Music video: Sister Havana by Urge Overkill

On most days during my lunch break, I’ll go to a nearby roof garden to sit in the sun (I must be part lizard even though you’d never guess from my porcelain untannable skin) and listen to music on my headphones. I pay for a premium account on Spotify – it’s totally worth it at just $10/month because I listen to music daily. Hello, that’s only 34 cents/day! And it gives me access to 99%** of the music I want to hear.

**They no longer have my favorite Portugal the Man album, “It’s Complicated Being a Wizard”. They used to… but I’ve been waiting 2 years and it still hasn’t come back.

During my lunch break today I had a desire to listen to something new. For some unknown reason, I suddenly thought of a dude I used to know back in college.

We met circa 1993 on IRC. That’s “internet relay chat” for you young-uns and/or non-computer nerds. It was a DOS-based chat forum during the dawn of the internet linking universities across the country.

Some history about IRC and what the internet was like back then can be found here, here, and here.

I was addicted to IRC. I spent countless hours in the computer lab on campus… time that I should have spent sleeping.

Ironically, the guys I hit it off with most were the ones who were also hugely into music… almost always with a band and/or song title as their IRC name. My IRC name was the title of a Pixies song. (I cannot say which song because I still use it as an online screen name to this day.)

The dude’s IRC name was Urge-o, i.e. he was a fan of Urge Overkill. He was an English major and attended the same university I did.

One day, while chatting on IRC, we realized we were in the same computer lab room. What were the odds of that?! He came over to my workstation and introduced himself as Urge-o, then Mike. He was cute: wavy brown hair and crystal blue eyes.

Our friendship bloomed. We never had anything romantic… my choice, but in hindsight I don’t remember why.

A couple years later we both graduated and then a year or so after that, we both coincidentally relocated to southern California about an hour from each other. We kept in touch via email and talked about getting together but it never happened.

The last I’d heard from him was in 1998. By then I had moved to the San Francisco bay area; he was still in southern California. However, he said his sister lived in the bay area not far from me. I told him to let me know if he was ever in the area.

I never heard from him again.

I don’t know why I thought of him today… but it made me to look up Urge Overkill on Spotify. Sister Havana, linked above, was the first song I played.

…And it rocked my world. So deliciously 90s! And it’s undoubtedly my favorite Urge Overkill song. The album came out in 1993. It blows my mind to think it might have been the album that inspired Mike to choose Urge-o as an IRC name.

Wouldn’t that be crazy if now, more than 20 years later, Mike was listening to the Pixies and thinking of me while I was listening to Urge Overkill and thinking of him?