September 30: Some more answers on the BowieNet live chat based on questions received in my email:
Q: I think I have set everything up correctly, but when I try to connect it fails with an error message of "Closing link (too many connections)". Help!
(UPDATE) A: This is generally Microsoft Chat Server's impolite way of telling you that you haven't typed in your BowieNet username as the username in the Email field. For example, if your real email is email@example.com but your BowieNet login name is scarymonster, then type firstname.lastname@example.org in the Email field. Yes, counter-intuitive, but true.
Q: I connect ok, but then I get this error message about "MOTD File is missing". Help!
A: This is not an error that you need to worry about. "MOTD" stands for Message Of The Day, and is simply a status message which is supposed to be set up on the server to welcome you to the chat. It has no impact on your ability to chat with other people or with Bowie tonight.
Q: I connect ok, but then I can't seem to see any other people! What am I supposed to do?
A: All talking on IRC chat servers occurs in channels. The channel which will be used for the live chat tonight is called #DavidLive. This chat will be moderated, which means that you won't be able to type directly into the channel. If you want to test out chatting to other people directly, try the #BowieNetChat channel.
There are multiple ways of connecting to a channel. If you're connecting through mIRC, it shows a dialog box when you connect and you can type #BowieNetChat or #DavidLive into the entry field for the name of the channel. For other programs, the standard IRC command is /join #BowieNetChat or /join #DavidLive to connect to the appropriate channel. To see a listing of all the available channels, type /list.
September 28: A large number of BowieNet members have written to Teenage Wildlife about trouble getting into the BowieNet chat channel. With the first David Live chat scheduled for just two nights away, I thought I'd give some troubleshooting tips as to how to successfully log on to the chat server.
BowieNet VPN members (the $19.95/month option) seem to have been fairly trouble-free in accessing chat, since everything is preinstalled. However, if you're a Premium Content member, and have had to download the software yourself, it's non-obvious how to set it up so that the BowieNet chat server doesn't reject you. Here's my personal recommendations:
Recommendation 1: Don't use Microsoft software. Even though I downloaded the latest version of Microsoft Chat and entered all information correctly, I still couldn't get a successful connection to BowieNet. Of course, MS Chat neglects to give you any useful status information other than to say your connection was rejected. Other programs at least give you the server's status messages! I gave up after about three attempts.
Recommendation Three: Read the TalkCity IRC client instruction page. Follow the instructions for your appropriate program except wherever you see TalkCity, replace it by BowieNet, and wherever you see chat.talkcity.com, replace it by chat.davidbowie.com.
The #1 reason for connections being rejected is that you haven't entered your BowieNet login name in the Name and Email fields correctly (case sensitive).
If you are a Premium Content member, do not, repeat, do not enter your real email address in the Email field in Pirch or mIRC. (If you're a BowieNet VPN subscriber, then you can because your email address is the same as your login name).
Strange as it may seem, you need to enter an incorrect email address in the Email field because the chat server looks at the first part of the email address to decide whether you're authorized or not. For example, if your BowieNet logon is abdulmajid, then enter email@example.com into the Email field. Also, you must enter your BowieNet password in the appropriate location. If the server seems to connect, but you then get a "Not-authorized" message, it's most likely because you haven't entered this information correctly.
September 28: According to an item in today's Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the Italian western Il Mio West which stars Bowie as a "gun-toting pistolero" will debut in Italian cinemas on December 14, just in time for Christmas.
September 27: The premiere of Bowie's Legends one hour interview and program will screen on VH-1 tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern time in the U.S.A. Remember to watch it!
In other news, Bowie accepted his Eye-Popper award at the Canadian Much Music awards show on Thursday with a taped speech. Of interest is that the award's $3,500 prize money was signed over to Save The Children as Bowie's charity of choice.
September 25: Teenage Wildlife Links has been redesigned to provide a much cleaner and hopefully more up-to-date set of places to visit on the World Wide Web for your Bowie fixes. Based on a Yahoo-like directory tree, sites are now categorised by type, are searchable, and keep a running count of which sites are visited most often to generate a popularity count.
Most importantly however, visitors can now suggest other sites to add. If you have a fan page which isn't listed in the Fan Page category, please feel free to submit it.
September 23: Celebrating their 100,000th member, CDNow is running a special promotion giving $5 off any order made through the Teenage Wildlife music store. This offer runs through October 1, so be in quick to save money on your CD purchases!
CDNow now has both the album and single from Dario G where they sample Bowie's Memory Of A Free Festival with Tony Visconti adding recorder.
September 23: This cover of the newly released Sandro Sursock album (now called Zero Heroes rather than Aristorock) is designed by Bowie as mentioned here previously. Also, according to this web page Bowie makes a guest saxophone appearance on a track called Heat of the Flame on the new album, which is only available in the UK.
In other news, the Daniel Blaize Thorens art gallery in Basel, Switzerland reports that their upcoming show will feature just two large paintings by Bowie, but that they are planning a solo exhibition of his work for next year. According to the owner, Bowie will not be present at Friday's opening for this current exhibition.
September 22: Black Rider Records, an independent record label out of Athens, Georgia is readying a David Bowie tribute CD for release November 10, featuring musicians and bands from the local Athens area. The disc will be called Loving The Alien and is available for preorder now for $US12. You can read more about the disc including the tracks and bands as well as how to purchase the release.
September 22: Much Music, the Canadian-based music channel (which actually plays music videos unlike their American counterparts), will present Bowie with the 1998 MMVA EyePopper Award. This award, given "to those artists whose significant contribution to the artform has succeeded in exploring & exploding the creative boundaries of music video.".
According to the MuchMusic website listed above, Bowie will accept the award with a message "delivered from the set of his current film." (Ed: As far as Teenage Wildlife is aware, Bowie is not on any film set at the moment, so this is most likely a pre-filmed presentation from the set of Exhuming Mr Rice which was filmed last month in Vancouver.)
The MuchMusic awards play on Thursday, September 24 at 8 p.m. EST in Canada and the USA.
September 21: Those painted-face icons of the 70's, Kiss have seen a resurgence in the last couple of years, and now look set to follow in the footsteps of Bowie's Internet venture by launching their own Kiss Internet Service Provider at www.kissonline.net. Although details are still pretty hazy, the website promises Internet access, exclusive fan chats and webcasts, discounts on special merchandise and of course a kissonline.net email address.
The site will go live tomorrow September 22 to coincide with the release of their new album Psycho Circus
September 21: According to recording label Bella Union, noted artist Russell Mills (the force behind many Brian Eno and David Sylvian album covers) is teaming up with ex-Cocteau Twins member Robin Guthrie for a record which is "nearing completion" and featuring contributions from:
David Bowie, Brian Eno, Thurston Moore,Robin Guthrie, Kevin Shields, Michael Brook, Trent Reznor, David Sylvian & Ingrid Chavez, Roger Eno, Bill Laswell, Harold Budd, Sussan Deyhim and many more.
September 19: BowieNet has posted initial details of a Discourse Event: Chat with David Bowie on Wednesday, September 30, 1998 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. More details to follow.
In other BowieNet premium additions, an Ask David exclusive has been added (where you can submit a question to possibly be answered by Bowie himself) along with a What's New section so you can follow what's been added (both suggestions by the way in my BowieNet review).
September 17: Daniel Blaise Thorens Gallery, in Basel, Switzerland, has an upcoming exhibition called Grossformate scheduled to run from September 25 through October 24. The five artists listed as being shown include Bowie; the others are Luciano Castelli, Rosemonde Krbec, Vicente Molto, Christian Peltenburg-Brechneff.
September 16: In one of his latest journal entries on BowieNet, Bowie relates a session with English DJ and radio producer Mark Goodier where he's interviewed to obtain comments on each song which will supposedly make their way on to the EMI re-releases "coming up next year". You can read the full story at BowieNet.
On the flip side, it appears that EMD has or is on the verge of withdrawing the midprice reissues in the US. You can no longer buy any of Bowie's albums from 1970 through 1980 at CDNow or Music Boulevard, although Amazon.com still claims to have the EMI reissues available for shipping.
September 16: Unbeknownst to those who have signed up for the $5.95/month BowieNet service, a charge for $17.85 (or three months total) has been made to their credit cards. One member called Concentric customer service:
"After calling customer service, they stated I was charged for three months of service and that's how they do it. I then asked if I decided to cancel after one month, do I get a refund. She then stated that she was not sure and they would probably just bill in three month increments then they would cancel."
I tried to register again to see if I could see this in the fine-print and I couldn't find it. Ultrastar informed me that this was also a surprise to them so it seems to be a policy of Concentric's billing department.
September 15: If you look up at the top of your browser, you'll see that Teenage Wildlife has finally earned enough respect to garner its own domain name. You can now reach the interactive Bowie fan page at http://www.teenagewildlife.com/ (or, if you have a fairly recent browser, just typing teenagewildlife into your browser's Address/Location box will get you here). When you have time, it would behoove you to change any bookmarks you may have to the new domain, but rest assured, your requests to the old http://www.etete.com/ should be automatically redirected to the new domain for the next few months.
While making the name change, a number of changes were also made internally. This may mean that some portions of the site may appear to be working incorrectly over the next few days as I clean up and fix all the old pointers. If you notice anything which is not working, please feel free to email me.
September 14: Loving the Alien is running a Greatest Bowie Web Site contest starting tomorrow and running until December 31st. Bowie website creators need to register their site, while others can vote for their favourite Bowie web site once only. The winner will get an all-inclusive week's vacation in Venice.
September 10: MTV's 1998 Video Music Awards show will be broadcast at 8 p.m. tonight in the USA. Bowie is nominated in the category of Best Male Video for I'm Afraid Of Americans.
September 9: Fun, the track available exclusively on the BowieNet CD-ROM will be made available to subscribers 45 days after the start of their membership. As reported earlier, you must have the CD-ROM in the drive and be connected to BowieNet to be able to play the track as it is uses an encryption technique from HyperLock, where parts of the song are stored remotely on the BowieNet site, and the rest is stored on the CD-ROM. Both have to be present for the song to play.
Sources who have heard the track say it is indeed based on the structure of Fame, and sounds vaguely reminiscent of the Nine Inch Nails version of I'm Afraid Of Americans and runs about three and a half minutes.
September 8: According to this month's Q and various other music magazines, EMI has reissued "midprice" versions of Station To Station, Low, "Heroes" and Stage in the UK this month. Midprice redesignations are often designed to sell out existing stock before a new release. Incidentally, these albums are still unavailable in the US except for old copies still floating around from before Rykodisc's cessation of its Bowie reissue agreement in June.
September 7: A new album called Aristorock from Sandro Sursock includes a cover art drawing by Bowie. Due to be released in the UK on Tuesday (tomorrow) at Tower and Virgin Megastores, the album features ten tracks from the artistocrats-turned-rock-musicans. The CD cover is a picture of Bowie with Iggy Pop and Sandro's family sitting on a Max Ernst statue of the Minotaur.
September 6: Read Teenage Wildlife's first look at BowieNet if you're trying to decide whether to sign up for a month. I'll be adding a few things to the review as I tidy it up over the next several days, and I've also opened a troubleshooting and frequently asked questions page for the service for those who are having problems getting on.
If you're one of those executives who doesn't like to read, then the executive summary is
"If you're a Bowie fan of any flavour, I strongly recommend you at least take a month's look at BowieNet"
September 3: An unconfirmed rumour emanating from US music industry sources indicates that Virgin Records (Bowie's US record company) does not plan to release a new Bowie CD until 1999, and that it would be a new studio effort (see the Tony Visconti collaboration news from September 1). This brings into grave doubt the release of the previously rumoured Earthling Live album, which was expected to include tracks from the Earthling Tour of last year. Adding more water to the dousing is Bowie's statement in his journal that he had hoped to get highlights of the 1997 Earthling tour available online earlier in the year, but for various reasons that plan had gone awry. Instead he now planned to make all the tracks available on BowieNet over the next while (Ed: there is currently a placeholder for Earthling Live in the BowieNet exclusive section, but no information up there yet). There is no word on whether the Live album idea has been shelved completely, or whether it will still be released in Europe.
Andrew Stewart in his firstname.lastname@example.org newsletter reports that the Rugrats soundtrack composition from Bowie and Reeves Gabrels will be called Skylife, and was recorded in New York in collaboration with Tony Visconti.
Finally, Dario G's third single from the SunMachine album has been released in the UK, and is now in heavy rotation on radio and MTV. The single is the title track from the album, and is based on vocal samples of Bowie's Memory Of A Free Festival. The CD is enhanced with a video for the single, as well as photos of Dario G and reviews of the group's releases. Tracks are:
September 3: As part of a promotion at CDNow, the CDs of all 1998 MTV Music Video nominees are now 30% off their list retail price. Since Bowie was nominated for I'm Afraid Of Americans in the Best Male Video category, this means that you can now buy all of Bowie's current catalogue at 30% off. Diamond Dogs for $8.38, Pin Ups for $8.38, Earthling for $11.88.
September 2: It seems Bowie has not just been larking about acting in movies over the past year. He's also been taking out the quill and putting words to paper. At least, Amazon.com now lists two upcoming books with Bowie listed as author.
The first, titled 21 Talk , simply lists Bowie as the author, 21 Publishing as the publisher, and a release date of November 1998. Back in March, Rolling Stone reported that Bowie was planning to write two books: one based on his interviews from Modern Painters and Ray Gun, and the other that was "still under wraps". Your guess is as good as mine as to which one (or another) this will be.
Even more intriguing is the second title in Amazon's catalogue, that being Floria Sigismondi, with authors listed as Floria Sigismondi, David Bowie and .... Marilyn Manson. A 176 page hardcover book slated for release in October 1998, this sounds like a photography collection of famous stars, and Bowie and Manson just happen to be in the same book. The keen-eyed Teenage Wildlifer will remember that Floria Sigismondi is the director of Bowie's Little Wonder and Dead Man Walking videos (as reported in April of last year).
September 1: At 12:01 a.m. September 1 1998, BowieNet commenced operation, introducing to the world the concept of a celebrity-based Internet Service Provider.
So, how does it shape up? I intend to write a full review when I have time, but for now, I'll summarize my overall opinion as "impressive!".
There is a lot of material available to members; all the albums, RealAudio cuts of the tracks, lyrics, tour photos, personal photos (the picture of Bowie in his Speedos, a.k.a "dick-togs", playing saxophone is my personal favourite). But the most interesting part to me is the daily journal which Bowie writes relating his routines over the past few days. In particular, he first-hand debunks and confirms some rumours that have been lingering around the web lately, e.g.
Ed: any resemblance to The Terminator's SkyNet in the first sentence is entirely intended :)
September 1: Ultrastar has asked me to post the following information with regards to signup for BowieNet.
(Ed: I signed up for the premium content option successfully this morning. The plug-ins required are Flash and RealAudio, and you need a chat and news client to get to chat and read the bulletin boards, e.g. pirch/mirc/ircle and Netscape Communicator/Outlook Express. Most heavy Internet users will already have these installed.)
"Anyone who has pre-registered for BowieNet will receive their CDs in a couple of days. The CD is required to sign up for full Internet Service Provider access, mainly because of all the customized graphics, browsers, chat, message boards and software needed to fully get the best interactive experience on BowieNet. The CD also contains the three bonuses (two videos and one audio track) that can only be played on BowieNet.
Purchasers of the premium content only ($5.95 per month) can sign up right now but have to download all the plug-ins and software.
There will soon be more detailed information on the initial BowieNet signup screen with regards to the mail/sign-up/registration process which should allay any misunderstandings.
We have built BowieNet to have an environment where Internet users can feel at home and help us build a true community - where free thought and ideas are at the basis of what we all want to create."
Information from Ultrastar