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BowieTalk
   >> Interpretation
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Emil
(stardust savant)
09/22/03 04:10 PM
Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality  

You can, of course, tell when its a Bowie song you are hearing. On Reality there are plenty of little Bowie tricks to be identified. In fact, most of these seem to date back to the late eighties or, at the best, Low or Lodger theres very few echoes to be heard from the early seventies. All for the better, I suppose. (?)

Ive tried to separate out some of the Bowie paradigms on Reality and where they come from. Im sure youll jump on these and tell me they all date back earlier. (I have even given my opinions though you will tell me that you cannot rate a part of a song or a chord progression out of context).

the falsetto Woo-hoo! Reality Day-in day-out
sounds fun when done in the right place.
the deliberately flat note Disco king, the loneliest guy - Amlapura
very effective and beautiful. Noone has control over his voice like Bowie.
the rising note progression Try some, buy some; queen of the tarts ? (Im sure hes done that before but cannot think of a song)
Extremely daft, it gives an overly sentimental effect when used in TSBS.
The incessant bashing aka Id like to beat on your drum looking for water bus stop
Its a very delicate thing to use in almost all contexts, repeated snare bashing will be irritating, but on Bus stop it works. On LFW its not perfect.
the drone verse of Pablo Picasso - ? (again Im not sure where he first did that)
Oh, I love this, with an efficient rhythm in the background that gives it a tremendous momentum
Cute voice Days Shining star (makin my love)
I dont mind him doing this when it fits into the song. Its no secret that I love Wood Jackson which is given precisely the right mood thanks to a moderately cute voice but I think moderately might be the keyword here!
the yelled chorus Never get old all Tin Machine songs and New Yorks in love
OK, perhaps not quite the same type of chorus in all those songs. At any rate, yelled choruses (chori? chorae? WW?) is a beast that should be extinguished from the Bowie songbook. Hardly sounds anything but contrived.


poorsoul
(cracked actor)
09/23/03 04:02 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

In reply to:

the falsetto Woo-hoo!



Or "woo-woo" from A Big Hurt.

In reply to:

the rising note progression



Loving The Alien is probably the one you're thinking of. It's hardly unique to Bowie, though: the same thing can be heard in Madness' It Must Be Love and even the opening theme from Red Dwarf.

In reply to:

Cute voice



Kooks?

In reply to:

choruses



I believe that is correct: like viruses.

Who sucks you while you're sleeping

BaldAssassin
(kook)
09/29/03 08:58 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

The vocal styling and jazzy piano, and the spooky darkness of Disco King is, for me, reminiscent of something on 1.Outside.
It's bloody fabulous!


In 1910 I was so handsome and so strong
My moustache was stiffly waxed and one foot long



poorsoul
(stardust savant)
09/30/03 03:09 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: BaldAssassin]  

I'd nominate A Small Plot Of Land.

Who sucks you while you're sleeping

BaldAssassin
(kook)
09/30/03 03:50 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: poorsoul]  

Yeah, it does smack of that song somewhat.
Imagine a whole album of a similar flavour......
Ohhhhh, I dream of something like that



Blooby
(kook)
09/30/03 07:46 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

I thought "Woo-hoo" was Song 2.

Cute voice:
See also "Never Let Me Down" - "Days" sounds very similar but I just love it.





Just because I believe don't mean I don't think as well

Emil
(stardust savant)
09/30/03 09:12 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Blooby]  

Yes, you're right the woo-hoo was done in Song 2 - and surely you can find tons of other rock singers who have yelled like that. So perhaps it's not correct to talk about a Bowie paradigm.

The piano on Disco king, yes, of course, it's Mr. Garson in full glory! He's played like that in Bowie songs since 1973 but I agree, a small plot of land is probably the closest to the piano style on this song.

Another thing, the filtered-sounding guitar effect (a guitarist please tell me what gadget has been used?) on New killer star (in the bridge, just after the line "All the corners of the buildings"), it sounds very familiar but I'm not sure where Bowie has used that before. I should listen through Let's dance-tonight-NLMD, I have a feeling we have the same sound there.



BaldAssassin
(kook)
09/30/03 10:26 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

In reply to:

the filtered-sounding guitar effect (a guitarist please tell me what gadget has been used?)



Given that almost any effect can be created digitally through a PC now, it's hard to tell exactly what was used, but to me it sounds like a mixture of light overdrive, with a hint of compression and maybe some octaving effect.

Of course, I could be talking bollox.



White_Owl
(grinning soul)
10/02/03 04:18 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

The whole thing?

SHIN -a device for finding furniture in the dark!

kipt
(kook)
10/09/03 08:36 PM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: BaldAssassin]  

In reply to:

Given that almost any effect can be created digitally through a PC now, it's hard to tell exactly what was used, but to me it sounds like a mixture of light overdrive, with a hint of compression and maybe some octaving effect.


I think it may be slightly phased, as well.



BaldAssassin
(kook)
10/10/03 05:45 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: kipt]  

Could well be.



dropdeaded209
(mortal with potential)
10/27/03 06:57 PM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

Maybe this is just me, but the title track sounds like it could have come off Station to Station. I know it sounds odd, but the driving guitar sound is right out of Stay, and with a piano crashing through there it would disguise the degredation in Bowie's voice. I dunno. Maybe if STS had come out in the early 80s it would have been like this. Haha. It has been on my mind lately, someone tell me I'm nuts! (And I think the best part is the HA HA HA HA! Futile Ambivilance, total STS!)

It's too late...

homester
(absolute beginner )
11/10/03 06:03 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

And what would you say about the resemblance of Looking for Water and Shopping for Girls?
Generally speaking, the whole musical stuff of the album seems to me closer to NLMD and TM-2, than to SM, to which some observers related it at the moment of issue.



homester
(absolute beginner )
11/10/03 08:55 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

-----------------------------------------------------
the drone verse of Pablo Picasso - ? (again Im not sure where he first did that)
-----------------------------------------------------
It's just struck my memory that this could be Earthling on Fire. (Sorry for the repetitive posting.)



dazed
(grinning soul)
11/10/03 10:32 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

There is a voice in Dead Man Walking wich says:

Gone gone gone spinning slack through reality]
[Dance my way falling up through the years]
[Till I swivel back round when I fly fly fly]
[Losing breath from the water when I'm gone gone gone]

and it is just like in Pablo Picasso.





ghostlove
(wild eyed peoploid)
11/15/03 05:20 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

Never Grow Old has the guitar panning from left to right (after the verse "Better take care") that sounds similar to the synth panning in Low's "Breaking Glass"(after he says 'Listen')

Captain: I chased them off with my nudity. Does that arouse anyone down there?
Meatwad: Hey, how do I know if I'm aroused?

Emil
(stardust savant)
01/09/04 04:45 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: homester]  

In reply to:

[Homester]It's just struck my memory that this could be Earthling on Fire.
[dazed]There is a voice in Dead Man Walking wich says:
...
and it is just like in Pablo Picasso.


You are of course right - but when I first heard that droning verse, I got this dj vu feeling, I've definitely heard this before, with a similar guitar backing and all, and I first thought it was another Bowie song but I still haven't figured it out.

Another, rather obvious one is the atonal guitar mayhem during the chorus of New killer star. Of course, we have something similar in the ending of Sweet thing (reprise). Even more similar is Shapes of things. Can anyone think of a song by any other artist that has a chorus backed by that kind of noise?

PS. Germany is a great country and you should all consider Berlin for your next holiday.

Edited by EJSnday on 32/13/02 06:30 PM (server time).

homester
(mortal with potential)
01/12/04 03:10 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

----------------------
Another, rather obvious one is the atonal guitar mayhem during the chorus of New killer star. Of course, we have something similar in the ending of Sweet thing (reprise). Even more similar is Shapes of things. Can anyone think of a song by any other artist that has a chorus backed by that kind of noise?
-------------------------------------

This may be not exactly what you mean, but I'm thinking of 'Prisoner of Love' from TM-1. One could also check 'It's No Game, Part 1'.

On s'engage et puis... on voit.

JonnyManic
(stardust savant)
01/14/04 06:17 PM
jazztastic new [re: Emil]  

In reply to:

a small plot of land is probably the closest to the piano style on this song.


South Horizon

Silence Is The Voice Of Complicity

SysiyoModerator
(thunder ocean)
03/28/05 08:41 AM
Exhumation new [re: JonnyManic]  

In reply to:

South Horizon


There's the jazz element in both that and BMTDK, but I really wouldn't match them in the way suggested, as the latter is a very stripped-down piece, whereas South Horizon is a very complex piece. So I'd rather go with A Small Plot Of Land, although I'd also dare to nominate Lady Grinning Soul.

Project Michelangelo | LiveJournal

guiltpuppy
(electric tomato)
03/28/05 08:24 PM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: ghostlove]  

I think the Breaking Glassish sound on NGO may have been an intentional reference -- I seem to recall a thread on the song a while back, and there were loads of seeming "nods" to previous songs in there.

Greater love hath no Bizarro!!

jonasf
(electric tomato)
03/29/05 10:20 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: Emil]  

Isnt one of the main reasons we love Bowie, that he is able to free himself from many paradigm and paint outside of his/ours frame?

/jf

I was always looking left and right!

Guust
(grinning soul)
03/31/05 05:32 AM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: jonasf]  

I love the drone verse in Pablo Picasso, it's the best part of the song. As I've said before, it always makes me think of Boys keep swinging, just as 'fake-macho' and full of attitude. It sounds (a bit) like beauty and the beast too...

This ain't no party
This ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around


jonasf
(electric tomato)
04/01/05 05:31 PM
Re: Bowie paradigms (musical) on Reality new [re: jonasf]  

I just realised... none of you guys know what the word paradigm means... :-(

I was always looking left and right!

poorsoul
(you will pay mr jones)
04/01/05 09:43 PM
Ooe new [re: jonasf]  

That's OK - noone does.

I've Found A New Way To Walk



Emil
(acolyte)
04/02/05 07:15 AM
about words new [re: jonasf]  

Fine, Jonas, I really used the word in a sloppy sense. I could have said "typical Bowie song elements"; I thought it was fun to coin the phrase "Bowie paradigm" and most of those who replied seem to have understood exactly what I meant.

When I think of it, and begin to remember the philosophy class I took twelve years ago, a paradigm in Kohn's (was it?) sense refers to the whole framework of (a discipline of) science, rather than small details which was what I was after. So OK, you're right about that.

Perhaps one can say that Bowie has worked rather faithfully within the paradigm of rock'n'roll. Only on Low and Heroes did he make an attempt to challenge the format: guitar, bass, drums, LP, three-minute songs, singles, tours. I actually don't think it's typical Bowie to free himself of paradigms. But that's a whole different topic than my post was about.



jonasf
(electric tomato)
04/03/05 00:35 AM
Re: about words new [re: Emil]  

Maybe you touched on the work of Albert Einstein in your philosophy class too. If you refresh your memory on his theories you will discover that everything is relative.

Bowie may have stuck to rocknroll, but in the seventies he combined it with philosophy, art, mime, theatre, architecture etc., in a way that no major artist did before him . There are, as you for sure know yourself, many more examples were Bowie move the boundaries of rocknroll. However, if your break one paradigm, your are stuck in the next by definition, so anyone can be labelled at any time.

/jf


I was always looking left and right!


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