Musicians Michael and Spider have released the first two songs in their “Diamonds” project. It’s a collection of 10 David Bowie covers. The press release sums it up best:
MICHAEL AND SPIDER PUT THEIR UNIQUE SPIN ON CLASSIC BOWIE TRACKS
April 9, 2009 (Tucson, Ariz.)–Michael and Spider, musicians known for four creative, vibrant, genre-defying world jazz-rock-ethno-ambient albums, have embarked on a new project, “Diamonds,” a set of 10 covers of classic Bowie tracks. The first two of these, “Aladdin Sane” and “Big Brother,” are now available on iTunes, Rhapsody, and other online providers. Future tracks will be available as they are released, and when all 10 are completed, a CD version will be issued.
While the final track listing for “Diamonds” has yet to be decided, it will feature primarily less well-known Bowie compositions such as “Boys Keep Swinging”, “Starman”, “Queen Bitch”, and “Andy Warhol.” “We love early Bowie, and decided to focus on tracks from 1969-1979–for one thing, that’s when Spider and I really came of age as musicians and partners, and additionally, we felt that now, 30 years later, would be a good time for a renaissance of sorts of Bowie’s music,” remarked Michael. As to the decision to focus on lesser-known tracks, Spider added, “Tracks like ‘Changes’, ‘Golden Years’, ‘Young Americans’ are not just perfect, they’re sacred in our eyes…they can’t be improved upon,
so we decided to work with tracks that today’s audience are less likely to be familiar with–we really didn’t want folks to dismiss the project as ‘Here we go, another Bowie covers compilation’.”
Michael Ely and Spider Taylor have been making music together since the late 1970s. In 1981 they founded L.A.’s first openly-gay post-punk alternative band, Red Wedding, and gained a loyal following until they disbanded in 1985. After stints with several other bands, Michael and Spider moved to Tucson in 1987 and retired from music for 16 years. The musical itch returned in 2003, and they began composing cinematic instrumental soundscapes under the name “Smoke & Mirrors.” After three CDs as Smoke & Mirrors, they abandoned the name and now are simply “Michael and Spider.” Their latest CD, “Iridescent Garden,” was released in 2008 and is available from CD Baby, iTunes, and other digital resellers.
I heard the tracks and they’re great! Usually I’m kind of “meh” on covers since a lot of artists don’t put their own perspective on tracks they cover, but I feel like Michael and Spider have joined TV on the Radio and Bauhaus as artists who see Bowie classics through different eyes.
The first 50 people to email Dave Wade-Stein at Temple of the Moon Publishing with the subject line “CrackedActor.com Free Download” will receive a free download of Aladdin Sane and Big Brother. Just enough to whet your whistle and make you look forward to the rest of the CD. I hear that Boys Keep Swinging might be on the album….