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(electric tomato)
04/25/09 04:26 PM
Bootleg: Bowie in Baton Rouge, April ‘78 (Pt. 2)[ [re: ]  

Bootleg: Bowie in Baton Rouge, April ‘78 (Pt. 2)

Friday, April 17th, 2009

by Robert Cass

In reply to:

Late last summer a DVD of the movie August, which features David Bowie in a cameo, showed up at the office where I used to work. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone — it was released in one theater in New York City last July before making a quick exit to video the following month. If it hadn’t been for that promotional DVD at work, I doubt I would’ve heard of it either.

August isn’t a compelling film, due in large part to Josh Hartnett’s emotionally stunted lead performance. (Is it just me, or do you get the feeling he tortured small woodland creatures as a child? Somebody cast this brooding hunk as a serial killer — or at least a young Tommy Lee Jones — ASAP!) Howard A. Rodman’s script has some clever touches, though, like how it never explains what dot-com guru wannabe Tom Sterling’s (Hartnett) company actually does. I worked for a start-up for three months in 2000 before being laid off, and during that brief time I had trouble justifying the company’s existence to my friends and family.

The press release that came with the August DVD said that the film “follows Josh Hartnett as a young dot-com entrepreneur who fights to regain control of his company from Ogilvie (David Bowie).” Based on that description you’d think Ogilvie is a major character in the movie, but like I said up top, the part-time actor only has a cameo. His single scene is an important one, but he’s in and out of August in less than six minutes.

“It was the end of an era” is the film’s tagline, the era in question being the “dot-com bubble” that lasted from 1998 to 2001. August is set in August of ‘01, when Tom’s company, Landshark, is on the verge of going under unless it can attract investors like Ogilvie. The film wants you to believe that the bubble burst that summer, but much of the damage had already been done by the end of 2000, from what I recall, before the recession that began in March of ‘01.

Of course, having the story take place in the weeks leading up to September 11 lends August some poignancy, and luckily the film never overplays its hand in that area, only showing the World Trade Center in the background of one shot at the beginning of the film. Reports about Aaliyah’s fatal plane clash and Ben Affleck checking into rehab flash across TV screens, reminding us that the events of 9/11 made America’s obsession with celebrities seem incredibly shallow in comparison. Thank God we got that out of our system. (Coincidentally, Hartnett hasn’t starred in any big hits since Pearl Harbor, with Ben Affleck, and Black Hawk Down, both of which were released in 2001.)

Oh, right — we didn’t. The start-ups remained a memory, but MySpace came along in 2003 and quickly became a cultural phenomenon (CEO Chris DeWolfe told Vanity Fair in 2006 that “This generation wants to be known, they want to be famous … This generation is self-involved, but they’re also self-aware”), only to be overtaken by Facebook in the past couple years, and now there’s Twitter, and soon we’ll all be using one thumb to type “mine r opposable, whatev that meens” as we walk obliviously into oncoming traffic. Naturally, none of the cars that swerve to miss us will be American.

At the midway point of August, Tom gives a speech at an “e-symposium” and makes the following challenge to his tech-savvy audience: “Are we making the world a less sucky place? Or more sucky? How are we, every day, impacting the suckage?” It’s not Shakespeare, but then, neither is the majority of what you find in the blogosphere. August may be nothing more than a speck of dust in the film universe, but if you’ve ever read a bunch of self-aggrandizing Facebook status updates in one sitting and wondered why most people can’t come to grips with the fact that we’re all just specks of dust in the grand scheme of things, then you may enjoy the subtler points of director Austin Chick’s movie.

Below is the second disc of Bowie’s “Baton Rouge” bootleg, recorded on April 11, 1978, at Louisiana State University. Classics like “Rebel Rebel” and “Suffragette City” are performed, as well as one of my favorites, “Hang On to Yourself” — good advice in 1971, good advice after 9/11, and good advice now.

Download mp3s from the second half of the show here

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(electric tomato)
04/25/09 08:55 PM
Re: Bootleg: Bowie in Baton Rouge, April ‘78 (Pt. 2)[ new [re: robpongi]  

Sorry folks, but it seems as though the Popdose site is having some kind of technical difficulties as I have tried a few times to download the mp3s for the second half of the show, but kept getting the error "file does not exist" ?!?!?!?!

I have posted a comment about this issue and, hopefully, the downloads will soon be available again soon.

Asian Tube
Online Music Videos
Asian TV Blog

(cracked actor)
04/27/09 11:37 AM
Re: Bootleg: Bowie in Baton Rouge, April ‘78 (Pt. 2)[ new [re: robpongi]  

In reply to:

His single scene is an important one, but he's in and out of August in less than six minutes.

The HighLine concert was cancelled on account of these precious minutes?

In reply to:

the part-time actor only has a cameo

BNet recently gave out autographed "Rebel Rebel/Queen Bitch" singles, it being the all-important 35th anniversary. They should should have overstamped the B-side "The actor" credit with "part-time"!

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