Posts Tagged david bowie

Starting a New Life

GoFundCollageFor the past couple years, our lives have been in turmoil after the economic crash finally caught up with us when the company I worked for for 8 years closed their California footprint and I was laid off. We ultimately lost our house, put our entire lives in storage except for the bare necessities and headed to a remote desert town to live with family & friends until we could get back on our feet. I accepted an entry level office job because that’s about the only type of office job there was. My salary was about 1/3 of what it used to be.

Our story isn’t very different from thousands of families across the country, and truly, ours pales in comparison to the hardships many suffer. We are blessed to have health on our side! At this time, we need the help of a village to move forward.

After an infinite amount of resumes went out over the last couple years with very few results, I finally secured another position in healthcare at a slightly higher pay scale than I had previously.

If you would consider donating, please visit our Go Fund Me page here

We’ve found a house and furiously working to secure it but have fallen a bit short on funds to do so. I’ve been saving whatever I can but the approval came on the house sooner than expected. With an average of half a dozen other families applying for each house we found, we can’t let the opportunity pass us. We’re hoping you will donate just $10 to help us achieve our dream and start the next chapter in our lives where my daughter can finish out high school in a nice school, maintain those honor roll grades in preparation for college.

We will also need a refrigerator (I haven’t owned one in DECADES as previous houses always had them) and a couch, because our old one wasn’t worth keeping in storage. I will also need to hire some moving help (volunteers anyone??) to move the big stuff like washer, dryer, beds, dressers.

We look forward to being part of a thriving community again and helping others! We thank those who have generously donated and hope that just a few more people will donate and help us reach our goal. I also look forward to being able to resume some freelance photography and blogging to help boost the currently depleted savings.

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Remembering David Bowie

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David Bowie performing in Los Angeles 2004

It’s taken me a long while to be able to put my thoughts into words since David Bowie’s death in early January.

I’ve tried to describe how I feel and the best explanation I can come up with is that I feel as though a martial arts master has come at me full force, kicked me in the chest with both feet and sent me flying through walls and crashing to the ground. My chest physically aches, the world, at times, seems to be moving in slow motion, my brain goes in and out of a foggy coherence as I process the loss of David Bowie, one of, if not, the greatest influence on my life.

Yes, I’ve long lived in that delusional camp that always believed he was so magical he had to be immortal. In life, one generally only meets a handful of people (famous or not) who exude such charm, humor and genuine talent that they seem to sparkle to those around them. You rarely come across a person who is so innovative and willing to constantly try new things just to see what they come up with. He touched so many facets of art – music, theater, acting, painting, and producing.

My first memory of David Bowie is hearing the song “Changes” when I was about 8 or 9, the year I lived in upstate New York with my biological father. I have an image in my brain of sitting in the living room of this big, old, white house and the song is playing. I think the ch-ch-changes bit along with the phrase “and these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds…” stuck in my young mind. What? Spitting on children? That was it. I’ve loved him ever since.

He is literally a part of me as I had his initials tattooed on my ankle (as part of a bigger tattoo) nearly 20 years ago. I was “detained” once, a long time ago, so he is also part of my permanent, legal record, a means by which I can be identified. I take him with me everywhere I go.

As Carrie Brownstein (@Carrie_Rachel) mentioned on Twitter, “It feels like we lost something elemental, as if an entire color is gone.” As if suddenly helium or aluminum is no longer part of the periodic table, yellow doesn’t exist anymore – lemons, bananas or the sun are void of color.

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David Bowie and I in Arizona 1995

I was fortunate enough to have a couple encounters with him over the years in addition to the times I saw him perform live. Once, when he was on tour a friend and I got to meet him and take photos with him. A couple years later in Los Angeles, another friend got us VIP access for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno when David was going to be a guest. For some reason I got the idea to try and take our 8×10 photos with him into the studio. They usually made you check everything at the door and retrieve it when filming was over. I decided to stick them inside a Vogue magazine hoping they’d let me take the magazine in as something to glance at during the downtime in between takes. It actually worked. We had been placed in the front, center seats. During the commercial break, when most TV hosts and guests usually pretend there is an invisible wall between them and the audience, Jay asked David something then turned to the audience and asked if we had any questions we’d like to ask them. I quickly grabbed our photos and held them up. Jay sent a stagehand to collect them. Then it became a bit humorous. In the photos with David, my friend has her natural red hair and I had my natural medium brown, mousy hair. But sitting in front of David and Jay in the audience there was now a platinum blonde (my friend) and a nearly platinum blonde (me). They looked at the photos, looked at us and looked at each other with quizzical expressions and asked if it was really us. They were quite surprised and it made for a funny interaction. David signed our photos and then had them returned to us. I also lifted up my pant leg in an attempt to show David his initials which had recently been branded upon my ankle. He obliged by turning his leg toward me, and lifting up his own pant leg to show me the tattoo he had on the back of his calf.

Oh, and the fact that I’d called in sick to work so I could go only added to the humor when the next day 3 coworkers told me they saw me on TV the night before. Oops!

For me, watching a band I adore perform live is one of the very few things in life that truly makes me happy. I thrive on the energy and chaos of a live show. I marvel in the bumps & bruises obtained through frenetic dancing and singing. A My Chemical Romance show where my ribs still hurt nearly a week later after being in the front of the happy mob counts among my favorite memories. But seeing David Bowie perform was simply on another level. It transcended me into a euphoric state unlike any other. He always surrounded himself with amazing musicians who were so well suited to his sound & style. He was so beautifully handsome with an amazing smile and fantastic sense of humor and so immensely talented.

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An artistic shot of David Bowie and I in 2004

 

For one show, my friend Kim and I spent an entire cold, rainy, February day waiting in a line to see him perform a rare general admission show in Los Angeles on a tour that was mostly seated venues. I recall us being woefully under dressed for the weather while we huddled together under one umbrella for about 9 hours until they let us into the venue where it all paid off and we managed a coveted spot in the front row. The frozen toes & fingers are long forgotten. I don’t recall much of the set list, only that I was able to play with the strings coming off his purposefully frayed jeans; touch his beat up black Converse while he sang on the high stage above us. My friend Alison took this “artistic” photo of David & I because that’s all we could manage due to the height of the stage. We were close enough that when he held a long note I could actually see the texture in the roof of his mouth. It was magical & memorizing and one of my favorite nights.

To some degree I have been able to share him with my kids. When my son was about 8 I was able to take him to a few shows on the Earthling tour. At the time, he actually liked the seats that were farther away because he could better see when David launched this giant eyeball balloon into the audience where it was instantly pulled to pieces. My daughter is much younger and never had the honor to see him perform live but Labyrinth has always been one of her favorite movies and she understands how magical he was.

On January 8th, I happily downloaded Blackstar when I got into work and made my annual Happy Birthday post about David on my Facebook then gleefully plugged an ear bud into my ear to absorb the new music without any clue he was about to leave us shattered and heartbroken.

I’m blessed to have many international friends who graciously gathered up newspapers from around the world to send to me.

I’ve always been so biased in my opinion of great admiration and love for David Bowie, that I never really stopped to think about how many other people might also feel that way in varying degrees so it was mind blowing to the senses when he died to see the world react the way they did. My own life has been in flux the past couple years and the majority of my belongings currently reside in two storage units. I’m hoping soon I will be unpacking everything and perhaps, then I’ll have a Bowie fest and create a gallery of cherished items to come back and share with you.

My heart goes out to his family and friends. I thank them for sharing the public version of him with the rest of us. I’m grateful my time on this planet coincided with his.

I will always love David Bowie. He will always be my hero and one of the greatest influences and inspirations in my life that shaped who I am as a person.

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Where Are We Now? David Bowie Surprises Fans With New Music!

My Pictures0016v2wDavid Bowie. Two words that haven’t been uttered on a new music Tuesday in a long time. A decade in fact. David Bowie. Yes ladies and gentlemen it is January 8th. Honestly, it isn’t April Fool’s Day. It’s true! For his 66th Birthday, David Bowie has surprised his fans with a gift, a new single, “Where Are We Now?” out now on iTunes.

In a press release posted on the singer’s newly revamped website, Iso/Columbia Records announced the new single, “Where  Are We Now?” and an album THE NEXT DAY to follow. This is David Bowie’s first new album in ten years and his 30th studio recording, THE NEXT DAY is also available as a pre-order on iTunes with a wide release scheduled for March.

A unique, very David Bowie video accompanies the haunting track which takes you on a journey revisiting the past while asking where are we now with the tender melodic you know you know you know. The video is available for your viewing pleasure now on the “Vision” section of his website, hosted by Vimeo.

 

The Next Day tracklisting

Standard Version:

01. The Next Day 3:51
02. Dirty Boys 2:58
03. The Stars (Are Out Tonight) 3:56
04. Love Is Lost 3:57
05. Where Are We Now? 4:08
06. Valentine’s Day 3:01
07. If You Can See Me 3:16
08. I’d Rather Be High 3:53
09. Boss Of Me 4:09
10. Dancing Out In Space 3:24
11. How Does The Grass Grow 4:33
12. (You Will) Set The World On Fire 3:30
13. You Feel So Lonely You Could Die 4:41
14. Heat 4:25

Total (Approximately) 53:14

Deluxe Version

01. The Next Day 3:51
02. Dirty Boys 2:58
03. The Stars (Are Out Tonight) 3:56
04. Love Is Lost 3:57
05. Where Are We Now? 4:08
06. Valentine’s Day 3:01
07. If You Can See Me 3:16
08. I’d Rather Be High 3:53
09. Boss Of Me 4:09
10. Dancing Out In Space 3:24
11. How Does The Grass Grow 4:33
12. (You Will) Set The World On Fire 3:30
13. You Feel So Lonely You Could Die 4:41
14. Heat 4:25

Bonus tracks:
15. So She 2:31
16. I’ll Take You There 2:44
17. Plan 2:34

Total (Approximately): 61: 03

His website speaks of much more to come in the near future. Do we dare dream the impossible? Will David Bowie emerge to support this album? Could this be the year Coachella gets one of its dream headlining acts? OK, so hell could freeze over and I would voluntarily attend a hot, sweaty music festival in the middle of the California desert that I’ve avoided like the plague for all of its entirety.

A few scattered tour dates perhaps in major cities around the globe? Outdoor summer concert series in the warmer climates? My bag is packed, I’m ready, let’s dance!

We all know that Bowie only comes out to play when he’s got something to say. I’m always ready to listen and look forward to exploring the rest of the tracks on this most unexpected and extremely welcome belated Christmas present.

Wishing you all a Bowie filled 2013!

 

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My Chemical Romance Visit the GRAMMY Museum

by Cindy Robinson

My Chemical Romance recently visited the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live before heading to Japan to kick off their World Contamination Tour in support of their latest hit album, Danger Days: the True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Vocalist Gerard Way, bassist Mikey Way along with guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero sat down for the Museum’s An Evening With series in the 200 seat Clive Davis Theater. The intimate question-and-answer session was led by Bob Santelli, executive director of the GRAMMY Museum.

The MCRmy began lining up outside of the museum the night before, with some people traveling from as far as Argentina to attend the event. The audience was a great representation of the mix of people MCR draw to their concerts as people of all ages took advantage of the opportunity to see a great band discuss their career in an intimate setting.

The band were candid and open discussing how the events of Sept. 11, 2001, profoundly influenced MCR and helped shape the formation of the band. The Way brothers were especially moved by the incident and were inspired to change the course of their lives.

“I was doing something really irrelevant at the time that I didn’t feel was important, and I remember thinking to myself that I can’t waste this,” Gerard Way said. “What I ended up processing in my head is that life isn’t a game. It isn’t something you waste.”

Just after the events of 9/11 the band had their first rehearsal with the Way brothers, Toro and then-drummer Matt Pelissier. At the time, Iero was the guitarist for punk band Pencey Prep and supported MCR from afar as their first true fan.

“I remember being a fly on the wall when they finished the first song they ever really recorded, and they were so excited about it,” Iero said. “They would play it over and over again and high five each other.” Iero ribbed vocalist Way for high fiving the band members after completing a song but they chuckled as they admitted to still doing it now.

The band openly discussed their early years, their various musical roots with Santelli and appeared to be genuinely moved by fans traveling from as far as Argentina, and sharing stories of being inspired by MCR’s music to help them get through the rough times.

Iero became visibly emotional when a young cancer survivor named Melissa asked the group what their inspiration was for the song Cancer. The band spoke about spending time with children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and how they were humbled by their experiences and amazed by the strength these families showed.

 “We all come from such different backgrounds musically. We played what was in us and that’s really how the sound was formed,” Toro said. “I think we have a unique sound and a unique take on music, and that take is anything goes.”

Toro’s roots are founded in heavy metal, with Iero coming from punk inspiration and the Way brothers grew up on the glam sounds of David Bowie.

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The intimate audience of 200 were treated to a signed CD from the band along with the opportunity for a group photo on their way out.

My Chemical Romance is currently on tour and about to take over Europe with a series of dates in February and March before returning to the USA in April for more shows.

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Mick Karn of the band Japan loses his battle with cancer

Mick Karn, the former bassist of the late 70’s early 80’s band Japan has passed away at the age of 52. His official Facebook page posted that Mick passed away peacefully in his Chelsea, London home this afternoon.

Mick Karn (image courtesy of Mick Karn)

“It’s with profound sadness that we have to inform you that Mick finally lost his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully at 4.30pm today, 4th January 2011 at home in Chelsea, London.  He was surrounded by his family and friends and will be deeply missed by all.”

Mick was an innovative and eclectic bass player who rose to fame in the late 70’s with the glam rock band Japan. Just last year Mick contributed to the David Bowie tribute album on his version of the Bowie classic, Ashes to Ashes.

A look back at the classic Japan track, Gentlemen Take Polaroids, that has stood the test of time. Thank you for your contributions to music Mick, you will be missed. Messages of condolence for his family can be left in the message section of Mick’s official site.

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David Bowie Releases Station to Station for a New Generation

Station to Station

Image by thejcgerm via Flickr

 

By Cindy Robinson 

Out now from Virgin/EMI is the 1976 David Bowie album Station to Station newly remastered along with the previously unreleased fan favorite, a live Bowie performance from Nassau Coliseum in 1976. Available are the fantastic Special Edition ( 3 CD and digital download) and limited Deluxe Edition (5 CD + DVD Audio + 3 LP) packages of the album & live performance packaged with glossy color booklets, postcards & replica fan club items. 

Do the songs stand the test of time? His voice is rich and songs like Life on Mars, Rebel Rebel and Changes sound as incredible now as they did thirty years ago. 

The mixing & sound quality of the live performance is well done, enhancing Bowie’s vocals while minimizing the crowd noise allowing the songs to shine through. 

All that this remastered edition is missing is some  live DVD footage. It would have been fabulous to see some archival footage from the 70’s showing off Bowie’s visionary style. 

David Bowie 2004

 

And alas, listening to his smooth crooning on a live recording only makes the Bowie fan sorely miss seeing his live performances with diminished hope that Bowie will ever tour again, or do more than a handful of shows in select cities. 

David Bowie has confirmed that he is at work on a new book. Word of the book recently leaked and the 63-year-old has since confirmed some details through his official website

“We still don’t want to give too much away just yet, suffice to say that David Bowie has been working on a book entitled Bowie: Object,” was the official statement on Bowie’s site. 

The statement continued on to say the book “is a collection of pieces from the Bowie archive, wherein, for the first time, fans and all those interested in popular culture will have the opportunity to understand more about the Bowie creative process and his impact on modern popular music.” 

The publication will be available in several different colors, making the book a striking object in itself. A release date is yet to be confirmed but Bowie fans will surely be looking forward to any works the artist is planning to release in the near future! 

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