Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Music: The Cool Return

24 Responses

  • Sacha,

    Sorry, I don't don't have a separate clip

    We really need to work on that..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    not connected to anything, but I wanted to share a clip - Real Groovy has priced down a lot of their old vinyl stock, so I picked this up for cheap.

    anyway, the more I hear it, the more have to keep playing it...

    apparently David Holmes has used it in his latest mix wotsit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Back in the day, I was as big a Bowie nut as your hair-man, Russell. But I was progressively alienated by <cough> Tin Machine <cough>, THAT interview with Susan Wood <shudder>, the meh Black Tie White Noise and then the execrable Heathen . Since his best work seemed to be behind him, I just wanted him to stop. The extension of his youthful exuberance and anti-establishment posturing into middle age seemed more and more embarrassing.

    But the two new singles I really like. He’s confronting his age and his past, and generating new, and more relevant, personae for himself. And he still knows how to write a kicking tune. Hurrah for all that.

    I particularly like the new video, and how skillfully it blends a hard-rocking sexiness with discomfort and anxiety and defeat. Bowie’s making collaborative art again. Yee haa. :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Also, Tricky! Thanks for the heads-up. :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Sean Webb,

    The Basement Tapes! Mean!

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2013 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Stewart,

    mmmm Tricky. Yummy.

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Bowie has always been about theatre more than anything else and the way he's stage managed his reemergence is, possibly, his best effort yet. As a long time fan (and one who actually liked a lot of his 90s and 00s work) having the first single arrive so unexpectedly felt like a gift. That the song was evocative and contemplative seemed to indicate that he was not merely after the nostalgia dollar.

    Both the singles so far have, to my ears, an echo of some of the musical ideas he was exploring on Heathen and Reality. A progression rather than departure from the past. I am quite remarkably excited about the rest of the album.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    New Bowie now streaming on iTunes...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 174 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Because David B is one day older than me, I have been treading on his heels all my life. Where Are We Now? is great but could be longer,

    Another remarkable return is Nick Cave's new album, which is currently top-seller in NZ,

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Cubey,

    I like this track-by-track take of The Next Day, from The Quietus.

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Bennett,

    New Bowie now streaming on iTunes…

    Here, to be precise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lilith __,

    When you've been doing anything for forty-five years, odds are there's going to be a fair amount of not-that-great stuff on the c.v. but the one thing I've got to respect Bowie for (even if I don't like the results that much) is that he's got nothing to prove to anyone any more, and he knows it. He's engaging with the culture around him, doing stuff that interests him creatively. Look at the Stones -- they released their last moderately interesting album before I hit puberty, and I'll be damned if I know why they even bother touring anymore when they could just slap a greatest hit CD on the PA and fuck off back to the hotel. Who'd notice? Who'd care?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Look at the Stones -- they released their last moderately interesting album before I hit puberty, and I'll be damned if I know why they even bother touring anymore when they could just slap a greatest hit CD on the PA and fuck off back to the hotel. Who'd notice? Who'd care?

    I'm guessing Some Girls or Tattoo You? If so, I'd have to agree that they're the last of the classic Stones albums. Around the same time, Queen and David Bowie also went through visible turning points in their careers with Greatest Hits I and Scary Monsters respectively.

    Mind you, 'retirement' isn't in Jagger or Richards' dictionary. If anything, they'd probably prefer to collapse dead on stage.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    That the song was evocative and contemplative seemed to indicate that he was not merely after the nostalgia dollar.

    Unless there's money in the sensation of nostalgia itself, in which case he's made a very canny move.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    Oh it’s all thoroughly planned and staged and very, very canny. I am well aware that my emotions and perceptions are being manipulated by a master and I’m entirely good with that.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott,

    A thing that had struck me as remarkable was the completeness of Bowie's silence. The man had made a record every two years, pretty much constantly from 1967 to 2003... then a decade of silence. Given his mulling of mortality on Reality, and his brush with it on tour, I had thought that was really that.

    Quite remarkably excited

    for sure!

    Very curious to see whether he feels the need to get up on stage again...

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    I think the new Cave album is poor myself and I saw that as someone for whom they're my all-time favourite band.
    The actual songs are ok at best. There just seems to be little focus and effort put in to them. they meander along and really fail to grip me. But worst of all are the lyrics, far and away his worst lot in over a decade.

    I liked Abbatoir Blues / Lyre and Lazarus, but Push The Sky Away is a letdown.

    I think he's now at the same stage as, say, Neil Young or Leonard Cohen. A formidable reputation based on a long run of classics in his first 10 years or so, but now well into being patchy, quality-wise. There'll be a good album or two, then a clunker.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • JamesPL, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    Bowie has always been about theatre more than anything else

    Going out on a limb here, but I'd say that Bowie has always been more about the songs than anything else...

    London • Since Aug 2011 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to JamesPL,

    Going out on a limb here, but I'd say that Bowie has always been more about the songs than anything else...

    I'd say it's both but the theatre has always been underpinned by extraordinary songwriting and song construction - or at least it was until about 1981 - with a bigger picture in mind. I'd hugely recommend Peter Doggett's song-by-song of Ziggy et al's journey through the 1970s if you haven't.

    And that's the silly thing about all these 'greatest comeback of all time' type reviews - for Bowie to achieve anything like the artistic success and impact of his core 1971-80 period he would have to change the popular music idiom with every release as he did then (with the exception of the contract filler PinUps).

    The entity of Bowie in that period was so much more than just good records - they were the bi-annual pointer towards where we were going next.

    Everything he did was so defining (even if he creatively lifted from just about everyone to do so), that what is really a great album from a legacy artist (which I reckon this is) doesn't come close to what a 'David Bowie' 'comeback' would be if such were possible (and it isn't).

    Ironically the one reference point I can hear time and time again on this record is the first Decca album from 1967, both vocally and in the songs. He seems to have come full circle, and if this is it as it might be, it's a cool way to go out.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    In terms of the week's music, Esben and the Witch and Thoughtforms at Scala on Tuesday night were pretty hard to beat. Ears are still ringing. Four Tet on Thursday was OK as well ...

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • davesparks,

    Well, if they just keep their stadium E.D.M. out of my club, that’s fine …

    *cough* Pretty Lights *cough* ; ) ...which I enjoyed as much as you I think, and the extended "filthy break" in the middle of act two was I reckon just a thoughtful gesture for us old timers so we could go and get a breather and come back in for the last run.

    BTW Gramatik plays here soon, and this has been on loop for me a while:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to davesparks,

    *cough* Pretty Lights *cough* ; )

    Heh. But to be fair, he predates and transcends the whole E.D.M. thing

    …which I enjoyed as much as you I think, and the extended “filthy break” in the middle of act two was I reckon just a thoughtful gesture for us old timers so we could go and get a breather and come back in for the last run.

    I lost track of my mate. Turned out he’d popped next door to D.O.C. for a cheese toastie and a sit-down for a while.

    BTW Gramatik plays here soon, and this has been on loop for me a while:

    Ooh, so he is. Guess I’ll be capable of another late one by then :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I think he’s now at the same stage as, say, Neil Young or Leonard Cohen. A formidable reputation based on a long run of classics in his first 10 years or so, but now well into being patchy, quality-wise. There’ll be a good album or two, then a clunker.

    Nothing of his has been to my taste since Abattoir, so I can't speak with certainty, but I've found his musical theatrics to somewhat underwhelming.

    I like the new Bowie single. It'll be on repeat for a while.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Ironically the one reference point I can hear time and time again on this record is the first Decca album from 1967, both vocally and in the songs. He seems to have come full circle, and if this is it as it might be, it's a cool way to go out.

    That's exactly what my partner said on first hearing though I hear a lot of 80s and 90s echoes too.

    I've just finished the Doggett book and found most of his insights very interesting though I was perplexed by his hating on Lodger and the way that, of the later work, he seemed to rate Hours... higher than Black Tie White Noise.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

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