Scary Monsters

Mid-career Bowie reinvents his look to the Thin White Duke or some such. The stand-alone’s: Young Americans: friend of mine loved this & I enjoyed a few tracks but this was more treading water than Bowie breaking new territory as he did in Station to Station. On Station he is working with Brian Eno – they did several lps together i.e. Low, Heroes which I find too noodle-some – looped & aimless treading water in a slightly more interesting way. Low key Prog Rock.

car01conflicting van doors of fashion

He shifts gears again into Disco Bowie in Scary Monsters – Fashion is a great song. He gets even more dance with Let’s Dance he tries a somewhat more rocker sound with Blue Jeans. But I lost interest him by then. He wasn’t pushing any envelopes creatively or even image wise. Did he have an affair with Mick Jagger? By this time, who cares.

yellowlines

barbed & dangerous

I picked up his most recent, The Next Day, to see where he was today. Solid if a bit generic, new pieces that span the many styles he has used in the past. Sweet & comfortable.

car02

same van going though ch ch ch changes

Next Day is on a mp3 collection that includes a couple of lps by local group blueVenus: fun fresh violin driven pop that is hugely recommended. Calvin Harris: 18 Months – excellent electro dance music. DaftPunk: Random Access Memories: I love Daft Punk & this is an amazing album. Electric Jon: Modern Living: another local performer with a wild energized, genre defying album. Justin Timberlake: the 20/20 Experience – what a bore this turned out to be. JbDubs: Oink – scary queer music that Bowie never had the guts to make.

sample

Forever

‘I’m getting out of here. You coming or staying?’ I waited for what seemed like forever before asking again. ‘You coming or staying?’

‘There’s no hurry,’ came the languid reply.

‘I think we have been here too long as it is it. We’ll be spotted if we stay much longer.’

‘Better to be spotted than striped.’

‘This is no time to making jokes.’

‘Can’t think of a better time, old chum. Here we sit in the face of possible death. Better to go out with a laugh than a scream.’

‘Better not to go out at all.’

‘I though you wanted to get out of here?’

‘Don’t twist my words. You know we have to leave as team. C’tral Station mandates that.’

‘Quite wise if you ask me. Very wise. Extremely wise.’

‘Not from the look of it here.’

‘Here! Here? You mean the balance between my willingness to take it slow, to to see things through as opposed to your desire to dash, to run, to avoid knowledge if it involves the least bit of risk.’

‘Yes. Here. I’d think that after losing both your hands in Quadrant PV last month you might have learned a bit more caution.’

‘Oh that. These? Hands are a dime a dozen, as they used to say.’

‘Nothing replaces the sensation of real hands.’

‘Oh! There you go again, flaunting your human superiority. I must say that fact that you are one of the few remaining fully intact humans in the squadron doesn’t give you any more or less rights. Stop being so sanctimonious.’

There was a red flare that flooded the air around them.

‘Ahh we can go now. We have exactly sixteen minutes to get beyond the Ripple.’

I headed to the Timeslip module that would take us out of there. Each heartbeat was minutes ticking away. We clambered in.

‘Why do you always do that. Leave things for the last possible moment.’

‘Its the only way to be sure.’

‘Sure?”

‘Yes. Without visual contact of the actual nuucburst my optic scanners have nothing to analyze.’

The Timeslip lifted into the air.

‘Set a course for …’

‘Now don’t start that either. The Slip already knows the course.’

‘I know but I thought as a human you might find comfort in hearing the same old same old.’

‘The only same old I want to hear next is my feet on solid ground.’

As the Slip sped into the air I could feel the Ripple pass underneath us.

‘That was very close. My calculations were wrong.’

‘No, we still have two minutes to spare.’

soon

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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cars

thanks

Aladdin Sane

I have a relatively extensive collection of David Bowie -stand alone’s & some on mp3 compilations. Like a many I didn’t become a fan until Ziggy. His androgyny & vague bisexuality caught by attention – but I realized it was more a pose than a reality. Jobriath was the real deal – too real for the glam market at the time.

pink

pink flow chart

I didn’t know Bowie was much of pop star before Ziggy so I have added a few earlier recording the came before Ziggy broke him into the US market. ‘David’ is full off pleasant, unremarkable material. The Man Who Sold The World steps up his game to a more rock persona. Ziggy Stardust blazed a new path. It is a solid piece of work – Suffragette City rouses, Lady Stardust teases. At first I was disappointed – I had expected the music to more scifi space electronica as opposed to guitar riff rock. It grew on me. I have the 30th anniversary edition.

green

transformation

Ziggy shares a cd with ABC: Remix collection – a group clearly influenced by later period Bowie; The Charlatans: an excellent UK group that never broke into the US market. Fine Young Cannibals: a group that made such a big splash it fell apart quickly.

yellowqueer hydrant

I also have the stand alone Aladdin Sane – which might be my favourite Bowie – looser, less commercial than Ziggy & with richer song writing & wilder musicality too. Time – ‘he flexes like a whore.’ More Bowie next week.

sample

‘Louie Louie!’

‘Play ‘Louie Louie!’ the drunk roared at the stage for the fifth time since they started their set.

‘Shut the fuck up!’ Carl shouted back over his drums. He couldn’t take much more this wedding crap. Bride and groom, bride and groom, was becoming a total drag.

‘I said, Louie Louie. Please, kind sir.’ The drunk had reeled across the floor and was inches from Carl’s face. His breath stank.

‘Not in this life life time, buddy.’ Carl clipped him with one of his drum sticks. The drunk’s head gave that ting sound one expects from a full forty ouncer. Carl hit him again and again, tapping all along the drunk’s forehead.

His arms were getting tried and the drumming was making him sweat. He hated that even more than playing Louie Louie all night for some asshole. God, the sweat. It was so hot in this hall. Couldn’t someone turn down the heat or at least turn up the air conditioning.

All sound stopped.

The hall went black. Oh shit the dream. It’s just the same damn dream. How do I get out of it this time? Carl sensed the bed underneath him but the mattress was on the stage in the hall.

He could see him drum kit and once he’d had a little rest he’d be ready to play the rest of the set. Understanding faces looked down at him.

‘Hey that’s okay,’ one of them said.

The bride was lifting her veil but her face wasn’t clear. There was bright light reflecting form one if his cymbals. It shone in his eyes, it reflected off her eyes and blinded him.

‘Don’t go yet. I don’t want to go now. I don’t. I want to finish this set. I’m sorry I hit that guy. Really even if he was a jerk.’

The mattress was moving through the hall. Carl could see figures wheel him along. The reception hall had narrowed very narrow like a tube, a dusty dark tube with glowing sides. The drunk’s bad breath was suffocating him. He could hardly breath but when he raised his hands to push the drunk away his arms wouldn’t move.

‘How can I play this set if I can’t move my arms. What the fuck is going on?’ He was shouting again.

The lights flickered on and off and on again only not a bright. The bride stood by him.

‘Haven’t met you before, have I?’

‘Janet Green. No you haven’t I just got back from leave of absence. But I have heard all about you.’

‘I’m sure you have.’ Carl laughed. ‘Gotta keep you guys on your toes.’ Gotta play to keep you happy till you find your wedding bed.

Janet tucked him in. She was laughing with him about something. He couldn’t quite make it out. The light from the mirror ball was scintillating little sparks around the room. He was dizzy but the lights kept tugging at him, tugging at him till he was back behind his drum kit ready to play one more set.

He counted down 1 and 2 and 3 and 4

‘Louie, lou-eye, baby

We gotta go now.’

As he sang Carl didn’t notice he was no longer breathing.

soon

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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redbulge04

seeing red

‘Hangin’ On The Telephone’

Queue jumping again for Pride I’ve pulled one of my mp3 compilations off the shelf. Filed under Tom Robinson it includes:  Tom Robinson Band ‘TRB Two’ ‘North by Northwest; Jobraith ‘1973’ ‘Creatures of the Street, Pigeon;  Bronski Beat ‘Age of Consent’; Jimmy Summerville ‘Suddenly Last Summer’; Limpwrist.

pinka pop of color

Robinson made a splash way back in the early 80’s, then got married, to a woman, & settled down to family life & became less of a gay political. His first couple of Lps were great fun – sort of a gay Joe Jackson.

white ice water blues

Limpwrist are a queer thrash metal band – very aggressive, fast & grating. Jobraith is the opposite. I remember reading a review of his 1973 lp in Rolling Stone in 1973 but having no way of buying it. When I got finally high-speed internet I did search for some queer music & found three of his. Touted, at the time, as an out Bowie his career never flourished. Wikipedia tells the rather sad story well.

The music is great though. The lyrics are campy and clearly about gay social life, if not emotionally charged they aren’t cloaked either. The music is more Stones that Bowie, more art rock that hard rock. Jobraith has a good pop voice. There is place in gay pop history for him that for some reason Bowie overshadows.

red after the party

Dance music gave gay musicians a place to flourish that wasn’t in rock. One of the best was Bronskie Beat – Summerville’s falsetto is often fever pitched, the lyrics are direct, if not sexually out there, they are politically out there. I remember first dancing to this stuff & feeling on top of the world. ‘Suddenly …’ his solo cd is superb as well. Cover versions that are sublime and his take on Blondie’s ‘Hangin’ On The Telephone’ will break your heart.

For a real history lesson http://thehoundblog.blogspot.ca/2009/06/billy-wright.html

 

samples

Promotion

 

getting head

I’m getting ahead

moving up

soon top of the heap

for that breath taking view

forever

I can see forever

I can see my next house from here

the view  the expanse

the cold bracing air

the first and second

the one and only

yes  made it finally

not quite king of the world

too much responsibility

but here I am

at the peak of my form

top of my game

no further to go

dreamed it  imagined it

made it  reached it

manifested all the little bitty details

into the crowning moment

the crown of creation

yes that’s me

the bright boy

the blazing pinnacle

of everything I’ve learned  breathed for

everything my parents prayed for

all the pieces falling into place

I made sure they did

carved  banged  cut  sliced

dispatched   tromped   punched   forced

made each moment count

climbed up by my boot straps

over anything that was in my way

took every opportunity

to look better than anyone else

out shone all the others

cast them in a bad light

made sure

the mistakes were their’s

never mine

never made a mistake

not me

didn’t need to learn that way

learned from the mistakes of others

profited from the mistakes of others

took no credit for their work

no not me

did it all on my own

made my mark

made every minute count

made all the right moves

took the steps

that brought me to here

didn’t rely on anyone

but my self

my own sweat blood tears

well not so many tears

it was easier than I expected

in fact it was a piece of cake

a walk in the a park

simple as pie

easy as putting on a shoe

here I am

the gleaming summation

of all that has gone on before me

 

now life stops

oh you didn’t know that

now that I’ve achieved perfection

there’s no need for life to go

why bother

the great experience is over

it was a success

a stunning success

I am the proof of the pudding

the taste of excellent

the one and true leader

there’s no need

for life to continue now

is there

I am the one  the only

all that ever needs to be

so just pack up all your expectations

surrender  give up  give in

there’s nothing to fight

nothing to prove

nothing left at all

expect perhaps to thank me

I’ve saved you   all of  you

from ever having to do anything ever again

no more futile gestures

no need to pretend some sort

of creative vision

of spiritual purity

none of those are needed

so climb down from moral superiority

there isn’t anyone more moral

ethical kind considerate

than me

so just relax

take one last breath

the dream is over

enjoy the vision

of this ultimate climax

this endless moment of true

fulfilling perfection

you can let go of everything

I have made the grade

made the most of everything you offered

avoided all the pitfalls

that kept you from success

that kept you mired

in your human frailties

in your mind numbing emotional morass

in the fetid pit of sexuality

in the endless striving

to get out of what you couldn’t escape

but you did give me traction

you did give me the final toe hold

boost up and over

that brought me here

to the pure vista of forever

I am all that I am thanks you

 

now go away

so I can enjoy the clean air

the superior view  the fruits of my hard work

let me put my feet up

take my own deep breath

see what there is to conquer next

there is always more

or is there

bleak as far as the eye can see