Category Archives: Art

What David Bowie means to me

I wrote these few notes on David Bowie at 2:30 a.m., after I found out the news that the longtime rock legend had died.
There’s nothing I can really say that isn’t going to be said or felt by every Bowie fan, but I just wanted to offer some thoughts about his impact on the world of music.

David Bowie color

Bowie was one of the first things I wrote about for this blog. His name or influence would pop up every now and then in stories, whenever art, music, culture and life collided or intersected. I wrote about his exhibit at London’s V & A in 2013 — where his unique fashions and music memorabilia paid a visit — and that time he invited everyone to check out his book list. When he tweeted to the astronaut Chris Hadfield after Hadfield performed “Space Oddity” in space, confirmed he knows how to stay relevant in every decade he’s lived through. David Bowie’s been everywhere, but always on his own terms.

The body of work he’s left us is immeasurable.
By not bowing to industry pressure and not compromising his sound or views, he’s created his own style of music, his own “coolness,” that no other artist has ever been able to duplicate.

I was lucky enough to see David Bowie at Lollapalooza in the early ’90s, performing with Nine Inch Nails. From what I recall, Bowie’s performance at Mansfield in Boston was a surprise — the crowd wasn’t expecting him. I admit I didn’t know a lot about Bowie at the time — I was too sheltered in my tiny worldview of music and didn’t understand his huge impact early on.

David Bowie

But that night, seeing him from a hundred rows back, solitary, standing still, the Thin White Duke in a long black coat, you knew with one look that he was in a class by himself, that you were in the presence of rock royalty. He commanded the crowd. It’s one of those concert memories that stays with you.

Whether it was the Jareth the Goblin King, Aladdin Sane or Ziggy Stardust, or whether you have strong feelings about the quality of “Modern Love,” Bowie owned whatever persona he embodied at that time. He stood by every decision he made, including his choice to have Blackstar be his farewell.

David-Bowie1

David Bowie arrives at the 11th annual Webby Awards at Chipriani Wall Street on June 5, 2007, in New York City.

So if you haven’t heard his music before or don’t know much about him, there’s a really good chance you’ll find a song in his catalog that you can relate to or reminisce about.

David-Bowie-vert Wartermark

That’s what made him great — his ability to reach across the aisle toward any genre he felt an attraction to. No one can really fill that void, but he’s left behind an amazing collection of music that we can turn to, to stay in touch with the weird in all of us.

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Filed under Art, Art rock, Artpop, Electro-pop, Experimental, Glam Rock, Photography, Pop, Rock, Space rock, Uncategorized

Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage to have his first solo art exhibition

Parquet Courts’ frontman Andrew Savage never stops moving.

Besides putting out two albums last year and forming successful side projects, Savage is now heading in yet another direction.

According to DIY, Savage will hold his first art exhibit in Brooklyn, titled “Color Studies.” It’s set to run July 10 to Sept. 1 at The Shop, 181 Howard Ave., New York.

andrew savage-Parquet-CourtsHis artistic side did not come out of nowhere — he studied art at University of North Texas. He’s also done the artwork for all of Parquet Courts’ albums.

Here’s some examples of his serigraphy (silkscreen) artwork — it’s a little bit comic-book-style, a little Andy Warhol, and a little existential.

According to Savage:

“I called the show Color Studies because I wanted to focus on colors that don’t appear in my palette often; you’ll find a lot of salmon pink and pastel colors — basically stuff I’ve been afraid to use because I wasn’t quite sure how. I like images that are familiar and ordinary, but hinged on an unsettling emotion.”

According to their website, the work finds influence in John Wesley, Edward Hopper, Ray Johnson and Raymond Pettibon.

There’s more info on Parquet Courts’ website.

Andrew Savage:

Andrew Savage: “Confession”

andrew savage heather with nug

Andrew Savage: “Heather With Nug”

Andrew Savage:

Andrew Savage: “Men In Love”

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Filed under Art, Protopunk, Punk-rock

Joni Mitchell just made a ballet — of 53 of her remastered songs

JoniMitchell_LoveHasManyFaces

Folk singer, songwriter and artist Joni Mitchell has curated a four-disc CD, “Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced,” that will be out Nov. 17 on Rhino Records.
It’s a collection of 53 remastered songs recorded over 40 years — a four-act ballet that took Mitchell two years to complete, according to a BB Gun Press release. Mitchell originally planned to keep the release to one CD. “Love Has Many Faces” also includes 53 lyrical poems and six new paintings.
“I am a painter who writes songs. My songs are very visual. The words create scenes…What I have done here is to gather some of these scenes (like a documentary filmmaker) and by juxtaposition, edit them into a whole new work,” says Mitchell in the press release.

For more info visit jonimitchell.com

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Filed under Art, Ballet, Folk