For Blacksburg Transit, a bus sent to pick up extra passengers on a particular route, or to take over a busload of passengers to allow the route bus to get back on schedule.

Driving a Tripper shift can be fun at times. Basically, you (the driver) get to find somewhere convenient (usually on the VT campus) to park your bus until you are needed. If you are lucky enough to get a portable radio to carry, you can wander away from your bus occasionally, perhaps to places with vending machines or computers. When you are needed to follow a route bus, it's usually just for one loop, then you either return to your parking spot or go to a different route -- much better than doing Tom's Creek A six times in 3 hours like a normal route bus. If you're really lucky, the lead driver will decide he doesn't need you to take out a bus if ridership is low enough, and you get to chill out at base most of the evening.

Of course, it can also be pretty damned miserable too, if you get sent out with a bus, but aren't needed to follow any routes, and the heater on your bus doesn't work in 20-degree Blacksburg weather. It can turn a Thursday night into 5.75 hours of freezing cold boredom, broken up by occasional trips to Squires Student Center, wandering through Torgersen Hall, and finally McBryde Hall after midnight (because it's the only warm place close to your parking space open that late).


Another BT node...
Tripper is the first full-length album by Danish group Efterklang. It was preceded only by the EP Springer, which was released in 2003; Tripper came out one year after. Being a Danish band playing a mixture of glitch and post-rock, Efterklang's obscurity is understandable. It is however also completely undeserved; this is an amazing album.

Tripper creates a sweetly haunting soundscape with the simple understated clicks and pops that make glitch pop what it is. The album is so sad and withdrawn, it sucks the very colour from the room. Each song unfolds slowly and deliberately, revealing ashen images of chalk and dust, and draws the listener into vast underground caverns full of still, inky lakes.

Ideally, Tripper is a late-night listen through headphones. The hundreds of grainy little clacks that bubble to the surface fit well with a dark, empty house, or better yet, a house with the softspoken presence of sleeping people. Crawling into the lonely crevasse between the late night and early morning, Tripper is at its best. It is the soundtrack to the big, busy city that finally gets to rest, leaving infrastructure and architecture cold to the touch.

The album is not entirely electronic by any means; there are a lot of solemn string or piano passages weaving in and out of the fuzzy, snip-snapping clicks. There are also vocals on most of the songs; warm, but quiet and shy at the same time. While there are many emotional peaks, the music never reaches a point that you could call loud. Like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the songs on Tripper build on themselves from nothing, and coast on their own momentum. Stylistically, it falls somewhere between Sigur Rós and múm, and if you like either of those two bands, Tripper should be how you first hear Efterklang.

1. Foetus (3:10)
2. Swarming (6:32)
3. Step Aside (4:38)
4. Prey and Predator (6:26)
5. Collecting Shields (5:57)
6. Doppelgänger (6:40)
7. Tortuous Tracks (3:39)
8. Monopolist (6:57)
9. Chapter 6 (6:37)


Tripper - Efterklang - 2004 - The Leaf Label

Trip"per (?), n.

1.

One who trips or supplants; also, one who walks or trips nimbly; a dancer.

2.

An excursionist.

 

© Webster 1913.

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