The Lectures of Fall Supplant the Songs of Summer

This photo has nothing to do with anything. Just a farm in my hometown. They collect newspapers for animal bedding.

I have a few events scheduled for this coming semester and beyond:

  •  I’ve been invited to lead a workshop on “Evaluation and Critique of Digital Humanities Projects” at THATCamp Theory @ Rutgers on October 13 or 14 (schedule TBD).
  • The Provost’s Office invited me to give a presentation on my research at Paju Bookcity in the Orozco Room @ 66 W 12th Street on Tuesday, October 16, from noon to 1:30.
  •  I’m chairing a panel on “Designing Multisensory Exhibitions” at the “Multimodal Approaches to Learning” conference at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday, October 27.
  • I’ve been invited to participate in the “Media Places: Infrastructure | Place | Media” symposium @ HUMlab in Umeå, Sweden, in early December.
  • I’ll probably go to SCMS in Chicago for a workshop and a panel in March.
  • And in May I’m giving a keynote at the “Spectacular/Ordinary/Contested Media City” conference, hosted by the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies in Finland

I know there’s more stuff I’m forgetting!

Looking forward to these events — exciting though they are — means I have to leave my summer behind. Teaching my first class yesterday afternoon brought that reality into sharp relief. It’s a difficult transition. I had a fabulous summer — full of travel to exciting places, new friends, lots of fabulous art, an incredible amount of time to myself and my books. Oh, and summer brought tenure: can’t forget that!

All of my summers are very musical, in large part because I have a little more time to seek out new music, and I tend to see a few more shows in the summertime than I do during the academic year. But this summer was particularly musical, due in large part, I imagine, to the fact that I was alone, in foreign lands for much of the time, and I spent a good deal of time with my headphones. So I feel compelled to pay homage — and say goodbye — to the songs that defined the Summer of 2012 for me. I say adieu not because I’ll never hear them again, but because I’ll forever more hear them with a sense of loss and longing — for never-to-be-repeated experiences in perhaps never-to-be-revisited places.

I first heard Diiv’s How Long Have You Known back in May, before my summer adventures began, and I recall declaring (to myself) on the spot: This is bound be my summer song. And it was. I missed their show in Montréal because I was preparing for a big public lecture I was giving the next day. I was then invited to private show in Brooklyn and missed that, too — because I was in Montréal. Bah. I didn’t realize until recently that they played my brother- and sister-in-law’s Oh My Rockness show at CMJ last year. But I missed that, too, because of some school event.

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In a similar swirly mode is Echo Lake’s Even the Blind. Most folks who are familiar with my musical tastes know that I like very few bands fronted by female vocalists, but this one works.

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I had discovered Lemonade’s Neptune back in the spring, too — but, again, I knew this would be a warm-weather jam. Lemonade weather. I don’t know where these guys went to college, but I fancy this song to be Wesleyan R&B.

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And now a band i did manage to see in-concert: Japandroids. Perfect for all those glorious, anthematic moments of summer — like when I was in Korea and frequently found myself saying, “Damn, did I just climb another mountain?!?”

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Speaking of anthematic: in the midst of Olympic season, it seemed only fitting to dig a band called Elite Gymnastics. Turns out their music is rather anti- anthematic. Still, I loved the variations-on-a-theme approach to their Ruins album, and found the Here in Heaven remixes quite enchanting.

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Finally, a guilty pleasure. I heard 2NE1’s I Love You literally everywhere I went in Korea, and eventually came to realize that it’s a fantastically catchy song. (Ran was quite pleased by my K-Pop conversion.) I particularly love the “bring it back” moment at 2:45. I listen to that segment on repeat.

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The Lectures of Fall Supplant the Songs of Summer by Shannon Mattern, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.