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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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Cranky’s “David Bowie Cries for No One” (2008)

Songs

Full disclosure: Chat GBT alerted me to this song. I previously had never heard of the song or the band, Cranky. I also can’t find a lyric sheet, but I’ll get to that. Unlike, say, Phish’s “David Bowie,” which mentions Bowie’s name but really has nothing to do with Bowie, this song references multiple Bowie songs. Without access to a…

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Free Form Friday: Buffalo Bills are the most metaphysical team in sports

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To start— yes, I know I’m not using the word, “metaphysical” correctly, but I thought it sounded funny. What I really meant was something more like, “Zen.” Or at least the popular understanding of what “Zen” means to people who know little or nothing about Buddhism. The Buffalo Bills are the most Zen team in sports. Oh well, another promising…

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Lyrics Series I 15I Whiling away the “hours…”: “Thursday’s Child” and setting the stage for Bowie’s first meditation on middle age

Lyrics Series

I’ve thought for a while that Bowie’s 1999 album, hours…, is much better than I had thought of it for its first two decades of existence. It’s not especially well-regarded by fans and seemed like an enormous drop-off following the 1. Outside (1995) and Earthling (1997). (Just listing those dates brings me back to the time of a new Bowie…

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Divine Symmetry I 13 I All shook up…

Divine Symmetry

Back in 2016, during my song-a-day tribute to Bowie, when I got to “She Shook Me Cold” (click on the bolded words to link to my entry back then), I pointed out that “all rockers who came out of the late 1960s and early 1970s were contractually obliged to do at least one song about being shook.” I mentioned Led…

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Hooked to the Silver Screen I 12 I Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

Hooked to the Silver Screen

First, the good news: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me is not as bad as I remembered. The bad news is that I remembered it as being one of the worst movies I have ever seen, so the bar was pretty low for watching it for the first time since seeing it in a theater more than 30 years ago.…

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“Space Oddity”/ “Rocket Man” Mashup

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I came across this clever mashup of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” What this is is mostly Elton John’s vocals set against Bowie’s instrumentals. Clever, but not perfect. At points, the instrumentals for “Rocket Man” blur in, which I think detract from the stunt’s main conceit. That said, in that John’s words work relatively well into Bowie’s…

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Why did Bowie get more attention for waving like a Nazi than Trump?

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A news blurb from the New York Times on January 11th seems to be describing Donald Trump showing his supporters the power fist, followed by a Nazi salute. A Nazi salute? What else could it be? Imagine what these words describe— first the fist, then he, “opened his palm in a diagonal wave.” How else would you describe a Nazi…

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Free Form Friday: Winter in America

Free Form Friday

I was planning to write this week about how winter finally came to New York State and how I hate winter. I certainly have not intended to make “Free Form Friday,” my weekly non-Bowie post, “Politics Friday.” All the more so because, much as I did when I was doing the song-a-day Bowie tribute in 2016, politics has already seeped…

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Lyrics Series I 14 I From “China Girl”

Lyrics Series

I stumble into town Just like some sacred cow Visions of swastikas in my head Plans for everyone This is going to be a kind of preview of a post that’s coming in a few days that will mention the above lines. But before we get there, I want to spend a little more time with the specific lyrics. Without…

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Divine Symmetry I 12 I Did Bowie secretly write “Stranger in Paradise?”

Divine Symmetry

I was listening to Tony Bennett sing “Stranger in Paradise,” which doesn’t sound anything like a Bowie song, but was listening more intently to the lyrics than maybe I have in the past and noticed…certain similarities. What stood out to me at first was this lyrical sequence, from right in the middle of the song: “somewhere in space I hang…

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Hooked to the Silver Screen I 11 I The Hunger (1983)

Hooked to the Silver Screen

David Bowie never looked cooler in a movie than he did in The Hunger. A stylish vampire movie directed by Tony Scott, The Hunger downplays its supernatural elements and is really about aging, vanity and specifically how the futile quest to stay young can lead to desperate acts. “The hunger,” in the context of the movie, is hunger for blood,…

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Bowie Cover of the Week: Wilco covers “Space Oddity” on the Mountain Stage

Songs

Bowie’s birthday and the anniversary of his death were both last week. Accordingly, there were a lot of Bowie tribute shows around the world, more so than usual. That accounts for the timing of Wilco’s performance of “Space Oddity” on the NPR music show, The Mountain Stage. At first blush, this cover has many of the elements that I shy…

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She tore down Paris… City of Light names street for Bowie (plus, my greatest failure in government…)

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Paris, France named a street after Bowie last week, on the occasion of his birthday. This got a lot of international news and is, I think a great way to attract tourists! (Although Maryland has an entire city named Bowie, so France has a ways to go). When I was in a position to do something about it, I tried…

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Eduardo Kobra’s “Ziggy Stardust” mural

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I recently made a pilgrimage to Jersey City to see this enormous Bowie mural on the side of a building, painted by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra in 2016. Somehow I have never seen this before or even knew it existed until recently. It is the ultimate “find Bowie” prize. The mural is on Google Maps, which took us to a…

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Free Form Friday: Reality At Stake

Free Form Friday

I recently read John Vaillant’s book, Fire Weather, which is about both climate change in general and one of its catastrophic impacts— massive wildfires. The book is horrifying, illustrating the point by an extended description of the 2016 Ft. McMurray fire that just about destroyed a mid-sized Canadian City and burned a swath of the Boreal forest larger than some…

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Divine Symmetry I 11 I Talking Heads’ “Life During Wartime” and Bowie’s Vision of the Apocalypse

Divine Symmetry

The end of the world seems to have preoccupied David Bowie throughout his career. His vision veered between the actual death of the planet with “Five Years” (1972) and societal breakdown “Panic In Detroit” (1973). I view those as Bowie’s idea of the coming end, then the end in progress. “Diamond Dogs” (1974) paints a picture of the aftermath. Notably,…

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Where are we now? How the world changed since Bowie’s death

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Something happened on the day he died…* David Bowie died eight years ago today. All of these things happened since then: - Donald Trump was elected president, was defeated for re-election, attempted to illegally retain power through a failed coup, was indicted for reasons related to that and everything else and launched his third bid for president. - COVID-19 came…

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Hooked to the Silver Screen I 10 I Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock (2017)

Hooked to the Silver Screen

Here’s one I didn’t know about until I came across it on Prime Video— an excellent documentary about photographer Mick Rock, “the man who shot the 70s.” Rock (that’s his real name), who died in 2021, was probably the premier photographic chronicler of rock music, and Bowie was one of his central subjects. Accordingly, Bowie’s voice, image and music appear…

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Why Bowie?

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Today would have been David Bowie’s 77th birthday. I’m taking the occasion to reflect on why I write this blog, and why it’s focused on Bowie. I feel compelled to start by acknowledging that nobody reads this blog. If I’m wrong about that, and somebody reads this blog, I can say with certainty that nobody talks to me about it.…

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Bowie Cover of the Week: Terzacorsia (?) performs “Ziggy Stardust:

Songs

One of the points of the “cover of the week” post is to highlight how Bowie’s music not only lives on but provides inspiration to contemporary artists, whether they be armatures or professionals. The exercise of finding a “cover of the week” has led me to find videos made by bands from all over the world. In this case, it’s…

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Why I’m still not going to these upcoming Bowie shows

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I posted the below explanation of why I’m not going to any of the many upcoming Bowie tribute shows anytime soon. I’m updating the post in part because more shows are popping up, while all the time the COVID infection rate is surging (I’ve added a chart showing that the rate of COVID is the highest its been since the…

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Free Form Friday: On Claudine Gay’s resignation as Harvard President

Free Form Friday

I was going to write a letter to Harvard President Claudine Gay, urging her not to resign. But I was too slow. President Gay resigned under pressure on Tuesday. I have a Master’s Degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School, which makes me an alumnus and gives me reason to send a letter to the Harvard President. I have personal experience with…

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Lyrics Series I 13 I From “Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed” (1969)

Lyrics Series

I'm a Phallus in pigtails I mentioned this line in two recent posts, one about Bowie’s funny lines and one about his outrageous claims of identity. It surely is a weird thing to say. So, I thought I’d take a closer look as to what he was getting at. Perhaps disappointingly, the line makes a little bit of sense within…

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Divine Symmetry I 10 I Morrissey’s “I Know Its Gonna Happen Someday” and “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide

Divine Symmetry

I don’t especially like the music of Morrissey or his former band, the Smiths. On top of that, the guy seems like a jerk. It doesn’t help that he publicly feuded with Bowie. Morrissey fired off insults while Bowie responded with a tongue-in-cheek cover of this song, “I Know Its Gonna Happen Someday” (1993) plus, possibly, subtly digging Morrissey in…

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Hooked to the Silver Screen I 9 I The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

Hooked to the Silver Screen

Martin Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ is the best movie in which David Bowie ever appeared. Bowie plays the small but crucial role of Pontus Pilate, and, in his brief time on screen, lays out one of the movie’s major subplots. A question looms throughout the movie of whether Jesus is actually divine, if he actually hears the voices of…

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Bowie Cover of the Week: Have a Barry Nice Day performs “Dead Man Walking”

Songs

From what I can gather, Have a Barry Nice Day is a family band, with the family name being Barry. This cover features one person, Laurie, presumably Laurie Barry, performing an acoustic version of Bowie’s 1997 song off the Earthling album. Its a static-image audio recording, which I usually avoid for “cover of the week,” but there’s too much going…

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Why am I posting a video of Miley Cyrus’ different “Let’s Dance” song on New Year’s Eve?

Songs

Last New Year’s Eve, Miley Cyrus and David Byrne performed a cover of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” on the show covering New York City’s ball-drop event. I posted the video the following day and then…poof- it was gone. I saved my write up for a year, hoping that the video would return on YouTube for this New Year’s Eve, but nope.…

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Bowie’s places

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When recently writing about Lodger, it occurred to me that Bowie frequently mentions places in his songs. These places can be as specific as streets or even buildings and as general as “space” or “Earth” or “Mars.” I was thinking about identifying every place mentioned in a Bowie song, but discarded that idea. There are too many songs that mention…

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Free Form Friday: My Year

Free Form Friday

2023 was a pretty sad year. The biggest event in many life was the death of my friend, Letizia Tagliafierro. I miss her and think of her every day. Societally, it seems like we have been moving in reverse, as we learned the wrong lessons from the pandemic and American (and world) fascism is on the march. Meanwhile, I have…

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Lyrics Series I 12 I Bowie’s outrageous claims of identity

Lyrics Series

I recently noted that one of Bowie’s funniest lines (perhaps unintentionally), came from his 1969 song, “Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed.” It’s one of several songs in which Bowie either declares himself to be something, or not to be something. Sometimes these claims are clearly metaphorical, but sometimes I have no idea what he had in mind. Bowie actually does…

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