Patterico's Pontifications

9/9/2005

What in the World?

Filed under: General,Music — Patterico @ 10:00 pm

My wife is downstairs watching some show called “Fashion Rocks,” which is apparently some sort of hurricane relief rock benefit program. I heard David Bowie starting to sing “Life on Mars?” — and I ran downstairs to watch.

David Bowie is one of my all-time favorite performers, but I have little interest in the music he put out after the late 70s (with the exception of his 1983 “Let’s Dance” album). But “Life on Mars?” is a classic song from his early 70s period.

His performance was spotty: it was at times weak, at times inspired.

Also, he had a cast on his left wrist, and an apparent black eye. What’s the deal there?

P.S. Duran Duran is on now, but I’m not running downstairs, because they’re doing “Girls on Film” — one of their weaker songs.

17 Responses to “What in the World?”

  1. Patterico:

    Huh, I really only like two Duran Duran songs: the Chauffeur and Girls On Film. First, I love minor key, and it’s used in both, I believe. Second, I really liked the videos — the long version of GoF — which was only shown, back in those days (1980s), on the Playboy Channel, because they contained a lot of nudity.

    I sorta kinda like Rio, but that’s about it. My sister was a huge DD fan when she was in grade school, however. She’s the one who got me to listen to them (ordinarily, I don’t like much post-70s rock).

    My tastes run more to acid rock (the Fish, Iron Butterfly, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, early Bowie) and prog rock (King Crimson, ELP, Yes, Roger Waters-era Pink Floyd, later Bowie).

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  2. I’m a Duranie from way back, and GOF wasn’t one of my favorite songs, either. In fact, IIRC, what made GOF so popular was not the song itself but the controversial video that was so controversial that even by today’s more lax standards it still won’t/wouldn’t be shown.

    I wasn’t even watching TV last night when my sis called to tell me they were on. By that point, they were doing a song off their new album, which is I must say one of their best (IMO) and I have them all. They put out some real duds in the 90s and the Wedding album, while good and put them on the “comeback” for a little bit, was overrated.

    Saw them in concert a couple of months ago here where I live – first time I’d ever seen all five of them together (they’d broken up in the late 80s and at times there were two or three of the originals who’d tour as Duran). Great show – I sat five rows back from the stage in the center. Incidentally, the live version the did of GOF was better than the album version.

    Anyway, I take my hat off to you Patterio because I don’t know too many guys who’d actually admit to liking a Duran song 😉

    Sister Toldjah (91f6ca)

  3. It would be interesting to do a thread on 70s Bowie as there are a surprising number of bloggers that hold that era of Bowie as one of their all-time favorite periods of rock. One of our guest contributors even blogs under the name “Moon,” short for “Moonage Daydream.” I could write for days on the Bowie period 1970-75, which to me is unrivaled by any other artist before or since.

    Insider (8feb2b)

  4. P.S. Duran Duran is on now, but I’m not running downstairs, because they’re doing “Girls on Film” — one of their weaker songs.

    Do you mean to imply that they have stronger songs?

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  5. Songs like “Save a Prayer” or “New Moon on Monday” or “Hungry Like a Wolf” were good.

    Patterico (756436)

  6. It would be interesting to do a thread on 70s Bowie as there are a surprising number of bloggers that hold that era of Bowie as one of their all-time favorite periods of rock.

    Consider this that thread. What’s your favorite Bowie album? Mine is Diamond Dogs — his last great album.

    Ziggy Stardust is a close second. In fact, my own album of songs is named after it: The Ride and Fall of Rex Stardust. (Understanding the title also requires an in-depth knowledge of Monty Python.)

    (I have a crazy project I’m considering doing here, where I may post some of my own songs for the readers’ enjoyment suffering. Long-time reader Laudio is currently transferring the songs from audiotape into a postable format. It may take a half-bottle of wine to get up the courage to actually do this. The songs will all written and recorded over a decade ago, and I’m a terrible singer and poor guitar player. But the songs themselves aren’t bad. Does that hold any interest for you?)

    Patterico (756436)

  7. I’m tired of you people implying that if George Bush just had better vocal range and stronger lyrics this whole disaster could have been avoided.

    Lew Clark (08012c)

  8. Note also that the title of the post not only expressed my amazement at hearing Bowie sing “Life on Mars?” but is also itself a Bowie tribute.

    Patterico (756436)

  9. Tangentially, I just saw a Rolling Stones poster where honest to God, they’re all so grizzled I can’t tell Keith from, uh, the guy who isn’t Mick or has formerly blond hair.

    They all look like Olympia Dukakis now.

    Mike G (f51c0e)

  10. Also, he had a cast on his left wrist, and an apparent black eye. What’s the deal there?

    His mellow black chick (wife Iman) just put his spine out of place?

    L.N. Smithee (2b0a19)

  11. Sister Toldjah wrote: IIRC, what made GOF so popular was not the song itself but the controversial video that was so controversial that even by today’s more lax standards it still won’t/wouldn’t be shown.

    Sister T: I didn’t get cable TV until 2000, so most of the music videos I have seen are those that could be shown on (or edited for) network TV (NBC’s Friday Night Videos show, for example). I can’t imagine that an explicit version of the “Girls on Film” video could be more objectionable than what I have seen on MTV (when they actually have programs about music and not bed-hopping, left-wing politics, and the joys of setting yourself on fire) or cable outlets like BET.

    I am glad I was through with my teen years before catching a glimpse of Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video. Talk about mind-warping. That thing is almost a recruitment poster for preteens to become exotic dancers.

    L.N. Smithee (2b0a19)

  12. The Cast and the black eye we apparently all part of a ‘costume’ – He was seen later on playing guitar with another band, and all the Schtick was gone.

    Bill (297551)

  13. My wife particularly enjoyed some soft porn stuff. I was sleeping….Damn ….guess my age is showing….sigh

    J Winters (a5008f)

  14. Patterico:

    While Diamond Dogs is a killer album — er, CD — I think of lot of later Bowie is up to the same standards: Heroes, for example, or Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.

    For some reason, several of my David Bowie CDs seem to have vanished, including Diamond Dogs.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  15. Also, he had a cast on his left wrist, and an apparent black eye. What’s the deal there?

    Iman beats him.

    Karol (33a450)

  16. For you fans of early Bowie, I recommend Van der Graaf Generator — especially if you also like early 70s Tull. I listened today to the fantastic album “Still Life,” and it was much like hearing David Bowie singing “Thick as a Brick.”

    Patterico (756436)

  17. I love Duran Duran. Girls on Film may be one of their weaker songs, but it’s one of their better videos.

    steve M. (107ded)


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