Archive for May, 2007
Rolling Stone Is Dead To Me
Thursday, May 31st, 2007

For years I have been mystified as to why I continue to subscribe to the faux-hip, quasi-artistically aware magazine Rolling Stone. Every time I read it I have to resist the urge to throw the magazine across my living room and shout, “Gawd, I hate this magazine!”, thereby causing various four-legged house animals to scatter in fear and confusion. Today for the first time, I now feel the urge to not only throw the next issue I get, but to throw it at a Rolling Stone staffer. Rolling Stone just published the results of their Great Songs on Bad Albums blog entry and narrowed the list down to include 25 songs. I was prepared to look at the list and have a laugh until I came to item number 5. Item number 5 is Hallo Spaceboy from Outside. I ask you, reader, what is Rolling Stone smoking? Whatever it is, keep it far far away from me because it will obviously turn me into a philistine. How in the hell did the staffers at Rolling Stone by-pass Tonight or Never Let Me Down (which David himself admits is not his finest work) and settle upon Outside?! Leave it to Rolling Stone to choose one of David’s most ingenious and unique works and peg it as “bad.”

Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised at all. This is the magazine that simply squeed with joy and sycophantic admiration when Shania Twain said in an interview that she only published the songs that would make her a lot of money (not an exact quote, obviously). This is also the same magazine that is publishing fashion tips so that young people can dress just like their favorite musician, because, you know, God forbid anyone develop a style of their own. It seems like all that Rolling Stone is doing is just parroting the widely held critical opinion that Outside is one of Bowie’s weaker albums since obviously it is too much trouble to actually listen to the music that the entire magazine draws its livelihood from. I don’t know why I am continually surprised when Rolling Stone publishes a bone-headed opinion. I guess I’m just a relentless optimist, even though I should be old enough to know better.

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Good Tips For Those Covering David Bowie Songs
Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Merritt Martin at the Dallas Observer is a wise man. The David Bowie Tribute Show at the Opening Bell Coffee in Dallas inspired him to give some tips to those performers who wish to show their love for David Bowie. He divides the songs into two categories: Songs That Are Not Necessarily Acceptable, But We Acquiesce and Songs You Are Absolutely NOT Allowed to Cover. Just Don’t. Read his advice here. It might save you from regurgitated non-fat vanilla latte stains on your awesome duds.

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Review of “Bowie, Bolan, and the Brooklyn Boy”
Thursday, May 31st, 2007

The June issue of Harp Magazine will feature a review of Tony Visconti’s book Bowie, Bolan, and the Brooklyn Boy.  With his book, Visconti aimed to paint a realistic picture of his, Bolan’s, and David Bowie’s lives and experiences.  He also lets the reader into his mind by explaining how some Bowie and T. Rex albums were produced.  Interestingly, Morrissey wrote the forward.  I’m especially curious about what Morrissey has to say since I’ve not heard him say a favorable thing about Bowie in ten years.

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David Bowie Will Not Be Appearing in “Cornelius Fly”
Friday, May 25th, 2007

Despite the claims of the Iceland Review, David Bowie will not be appearing in Gus Olafsson‘s debut film, Cornelius Fly. David himself posted on the BowieNet message board, “This is total b.s. I’ve never heard of it.” Total Blam Blam over at BowieNet speculates that the spurious claim is a publicity stunt, and I agree. Nice try though, Olafsson – maybe you and Richard Branson can get together for a drink and exchange notes.

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Houston Group Frenticore to Present “Outside”
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

The Houston-based theater group Frenticore will be presenting their production “Outside” at the Frenetic Theater in Houston on May 25-June 23, 2007.  The show is based on, of course, David Bowie’s 1.Outside album.  Frenticore will tell the story through video created by Robert Thoth, dance choreographed by Rebekah French and Ashley Horn, and music composed by Two Star Symphony.  With a group that describes itself as a “brave little Houston-based dance/theater group dedicated to giving the masses the kind of dance they’ve demanded for so long…dance that tells happy stories of demons, gun-toting preachers, jazz-handed fascists, and imaginary eight-foot tall baby seals”, the show is bound to be brilliant.  1.Outside is not just my favorite David Bowie album, but my favorite album of all time so I am excited at the prospect of an unconventional troupe of performers bringing the album to life.  For more information, read the article on Theatreport or visit Frenticore’s MySpace page.

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Air Date for SpongeBob SquarePants Episode Featuring Lord Royal Highness
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

BowieNet released details regarding the air date for the new episode of SpongeBob SquarePants that will feature David Bowie as the voice of Lord Royal Highness.  The episode will air on Nickelodeon on November 11, 2007.  So, as they say, check your local listings.

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David Bowie Featured in Upcoming Movie “August”
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

David Bowie The Actor is back on the big screen with a small role in the latest Josh Hartnett vehicle, “August.” David plays the part of a CEO of a dotcom corporation and amazingly managed to film his part earlier this week during what I’m sure was an insane High Line Festival schedule. That might explain why he was unable to perform like he originally said he was going to. But I digress. The movie, set in August 2001, is centered around two brothers that are working to keep their own dotcom company from going under.

According to IMDB, Austin Chick is directing and Howard A. Rodman wrote the screenplay. Neither of those two have been involved with any movies that I’ve seen, so I can’t make any pre-judgement. Damn – and I so love to do that. However, it also stars Rip Torn, who starred in The Man Who Fell To Earth alongside David, so that’s a bit of awesome. The movie is due out in 2009. We’ll keep the Movies section of the Wiki updated.

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The Thin White Duke Brings Out the Fat White Duck
Monday, May 21st, 2007

The Highline Festival ended on a high note on Saturday, with the roaring sound of laughter at Madison Square Garden. Ricky Gervais made his American stand up comedy debut there, performing a 70 minute show that sold out in its first day of ticket sales.

A tuxedo-clad David Bowie won some of the first laughs of the evening, though, when he revived the “Little Fat Man” song which he sang on Gervais’ British comedy series, Extras. Bowie, playing the part of himself on Extras, came up with the song on piano after meeting Gervais’ character, Andy Millman, in an VIP club. On Saturday night, Bowie sang the song a capella and invited the audience to join in. Then he envisioned some of the puns that would surely appear in the headlines about the show: “Piggy Stardust,” “Chunky Dory,” and our favorite, “Thin White Duke brings out the Fat White Duck.”

Gervais then took the stage dressed in a black T, jeans and sneakers. The show consisted of his best routines from his past stand up performances, Animals, Extras, and Fame, with topics like kids with cancer, pedophilia, safe sex tips, nursery rhymes, and Nazis. For instance, Gervais told the audience, “People always learn something from my lectures. At this particular lecture, we learned how sharks are better than Nazis. Nazis? Rubbish. Sharks would have found Anne Frank in a day.”

For reviews of the show, check out and The Independent. For tiny photos that are so small they are hardly worth looking at, squinch your eyes at

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High Line Updates: Daniel Johnston and Co.
Saturday, May 19th, 2007

The Highline Ballroom was the setting for an eclectic triple-header on May 16th featuring the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, followed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, followed by Daniel Johnston. Jon Pareles of the NY Times wrote a good review the complete show.

For the uninitiated, here’s a bit of history on the Legendary Stardust Cowboy/Bowie connection. In 1968, he had a hit with a song called Paralyzed (here’s a clip). It made it a fan out of a 21-year-old David Bowie who paid tribute to the “Ledge” in 1972 with a character on a concept album named Ziggy Stardust. 30 years later, Bowie covered a Ledge song, Gemini Spacecraft, on the album Heathen. The Ledge returned the favor when he recorded his own Space Oddity.

The Ledge put on a fun and carefree show on Wednesday night. He yodeled, tossed out autographed paper plates like frisbees, and belly-crawled around on the stage. His tunes, like the man himself, are a unique brand. Some call the genre “pyschobilly“, a mix of punk and rockabilly. Pareles described his High Line show as sounding “on the verge of free jazz.”

Next was the Bang on a Can All-Stars, a contemporary chamber-music group playing mostly drum-driven songs, closest to rock. The group consists of six on electric guitar, cello, keyboards, bass, clarinet and percussion. By no means primitive like the Ledge and Johnston, they’re still like nothing you’ve ever heard. See what I mean? Some (David Bowie) love listening to them, while others like Leeza would prefer to be brutally murdered by a nearby stranger.

Daniel Johnston was the headliner for the night and another odd breed. As a singer-songwriter suffering from serious mental illness, he’s attracted a noteworthy fan base that includes Bowie, Nirvana, and Sonic Youth. Johnston played two shows in NYC and performed some songs acoustic, others backed by the Joe McGinty Band. BrooklynVegan reported that his performance at the Warsaw was the better of the two, as his Highline Ballroom show was only half as long and rudely interrupted by a flock of busboys noisily gathering bottles and glasses from the stage.

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Corrections Made in the Gallery
Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Thanks to the eagle eyes of David Phipps, several photos that were misnamed, misplaced, or both have been fixed.  I moved and renamed several pictures in the Diamond Dogs, Station to Station, Berlin Years, Young Americans, and Scary Monsters galleries.  So have a look and, if you’re old enough to remember those eras, take a trip down memory lane.

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