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Settling In in Boston

MIT Stata CenterOther than during the MiT5 conference, I realise I haven't really blogged that much from Boston yet - I think I'm still getting over the jetlag from the flight here... It's certainly not as if there wasn't plenty to talk about. This is my third time in Boston, although the last couple of times I was here only for a few days and a few hours, respectively - but at least, I already have something of a general idea where things are and how I get there. It will still take me a while to find my way around MIT, though - if QUT's campuses occasionally seem maze-like, they've got nothing on MIT's sprawling expanse, even if some of the architecture here hadn't been built deliberately in flagrant disregard for architectural orthodoxy.

Guitar Circle New EnglandIndeed, the coffee shop in the flagship Stata Center (a Frank Gehry design, if you hadn't guessed it) is my favourite morning hangout so far (but it desperately needs laptop powerpoints!). I was very happily surprised to step into the Stata Center foyer just the other day only to walk right into a free and very energising performance by the Guitar Circle New England, a nifty group of eight Guitar Craft practitioners - didn't think I'd ever hear "Asturias" performed live...

I hope and expect that these musical overtones will continue throughout the rest of my two-month stay here, too. One of the benefits of being in the U.S. is that there's just so much more of a choice of live music available than in Australia (especially as far as my tastes are concerned - many of the acts I'd be interested in seeing are very unlikely to travel beyond the U.S. and European circuit). I've already bought tickets to the Cowboy Junkies and Porcupine Tree concerts here in May, and the latter is a particular treat: I've seen the Junkies on their previous tour to Australia, and I know they'll do a great show once again (not sure if they'll still be in the stripped-down trio formation that's touring Europe at the moment, which would be very exciting); the Tree, on the other hand, haven't yet made it to our shores...

Wolfmother concert at the Avalon, BostonAnd if that wasn't enough, I managed to get on the comp list for last Sunday's Wolfmother gig, too (which means I've seen them on three continents now...;-) Wolfmania was in full swing at the Avalon, and it's interesting to see what a wide range of fans the band draws in. Great venue, too - one of the classic Boston concert halls, and just next to Fenway Park, the Red Sox baseball stadium.

That, of course, was also the last day of the MiT5 conference, and in between that and the gig I also managed to squeeze in a quick visit with old friend and PhD supervisor David Marshall, who by now should be mid-air on the way to his new posting at Wollongong University. Great chat, and it will be good to have you back in Australia again, David!

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