The main purpose of this post is not to discuss Bowie’s 2013 song, “Where Are We Now?” But to take advantage of the title to give an update on the state of the blog itself. That said, I thought I’d make it a little more interesting by posting a cover of the song and in so doing came across this excellent video by saxophonist Jess Gilliam, who released this instrumental version as part of her 2019 debut album, Rise. Though this is the only Bowie cover on the album, the artist is wearing a Blackstar shirt on the cover (click “here” to link to the her web site). Gillam’s playing is beautiful as is the video itself, which features the artist touring around some of the sites mentioned in the song’s lyrics.
But anyway, that’s not the main point today. The main point is to provide an update and signal where I want to go with the blog in coming weeks:
First, I plan to continue posting daily updates, mostly either directly or at least tangentially about David Bowie. This project evolved from my 2016 song-a-day tribute to Bowie, which I had posted on Facebook. Though my daily posts that year were often only a few sentences in length, the writing process of this iteration of the project often takes me down winding paths and end up being quite long. I didn’t think that I’d still be doing this back in 2016, and in fact stopped for a while before Bill Tuman (click on his name to link to his web page) designed this page for me because he thought I should keep it going. At first I was not using this to make daily updates, but in part because I’m at a stage of my life where I don’t do as much writing for work (and I’m long since out of school), my daily commitment to writing a blog that I expect few people read is a way to keep my mind working. So, I plan to continue.
I have been struck that despite doing this for years now, I don’t seem to be close to running out of material, especially videos and images. Few if any videos appear twice on this blog, which is also true for most of the visual images. That said, there has to be a finite number out there and part of my future plans are meant to stretch out what’s still left out there for me to post. I also want to add a little more structure. As it is, I have a few series going already. The most regular is the “Bowie Cover of the Week,” which I usually post on Mondays (but you’ll see why I delayed a day for this week). I’ll list out and explain the additional series below, but I’m planning to add two new ones: “Hooked to the Silver Screen,” which is commentary on Bowie’s movies, and “Free Form Fridays,” where I plan to add a weekly non-Bowie post. Here’s a breakdown of the series:
Bowie cover of the week. Usually posted on Mondays, the idea here is to highlight a video cover of a Bowie song that itself debuted over the previous week. The larger purpose is to show the enduring nature of Bowie’s music and demonstrate how it has inspired current artists. I tend to like videos with some production quality, especially from “real” bands, but I have no fixed rules in this regard. Also, I have a bias in favor of less frequently covered songs as opposed to “Heroes,” “Space Oddity” and a few others that keep popping up.
Drive in Saturday Tuesday Movie Review. Though the name of this series is based on a Bowie song, the movie reviews often have nothing to do with Bowie— it’s just what I saw at the drive in. If I don’t go to the drive in during a particular week, there’s nothing to post. I am hopeful to go to one more this year, but we’ll see. I might use the off-season to launch the new “Hooked to the Silver Screen” series (see below).
Lyrics Series. This is relatively new series in which I take a close look at particular lyrics that are meaningful to me. I’ve enjoyed writing my first few such posts and am intending to make this a weekly series going forward.
Updates. This is an occasional series where I add updated commentary to a song or album when I notice my original video link goes down. I swap out a new video, add some new thoughts about the song or album and move the posted date up to the present day.
Divine Symmetry. Another new series that I’m just getting started. The title is taken from a line in the song, “Quicksand,” and the idea of the series is to compare Bowie’s songs to those of another artist covering similar territory, whether intentionally or not. I might also try to make this a weekly series, however I might alternate with the Lyrics series. We’ll see.
Hooked to the Silver Screen. “Hooked to the silver screen” is a line from “Life on Mars?” For whatever reason I have posted little about Bowie’s movies, but that’s about to change with the launch of this series. Again, I might alternate with the Drive in Saturday Tuesday movie review, and there are a finite number of Bowie movies, so this will be a limited series. That said, Bowie appeared in more movies than you might think and what I have in mind is to discuss the movies as such and not just Bowie’s performance.
Free form Friday. I often use Bowie as a launching point to discuss some issue that otherwise has little to do with Bowie. That said, starting Friday I’m going to try to make a regular, weekly post that has nothing whatsoever to do with Bowie. This isn’t because I’m running out of things to say about Bowie, but I do have more to say!
Beginner’s Guide. Sadly this series is now closed, but all my beginners guide posts are grouped together on this blog. And yes, I should have called it the Absolute Beginners Guide to Bowie.
So I have a lot planned. If you’re wondering, yes, a daily blog actually is quite a commitment. But I’m going to keep doing it while it’s fun, and that shows no sign of abating. And as usual, I look forward to… the next day…