U2 (Massive Attack Remix)

You might have read the title of this post and groaned…not another Massive Attack song. Is this person obsessed with that group? Well, yes I sort of am. But I promise you, this song (although remixed by Massive Attack) is most definitely still U2.

“Mysterious Ways” by itself is a great song. From the opening fast beats to the end, it is song that you cannot listen to sitting down. You just have this desire to dance. They actually played this song when I was at their concert however many years ago and you should have seen the crowd. No one was sitting and some weird dancing was happening, perhaps some by me ;)

The song was initially released in 1991 on their Achtung Baby album. Although not my favorite album (that would have  to go to Rattle and Hum followed closely by War), this albums was revolutionary for its time and contains some great hits such as “One” and “The Fly.”

I like to think of Massive Attack’s remix as the sound that U2 would produce today. It includes more electronic noises and mixes but still highlights Bono’s amazing voice and Edge’s equally amazing guitar skills. I do think it is not as “upbeat” as the original. Massive Attack sort of added a darker edge to the piece, similar to the sound of their songs. But they still keep the psychedelic, disoriented feel of the original. As seen in the original’s music video, it is almost like the mysterious moves of a women hypnotize a man.

PS. I found a “remix” for next post that is amazing and completely different from what I normally post. Stay tuned!

ll

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Filed under Massive Attack, Remix, U2