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.