Copyright Vanderbilt University

Copyright Vanderbilt University

The initial shortlist of artists playing at this year’s Rites of Spring festival at Vanderbilt has been released. The Flaming Lips will likely be headlining friday night, with another yet-to-be-announced headliner that will likely play saturday night. The friday/saturday thing is purely an educated guess on my part. Also announced: Okkervil River, N.E.R.D., Santigold (formerly Santogold), Q-tip, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, and Grand Ole Party. Personally, aside from Flaming Lips, I’m looking forward most to Santigold and Okkervil River. Source: the Vanderbilt Hustler.

MGMT is apparently suing French President Nicolas Sarkozy because his campaign did not compensate them properly for usage of their song “Kids” as the Sarkozy campaign soundtrack.

Remember those literal music videos of “Head Over Heels” and “Take On Me?” Well they’re at it again, this time with Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.” I must say, it’s really hard to top “Take On Me.” I don’t think it’ll ever be done. It’s one of those things where the humor just is never the same after the first time.

The Explorer’s Club did a session on Daytrotter. These live takes are pretty good, but I must say that these songs need the polished production that’s present on their full-length album. It’s evident that some of the vocal harmony arrangements are VERY difficult and they guys hit some odd notes on these live recordings. But the fact that they’re even able to pull off any of those harmonies is utterly amazing, and these guys deserve major kudos for even being in the ballpark. I highly reccomend seeing this band live because they are a lot of fun, and you will thoroughly enjoy it.

In the science world, some good news for NASA comes from Obama’s first budget propsal which was released yesterday. Overall, NASA will (hopefully) see a $2 billion increase in funding in 2010. I’m quite pleased to see this, even in these tough times. Cutting-edge science and research is one area that should be way down on the list of things to get cut when facing tough economic times. Don’t get too excited though; this is not the final version. It was also evident that Obama plans to go ahead with the retirement of the Space Shuttle next year, and continue with Bush’s vision of returning to the Moon by 2020. (The only thing on which I actually agreed with Bush.) Source: Universe Today.

A sneak peek from the new season of LOST. I’m officially excited. I might even try to start having LOST viewing parties. I don’t really have people over to my place very much… if at all, so here’s to trying something new.

What does Obama have in mind for NASA’s Constellation program? Ok, I get it, we have budget problems… but we can’t just throw away all the hard work NASA has put into the successor to the space shuttle- the Constellation program. We have to see Ares I, Ares V, and the Orion capsule through to their completion. As quoted in the article, those programs are years ahead of any alternative. Changing course now would only widen the gap between the space shuttle and its successor. Mr. Obama, I love you, but please leave Constellation alone. For that matter, leave NASA’s budget alone… I’m all about your “scalpel” approach to budget cuts, but take the scalpel elsewhere. Too many people see space exploration as “unnecessary” or think “oh, it can wait.” The science that NASA does is VITAL to the progress of the human race. It’s more of a “big picture” mentality, but we’ll never achieve the goals of putting men on Mars, and eventually colonizing other worlds if we keep putting off the first steps toward them. NASA has been put on the backburner with increasing budget cuts ever since the end of the Apollo missions. The nation must get out of the mentality that space exploration and scientific discovery are secondary to the problems we face here on earth, because the scientific breakthroughs/discoveries that come as a result of said exploration will probably help to solve many of those problems- the biggest of which is the energy crisis and global warming. Sorry about the soap box, but I feel like I need to start including more of my own thoughts into this blog rather than just posting lots of links.

I was unaware of the legislation that passed in 2007 to phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2014. I’m glad it passed… but this article points out that the mercury contained in the new compact fluorescent bulbs will pose a major environmental hazard if people don’t dispose of them properly.

In local music, The Features have a special Christmas package deal going at their website. You can get their latest album Some Kind of Salvation and a new Tshirt as a package deal. Get it while it’s hot.