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Old 07-31-2016, 03:00 PM   #961
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That is awesome. But I'm hoping I can pick up The Gouster separately rather than buying those other albums again.
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Old 07-31-2016, 06:05 PM   #962
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Is it just me, or is this "lost album" not a big deal? All the songs that make up The Gouster have been available on CD since 1991. And a remastered edition of Young Americans with the necessary tracks was released in 2007. You could fashion the indented track listing with little effort.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:17 AM   #963
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"Lazarus" cast recording now has a release date, plus three new Bowie songs from the Blackstar sessions.

http://pitchfork.com/news/68205-davi...us-cast-album/

I'm looking forward to these theatrical revisions, but I'm glad we're getting Bowie recordings of the unreleased tracks, rather than just the cast recordings.
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:49 PM   #964
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I saw Labyrinth for the first time yesterday.

Boy, those were some tight pants on the Goblin King.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:15 PM   #965
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Oh, did you go to the 30th anniversary showings? Ashley and I saw it yesterday too. I think that was probably my third viewing.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:25 PM   #966
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Friends at work want to go Wednesday. I'm trying to resist.

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Old 09-12-2016, 04:49 PM   #967
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So, in the months since Bowie's passing, I've been diving into his later records(i.e. Outside and beyond), as aside from The Next Day and Blackstar, I'd never really listened to them, and I'd heard only good things here and elsewhere. Needless to say, on the whole it's an incredible body of work and you'd be hard-pressed to find another artist making work as exciting so late into his/her/their career. I felt the need to get my thoughts out about these records because I've never really said anything about them here. I won't post all of it once, as that would be way too long(we're talking about seven records, after all), but one by one, with a day or two between maybe. Chronological order.

Outside

This is held by many to be one of the best of his late work, but it’s taken a while for it to grow on me. I respect the hell out of him for being willing to make a record so out there and so sonically challenging at that point in his career, but as a whole piece I had some trouble getting into it early on.

For one thing, it’s a little too long for what it is, and I’m not sure how much value the segues add. Even Bowie himself admitted this: “as soon as I released that I thought, ‘It’s much too fucking long. It’s gonna die.’ There’s too much on it, I really should have made it two CDs.” It feels like one of those occasions where the concept of an album nearly overwhelms the actual musical substance of it.

Beyond the length issues, I had a hard time the first few listens penetrating the icy exterior of these tracks. When records have this kind of cold, sterile production, it can take a while to really hear, feel, and connect to the humanity and emotions beneath the icy exterior. I suppose Radiohead’s Kid A is a record like that - it’s actually one of the more emotional records I’ve heard now, but I maybe didn’t really feel all of it the first few times I listened to it, it’s a record that really rewards over time. It’s only been on listens, like, four or five of Outside that I’ve finally started really connecting to the thing. Maybe it will reward over time in a similar way.

The title track is one of the only tracks I connected with right away, because it’s by far the most direct track here - the second half of it with the ‘the music is outside’ refrain with the huge Beatles-I-Want-You-ish bassline underneath it is as close to straight ahead rock as there is on this record. I like this track on the first listen and was initially - but not ultimately - disappointed that the rest of the record wasn’t like that.

The first single - The Heart’s Filthy Lesson - is a heavier, more guitar-bass-heavy brand of industrial than much of the rest of the record. This track more than any other here is like a hook for the growing audience for industrial rock at the time - NIN and Marilyn Manson among others were blowing up - and I can see why it was released as the first single, it was like The Fly being the first single off AB, an ‘I’m doing something different now’ statement. That said, I think there are much better songs here.

I’ve Not Been To Oxford Town is another track atypical of the rest of the record, in that it’s got a catchy, almost warm melody in its chorus - it reminds me of some British 80s new wave groups like Madness or something like that. One of my favorite tracks on the record and I’m surprised it wasn’t a single.

The rest of the tracks pretty much fall into a category that I describe as ‘industrial electro jazz’. I’m not sure that’s a thing, but it’s what Bowie’s doing on the bulk of the rest of the tracks. From A Small Plot Of Land to The Motel to No Control to We Prick You to I’m Deranged to Thru These Architects’ Eyes, he’s creating a soundscape consisting of industrial atmospherics, his own voice, and frequently keyboards, which are chiefly responsible for the ‘jazz’ part of ‘industrial electro jazz’. These keyboards are something I didn’t pay much attention to on the first listen or two, but they’re all over the record. Once they hit me, they became captivating. They’re usually towards the back of the mix, like they’re daring you to notice them. There’s something…sexy?…about them. They add, for me, a lot of depth and character to these tracks.

I guess I’m Deranged is the most impressive of these tracks to me. The song takes one on a journey through the psyche. It’s hard to imagine a piece of music fitting the sentiment ‘I’m deranged’ any better.

No Control is another favorite, with its hummable melody, a particularly strong vocal take, and the sort of haunting siren-sounding strings throughout.

The Motel is another one, one of the jazziest pieces on the record. It starts off slow and takes a couple of minutes to build up, but eventually the keyboards, usually further back in the mix, nearly take center stage, with bass and percussion, and later on guitar, to create a track that could stand as a pretty exciting instrumental even without Bowie’s typically stellar vocal. Love this one.

The record closes with Strangers When We Meet, which is just a very different kind of songwriting than what’s on the rest of it. It’s less avant-garde, less art-rock, and really just a great pop song inside of the same cold production as the rest of the record. It’s also the only track here that I’d say sounds optimistic, whereas the rest of the record, emotionally speaking, sounds pretty anguished to me. Great - though blindingly obvious - choice for a single, one of the best of his later career.

I wouldn’t say this record is my favorite of Bowie’s later work - there are probably at least three I’d take over it - but it’s a fascinating, adventurous piece of work. It's cinematic, it creates a world and yet at times is impenetrable. It is anguished and troubled and yet at times sounds alienated from humanity. It was supposed to be an aural document of the end of the century and maybe a harbinger of the century to come and, looking at all the horrible crap going on in the world now, and looking at how technology is isolating us, the cold, sterile atmosphere of the record seems somehow appropriate. It's a hell of an artistic statement for someone that far into their career, even if it's not the one I come back to the most.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:59 PM   #968
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Great stuff right there. Looking forward to reading your future installments. Or at least ones that aren't about "hours..."
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:22 PM   #969
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Great stuff right there. Looking forward to reading your future installments. Or at least ones that aren't about "hours..."
Thanks Hours will get a write-up just like all the others.

And here's my thoughts on Earthling.

Earthling

In kind of an inversion of the previous record, while I gather that this isn’t the most loved later Bowie record, I do love it. Like, for most of my first listen of it, I was thinking to myself, ‘why doesn’t this one get more love?’ It is perhaps the most ‘rock’ record he put out post-Berlin Trilogy(not counting the Tin Mans which I haven’t listened to yet). I’m amazed at how he managed to pretty much capture the spirit of alternative rock in the mid-late 90s while still sounding distinctly like himself.

He said that the record musically(along with Outside) was supposed to be a “textural diary of what the last few years of the millennium felt like” and that lyrically it was a spiritual record tackling the subjects of his atheism and his gnosticism, and I think the record very much succeeds on both counts.

Whereas the previous record was intentionally cold and alienating, this record, while still rough and in no way shape or form easy-listening, is warm-blooded and sweaty and alive. Bowie said he wanted “to produce some really dynamic, aggressive-sounding material” and boy, did he succeed. It’s very sonically dense and fascinating, an exploration of sound, really.

From the nearly Marylin Manson-esque industrial head banging of I’m Afraid Of Americans to the vaguely distorted guitar assault of Seven Years In Tibet to the keyboard breaks that come out of nowhere in Battle For Britain and Dead Man Walking(the one in the former is all kinds of awesome), the record is an all-you-can-hear buffet of sounds.

Or how about the plucked strings and the vocal near-chanting going on in Telling Lies?

Or those strings that almost sound like a harp(but are probably actually a guitar) in Battle For Britain?

Or other little things like that little riff that repeats at the end of the chorus of Dead Man Walking?

Or that guitar solo in Looking For Satellites that for some reason sounds to me like something you could’ve heard on Zooropa? (Along with more chant-like vocals).

Or the way he just decided to put about a minute’s worth of heavy guitar in the middle of the otherwise fairly spacey The Last Thing You Should Do? Talk about adding a dynamic to a song.

If I’m picking favorites, they’re probably Seven Years In Tibet, Dead Man Walking, Telling Lies, and I’m Afraid Of Americans.

Seven Years In Tibet in particular is just a huge track. The alternating dynamic between the quiter bass/drum/acoustic strumming in the verses and the punch-in-the-face guitar and bass in the chorus is extremely effective, and then the horns after each chorus, and the what-sounds-like-an-organ that starts during the second chorus and then persists for the remainder of the track, and the siren(probably another guitar) in the later portion of the song. I mean, this thing is like a master class in how to effectively mix a ton of instruments and sounds together and make it sound awesome.

Dead Man Walking and Telling Lies were good choices for singles, as they have probably the most melodic choruses on the record - the former sung more directly and the latter chanted. If these weren’t hits, they should’ve been. They manage to be catchy and accessible while simultaneously being sufficiently avant-garde. Great stuff.

I don’t need to say too much about I’m Afraid Of Americans I take it, as it seems pretty well known, but yeah, it’s great. Big, thick alternative guitar and bass that would’ve been at home on the Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream, and vocal in which Bowie strikes just the right balance between mechanical and human for this track. I imagine this one would’ve been embraced by all the Manson and NIN fans and fans of other industrial/techno rock acts of the late 90s.

It’s just a really raw, primal, hypnotic record that just drips rock and roll to me. The sonic palette is immense(I also love the Eastern tinge permeating the whole thing). A record you’ll always hear something new in. This record manages to rock hard, have a few tracks with legitimate pop hooks, while still being creative and artistically vital and incredibly cohesive, and I would say that that’s not the easiest thing to do, particularly in recent decades. It’s also a great work-out record - listen to it while on a run or in the gym or whatever, it really gets the adrenaline flowing. How is this not more revered?

As a final note, there’s a quote where Bowie says he played most of the guitar on this record himself. If that’s true, it might be one of his finest moments as a guitarist.
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:32 PM   #970
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It's odd that you managed to avoid mentioning Little Wonder even once.
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:23 PM   #971
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It's odd that you managed to avoid mentioning Little Wonder even once.
Honestly? I think it's one of the weaker tracks on a stellar record. Just strikes me as a little boring relative to the rest of the album.

I take it you like it though? And the album too?
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:48 PM   #972
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Watch Michael C. Hall Perform David Bowie’s “Lazarus” at the 2016 Mercury Prize Ceremony | Pitchfork

This performance is pretty fantastic. Makes me very excited to hear the "Lazarus" soundtrack in full. I'm a bit bummed that Blackstar didn't win the Mercury Prize though,
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:16 AM   #973
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I desperately want The Gouster but you can't buy it independent of the Who Can I Be Now boxset, which is over $200. There's nothing else in it that interests me. grrrr
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Old 10-21-2016, 05:41 PM   #974
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David Bowie: The next thread and the next thread...

I'm surprised no one has weighed in yet on the three new Bowie tracks on the Lazarus Original Cast Recording. This is basically a $12 four-track EP, since I'm not really interested in the cast recording itself, but well worth it for Bowie's final studio recordings.

As with Blackstar, it is impossible to listen to these tracks without feeling that Bowie is singing about his own mortality, and indeed they are from the same sessions.

The first track, No Plan, strikes me as a lament on the futility of life from the perspective of someone who knows that there is no future for himself.

The second track, Killing a Little Time, is surprisingly aggressive, and features Bowie lashing out at his disease and at his situation.

And yet, the final track (When I Met You) is joyful, and in the end, Bowie reflects upon the fact that, in spite of his own perceived shortcomings, his relationships with people have made life worth living. I have to admit I teared up a little bit as this song was playing, but I am certainly happy with it as Bowie's final statement.

Anyway, highly recommended that you give these tracks a listen.
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:23 PM   #975
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I've been waiting for an official release - is it out now?


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