Archive for the 'Circle Of Friends' Category
Bowie at the Keep A Child Alive Ball 2008
Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Last week David Bowie and Iman attended the annual Keep A Child Alive Black Ball.  Nothing really earth-shattering happened for me to report on, but I do want to direct you to the blurb written in The Sun.  The picture accompanying the article is really great.  Too bad The Sun is territorial about their photos, otherwise I would put it in the gallery.

[edit] I’m a lazy twit.  Here is the link to the Wire Image photo set from which the photo in The Sun came.  And here’s some more eye candy as well.  That explains the pop-up window in response to a right-click on the picture in the article.

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Looking At Music Exhibit Will Feature Videos by David Bowie
Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

The Looking At Music exhibition at MoMA will examine the influence of technology on experimentation in music.  Music videos from the early days of The Beatles, David Bowie, Captain Beefheart, The Residents, and Devo will be featured to demonstrate changes in tehcnology and music since 1965.  Starting on December 1. 2008 Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth will host Early Music Videos by David Bowie.  All of the videos that will be featured are part of the gift from the David Bowie Archive to MoMa earlier this year.  The show runs through January 5, 2009.

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Iggy Drops A Big Ol’ Hint for David Bowie
Saturday, October 25th, 2008

In a recent interview with Larry Ryan at the Independent, Iggy expressed interest in working with David Bowie sometime in the future.  When asked by Ryan “You reunited with the founding members of the Stooges when recording Skull Ring, do you think you will ever reunite with David Bowie to make any new music?” Iggy answered, “You never know. The way etiquette in the rock world works is that the larger giant approaches the smaller giant so that would be entirely out of my curfew.”  So……..hey Bowie!  Hint hint nudge nudge!  You know every fan will buy a new collaboration.

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New Jewelry Line by Iman
Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Hear that? That’s the sound of me rejoicing over Iman’s new jewelry line. In designing pieces for Global Chic, Iman drew inspiration from various bits of jewelry collected from China, Africa, India, Bali, and her own vintage engagement ring. Iman said in an interview with Vogue that a woman is never fully dressed if she does not have the proper accessories. The Home Shopping Network will launch the line on their TV channel and website on December 15.

Additionally, the Canadian Press has another great interview with Iman. Read it for some fun tips for yourself or the important women in your life.

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Funk to Funky
Sunday, December 9th, 2007

For those of you getting a jump on your holiday shopping, hop over to Chuck Hammer’s iTunes store and consider getting your loved ones some gorgeous guitar music.  Or for that matter, getting a little present for yourself.  The man behind the guitar riffs on Ashes to Ashes, Teenage Wildlife, and a few Lou Reed songs is still hard at work.  I previewed some of the songs myself and may have to add a couple albums to my own wishlist.

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Neal Preston Photo Essay
Sunday, August 12th, 2007 is running a brilliant photo essay by rock photographer Neal Preston, who has photographed David Bowie on several occasions. The photo that Preston chose to share a memory about is from the 1976 Station to Station Tour at the Los Angeles show. Among the 19 other photos are John Lee Hooker, Freddie Mercury, the Rat Pack, and Sid Vicious. To read the full essay and Preston’s memories of each photo, visit PhotoSynthesis on

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Band Mates Update
Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

I don’t know about everyone else, but I love to know what Bowie’s former and current band mates are up to from time to time. So I have two updates for you today.

Catherine Russell, sometime member of David Bowie’s band, will be performing at the Rochester Jazz Festival on June 14. Russell has been a musician and a vocalist for many years, but is just now releasing an album of her own. The album Cat finds Russell covering fourteen little-performed jazz standards and one original song entitled “Blue Memories” written by her and Paul Kahn. For more information on Russell and her career, read Jeff Spevak’s interview with her in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.  Her diverse musical influences are fascinating.  Must remember to pick up her album.

Tony and Hunt Sales, along with Alec Pure of Deadsy, are working with Elijah Blue on his tentative new album. So far the four have only completed two demo tracks, which have been posted on Blue’s MySpace page. At the risk of tainting your opinions of the songs, I’m underwhelmed by them.

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Iman will host “Project Runway Canada”
Friday, June 1st, 2007

The designers on the new show “Project Runway Canada” will be in for a treat – Iman will be hosting the show! After appearing on the American version of Project Runway and making it one of the highest-rated episodes of the series, the producers of the Canadian version asked her to host their show. In an interview with CNW Telbec, Iman said, “I love every aspect of fashion and have been fortunate enough to work with the best in our business including Mr. Saint Laurent, Mr. Valentino, Mr. Versace, and Mr. Lagerfeld. Fashion is truly an art form and on Project Runway Canada we hope to showcase tomorrow’s international fashion visionaries. Let the stitching begin!” You can read three great interviews with Iman at, CNW Telbec, and

The show is set to shoot from mid-June to mid-July and air on Slice. I hope that my satellite TV provider gets the Slice channel. If not, then I must have it. I must see this show because, frankly, if a fashion gets Iman’s stamp of approval then I will probably wear it. Oh, and one piece of advice for the Canadian designers – listen to Iman!

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The Devo – David Bowie Connection
Friday, May 18th, 2007

Yesterday’s edition of the Telegraph featured a great reminiscence by Jerry Casale from Devo on the Cleveland show on David Bowie’s 1974 Diamond Dogs tour. Casales said that the show “solidified right then and there what I wanted to do with Devo.” He decided to quit sitting around and toking up and just bouncing around ideas of what to do with the band. Oddly enough, he also says that Bowie began the show in a Kabuki outfit. Really? In 1974?! That must have been some hella strong pot or Casales had a little lapsus memoriae.

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Review of the Arcade Fire show at the High Line Festival
Thursday, May 10th, 2007

The following review was kindly written for by Samuel Mohar. I must admit, I’ve never been much of a fan of Arcade Fire but this review makes me want to give them another chance. If anyone else wishes to contribute a review to be posted on this site, contact me or the Webmaster at webmistress (a t) or webmaster (a t)

In preparation for my first Arcade fire concert, while spraying on some cologne, a roommate asks “Gotta smell good for David?” “Yessir,” I reply. Ain’t gonna hide my purpose here; I bought these tickets at least in part due to my hope that the man himself, David Bowie, would pop by, sing a song, as he did at last years Fashion Rocks, and once again at a follow-up New York concert Arcade Fire had. And after the opening act, The National, I doubted anything but his presence would make this worth the price.

Welcome to Radio City Music Hall! Opulencia! “Poor man’s eating off a hundred dollar plate,” and poor student’s going to a $50 show (after Ticketmaster’s healthy chunk). The crowd covers a decent age range, mean lower 20’s, median 29, as a rough guess. The man a few seats down from me looked 45, and I saw a few other older fellows, almost all in some sort of print button up over a t-shirt, often with its own design. The youth were as expected: late-twenties hipsters with tight vests, late-teens hipsters with that wonderful hair that apparently is never socially acceptable after that age, and a couple of Danish dames to my left, who were lively and would later dance throughout Arcade Fire’s set. I was in a nice white tee and some imitation cologne, and felt more underdressed than I should at a rock show. Shiny glowstick stirrers in plastic cups abounded, brought in from the numerous bars littering every floor.

The auditorium itself is huge. I made my way up to the second of three mezzanines, and sat down to view the giant egg of concentric half-ovals, nestled nicely back in the middle of the mez, enveloped in the blue lights twelve feet above. It felt appropriately isolated and distant from the stage, but comfortable, especially with the sparse crowd to which The National took the stage.

Their sound filled the womb of the stage, with poorly mixed and overpowered bass becoming like a disproportionately distant beating- you make the metaphor- while the screeches from the front-man sounded strangely close and natural, not reproduced or amplified. They sounded good, playing decent indie rock music with clean, solid, but expected builds. The songs became formulaic. The lead singer did his thing fairly well, singing Nick Cave drones into the mic at the odd body angles of Tom Waits, sometimes bordering new wave, sometimes going up into the aforementioned shrieks. Nothing sounded bad about the band, but nothing stuck out, either; we could have been listening to a CD player, and, had we been, I would not have been paying more than cursory attention to it. Now, the frontman’s leg was injured, damaging his ability to jump around, though he made good effort. But the rest of the bands’ perpetually bored appearance did nothing for their show. The drummer’s hands looked mechanical, in perfect time, in perfect rhythm; the rest of him could remain dull at the most frenetic beats. It was apparent, though, why they would open for The Arcade Fire; look no further than the drone guitar and slam piano on “Apartment Story.” Nonetheless, I was near falling asleep before Arcade Fire had taken the stage.

Coming back from intermission, an immediate change was noticed; the place was packed. How everyone knew exactly when to show up so as to miss the openers, I’ll never know, but there they were, twice as many hipsters, twice as many high-schoolers, and everyone twice as excited. The lights dimmed to a cheer, and five white circles placed amongst the numerous instruments on stage lit up with an old recording of some female televangelist. “Anyone who can’t feel the light of God needs a Jesus enema put right up their butt.” Yes, really, it was something very similar to that. She continued, and the theme was set.

If you’ve ever heard that Arcade Fire is best live, you’ve heard completely right. At first I thought the sound was true to the album, clean and well-rehearsed. Maybe, but that is far from all. By the time they tore through “No Cars Go,” I knew I was in for a theatrical experience. Strange faces played across the back curtain, sometimes fading into live feed of the drummer, and red neon lines of light stuck straight up in front of the band, six of them. Every “Hey!” was accentuated with a bright flash at the audience. And, more importantly, every person on stage, all ten people, were completely into their music like it was their first time playing it live. And they wanted everyone else to be, too. The lead singer at one memorable point in the evening tried to summon more people to the sectioned off space in the front: “Come on, there’s more room up here. Oops, he’s [the security guard] shaking his head ‘no.’ Come on down, what the fuck are they gonna do?” Wonderful sentiment, exactly what bands need to keep from losing all fan interplay to these large venues, except this ain’t a punk-rock audience. They may be into the music, but certainly aren’t going to run up against the four or five guards standing at the entrances to the barricades, especially not these guards who looked large even from my viewpoint and distance. So he does the next best thing, running out into the audience during “Power Out”, a brave stagehand dashing out to loose him some mic cord. The same song featured a gorgeous duet of fiddling, just discernable enough over the general drone. Later, in a valiant attempt to grab some much-deserved attention, one of the men from the horn sections ran all the way back along the side.

Which reminds me: never have the horns on Neon Bible stood out in any way, especially not as emotional catalyst, to my ears. And yet they were one of the most impactful pieces of the orchestration on many songs live. This leads me to believe that Arcade Fire could take a cue from Ziggy Stardust: TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME. This is not just ambient rock, to set on as background, this is a wall of noise! Every instrument is emotive, and every instrument is vital! The mixing on the album does not do them justice.

While watching, the smell of pot wafted up to my seat fairly early in their set.  The aforementioned Danish women danced through every song. The hipsters did their thing, which seems to be showing appreciation by standing attentively, occasionally nodding. The friendly older man leaned over and spoke with me, behind a rather cute hipster who hardly moved his hands to clap. The last time he had seen Arcade Fire, he had snuck into the VIP section (No one was watching it), and, after a few songs, noticed that David Bowie was standing nearby, completely engrossed in the music. This should have sent me back into fret over whether he would appear, but by that time, more than halfway through the set, I no longer minded; I was seeing a true performance. Beginning, middle, end, it was about the arch, about the concert as a whole. “In The Backseat,” a ballad sung by one of the women in the band, is not a song I’d normally listen to on an album. But when placed in context, with her stunning performance and strange little circular hand motions, the effect was haunting; the cello solo doubly so.

They ended beautifully, the drone dropping out, only a chorus of reverberant voices remaining, as a siren fades in and the band leaves the stage. A moment later, the siren is gone, the stage is barren, but for the five TVs displaying the Neon Bible logo. All that remains is the chorus of voices, which grew until it sounded as if the audience was a congregation, all singing along. A glance proved this untrue, but I’ll just take that as a nod to the sound men. When the encore claps came, they seemed obtrusive to this moment, distracting, a reminder that no, you aren’t in some strange post-apocalyptic church, just in an audience of hipsters. But getting to hear the man himself, and this time I’m referring to Win Butler, sing those words: “Poor man eating off a hundred dollar plate…” It was worth the disruption of the final tableau. But following that up with “Wake Up?” That was just cruel. Just asking the audience to expect Bowie to pop on stage.

-Samuel Mohar

[email protected]

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