LISTEN TO THE NEXT DAY ON iTUNES NOW AND WIN PRIZES!
“The stars are out tonight…”
Well here’s the surprise we hinted at earlier this evening, if you want to hear David Bowie‘s new album, The Next Day, it‘s available to stream as a worldwide exclusive on the iTunes Store here now: http://itunes.com/davidbowie
Tune in here again over the next couple of days for your chance to win signed-by David Bowie deluxe copies of The Next Day just for telling us your favourite tracks!
The stream is available until the album is released in your country.
Ho.Lee.Shit. David Bowie is playing–wait, HEADLINING Coachella*. We’ll get back to that craziness.
*Turned out to be a gotdamb hoax.
Were you all left scratching your collective heads yesterday wondering why I didn’t turn Dipped In Cream into a complete David Bowie Free For All Frenzy? I can’t answer that. I’ve mentioned that occasionally, really cool things have the opposite effect on me–and I can’t write about them at all. I think this was the case yesterday when I was rather quiet about David Bowie releasing a new single, Where Are We Now and announcing a new album The Next Day on his 66th birthday.
So. Without further ado, let’s take (another!) look at the new video, shall we?
Now. Some people love the video and are moved by the melancholy feeling watching Bowie (whose face–along with a woman who ISN’T Bjork–is digitally projected onto a strange little puppet of sorts) show a weariness as he reminisces about his days in Berlin. Other folks have not enjoyed the clip, stating it’s “dull”. Fair enough, if one doesn’t understand the words and German locations and memories he’s seemingly lamenting.
“A man lost in time near KaDaWe,” Bowie sings, referring to the enormous Berlin department store, “just walking the dead.” In the video he grimaces at that point, as though he were making a painful admission, before easing into the open-ended chorus: “Where are we now? / Where are we now? / The moment you know, you know, you know.
“As long as there’s sun / As long as there’s rain / As long as there’s fire” — but can’t quite give up on the here-and-now, adding exhaustedly, “As long as there’s me / As long as there’s you.”
Also polarizing is the cover of the upcoming album.
I see the cover as Bowie acknowledging his past. Celebrating his past. Moving forward to The Next Day.
“Throwing shadows and avoiding the industry treadmill is very David Bowie…[he’s] the kind of artist who writes and performs what he wants when he wants,” Columbia Records, Bowie’s label, said in a statement.
Now’s the time I reminisce about seeing David Bowie in concert. The first time was in 1983. I was 11 days pregnant with my eldest son, Alex. (I knew something was up; I was barfy already, thankyouverymuch).
Wearing his banana-yellow suit that matched his hair perfectly, the show was perfection. Funny thing: I remember stray red shoes on the floor of the TacomaDome as the audience cleared out. Get it? “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues…”. Anyone? Bueller? Fine.
The second concert was for The Reality Tour in 2004 with my other son, Hunter. (Theoretically, I took one son to each, right?) I feel like I took him to church. Or school. Or a really awesome concert by a 58 year-old English dude I was forcing on him. (Not so. Hunter loved him.)
Let me end this by saying that the very idea of Coachella makes me sweaty, faint and have diarrhea cramps. I’m not really down with the three-day festival kind of deal. Patchouli, BO and desert heat? Yeah. No. HOWEVER. I’m thrilled that David Bowie will be headlining this very cool festival. By the way, my feelings on three-day festivals have nothing to do with my age. I happen to REQUIRE comfort. The VIP section of this hot mess would not be sufficient. I just can’t. But you go right ahead. Here’s the link for the VIP Package for around $4000.
I kind of love that he turned down performing at the London Olympics. All these dorks out there thought he was tubed up, underneath some plastic tent…HA! He was bloody recording. Planning. Why on EARTH should he appear with all those other old Brits in 2012? He did that gig in 1985 called Live Aid. No need to revisit that crowd. Genius. Take it all for yourself.
The year 2013 belongs to Bowie.
p.s. I’ll be really mad if this Coachella line-up is a gotdamb rumor, because I NEVER fall for that shit. Like, EVER. I’m just in a Bowie fog. So yeah. That’s my excuse if it’s not true.
Here’s my deal today. I’ve started probably three separate posts and can’t stay on task and finish a single one. Maybe this post will kick me in the arse to get moving?
Leave it to David Bowie to motivate me, right? So yeah, apparently Mr. Jones hails a cab just like everyone else (including my four old grandson, Felix!). I have photos to prove it–of both of them!
A new book by Peter Doggett is available now in the U.S. about Bowie’s strong and steady presence in the 1970s. The book recognizes that where some British icons faded a bit over time, Bowie has remained iconic during every change in music and society over the past four decades. Even more-so than Mick Jagger or any of The Beatles as solo artists, Bowie stood out with his ART and truly made us think.
“Like the Beatles in the decade before him, Bowie was popular culture’s most reliable guide to the fever of the seventies. The Beatles’ lives and music had reflected a series of shifts and surges in the mood of their generation, through youthful exuberance, satirical mischievousness, spiritual and chemical exploration, political and cultural dissent, and finally depression and fragmentation. The decade of David Bowie was altogether more challenging to track. It was not fired by idealism or optimism, but by dread and misgiving. Perhaps because the sixties had felt like an era of progress, the seventies was a time of stasis, of dead ends and power failures, of reckless hedonism and sharp reprisals. The words that haunted the culture were ‘decline’, ‘depression’, ‘despair’: the energy of society was running out, literally (as environmentalists proclaimed the imminent exhaustion of fossil fuel supplies) and metaphorically. By the decade’s end, cultural commentators were already defining the era in strictly negative terms: the chief characteristic of the seventies was that it was not what the prime movers of the sixties had hoped it would be.
“This was not, at first sight, the stuff of pop stardom. The Beatles would have struggled to capture the hearts of their generation had they preached a message of conflict and decay, rather than idealism and love. What enabled David Bowie to reflect the fear and chaos of the new decade was precisely the fact that he had been so out of tune with the sixties. He was one of the first pop commentators to complain that the optimism that enraptured the youth of the West in the mid-sixties was hollow and illusory. His negativity seemed anachronistic; but it merely anticipated the realisation that Western society could not fuel and satisfy the optimism of sixties youth culture. ‘Space Oddity’ aside, his work of 1969/70 failed to reach the millions who heard the Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed or John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, two albums that also tore away the pretensions of the recent past. But even those two records paled alongside the nihilistic determinism of Bowie’s first two albums in his new guise as cultural prophet and doom-monger.
“Bowie might have maintained a fashionable gloom for the next decade, and turned his sourness into a calling. Instead, he embarked on a far more risky and ambitious course. Unable to secure a mass audience for his explorations of a society in the process of fragmentation, he decided to create an imaginary hero who could entrance and then educate the pop audience – and play the leading role himself. Since the start of his professional career as an entertainer in 1964, he had used his brief experience as a visualiser in an advertising agency to rebrand himself in a dozen different disguises. Now he would concentrate on a single product, and establish a brand so powerful that it would be impossible to ignore. The creation of Ziggy Stardust in 1972 amounted to a conceptual art statement: rather than pursuing fame, as he had in the past, Bowie would act as if he were already famous beyond dispute, and present himself to the masses as an exotic creature from another planet. Ziggy would live outside the norms of earthly society: he would be male and female, gay and straight, human and alien, an eternal outsider who could act as a beacon for anyone who felt ostracised from the world around them. Aimed at a generation of adolescents emerging into an unsettling and fearful world, his hero could not help but become a superstar. Whereupon Bowie removed him from circulation, destroying the illusion that had made him famous.
“What happened next was what made Bowie not just a canny manipulator of pop tastes, but a significant and enduring figure in twentieth-century popular culture . . .”
FROM THE ENTRY FOR ‘THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD’:
“There were precursors: a Robert Heinlein science-fiction tale from 1949 entitled ‘The Man Who Sold The Moon’; a 1954 DC comic, ‘The Man Who Sold The Earth’; a 1968 Brazilian political satire that flitted across the arthouse movie circuit, The Man Who Bought The World. None of them has an apparent thematic link to one of Bowie’s most enigmatic songs, written and vocalised over an existing backing track while the clock counted down for completion of the album to which it lent its name. Its lyrics have proved to be infuriatingly evocative, begging but defying interpretation. (. . .) Like the question of who killed President Kennedy or what happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste, the mystery is more satisfying than any solution.
“But not as satisfying as the track, a compact, elegantly assembled piece that featured none of the metallic theatrics found elsewhere on the album …”
I look forward to reading this new book. I appreciate the philosophy that Bowie wasn’t all love and peace in his Ziggy Stardust period. We felt a darkness which continued on into the mid-to-late 70’s Thin White Duke persona. Longing, misery, addiction, love, lust, dance…and Fame were ubiquitous if one allowed the words and rhythm to seep inside. Try listening to Station to Station and not feel an icy fever in the R&B “plastic soul” wooziness in the atmospheric drama pounding from the speakers. A prime example is “Stay“, which is probably my favorite Bowie song…today, anyway.