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Divine Symmetry I 16 I “Space Cowboy” v. “Space Oddity”

Divine Symmetry

The absolute pinnacle of space, as a matter of public consciousness, was probably 1969, the year I was born and the year of the first moon landing. It was also the year David Bowie released what would become his first hit, “Space Oddity,” and the Steve Miller Band would release “Space Cowboy.” The two songs are not a reaction to…

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Hooked to the Silver Screen I 16 I Ziggy Stardust the Motion Picture (1973-1979-1983-2023-20??)

Hooked to the Silver Screen

I’ll start with an admission: I haven’t watched this film all the way through in quite a while, despite a worldwide release of a “restored” version last year. This is in part due to last year’s release not showing at local drive-ins (I still don’t go to indoor movie theaters). But the bigger reason is that clips from the film…

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Hooked to the Silver Screen Tally

Hooked to the Silver Screen

Hooked to the Silver Screen is my series of commentaries about movies in which Bowie appeared. The name of the series comes from a line in the song, “Life on Mars.” I am using the Bowie-esque emojis to rate each of these movies on a scale from one to four Bowies. This is a tally of movies I’ve rated so…

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Cover of the Week: dB — the Bowie Experience performs “Life on Mars”

Songs

In 2006 Bowie appeared on the comedy show, Extras, starring Ricky Gervais. At some point the two did an appearance where they talked about the show. In the episode, Gervais’s character encounters Bowie at a restaurant, inspiring Bowie to compose a song on the spot denigrating the lead character. It’s hilarious. Anyway, in discussing the episode, Gervais said that he…

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Record Collector Magazine features Bowie on two covers

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Record Collector Magazine, a magazine about collecting records, features Bowie on the cover of two different versions of it’s February issue. I’ve included both images here, as well as a screenshot taken from the magazine’s web site (chick on the bolded words to visit the web site), suggesting that Bowie frequently grace’s the publication’s cover. I haven’t seen the article…

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Exclusive Mr. Hartgrave Interview featuring his cover of “Life on Mars”

Interview, Songs

Not unlike Bowie’s, I hear the voice of Mr. Hartgrave almost every day. Mr. Hartgrave is a celebrity among players of the mobile game, Marvel Strike Force. I’ve been playing the game, with two breaks, since 2018. Mr. Hartgrave’s YouTube channel is required viewing (or listening) for anyone who wants to play the game at a high level. Plus, its…

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Coming tomorrow: Exclusive Interview with Mr. Hartgrave, featuring his cover of “Life on Mars”

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Within the specialized (but global) community that plays the game Marvel Strike Force, Mr. Hartgrave is a celebrity content creator. He’s also a skilled musician. Come back tomorrow for an exclusive interview featuring his with a great cover of “Life on Mars.”

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Free Form Friday: My Political Advice to the President of the United States

Free Form Friday

I was 25 years old in 1994, working for my hero, New York Governor Mario Cuomo. He was running for re-election in what turned out to be a Republican year. It's the year Republicans took the U.S. House and Senate, and Democrats like Texas Governor Ann Richards and my boss faced tough, ultimately successful challengers. Across the state line in…

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Lyrics Series Update: Proposed Bowie and American Politics long-form project

Lyrics Series

The predecessor of this blog was a song-a-day Bowie tribute I posted for a year on Facebook. My original idea, as it occurred to me immediately after learning of Bowie’s death, was to simply post the name of one of his songs every day over the subsequent year. Someone else suggested that I write something about the songs, and I…

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Remastered Noel Gallagher performance of “Valentine’s Day” (Updated 2/15)

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Special Valentine’s Day post! Of course, Bowie’s “Valentine’s Day” is not about the holiday, but rather about a school shooter. It’s actually Bowie’s second song about a mass shooter, the first being “Running Gun Blues” from The Man Who Sold the World. He released the songs 43 years apart— the earlier in 1970 and the latter in 2013, which says…

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RIP Nicky Graham

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Nicky Graham played keyboards for Bowie during his 1972 live performances as part of the Ziggy-era tour. he also appeared on songs 9-20 on the second album of Bowie at the Beeb, which means he was part of the band in some of Bowie’s BBC appearances. I think he’s playing on this rendition of “Starman.” I’m not especially familiar with…

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Hooked to the Silver Screen I 15 I Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 70s (2002)

Hooked to the Silver Screen

Did you know that David Bowie won an Emmy for his collaboration with Ken Burns on a documentary about rock in the 70s? I didn’t either, but they were both part of the team that won a 2003 Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Special Class Special for this excellent, two-hour program originally featured on AMC. I’m going…

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Marc Lowe Interview, Pt. 3 featuring his cover of “All the Madmen” (Cover of the Week)

Interview, Songs

Today’s post is a slight departure from my usual “cover of the week,” which I typically post on Mondays. This is the third and final installment of the interview with Marc Lowe, however the featured video is one of his Bowie covers— “All the Madmen” from The Man Who Sold the World. The topics covered in the last two days’…

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Marc Lowe Interview, Pt. 2 “We Miss You, Spaceboy”

Interview, Songs

This is the second installment of my three-part interview with artist and educator, Marc Lowe. David Bowie is the focus of today's segment. The video is a Bowie tribute. While it is a Marc Lowe original, you'll definitely get both musical and lyrical references to Bowie's "Hallo Spaceboy." Anyway, let's get to the interview... Q. Why do you think Bowie’s…

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Exclusive Marc Lowe Interview, Part 1

Interview, Songs

When I asked Marc Lowe to describe himself (“who are you?”), I was expecting an answer similar to the opening of the biography he’s posted on his own website, which is: “Marc Lowe is a composer, an electronic musician, a guitarist, a singer-songwriter, a drummer (since middle school), and a videographer. He does all of his own album covers, editing,…

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Coming tomorrow: Exclusive Interview with Marc Lowe!

Songs

In the wake of this blog’s first-ever interview, with mashup artist DoM (click here to link), tomorrow will feature the first in a three-part interview with musician, artist and educator Marc Lowe! I featured one of Marc’s videos (of “I Can’t Give Everything Away”) as “cover of the week” a few weeks back and here’s a teaser of what’s coming,…

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Free Form Friday: Please, MAGA, don’t make me root for the Chiefs!

Free Form Friday

Back in the early 1990s when the Buffalo Bills went to the Super Bowl four years in a row, an episode of The X-Files included a scene in which the all-powerful “Smoking Man,” the guy behind every conspiracy, vowed that the team would never win the football championship while he was alive. It was a joke. It was a funny…

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Lyrics Series I 17 I Artifice and Immortality

Lyrics Series

In the days following Bowie’s death, The New Republic published a commentary by Simon Critchley titled, “David Bowie’s Filthy Lesson” (click here to link to the story). Critchley’s observation was that “The ironic self-awareness of the artist and their audience can only be that of their inauthenticity, repeated at increasingly conscious levels…Art’s filthy lesson is inauthenticity all the way down,…

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Divine Symmetry I 15 I “Survive” (1999) as an answer to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” (1978)

Divine Symmetry

Ridiculous proposition of the day: Bowie’s song, “Survive” is actually an answer to Gloria Gaynor’s better known disco song, “I Will Survive.” Look at these stanzas, side by side: First, from “Survive,” I should have kept you I should have tried I should have been a wiser kind of guy I miss you Now from, “I Will Survive,” And so…

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Update: Moonage Daydream Revisited Revisited (now part of the Hooked to the Silver Screen series)

Hooked to the Silver Screen

Brett Morgen’s Bowie documentary, Moonage Daydream, won the Grammy last night for Best Music Film (despite being released in 2022). I thought, on the occasion I would repost my second commentary on the film, which I’m going to retroactively count as part of my “Hooked to the Silver Screen” series about Bowie movies (I’ll do that with a few others…

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Update: A Bridge Too Far…

Songs

On the occasion of Phoebe Bridgers winning multiple Grammys last night, I thought I would re-up this post from last July. The original post makes reference to an earlier entry in my “Drive in Saturday Tuesday Movie Review” series, in which I review movies I see at the drive-in, which don’t always have a Bowie connection. The series will pick…

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Bowie Cover of the Week: Swedishdame and Roose81 cover “Shadow Man”

Songs

I was all set to post a mini-concert of five Bowie covers by Mutz Music as “cover of the week” until I found this one, “Shadow Man,” covered by Swedishdame and Roose81. This has all the elements I like in a cover— it’s an obscure song, so the cover artist has a lot of latitude to interpret, and these two…

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Moonage Daydream wins Grammy!

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Breaking Bowie news: Brett Morgan’s documentary, Moonage Daydream just won the 2024 Grammy for Best Music Film (despite being released in 2022).

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Update: Marc Lowe responds to the selection as “Cover of the Week” of his lyric video cover of “I Can’t Give Everything Away”

Songs

Update (2/3/24) Although I don't know Marc Lowe, he has his own web page with a way to contact him, so I thought, what the heck and sent him my post about his cover. He was appreciative but pointed out one of my assumptions was made in error: "Just a quick heads up that this song was actually not recorded…

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Exclusive Interview with DoM: Mashup Creator, featuring “A Forest for Lazarus”

Interview, Songs

When I posted the mashup of “Suffragette City” and Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” last April, I wrote that I knew nothing about the artist who took the two songs and made an new, third song out of some of their elements. But I was impressed — “the marriage between words and music is perfect to the point that it’s slightly…

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RIP Carl Weathers

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By some strange, cosmic coincidence Carl Weathers made his first appearance in this blog just a few days ago. He appears in the video for James Brown’s “Living in America,” which I compared to Bowie’s “Young Americans” and “I’m Afraid of Americans” in my “Divine Symmetry” post on January 31st (click here to link) to it. And then today we…

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Free Form Friday: Dodging COVID, Winter ‘23-24

Free Form Friday

COVID-19 is on track to kill about as many Americans this year as died in the entire Vietnam War. You will have a hard time finding that number, but if you look hard enough you can find how many Americans died of COVID in January and extrapolate from there. Of course, that’s with the big caveats of tracking no longer…

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Lyrics Series I 16 I No, “Quicksand” does not name-check Brigitte Bardot

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If I don't explain what you ought to know You can tell me all about it on the next Bardo There are songs I’ve listened to over and over again for years without really thinking about the lyrics. Or, in this case, without thinking about a particular lyric. “Quicksand” (1971) is a musically beautiful Bowie song that sits precariously on…

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Divine Symmetry I 14 I James Brown’s “Living in America” versus “Young Americans” and “I’m Afraid of Americans”

Divine Symmetry

There it, in the middle of the song performed by James Brown* in the middle of Rocky IV: Living in America Eye to eye, station to station Did the Godfather of Soul just drop a Bowie reference? As much as I'd like to think yes, yes he did, I think "station to station" is just a coincidence. He rhymes it…

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Hooked to the Silver Screen I 13 I Mr. Rice’s Secret (1999)

Hooked to the Silver Screen

Several minutes into watching this movie, about a boy with cancer learning life lessons through the process of a kind of treasure hunt left for him by his recently deceased mentor played by Bowie, I found myself asking, “what is this, an after school special?” It turns out I wasn’t far off— Mr. Rice’s Secret was a made-for-TV movie. Whatever…

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Bowie cover of the Week: Anonymus performs “Golden Years”

Songs

I can find very little about Anonymus. His YouTube page make me unsure even if that’s his name— the page name is “Anonymushits.” Anyway, he made a good cover of “Golden Years” which I selected as the cover of the week both because of his solid performance and because of the production quality of the video itself. It’s not spectacular,…

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It’s going to be Katie Britt

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Here’s my official prediction as to who Trump is going to select for VP: Alabama Senator, Katie Britt. I’m not going to get into my reasons but I want to put it on the record on this day, January 28, to make my official prediction. If I’m right, you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about Katie Britt…

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Bowie at 77?

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British publication, The Star recently posted some AI generated pictures of what Bowie would have looked like on his 77th birthday, which would have been earlier this month. I thought they were interesting enough to post. In the above gallery, I also posted some actual pictures of Bowie during his last year of life. These are also interesting to look…

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