Dreams DO Come True!

Ok, so once again, I’m in this NJ coffee shop. Something beautiful is happening.

There is  this stigma about coffee shops that paints them as one half beatnik hipster jazz dork hangout and one half shoeless, unwashed hippy headquarters.  One tenant of this perception is the “guy quietly strumming his guitar,” a would-be fixture in every aloof coffee barn in town.

Now, I’ve been in a shit-load of coffee shops and in none of them have I encountered a dude strumming guitar. Sure, I’ve been to some open mic nights, but that is different. However, today, at this very coffee shop, not 10 feet away from me is a floppy-haired, checkered shirt wearing hipster dude with a banged up acoustic guitar and he is strumming it softly! Oh my God!

And, even better, he totally sucks! He isn’t even playing a song! He reminds me of one of my little cousins, just banging willfully away at the family piano, making sounds for the hell of it. He’s like that, except he’s doing it to a guitar and he is probably into Fleet Foxes. This is awesome.

I mean, who the fuck plays acoustic, anyway?

-Nate

Killing time…or KILLING Time! (Alternative headline: Drugwolf Forever!)

It’s been hours (literally hours!) since this blog has been graced with something related to Star Trek and, by extension, something related to Science Club.

Here to rectify that situation is a video of the noble Enterprise crew saying silly things. The best moments come when the nonsense words seem to coninside with what the character’s mouths seem to be saying. Granted, that’s the whole point of the video, but certain parts pull it off better than others (“Buuurp.” “I smell that!”).

Also, shouldn’t you be listening to “Drugwolf” right now? Or, at the very least, poorly recorded Science Club demos?

-Nate

TNG: “Cause And Effect”

Science Club is about 40% an excuse to get ice cream, 10% band and 50% Star Trek: The Next Generation discussion. Why TNG? Three simple reasons:

1) Out of all the manifestations of Star Trek, TNG was on the television at the perfect time for us. Since we are all the same age, we all have clear to hazy memories of the show being on during our formative years.

2) I would argue that, besides being the best manifestation of Star Trek, the show was one of the finest science-fiction shows ever. It succeeded where many other shows have failed in that it got mainstream attention and appealed to more than the usual sweaty dorks who like space shows. In fact, I would go as far to say that no science fiction show was more user-friendly than Star Trek: TNG, except for The Twilight Zone and maybe the remake of Battlestar Galactica.

3) We are a bunch of sweaty dorks.

With that in mind, I would like to present a quick recap of a Season Five highlight, “Cause and Effect.”

The episode opens with everyone blowing up in the cold open, a scene that gave me no shortness of anxiety even though I knew everyone would have to be OK because the show lasted one and half more seasons. Flash forward to a poker game between Data, Riker, Worf and Dr. Crusher. This is excellent because not only does Data get to wear his poker hat, not only is Worf just…terrible at poker but Riker gets to make his sly “Am I bluffing?” face.

"Or DO I have the straight!..."

Oh, you minx!

The doctor ends up winning the hand, but she seems distracted. Hmm…

Suddenly, it’s off to sick bay! Jordi got dizzy at work and Crusher diagnoses him with an ear infection, but not before getting a sense of deja vu. Then, later on, she’s hearing voice in her cabin! She complains about it the next day during the senior staff meeting, but no one really takes notice. The meeting is interrupted when the crew finds out there is some kind of temporal anomaly in front of them all of a sudden. Another star ship comes blasting out of the anomaly and smashes right into the Enterprise despite their best tractor-beam efforts to knock that other puppy off course. The collision causes everyone to blow up, then it’s back to a poker game where everything seems…just…slightly familiar.

Eventually, the crew figure out that they are locked in a time loop (bummer). Jordi then hacks Data’s brain so they can send a message through the loop to themselves, warning them to try something besides the goddamn tractor beam. They eventually figure the whole thing out, just in time to keep themselves from getting blown up. The episode ends with Picard talking to the other star ship, faced with the unfortunate responsibility of telling them that they’ve been doing the same time loop for 80+ years.

Scccrrrrrrrrrrraaaaape

No! Not the starboard nacelle! That's where all the explosions are!

A few key things:

– This is a pretty strong Crusher episode, which is cool because besides this one and “The Naked Now,” I don’t think she had very many good ones.

– Jordi comes off looking wicked smart in this one, too, despite the fact he almost fell off some catwalk and into the warp drive. Why would someone put a catwalk over the warp drive?

– I really like Picard’s night jammy uniform. Very sleek. So does Crusher, apparently, as we get a spark of their sexual tension in this episode.

Always dressed to impress, the Capitan is.

Leave some room for the holy spirit, kids.

– The capitan of the other star ship looks like Kelsey Grammar so much that I was bummed when I found out it wasn’t him. He would make such a good hoity-toity capitan. He could totally look down on Picard’s loose and tumble style of command that countless millions have loved so much.

-The Enterprise was only in the loop for 18 days, but the other ship was locked in the loop for 80 years. I’m not sure how time works, but what the hell was the other ship crashing into for the first 79 years and 347 days?

-Riker also struck this pose, which I’ll be calling the “Cool Riker Pose” from now on.

AYYYYY!

Like the other side of the pillow.

-Nate

Making Mistakes…For Charity! (Or, Science Club’s First Show)

I stole this image from a webcomic. Please click this picture to see whats what.

Stoled from the Internet. Click on this picture to see what's going down.

Science Club played its first show last night. Considering that we prepared for this show by not practicing for a month and eating double ice cream at the Dairy Queen in the Plymouth Meeting mall, it went just about as well as one would expect.

The inaugural voyage of the good ship SC took place on Temple’s campus in a section of their student union delightfully named “The Underground.” It was kind of like a real-life, carpeted version of “The Maxx” from Saved By The Bell in that there were booths and snacks and young adults discussing homework, etc. The whole thing was a benefit for a service trip, so there were a lot of good, kindhearted people politely clapping and smiling while we grunted and sweated and fucked up our songs.

And fuck them up, we did. Most disastrous of all the tunes was our cover of “Dancing in the Dark.” I can’t speak for Joe or Nick, but I know that I played about one wrong note for every four correct notes. Also, because I am a dickhead, I forgot the words half way through and had to resort to yelling unintelligible nonsense for a little bit. Things also got a little pulling-at-the-collar-y when we asked a room full of community service people to shout “hail, Satan!” with us during “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” (one young woman even asked us “Wait…are you serious?” right before we played the song. That was fun).

Still, it was a right good time, mistakes and all. We played fast and loud enough not to embarrass ourselves and the people of Temple were very nice to us, even offering to have us back next year. The rap band that played after us was way good, too. The band that played before us had not one but two good guitar players that made me feel inadequate. The service people were selling baked goods, and I wolfed down a bunch of cookies and chocolate until my stomach felt like quitting. Afterward, we went back to Liz’s house and played an acoustic set in her basement for our girlfriends, a few stoned kids and a hipster girl. Fun Fact: when we are playing quietly in someone’s basement so as not to wake the neighbors, we go by either Study Hall or Quiet Club.

So, all in all, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “you are the worst band ever” and 10 being “cocaine stripper Thursday,” our first show was about a 5. We fucked up a lot, but people seemed to like us and we could still look each other in the face afterward. Special thanks to Temple and to Jess Wagner for hooking some brothers up.

SET LIST:

Since this was our first show and because it was a 20 minute set to a room full of people we didn’t know trying to make some money for a cause we knew little to nothing about, we decided to go a little heavy on the covers. I think it worked out: a nice young man named Nick did some punch-dancing while we played “Video Killed The Radio Star,” and I am told that at least four people got excited for our Mountain Goats cover. Any time you can get four out of 50 people excited for something, it’s a win.

1) Video Killed the Radio Star

2) Song in the Sea ( The Theme From Ecco The Dolphin)

3) Funky C

4) Dancing in the Dark

5) The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton

Love,

Nate

“Just hoping this isn’t the usual way our missions will go, sir.”
“Oh no, Number One, I’m sure most will be much more interesting. Let’s see what’s out there. Engage.”

	-- Riker and Picard in ST:TNG "Encounter At Farpoint"