Entries tagged with: David Bowie

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by Andrew Sacher

The Next Day

Happy birthday David Bowie! The Thin White Duke turns 69 today, and it's also the release day for his great new album '★' (pronounced "Blackstar"). It follows 2013's The Next Day, which is a good album but mostly just recalls his Berlin Trilogy era (down to the Heroes-based artwork). Blackstar doesn't sound like much else Bowie has ever done. It's one of his most experimental albums and highly jazz-influenced, yet still very much a rock record. It's pretty amazing that he's making good music at all 50 years into his career, let alone music this essential. Listen to the new album via Spotify below.

Meanwhile if you're in NYC, you can see longtime Bowie collaborator (and Blackstar contributor) Tony Visconti and early-'70s-era Bowie drummer Woody Woodmansey perform 1970's The Man Who Sold the World "and other popular tunes" tonight (1/8) at Highline Ballroom as Holy Holy. Tony's son Morgan Visconti & Jessica Lea Morgan open the show. Tickets are still available.

Continue reading "happy birthday David Bowie, whose new album is streaming"

David Bowie

David Bowie's experimental, jazz-influenced new album '★' (pronounced "Blackstar") officially comes out in less than 24 hours, and ahead of that he's shared the video for one of the singles, "Lazarus." Like on the video for the title track, Bowie worked with director Johan Renck (who's also episodes of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead), and Bowie wears the same bandage over his eyes that he did in that video. Watch below.

Continue reading "David Bowie reveals video for "Lazarus" (watch)"

IMAGE

Last night, Michael C. Hall performed "Lazarus," the title track to David Bowie's new musical, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Hall, who you may know from Dexter or Six Feet Under and who also has played the lead in the Bowie-inspired Hedwig in the Angry Inch, stars in the musical theatre production which is playing at New York Theatre Workshop though January 17 (sold out but you can always try for rush tickets). Watch Hall's Late Show performance below.

"Lazarus," is also the new single off Bowie's new album '★' (out January 8) and if you haven't heard it you can stream that below. Hall also shot a Colbert promo where he claims to actually be David Bowie. It's odd and very Bowie-esque. Watch that below as well.

Continue reading "watch Michael C Hall perform David Bowie's new single "Lazarus" on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'"

by Andrew Sacher

David Bowie

Davie Bowie already released the title track off his upcoming album '★' (pronounced "Blackstar"), and as promised, a second single is out today. It's called "Lazarus" and like the last single, it sounds like Bowie is in the midst of a late-career creative burst. (It's also the title track to his new stage musical.) He recently talked about recording the album with jazz musicians, and that's pretty clear on this song. Check it out below.

Continue reading "David Bowie releases new song "Lazarus" (listen)"

David Bowie Lazarus

David Bowie will release a new single, "Lazarus," this week. It's both the title track from his new musical and on his new album  (aka Blackstar). It'll be available Thursday (12/17) via BBC 6Music and NPR, and will be physically released on Friday (12/18). If three days seems like an eternity, you can get a taste now via an teaser video, below.

Also on Thursday, the cast of Lazarus will perform the song on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, so set those DVRs.

Continue reading "David Bowie releasing new single (hear a snippet); cast of his show 'Lazarus' on Colbert this week"

Pitchfork

Pitchfork have published their 100 Best Tracks of 2015 list. The criteria was "any track that was released in 2015 or had its greatest impact in the U.S. during this year was eligible," which allows for stuff like 2014 releases from Fetty Wap and D'Angelo to count. Including guest appearances, Kendrick Lamar shows up four times, two of which are in the top five. Drake, Grimes, Jamie xx and Future all show up three times each. It includes a few singles off 2016 albums, like David Bowie's "Blackstar," ANOHNI's "4 Degrees" and Savages' "The Answer," one-off collaborations like WOKE (aka Flying Lotus, Thundercat and Shabazz Palaces), last-minute 2015 releases like Jeremih's "Oui," and surprise comeback singles like Missy Elliott's "WTF (Where They From)." If you were wondering, Adele's "Hello" is here (ranked very high), and yes, so is Justin Bieber. There's also some representation from less commercial stuff like the hardcore band G.L.O.S.S..

Check out the whole list below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork's Top 100 Songs of 2015"

Grammy

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards nominees have been announced. Album of the Year nominees include Alabama Shakes for Sound & Color, Kendrick Lamar for To Pimp A Butterfly, Chris Stapleton for Traveller, Taylor Swift for 1989 and The Weeknd for Beauty Behind The Madness. Record of the Year also includes Taylor ("Blank Space") and The Weeknd ("Can't Feel My Face"), plus D'Angelo ("Really Love"), Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars ("Uptown Funk") and Ed Sheeran ("Thinking Out Loud"). Song of the Year has those same Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran songs against Kendrick's "Alright," Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," and Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth's "See You Again."

Alabama Shakes' album is also up for Best Alternative Music Album, along with Bjork, My Morning Jacket, Tame Impala and Wilco. Kendrick's album is also up for Best Rap Album, along with J. Cole, Dr. Dre, Drake and Nicki Minaj.

Other nominees include Courtney Barnett (up for Best New Artist), Florence + the Machine, Bob Dylan, The Chemical Brothers, Flying Lotus, Skrillex & Diplo, Caribou, Disclosure, Jamie xx, Bill Frisell, Ghost, Death Cab For Cutie (Best Rock Album), Jeremih, Jazmine Sullivan, Miguel, The Internet, Kehlani, Leon Bridges, Fetty Wap, Kanye West, Big Sean, Common, Jidenna, Kacey Musgraves, Robert Glasper, Punch Brothers, Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Jason Isbell, Buddy Guy, Bettye LaVette, Glen Hansard, Patti Smith, Amy Poehler, Wyatt Cenac, Louis C.K., the Hamilton soundtrack, David Bowie, Snoop Dogg, Elvis Presley, Father John Misty, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, The Decemberists, Joni Mitchell, The Bird and The Bee, Blake Mills (Producer of The Year for Alabama Shakes' Sound & Color), A$AP Rocky, The Dead Weather, Pharrell Williams, Amy Winehouse doc Amy, and many more.

Kendrick Lamar picked up 11 total nominations, and The Weeknd picked up seven. The ceremony will happen February 15 at the Staples Center in LA, and air live on CBS.

Check out a fuller list of nominees below and the whole thing here.

Continue reading "2016 Grammy Awards nominees (Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes, The Weeknd, Tame Impala, Caribou, MMJ, Bjork, Wilco, Dr. Dre, Drake, Flying Lotus, Courtney Barnett, more)"

Jason Lindner (photo by Deneka Peniston)
Jason Lindner

We were recently talking about who's playing on David Bowie's new album, and two of those musicians are teaming up for a NYC show tonight: keyboardist Jason Lindner and drummer Mark Guiliana. Tonight's set is from Jason's project Breeding Ground, and it happens at new Williamsburg venue National Sawdust (tickets). Here are the details:

Breeding Ground combines the two most successful projects of New York-bred pianist Jason Lindner: Now Vs. Now, his propulsive groove trio with bassist Panagiotis Andreou and drummer Mark Guiliana; and his big band, which started at the Greenwich Village basement club Smalls twenty years ago. For this new 11-piece band, Andreou and Guiliana sit in the engine room, while Lindner himself plays more piano than synths, leaving room for a string section, a horn section, and the eclectic singer-songwriter Jeff Taylor as the featured vocalist. Electro-acoustic, poly-rhythmic, cross-pollinated, dirty and mixed up, improvised and composed, multi-formatted and ever shifting, Breeding Ground is the epitome of liquid modernity.
In that recent Rolling Stone piece, Bowie producer Tony Visconti said the following about Jason: "[He] was a godsend. We gave him some pretty far-out chords, but he brought a jazz sensibility to re-voice them. Jason's synthesizer didn't have a computer with souped-up programs like Omnisphere on it. He would just do it with guitar pedals, making all the sounds unique."

Tonight is Breeding Ground's first NYC show since Winter Jazzfest 2013. They're planning to release their debut album in 2016 and just put out the "5am Again" b/w "Sparkle Wolf" single ahead of that. Listen below.

Jason and Mark's band Now vs Now also play NYC this month on December 30 at Rockwood Music Hall (stage 2). You can check out some live videos of them below, too.

Tony Visconti is also once again teaming up with Woody Woodmansey (who drummed on four early '70s Bowie albums) as Holy Holy to perform Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World album "and other popular tunes" on a tour that hits NYC on January 8 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets are on sale. All dates here.

Another musician contributing to the new Bowie album, LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, DJs NYC this month on December 17 at Output. It's with his frequent collaborator Eric Duncan. Tickets are on sale.

Continue reading "Bowie's "Blackstar" bandmates playing shows; Tony Visconti playing 'Man Who Sold the World'; James Murphy DJing BK"

photos by Jimmy King
David Bowie

Last week, David Bowie released the really great title track off his upcoming album '★' (pronounced "Blackstar") and now a new feature on Rolling Stone reveals more details on the album. LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, who remixed a song off his last album, plays percussion on two tracks on this one. He was going to be one of the producers at first too, but it never came to be:

LCD Soundsystem founder James Murphy plays percussion on two tracks, though his role on the album was originally going to be much more significant. "At one point we were talking about three producers for the album: David, James and myself," says Visconti. "[Murphy] was there for a brief time, but he had his own projects to go off to." Adds Guiliana, "His role was never really defined. He brought in some synths and some percussion and had a ton of ideas."
Longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti also reveals that Kendrick Lamar was an influence on the record. He said, "We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar. We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn't do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that's exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll."

The article also reveals that he recorded the album with saxophonist Donny McCaslin's jazz quartet (featuring bassist Tim Lefebvre, drummer Mark Guiliana, and keyboardist Jason Lindner). Bowie went to see play a club in the West Village in 2014, and later that year they played with him on his single "Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)." Jazz guitarist Ben Monder plays on a song too (album closer "I Can't Give Everything Away").

This album is sounding pretty exciting. Read more here and check out the '★' video below...

Continue reading "David Bowie's '★' features James Murphy and a jazz quartet, was inspired by Kendrick Lamar's new album"

by Andrew Sacher

David Bowie

David Bowie said he'd be premiering his new single "Blackstar" off his new album of the same name (but which is spelled '★') today and here it is! It's a 10-minute video for an amazingly weird sounding song and you can watch it below. He also revealed the album artwork and there it is above. The album will be out on January 8.

Bowie's Lazarus play began its run at New York Theatre Workshop yesterday (11/18) and it continues through January 17.

Continue reading "David Bowie shares video for 10-minute "Blackstar" & reveals album artwork"

David Bowie

The day before David Bowie premieres his short film that accompanies the title track of his new album '★' (pronounced "Blackstar"), his new play Lazarus will kick off its run at the New York Theatre Workshop. It goes from Wednesday (11/18) though January 17. Bowie co-wrote the play and it features original music from him. As Bedford + Bowery points out, it's sold out but NYTW will be releasing a very limited amount of tickets this week. Follow their Twitter for notifications on that. And there's also this:

Join the cancellation line starting two hours before curtain on the day of the performance. Cancellation tickets are full price and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at the NYTW Box Office.

The initial block of CheapTix performances sold out almost immediately. Beginning December 28, we will hold a daily CheapTix lottery at New York Theatre Workshop (79 East 4th Street). Beginning two and a half hours prior to curtain, theatregoers can enter the lottery and at two hours prior to curtain, the lottery will close and names will be drawn for a limited number of $25 tickets. Winners receive up to two tickets, payable in cash only, and a photo-ID will be required. Each participant may enter their name one time per performance. Tickets are non-transferable, and an individual may only win once during the run of the lottery.

As for those "Blackstar" screenings at Nitehawk Cinema on Thursday (11/19), all are full except the 3:50 PM one. It's free, but you do need tickets.

photo by Jimmy King
David Bowie

We already knew David Bowie is set to release his new album '★' (pronounced "Blackstar") on January 8, and on November 19 he'll also premiere an accompanying short film for the album. If you're in Brooklyn, there are five screenings from 3:30 to 5:50 PM at Nitehawk Cinema. The screenings are free but you do need tickets. It also premieres on Palladia.tv at 3:50 PM. Watch the trailer below.

The next day, the album's title track will be out. Until then, you can listen to a two-minute preview below...

Will this film be as long as the 20-minute "Jazzin' For Blue Jean" "film" he made in 1984? You can watch that below too.

Continue reading "David Bowie accompanying his new album with a film, screening it in Brooklyn (watch the trailer)"

photo: Disappears @ Bowery Ballroom, 2014 (more by PSquared)
Disappears

You may remember that Disappears performed David Bowie's Low in full for a special concert as part of last year's Bowie Changes exhibit at Chicago's MCA. That performance is being released as a live album, Low: Live In Chicago, which will be out next week via Sonic Cathedral (LP) and Italy's Maple Death (cassette). You can watch video of Disappears playing "Sound & Vision" and "Breaking Glass" from the Chicago show below.

Disappears will be performing Low live again a few times on upcoming tour dates, including a London show this month, and at NYC's Baby's All Right on February 20. The Baby's show will also feature an opening set of yet-to-be-released songs. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

The band's last NYC show, about a year ago at Rough Trade, was maybe the best I've ever seen them -- heavy, intense, and their rhythm section is just unstoppable. Definitely go see them if they play near you. The Brooklyn show is part of a short North American tour which includes 'Low' shows at New Hampshire's 3S Artspace and Pittsburgh's Warhol Museum, plus other shows. All tour dates are listed below.

In other news, Disappears frontman Brian Case and musician Justin Walter have formed Bambi Kino Duo. Not to be confused with the similarly named NYC high-concept Beatles cover band, BKD traffik in ambient textures and just released See Heat, which is out now digitally and on cassette. Stream "OKO" from it below.

Continue reading "Disappears releasing their Bowie 'Low' show as a live LP, playing it again in Brooklyn ++ more more dates"

photo by Jimmy King
David Bowie

Earlier this month, David Bowie released a clip of a new song called "Blackstar" as the theme song for the new TV show The Last Panthers, and over the weekend it was announced that Blackstar will also be the name of his 25th album, due January 8 (his 69th birthday). The full title track will be out as a single on November 20.

Early reports said the album is Bowie's "oddest yet" with seven tracks in 45 minutes influenced by Kraftwerk and jazz, but a new update on his site claims there has been "inaccurate reporting on the sound and content of the album." It also points out that the title track is not part of his theatre piece, Lazarus, which had also been reported. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what it actually sounds like.

Revisit The Last Panthers' opening credits with the "Blackstar" clip below...

Continue reading "David Bowie releasing new album 'Blackstar' in January (but initial reports on the sound and content were "inaccurate")"

David Bowie

David Bowie is providing the theme song for the upcoming TV show The Last Panthers, set to debut later this year via Sky Atlantic and Canal+. The music is a clip of an unreleased song called "Blackstar" and you can listen below.

Continue reading "David Bowie unveils new music for 'The Last Panthers' theme song (listen)"

photos: Dan Deacon @ Green Man Festival 2015 (more by Rachel Juarez-Carr)
Dan Deacon

Dan Deacon is currently wrapping up his tour with some West Coast dates -- he plays Santa Ana, CA's The Observatory tonight (9/22). He's also just announced a new NYC date, playing a holiday show at Brooklyn Bowl on December 29. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (9/25) at noon. All tour dates are listed below.

In other news, Dan made a mix of his favorite synthesizer music for Dazed, featuring cuts from Wendy Carlos, David Bowie, Jean Jacques Perry, Matmos, Add N to (x), Enya, Devo and more. Stream that below.

Continue reading "Dan Deacon shares "Synth Hero" mix, expands tour, playing holiday show at Brooklyn Bowl (dates)"

Spongebob musical

David Bowie, The Flaming Lips, Dirty Projectors and other artists are contributing new songs to a Spongebob Squarepants musical. According to Entertainment Weekly, other artists contributing songs include Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, T.I., Jonathon Coulton, They Might Be Giants, Panic! At The Disco, Plain White T's, and Lady Antebellum. The musical is directed and co-conceived by Tina Landau who said:

I was drawn to this project not only for its wild theatrical possibility, but also because I felt SpongeBob, at its core, is a layered and hilarious ensemble comedy. SpongeBob himself is of course its center and beating heart -- the eternal innocent in a sea of cynics. He's also the classic underdog hero, and so our production sets him on a hero's journey with real stakes, all the while retaining the show's trippy humor and irreverence. We're taking our leads from the TV show but this is an original story, with an original design approach, and original songs written just for the occasion by an amazing array of songwriters. We will present the world of Bikini Bottom and its characters in a whole new way that can only be achieved in the live medium of the theatre.
The Spongebob musical will premiere in June, 2016 at Chicago's Oriental Theatre before moving to Broadway in the fall.

Hadestown

New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) (Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Managing Director Jeremy Blocker) is proud to announce the final two productions of its 2015/16 Season. The New York premiere of RED SPEEDO, written by Lucas Hnath (The Christians) and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz (Hollow Roots), will begin performances in February. The 2015/16 Season will conclude with the world premiere of a new folk opera, HADESTOWN, by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell. HADESTOWN was developed with and is directed by Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), and will begin performances in May 2016.
As the press release quoted above notes, one of the productions of the New York Theatre Workshop will be the new stage adaption of Anais Mitchell's Hadestown, her guest-filled 2010 concept album that featured Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, The Low Anthem's Ben Knox Miller, and the Haden triplets (Petra, Rachel and Tanya).

The new additions to the NYTW 2015/16 season join Lazarus (by David Bowie and Enda Walsh, directed by Ivo Van Hove) and Fondly, Collette Richland (by Sibyl Kempson, directed by John Collins). More info and membership packages available at NYTW's site.

IMAGE

David Bowie is co-writing a live theater work based loosely on The Man Who Fell to Earth, Nicholas Roeg's 1976 sci-fi art film starring the singer. The new piece, which has been in secret development for years, is called Lazarus and Bowie is collaborating with Enda Walsh, the Irish playwright who helped bring Once to the stage. It will be directed by avant-garde Belgian director Ivo van Hove. Bowie will not perform in the new work, though he will contribute new songs, and they are not calling it a musical. The New York Times talked to James C. Nicola, the artistic director of New York Theater Workshop:

He said Mr. Bowie, who declined to comment, had been seeking to do a theatrical work inspired by Walter Tevis's 1963 novel "The Man Who Fell to Earth," and brought the idea to Mr. van Hove, who in turn brought the project to Mr. Walsh and to the New York theater.

"It's going to be a play with characters and songs -- I'm calling it music theater, but I don't really know what it's going to be like, I just have incredible trust in their creative vision," Mr. Nicola said. "I'm really excited about it. These are three very different sensibilities to be colliding."

Lazarus is set to open later this year. If you've never seen The Man Who Fell to Earth, it was reissued by Criterion a few years ago but that edition is now out of print. It is available via streaming sites like Amazon and Google Play. You can watch the trailer below...

Continue reading "David Bowie collaborating on and writing new songs for stage adaptation of 'The Man Who Fell to Earth'"

by Bill Pearis

IMAGE

We posted yesterday about James Murphy's score for Noah Baumbauch's upcoming comedy, While We're Young, and the soundtrack includes his cover of David Bowie's "Golden Years" and that has now been released. It's definitely an original take on the cut and you can stream it (via The Dissolve) below...but just don't get too excited. You can stream Bowie's original below too if you're feeling undernourished.

Continue reading "stream James Murphy's cover of Bowie's "Golden Years" from the 'While We're Young' soundtrack"

by Bill Pearis

Ad-Rock in 'While We're Young'
IMAGE

James Murphy has made some non-Tennis-based new music, scoring Noah Baumbach's film While We're Young, which will be out March 27 in the US. He also covers David Bowie's "Golden Years" for the soundtrack, which also features cuts from Psychedelic Furs, A Tribe Called Quest, HAIM, Survivor and more. Full tracklist is below and it's out March 23. One piece from Murphy's score will be on the official soundtrack, a moody synth piece titled "We Used to Dream" which is in the Vangelis/Tangerine Dream style. You can stream that below.

As for the film, While We're Young stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as an uptight 40-something affluent couple who become friends with a 20-something Bushwick-type couple (GIRLS' Adam Driver and Big Love's Amanda Seyfried). Hilarity and soul-searching ensues. The film also stars Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz and an out-of-retirement Charles Grodin. While We're Young was shown at both the Toronto and NY Film Festivals last September? Anybody catch it there? It's gotten pretty good reviews. You can watch the trailer below.

James Murphy, who previously scored Noah Baumbach's Greenberg (also starring Ben Stiller), headlines the Slingshot Fest in Athens, GA later this month.

Continue reading "James Murphy did the score & covers Bowie in new comedy 'While We're Young' which has Ad-Rock in it (stream a track) "

Varys & Tyrion / Jon Snow & Stannis, Game of Thrones S5 (courtesy HBO)
Puppets
Puppets

Last night was the big IMAX Game of Thrones event where they screened the show's Season 4 finale at theaters around the country. A lot of people went just to get a first look at the Game of Thrones Season 5 trailer which premiered at the event. Reports are, the show will seriously begin to diverge from Georger RR Martin's books, and will likely merge 2005's A Feast for Crows and 2011's A Dance with Dragons' stories, which followed different characters along parallel timelines. Vulture points out that, at least from the trailer, a new contender to the Iron Throne that makes his debut in A Dance with Dragons may have been excised from the story entirely. We shall see. Of course, an "unofficial" version of the trailer has made its way to the internet today which you can watch in its muffled, in-and-out-of-focus splendor, below. One thing you can make out is TV on the Radio's cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" which was recorded in 2009 for a Warchild benefit album.

UPDATE: They've released the official trailer online, and you can watch that below.

In other news, it looks like fans of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series are going to have to keep waiting for the next book. HarperCollins told The Guardian today that Winds of Winter (the title of the next book) is not on their 2015 release schedule. "I have no information on likely delivery," Jane Johnson of HarperCollins said. "These are increasingly complex books and require immense amounts of concentration to write. Fans really ought to appreciate that the length of these monsters is equivalent to two or three novels by other writers."

Clearly, GRRM is busy, busy writing. Or turning a former bowling alley in his Santa Fe hometown into something called the House of Eternal Return:

The artist collective Meow Wolf outlined its vision Thursday for the complex, which was purchased and is being renovated by author George R.R. Martin with Meow Wolf as the tenant. It is slated for a fall opening.

It will include a room for children's arts programs, as well as 19 affordable artists' studios with shared space for collaboration. A gift shop, gallery for emerging artists, and murals on inner and outer walls are planned.

But the major draw will be a House of Eternal Return, built on the 14,000 square feet where the bowling lanes used to be and offering 20,000 square feet of explorable space as different levels are added. More than 75 artists will collaborate on creating niches and crannies - some 50 to 70 of them - to give visitors a feeling of passing through a portal to a different time and place every time they open a door. - [Albuquerque Journal]

To tide you over till Game of Thrones Season 5 premieres on April 12, the S4 DVD/Blu-Ray set will be out February 17 and you can buy illustrated compendium The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones now.

Watch the S5 trailer, below...

Continue reading "TV on the Radio's cover of "Heroes" in 'Game of Thrones' Season 5 trailer; 'Winds of Winter' is NOT coming in 2015"

by Bill Pearis

Bowie with Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias on 'SNL,' 1980
Bowie

Happy Birthday to David Bowie who turns 68 today. (Today is also Elvis' birthday, he would've been 80.) In tribute, we offer a roundup of recent items related to the Thin White Duke:

It only too 35 years for anyone to notice, but people seem to have just caught on this week that Bowie's 1980 performance of "Boys Keep Swinging" on Saturday Night Live featured a green-screen puppet version of the singer with a giant pop-up penis. It's more than a little ironic, as NBC Censors made the singer remove the lyric "When you're a boy, other boys check you out!" for the performance. The "Boys Keep Swinging" SNL performance is also notable as Klaus Nomi and downtown drag icon Joey Arias are the backup singers. You can watch it, and his SNL performance of "The Man Who Sold the World" from the same episode, below (fast forward to the end if all you want to see is the thrill).

That SNL performance is also when Bowie still had his original extremely British smile, which has since been cleaned up with cosmetic dental work. Some folks preferred his original choppers, such as artist Jessine Hein who has made a hand-sculpted recreation of Bowie's teeth via denture acrylics. See for yourself:

TEETH

Speaking of art, the "David Bowie Is" exhibit just closed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, which turned out to be the most popular exhibit in the museum's history! It featured costumes, original pages of lyrics, storyboards, drawings, concept art and more. There was also a related "Bowie Changes" events series that featured talks with St. Vincent, of Montreal's Kevin Barnes and more, plus a concert where Disappears played Low in full and Bobby Conn played Station to Station in full. The MCA was the only stop for "David Bowie Is" in the U.S. unfortunately, but there is a commemorative coffee table book.

We haven't heard of any Bowie tribute concerts in NYC, but Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti played City Winery over the weekend (1/3) where he played a few of the songs he worked on, with a few special guests (no, not that special):

The perfectly balanced set of 19 songs was selected from the three or four thousand songs that Visconti has played on, produced or mixed over his fabled career in music. The exceptional highlights for Bowie fans included Suzanne Vega's divine singing on 'The Man Who Sold The World', a haunting version of the dystopian epic 'Sweet Thing/Candidate' sung by Richie Barone and a roof-lifting, barn-storming 'Young Americans' sung by Nakia.
Setlist for Tony Visconti's City Winery shows, plus those Bowie SNL videos from 1980, below...

Continue reading "Happy Birthday, David Bowie: '80 SNL performance w/ Klaus Nomi; denture art; Tony Visconti City Winery setlist & more"

Larkin Grimm & Tony Visconti @ Knitting Factory, 2010 (more by Lori Baily)
Larkin and Tony

Vinyl sales have been on the uprise for a while now, and 2014 was the biggest year for wax in nearly two decades. In the UK, new vinyl sales broke the one million mark, thanks in no small part to the new Pink Floyd album and David Bowie best-of. Reports Billboard:

The milestone was achieved at the weekend with the year-end figure expected to rise to around 1.2 million unit sales -- a level of vinyl consumption not seen since 1996, when 1.1 million LPs were purchased and Fugees' The Score was the year's best-selling vinyl album. Last year, 780,674 vinyl albums were sold in the U.K. with Arctic Monkeys' AM the biggest-selling vinyl release.

AM is also this year's best-selling vinyl album, followed by Jack White's Lazaretto, although the current incumbent of the No. 1 spot on the weekly Official Vinyl Chart is David Bowie with his new best of collection, fittingly titled Nothing Has Changed. It replaces last week's No. 1, Pink Floyd's The Endless River, which sold over 6,000 vinyl copies in its first week of release -- the highest of any LP since 1997 and therefore the fastest-selling vinyl album this century.

Speaking of Bowie, frequent collaborator Tony Visconti, who also had a lot do with many of the songs that appear on Nothing Has Changed, is playing NYC at City Winery on January 3. The event is called "The TV Show" and features a host of special guests, including Suzanne Vega, Richard Barone (The Bongos) Kiah Victoria, Larkin Grimm (who we've seen him playing with before) and more to be announced. Tickets are on sale.

NME

It's the last week of November and we've hit Best-of List Season. Especially in the UK where we've already seen album lists from Rough Trade, MOJO, Q, and Uncut. Now here's long-running UK weekly NME with their LPs and tracks of the year. Topping the lists are St. Vincent's self-titled album, and Future Islands' omnipresent "Seasons." (Sorry, The War on Drugs, you're slightly lower on the list here.) And just to remind you they are British music magazine, Kasabian figure into both lists. Check out NME's full Top 50 LPs/Tracks of 2014 lists below...

Continue reading "NME's Top 50 albums & tracks of 2014"