Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Song of the Day - Until the End of the World, by U2

Today's SOTD is from the Irish band U2.  I first got into the band when I was a junior in high school.  They had just released their War album, and I was struck by how different it sounded from everything else on the radio back then.  I picked up the album (on cassette, mind you) and wore it out playing it in my car.

This song comes from a later period in their career, specifically from the album Achtung Baby.  When AB came out, I was jarred at first.  The band that had specialized in straight-ahead, earnest rock-and-roll was now experimenting with different rhythms and styles.  "The Fly", the first single, was very Eurotrashy in its timbre, and it almost put me off buying the album.  As I kept listening, however, I accepted U2's new direction and followed them through the following years.

This track, along with "One", is my favorite off of Achtung Baby.  It was apparently first inspired by the film by German director Wim Wenders.  Looking past the superficial association, it is open to interpretations; it could be a document of the last date of a dysfunctional couple, or a look at the Last Supper from the point of view of Judas Iscariot.  Either way, it's a lush and romantic-feeling look at the end of the road (from an emotional viewpoint.  Especially given the attention given to the prediction of the Rapture made for this past Saturday, I figured this was as good a time as any to post this.

U2 apparently never created an official video to "Until the End of the World", but here is a live performance from Slaine Castle, Ireland.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Song of the Day: "Sweet Jane" by Cowboy Junkies

First post on the new venture.  I finally got a theme I am interested in, and one that I think won't get too much flame traffic coming in (crossing fingers).  Let's walk down the road together and see what happens, eh?

"Sweet Jane", Cowboy Junkies

This song basically pushed me into taking this path.  I had been interested in doing a "Song of the day/my favorite songs" blog for a while now, but I never really got the compulsion to do it.  Then I was going through my CD collection and stumbled upon a copy of The Trinity Sessions by Cowboy Junkies.  Suddenly I went through a time warp.

It was 1989, and I was a young, naive and thoroughly idealistic man.  I had dreams of getting out of Aiken SC with the woman of my dreams and making something of myself.  Trouble was, I had never really kissed a woman up to that point, let alone connected with the "woman of my dreams", and I had no earthly idea what I wanted to do for a living.

In between pining for the attention of a woman who ended up being a stripper and wondering if the plays I was doing at the local university might lead me somewhere, I discovered the Cowboy Junkies on MTV.  Mind you this was 20 years BJS (Before Jersey Shore).  Their video for "Sweet Jane" had gone into a regular rotation, and I turned up the volume whenever I saw it come up.

"Sweet Jane" was a cover of a Velvet Underground song, but it took the song on a different course.  Where VU's version was edgy and a little bit cynical, Cowboy Junkies' effort was ethereal and full of longing.  Margot Timmins' voice reached into my heart and held it tight, reassuring me that I would find a real love - someday.

Years later, when I did meet the woman of my dreams, I looked on the CD rack in her home,  Sure enough, there on the rack was a copy of The Trinity Sessions.  I knew I was home.  I knew she was the one.  I mean, there were plenty of other clues, but this was a clincher for me. :)

"Sweet Jane" reminds me of love lost, love unrealized and (most importantly) love finally found in a cruel and uncaring world.  It feels like home and gentle words of welcome whispered sweetly in my ear, "I love you."

In any case, I am attaching a couple of videos of "Sweet Jane".  The best copy of the original music video won't allow embedding, so I posted a link to it at the bottom of the page.  In the meantime, enjoy a live performance of the song, recorded in Savannah GA in 2008.

Original music video here:

New purpose, new theme, same old Clintster

So, now I've decided to try a theme for my blog.  Roughly every day (no promises) I will talk about a song that has some sort of meaning to me, whether it's emotional, spiritual, historical, or I just like the sound of it.  Stay tuned for the first installment of "Clintster's Song of the Day" right here on your local stations.

PS I'll probably use this space as well to write on other topics occasionally.  Just fair warning.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

First day back, now with extra studenty goodness

Yep, students came back today, and except for a couple of additions and swap-arounds, not much has changed.

Also watched "Tropic Thunder" today in FX. I figured they'd have to do some language cleanup, but I was not expecting it when Robert downey's character lectured Ben stiller on the dangers of going "full special". Truly a "special" moment. (eyeroll)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Welcome back to the same old place that you laughed about...

First day back at Salem, and we spent it learning about new ways to utilize standards. I'm interested in seeing how the students come back for the new semester.

Also went for a walk this evening. Kathy And Ian went with me. We didn't go very quickly, but we were out and mobile.

I also have noticed that my blog posts aren't posting to my Facebook until the next day. Hmmmm... How can I fix that?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Why a French onion, especially?

Last day at home before I head back to work. Ian told me a "spooky" story complete with flashlight under his chin. I made French inion soup for dinner and worked on lesson plans for the coming semester. Maybe I'll turn in early tonight; tomorrow's coming early!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Here at home watching the Falcons-Panthers game. Ian is upstairs playing with his trains; Kathy is curled up with the cats in bed.

I wish I had friends nearby who I could hang out with. The quiet day-long home sessions are really talking a toll on my psyche, and that of my family. All I want this year is for someone or some people who give a damn.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New year, new attempt at blogging

Today I am going to attempt to blog something here once a day for the next year. No gimmicks, no themes, just writing something once a day. Hopefully I can add something more than once on some days. This isn't exactly a resolution, but I am trying to commit myself to making this work.

Here... we... GO.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Just considering my plan for my next failed "day-at-a-time-for-a-year" posting scheme.  Pay no mind.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

YouTube 38

I thought I would take a few moments to sing the praises of YouTube. I know that it may sound a bit like a Ric Romero story, but I have become more and more attached to the service over the past few months.

One big reason I have found myself more into YT is because I am implementing 21st century technology in my classroom. Granted, this is an unusual thing to do as a theatre teacher, but as a tech theatre teacher I find that projectors, DVDs and internet access can only help me as I try to teach students about sets, lighting and sound.

Last week I started a unit in my Fundies class on improvisation, and in order to illustrate it to them, I downloaded several clips of improve troupes playing games and having a rather good time of it. Suddenly, a group of otherwise bored and sullen teenagers became interested and involved with the process. We all had a great time as I guided them through games like Party Quirks and the Question Game.

Another thing I like about YouTube is that I have been able to look up music videos I had long since forgotten. I have also beheld the meme wonder that is Keyboard Cat and, to my slight shame, I have indulged in the meme myself with a work of my own creation. YouTube: teacher, memory box, time waster!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Two Hundred Twenty Eight Reasons I Haven't Been Keeping Up

Sorry if I've left everybody (anybody?) hanging the past few months. Just know that I was busy with a few things:
  • I had a productive second semester at Salem, even if it seemed that the world was trying to crush me like an empty milk carton. Still, I'm back and so far it seems that things are going much better so far.
  • Part of the reason for this is I began pursuing a Master's degree at Columbus State University this summer. Classes went well, and I am just beginning to scratch the surface of my potential as a teacher.
  • Ian entered kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. He's having some adjustment problems, and it's making Kathy concerned about whether he'll be able to stay in their afterschool care program. I hope that we can get it worked out, otherwise I may have a five-year old assistant at school with me.
  • I turned 43 a few days ago. It was one of my better birthdays; Mom came up, Kat and I went to a party on Saturday - the only complaint I have is my new camera has still not come to my house.
Hopefully I'll be able to write a bit more now that I'm synching with Facebook. I may even be able to post pics once the new cam comes. Stay tuned, folks.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's 35, I've got a boy of my own now...

For some reason, I thought that when Obama took office that congressional Republicans might be more interested in working for the betterment of our country than in Daffy Duck style "mine, mine, gimme, gimme" politics.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Another day of school, another day closer to winter break, and summer vacation, and dealing with my son in high school, and retirement. Yes, another cheerful post for your amusement. Til something better comes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rolling Rock

Got a good review from my vice principal today. She gave me much credit for keeping the class engaged and for being a great storyteller. Maybe I am cut out for this business.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

32 flavors and then some

Great national anthem by J-Hud + Ben having a great game + a 100 yard interception + Bruce's kickin' halftime show + Santonio stepping up = the best frakkin' Super Bowl ever!