“At the height of his cocaine addiction, David Bowie weighed only 95 pounds, hardly a healthy weight for 5’11”. He later said that he spent most of the mid-Seventies trying to perfect telekinesis and trying to keep Jimmy Page and witches from stealing his soul.”
trying to keep Jimmy Page and witches from stealing his soul
sorry, I don’t see the problem?
palejoe asked: I loved your Bowie comic! I've been pretty into Station to Station lately so the timing is perfect, but would you mind giving it a little context because I have no idea what all that Nazi stuff was about (is the answer cocaine?). Also, The Man Who Fell to Earth is one of the strangest movies ever made: agree or disagree?
Nah, seriously though, Bowie split with his label following a traumatic financial breakup during which he realized the degree to which his now-ex manager had him by the balls. At the time he was already doing tons and tons of coke and not really eating. He moved to Los Angeles and, perhaps picking up on the illicit air of occultism that had been present like smog since before the Manson murders there, started reading very heavily about the subject, which had long interested him anyway. From there it was a short trip, it seems, to fascism and Nazism. He cleaned up enough to film The Man Who Fell to Earth, which in a way was just the latest in his long string of alien-visitor characters, but the sum total of L.A./occult/Nazis/Thomas Jerome Newton/ongoing fascination with American R&B and funk/newfound interest in Kraftwerk/penchant for saying outrageous things during interviews was the character of the Thin White Duke, the glacial European aristocrat persona responsible for Station to Station and the subsequent ISOLAR tour in support of that record.
The irony, perhaps, is that a lot of the Station to Station material reads as quite straightforwardly emotional compared to Bowie’s previous work: “Word on a Wing” seems to deal fairly directly with how Bowie saw Christianity in one of his open-to-religious-faith phases, “TVC-15” is a fun party record, “Stay” is the sexiest, most longing thing he’d recorded to that point, his cover of “Wild Is the Wind” is sincere and gutting, etc.
TMWFtE is a pretty odd movie, yeah, and not at all what one hopes for when one first puts it on. There was a brief period, no more than six years really, in English-language cinema during which directors took a run at changing the syntax of editing, and this was part of it; virtually none of it stuck so it looks super-weird to modern eyes.
Mike Jones - Still Tippin’ (feat. Slim Thug & Paul Wall)
At the end of his central verse in this song, Mike Jones repeats the line “Back then, hoes didn’t want me / Now I’m hot, hoes all on me” four times. With each repetition it sounds less like sexist braggadocio and more like deep-seated insecurity. Each time he says it, it sounds more like he literally can’t believe his good fortune. Each time he says it, the sense that the thought is disturbing enough to him that he’s repeating it compulsively becomes harder to shake. Each time he says it, it sounds more like “Huh…This isn’t right. I’m not convinced their first take on me wasn’t the accurate one.” It sounds like Beth Gibbons saying “I don’t know what I did to deserve you” in Portishead’s “Nylon Smile” and meaning it not as a compliment to the person but an admission that she’s ignorant, and it’s terrifying to her.
1. They’re almost like articles, but much easier to write.
2. They’re really easy to read too!
3. All you have to read is the bold part, since the non-bold part is usually just filler. Asfa gadfr eoug.
4. Once you get to four, it’s hard to not to just keep going and read all of them! Why not?
5. Even though you usually know what they’re going to say!
6. And they are almost completely content-free.
7. Oh, yeah: you can put ads between them easily.
8. Or you can separate them into groups that you have to click through ads to read.
9. Have fun. They are fun to read.
10. Be yourself.
Dash Shaw’s a talented comics maker, and he’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the time I accidentally terrified him by accosting him at a lunch counter I saw him at while walking past when I was completely unrecognizable in a bushy beard and Santa hat, but this little thing making fun of listicles bothered me as a person who writes for a living, and here’s why.Obviously there are tons of hit-whoring listicles out there, and tons of shitty writers. But writers aren’t making the decision to turn something into a list. Editors make that call, and web designers determine how lists are presented on a site. Moreover, some things lend themselves to a list format naturally, and I’m not going to force a piece that makes more sense and will communicate more readily with readers as a list into through-written prose just because snarking on lists is an easy and accepted way to slam a given site. I work just as hard on lists as i do on articles — and I get paid more for them, because they generally do better. Freelance writers need to make money, and in my experience list features are as close to an efficient way of doing so online as exists.
Back in the electroclash days I wrote a comic based on the song “Rippin Kittin” by Golden Boy with Miss Kittin. Josiah Leighton drew and executed it. I just posted it to my new comics tumblr. I hope you like it.
A Real Gentle Knife
Based on the song "Rippin Kittin" by Golden Boy with Miss Kittin
Nine Inch Nails’ 20th-century iteration was a matter of excess. It was excess of abandon during the Broken and Downward Spiral period — smashed instruments, trashed dressing rooms, primal screams and abrasiveness on the records. And it was excess of ambition during that era’s summary statement, The Fragile — custom-built recording studios, Bob Ezrin on the boards, a level of sonic perfectionism that literally drove Trent Reznor to drink.
Since the band’s post-sobriety return with 2005’s With Teeth, however, Nine Inch Nails has been about keeping control. With Teeth pared the act down to a tight, pummeling rock-band model, one that remains a centerpiece of its live shows. Year Zero belied its concept-album dystopia with a quick-and-dirty recording process — a couple of laptops on a tour bus, pretty much. Ghosts may have been an instrumental triple album, but each track was more of a sketch than a song. The Slip blended several of these modes.
The pattern culminated in Hesitation Marks. It’s a throwback to The Downward Spiral and The Fragile in terms of its visual and sonic vibe, but lyrically it’s a contemplation and rejection of the Reznor of that period. It’s about an emotional life he now has control over, and his fear of losing his grip the way he once did. All told, the career trajectory that emerges from juxtaposing these eras evinces a great deal of thought about what this band does and what it means to its architect.
Nine Inch Nails’ live show reflects that care and attention. It starts in full muscular rock-band mode, with stark white lighting that’s equally no-nonsense. When the set expands to encompass more expansive material from Hesitation Marks and The Fragile, a pair of backup singers are added — their first vocals got a big audience pop, since that’s pretty much the last thing anyone expects at a Nine Inch Nails show, but for the most part they serve to unobtrusively shore up and support Reznor’s vocals, which often play off subtle but crucial harmonies or calls-and-responses in the songs’ studio version that have traditionally been lost in live translation.
A digital light show of genuinely stunning sophistication and ambition fleshes out the visuals accordingly, rivaling if not surpassing your widescreen rock band of choice for sheer spectacle. But again, the range of effects is carefully considered, primarily involving shifting digital colors, three-dimensional wire frames, and silhouettes. It’s evocative but non-narrative, designed to command audience attention during lesser-known or more difficult songs.
The lighting cues often get very specific, highlighting individual musicians in frequently unorthodox ways: I think pretty much every trick in the book was used to spotlight drummer Ilan Rubin except an actual spotlight, while one memorable solo from guitarist Robin Finck was reverse-spotlighted, a digital projection sort of burning away to blackness as he played. Bassist Pino Palladino, who takes his on-stage comportment cues from the similarly stoic John Entwistle (whom he’s replaced in the Who), is barely ever lit at all.
And for all its high technology, a couple of its strongest moments were callbacks to the band’s rich design history: a Batsignal-like projection of the classic NIN logo ended the main set during the final notes of “Head Like a Hole,” while the encore’s closing performance of “Hurt” was accompanied by the same black-and-white montage of disturbing images that ran when the band played the song during the Downward Spiral's arena tour nineteen years ago. It's a clever way to emphasize the time period during which his relationship with the largest segment of his audience was forged, while connecting it visually to his more recent and forward-thinking work — a capstone for a thoughtful, frequently spectacular show that incorporates the person he was then into the artist he is now.