Acronym Online Update (02/26/07)

What’s On My iPod?

I received a lot of positive feedback on the February edition of The Acronym. Thank you so much!! By a landslide, readers’ favorite part was the colonoscopy interview. A few have even approached me and said, ” I was scared of going through with this procedure, but I’m going to have it done because of what you wrote.” My response to them was, “Enjoy your day off from work, and buy lots of chicken broth.”

Now that I am a member of the iPod club, I’ve been asked what songs I listen to most. For a non-musically trained person, I am quite the fanatic. I have a great appreciation for different genres of song, dance, and other forms of art. I also like writing reviews and reflections of the music I listen to. I may not be able to use the correct terminology or sound like a newspaper critic, but I’m sure you can find a way to appreciate my view from the “peanut gallery.” I am going to break policy here and attempt to be politically correct. I will recommend only some of the secular tunes I listen to most on my iPod. For today and today only I will give secular progressives the appeasement and validation they long for by not reflecting glowingly on “praise and worship” songs that mention their most 2 hated words: GOD and JESUS.

With that said….. one of the mainstays of my music collection has always been Tracy Chapman’s self-titled first CD released in 1988. Tracy is can best be described as a folk singer who plays contemporary songs with an acoustic guitar, often with a fast beat. She has released a handful of albums since then, but in this case the first was the best and it is a MASTERPIECE. If I can recall correctly, Rolling Stone magazine rated “Tracy Chapman” one of the best albums of the 1980’s. “Fast Car,” was perhaps the song that generated the most airplay and it is still played on FM stations today, I might add. However, I think she really shines like a star while performing “Talking ‘Bout A Revolution.” This number is about people who are outcasts and living on the lowest levels of society (basically, people who were like me about 5 years ago) who are going to “rise up and take their share.” To Chapman, it is a revolution of peace, activism, and ideas — not a violent one.

If you like a woman who can play a mean and dark piano, check out Tori Amos’ first album, “Little Earthquakes.” Amos has a unique voice that can be very high pitched at times. She has developed quite a following since this album was released in 1992. The song “Silent All These Years” is still probably the most memorable from her recording career. You may have to listen to the song a few times to really understand it. However, I’ll give you the cheat sheet right now. Amos wrote this song from her own first hand experience as a rape victim. She has performed it many times over the years at benefit events for sexual assault and incest awareness. As a survivor of child abuse, I can really connect with “Silent All These Years” on an intimate level.

Finally, I’d like to discuss another artist played regularly on my iPod – Joshua Kadison. Some time ago, I purchased his album “Painted Desert Serenade” at the iTunes Music Store. It was only $9.99 and took 30 to 45 minutes to download. I believe it was released in 1994. You probably do not recognize his name, but there is a good possibility you have heard his song “Beautiful In My Eyes” at a wedding or other formal event. I first heard it at a bat mitzvah I attended in the fall of 1994. I have cherished it ever since. The other songs I have transferred from this album to my iPod are “Picture Postcards From L.A.” and “Jessie.” “Picture Postcards….” brings back fond memories for me of a brief experience I had during 2001 serving as the fill-in bartender at a popular Japanese restaurant. In addition to mixing drinks, some of my responsibilities included helping patrons select songs for karaoke and occasionally performing myself. Some of you may be chuckling as you read this. Don’t worry, I know you are laughing with me and not AT ME. Words for the curious: the songs that I sung most frequently were “My Way” by Frank Sinatra and “Daniel” by Elton John. And contrary to the rumors, I did not have 3 or 4 Bombay Sapphire and tonics before picking up the microphone. [Chuckling to self…] Drinking on the job is illegal!!

Well that wraps up an interesting (I hope) Acronym Online Update. I hope you appreciate this diversion into cultural / lifestyle subject matter. For the past couple of editions I have billed The Acronym as a “technology and lifestyle” publication. I intend to stick with this expanded focus. I have begun contemplating the April 2007 edition of The Acronym and promise you will receive it by the end of March. I fully expect to use the same tabloid style layout that as last time and produce another 8 page newsletter. As always, your comments, feedback, and business are always welcome.

The Computer Evangelist,

Kevin