Quiet Biking at Night

Last summer I bought an old van with enough space in the back for my bike, which I started taking with me to work this semester, so I could ride it across the UNLV campus on the days I teacher there. It has saved me a lot of the rushing and running I’ve had to do from parking to classroom for over a dozen years, but even better, it has allowed me to simply spend more time on my bike.

One of my favorite things about the fall semester is the atmosphere on that beautiful campus on any November night–most everyone else has already gone home by the time my evening classes get out, and the trip back out to my car was always very quiet, cool, and pleasant. Now, getting to do that on a bike, it’s even better.

One night last month, I did that ride while listening to the soft, luminous Lou Reed track, “Revien Cherie.” Bikes rides have rarely been sweeter.

Speaking of, I spent one afternoon in October riding my bike home across town from my day job, listening to the live stream of Celtic music from Thistle Radio. That was also an enjoyable time, and a little memory worth having.

Life is really good.

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Face Melting Bagpipes

I took my family to Celtic Thanksgiving IV on Saturday. Among other great acts was bagpiping stud Stuart Liddell (pronounced like the children’s book mouse), and this guy was AWESOME. I’ve never seen such blistering shredding! He has a bunch of videos on YouTube; here’s a good one:

4 Bits of Recent Media

Recent for me, at least. Here are some things I’ve seen lately that have stuck with me:

 

 

I came across this film while researching a unit on international media for a class. It’s short, simple, and says something true about humanity, with a bit of a twist at the end.

 

 

I heard this one while listening to the wonderful Thitsleradio.com. Again, short and beautiful, but I love the harmonizing and the folksly chant of it.

 

 

I’ve watched a few short films like this lately, and this one really impressed me: not at all historically accurate, but believable enough for a fantasy, and seriously well made.

 

 

Great old blues song I heard as a kid, and it just popped back into my head. Man, this is catchy.

 

Thistle & Shamrock

It’s been years since my local NPR station dropped one of my favorite shows, The Thistle and Shamrock, a weekly hour-long update on all things current in the world of Celtic music.  Luckily, they’ve started keeping some podcasts and archives of recent shows on their web site. I listen to it a lot while grading papers at work.

Highly recommended for all fans of Celtic music.  They always find a way to make each show full of variety and surprises, and I’ve never heard an episode without finding some new song I love.  The last show I heard, from a few weeks ago, featured this track by a new, young folk guitarist; it’s pretty catchy.