Hear Motorhead's edgy cover of David Bowie's 'Heroes'

According to Rolling Stone, Motörhead performed David Bowie's 'Heroes' "live only one time, in June 2015, as an encore at Germany's Aftershock festival." Fortunately for us, it was recorded.

The footage, along with some candid shots of (the late-great) Lemmy Kilmister and the band, make up the song's music video:

Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee liked to do over their years together in Motörhead, was grab a favourite song by another artist and give it a good old fashioned ‘Motörheading’. To run them through the Motörizer if you will. To rock them, roll them and even give them an extra twist and edge.

In celebration of some of those finest moments, the band will release Under Cöver, a collection of some of their best covers, and a collection which will include the previously unreleased version of David Bowie’s timeless classic “Heroes”. Recorded during the Bad Magic sessions in 2015 by Cameron Webb, and was one of the last songs the band recorded together. “It’s such a great Bowie song, one of his best, and I could only see great things coming out of it from us, and so it proved to be,” says Phil Campbell, “and Lemmy ended up loving our version.” “He was very, very proud of it,” says Mikkey Dee, “not only because it turned out so well but because it was fun! Which is what projects like this should be – fun!”

Under Cöver will be released on September 1st. Read the rest

David Bowie, circa 1999, on the "exhilarating and terrifying" future of the Internet

Of all of the accolades that Bowie received after his death last January 10th, there was precious little said about his pioneering work on the Internet and the burgeoning World Wide Web. In 1998, he launched Bowie.net and became the first major artist to create his own internet service, to distribute his songs online, to use the Web to offer things like branded/vanity email (yourname@bowie.net) and exclusive backstage access to Bowie.net subscribers (using crappy late-90s streaming technology), and to use the Web to communicate directly and collaborate with fans.

In this video clip from 1999, he talks with the BBC's Jeremy Paxman and seems to shock him with what sounds like an alarming prediction about the future of the Internet.

Bowie: I think the potential for what the Internet is going to do for society, both good and bad, is unimaginable. I think we are on the cusp of something both exhilarating and terrifying.

Paxman: It's just a tool, though. Isn't it?

Bowie: No it's not, no. It's an alien life form. [Laughs] Is there life on Mars? YES, and it's just landed here.

[H/t Will Kreth] Read the rest

The night I began loving the alien

Last year, a few days after David Bowie died, I posted the following reminiscence/remembrance to my Facebook page. On the anniversary of his death, I thought I might share it here.

It was Friday, November 16, 1973. I was 16 years old. Every Friday night, I would rush home from whatever trouble my friends and I were trying to get into to watch The Midnight Special, hosted by the chronically-howling Wolfman Jack. For a sheltered kid growing up in a small Southern Baptist town outside of Richmond, Virginia, The Midnight Special and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert were the critical means for seeing live-performance rock n' roll.

On this night, the show broadcast David Bowie's 1980 Floor Show, a special that had been recorded in October of 1973 at The Marquee Club in London, but not previously aired. Up to that point, I don't know how much Bowie I'd been exposed to, but it wasn't much. I'd certainly heard “Space Oddity” countless times on the radio, and likely a few other tracks, but my exposure was minimal. And I don't think I'd ever laid eyes on the man until this broadcast.

I was so excited as the show began, but that enthusiasm soon turned to confusion, then outright fear. I saw this....creature that I had no frame of reference to understand. I was looking at some strange and incomprehensible being, some OTHER. The freedom I saw, the creativity, the gender fluidity, and the flaunted sexuality, it was both seductive and alarming; this pandrogyny felt fundamentally threatening to whatever male heterosexuality I'd been trying so desperately to understand and to model. Read the rest

David Bowie on cocaine in 1974

"I glit from one thing to another a lot," said David. "It's like flip, but it's the 70s' version. *sniff*" (Subsequently) Read the rest

Burner Rumor: Some of David Bowie's ashes were in the Temple at Burning Man

Matt Mihaly shares the beautiful David Bowie tribute video compiled from footage Mihaly shot at Burning Man 2016. Read the rest

Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 – An amazingly impressive object, even by Taschen standards

See sample pages at Wink.

Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 by Mick Rock (photographer) Taschen 2016, 300 pages, 10.8 x 15 x 1.2 inches $44 Buy a copy on Amazon

When I asked Taschen’s PR person for a review copy of the hardback edition of Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 (after sheepishly asking in vein for the $800 Limited Edition), she warned me that it was an amazingly impressive object, even by Taschen standards. Don’t laugh, but this intimidated me to the point where, after receiving the book, I waited over a week to look inside. I had damn-near passed out while first perusing the uncompromising art publisher’s recent Blake book.

Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 is about as woozying of a tome as you’re ever going to stick your nose into. And this “regular” edition, available at Amazon for the remainder-bin price of under $45, is anything but regular. Every single aspect of this book is elevated. The cover sports a lenticular panel which contains five iconic Mick Rock images of everyone’s favorite glam commander. This could have gone horribly wrong, too gimmicky or tacky, but this technology seems to have been invented to flash the ever-changing personas of David Bowie at the height of his (and Rock’s) artistic powers. There is no more perfect cover for this book.

And that’s just the cover. I was right to psych myself up. The first time I went through it, I got about 20 pages in and had to stop. Read the rest

Marc Bolan of T. Rex hosted a glam rock TV music show in the 1970s, and it was awesome

I didn't know glam rock icon Marc Bolan hosted a music TV show in the 1970s. It was called simply MARC, and judging from this sixth (and final) episode, it was terrific.

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David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' played on the gayageum, an ancient Korean musical instrument

Luna plays popular music on a Korean traditional instrument called the gayageum.

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David Bowie, Internet Service Provider: Interview with the guy who ran BowieNet ISP

When artist and pop star David Bowie launched an Internet service provider firm in the heady dot-com runup days of 1998, a guy named Ron Roy helped Bowie run the ISP. Days after the music icon's death from cancer at age 69, Ars Technica interviews Roy about how "BowieNet" came to life, and why Bowie wanted to be in the ISP business in the first place.

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Why Labyrinth is awesome

The mid-1980s' fantasy movie Labyrinth, starring David Bowie as the Goblin King, was something of a dud when it was released. Over the years, though, it's become a genuine classic. Tanya Pai explains.

Much of Labyrinth has the vibe of a particularly vivid dream; the slow-motion falls and ouroboric logic evoke that sludgy, slow-dawning realization that you're asleep and can't quite control what's happening.

Henson creates an expansive world full of odd, disquieting beings — moss adorned with eyeballs, beautiful fairies with a vicious bite, beaky swamp dwellers that pluck out their own eyeballs and swallow them. Unseen creatures slink through the periphery of Sarah's vision, and vast, unfamiliar landscapes stretch endlessly into the distance, adding to the alien atmosphere. Labyrinth is definitely more Dark Crystal than Sesame Street.

Yet it's also ostensibly a children's movie, and Henson tempers the story's darker elements with plenty of silly humor. The Left and Right Door Knockers squabble like an old married couple, and everyone's inability to pronounce Hoggle's name correctly is a running joke that includes even Jareth. Plus, the Bog of Eternal Stench is pure 12-year-old-boy humor, complete with fart noises.

Some time ago, Heather and I sketched out a sequel (screenplay) to Labyrinth. The concept: Jareth is cursed with mortality and is dying of old age, and needs not a consort but a "successor"—which is to say, a young man whose youth he can steal. The boy, of course, is Henson, the teenage son of Sarah, herself now middle-aged. Read the rest

Rare Bowie photos

Artnet collects a set of interesting stock images of David Bowie you might not have seen before, hidden from the Google spiders (if not the ones from Mars). Read the rest

Mourning David Bowie (photos)

Images from around the world today, as fans mourn the death of David Bowie. He died Sunday, January 10, 2016. He was 69, and had been receiving treatment for cancer for 18 months, according to reports.

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Listen: David Bowie's little known video game soundtrack

Here’s some great music from David Bowie that I didn’t know about until today. Even though it was created over 15 years ago it would fit in perfectly alongside his newly released Blackstar.

Released around 2000 for PC and the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast, Omikron was a strange hybrid game that let players do a bit of body snatching around the titular science fiction city…

Bowie is said to have had some input into the storyline, but his most memorable contributions are to the soundtrack and of course his in-game cameos. 'Hours...', the 1999 album Bowie released just prior to the debut of the game, featured a number of songs that had been written just for the game, but were slightly reworked so that they were not so specific to the sci-fi world. They would appear on the Omikron soundtrack in more tribal, remixed forms alongside original instrumentals Bowie also composed for the game.

Read more on Atlas Obscura. Read the rest

Is Metal Gear Solid V as big as David Bowie right now?

The musical references of this year's most daunting commercial video game are resonating in surprising and brilliant ways.

One Take, All Bowie

Should we ever need to explain David Bowie to aliens, and have less than a minute to do it, we are covered. Watch Bowie's entire career unfold in one, ingenious take. Read the rest

David Bowie's top 100 books

The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby, 2008 The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz, 2007 The Coast of Utopia (trilogy), Tom Stoppard, 2007 Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945, Jon Savage, 2007 Fingersmith, Sarah Waters, 2002 The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Christopher Hitchens, 2001 Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, Lawrence Weschler, 1997

And there's more! [Open Culture] Read the rest

Growing Up Bowie: Mark Dery's "All The Young Dudes: Why Glam Rock Matters"

Mark Dery's new ebook, All The Young Dudes: Why Glam Matters (the debut publication from Boing Boing's digital imprint) is a delightfully Derynian cultural excavation of the deeper definition of masculinity in the 20th century and beyond. His extended essay on the post-meterosexual landscape takes as its point of departure the doomed-teen anthem penned by David Bowie and performed by Mott The Hoople:

And what, exactly, was a young dude? In the ’70s Southern California of my adolescence, “dude” was the universal form of address among teenaged males. A verbal virus spread by the surfer scene, “dude” was a jocular hi-sign, the verbal fist bump of male bonding. Variously inflected, it could also be a remonstration (dude!), a quizzical exclamation (dude?!), or a backslap of bong-loaded bonhomie (duuuuude, underscored with a Cheshire-cat grin). With the right verbal spin, the term could even signify Jeff Spicoli’s idea of satori, a kind of Tao of Whoahhh—the existential weightlessness common to surfers, stoners, and slackers, a state of mind incarnated by Jeff Bridges as The Dude in The Big Lebowski. But whatever else it was, “dude” was an expression of Dude-ism—straight guy-ness, distilled down to its bro-mantic, brewski-chugging, perpetually adolescent essence.

It’s doubtful Bowie spoke fluent Dude, in 1972. More likely, he reached for the word because of its historical associations with dandies and other Dedicated Followers of Fashion—the sort of “handsome young man, curled, well-dressed, pomaded, painted and powdered” (Edmond de Goncourt, on one of Proust’s friends) whose flamboyance or excessive fastidiousness in dress struck a note of unmanly vanity, even effeminacy.

Read the rest

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