Monday, January 11, 2016

A too-quick, too-short post commemorating David Bowie

I woke this morning to find with shock that David Bowie had died. As many have said, it almost seemed like he couldn't die, but as with all the other people we felt similarly about, he could.

Bowie deserves a much longer, much more detailed post than I can give him, at least right now.  What I can do right now is post a snippet of a cover song. Back in college, we did a few songs by Bowie--"Suffragette City" foremost among them. But I'm going to post something I had much more recent involvement with.

At the most recent Division of Planetary Sciences meeting in November, we had an open mic night. I referred to it earlier as I was trying to decide what original to play.  I was lucky enough to have a few times on stage that night, but the one that had the most response from the audience was with Maria Banks and Joe Spitale as part of a trio we kind of called "Hot Ham, Jarlsberg, and the Deli Slicer" (it's a bit of a long but maybe not that interesting story). When Maria said she wanted us to play something together and she'd bring her travel harp, it was obvious to me that "Space Oddity" was the song to play. Some video may have been captured, though I haven't seen it.

What I can offer is a little bit of our rehearsal, which I recorded. It's rough, and the microphone is too close to me (so the mix is terrible and you can't tell that Joe is doing the lead singing), but it's something I can do right now.

Space Oddity (rehearsal)-- Hot Ham, Jarlsberg, and the Deli Slicer

RIP, David.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2015 In Review

It's a bit later than other years in review, but I figure it's still early enough in 2016 to recap 2015 on this blog.  It wasn't as busy a year as some, due to some big work projects and a lot of travel, but I still made 40 posts.

Despite this being my "music blog" the majority of those posts were poems, as usual. I took part in National Poetry Writing Month, and successfully wrote and posted a poem every day. It's hard to pick a single favorite poem from this year, I'll just point to two that I like:  The more whimsical "Very Different" and the less whimsical "When Collins Wakes".  I also posted, along with many friends, a poem for the Pluto Flyby by New Horizons.

There were a few musical anniversaries marked here. Personally-beloved original "Down From The Skies" turned 25, and I indulged in a re-recording that I posted here. "Passerby" turned nearly as old,  and I did a first-ever recording of it, which I also posted.  Two other originals also saw their first posting here: "The MANTIS Song" commemorating our Cat-1 mission proposal, and "Surf Titan", which is something I threw together in the mid-90s and then threw together as a recording shortly before posting. I also provided two versions of "The Astronomers Song"--an additional set of verses honoring women astronomers (with terrible-looking video of the performance), and a go at the original words. That latter version also came with a run-through of "The Girl Next Door", which was written nearly the same time and is connected in my head.  Finally, I recorded a John Lennon/Beatles song.

The other post of note is one commemorating the 15th anniversary of The Red Album.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2016, I've been doing some recording with The Gedankenband and I hope to get an album of music out to the usual places.  I have several songs already in decent shape. I'm going to try not to stick songs already on EPs onto the album, though I reserve the right. :)

I hope you've had a great year and have another great one ahead!