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jabow
(kook)
01/20/04 07:27 PM
Re: Is Bowie defying expectations with A Reality T [re: dice]  

Reality tour is good but the Outside and earthling tours were better.

"You'll have to take me just the way that you find me."


SoulLoveChild
(stardust savant)
01/21/04 01:47 AM
dice didn't defy expectations either [re: dice]  

In reply to:

i didn't have to attend a show to know it was boring


Your personal opinioin in this thread (and all current tour threads) is invalid then .

I personally will not say the tour is fantastic until I have seen it next month. And I will not be blindly saying it is, I'll be open to criticize it if necessary. By all reports, everyone's being blown away by the quality of the shows. It's not the [..... insert fave] tour, you can't compare or expect him to go back to where he was again.

Bowie in Australia February 2004
the wait is almost over

Nature_Boy
(kook)
01/21/04 05:11 AM
Re: Is Bowie defying expectations with A Reality Tour? [re: eraserhead]  

What a great discussion thread.

I was really looking forward to The Motel when I went to the Wembley gig last year. But my enjoyment was tarnished a bit, because people were leaving the arena in droves to go for a toilet stop! And you really felt sorry for Bowie, just like the Dandy Warhols playing to a half full arena earlier on.

My own enjoyment was very much crowd influenced. Everyone going nuts for Life On Mars? was magic, as was everyone singing All The Young Dudes.

Just like every other hardcore fan hear I would like to hear him singing the deepest darkest obscurists corners of his back catalgue, but I also want Bowie and the rest of the audience to enjoy themselves too.

Five Years seems to occupy a strange place. It was certainly well received probably because (as has already been said) its attached to one of his biggest and well known albums. So a bit of best of both worlds in that one.




Its about time I had a signature

Dara
(acolyte)
01/21/04 05:59 AM
Re: Sound revisionism [re: eraserhead]  

In reply to:

But what you're essentially saying here is that more or less every artist is always defying expectations because there are so many different expectations, so many different people/fans.


No. Most fanbases are a lot more homogenous than Bowie's. Back in the days when I was an Iggy fan and hung around his Usenet newsgroup, it always struck me how incredibly homogenous it was. That makes it pretty easy to please. Iggy pretty much just has to go on stage topless, jump around, pull a few faces, drop his pants, shout the songs, and they're as happy as pigs in shit.

I presume that's what Bowie meant by his Iggy comment. Iggy is now a stage weirdo, the living stereotype of what a "wild man of rock" should be in the eyes of the mainstream. He couldn't play the role more perfectly if he had gotten Steven Spielberg in to write the script.

By contrast, there's Johnny Lydon (Rotten). He's getting boos from the usual "Sellout!" brigade of dullards for going on crappy reality TV programme "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here" right now. Presumably they just want him to be Johnny Rotten '77 for the rest of his life.

In reply to:

I was also thinking more about defying expectations in a postive way


And I guess like most people you define positive as "stuff I like".

I suppose the most shocking thing Bowie ever did was Ziggy and the whole "I'm gay" thing. It's easy enough to shock and defy expectations when you're unknown. You just have to stand out from what's around. Ziggy was absorbed into the mainstream within a year and just became the latest manifestation of stage gender play. So Bowie did the next most shocking thing he could do - retire him at his peak. Then more personas. Thereafter, he starts to be pigeonholed as "weird persona guy" or "weirdo who changes his do and look every album". By the end of the 70s, he was on his way to becoming the cliche that every other major figure in rock and pop ended up as.

So by "going mainstream" in 1983, he was doing absolutely the most surprising and shocking thing he could do at that point. The tactics may have been mundane - tone down the sexuality, blonde up the image, put on a suit, do some warm dance pop rock - but the overall change of strategy was genuinely surprising. Everyone was expecting an album like "Vampires Of Human Flesh" with a dark Goth underbelly. Bowie defied their expectations by giving them its polar opposite.

The older you get, the harder it is to shock. We've seen all the tricks before, so they shouldn't surprise us. Yet some fans seem genuinely surprised by Bowie's "negative" partial retreat into the mainstream after a mid 90s spent making deliberately contrary albums. They apparently expected him to continue doing that till he died - making stage weird albums, playing smaller, sorry, "more intimate" venues every tour to the same aging faces, settling for the cosy life of the cult artist with his adoring fanbase who will continue to adore him so long as he gives them what they expect and doesn't try to appeal to those they perceive as outsiders.

Some artists spend their entire careers chasing the mainstream, changing in any way they need to appeal to American housewives as you call them. Others spend an entire career appealing only to their own cult. Both artistic straightjackets are as confining as the other.

And that ain't what Bowie's about.

Slan libh,

Dara

"What was the point of that In America movie? That only an inbred cretin would even think about going to live In America??" Fiona O'Kearney, 19/01/2004

EJSundayModerator
(acolyte)
01/21/04 07:00 AM
Standards And Changes [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

Iggy pretty much just has to go on stage topless, jump around, pull a few faces, drop his pants, shout the songs, and they're as happy as pigs in shit.


Exactly. I loved Iggy for being the standard Iggy a very long time. Then I left Iggy for still being standard Iggy many years later. Another while later I bought "Avenue B" as it wasn't standard Iggy. And I liked it. Didn't by the next albums - too standard.

Bowie has produced many things I don't like. I even got close to giving up on him. But then again he never made me lose interest - neither in his records nor in his shows. As said before: Diversity is crucial to his career and so it does make a lot of sense to harbour diverse aspects of his career in his shows. And that's not necessarily only those which please little EJ.

And I want to believe
In the madness that calls 'now'


Si_rocks
(kook)
01/21/04 08:39 AM
Re: Standards And Changes [re: EJSunday]  

Hmm, the only more obscure songs I really want to hear are Teenage Wildlife, Sons of the Silent Age, Sweet Thing medley and Moknage Daydream. Other than that I was as happy as a pig in doodoo.

Who needs talent these days if you make out with your friend on stage? - Rabbitfighter

Emil
(stardust savant)
01/21/04 09:24 AM
too bad he didn't do it in Helsinki then [re: Sysiyo]  

In reply to:

What is the second Tonight number (Blue Jean, presumably), and when was it played?


unless you already found out, your question was answered in the Denver thread here - Blue Jean was indeed played there.

Where are those song statistics that used to be regularly posted here for a while??



eraserhead
(stardust savant)
01/21/04 10:06 AM
here's my theory [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

Back in the days when I was an Iggy fan and hung around his Usenet newsgroup, it always struck me how incredibly homogenous it was. That makes it pretty easy to please.


Iggy's fanbase is not that homogenous, but, yeah, probably more so than Bowie's. But if you look closer, there are, you know, different fractions. There's been a hot debate on various boards on whether or not Iggy's a whore now for having recorded with Sum 41. The fanbase is equally divided into two camps. 50% say they've lost respect for him, while the rest say the song is great and that's all that matters. There's also a lot of hardcore fans that hate the last touring band he had, before the Stooges reunited. So they are another camp. There's also Iggy fans who can stand Bowie and those who can't. But, yeah, I'm not denying that for me to be as happy as a pig in shit, as you so elegantly put it, Iggy just has to, well, go on stage, basically. Topless or not, doesn't really matter. Drop his pants, doesn't really matter either. But jump around, pull a few faces, shout the songs, that's basically all I want, and then I'm a happy pig. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.
As Bowie put it, in the same interview (from July 2002): "I saw him only from the back as I was playing piano for him [...] I couldn't get over his energy and his commitment to savage realism."
Same here. The simplicity, the energy and the savage realism is what I love.


In reply to:

I presume that's what Bowie meant by his Iggy comment. Iggy is now a stage weirdo, the living stereotype of what a "wild man of rock" should be in the eyes of the mainstream. He couldn't play the role more perfectly if he had gotten Steven Spielberg in to write the script.

By contrast, there's Johnny Lydon (Rotten). He's getting boos from the usual "Sellout!" brigade of dullards for going on crappy reality TV programme "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here" right now. Presumably they just want him to be Johnny Rotten '77 for the rest of his life.


So when Iggy goes mainstream, he's uninteresting, or whatever term you prefer, but when Jonny Rotten goes mainstream, you're applauding him? I don't see the difference, expect that it took Jonny Rotten 30 years to go mainstream. Iggy went mainstream a long time ago. The only thing that has changed is your percecption or appreciation of it, because he's been the "wild man of rock" since day one, as far as I'm concerned. It's just that now more people are appreciting what he's doing, and giving him credit for it, and that's why people like you and EJ walk out of him. It was okay to support him when nobody else did, except for Bowie, but now he's getting too big already. No offense, I'm just speculating. :)

I agree that the transformation Bowie went though around '82-'83 was probably the most surprising move of his career. Most Bowie experts say it was a conscious descision though, it was a strategy plan, to make up for all the bad contracts he'd been under. It was Bowie's way of earning back all the money he'd lost while experimenting in the 70s. Then when that mission was accomplished and he was a rich man, he went back to creating art in the late 80s. So the 80s was just an exception. You make it sound like it was Bowie getting old and wise, not wanting to be hip and happening, or caring about experimenting anymore. I don't think it was that he "matured", I just think he wanted to finance another decade of art experiments (the 90s). Throughout the 90s he was busy being '70s Bowie' again. How we should interpret these last few years (2000-2003), I'm not completely sure. Maybe Claude's right and it's again money that is dictating his descisions. At least I find that a more likely reason for what he's doing now than the reason you've put forward -- that Bowie has matured, he has "found himself" and have realized that he doesn't want to be a weirdo anymore, he just wants to be a family kind of guy, with no edge and no danger, he just wants to entertain American housewives by playing "Rebel Rebel" and "China Girl" over and over again, because that's the kind of guy he really is. Well, I don't buy it.

But, again, I'm not saying these shows he's giving nowadays, are terrible or even bad. I'm sure you, Dara, and EJ, are enjoying them, and I probably would enjoy them a bit as well, I'm just saying there's not a lot of "otherness" or vision or darkness in these shows. And "otherness", vision, and darkness, that's what Bowie's been about throughout his career, except for the periods where he felt he needed to make some money to help finance further artistic investigations.





"I speak what yah weak mind lacks" -Missy Elliott

Edited by eraserhead on 01/21/04 10:12 AM (server time).



Dara
(acolyte)
01/21/04 10:26 AM
Re: here's my theory [re: eraserhead]  

In reply to:

At least I find that a more likely reason for what he's doing now than the reason you've put forward -- that Bowie has matured, he has "found himself" and have realized that he doesn't want to be a weirdo anymore, he just wants to be a family kind of guy, with no edge and no danger, he just wants to entertain American housewives by playing "Rebel Rebel" and "China Girl" over and over again, because that's the kind of guy he really is.


Where did I put forward that theory?

You haven't understood my point at all, and I don't really see what I can say to clarify, other perhaps than "reread my post".

Slan duit,

Dara

"What was the point of that In America movie? That only an inbred cretin would even think about going to live In America??" Fiona O'Kearney, 19/01/2004

EJSundayModerator
(acolyte)
01/21/04 11:05 AM
I Am Too Old For Retro [re: eraserhead]  

In reply to:

now he's getting too big already.


In which country exactly is that happening? Here in Germany Iggy is a complete nobody these days. Of course he can rely on his old laurels and his old fans (myself included) will always stay loyal to him - as he once was a very special, very fine musician who gave a lot to us. But those were the days. Iggy was big (or biggish rather) here from the late 70s through to the very early 90s. From the days punk and Bowie brought him back to light up to the Brick By Brick aftermath. That's when he peaked - in reputation, following and probably in financial success. From then on it was a downhill trip.

Things are probably different when you have been living with Iggy on a different time line than the one I (and probably Dara) have been on. The first time I got interested in Iggy was in the late 70s when I heard the Sex Pistols play a song called "No Fun". I was told by a friend that this incredible number was actually from a guy called Iggy Pop who was supposed to be the inventor of punk rock. Got infected. I bought a cheap vinyl copy of "Raw Power" in my home town's only record shop, a "Search & Destroy" T-Shirt on a flea market in Groningen/Holland and got even more excited when I found out that this guy was doing a new record with David Bowie. I taped "The Idiot" and later "Lust For Live" and turned into a solid Iggy supporter for a very long time.

But then things started to fade. Iggy turned self-retro. Without going into detail and also knowing that you will come up with proof how different albums like "American Cesar" and "Naughty Little Doggy" are, I got bored with Iggy. First I stopped going to his shows, though the ones I had seen were always fantastic. After "Avenue B", which I quite like, I also stopped buying his albums. I felt like I didn't need more standstill - not from an artist like Iggy.

That's where I am today but I am sure things are very different when you are much younger. You do detect his old stuff at once - it comes as an entity, not as a linear (downward) development. The sound you get from the newer albums appears fresh, wild and lively as you had not been going through that sound a long time before. At a time when that sound was indeed fresh, wild and lively. One may call it the Pink Floyd symptom.

Don't get me wrong. Iggy will always be one of my heroes and the described fate was similarily shared by my even bigger heroes "The Ramones". You may well credit people like them for not giving up on what they have done and stood for all their lives. But on the other hand those musical die hards later hardly ever give you more reasons for affection than nostalgia. Because they have done what they are still doing far better before, at a time when their music was part of the real life, when their music was a result of those times. And not a late reflection of things long changed.

Bowie got close to that dead lock but never got fully caught. The "Sound & Vision" tour, BTWN and "Outside" where moments when he hadn't got a clue about where to go as David Bowie and started to repeat his own recipes with little adjustments. But he got out. And that's why he is still there. Big. Mighty Big.

And I want to believe
In the madness that calls 'now'



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