Category Archives: Ambient

“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? 


1 Comment

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.

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?


1 Comment

Filed under Ambient, Little People

“Paradise Circus”- Massive Attack vs Burial (Remix Series #1)

I have found myself listening to a lot of remixes lately, perhaps because of Skrillex? (More on that in a later post). Whatever the reason is, I wanted to do a series on my current favorite remixes. So in the upcoming post, look for some really neat reworkings of Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack, The Doors, and more!

As a rule, I love the originals of songs the best and really don’t go seeking out remixes or covers. For me, covers are never as good as the original since I am so familiar with the original and any deviation just seems wrong, especially if it is a different voice. Remixes however normally contain the same vocals and much of the same musical quality of the original, just spun a bit differently. The best type of music to remix in my opinion is electronic music since it just seems to lend itself to be reworked very easily.

For example, Massive Attack can be described as a trip hop, ambient, and electronical in sound. They play around with many different background sounds to produce songs that not only have powerful lyrics but songs that create an sensual, relaxing, and at sometimes psychedelic aura. Thus, when I saw that Burial, another one of my favorite electronic artists, partnered up with Massive Attack to produce not one but two songs, I was ecstatic.

Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshal of Massive Attack and the cover of Burial's album Untrue

As much as Massive Attack creates an amazing background landscape for their songs, Burial creates landscapes that ARE his songs. He takes  countless layers of interesting songs, and then loops, mixes, and distorts them until they have the power to make you feel things you thought were impossible to experience while listening to music. In his remix of “Paradise Circus,” he does just that. He brings in sounds from the original song and mixes them with others. The best part of the remix is how he keeps the beauty of the vocalist (Hope Sandoval) while slowing down the tempo and adding a dreamy fuze to the piece.

Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star amoung other acts

As a warning, the song is long (over 12 minutes) and does deviate from the original “Paradise Circus” quiet a bit. In the last 4 minutes, it is hardly recognizable with swelling arpeggios and hugely-distorted vocals. However, I am fine with it. I love the beginning of the Burial’s–it is a true remix of “Paradise Circus” and keeps the very sensual but melancholy and yearning feeling of the original. The rest of the song has this same feeling while incorporating Burial’s signature style. I love both renditions and I will listen to them both at different times depending on my mood. Additionally, I hope that these artists collaborate more in the future. The combination of their styles is breathtaking.

Massive Attack vs Burial “Paradise Circus”


Massive Attack “Paradise Circus”

Have a favorite remix you want to share?


Leave a comment

Filed under 2-Step Garage, Ambient, Burial, Massive Attack, Remix, Trip Hop