Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"At the center of it all..."

... at the center of it all...

Second day in a row, and I've got another post. I haven't done repeat (thought induced) postings in a while. It's a good thing... no?

The music world is still clinging to the shrouded loss of an icon, and the fans seem to be in a clouded daze as well. I was just on TW, checking the threads. Seems like a couple people logged back in to say their farewells to the artist we all have come to enjoy and love. The users are crawling back in, and the answers are coming out the same - "I can't believe I remembered my credentials"..."It takes something this big"... Others are still in shock.

Let's face it - David Robert Jones has been talking about his death for nearly fifty years. Someone brought a similar thought up on the fan site, and coincidentally, I happened to have thought about it this morning, on my way to work, whilst listening to . ..A mere hours before logging back into anything on the interwebz.

If you trace back to some of the earlier work, out takes, in takes, covers, whatever is publicized... there have been little glimpses of where the music was headed and how it had shown it's gnarly face.

Just off the top of my head, for example, there's one song is the type of "rare" (so they say) / "never officially released on an album"(so they say) songs (Tired Of My Life) that transitioned itself into another completely separate song (It's No Game). We're talking somewhere in the late 1960s or 1970s for the first song, and 1980 for the latter (because it's on the Scary Monsters album.. same record that asked if we "remember a guy, in such an early song"  by the name of Major Tom [Ashes to Ashes]). A cover would be 1972's "My Death", a loosely translated Jacques Brel song.

Even the personas aren't exempt from death. Ziggy Stardust - the first incarnation of a new life (post hippy Dave of 1960), was "killed" off at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1973. The crowd went nuts, as that was the "last show" the alien and his Spiders From Mars would "ever do". It brought a doppelganger of sorts - Aladdin Sane. To which it wasn't long before the aristocratic Thin White Duke arrived hailing Nazi Germany (allegedly) and Nietzscheisms. A small string of other alter egos and more questions about life and death in the subconscious context, everyone just merrily sang along with the man who had warned his listeners about the last of the corpses rotting in the thoroughfare (Future Legend) and that Everyone Says 'Hi', he knew that one day, we all could be "Heroes".

Listening to Blackstar today, even as I write this post, I have way too many questions that will never be answered. I think some of the queries are best left to the imagination, and some should be asked. But knowing the right kind of person, is hard, as no one has the right response. It's like the constant "why" from a child to its parents. The parents don't have a clue what to tell the tot on occasion; instead, they get upset at the probing and the cherub quite possibly acquaints vocalizing thoughts as something you just don't do. Are my internal ramblings on that level? I would hope not. Should anyone's? Again, I would hope not.

Although my first thought of the album, with headphones in, is you can really hear something wrong with db. As much as "it pains me" to give a harsh criticism so early in the game, but there are sections in the beginning and end of a couple of the songs, where you can hear a wheezy breathing... something that no other song I've heard, has. A true sign Mr. B may have been ill. No one listened for his rasps and edited it out. Paul's not dead, he's just breathing. I do have to ask, however, why is Gail Ann Dorsey and the rest of the typical Scooby Gang not on this album (I'm looking at you, Earl Slick, as well)? The digital download of the album has the booklet attached, and I was reading (scanning) it for the lyrics and some pictures, and the last couple pages have the musicians listed. Not one name I knew, besides Bowie and Visconti (producer). It's a little let down, that the gang we all came to recognize from the past 35 years, wasn't given a thought to come back and play. Was this intentional? I always found it funny when Gail Ann (bassist) warbled along with Bowie. It was cute! Where was Sterling Campbell on drums, (the aforementioned) Earl Slick on guitar, "Spooky Ghost" Gerry Leonard on guitar, and Mike Garson on keyboard? Were they not as relevant for this album?

Too many questions, and unfortunately company just walked in.

More to come...


Where the fuck did Monday go?