Famous old acquaintances

Browsing a fellow Microsoftie’s blog tonight, I came across a “Greg Howard” reference. Familiar name, I thought. It was in the context of a Dave Matthews concert. I thought, Did he get famous? Greg used to record concerts for the Virginia Glee Club back in the day; I also saw him a few times playing in a band called “Sticks and Stones” with… oh yeah… Tim Reynolds. Hmm, he became famous too, didn’t he?

Sure enough: GregHoward.com. Still playing the Chapman Stick, still goateed, still looks the same as he looked ten years ago. And he still lists Transmigration, which I have on cassette along with his 1989 release Face of Sand, on his Releases page.

Morrissey may hate it when his friends become successful, but I have nothing but good wishes for Greg Howard, who was once kind enough (or impoverished enough) to record fifty cocky undergrad guys who had the nerve to sing sacred Renaissance music in Virginia.

Music taketh away and given: RIP Zevon, Talking Heads box

On the sad side: Warren Zevon passed away Sunday, losing his battle with cancer just two weeks after shipping his last album. Rest in peace.

On the happier side: New Talking Heads box set, Once in a Lifetime. Deltas from their prior two-disc best of collection: “Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town (Alternate Version),” “New Feeling (Alternate Version),” “Pulled Up,” “Artists Only,” “Tentative Decisions,” “Stay Hungry,” “I’m Not In Love,” “The Book I Read,” “Thank You for Sending Me An Angel,” “Found a Job,” “A Clean Break (Live),” “The Big Country,” “Cities (Alternate Version),” “Life During Wartime” (album version), “Air,” “Drugs (Alternate Version),” “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On),” “Listening Wind,” “Houses in Motion,” “Making Flippy Floppy,” “Girlfriend Is Better” (the best-of had the live version), “Slippery People,” “Creatures of Love,” “The Lady Don’t Mind,” “Love for Sale,” “People Like Us,” “Puzzlin’ Evidence,” “The Democratic Circus,” “In Asking Land (Alternate Take).” That’s 28 tracks difference. No word on price.

Alas, Kate

Every now and then I get a reminder that it’s a good idea to check out Greg’s actual blog, not just to rely on his RSS feed. His links “on the side” are blog poetry—concise, to the point, and frequently high value.

Example: where else would I have learned that my old friend (and former neighbor) Kate Bolger was one of Fox’s lawyers in their now infamous lawsuit against Al Franken?

This reunion is looking more and more interesting the closer we get. Imagined scene: Michael’s Bistro, or perhaps the Court Square Tavern. Participants: Greg, Bernie, me, Kate, Dan, maybe George. Guinness all around. Question: “So, Kate, tell us all about it…” Unfortunately at that point my fantasy ends because attorney-client privilege probably kicks in.

Anyway, I’m now subscribing to Greg’s “On the Side” feed. It’s the best thing since Poodah.

iPod Update: Prepping for surgery

I spoke to the good folks at the Apple Store yesterday about my iPod predicament. The Mac Genius there confirmed my fears, saying I basically have three choices:

  1. Open the back of the iPod with a thin blade (best done by pressing down on the center of the back plate first; apparently this causes just enough flex to open the seams on the sides slightly) and attempt to use a soldering iron (or duct tape, I suppose) to repair the broken FireWire connector, OR
  2. Spend $250 for an even exchange—a working 5 GB original iPod, OR
  3. Spend $299 and get a new base model iPod. As of yesterday this was a 10 GB model.

I hoped that the iPod updates today would provide additional incentive for option 3; alas, the base $299 model is unchanged, though the 20GB model for $399 is suddenly a very attractive option. But I can’t resist the chance to do a little soldering. As soon as I exhaust my current charge, I’ll be out on my workbench, taking pictures and warming up the old iron…