first_imgWith Dead & Company tour in full swing, band members Bob Weir and John Mayer sat down with the Asbury Park Press ahead of the band’s New Jersey debut. The two guitarists talk extensively about building a large musical catalog with diverse influences, and how each are astute in hearing these influences and learning from one another.“When John plays blues, you can hear what subgenre he’s going for,” said Weir. “He’s real well-versed in particularly that idiom, but what that told me is that he’s basically a student and fan of American musical heritage.”He continued, saying “I could hear (Mayer’s) appreciation of the various fields, and that’s where our music comes from… We grew up — the guys in The Grateful Dead — grew up in an era in the Bay Area out here, where you had everything that America had to offer on the radio. And we were the kinds of kids who were just playing the buttons on the radio.”“If there was something playing that wasn’t catching our interest, we hit another button. We’d go from rock ’n’ roll to jazz to R&B or blues stations, classical music – whatever it took to grab our attention… And we were all different guys, but we all had that same approach, most particularly Jerry and I.” It seems Mayer has a similar mindset, something that Bob Weir finds endearing. Mayer chimed in about his own influences and mindset for building a diverse repertoire. “When you’re into music the way that Bob and I are, and you know, we’re separated by a lot of geography, a lot of time, but there’s a certain way to be in the music where it’s almost like collecting baseball cards… It’s like you collect the Texas blues card. You collect the Chicago electric blues card. You collect the country-western card.”“And it’s sort of like this love of all these different little cards you can collect and keep in a little stack and walk around with them in your back pocket.  It really for me was just about like sort of just getting another card or trading a card, you know?  And when musicians look at music that way, where it’s just sort of like this Rolodex of influences, it’s actually really great to have that conversation musically, and it’s just a matter of rearranging the cards a little bit.”That’s really part of the Grateful Dead magic, being able to go from folk to blues to funk in the drop of a hat. With these two guitarists up in front and the supreme talents of musicians like Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti, there’s plenty of magic left to come!last_img read more


first_imgJanet Napolitano, president of the University of California and former secretary of homeland security, delivered the 37th Earl V. Pullias lecture on campus Wednesday, addressing that a previously announced tuition hike of 5 percent will not affect the upcoming summer quarter for the UC system.In the lecture, she also addressed the longstanding conversation about higher education in California. The event was hosted by the Pullias Center for Higher Education and the Rossier School of Education.Napolitano’s lecture titled, “A Trifecta for the Future: Higher Education, California, and Innovation,” also focused on the unique role that research universities have played in making California a center of innovation and a world leader in its own right.“California, if it is to pay its dream forward to future generations,” Napolitano said. “must never abandon its sense of itself as a society built on innovation, and it must never abandon the institutions that seek that innovation. That is the California that we are fighting for.”At the start of the lecture, Napolitano referred to participants of previous Pullias Lectures, such as former University of California presidents David P. Gardner and Richard C. Atkinson.In 1988, Gardner participated in a lecture that discussed global transformations and the internationalized quest for knowledge. He argued that the reach for American research universities such as those within the UC system must be altered. Atkinson reinforced that point in his 1997 lecture by emphasizing how research universities are not only important for economic growth, but also for discovery and the application of knowledge.Napolitano furthered the lectures of former UC presidents by discussing how Californians have built and nurtured an iconic society known to the world as a beacon of progress and opportunity.“They [Californians] built it with a native creativity and ceaseless innovation, introducing to the world everything from the Silicon chip to fine Napa Valley wine to the wetsuit,” Napolitano said. “They built it with a strong sense of common purpose, fostering a true commonwealth for those with dreams and ideas and notions about the next big thing. In the spirit of a commonwealth, they built it with a deep commitment to education and research.”She continued to discuss current problems she believes the UC system needs to address. Napolitano explained that the UC schools are currently receiving the same amount of funding as they had in 1997, with 75,000 more students enrolled now than in 1997.Napolitano explained that the 75,000 extra students is the equivalent of adding another University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Berkeley without any additional funding from the state.Napolitano said there are only so many tax dollars to go around, and the education system has to compete with public services, healthcare and corrections for funding. She commented that society has drifted away from the concept of a commonwealth.“Taxpayers, who used to view education at the University of California as a public investment, increasingly now see it as a private good, one that ought to be paid for by the individuals who derive a direct benefit from it,” Napolitano said.Joseph Chan, a graduate student studying postsecondary administration and student affairs, said he was interested in how tuition rates were impacted by these increases.“She [Napolitano] mentioned in her speech that the priorities of the state as far as funding have flipped, causing a tuition increase,” Chan said. “I always questioned, ‘Why is the tuition cost increasing?’, and I never knew the huge role that tax played into that.”Napolitano ended her lecture by explaining a decision made last November to move forward with a new tuition and financial aid plan in the UC system, which will include increased enrollment of students from California.The plan means investing and reinvesting in academic quality. Napolitano said that they are serious about the UC school system maintaining both affordability and quality.Shujin Zhong, a graduate student studying postsecondary administration and student affairs, said she was especially interested in Napolitano’s research on tuition payments.“Last semester I did some research on tuition fees and came to know that although we’ve paid a lot for tuition, we actually enjoy more [at USC] such as better resources, better faculty members and better services. Also, I would like to hear something more about the international environment at UCs,” Zhong said.last_img read more