Rhiannon

Somewhere along the way, a friend of mine posted this video on Facebook, and I stopped disliking the song Rhiannon, that for whatever long-forgotten reason I disliked.

I think it was because it was featured in the TV-Guide channel of whatever cable system I had in the late 80s that kept on playing it over and over again. Welcome to the time machine.

I thought you died alone, a long, long time ago

I’m a big David Bowie fan, but not because I heard his songs and listened to him on the radio. The first song of his that I liked was the collaboration with Queen “Under Pressure,” and even then (early to mid-80s) I associated that song more with the supergroup than I did with just Bowie. Radio hits of the 80s that followed (“Let’s Dance,” “Blue Jean”) were a welcome splash to the otherwise repetitive string of pop put out at the time.

Because pre-internet times demanded to do so, I was a member of the Columbia Records and Tapes Club, and one fine day, after failing to reject the album of the month, I received a copy of “Nirvana Unplugged in New York,” which I diligently listened to, it being the 90s and surely anything by Nirvana was worth listening to. The truth is, only one song stuck in my head, and that was “The Man Who Sold the World.” I couldn’t quite understand who Kurt Cobain credited the song to, although I was able to figure it out in not-too-long a spell (I actually had several conversations with friends and co-workers — pre-internet days, remember?).

It was during those times that I also frequented driving to the big Metropolis (Houston) to visit the big stores (Barnes & Noble) and I was able to secure my own CD copy of Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World, and suddenly, maybe 20 years too late, I became a big Bowie fan. I don’t know that I can easily rattle off the names or melodies of the rest of the songs in the album, but “The Man Who Sold the World” is enough to fill a library of memories, hopes and doubts that were otherwise filled with synthesized chords and other regrets.

After my initial approach to “The Man Who Sold the World,” slowly I absorbed the rest of the Bowie library, which lives with me even without the help of Spotify or any other recorded medium.

Nirvana’s cover was a faithful rendition of the song, and I guess that any artist that attempts to do so will triumph in his or her or their own way, which is why that accidental CD delivery made up my mind once and for all that performing a cover song is indeed the most sincere form of flattery. If I had any talent at all, I would pick up an instrument and record R.E.M.’s “Find the River” and call it a life.

No list, but resolute nonetheless

The good news is that I resolved some time ago to work on two or three things at a time and I find I get more projects completed that way. Not a new idea by any means, but it’s something that’s working well and it’s really opening up some creative channels that were a bit corroded.

So now that the pressure’s off the resolutions, it wouldn’t hurt to jot down some ideas — a cloud of keywords — that will serve as a guide for the following weeks.

The iOS programming class I took in the fall was a fun enterprise and I was fortunate enough to have a solid team of classmates that really dove into our class project. We all learned new things, among them the fact that programming for the iPhone is not a mystery.

Early on in the class I found this inspiring nugget from TED Talks:

EDIT Another inspiring story, I’m sure there’s more to be found:

This is what they mean when they say think outside the box

Because even after reading the description and formulating what the song was going to sound like and how it was going to be played, I could still not register what was happening. But there it was… who you gonna call?

And furthermore, and what was going to be the original theme of this post, however did blogs ever exist without video embedding? Yes, I know, you’d just sit down and write. Have to remember that. Although I wish I had the kind of time needed to make 80s hardware play 80s music.

The end of the beginning

Twenty five years later, I finally understand what Huey Lewis was talking about in “I Want a New Drug.” But no, not really. I finally gave it a meaning. I finally came to the same conclusion, the way I would have gotten here even without knowing that song ever existed.

I want a new drug. One that is a panacea and a placebo all at once. One that will give me the clarity of all things in front of me while it puts them away in a closet or trash bin as needed. One that makes me forget everything I know while it keeps a record of all things I’ve seen and done.

One that doesn’t rely on science or foction or science fiction. A new drug with an old prescription.

And unlimited refills.

[UPDATE] It has been brought to my attention that Huey Lewis and the News still exists, but that their main objective is to be the best Huey Lewis and the News tribute band they can be.

Random videos from the 1980s

Back in the 80s, not everyone (no one?) had a cell phone or handy digital camera to record every moment of our lives from multiple angles. However, I did lug around a clunky Beta cam and managed to save a few minutes for posterity.

Rio Grande City High School, or at least the Middle School that occupied the same building after the new High School was built, burned down a couple of years ago, as many schools in the district are wont to do.

Oops, I finally did it

At 4 minutes and 3 seconds, this is the most Britney Spears I’ve intaken in one session. Mezmerizing, actually. And apparently, they abound on the internet.

UPDATE: Never mind Britney (she’s so two-thousand and late).