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Showdown at Cremation Creek

Via Open Culture, three songs by David Bowie with Klaus Nomi on Saturday Night Live in 1979. [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Sep 5, 2014 - 60 comments

The origins of that stereotypical Chinese nine-note riff

Kat Chow, with NPR's Code Switch, put together a short piece on the history and the prevalence of the well-known nine note "stereotypical Asian theme." As described in a 2005 Straight Dope forum question: You know, the one that goes dee dee dee dee duh duh dee dee duh. Featured heavily in braindead Hollywood flicks made by clueless directors who want to give a scene an "oriental" feel. Also a variation of it can be heard in David Bowie's "China Girl." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 28, 2014 - 46 comments

808state​:psycho​ecstatic​tranceenducing​groove​riding​techno​funk​alogical​sound

808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 7, 2014 - 30 comments

"Can you deal with the fact that I'm not in love with you?"

Without You I'm Nothing: The Believer looks at the memoirs of the wives and girlfriends of rock stars.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 4, 2014 - 20 comments

Mick Jagger Burping

Dancing in the Street with all music removed. A musicless musical video, with some interpretive dubbing.
posted by codacorolla on Jun 19, 2014 - 35 comments

The best 143 songs of all time

Andrew Collins started a blog in July 2013 - Circles of Life: The 143 - he's about half way through now. [more inside]
posted by unliteral on May 21, 2014 - 32 comments

Before it was the Moonwalk, it was Backsliding, or The Buzz

Moonwalking is often attributed to Michael Jackson, but as summarized in this low resolution clip from Soccer AM, it was performed under various names in decades before MJ's live television performance in 1983. Let's backslide through the years, from Cab Calloway's 1932 version that he called "The Buzz" to Jeffrey Daniel performing the backslide as a member of Shalamar in 1982 on Top of the Pops in the UK. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 18, 2014 - 13 comments

I've looked at Abbey Road from both sides now...

Flickr user Harvezt brings you The Dark Side of the Covers, which recreates 33 rock album covers as seen from the OPPPOSITE direction. Some of the covers are iconic, others are obscure, some of the interpretations are simple and obvious, others are creative and... interesting. (And some are NSFW, but then, some of the original covers were NSFW).
posted by oneswellfoop on Apr 15, 2014 - 15 comments

I, I wish you could swim / Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 2, 2014 - 51 comments

There's a hole in my soul

Between Ziggy and Aladdin Sane there was, briefly, Cobbler Bob (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 5, 2014 - 16 comments

Scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.

Back at the beginning of 2010, Peter Gabriel released Scratch My Back, an album of covers of various artists. He had hoped those same artists would, in turn, cover songs he had written. Well, it didn't all come together as smoothly as he had planned, and not all the artists participated, but he's finally released And I'll Scratch Yours. NPR has a limited time preview of both albums running right now. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Dec 29, 2013 - 42 comments

Peace on Earth. Good will toward men.

Bklyn legend Jonny Sierra and B-More titan Spank Rock bring to us a most glorious parody of a most glorious titanic legend.
posted by Slap*Happy on Dec 24, 2013 - 2 comments

The Snowman

"... and it was on that day I made the snowman." In 1982, the film adaptation of Raymond Briggs 1978 children's book The Snowmanwas released on British television. The original release begins with a short narration by the Briggs, but a later version replaced him with David Bowie gently rocking a toy horse in an attic. Besides the opening narration, the film is without talking and is accompanied by a score by Howard Blake. It yielded the hit We're Walking in the Air which peaked at #5 on UK pop charts when Aled Jones covered it in 1985 (here he is many years later on This Morning Programme singing along with a video of himself as a boy). Last year, a sequel called The Snowman and the Snowdog was released to mixed reviews.
posted by Corduroy on Dec 24, 2013 - 25 comments

Mr. Rick Wakeman on keyboards ... and various other concerns

Whether taking all mankind close to the edge with his keyboard contributions to every punk's favorite prog-rock band Yes, or going it solo (in fully sequined gown) with all Six Wives of Henry VIII all the way to the center of the earth, or perhaps with figure skating Knights of the Round Table, or composing the score for Ken Russell's Liztomania (and "acting" in it), or doing definitive session work for the likes of David Bowie, Black Sabbath, etc, or candidly singing the praises of Christianity and/or Freemasonry ... [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Dec 21, 2013 - 34 comments

Bing Crosby at Christmas: "Right or wrong, I sing either way."

Bing Crosby is something of the unofficial "classic voice of the Christmas season," but his most popular piece in recent years is the unlikely duet from 1977, the same year he passed away. The Washington Post provides the odd story of holiday harmony, how David Bowie joined Crosby at the piano for their duet, "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy". If you like the classics, here's some Bing over the years: a fan-made abbreviation of Frank Sinatra's Christmas Show from 1957, Bing sings "White Christmas" in 1961, Bing & Kathryn Crosby take you on a trip to "Christmas Island" from his 1971 Crosby family special, and from his final Christmas special, Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas, Bing and Twiggy singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." If you'd like a full period piece, here's an all-star 1958 USO Christmas show (program history and overview). If that's all a bit too sweet for you, let Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, June Carter-Cash, Jessi Colter, John Carter-Cash, and more regale you in the Christmas On The Road TV Special (1984).
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 15, 2013 - 32 comments

For if we don't find the next whiskey-bar, I tell you we must die!

"Oh, show us the way, to the next whiskey-bar. Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why." And so opens the Alabama Song (Google books preview) by Bertholt Brecht and Brecht's close collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann (Gbp), first published in 1927. Brecht set it to music and performed it on stages all over Berlin, but the better known version was scored by classical composer Kurt Weill, who was impressed with Brecht’s poetry and wanted to break away from the constraints of his previous work. It was this version, first performed by Lotte Lenya, that was made famous by The Doors and their use of a Marxophone (Wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 13, 2013 - 24 comments

Putting the play in playing music.

Adrian Belew has played with Frank Zappa, David Bowie, The Talking Heads and The Tom Tom Club - as well as having released many albums inependently. [more inside]
posted by vapidave on Nov 13, 2013 - 38 comments

"What was he doing having his face put on ATM cards?"

"It was as if, while Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school, Bowie was bracing for the 21st Century, the demand for everyone to “share” accessible versions of themselves. The self as a business card, to be distributed to anyone who asked for it. He also saw opportunity: on 1 September 1998, he launched BowieNet." Pushing Ahead Of The Dame (previously, previously) takes a look at David Bowie's late-90s, technophile projects and the future they foreshadowed - Omikron: The Nomad Soul (& BowieBanc & BowieNet)
posted by The Whelk on Nov 11, 2013 - 30 comments

Europe's junkie princess, 35 years later

"Hardly anyone at the time would have believed that I would still be here today." Christiane Felscherinow, better known as Christiane F., has published Mein Zweites Leben (My Second Life), the follow-up to her (in)famous autobiography, which was originally published when she was 17. Christiane's story became a sensation in Germany and a cult classic around the world (as well as the basis for a cult film, with a soundtrack by David Bowie), and has recently been republished in America in a new translation. (Previously)
posted by scody on Nov 6, 2013 - 13 comments

Love Is Lost

Just in time for Halloween, David Bowie releases the kind of creepy video for Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA). The original track comes from his most recent album, The Next Day. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Oct 31, 2013 - 13 comments

Ten UK album cover locations

Bob Egan identifies the locations of ten UK album covers [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Oct 9, 2013 - 31 comments

Because even bad Bowie is better than no Bowie

How to Read Like Bowie - David Bowie's Top 100 Books Don't miss Meta-Bowie or Bowie on metafilter music or in MetaTalk (just because).
posted by cjorgensen on Oct 1, 2013 - 25 comments

“When I needed soul revival, I called your name…”

On Wednesday, David Bowie's Facebook page posted an intriguing curio: a trio of videos ostensibly by an obscure '70s soul group known as Milky Edwards & The Chamberlings. The videos show needle-drops of tracks from Starman, a fabulous whole-cloth soul remake of Bowie's seminal 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The only trouble is, the album doesn't (appear to) actually exist. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Sep 20, 2013 - 60 comments

Thought you would bring me to the resurrektor...

Arcade Fire are back with a groovy single, Reflektor, accompanied by an amazing interactive experience. [more inside]
posted by mysticreferee on Sep 9, 2013 - 58 comments

The Man Who Sold the Bonds

There have been a few misconceptions about the Bowie securitizations over the years. I’ll try to describe, in relatively plain English, what happened.
posted by rollick on Sep 6, 2013 - 21 comments

Comeback Album Comeback

The upside is that none of these records will go down in history like Chinese Democracy. The downside, of course, is that none of these records will go down in history like Chinese Democracy. Why it had to die in 2008 so that Random Access Memories, The 20/20 Experience, m b v, The Next Day and other records could live in 2013.
posted by mannequito on Jul 24, 2013 - 53 comments

Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking

There's still nobody who can make "dee da deedadet" sound as sexy as Freddie Mercury did. Under Pressure, vocals only.
posted by killThisKid on Jun 7, 2013 - 54 comments

Music on planet Earth would never be the same again.

"40 years ago, in millions of living room across the British Isles, a strange alien creature was beamed on to our television screens. With bright red hair and multicolored spacesuit, his unearthly appearance shocked the nation. But for many teenagers who experienced this televisual visitation, he would change their lives forever." Jarvis Cocker narrates the BBC Four documentary, David Bowie -- The Story of Ziggy Stardust.
posted by Room 641-A on May 30, 2013 - 18 comments

So how DOES copyright work in space?

Chris Hadfield has captured the world's heart, judging by the 14m YouTube views of his free-fall rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity", recorded on the International Space Station (ISS). The Canadian astronaut's clear voice and capable guitar-playing were complemented by his facility in moving around in the microgravity of low-earth orbit. But when the man fell to Earth in a neat and safe descent a few days ago, after a five-month stay in orbit, should he have been greeted by copyright police?
posted by DiesIrae on May 23, 2013 - 58 comments

You call yourself a prophet?

David Bowie continues his return with The Next Day, the third video from his latest album. [YouTube link, requires age verification] This time around, he has assistance from Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard. Some controversy surrounds this release. Bowie himself finally broke his silence about his new album by sharing 42 words with The Ice Storm author Rick Moody. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on May 10, 2013 - 16 comments

Escape From The Planet Of The Pink Monkey Birds

Escape From The Planet Of The Pink Monkey Birds [more inside]
posted by Conrad-Casserole on Apr 1, 2013 - 5 comments

Closure pare one: Self Destruct

Nine Inch Nails has posted tape 1 of the 1997 VHS-only release Closure on Vimeo. It's a 75-min long documentary of the Self Destruct Tour, both on and off stage, includes (not necessarily musical) appearances by Marilyn Manson and David Bowie, amongst others.
posted by hippybear on Mar 21, 2013 - 30 comments

Would you say no to having David Bowie on your Coffee Table?

Along with a career retrospective, the V&A Museum in London will publish an extensive photo book covering Bowie's career to date. Graphic design studio Barnbrook has designed the 'David Bowie is' book which accompanies the V&A's exhibition of the same name. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams on Mar 6, 2013 - 5 comments

The Stars Are Out Tonight

The second, rocking single from David Bowie's forthcoming album The Next Day is titled "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)". The video stars Bowie himself, and Tilda Swinton. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Feb 26, 2013 - 40 comments

Bowie and Me

The Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust, The Goblin King... what is he really like?
posted by Artw on Feb 23, 2013 - 37 comments

Blue, Blue, Electric Pepsi Blue

Accompanied by 150 musicians, Beck does an 8-minute re-imagination of Bowie's "Sound and Vision" (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by John Shaft on Feb 10, 2013 - 46 comments

Bowie: "Get your own pig!"

"There are reasons why this film is obscure. It is, in the most charitable possible evaluation, a mess: Bowie has described it as "my 32 Elvis films rolled into one." And yet life on that ever-dwindling island of not-on-region-one DVD films is a harsh fate for any film and particularly for this one, which is at least as interesting as its cast suggests and a good deal more. You don't need to dig out the VHS player to watch Mick Jagger run an agency of gigolos in The Man From Elysian Fields—you shouldn't have to do so to watch Bowie play one. " David Bowie's Lost 70s-era Weimar Berlin Movie: Just a Gigalo.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 2, 2013 - 17 comments

Davy Jones' Video Locker and 66th Birthday

It seems David Bowie recently got a Vimeo account, and is posting lots of videos from across the years on his website. Including one yesterday for his new single, which is being released ahead of his first album in ten years. Way to celebrate your 66th, Ziggy!
posted by not_on_display on Jan 7, 2013 - 90 comments

Songs for the Apocalypse

Rock Cellar Magazine has come up with a list of eleven songs to listen to in case the world comes to an end on December 21 2010. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Dec 19, 2012 - 44 comments

Space Oddity

The Man who Fell to Earth was Nicholas Roeg's Sci-fi classic featuring a fragile cocaine addicted David Bowie, between his Thin White Duke days and his Berlin trilogy, as a homesick alien falling into despair. Years later Duncan Jones - AKA Zowie Bowie, subject of a sentimental song on Hunky Dory - would make a Sci-Fi film of his own with similar themes of isolation.
posted by Artw on Dec 10, 2012 - 28 comments

Frankie Say But Have You Heard These?

Along with the endless myriad of remixes, Frankie Goes To Hollywood was known for their b-sides. Beginning with Ferry 'Cross The Mersey, a b-side to the single Relax (snippets of which are included on the Welcome To The Pleasuredome album), they consistently showed their humor and talent through non-album tracks. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Aug 26, 2012 - 41 comments

But it has some nudes/ So if that does it for you

The art house review/criticism series Brows Held High decided to tackle Nicolas Roeg/David Bowie's 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth by reviewing it as a karaoke medley of Bowie's greatest hits.
posted by The Whelk on May 21, 2012 - 12 comments

Have you ever seen Tilda and Bowie in the same room together?

Are Tilda Swinton and David Bowie the same person? [more inside]
posted by k8lin on Apr 16, 2012 - 56 comments

He rides the subway. He makes instant coffee.

Pictures of David Bowie doing normal stuff. Best experienced while listening to "Bowie's in Space" by Flight of the Conchords. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Jan 10, 2012 - 87 comments

Poe Raven Bowie Mashed

If Edgar Allan Poe's, 'The Raven', was interpreted by David Bowie, as imagined sounding by Ralph Garman. [more inside]
posted by phoque on Nov 7, 2011 - 12 comments

Tell my wife I love her very much

Illustrator Andrew Kolb asks Have you ever listened to a song and your mind's eye is immediately filled with visuals? David Bowie's Space oddity as a childrens book. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Aug 27, 2011 - 61 comments

Jean Genie

Jazzin' For Blue Jean is a 20 minute long David Bowie music video directed by Julian Temple.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Jun 13, 2011 - 34 comments

Let the children use it

The long-lost David Bowie album Toy has leaked online.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Mar 22, 2011 - 65 comments

Will this be included in the next volume of "Who Killed Amanda Palmer?"

Amanda Palmer and a sock puppet stage a meticulous re-enactment of a scene from Jim Henson's Labyrinth (see the original scene here), with a special guest appearance by a very famous writer as David Bowie's mullet. Happy Boxing Day!
posted by Strange Interlude on Dec 25, 2010 - 23 comments

The Magick of David Bowie

The Laughing Gnostic: David Bowie and the Occult A lengthy analysis.
posted by kimdog on Oct 14, 2010 - 15 comments

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