Tag Archives: David Bowie

Love it or hate it: Record Store Day 2016 is coming

The list of new vinyl releases for this year’s Record Store Day (April 16) was released today. Yaye for Wendy O. Williams’ Fuck ‘N Roll 7″ single, but why the Justin Bieber Purpose picture disc?

A few notes:
There’s only a few David Bowie offerings on the list
News of The Shaggs’ 7″ of “Sweet Maria”/”The Missouri Waltz” (“Missouri State Song”), and other RSD offerings were leaked early
Big Star’s Complete Columbia: Live at Missouri University double LP from April 25, 1993 will be released

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View the full list here: 2016_RSD_PUBLIC.

By the way, Metallica is the ambassador this year. I don’t get it either, but Metallica will release their 2003 show at Le Bataclan in Paris (site of the 2015 terror attacks there) and donate the proceeds to the Fondation de France’s Give For France charity.

Visit Record Store Day for updates.

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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.

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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

From Bowie with love: A book list

Just about anything Bowie does is cool– this now includes opening up the dusty old spine of a musty book. He’s now invited the world to check out his book list.

My blog post many moons ago mentioned David Bowie’s exhibit at the V and A in London. The “David Bowie Is” exhibit now resides at the Art Gallery of Ontario. A story about the exhibit is here.

This poster probably graced your local library back in the 80s.

This poster probably graced your local library back in the 80s.

As part of the exhibit, curators Marsh and Victoria Broackes released a list of 100 of Bowie’s Must-Read books. Besides the fact that a global musical pioneer is letting us know what he likes to read, the list is an eye-opener simply for its variety.

The list runs chronologically, starting with “Black Boy” by Richard Wright, from 1945 and ending with “The Age of American Unreason,” by Susan Jacoby, from 2008.

It includes well-known classics and music-based books, mysteries and obscurity.

There’s poetry and beatnik stories; stories on Kafka and Francis Bacon. The list even includes British crude-comic mag “Viz.” The only details are that the magazine started in 1979 — Does this mean he’s read the roughly 266 issues since its inception?

Be like Bowie: Read.

Be like Bowie: Read.

A few highlights:

Well-known classics: George Orwell’s “1984”;  Vladimir Nabokov‘s “Lolita.”

Music-based books: “Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom.”

True mysteries: Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

Bizarre titles: Arthur Danto‘s “Beyond the Brillo Box”; Howard Norman’s “The Bird Artist.”

And the corker: “Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson,” by Camille Paglia.

Your own well-rounded cosmopolitan library, built by Ziggy himself.

vintage book poster

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His mission? David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ — in space

The Thin White Duke, upon release of Hadfield’s video, tweeted “Hallo Spaceboy” to Hadfield.

Canadian astronaut and sometime musician Chris Hadfield made history this week when he released a music video on his last day on board the International Space Station.

His choice — David Bowie’s 1969 “Space Oddity.

When I first started watching the video, I’ll be honest — I didn’t QUITE get it — here is this guy singing a David Bowie classic, trying to be cool, trying to be Bowie. It’s true — lots of people want to be Bowie.

But that feeling of doubt was fleeting. As Hadfield strums and sings so plaintively, and stunning images of Earth from above slowly roll past, any question of his validity vaporizes.

Hadfield’s version is not bad either. He adapts some lyrics so that it’s more appropriate with his space mission, but I think he earned that license.

The video’s significance gives the iconic song yet another reincarnation, for perhaps a new set of fans, a new genre of listeners who might not ever dream of listening to David Bowie. The video is fascinating to watch, especially that acoustic guitar, which just floats, sort of like an oasis, adrift among wires and metal.

Hadfield’s decision to make the first music video entirely in space was brilliant. Hard to believe that more than 30 years after the first music video, another way has been found to keep the medium relevant. It only took a song from 1969 — and a space mission in 2013.

Here’s a link to the Wiki page about the original “Space Oddity.” It also shows just how much mileage Bowie’s gotten out of this song through the years.

Space Oddity album cover.

Space Oddity album cover.

The NYT story, includes incredible photos of Earth that Hadfield took from space. And here’s The Independent‘s take on the video.

Chris Hadfield — you’ve made the grade.

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