DNA Podcast 044 – Musical Brains


In this episode, Don and Rob are joined by their friend Richard Moule to discuss music and how it affects us. The trio explore the physical processes behind our reactions and interactions with music and discuss how music and humans evolved together over time. The three also delve into music as soundtrack, and discuss the ways in which moviemakers use music to control and shape the emotions of the audience. All this, and  why John Williams owes Gustav Holst royalties is waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

DNA Podcast 022 – Heavy Metal Thunder

Rob and Richard Moule at an Iron Maiden Concert (Rob is the tall guy!)

Rob and Richard Moule at an Iron Maiden Concert (Rob is the tall guy!)

In this episode, Rob and Don are joined by music historian Richard Moule to discuss their mutual love and admiration for the musical art form known as Heavy Metal. The trio trace Metal’s history and inspirations, and talk about how metal became THE nerdly music of choice. All this, and why Death Metal is really redneck music, here for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Weekend Listening- The Piano Guys

Musical geeks are the most entertaining geeks, because they find ways to combine their musical talents with their geeky hobbies in fun ways. Case in point- The Piano Guys, who use a variety of instruments (but mostly pianos) to produce fun and creative music videos.


TNG Theme on an NES Keytar

The coolest thing you’re going to hear today:

‘The Star Wars That I Used To Know’ – Parody – YouTube

‘The Star Wars That I Used To Know’ – Gotye ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ Parody – YouTube.

Sarnia Bayfest 2012: Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden

Last night I had the honor of attending my very first heavy metal concert at Sarnia’s Bayfest music festival. The moment my friend Richard Moule told me about the lineup to last night’s show, Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper, I wanted in. I mean, I’ve been an Iron Maiden fan since my friend Don introduced me to them back in University, and my admiration for them has only grown over the years.

And, finally after months of waiting, the day finally arrived, and we drove down to Sarnia to see them.

Overall, I’d have to say I was thoroughly impressed. Alice Cooper’s show was good (although I imagine he can do better when he’s not just the opening act), but seeing Iron Maiden in concert was an experience I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

It took a bit, but the energy that was going through that crowd last night was amazing, and it was hard not to get swept up in the show. My voice this morning in hoarse from singing along, and why not? I knew most of the songs they were singing off by heart, as did most of the audience, and that really made the whole show both personal and a real communal experience. They even turned the audience into a giant instrument at points, which during the song Fear of the Dark is something that has to be experienced to be understood, although I think this video can give you the idea-

Hear that chorus? That’s the audience, not the singers. So intense!

Would I see them again?

In a heartbeat! truly amazing show.

It’s just too bad they didn’t play my favorite song- Die With Your Boots On

Skyrim- Peter Hollens & Lindsey Stirling – YouTube

I don’t play Skyrim, but I have to say his vocal work impresses the heck out of me. Her violin work is great too.

Battle in Outer Space Theme

Another great tune from the 60’s (actually 1959, but close enough!), this one from the Sci-Fi movie Battle in Outer Space by the music master Akira Ifukube. I think it got reused a lot in later Japanese films, as I remember hearing it quite a bit as a kid.

Pop Didn’t Eat Itself: Why Piracy Didn’t Destroy the Music Industry

…the US music industry is making less than half of what it made at its 1999 peak of $14.4 billion. It currently makes about $6.3 billion. Why did it drop so fast? Piracy, right?


Wrong. First of all, a fun little fact: that $6.3 billion figure is only album sales. Not ringtones, not licensing rights, not merchandise sales, none of that is included. Why don’t they include that? Because then you’d know they’re still making between $9 and $10 billion

via Pop Didn’t Eat Itself: Why Piracy Didn’t Destroy the Music Industry.

When did my life become Glee?

So, this morning I was teaching a media class and the topic was radio. I decided that I’d start the class by playing the song Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles, it being appropriate and all. I asked them the standard question of what the first MTV music video played was, and then hit play, expecting them to happily listen and then go on with the lecture.

(Fun fact, the guy on the multi-keyboard in that video is the movie composer Hans Zimmer!)

What I didn’t expect was for them to start not only singing along, but jump up and start dancing around like it was a party! (And this is at 8am on a Thursday morning, ah youth!) It was literally like someone had suddenly plunked me into an episode of Glee! 🙂

Anyways, when they looked ready to start dancing on the desks I decided enough was enough and pulled the plug. It was fun, but the last thing I needed was for someone to fall off with me in charge! O_o

Still, that has to be one of the coolest experiences I’ve had while teaching at the college, and I really admire their enthusiasm! I played the rest of the song at the end of the class, and they danced out to it, to the bewilderment of the students coming in.