Monthly Archives: January 2013

Walking the Dead Through Bowie’s Berlin

There is good news and there is bad news.

The good news is that today is January 8, 2013 and David Bowie is officially 66 years old today. He’s a little worn, a little rumpled, with a few extra pounds around his small frame – but he looks good. A new photo has been released, and he looks marvelous.David Bowie Rock royalty. An ancient musical god reclaiming his throne amid today’s throwaway pop ballads and wannabe hipster rants.

Now for the bad news – he dropped a new single and music video today titled “Where Are We Now”, and it is… well, it just is. The song just lays there in a puddle of German montages, while Bowie sings a travelogue highlighting Berlin’s most notable tourist attractions in a quavering, emotionless voice. But where is the real passion? I want the throaty banshee wail echoing off of crumbling communist headstones, but instead I get melodramatic puppy eyes, a sheep in sheep’s clothing with an instrumental that is barely memorable.

In the 1970’s, Bowie’s Berlin was the most magical of places. Low_(album) From this time period of soul searching and intrinsic career chrysalis, he kicked a cocaine habit while simultaneously recording the critically acclaimed album Low with Brian Eno and Tony Visconti. These three musical geniuses created an avant-garde sound so haunting, so transcendent, complete with made up languages, poetic instrumentals, and synthesized percussion that interweaves itself perfectly into the caverns of the hard, solemn, unforgiving German city. Within the mutated butterfly wings of Low, the city and the songs embrace and become one, opening windows into an Eastern European flavor that Bowie does not often revisit.

“Where Are We Now” is not a satisfying tribute to any of Low’s glory. It does not have the pain of “Warszawa”, the bite of “Always Crashing in the Same Car”. It feels like Bowie is gumming the song instead of tearing at it with his teeth –

But I digress. I am so glad that my beautiful Rock God is back in the spotlight. His new album, The Next Day, drops in March and there are rumors of a tour. Let’s hope that the rest of the album has more of an edge to it, and hold our breath in anticipation in case Iman (the QVC princess of faux leather handbags) allows him out of the house long enough to make some guest appearances on all the late night talk shows and maybe even SNL.

I’d just be happy with some more pictures.

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