Spring’s in Full Swing

Hello everyone! Spring quarter has been off to a great start! I really love all of my classes, and we’re only three weeks into the quarter, but it seems like so much has already happened in that short time – both school and non-school related. So I’ll try to touch on a few of the more interesting things of these first few weeks here in Columbus…

So I’ll start with something “non-school” related: the CD 101 concert. Here in Columbus, one of the big radio stations called CD 101 (even though it’s technically now on a different frequency of 102.5) put on a great little concert last weekend that I had the pleasure of attending. It was packed with some excellent bands including two of my new favorites, Ra Ra Riot and Fitz & the Tantrums. If you have not heard of these bands, I highly recommend both – just click on their names above to jump to their websites… Ghost Under Rocks by Ra Ra Riot and MoneyGrabber by Fitz & the Tantrums are currently my favorite specific songs by these bands, in case you need any specific recommendations. I have a feeling there will be plenty more concerts and fun events throughout the rest of this quarter as the weather continues to warm up.

Senator Sarbanes
Senator Sarbanes at the Fisher College of Business

Now something more school-focused but equally interesting: Senator Sarbanes (as in one of the two legislators for which the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is named). This was very cool because as far as the world of accounting goes, this is as close as I’ve ever come to an accounting celebrity. Senator Sarbanes spoke to a large group of MAcc and other Fisher grad students mostly about SOX, and it was really interesting to hear what someone who helped create the act had to say about it. (Thanks to Seth W. for the picture.) Our next scheduled speaker will be Mark Morze, former CFO of the infamous ZZZZ Best Carpet Cleaning fraud from the 1980s, so I’m sure you’ll see a post about that in the near future.

Speaking of the future, and one other entertaining topic that I can cram into this post, this Saturday a good number of Fisher students will be participating in the spring Fisher Games. Basically I’ve been explaining this to people as a field day of sorts, filled with games ranging from disc golf to dizzy bat to kickball to an egg toss. I will be joining a few of my fellow MAcc students to compete against other Fisher students, and it should be a great time!

So with everything going on this quarter, I’m sure I’ll be writing very soon about something else, so until next time!

Concerts in Columbus

I will gladly admit that I am a HUGE music fan. In fact, between playing an instrument and listening to music, I would say that music in general is by far my favorite hobby/pastime. Considering this, one of my biggest concerns of moving to Columbus was the question: “is Columbus a good music scene?” (I honestly asked that question on my tour when I came and visited Fisher during the admissions process). It’s only been a few weeks into the quarter, but I think it is safe to say yes – Columbus is a great place for concerts and music in general.

I am declaring this for two big reasons. The first being that the city of Columbus, OH is a decently-sized city – definitely big enough to be on the map of all major music tours across the country. One big concert destination for these traveling acts of musical entertainment is called the Newport and it is conveniently located directly across the street from the student union. In the small time that I’ve lived here, there’s already been a plethora of musical goodness to grace the stage at Newport including some really big names such as Guster. In the next month, other acts for Newport include, but are not limited to: Ingrid Michaelson, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Jonsi (from Sigur Ros). Basically what I’m getting at is that Newport is a great place for some great bands, and I really like it because it’s so close to campus. And of course, there are some other great venues around town – I just haven’t had the chance to venture out to them yet.

The second big reason behind Columbus being deemed a great place for music is the same reason it’s a great town in general – OSU. With one of the biggest and best universities in the country, you’re bound to have some great performers that are willing to come for a visit. Not to mention that the Ohio Union Activities Board (OUAB) seems to do a fantastic job of ensuring that our student activity fees are spent on quality entertainment. This last Thursday I had the pleasure of seeing Iron & Wine for free in the student union. John Legend is playing for free tonight as I type this, and next week I will be going to the comedic stand up act of Aziz Ansari. On top of all this, with such a diverse student body that attends the Fisher College of Business, you can quickly come across other individuals with similar tastes in music. Personally, the quickest way I have expanded my musical knowledge is through my friends (new and old) that just knew about all these great artists that I had never heard of. Basically, with the students of Fisher you can find similar interests in anything with at least someone, and music has been no exception.

Overall I am pumped that OSU and Columbus is such a great scene for music. If you are a proud music-buff like me, be sure to take advantage of all the concerts they have here. On a final note, the one band that I am anxiously holding my breath for would be The Black Keys – they started their musical career here in Ohio and I think it would be really cool to see them in the state where they started it all (I just checked and at least through next March, they have no plans to stop in OH, so I’ll be crossing my fingers for some time between March and our June graduation). Below is a concert poster for the Black Keys by one of my favorite artists, Tyler Stout. I know it’s not for a show in OH, but I wanted to get some color in this post.

The Black Keys Concert Poster
A Black Keys Poster by Tyler Stout

Thanks for reading (now go check out all the links to the great bands above by clicking the embedded hyperlinks),


“Is it the fingers or the brain that you’re teaching a lesson?”

After a couple of weeks of committing most of my time to trying to get interviews for internships, going to info sessions, and generally neglecting my school work, I made a conscious decision to spend more time focused on catching up on reading assignments.  Now when it comes to studying, I’ve found there are two groups of people; those who study with music, and those who study without.

I myself am a huge music fan.  I have a collection that is very eclectic.  Some might call it snobbish, but I really try to give all genres of music a fair listen and for various reasons, I generally don’t listen to many top 40 artists.

When it comes to studying, I always have music playing.  I only have two rules for what I listen to when I’m studying.  It either has to be instrumental, or if it has lyrics, it must be something to which I have not learned the words.  If I know what the artist is singing, it takes my focus off the assignment.  That is really the whole reason I like listening to music, it keeps other noises out so I can pay more attention to what I’m reading.

All that leads me to the point of this post.  I wanted to list some of the music that I listen to the most when doing homework.  So in no particular order, here is a list of a few artists I’ve been listening to lately.

The Budos Band – The Budos Band II

The Budos Band II

This album is surprisingly one of my favorites of the past few months and has translated well in my study habits.  I never heard of this band before they received decent reviews on Metacritic.com.  There is very little variation throughout the record. The entire album sounds like 1970’s movie and TV show themes, or an album made to be sampled by J-Dilla or Danger Mouse.  A lot of horns, funk style bass lines, and great energy for studying.  It’s uptempo enough to keep you awake through the occasionally boring reading assignment.

Cocteau Twins

Cocteau Twins

A friend of mine tried to get me into this group years ago but it was never something that I liked much.  I ended up with their discography thanks to him, but it just sat there for a long time.  One day a couple of weeks ago they popped up in iTunes as I was studying and it was a great combination of non-lyrical vocals and spacey synthesizers.  It was excellent background music and has been making a regular appearance in my educational playlist.



Another band which I was far behind some of my friends on.  I’ve only just recently reached back in their catalog.  Until a few months ago, the only DEVO I knew was, like most other people, ‘Whip It’.  Since I don’t know most of the lyrics yet, it still fits my criteria for good study music.  The post-punk/pre-new wave sound is great for a little energy after more mellow music, which most instrumental stuff tends to be.

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens

It’s not because he made an album named for my home State.  I have been a fan of his since his first album.  I haven’t gotten his newest record but I’ve heard nothing but good things and look forward to hearing it.  I love his songwriting and the instrumentation that he uses.  I broke my own rule here though because I know the lyrics to his songs, but his music is so conducive to an afternoon of studying that I had to include it on the list.

So that is just a sample of the kind of music that I’ve found helps me get through a Sunday afternoon of studying.  There is a ton of other music that cycles in and out of my playlist, but these seem to be the regulars lately.

So if you are reading this and, like me, you enjoy music while you study, feel free to share your favorites in a quick comment.  I would be interested to see what others listen to while studying.