Archive for September, 2007
Can You Ever Have Too Much Sax?
Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Here’s one for the top 100 dumbest lists about music: it’s A. V. Club’s 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined By Saxophone. Topping the list somehow is Bowie’s Young Americans. Really? Young Americans? Because I have a hard time imagining what Young Americans would sound like without the saxophone. Maybe I’m biased, but to me David Sanborn’s opening sax in Young Americans is the hook that latches onto your earlobes and keeps you listening. It’s fundamental to the idea of the song and the sound of the entire album. But to the author, Josh Modell, it’s just sounds like “constant nagging and yipping.”

If you want to make a case for bad sax in a Bowie song, why go after a classic? I think Neukoln is your obvious choice. I don’t mind the wailing there, I’ve never heard the sax played in such a way, but I can see how someone else might find it a hard listen. Or what about the Forgotten Songs of David Jones version of Waiting For The Man? I think I actually would describe that sax as constant nagging and yipping.

What do you think? Are there any Bowie songs you’d prefer with different instrumentation?

Posted in Opinions | 4 Comments »
David Bowie Donates to Legal Fund for Jena Six
Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

David Bowie recently donated $10,000 to a legal fund for a group of teenagers known as the Jena 6.  Bowie stated via email to the AP, “There is clearly a separate and unequal judicial process going on in the town of Jena.  A donation to the Jena Six Legal Defense Fund is my small gesture indicating my belief that a wrongful charge and sentence should be prevented.”

The case involves six black teenagers charged with allegedly attacking a white classmate.  One of the teens, Mychal Bell, was tried as an adult by an all-white jury.  Bell’s case was overturned by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal with the comment that he should not have been tried as an adult.

On a personal note, I am heartened to see that Bowie feels so strongly about this case.  As a former case worker in the juvenile justice system in my homestate, I have seen too many teens get railroaded by the court system.  I hope the Jena 6 get the justice and fair trial that is afforded to them in the constitution, and nothing less.

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