Monday, March 2, 2009

Music Monday: Interesting Music from Mad Dog

Mad Dog was one of my pledge brothers. When a freshman in college, he informed us all that he planned to become an MD/PhD who did research. I recently wanted to find him and put in a google search for his (pretty common) name and "MD PhD" and found him at the top of the results. According to his university page, Mad Dog's...
...research and clinical focus is hindbrain malformation syndromes, such as Joubert syndrome. In particular, his goal is to improve the specificity of pre- and post-natal diagnosis, identify genetic causes of the disorders, and evaluate the outcomes for individuals with hindbrain malformations. In addition, [he] is researching better regional access for immigrants and refugees with developmental disabilities and community access to child health to improve service delivery to children with developmental disabilities in non-English speaking families.
Wow. He's a brilliant and good man, but to me, he was always an independent thinker who had a killer record collection. I will never forget the sight of Mad Dog's record collection arriving at the house. It filled multiple trunks. Here is but a small sampling of some great music I heard about from Mad Dog:

Brian Eno
Albums: Another Green World, Before and After Science, Ambient #3 (with Laraaji)
Videos: I'll Come Running, Kurt's Rejoinder, The Dance No. 1
I am listening to The Dance No. 1 (from Ambient #3) and it has me rocking back and forth and smiling. It hits a spot in my soul that only really beautiful, minimalist music can hit. This was the ultimate studying music for me. Just let the music wash over your mind. Eno's ambient stuff has always worked for me, but his more popular stuff is really fun as well.

Peter Gabriel
Albums: [all the great early albums were unnamed]
Videos: Solsbury Hill, Games Without Frontiers, Biko
I feel like Peter Gabriel is a musical version of Mad Dog. A strong moral compass shines through in his work, but the music is still very accessible.

Album: Drums and Wires
Videos: When You're Near Me I have Difficulty, Ten Feet Tall, Helicopter
I love this band. Such happiness. They always did really great songs. Great hooks. Tremendous energy. Fun lyrics.

Various Artists
Album: Soundtrack of Urgh! A Music War
Videos: Driven to Tears, Madam Medusa, Ain't This the Life
For some reason, this is the iconic Mad Dog album for me. It was an amazing album with tons of great, progressive artists. It wasn't until about two years ago that I actually saw the movie. Some of it doesn't age well (e.g., Gary Numan, Klaus Nomi), but some of it still works (e.g., The Police, Steel Pulse)

Anyway, I send heartfelt thanks to Mad Dog. You set a high bar as a person and as an academic, but you also opened my ears to music. Just about all the good music I listen to can be traced back to your influence on my musical taste.

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