David Bowie

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snoqueen
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David Bowie

Postby snoqueen » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:54 pm

I have been touched and at the same time mystified by the heartfelt tributes on the death of David Bowie.

At the risk of exposing myself as totally uncultured, I never got him. All the poses, the costumes, the different identities... If you can't figure out who somebody is, how can you be attracted? At the same time, I see this variability and enigmatic quality is part of what drew people to his art.

I vaguely liked Space Oddity but after that I was lost. I confess to being hopelessly literal-minded, which maybe put him out of reach for me.

Was he a coastal phenomenon who could never make sense in the bar-band Midwest? Dressing up all different ways isn't quite what people do here on a regular basis. He was exactly my own age, but did he speak to a different generation? A different demographic along some other dimension?

I would enjoy reading other people's impressions, explanations, and perhaps tributes.

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Re: David Bowie

Postby chainsawcurtis » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:26 pm

I was listening to a Fresh Air interview today from 2002. He may have been a true genius/artist. You are right, I think, about it being a coastal thing. I was in New York when he appeared on the scene in '69 and, as a musician, liked his stuff a lot. The gender bending, not so much, but all the Brit rockers from the Stones to Rod Stewart were all wearing the boas and spandex in the early seventies. He said that it was all affectation - the personas, the clothing and make-up - that he was using to communicate the different style of music he was producing. He asserted that "glam rock" was nothing more than a watered down description much like dadaism - "Everything is crap. But ours is good crap."

He said that he actually stopped creating personas after 1975. After that he just changed his music for each album and many of those albums are ignored in this country but in Europe he was "the guy that put out a lot of records."

gargantua
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Re: David Bowie

Postby gargantua » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:40 pm

I never really cared about the personas because that stuff doesn't matter to me. I just liked the music.

jonnygothispen
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Re: David Bowie

Postby jonnygothispen » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:49 pm

The leader of "The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long Haired Men" speaks out...


Bwis53
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Re: David Bowie

Postby Bwis53 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:53 pm

I never got him, though my ex. and his brother did. I feel he had a lot of untapped potential and wasn't using his voice to it's best. Maybe I just didn't like his singing style.

Igor
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Re: David Bowie

Postby Igor » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:36 pm

Looking at his singles discography, I would say that 1983 is the dividing line, when I don't see anything I like after that date. I freely admit that I don't know much beyond what was played on radio, so there may well be earlier album cuts I would enjoy.

The whole changing of his "look" every couple albums is something I get, and something that no doubt helped sell a lot of records. However, it is something that would make me less likely to purchase an album, not more. Artists should pay a little attention to how they look (e.g., wear a brighter color t-shirt if you are playing a massive venue, don't become obese, thanks for getting your teeth fixed Shane McGowan) but I could not possibly care any less about "fashion".

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Re: David Bowie

Postby Bwis53 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:48 pm

Yeah, if guys in jeans and T-shirts play well, I don't care that they're not wearing suits etc.!

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Re: David Bowie

Postby pjbogart » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:21 pm

I was never a huge Bowie fan, but a lot of the musicians that I DID admire certainly borrowed a lot from him. He was iconic, and generally when you talk about musicians who had more influence than fame you're talking about obscure bands like The Velvet Underground, but in Bowie's case, he was both a superstar and a trailblazer.

He deserves all of his accolades. He wasn't simply a musician with few hits under his belt, he had incredible influence over a wide range of bands and genres. And his influence extended beyond music. He was also an actor who commanded attention and an artist who influenced fashion and attitudes.

If you think about it, David Bowie made it OK to be gay, even though he wasn't gay. He helped gender-bend everyone from Robert Smith to Annie Lennox. And just when you thought you knew David Bowie, he did a 180 and his persona changed entirely.

I came a bit after Bowie's prime and he always struck me as a pop superstar, but his stamp on music and culture is undeniable. He's one of those artists who regardless of your favorite music, your favorite musician listened to Bowie.

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Re: David Bowie

Postby Ducatista » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:05 am

I came up at a perfect time to adore Bowie. As I kid I thought of him as kind of a stadium rocker, only more interesting. And then came Low, and Heroes, and Scary Monsters, and where in the hell did Let's Dance come from? Not to mention The Hunger. I was obsessed with that movie.

I can't speak for the coast, but to this upper-Midwestern girl Bowie was the epitome of smart cool. And so he's remained.

The second song on Blackstar starts with him audibly inhaling, suddenly poignant.

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Re: David Bowie

Postby jonnygothispen » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:45 pm

A crisper version:


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