Murder Murder & Manslaughter

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:24 am
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
It's hard getting into new music when you're old.

There's various reasons, cultural and perhaps biological, that make it harder to passionately love bands that you hear in your 30s and 40s as much as bands that you encountered in your teens and 20s. I do try to listen to new bands—and support them financially—as much as I can, but I often find that even when I fall in love with a new-to-me band, half the time it turns out they they've been around for 30 years and I'd just never heard of them. I just don't bond with new artists as much as I'd like to.

So when there is a band that's new and hits all of my musical buttons, I get evangelical. I'm gonna do that for a bit. About a year and a half ago, I clicked on a semi-random link (someone complaining about a thing) and accidentally heard a single from a Sudbury band called Murder Murder who described themselves as "bloodgrass" and played nothing but murder ballads.

How do I describe this band beyond that they're a phenomenally talented bluegrass band with a morbid streak as deep as a 19th gold vein on your rival's stake? If your favourite Nick Cave & the Bad Seed albums are Murder Ballads and Kicking Against the Pricks, you think Deadwood was criminally underrated, and you find goth-hipster-cowboy a compelling aesthetic, you will dig them.

One of the things about them is that after hearing all their stuff, I knew that they would be fantastic live. Of course, the main problem is that, in the short time I've been obsessed with them, they have played everywhere but Toronto. They have in the past, but they mainly seem to do folk festivals in towns I've never heard of. I mean, they're big in Sudbury, but that is a bit far to go for a gig.

They finally announced a Toronto show, the launch party for their third album. By the way, their publicity is terrible. It took some actual digging for me to find out things like "when" and "where" and "is this a thing that is happening for sure?" It appeared to only be advertised on FB, with no advance tickets, and some initial uncertainty as to where the venue was. But! Found all that out, dragged my mother, who does not like country music at all but enjoyed this almost as much as I did, and at last got to see them live.

I was nearly as excited for the opening act, based on the description alone. Manslaughter are an all-female collective outlaw band. I would love to link you to their stuff, but this was only their second gig. You can add them on Facebook, though, which has links to all the members' other projects.


They did not disappoint. They're a bit like Neko Case except that there are 4-6 of them (depending on the song/show) and I am in love. Their best song is called "Murder Murder" and is completely adorable and I just hope they release an album soon so that I can play it for you all.

Murder Murder, as predicted, were phenomenal. Intense, rowdy, punk as fuck, and just a joy to listen to. Their new album, which I am currently listening to, is as excellent as their last two. Beyond the novelty concept (which, don't get me wrong, I adore), they are just really, really musically talented. You should check them out so that I do not obsess alone.

murder murder
Crappy cell pictures are a Sabs concert tradition.

Anyway here's their latest single: And have two more for the road, just because they're two of my favourites and they played both last night.

ETA: Why is formatting in DW such bullshit? Can I not just embed videos and move on with my life?

the mask slips.

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:07 pm
microbie: (Default)
[personal profile] microbie
The past couple of weeks have been filled with interviews for the two remaining candidates. Phone interviews, then in-person interviews, then video calls with the journal editor. I've tried not to talk work stuff here because it's not terribly interesting, but now I want to vent.

I think that I've mentioned already that both candidates could do the basic job. There are some important differences, though. Candidate #1's main strength is that she's very enthusiastic. She has no experience in writing, editing, or publishing and no experience in the journal subject. Candidate #2 has a master's degree in engineering plus a Ph.D. in science and society (her dissertation was about low-cost preventable blindness technologies, chiefly in India). She is currently guest editing a special issue of a sociology journal, so she understands academic publishing and has done most of the steps (soliciting, writing, peer review).

Each candidate interviewed with three people besides me when they came to the office. Three of four thought candidate #2 was better, above and beyond having more credentials and experience. The fourth person thought they were equally suitable.

The journal editor has favored candidate #1 since the resume stage, but I wasn't prepared for how different he was with each candidate. With #1, he was friendly and forthcoming about the journal and his hopes for this new position. He gently declined all of her ideas but told me that she has the "spark" he thinks is necessary for the job. With #2, he was aggressive and confrontational from the beginning. He didn't talk about the journal or the job but instead asked her "what do you think that you bring to this position?" She mentioned that she knows some people working in a subfield, and he asked her to name some of the top people in that field. She declined and said she'd ask one of the people she knows. In short, he bullied her, which made her more nervous and unsure than she'd been with us in the office.

The journal editor decided that candidate #2 was "lying" about her expertise and has said that he can't work with her. I argued with him, pointing out she's better qualified and has more experience, but he said it would be a mistake to hire her. He actually got angry at me. I've always known that he has the capacity to be a bully, but he has always hidden it behind a mask of patriarchal benevolence. But in that brief instance, the mask slipped, and his ugliness was in full view.

Not only is candidate #2 more qualified, she's also part of an underrepresented group in science (and, just as a woman, in engineering). Hiring candidate #1 on the basis of "spark" despite her lack of hard credentials, especially over a very strong minority candidate, seems to me to be begging to be sued for discrimination. Yet that's what my boss is currently contemplating. And, because I am a nice person and not an asshole, I've said that I can work with either candidate (although of course candidate #1 is going to need *a lot* more training).

So in all likelihood the bully will get his way, and my organization will be (legitimately) vulnerable to an accusation of racism. A stellar turnout, all around.

My shrink is not happy about this, but I'm going to say something to the journal editor about how he was unfair to candidate #2. It won't be anything big and obnoxious; in fact, it'll be something that can have multiple meanings, like "I saw how you treated candidate 2, and I won't forget it." He'll probably say, "good, that's how you should deal with people like that." In other words, saying something to him won't do anything to him, but calling out a bully will make me feel a whole lot better.

sew stuck

Sep. 7th, 2017 09:56 pm
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[personal profile] microbie
Yesterday two contractors installed new front and back doors on l'hermitage.* I mostly stayed in the side room with Tupper, the vaguely homicidal guard dog. My sewing stuff is also in this room, so in theory I could have done some sewing during the 10 hours we were there. Of course I didn't, because I am a lazy, lazy slob and didn't have enough brain cells available. It was cool and rainy, and I just wanted to sleep all day. I was technically working from home, but there wasn't much to do aside from checking email and a revised galley proof.

I think that I just need a day to sleep. I haven't had one of those in a while. And then maybe I can muster the brain power to actually do something during my non-work time.

*I bought them lunch (McDonald's, nothing fancy) and gave them a tip, and their reactions made me think that those are not common occurrences. They worked over 10 hours straight and probably needed a third person to help! The least I could do was buy them lunch and give them "beer money."


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September 2017


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