Thursday, April 21, 2016

This Is The Way Mourning Goes

I didn't need to personally know David Bowie or Prince to mourn for them.

Loving them was and still is enough.


Nothing Compares to Prince

I'm completely numb, in total disbelief. This is such a crushing blow, to lose another hero. 

I haven't stopped crying...still am.

What makes this so sad is how sudden this is. One day we hear about him being sent to the hospital for "flu like symptoms" and now...Prince is dead. He died alone in his elevator at home at Paisley Park, under circumstance that we don't know yet, as to why and how he has left this Earth so suddenly like this. He was only 57 years old. That is too young. Far too young. This is tragic.

"And if the elevator tries to bring you down / Go crazy!" has a chillier meaning now.

Upon hearing the news, and then such an outpouring of text messages and FB messages from friends and family who obviously knew that I was such a fan of him, I was utterly shocked, thinking...

"How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that's so cold?"

I was already honored then, but even more so now, I'm glad that I got to see Prince live in concert, at least once in my life. And needless to say, it was one of the best shows I've ever seen.

He really was everything.

He lived his life to the fullest. He was art. He was music embodiment. He was love.

Only one man/artist will forever be remembered by not only face, not only name, but a symbol and a color.

Nothing will ever compare to Prince.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Today Is Your Birthday..."

As we all get older, year after year, so do the albums of our favorite artists!

In chronology by month, here are the birthdays for Björk's solo albums:

Vulnicura - January 20, 2015

Volta - May 1, 2007

Post - June 13, 1995

Debut - July 5, 1993

Vespertine - August 27, 2001

Medúlla - August 31, 2004

Biophilia - October 5, 2011

Homogenic - September 22, 1997

 Björk - December 18, 1977

Friday, April 8, 2016

Bruce Springsteen / The Boss Has Spoken

The man himself, Bruce Springsteen, did something very bold today: he cancelled a North Carolina gig in solidarity for the LGBT community, and he sent out this message to the world:

I respect and admire him for this, not just for being in solidarity with us, but how he has chosen to not have his cake and eat it too. He could have done the show and protested against the anti-LGBT law there, but instead, he decided to do this coldly. That's what most celebrities/artists would have done. 

Not Bruce. He knows that he can't have it both ways. It makes his statement even more powerful, more meaningful, and extremely more convincing. We don't call him The Boss for nothing! 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Black Out: Rest In Peace, Dennis Davis

What's going on?

Since David's passing, some of those closest to him have passed on within weeks or months apart from each other. First Teddy Antolin, David and Iman's hairdresser, friend, and matchmaker, then Iman's mother, Marian Abdulmajid, and now David's longtime drummer, Dennis Davis.

I know this is just a part of life. It may all just be a coincidence. But this is still very eerie.

Tony Visconti had these touching, beautiful words to say about Dennis and his work with David:

"He was one of the most creative drummers I have ever worked with. He came into David Bowie's life when we recorded some extra tracks for Young Americans and stayed with us through Scary Monsters and beyond. He was a disciplined jazz drummer who tore into Rock with a Jazz sensibility. Listen to the drum breaks on Black Out from the Heroes album. He had a conga drum as part of his set up and he made it sound like two musicians were playing drums and congas. By Scary Monsters he was playing parts that were unthinkable but they fit in so perfectly. His sense of humor was wonderful. As an ex member of the US Air Force he told us stories of seeing a crashed UFO first hand by accidentally walking through an unauthorized hanger. There will never be another drummer, human being and friend like Dennis, a magical man."

And Earl Slick, David's longtime guitarist who has also worked with John Lennon as well, said this:

"My condolences to the family of drummer Dennis Davis.

He finally lost his long battle with cancer earlier today.

his amazing drumming was rivaled only by his amazing sense of humor , and the most infectious smile i have ever experienced . as a drummer he played some of the most iconic OF DBs albums , including Station to Station. In a twist of fate he was a major influence and mentor of drummer Sterling Campbell who eventually became DBs drummer . sterling then kindly passed this along to my son derummer@Lee John by spending time with him and teaching him the ropes.
Thank you Dennis for all you gave , as a great friend and musician . R.I.P. ES"

Gail Ann Dorsey's (David's favorite bass player and one kick ass woman) tribute touched me most:

"Sterling Campbell called me this morning to inform me that we had lost yet another member of the David Bowie musical family, drummer Dennis Davis. Although Dennis was well before my time in the Bowie line up, I had the great honour and pleasure of getting to meet him during my early years with David, and prior to that, like the rest of the world, the pleasure and privilege of listening to and enjoying his most exceptional musical talents… In my humble (and perhaps ill-informed, so please forgive me if that is the case) opinion, Dennis has been disappointingly over-looked and not nearly as recognized and highly regarded as some of his peers, for the uniqueness, creativeness, and sensitivity that he brought to some of Bowie’s most iconic and brilliant works, few drummers, if any, could ever surpass.

Yes, it’s hard not to feel pretty bummed out these days... Folks my age or older are being forced to recognize the reality that we are in the final chapters of our story as opposed to the early ones. I think it best we remember that we are still the writers of our story, and although we know that it will eventually have to have an ending, we can still make the plot, theme, characters, and events as joyful, vibrant, and enlightening as we wish them to be.

Personally, I am now going to pull out my Bowie albums and crank my favourite Dennis Davis moments to the heavens! If you will, do the same, and join me in appreciation and celebration for one of Bowie’s brightest collaborators, and a great contributor to the world of popular music… Rest In Peace, Dear Dennis. We Love You, Man..."

Dennis Davis contributed so much to music. With David, his remarkable drumming talents will live on forever in the legendary "Berlin Trilogy" and Scary Monsters: 

The best tribute of all was from David's son, Duncan: 

Rest In Peace / Rest In Power, Mr. Davis and Mr. Bowie. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I Can't Give Everything Away

This is David Bowie's official last single and first posthumous release.

Like all the songs on ★, "I Can't Give Everything Away" told us everything when we knew nothing.

I know something is very wrong makes reference to his illness/cancer.

With blackout hearts with flowered news he means us, how sad we'll feel, how broken our hearts will be, when we'll hear the news of his passing, the flowers of course symbolizing mourning.

With skull designs upon my shoes is about him, the skull designs symbolizing his death.
Seeing more and feeling less is the essence of that feeling: "seeing more" while dying but "feeling less" because of dying.

Saying no but meaning yes
This is all I ever meant
That's the message that I sent
is David in a way summarizing what his mission in life - his music and his art - was all about. It embodies what David Bowie was all about, as the song sounds like the spirit of David sprinting in the beginning of his track, flying in the middle, at and the end, he's soaring. 

Jonathan Barnbrook, the director of this lyric video, the man who worked with Bowie on Blackstar's cover, identity, and visual presentation, as well as on the cover art and visualizations for David Bowie's Heathen, Reality, and The Next Day, had this to say in accompaniment:

“This is really a very simple little video that I wanted to be ultimately positive. We start off in the black and white world of ★, but in the final chorus we move to brilliant colour, I saw it as a celebration of David, to say that despite the adversity we face, the difficult things that happen such as David’s passing, that human beings are naturally positive, they look forward and can take the good from the past and use it as something to help with the present. We are a naturally optimistic species and we celebrate the good that we are given.”

A part of me was hoping just to see one last image of David in this, that just maybe, before his passing, he'd be in this video. It hits you even harder that with the "Lazarus" music video, that's it.

"Lazarus" will forever be the last time that we'll ever see David Bowie ever again. It hurts.

We miss you so much, Sailor.

Monday, April 4, 2016

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

That is what France has done recently. Last year, I was so proud of them for recognizing gender neutral which was a victory for the trans (intersex, non-binary, and gender non-conforming community). It would have made France one more nation of the few that recognize gender neutral on government documents, making it legal for intersex and gender non-conforming/non-binary people to be seen as "they/them/their" in the eyes of their country. But alas...France has reversed their decision.

Not that France is the only one. Most nations in the world do not recognize gender neutral by law.

These are the only nations that still do:

Even if some of these nations are being hypocritical for accepting gender neutral, and yet having strict laws on keeping names in the binary (such as Germany's law on first names), or for not allowing same-sex couples to marry, at least they made one step forward to a right change.

We can only hope that other nations will follow suit.

Maybe, just maybe, I hope eventually, before I die, America will be one of them! ;)