Tuesday, 17 September 2019

i took a trip on a gemini spaceship

Via the resplendent Everlasting Blรถrt, we are treated to a series of never before released photographs of David Bowie (*1947 – †2016) captured by Markus Klinko for his 2002 studio album Heathen, images inspired by the neoclassic, come-backs tracks. Klinko whom has since worked with a number of recording artists was engaged by Bowie after the photographer took the book jacket picture for the cover of Bowie’s wife’s autobiography, I am Iman. Learn more and discover a whole gallery of galley proofs at the links above.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

for here am i sitting in a tin can

Though lyrically and stylistically informed by the previous year’s release of the Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey (previously), David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (previously) had a delayed release—a version was recorded back in February—owing to an earlier split with his old record label and Bowie’s new artists and repertoire managing group decided to release the song on this day in 1969, just nine days ahead of the Apollo 11 mission, to capitalise on the publicity of that event. Due to the tone and the unresolved finish, the BBC network of stations refrained from playing the song until the crew of the lunar excursion were safely back on Earth.

Monday, 27 August 2018

hazy cosmic jive

Via our peripatetic friend the Everlasting Blรถrt we are introduced to artist and entrepreneur Todd Alcott who creates rather clever, anachronistic pulp fiction/pop culture mash-ups in the form of book covers. With special attention to the generally lurid imagery and typeface, Alcott has employed these compositions to—among other things—encapsulate songs and albums of musicians who arguably were informed by the Midcentury Modern aesthetic themselves to create lovely librettos of David Bowie, The Talking Heads, New Order and others.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

bowiebranchia

Via fellow internet-caretakers the Everlasting Blรถrt, we find a selection of nudibrachia or other species of marine opisthobranchia (sea slugs, from the Greek for naked gills, having shed their shells after their larval stage) fastidiously matched to the various outfits and personรฆ of the transcendent Sir David Bowie. All of these side-by-side comparisons (there are over three thousand known varieties though many are endangered) are amazingly elegant, spot-on and very satisfying.

Monday, 23 April 2018

1. outside

The ever excellent Everlasting Blรถrt introduces us to the painting, portraiture and storyboard work of David Bowie through a curated gallery that captures the artist’s soulful legacy, highlighting the influence of contemporaries (many of whom whose works he patronised and collected as well) and the German Expressionism movement that Bowie and Iggy Pop immersed themselves in when they moved to Berlin in 1976. Artwork includes sketches that are studies in cosmetic and costume development, album covers, stage directions for performances and a few panels for an unmade film adaptation of a story called “Hunger City.”

Monday, 14 August 2017

david bowie, david bowie

The photographer Gerald Fearnley who took the cover-image for the artist’s eponymous first studio album (“Sell Me a Coat,” “Maids of Bond Street” and many others titles) in 1967 is sharing some of the unused outtakes. One can see the germ of some of his other personalities that would be developed fully later in Bowie’s career present and exposed already on this one roll of film.

Monday, 26 December 2016

mmxvi: annus horribilis, annus mirabilis

december: Pioneering US astronaut John Glenn passed away, as did America’s TV Dad, Alan Thicke. Doctor Henry Heimlich also left us, as did Zsa Zsa Gabor. Over a billion user accounts are compromised by a once pioneering search engine. Carnage and destruction continue in Aleppo as Syria, all the global powers’ proxy-war, is poised to fall to the entrenched government.  A truck ploughed through a crowded Christmas Market in Berlin.  Sadly, singer George Michael passed away as well as icon Carrie Fisher with her mother, Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, joining her the next day.

november: Donald J Trump defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton as the forty-fifth presumptive to the office of President of the United States of America. We had to say farewell to America’s TV Mom, Florence Henderson. Janet Reno died, and we had to say good-bye to Andrew Sachs, who played Manuel on Fawlty Towers. Retro funk and soul performer Sharon Jones passed away as did Leon Russell though not of precisely the same genre. Poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen left us. Fidel Castro expired aged ninety, on Black Friday and cause of death was declared as America’s return to greatness.

october: It was announced that Bob Dylan will be awarded the Nobel prize for literature. Hopefully prematurely, obituaries for the Great Barrier Reef circulated, the cause of its demise being coral-bleaching.  A craze of dressing as scary clowns and frightening people has spread globally.

september: Meaningful global climate accords held in Paris are put into force, although later in the month carbon dioxide levels surpass anything experienced in the course of human events. NASA launches a probe to study and return with samples from an asteroid with a high potential to impact the Earth—in the twenty-third century, possibly either nudging it closer or pushing it further out of bounds.

august: Gene Wilder left us. Brazil hosted the Olympic Games. The actor that portrayed R2-D2 Kenny Baker sadly departed, as did host and political discussion moderator John McLaughlin. Costa Rica powered itself with renewable energy for one hundred days and hopes to wean itself off of fossil fuels completely.

july: A wholly solar-powered aircraft becomes the first to circumnavigate the globe. We had to say good-bye to Elie Wiesel. During Bastille Day celebrations, an atrocious terror attack occurred on promenade of Nice, setting off a summer of terror across Europe. An abortive coup d’รฉtat rocked Turkey and a political purge followed, exacerbating an already tense situation. The African Union’s fifty-four member nations issue a single passport that allows holders to travel visa-free within the bloc.

june: After two decades of construction, the Gotthard Base Tunnel under the Alps in opened. The UK voted to leave the European Union. The promising actor Anton Yelchin who played the new Chekov was struck down far too early. Boxer Muhammad Ali departed.

may: Presidential elections in Austria are too close to call, and the contenders a member of the Green party and a far-right candidate will hold a run-off later in the year. Nationalism is on the rise throughout the world. Super Tuesday’s delegates are awarded to Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.

april: The pop megastar Prince passed on. Der Sรผddeutsche Zeitung along with a consortium of other news outlets publish millions of leaked documents implicating many heads of state and prominent figures in the Panama Papers scandal. For the first time in history, capital punishment is outlawed by more than half the countries in the world.

march: Coordinated bomb attacks take over a hundred lives in Lahore and Brussels, and ISIS claims responsibility. Sadly, comedian and show-master Garry Shandling passed away. World-renowned architect Zaha Hadid also left us. Myanmar sworn in its first democratically elected president in half a century.

february: For the first time since the Great Schism of 1054, the leaders of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches met and committed to an Ecumenical Declaration. Writers Umberto Eco and Harper Lee passed away on the same day. Heretofore theoretical gravitational waves were observed for the first time.  A huge swath of Canadian temperate rain-forest will be protected forever and called Spirit Bear. Bolivia and Peru also reached a deal to protect Lake Titicaca.

january: Davie Bowie tragically passed away, as did musicians Glenn Frey and Natalie Cole. There’s an outbreak of the Zika virus, causing panic in the sub-tropics and prompting many couples to postpone having children, due to the risk of birth-defects. Brutal and powerful Mexican drug-trafficker Joaquรญn Guzmรกn is re-captured after his escape from a high-security detention facility. The International Atomic Energy Agency declared that Iran has complied and dismantled its nuclear weapons programme and instructed the UN to lift sanctions. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

aladdin sane

It seemed to me that emojis had heretofore reflected a rather limited range of career options—police officer, princess or palace guard—but happily the credentialing body who enriches our vocabulary and their vocations have made glam rock star something to aspire to (among others) as an homage to David Bowie.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

salone del mobile

Thanks to Fast Company, we learn that the late David Bowie was a grand patron of the Memphis-Milano movement having amassed a sizable collection with signature pieces from artists like Peter Shire and Ettore Sottsass.
The collection is so extensive and representative of the group’s work, Bowie’s furniture will be given its own auction and one can preview the lots at the link. Comprised chiefly Italian designers, they took the name Memphis, incidentally, after hearing the Bob Dylan song “Stuck inside of Mobile (furnishing as well as a city in Alabama) with the Memphis Blues Again.”

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

oration or the sound and vision

Thanks to a sharp eye perusing a 1984 edition of some teen Tiger Beat magazine, the response to an inquiring reader’s question about the rumoured role of the Great Emancipator to be portrayed by none other than David Bowie, we learn about an unperformed but still immense spectacle that was to be played at one of the Olympic venues of the Los Angeles games that summer.
Far outstripping those cross-over, special guest-star sitcom episodes that kept my rapt attention (like when Fred and Ethel Mertz appeared as Darinn Stevens’—the second Darrin—parents or when the Harlem Globe-Trotters were shipwrecked on Gilligan’s Island or the angry ghost of Valerie Bertinelli haunted the Love Boat), an experimental, day-long bit of musical theatre was being orchestrated, called CIVIL warS, it was to feature the musical stylings of Mister David Byrne with libretto that included Mister Bowie as Abraham Lincoln, delivering the Gettysburg Address in Japanese. Corporate sponsors were a little anxious, and with the boycott of the American games by the polarised Communist world, the project was shelved. Read more about this amazing opera that would have perhaps been too grand and overwhelming for this Universe at Dangerous Minds. The closing ceremonies did include a UFO landing to the fanfare of Thus Spake Zarathustra and a giant grey alien that saluted humanity’s peaceful coming together.

Friday, 20 November 2015

5x5

antique singer sewing machines: cosplay caliphate labs are desperate to obtain red mercury

genre: enterprise in Grenoble to furnish free short works of fiction so people waiting don’t feel compelled to stare at their phones

membership has its privileges: no longer a melting-pot for the ordinary and fabulous to endure together, Los Angeles is constructing an exclusive celebrity terminal

space oddity: theatrical preview of David Bowie’s upcoming Blackstar album

b.f. skinner: pigeons can be trained to spot anomalies on diagnostic screenings as good as human radiologists

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

curtain-call and cat-walk

Sometimes a reminder is far better than a discovery.

Dangerous Minds admonishes us how David Bowie, fresh from the release of his album “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” toured with the theatre company performing The Elephant Man, playing the principal role. Fellow-actors and the audience attested that he played the part perfectly, without make-up or prosthetics. Other artists, reportedly, only craved the Elephant Man’s bones. The mobarazzi by fans was really to much to bear at times, and David Bowie took measures to protect himself. During the production’s run on Broadway, several luminaries caught the show, including Yoko Ono and John Lennon—who was killed by a crazed fan shortly afterward. This tragic act must have surely turned Bowie away from the stage, given the grasping he’d already experienced despite his talent. Be sure to check out the link for more details and a performance.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

In honour of David Bowie’s birthday and recent release of a new album last week, Tumblratrix Helen Green created this lovely style retrospective spanning five decades. Time may change me but I can’t trace time.

Friday, 2 January 2015

arcade sounds

Via Laughing Squid comes a nifty series of the lyrics to David Bowie’s timeless ballad “Space Oddity” illustrated through panels, imagined album covers of vintage arcade and console video games. Though not quite lent the psychological heft of one’s own favourite songs or of Mozart to settle one’s mood, video game music (think ะšะพั€ะพะฑะตะนะฝะธะบะธ, the Tetris song) is composed specifically to remove distractions and helps to keep one focused.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

mรคrchenhaft or funk to funky

The splendid directory of keen stuff Super Punch brings us the latest project by artist and illustrator Andrew Kolb. Inspired by the mental images that each line evokes, Kolb created a children’s story from the lyrics of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. He shares the whole thing on his website, along with other pretty imaginative works. Modern ballads, it seems, after Bowie, the Beatles and the Stones, do not consistently tell a story, but there are exceptions. Maybe it's too difficult to separate the music video from the music, sometimes.  What songs fill your head with images and a happy end?