Category Archives: David Bowie

THE DEMISE OF THE MASK (VOL 13)__WAITIN’ AT THE HARBOR___

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Hello All.

Welcome to Volume Thirteen of the MixTape series: The Demise Of The Mask. –(Volume One here)__(Volume Two here)__(Volume Three here)__(Volume Four here)__(Volume Five here)__(Volume Six here)__(Volume Seven here)__(Volume Eight here)__(Volume Nine here)__(Volume Ten here)__(Volume Eleven here)__(Volume Twelve here)-

Not only is this the thirteenth volume but it is also the very last in the series. So there you now have a total of seventeen hours and seventeen minutes of music! It all together makes a great soundtrack if you have to spend a day painting the blades of grass in your backyard or something of that nature. I do hope you dig it!

Also below you’ll find an updated list of things I read (or re-read) so far since January of this year. You’ll find the more recent things towards the bottom. These are works that I truly enjoyed and/or loved. I highly recommend them all!

I do want to make special mention of two books here that I believe are real healthy for your sense of reality: Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters by Paul Maher Jr. (Editor), and The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington, with its incredible, twisted beauties like The Happy Corpse Story and How To Start A Pharmaceuticals Business!

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Oh and my son and I fell in love with Marc Martin’s A River

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Well I do hope you dig it all and if you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom

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__The Demise Of The Mask (Vol 12)__Waitin’ At The Harbor___
  • This Is I – Juan Wauters
  • – David Bowie
  • Museum Of Sex – Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3
  • In A Parade – Paul Simon
  • Son Of Your Father – Elton John
  • Pillow of Your Bones – Chris Cornell 
  • To Kingdom Come – The Band
  • In My Own Dream – Karen Dalton
  • The Passage of the Black Gene – Elvis Perkins
  • Cuckoo Cocoon – Genesis
  • 22 Ghosts III – Nine Inch Nails
  • Dear World, – Nine Inch Nails
  • Lonely Planet Boy – New York Dolls
  • Fundamentally Loathsome – Marilyn Manson
  • Dear Friend – Jonathan Wilson
  • Cluster Ghosts – Madlib
  • Modern Kosmology – Jane Weaver
  • I Can’t Sleep At Night – Gary Higgins
  • The Way That You Sleep – nature films
  • I Guess I Should Go To Sleep – Jack White
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[This Is I – Juan Wauters]

[★ – David Bowie (illustration by Helen Green)]

[Museum Of Sex – Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3]

[In A Parade – Paul Simon (art by Chuck Close)]

[Son Of Your Father – Elton John]

[Pillow of Your Bones – Chris Cornell ]

[To Kingdom Come – The Band]

[In My Own Dream – Karen Dalton]

[The Passage of the Black Gene – Elvis Perkins]

[Cuckoo Cocoon – Genesis]

[22 Ghosts III – Nine Inch Nails (photography by Phillip Graybill and Rob Sheridan )]

[Dear World, – Nine Inch Nails]

[Lonely Planet Boy – New York Dolls (art by Greg “Stainboy” Reinel)]

[Fundamentally Loathsome – Marilyn Manson (photo by Mark Seliger, 1998)]

[Dear Friend – Jonathan Wilson]

[Cluster Ghosts – Madlib]

[Modern Kosmology – Jane Weaver]

[I Can’t Sleep At Night – Gary Higgins]

[The Way That You Sleepnature films]

[I Guess I Should Go To Sleep – Jack White (art by Methane Studios)]

Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite / The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas by Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba

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All the best to you and yours!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom.

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THE DEMISE OF THE MASK (VOL 11)__GOOD MORNING GALLOWS___

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If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom

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Hello All.

Welcome to Volume Eleven of the MixTape series: The Demise Of The Mask. –(Volume One here)__(Volume Two here)__(Volume Three here)__(Volume Four here)__(Volume Five here)__(Volume Six here)__(Volume Seven here)__(Volume Eight here)__(Volume Nine here)__(Volume Ten here)-

I do hope you dig this here MixTape as it features some fine, fine music! There’s some stuff from Harry Nilsson‘s gorgeous 1973 album of classic 20th-century standards, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, a great tune from Karen Elson (produced by her then husband, Jack White), and two from Bruce Springsteen‘s 1973 debut: Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. To be honest it took me a long, long time to even give Springsteen a chance, until my buddy Matt Volz insisted that I listen to his first two records, and boy was he right! What a talent!

You’ll hear an 8-track demo outtake of John Lennon‘s powerful anthem, “God“, recording during the sessions for his first post-Beatles solo album, 1970’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono BandParliament is represented with “The Goose,” which features a favorite line of mine:

Now, I’m as happy as a monkey with a peanut machine
Since I found you
 Speaking of the Parliament-Funkadelic collective, their resident keyboard wizard Bernie Worrell is featured here with his project Baby Elephant, which was a collaboration with Stetsasonic member/De La Soul producer Prince Paul and longtime Paul associate Don Newkirk. The Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel song here on this MixTape contains another of my favorite lines:
My only vice is the fantastic prices I charge for being eaten alive. . .
 Oh and do yourself a favor and let yourself really sink in and groove with Polish jazz musician Michal Urbaniak‘s “Atma.” This is an artist I only got clued into from this song being sampled on Beastie Boys tune “The Scoop” on their brilliant 1994 LP Ill Communication. You’ll also hear Josh Tillman (aka Father John Misty) and his fantastic meditation on narcissism and self-medicating, “A Bigger Paper Bag,” off of his newest LP Pure Comedy, which I’ll go on record now in May and say is the best record of 2017.
Bob Dylan is here with one of his finest compositions, “Visions Of Johanna” and you’ll hear what I believe to be David Bowie‘s most terrifying song—released on his 2013 (and sadly penultimate) record The Next Day, here are the lyrics to  “If You Can See Me :
If you can see me I can see you
I could wear your new blue shoes
I should wear your old red dress
And walk to the crossroad, so take this knife
And meet me across the river
Just chutes and ladders
And this is the kiss
American Anna fantastic Alsatian
From nowhere to nothing
And I go way back
Children swarm like thousands of bugs
Towards the light
The beacons above the hill
The stars to the West, the South, the North
And to the East
Now you can say I’ve got a gift of sorts
A fear of rear windows and swinging doors
My love of violence and tenants’ sighs
If you can see me I can see you
If you can see me I can see you
I have seen these bairns wave their fists at God
Swear to destroy the beast, stamping the ground
In their excitement for tomorrow
I could wear your new blue shoes
I should wear your old red dress
And walk to the crossroad, so take this knife
And meet me across the river
I will take your lands and all that lays beneath
The dust of cold flowers, drizzle of dark ashes
I will slaughter your kind, descend from belief
I am the spirit of greed, the lord of theft
Burn all your books and the problems they make
If you can see me I can see you
If you can see me

Yes! There’s all this and a whole bunch of other good stuff so go on down and press play !

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS:
__The Demise Of The Mask (Vol 11)__Good Morning Gallows ___
  • Naked We Come – (written by Jim Morrison; read by Johnny Depp)
  • Let The Wind Blow – The Beach Boys
  • Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street? / Lost In The Flood – Bruce Springsteen
  • If You Can See Me – David Bowie
  • Fred Berry – Baby Elephant (Bernie Worrell, Prince Paul, Newkirk)
  • Atma (Today, Tomorrow) – Michal Urbaniak
  • My Only Vice – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
  • Visions Of Johanna – Bob Dylan
  • Chilling Of The Evening – Arlo Guthrie 
  • I’m So Tired – The Beatles
  • Can’t Run But – Paul Simon
  • Mellow Blue Polka Dot – Damien Jurado
  • The Autopsy Garland – The Mountain Goats
  • Two Little Hitlers – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  • The Goose – Parliament
  • Always / Makin’ Whoopee! – Harry Nilsson
  • A Bigger Paper Bag – Father John Misty
  • The Truth Is In The Dirt – Karen Elson
  • God (8-track John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band sessions outtake) – John Lennon

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[Naked We Come – (written by Jim Morrison; read by Johnny Depp)]

[Let The Wind Blow – The Beach Boys]

[Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street? / Lost In The Flood – Bruce Springsteen]

[If You Can See Me – David Bowie]

[Fred Berry – Baby Elephant (Bernie Worrell, Prince Paul, Newkirk)]

[Michal Urbaniak ‎– Atma]

[My Only Vice – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel]

[Visions Of Johanna – Bob Dylan (photo by Jerry Schatzberg, 1965)]

[Chilling Of The Evening – Arlo Guthrie (photo by Mary Ellen Mark)]

[I’m So Tired – The Beatles]

[Can’t Run But – Paul Simon]

[Mellow Blue Polka Dot – Damien Jurado (w/ Richard Swift)]

[The Autopsy Garland – The Mountain Goats]

[Two Little Hitlers – Elvis Costello & The Attractions (art by Barney Bubbles, 1979)]

[The Goose – Parliament]

[Always / Makin’ Whoopee! – Harry Nilsson]

[A Bigger Paper Bag – Father John Misty (photo by Austin Hargrave, 2017)]

[The Truth Is In The Dirt – Karen Elson]

[God (8-track John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band sessions outtake) – John Lennon]

___________________))))))))))))))))

All the best to you and yours!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom.

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THE DEMISE OF THE MASK (VOL 10)__NAPHTHALENE MAGNOLIAS #28___

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If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom

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Hello All.

Welcome to Volume Ten of the MixTape series: The Demise Of The Mask. –(Volume One here)__(Volume Two here)__(Volume Three here)__(Volume Four here)__(Volume Five here)__(Volume Six here)__(Volume Seven here)__(Volume Eight here)__(Volume Nine here)-

This here MixTape features some fine, fine music! There’s both Madeleine Peyroux and Al Green, each covering a Hank Williams original. In addition to Bob Dylan performing “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” live in 1975, there’s Elvis Presley‘s fantastic 1966 cover of Dylan’s unreleased gem, “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” and then there’s the stunning supergroup known as The New Basement Tapes who collaborated to complete songs based upon newly uncovered lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967 when he was recording with The Band what would come to be known as The Basement Tapes. The New Basement Tapes performance of “Down On The Bottom” features vocals by Jim James (of the band My Morning Jacket), which are incredibly Dylanesque.

You’ll get to hear Bessie Smith‘s  May 26, 1925 recording of “Careless Love” featuring Louis Armstrong (cornet), Fred Longshaw (piano), and Charlie Green (trombone). (I’ve still yet to see the 2015 Dee Rees directed and Queen Latifah starring biopic Bessie, but I did hear it was pretty great.)

I do know that Bessie Smith died in 1937 from injuries in a car accident and was buried in an unmarked grave. In August of 1970 Janis Joplin paid tribute to one of her greatest influences by purchasing a proper tombstone to be erected on Smith’s grave-site. This act of respect and Joplin’s own young demise are the subject of the next tune you’ll hear: Dory Previn’s A Stone for Bessie Smith.” This is followed by Janis Joplin’s lovely take on Richard Rodgers‘ and Lorenz Hart‘s 1935 song “Little Girl Blue.” Joplin’s version appears on my favorite of her albums,  I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! released on September 11, 1969. I did watch Amy J. Berg’s great (if saddening) 2015 documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue and that I can definitely recommend!

You’ll also hear here on this MixTape two by Bowie, and one of my favorite songs by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, “Sebastian.” Self-described by Harley as “possibly a sort of Gothic love song, possibly not: I’m not really sure to be honest,” “Sebastian” is certainly dramatic glam rock, featuring a 50-plus piece orchestra and choir, with orchestral arrangements by Andrew Powell. In 2008 Harley would go on to say:

“It’s poetry. It means what you want it to mean. ‘Sebastian’ is the conduit, the tubes through which I took myself on that journey to write the story. I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t have been far away from tripping when I wrote ‘Sebastian.’ LSD, certainly, created so many incidents in your life, so many images, so much madness and mayhem, as well as great tranquility if you were lucky. I can’t define its meaning. It’s like most poetry, it’s a lovely word.”

Yes there’s all this and a whole bunch of other good stuff so go on down and press play !

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—————–======ENJOY YOURSELF____———–

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS:
__The Demise Of The Mask (Vol 10)__Naphthalene Magnolias #28___
  • It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bob Dylan (live Montreal Forum, Canada, December 4, 1975)
  • Down On The Bottom – The New Basement Tapes (ft. Rhiannon Giddens, Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James, Marcus Mumford, produced by T Bone Burnett) [lyrics by Bob Dylan]
  • Weary Blues – Madeleine Peyroux (Hank Williams cover)
  • Careless Love – Bessie Smith
  • Stone For Bessie Smith – Dory Previn
  • Little Girl Blue – Janis Joplin (written by Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)
  • Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide – David Bowie (live July 1974)
  • Wild Is The Wind – David Bowie (Nina Simone cover, written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington)
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Al Green (Hank Williams cover)
  • The Gentle Hum Of Anxiety – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
  • Feminine Effects – of Montreal (ft. Rebecca Cash)
  • Sebastian – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
  • The Rough With The Smooth – Geoff Bastow
  • Miley Tibetan BowlzzzEvil is but a Shadow – Miley Cyrus (ft. The Flaming Lips)
  • Tomorrow Is A Long Time – Elvis Presley (Bob Dylan cover)
  • The Priest – Joni Mitchell
  • As The Orchard Is With RainEarth Has Doors, Let Them Open – Wymond Miles
  • A Reflection (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

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[It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bob Dylan (live Montreal Forum, Canada, December 4, 1975) (photo by Ken Regan)]

[Down On The Bottom – The New Basement Tapes ]

[Weary Blues – Madeleine Peyroux (hank Williams cover)]

[Careless Love – Bessie Smith]

[Stone For Bessie Smith – Dory Previn]

[Little Girl Blue – Janis Joplin (written by Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)]

[Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide – David Bowie (live July 1974)]

[Wild Is The Wind – David Bowie (photo by Michael Ochs, 1976)]

[I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Al Green (Hank Williams cover)]

[The Gentle Hum Of Anxiety – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (artwork by Rob Sheridan. 2010)]

[Feminine Effects – of Montreal (ft. Rebecca Cash) (photo by Trompe L’oeil Photomagique, 2012)]

[Sebastian – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel]

[The Rough With The Smooth – Geoff Bastow]

[Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz / Evil is but a Shadow – Miley Cyrus (ft. The Flaming Lips)]

[Tomorrow Is A Long Time – Elvis Presley (Bob Dylan cover)]

[The Priest – Joni Mitchell]

[As The Orchard Is With Rain / Earth Has Doors, Let Them Open – Wymond Miles]

[A Reflection (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

___________________))))))))))))))))

All the best to you and yours!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom.

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THE DEMISE OF THE MASK (VOL 5)

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Hello All.

Welcome to Volume Five of the MixTape series: The Demise Of The Mask. –(Volume One here)__(Volume Two here)__(Volume Three here)__(Volume Four here)-

Featuring certain songs by Stevie WonderCurtis Mayfield, Al GreenDory Previn, and even featuring the title track from Bill Fay‘s brilliant but apocalyptic and oppressive record of 1971, Time of the Last Persecution–I’m sure that this MixTape is a somewhat result of a residue from our national nativity ceremony. I can recall once in Montréal someone made a derisive remark about religion while jerking a thump at the enormous neon crucifix hung in the night sky. Quickly but calmly, my good friend Frankie responded: “Hey, some people need that…and that’s a real thing, y’know?…some people need that to get by.”

At that moment I thought: “fair enough.”

Well, among a whole lot of other good tunes The Demise Of The Mask (Vol. 5) also features the songs “Misbehave” &  “She Might Get Shot” both taken from  Juan Wauters‘ fantastic 2015 record,  Who Me? I know he’s got a new one coming up someday soon so be sure to keep your ears open for that because I can tell you it’s a beauty!

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom

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—————–======ENJOY YOURSELF____———–

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demise-cvr-5

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS:
__The Demise Of The Mask (Vol 5)__Aubade ___
  • Looking For Satellites – David Bowie
  • I Should Watch TV – David Byrne & St. Vincent
  • Gone Away – Matthew E. White
  • All Along The Watchtower – Brothers & Sisters
  • Have A Talk With God – Stevie Wonder
  • Jesus – Curtis Mayfield
  • Jesus Is Waiting – Al Green
  • Did Jesus Have a Baby Sister? – Dory Previn
  • Time Of The Last Persecution – Bill Fay
  • Tower Of Song –  Leonard Cohen & U2
  • Never Be Afraid! [edit] – Entrance
  • I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine – Bob Dylan
  • Saturn – Damon Albarn
  • Rings Of Saturn – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • My Body – Perfume Genius
  • Rebirth Of The Flesh – Prince (as Camille)
  • Misbehave / She Might Get Shot – Juan Wauters
  • Hood Politics / How Much A Dollar Cost – Kendrick Lamar ft. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley
  • Crippled Inside – John Lennon

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aubade

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[Looking For Satellites - David Bowie (photo "David Bowie, 1997" by Floria Sigismondi)]

[Looking For Satellites – David Bowie (photo “David Bowie, 1997” by Floria Sigismondi)]

[I Should Watch TV – David Byrne & St. Vincent]

[I Should Watch TV – David Byrne & St. Vincent]

[Gone Away – Matthew E. White, (photo by Cameron Charles Lewis)]

[Gone Away – Matthew E. White, (photo by Cameron Charles Lewis)]

[All ALong The Watchtower – Brothers & Sisters]

[All Along The Watchtower – Brothers & Sisters]

[Have A Talk With God – Stevie Wonder]

[Have A Talk With God – Stevie Wonder]

[Jesus – Curtis Mayfield (cover art recreated, in tinted form, from Margaret Bourke-White's 1937 monochrome original, 'At The Time Of The Louisville Flood', ]

[Jesus – Curtis Mayfield (cover art recreated, in tinted form, from Margaret Bourke-White’s 1937 monochrome original, “At The Time Of The Louisville Flood.” ]

[Jesus Is Waiting – Al Green, (photo by Bud Lee, 1972]

[Jesus Is Waiting – Al Green, (photo by Bud Lee, 1972)]

[Did Jesus Have a Baby Sister – Dory Previn]

[Did Jesus Have a Baby Sister? – Dory Previn]

[Time Of The Last Persecution – Bill Fay, (art by Erica Parrott)]

[Time Of The Last Persecution – Bill Fay, (art by Erica Parrott)]

[Tower Of Song - Leonard Cohen & U2]

[Tower Of Song – Leonard Cohen & U2]

[Never Be Afraid! [edit] – Entrance]

[Never Be Afraid! [edit] – Entrance]

[I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine – Bob Dylan (photo: Bob Dylan, outside his Byrdcliffe home, infrared color film, Woodstock, NY, 1968. Photo By Elliott Landy)]

[I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine – Bob Dylan
(photo: Bob Dylan, outside his Byrdcliffe home, infrared color film, Woodstock, NY, 1968. Photo By Elliott Landy)]

[Saturn – Damon Albarn]

[Saturn – Damon Albarn]

[Rings Of Saturn – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds]

[Rings Of Saturn – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds]

[My Body – Perfume Genius (photo: Perfume Genius as Egon Schiele's portrait as St Sebastian by Steven Miller, 2015)]

[My Body – Perfume Genius (photo: Perfume Genius as Egon Schiele’s portrait as St Sebastian by Steven Miller, 2015)]

[Rebirth Of The Flesh - Prince (as Camille)]

[Rebirth Of The Flesh – Prince (as Camille)]

[Misbehave / She Might Get Shot – Juan Wauters (art by Matt Volz)]

[Misbehave / She Might Get Shot – Juan Wauters (art by Matt Volz)]

[Hood Politics / How Much A Dollar Cost – Kendrick Lamar ft. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley (art by DJNowGraphics)]

[Hood Politics / How Much A Dollar Cost – Kendrick Lamar ft. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley (art by DJNowGraphics)]

[Crippled Inside – John Lennon (photo by Michael Putland, 1971)]

[Crippled Inside – John Lennon (photo by Michael Putland, 1971)]

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___________________))))))))))))))))

All the best to you and yours!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom.

_           _________________   _  ___   _ _________ __________->

THE DEMISE OF THE MASK (VOL 3)

demise-cvr-3

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS:
__The Demise Of The Mask (Vol 3)__  ___
  • And I Was Blue – Sunforest
  • Fantastic Voyage – David Bowie
  • Defriended – Beck
  • The Bogus Man – Roxy Music
  • The Bogus Man – The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  • Solid Wall Of Sound / Dis Generation – A Tribe Called Quest
  • Yes Indeed – Ron Carter With Eric Dolphy & Mal Waldron
  • Abbaon Fat Tracks – Tricky ft. Martina Topley-Bird
  • Downward Spiral – Danny Brown
  • Think Like They Book Say – Saul Williams
  • Ful Stop – Radiohead
  • Re Run – Kamasi Washington
  • Don’t Hurt Yourself – Beyoncé (ft.. Jack White)
  • Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him – Betty Davis
  • Jersey Yo! – Redman
  • I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You? – Funkadelic
  • Pass The Mic – Beastie Boys
  • Stirring – Flying Lotus

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Hello All.

Welcome to Volume Three of my new series of MixTapes: The Demise Of The Mask. –(Volume One here)__(Volume Two here)-.

Although the MixTape features what I find to be many fine songs, I did want to make special mention of David Bowie‘s 1979 track “Fantastic Voyage” as I think this odd pop work is one of the greatest songs to tackle just what it feels like for We The People to live under Nationalism and the soul distortion of patriotic rhetoric. In particular it captures the peculiar and ambiguous but very human emotion of volatile resignation when under absurd power structures or abandoned and made vulnerable in what he describes as both “this criminal world” and “a very modern world.”

“Loyalty is valuable…” Bowie sings, “…but our lives are valuable too.”

As Chris O’Leary wrote on his fantastic blog Pushing Ahead of the Dame (published in part as the book Rebel Rebel):

David Bowie will likely never tour again, may never even sing live again. If so, the last song that he ever performed on stage was “Fantastic Voyage,” a neglected song from a neglected record. It’s a fitting choice. “Fantastic Voyage,” though sequenced as Lodger‘s lead-off track, could have easily served as its closer, and it also works as Bowie’s final statement, a cranky humanist manifesto.

In “Voyage” there’s a striking change of tone from the other Berlin records or Station to Station: Bowie’s no longer at a remove. He’s on the ground, restored to humanity, admitting his powerlessness, reduced to observing and making asides. He sounds both warmer (the slow, generous phrasing of the opening lines) and less calculating; he lets scattered, volatile emotions overrun his song.

Bowie had once seemed to welcome the apocalypse, as it held the potential for transformation. Now in “Fantastic Voyage” he seems older and generally pissed off (“think of us as fatherless scum“), with such delusions drummed out of him. He’s grasped a peasant realism: we are largely governed by killers and fools, our lives hang on their arbitrary mercies.

________

“Fantastic Voyage”

In the event
that this fantastic voyage
Should turn to erosion
and we never get old
Remember it’s true, dignity is valuable
But our lives are valuable too
We’re learning to live with somebody’s depression
And I don’t want to live with somebody’s depression
We’ll get by, I suppose
It’s a very modern world,
but nobody’s perfectIt’s a moving world,
but that’s no reason
To shoot some of those missiles
Think of us as fatherless scum
It won’t be forgotten
‘Cause we’ll never say anything nice again, will we?And the wrong words make you listen
In this criminal world
Remember it’s true, loyalty is valuable
But our lives are valuable tooWe’re learning to live with somebody’s depression
And I don’t want to live with somebody’s depression
We’ll get by I suppose
But any sudden movement I’ve got to write it down
They wipe out an entire race and I’ve got to write it down
But I’m still getting educated but I’ve got to write it down
And it won’t be forgotten
‘Cause I’ll never say anything nice again, how can I?

_____

The mix also features a bit of music off of just some of my favorite albums of 2016, like Saul Williams‘s MartyrLoserKing, A Tribe Called Quest‘s long awaited reunion We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service, Radiohead‘s A Moon Shaped Pool, and Beyoncé‘s collaboration with Jack White from her album Lemonade. (Jack White is having quite a year appearing on both Beyoncé’s and A Tribe Called Quest’s records, as well as releasing the great double-album compilation Acoustic Recordings 1998–2016 and his label Third Man Records being responsible for the release of  Margo Price‘s impressive debut, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter).

I know I’ve been a bit slow this year to dig in to new music as I spent the majority of the year mourning two of my all time favorites, with the first half of the year listening to David Bowie’s discography and the latter half listening to Prince’s. 

However, this MixTape additionally features “Downward Spiral” by Danny Brown, which is the opening track to his beautifully disturbed record Atrocity Exhibition. No, not necessarily an easy listening experience; this is a record that certainly lands on my top ten releases of 2016 (falling closer to the #1 spot than 10). Making me think of some anxious black tar mutation between Tricky, Talking Heads, and the ridiculous Trap music everyone blasts from their cars in my neighborhood, Atrocity Exhibition still remains one of the most idiosyncratic works in a genre that often seems to enforce and celebrate the homogeneous with a false smile.

As for what is my #1 record of 2016, well that without a doubt belongs to Blackstar by David Bowie. Or as Danny Brown perfectly put it himself in an interview with the online music magazine Pitchfork:

Blackstar is definitely the biggest album to me this year. That album is fucking creepy. It scares the shit out of me. And those videos. Fuck. I kind of relate to it, to him. When you put that much of your life into music, can’t nobody ever take that—you can’t rate that. You can’t review this. He died for this. This is his life right here. When people talk about the best albums of the year, I be like, “Y’all don’t realized Bowie’s album came out this year and he fucking died? What is y’all talking about?” We should hands-down know what the best album of this year is. Shouldn’t be talk of nothing else.

–   ————-_______

Also below you’ll find a long list of things I read (or re-read) this year that I truly enjoyed and/or loved. I highly recommend them all! These are not necessarily things that were published this past year but more likely just things I got around to reading since January 2016. When not working on my long, sprawling meditation on the extraordinary and inspiring art of recently deceased David Bowie (R.I.P.) or reading the stunning and always stirring blog Brain Pickings by Maria Popova, I did spend a good deal of my reading time this year immersed in various news articles and such but I wont inundate you with those. I was pretty delighted that the Village Voice had a big upswing in terms of quality, and super excited to find that the entire 1967 to 1973 run of the magazine OZ had been completely digitized.

However, I must list and make honorable mention of what I found to be perhaps the best article I’ve read all year, the Pulitzer Prize winning article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” published in December 2015 and written by Pro Publica‘s senior reporter T. Christian Miller in partnership with The Marshall Project‘s Ken Armstrong.

As for the books listed, they are in no particular order of preference except for the graphic novel memoir Becoming Unbecoming by Una, which I can say was one of the most impressive things I’ve read all year and actually brought me to tears. This year I also became a huge fan of the philosopher Simon Critchley through his slim work Bowie and of writer Angela Carter through her fantastic 1972 novel The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman. Samuel R. Delany‘s 1973 novel of hardcore erotica and cartoon, occult pornography must get special mention as the most disgusting thing I’ve ever read that is still yet a thing of exquisite language and beauty: Equinox. In its introduction he describes it as thus:

“This is an artificial, extravagant, and pretentious book […]. But it is honest before its artifice; and in this age of extravagant expressions, honesty is the last pretension.”

This year I also re-read (and not for the first time) two comic book series that I can never recommend enough for those in need of a shift in consciousness (and who is not in need?): Promethea by Alan Moore and The Invisibles by Grant Morrison.

I didn’t read too much poetry this year but wanted to mention the work of one poet I had never heard of that I really thought was absolutely great: Dark Sparkler by Amber Tamblyn. I look forward to reading other work by her.

Speaking of poetry, I did want to share this fantastic piece called Moving Into A Period, which I read in Leonard Cohen‘s 2006 work Book of Longing:

We are moving into a period of bewilderment, a curious moment in which people find light in the midst of despair, and vertigo at the summit of their hopes. It is a religious moment also, and here is the danger. People will want to obey the voice of Authority, and many strange constructs of just what Authority is will arise in every mind. The family will appear again as the Foundation, much honoured, much praised, but those of us who have been pierced by other possibilities, we will merely go through the motions, albeit the motions of love. The public yearning for Order will invite many stubborn uncompromising persons to impose it. The sadness of the zoo will fall upon society.
You and I, who yearn for blameless intimacy, we will be unwilling to speak even the first words of inquisitive delight, for fear of reprisals. Everything desperate will live behind a joke. But I swear that I will stand within the range of your perfume.
How severe seems the moon tonight, like the face of an Iron Maiden, instead of the usual indistinct idiot.
If you think Freud is dishonoured now, and Einstein, and Hemingway, just wait and see what is to be done with all that white hair, by those who come after me.
But there will be a Cross, a sign, that some will understand; a secret meeting, a warning, a Jerusalem hidden in Jerusalem. I will be wearing white clothes, as usual, and I will enter The Innermost Place as I have done generation upon generation, to entreat, to plead, to justify. I will enter the chamber of the Bride and Bridegroom, and no one will follow me.
Have no doubt, in the near future we will be seeing and hearing much more of this sort of thing from people like myself.

You’ll see that there is a lot of Star Wars related material listed (I didn’t get to see The Force Awakens until it was released on DVD midway through this year) and If I had to pick just one to recommend I’d have to go with the novel Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp.

For the sake of full disclosure I have included in the list the two books that I am currently reading: The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner, and the collection of brilliant essays Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts by Clive JamesAlthough only a little more than halfway through both I know now that I’d easily recommend them as they are just great.

But again, I’d truly recommend anything you find below.

_——_______

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom

____________———-___=========================================  __=

—————–======ENJOY YOURSELF____———–

—  –   ————-______________ ->

demise-cvr-3

__________———
—————————————–================__^__===================  ===  _ ===== == =   = =  __  _
__________—
A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS:
__The Demise Of The Mask (Vol 3)__  ___
  • And I Was Blue – Sunforest
  • Fantastic Voyage – David Bowie
  • Defriended – Beck
  • The Bogus Man – Roxy Music
  • The Bogus Man – The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  • Solid Wall Of Sound / Dis Generation – A Tribe Called Quest
  • Yes Indeed – Ron Carter With Eric Dolphy & Mal Waldron
  • Abbaon Fat Tracks – Tricky ft. Martina Topley-Bird
  • Downward Spiral – Danny Brown
  • Think Like They Book Say – Saul Williams
  • Ful Stop – Radiohead
  • Re Run – Kamasi Washington
  • Don’t Hurt Yourself – Beyoncé (ft.. Jack White)
  • Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him – Betty Davis
  • Jersey Yo! – Redman
  • I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You? – Funkadelic
  • Pass The Mic – Beastie Boys
  • Stirring – Flying Lotus

—————————————–================__^__===================  ===  _ ===== == =   = =  __  

2016 Reading List:________

__________—
___    ______________—————__
_[play]
[And I Was Blue - Sunforest]

[And I Was Blue – Sunforest]

[Fantastic Voyage - David Bowie]

[Fantastic Voyage – David Bowie]

[Defriended - Beck]

[Defriended – Beck]

[The Bogus Man - Roxy Music]

[The Bogus Man – Roxy Music]

[The Bogus Man - The Bryan Ferry Orchestra]

[The Bogus Man – The Bryan Ferry Orchestra]

[Solid Wall Of Sound / Dis Generation - A Tribe Called Quest]

[Solid Wall Of Sound / Dis Generation – A Tribe Called Quest]

[Yes Indeed - Ron Carter With Eric Dolphy & Mal Waldron]

[Yes Indeed – Ron Carter With Eric Dolphy & Mal Waldron]

[Abbaon Fat Tracks - Tricky ft. Martina Topley-Bird]

[Abbaon Fat Tracks – Tricky ft. Martina Topley-Bird]

[Downward Spiral - Danny Brown]

[Downward Spiral – Danny Brown]

[Think Like They Book Say - Saul Williams]

[Think Like They Book Say – Saul Williams]

[Ful Stop - Radiohead]

[Ful Stop – Radiohead]

[Re Run - Kamasi Washington]

[Re Run – Kamasi Washington]

[Don't Hurt Yourself - Beyoncé (ft.. Jack White)]

[Don’t Hurt Yourself – Beyoncé (ft.. Jack White)]

[Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him - Betty Davis]

[Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him – Betty Davis]

[Jersey Yo! - Redman]

[Jersey Yo! – Redman]

[I Wanna Know If It's Good to You? - Funkadelic]

[I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You? – Funkadelic]

[Pass The Mic - Beastie Boys]

[Pass The Mic – Beastie Boys]

[Stirring - Flying Lotus]

[Stirring – Flying Lotus]

.

__________——————– =__^__=___________________———

___________________))))))))))))))))

All the best to you and yours & Happy New Year!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom.

_           _________________   _  ___   _ _________ __________->

Some Situation and Sunder During Days Eight Thru Fourteen On The Abundant Earth

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

_

Hello All! Here’s a quick one for The Fall.

____________———-___=========================================  __=

—————–======ENJOY YOURSELF____———–

—  –   ————-______________ ->

some-situation-and-sunder-during-days-eight-thru-fourteen-on-the-abundant-earth_cover

__________———
-_
—————————————–================__^__===================  ===  _ ===== == =   = =  __  _
__________—
Some Situation and Sunder During Days Eight Thru Fourteen On The Abundant Earth
  • Rubber Ducky – Quincy Jones
  • U KNOW – Prince
  • Falling Into Grace – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Babylon Wrong – Ashanti Waugh
  • Give Me Power – The Stingers (produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry)
  • People– J Dilla
  • For What It’s Worth – Staple Singers (Buffalo Springfield Cover)
  • Let Me Be Good To You – Carla Thomas
  • Baby, Let’s Play House – Elvis Presley
  • Lady – tUnE-yArDs, ?Uestlove, Angelique Kidjo, Akua Naru (Fela Kuti cover)
  • Golden Years – David Bowie
  • Heart Of The Country – Paul & Linda McCartney
  • Medley: Sun King / Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam / She Came In Through The Bathroom Window / I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – Booker T. & The MG’s (Beatles cover)
  • Ohio Machine Gun – The Isley Brothers (Neil Young / Jimi Hendrix cover)
  • Water No Get Enemy – Fela Kuti
  • Mean Old World – Sam Cooke
  • Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out – Nina Simone
  • If Somebody Told You – Anna King
  • I Can’t Give Everything Away – David Bowie

__________——————– =__^__=___________________———

_________________________________________________

Some Situation and Sunder During Days Eight  

         Thru Fourteen On The Abundant Earth

.——————–

The recluse,

in his swollen tower,

sings of the indigo evenings and the soft hour

our

lives are spent searching thirsty for.

.

Leaning over the parapet

of his tower, the recluse gets

irate at this metropolis

of candles lit, and so, with lips

pursed, he spits, this done with the hopes

to extinguish at least one single flame tethered by a black wick.

.

D

O

W

N

.

.

.

Out in the field, beasts of the earth consume vegetable meat;

Lilith completes another cruel labor, amniotic

fluid and blood splattered on her ankles, on her bare feet.

Anticipating from Adam an alimony check,

she lies prostrate in the dust, braids her raven tresses, waits,

and proceeds to procreate her sundown breed

within vision of Eden’s combustion gate .

.

Bill Whistle

and The Skeleton Crew

sketch, with fingers broken,

undergarments below

emerald gowns

on

the ladies of passing fashion.

.

Poor Lester

gets his rest while within

the convalescent tents

pitched amongst the vapor

caravans

that

roll along a paper trail of tears.

He is hoping for a cure

for his tuberculosis.

Still, when asked “how’s it goin?” he’ll say

“Everything is coming up roses.”

.

Thessaly

entered the gallery

with her wardrobe bible

tucked under her left arm,

while all the double-parked cars sat idle

in the warm sunset soot of monoxide armor.

.

She possessed

elaborate aesthetics,

like an ornate train wreck,

meticulous design,

down to each

fine

detail: her eyes, blue steel off the rail;

all else, fluid limbs of collision flames;

curves of metal awry, out of reach.

                                                           The cathedral bells knell for Monday morning mass

Preserved in

fluids, a scorpion

serves as a belt buckle,

where her two thumbs are hooked

over the amber glass.

One and all

look.

She ensnares every pliant eye

in the iron of her gestures.

.

The Recluse drops his cowboy boot’s wooden heel upon a cockroach

.

Poor Lester

coughs blossoms of blood from the lungs when he sees this blonde disaster.

The skeletal cool kids abscond behind a magazine curtain,

where they all paint their sex organs with the scent of neon cologne.

Bill’s jaw drops as his lips fall slack, and he remains stuck uncertain.

He could not help but rubberneck and question the motives, divine,

in the bedlam of her approach.

—————————————–================__^__===================  ===  _ ===== == =   = =  __  _
__________—
___

[Rubber Ducky - Quincy Jones]

[Rubber Ducky – Quincy Jones]

[U KNOW - Prince]

[U KNOW – Prince]

[Falling Into Grace - Red Hot Chili Peppers]

[Falling Into Grace – Red Hot Chili Peppers]

[Babylon Wrong - Ashanti Waugh]

[Babylon Wrong – Ashanti Waugh]

[Give Me Power - The Stingers ]

[Give Me Power – The Stingers ] (produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry)

[People- J Dilla]

[People– J Dilla]

[For What It's Worth - Staple Singers]

[For What It’s Worth – Staple Singers]

[Let Me Be Good To You - Carla Thomas]

[Let Me Be Good To You – Carla Thomas]

[Baby, Let's Play House - Elvis Presley]

[Baby, Let’s Play House – Elvis Presley]

[Lady - tUnE-yArDs, ?Uestlove, Angelique Kidjo, Akua Naru (Fela Kuti cover)]

[Lady – tUnE-yArDs, ?Uestlove, Angelique Kidjo, Akua Naru (Fela Kuti cover)]

[Golden Years - David Bowie]

[Golden Years – David Bowie]

[Heart Of The Country - Paul & Linda McCartney]

[Heart Of The Country – Paul & Linda McCartney]

[Medley: Sun King / Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam / She Came In Through The Bathroom Window / I Want You (She's So Heavy) - Booker T. & The MG's]

[Medley: Sun King / Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam / She Came In Through The Bathroom Window / I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – Booker T. & The MG’s]

[Ohio Machine Gun - The Isley Brothers (Neil Young / Jimi Hendrix cover)]

[Ohio Machine Gun – The Isley Brothers (Neil Young / Jimi Hendrix cover)]

[Water No Get Enemy - Fela Kuti]

[Water No Get Enemy – Fela Kuti]

[Mean Old World - Sam Cooke]

[Mean Old World – Sam Cooke]

[Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out - Nina Simone]

[Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out – Nina Simone]

[If Somebody Told You - Anna King]

[If Somebody Told You – Anna King]

[I Can't Give Everything Away - David Bowie]

[I Can’t Give Everything Away – David Bowie]

___________________))))))))))))))))

All the best—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you digaparticular artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

_           _________________   _  ___   _ _________ __________->

THE COURTESAN & THE BEARER OF THE LOTUS

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

_

Hello All! I’ve got a special triptych-MixTape treat for you all today…featuring some bounce, a little wilt, petal melt, and a whole slew of protean tunes to accompany you at the tail-end/entrance of shifting seasons. …Perhaps best used when paired with working on a creative project of some sort or just watering house plants, or by those who suffer from insomnia under the sun.

_____________———-___=========================================  __=

—————–======ENJOY YOURSELF____———–

—  –   ————-______________ ->

_________________________________________________

The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus

______________________________________________

The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus_CVR

 __________—

The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 1)

__________——

The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 2)

__________———

The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 3)

__________——————–

-OR-

__________—

-:VOL. 1 —-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)

__________——

-:VOL. 2 —-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)

__________———

-:VOL. 3 —-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)

—————————————–================__^__===================  ===  _ ===== == =   = =  __  _
__________—
___
The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 1)
  • Love In The Asylum – Dylan Thomas
  • L’Enfant La Mouche Et Les Allumettes (The Child the Fly and the Matches) – Jean-Claude Vannier
  • (Just A Little) Communication – Gabor Szabo
  • Bring Me Coffee Or Tea – CAN
  • Catherine – PJ Harvey
  • I Talk To The Wind – King Crimson
  • ‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore – David Bowie
  • Black Comedy – Miles Davis [w/ Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter]
  • Seven – Thundercat
  • Thieves In The Temple – Prince
  • Thieves In The Temple – Herbie Hancock (Prince cover)
  • The Overachievers – Devendra Banhart & The Grogs (Liars cover)
  • Apes And Peacocks (Queen’s Suite pt. 6) – Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
  • Two – Madhouse (Prince & Eric Leeds)
  • Hung Up On My Baby – El Michels Affair (Isaac Hayes cover)
  • Velvet Ditch – The Arcs (Dan Auerbach, Richard Swift, Leon Michels aka El Michels Affair)
  • Smokestack Lightning – Howlin’ Wolf (’69 version)
  • Hello It’s Late – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Almost Fell In Love – crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)
__________—— 
___
The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 2)
  • Holy Guardian Angel – crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)
  • The Chart – Super Numeri (Pop Levi, Snap Ant, Karl Webb)
  • Tarot Ash – Madlib
  • Sagittarius Silver Announcement/Worm Mountain – The Flaming Lips (Feat. MGMT)
  • Mantra Guru – Madlib
  • The Healer/Hip Hop/Me – Erykah Badu
  • Blues In Orbit [Alternate Take] – Duke Ellington
  • Verdillac – The Doors
  • The Girl Of The Ghetto – (written By Jim Morrison, read Johnny Depp)
  • The Ghetto Walk – Miles Davis (w/ Wayne Shorter; John McLaughlin; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Joe Chambers)
  • Seven Years In Tibet – David Bowie
  • Curious Child – Prince
  • Wave – Ahmad Jamal Trio
  • Samurai Showdown (edit) – RZA
  • Sleight of Hand – Menahan Street Band
__________———
___
The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 3)
  • Johnny Depp’s cough/Perihelion (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
  • Somewhere In The East – George Benson
  • I’ll Give You Everything I’ve Got For A Little Piece Of Mind – Mushroom
  • Second Sighting – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
  • Symphonique #3 (Ode To Venus) – Moondog
  • Cindy Electronium – Raymond Scott
  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (1st movement Allegro) – Johann Sebastian Bach; performed by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Arrows – Jane Weaver
  • Blood – Annette Peacock
  • Spectre – Radiohead
  • Dominoes – Syd Barrett
  • Miriam Got a Mickey (Instrumental) – Adrian Younge
  • Till It’s Done (Tutu) – D’Angelo & The Vanguard
  • Letter To Hermione – Robert Glasper Experiment ft. Bilal (Bowie cover)
  • Lucifer Rising Part III – Bobby Beausoleil
  • Heathen (The Rays) – David Bowie
  • Ascent – Miles Davis (w/ Wayne Shorter; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Jack DeJohnette)
  • Aphelion (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

__________——————– =__^__=___________________———

_

The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 1)

_

[Love In The Asylum - Dylan Thomas [art by Needle Design]

[Love In The Asylum – Dylan Thomas [art by Needle Design]

[L'Enfant La Mouche Et Les Allumettes (The Child the Fly and the Matches) - Jean-Claude Vannier]

[L’Enfant La Mouche Et Les Allumettes (The Child the Fly and the Matches) – Jean-Claude Vannier]

[(Just A Little) Communication - Gabor Szabo]

[(Just A Little) Communication – Gabor Szabo]

[Bring Me Coffee Or Tea - CAN]

[Bring Me Coffee Or Tea – CAN]

[Catherine - PJ Harvey]

[Catherine – PJ Harvey]

[I Talk To The Wind - King Crimson]

[I Talk To The Wind – King Crimson]

['Tis A Pity She Was A Whore - David Bowie]

[‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore – David Bowie]

[Black Comedy - Miles Davis]

[Black Comedy – Miles Davis]

[Seven - Thundercat]

[Seven – Thundercat]

[Thieves In The Temple - Prince]

[Thieves In The Temple – Prince]

[Thieves In The Temple - Herbie Hancock]

[Thieves In The Temple – Herbie Hancock (Prince cover)]

 
[The Overachievers - Devendra Banhart & The Grogs (Liars cover)]

[The Overachievers – Devendra Banhart & The Grogs (Liars cover)]

[Duke Ellington meets Queen Elizabeth II at Leeds in 1958]

[Apes And Peacocks (Queen’s Suite pt. 6) – Duke Ellington & His Orchestra. Duke Ellington meets Queen Elizabeth II at Leeds in 1958]

[Two - Madhouse (Prince & Eric Leeds)]

[Two – Madhouse (Prince & Eric Leeds)]

elmichelsaffair

[Hung Up On My Baby – El Michels Affair (Isaac Hayes cover)]

The_Arcs_-_Yours_Dreamily

[Velvet Ditch – The Arcs]

[Smokestack Lightning - Howlin' Wolf ('69 version)]

[Smokestack Lightning – Howlin’ Wolf (’69 version)]

[Hello It's Late - Stone Temple Pilots]

[Hello It’s Late – Stone Temple Pilots]

[Almost Fell In Love - crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)]

[Almost Fell In Love – crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)]

_
The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 2)
_
[Holy Guardian Angel - crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)]

[Holy Guardian Angel – crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)]

[The Chart - Super Numeri]

[The Chart – Super Numeri (Pop Levi, Snap Ant, Karl Webb)]

[Tarot Ash - Madlib]

[Tarot Ash – Madlib]

[Sagittarius Silver Announcement/Worm Mountain - The Flaming Lips (Feat. MGMT)]

[Sagittarius Silver Announcement/Worm Mountain – The Flaming Lips (Feat. MGMT)]

[Mantra Guru - Madlib]

[Mantra Guru – Madlib]

[The Healer/Hip Hop/Me - Erykah Badu]

[The Healer/Hip Hop/Me – Erykah Badu]

[Blues In Orbit [Alternate Take] - Duke Ellington]

[Blues In Orbit [Alternate Take] – Duke Ellington]

[Verdillac - The Doors]

[Verdillac – The Doors]

The Girl Of The Ghetto

[The Girl Of The Ghetto – (written By Jim Morrison, read Johnny Depp)]

[The Ghetto Walk - Miles Davis (w/ Wayne Shorter; John McLaughlin; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Joe Chambers)]

[The Ghetto Walk – Miles Davis (w/ Wayne Shorter; John McLaughlin; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Joe Chambers)]

[Seven Years In Tibet - David Bowie]

[Seven Years In Tibet – David Bowie]

[Curious Child - Prince]

[Curious Child – Prince]

[Wave - Ahmad Jamal Trio]

[Wave – Ahmad Jamal Trio]

[Samurai Showdown (edit) - RZA]

[Samurai Showdown (edit) – RZA]

[Sleight of Hand - Menahan Street Band]

[Sleight of Hand – Menahan Street Band]

_
The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 3)
_
[Johnny Depp's cough/Perihelion (edit) - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

[Johnny Depp’s cough/Perihelion (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

[Somewhere In The East - George Benson]

[Somewhere In The East – George Benson]

[I'll Give You Everything I've Got For A Little Piece Of Mind - Mushroom]

[I’ll Give You Everything I’ve Got For A Little Piece Of Mind – Mushroom]

[Second Sighting - The Brian Jonestown Massacre]

[Second Sighting – The Brian Jonestown Massacre]

[Symphonique #3 (Ode To Venus) - Moondog]

[Symphonique #3 (Ode To Venus) – Moondog]

[Cindy Electronium - Raymond Scott]

[Cindy Electronium – Raymond Scott]

[Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (1st movement Allegro) - Johann Sebastian Bach]

[Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (1st movement Allegro) – Johann Sebastian Bach]

[Arrows - Jane Weaver]

[Arrows – Jane Weaver]

[Blood - Annette Peacock]

[Blood – Annette Peacock]

[Spectre - Radiohead]

[Spectre – Radiohead]

[Dominoes - Syd Barrett]

[Dominoes – Syd Barrett]

[Miriam Got a Mickey (Instrumental) - Adrian Younge]

[Miriam Got a Mickey (Instrumental) – Adrian Younge]

[Till It's Done (Tutu) - D'Angelo & The Vanguard]

[Till It’s Done (Tutu) – D’Angelo & The Vanguard]

[Letter To Hermione - Robert Glasper Experiment ft. Bilal]

[Letter To Hermione – Robert Glasper Experiment ft. Bilal (David Bowie cover)]

[Lucifer Rising Part III - Bobby Beausoleil]

[Lucifer Rising Part III – Bobby Beausoleil]

[Heathen (The Rays) - David Bowie]

[Heathen (The Rays) – David Bowie]

[Ascent - Miles Davis (w: Wayne Shorter; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Jack DeJohnette); art by Oliver Barrett]

[Ascent – Miles Davis (w: Wayne Shorter; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Jack DeJohnette); art by Oliver Barrett]

[Aphelion (edit) - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

[Aphelion (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

..

All the best—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=

-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig aparticular artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

_           _________________   _  ___   _ _________ __________->

A MEAL FOR MEMORY (The Seven-Cent Inamorata)

_If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig a particular artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

Hello one & all! welcome to A Mouthful Of Pennies’ latest MixTape: A Meal For Memory (The Seven-Cent Inamorata). This post feels particularly special to me, for it is certainly one of my personal favorites in terms of my own MixTapes, and I really am quite proud of all I have written below. A labor of love, this sentiment is particularly true of my long, sprawling meditation on the extraordinary and inspiring art of recently deceased David Bowie (R.I.P.). If you have the time I would definitely appreciate your attention to that and any comments you might have.

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The Seven-Cent Inamorata


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A MEAL FOR MEMORY_CVR

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: A MEAL FOR MEMORY (The Seven-Cent Inamorata)
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——————————-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)—————–================__^__===================  ===  _ ===== == =   = =  __  _

A Mouthful Of Pennies Presents: A Meal For Memory (The Seven-Cent Inamorata)

  • Flying – Anon
  • Map To The Treasure – Laura Nyro [Live At The Fillmore East May 30, 1971]
  • Soon Forgot -Anon
  • I’m the One – Annette Peacock
  • Soul of a Village Pt. 2 (45 edit) – Joe Zawinul
  • Divider – Scott Weiland
  • Obsidian Currents – of Montreal
  • You Will Not Take My Heart Alive – Joanna Newsom
  • Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune – Claude Debussy [performed by David Robertson conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, recorded live at the Barbican 11/29/2007]
  • Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise) – David Bowie
  • Love – Margo Guryan
  • Mythical Kings and Iguanas – Dory Previn
  • Echo In Your Mind – Susan Christie
  • Uncorrected Personality Traits – Robyn Hitchcock
  • Wooden Empire – Noah Georgeson
  • Future Cloud -Anon
  • Old Western Movies – written by Jack Kerouac, performed by William S. Burroughs & Tomandandy
  • Follow The Light – Death And Vanilla
  • (1849) – Annabel (lee)
  • Green Shirt – Elvis Costello & The Attractions

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—————–======ENJOY YOURSELF____———–

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A MEAL FOR MEMORY 
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universe
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FLYING – ANON
This mixtape features a few selections (“Flying,” “Soon Forgot,” “Future Cloud“) from the album Universe. Envisioned and created by an artist that alternately goes by the monikers WynnW.Y.N.N., and ANONUniverse is an assemblage of brief bursts, soundscapes, scrapes, sodden ambiance, demented little diddies, digital bumps, bedroom tapes, and soft moments of sweeping beauty. These fragmented tracks all seem to step on each-other’s toes as often as they rub elbows. Considering the album as a whole, I once described it to the artist as “nearly unlistenable,” and I’m still not quite sure if he took offense to my critique. However, that certainly was not my intention as it is the “nearly” that functions as the operative word in my phrase, and it is the “nearly” that makes me return over and over to this fascinating LP.
    The musicianship is first-rate (mostly provide by Wynn himself) and even features accomplished jazz drummer Keith Carlock on a few tracks. Yet, there is something so solipsistic, so insular about this work that attempts to thwart you from getting into a groove with it, but when and if you do it can be a bit like being a solid foreign object tossed about the fluids and vapors inside another’s skull for 48 minutes; which can be both mesmerizing and more than a little disconcerting. There is little of the spectacle to this album and so it does not care about your “enjoyment.” Your enjoyment is not the point.

    Wynn’s explanation to me that Universe was intended as something wholly personal and really just for himself–something of a death-bed project even–at least confirms that I am not completely off-base in my listening. I do recommend that you check it out yourself and see how it makes you feel. I will say that it is exactly this sort of singularity in terms of vision and production that both frustrates and excites me about other work I’m fond of, like Ishmael “Butterfly ” Butler and Tendai “Baba” Maraire’s “weirdo” hip-hop project Shabazz Palaces (who I’ve featured before on a few mixes).

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[painting by Walt Yablonsky]

[painting by Walt Yablonsky]

MAP TO THE TREASURE – LAURA NYRO
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Here on A Meal For Memory I use the first two aforementioned Universe tracks to bookend Bronx’s own Laura Nyro and her stunning live performance of her song “Map To The Treasure.” This is taken from her appearance on May 30, 1971 at Bill Graham’s long-gone and short-lived East Village venue The Fillmore East. The reclusive 23 year old singer/songwriter here appears alone with just her voice and her piano, boldly stripping her songs down to their bittersweet essence.

    Gone are all the subtle layers of instrumentation and sophisticated flourishes that do so distinguish her supposed trilogy of albums: the 60s girl-group street soul strut meets avant-garde jazz in 1968’s Eli and the Thirteenth Confession; the intimate, intense, fractured sound made dramatic when suddenly punctuated by Broadway noir horns and strings in 1969’s New York Tendaberry; and the somewhat more casual feel of Muscle Shoals’ Swampers band on Side 1 descending into the exotic on Side 2 with Alice Coltrane‘s aquatic harp and the wail of Duane Allman’s guitar in 1970’s Christmas and the Beads of Sweat.

eli

nytend

christmassweat

It is from Side 2 of the latter that “Map To The Treasure” originally comes. In her unique phrasing, Nyro coos and questions over the scant droplets of her piano: Where is your love? Gone to Spanish Harlem? Gone to buy you pastels? Where is your love? Gone to Spanish Harlem? Gone to buy you books and bells beneath Indian summer?

Then as desire excites and knots the tune–desire for her “pretty medicine man”–she makes her move and lets him know:

For you I bear down

Soft and burning

In the treasure of love

In the treasure of love

In the treasure of love, love

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UNI info
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SOON FORGOT – ANON
Oh I soon soon forgot
It is fun to be here with you
Oh I made you flat
And now we should
Before a thing confused
Too much by flight
Resting now
I’m glad to be so tired
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ANNETTE PEACOCK
I’M THE ONE – ANNETTE PEACOCK
-_
As the carnival wheeze of Wynn’s “Soon Forgot” fades we hit the dissonant but real loose free jazz squall that opens both the title track and album of Brooklyn-born Annette Peacock‘s 1972 release, I’m The One. (including Brazilian percussionist extraordinaire Airto Moreiraand Mike Garson, the pianist that would go on to provide much of the color and motion to Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs, as well as David Bowie‘s other brilliant releases of the 90’s and 2000’s, 1.OutsideHeathen, and Reality), it’s as if Peacock and her team had to toss all these sounds into the pot before she could tease out the mutations of soul and blues grooves that serve as the vertebrae for this and much of the other tracks that make up this odd record. An early pioneer of synthesizers, Peacock and her husband, pianist Paul Bley, had persuaded Robert Moog to give them a prototype of his MOOG Modular Synthesizer by convincing him they would demonstrate that his instrument could be used to make serious music and not just novelties and jingles.
bley
Soon after she would innovate the use of the synthesizer to process and manipulate the human voice, which you’ll hear her here use to startling effect–at times to me delirious, bloody, and delicious all at once.
PEACOCKl
 
    In a 2014 interview she described the process behind this innovation as, “It was just a case of working out how to get in there and control the oscillators and the envelopes and then how to control the sound once you had made contact with it.”
Contact! Yes, contact could serve as a great one word signifier for this album as a whole.
    Annette Peacock comes on strong and seductive, informing her inevitable conquest:  
 

I’m the one / You don’t have to look any further / I’m the one / I’m here, right here, for you

ANNETTE PEACOCK2
      
 

     And then with a buzz and ache that comes from a raw territory of feminine dynamism:

Can’t you see it in my eyes

Can’t you hear it in my voice

Can’t you feel it in my skin

When you’re buried deep within me

I’m the one for you

   I love how as she and her team push the R&B boogie elements of the tune to their limits–as if testing the tensile strengths of traditional song structures–the edges begin to glitch, squelch, and blister. Her keen howl burns through the organs and soulful riffs of brass, spiraling further, further, until it all melts. It’s not so much that these synthesized sounds are layered atop, but, as the tune is stretched so thin that it begins to peel, it is revealed that this whole time just beneath the surface lay this stew of fractal patterns and a strange molten nectar being squeezed from burning wires. Typically, I find that synths are applied to a song in order to create glacial tones or gossamer ones. However, throughout the record the affect is more carnal: something as frightening as pulmonary aspiration; or more sensuous, hot breath dragged along the throat, a wet press from the muscles of an inner thigh, the squirm of the viscera, a pulse, squeeze, and twitch from sexual organs.
 
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zawinul
SOUL OF A VILLAGE – JOE ZAWINUL
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A soft drone of strings and a slight twinge of a horn ushers us into the 45 edit of Joe Zawinul‘s “Soul of a Village Pt. 2” Recorded in a session in 1967, this 45 RPM edit was released in 1968 and taken from the album The Rise and Fall of the Third Stream. The improvisational jazz elements bubble within the classically inflected compositions by avant-garde composer/tenor saxophonist William Fischer. Violas and a cello sway along with the drums as the tingle and pull of Zawinul’s Fender Rhodes dances under Jimmy Owens’ muted trumpet. Of course, the Austrian born keyboardist would take much of what he began to explore here and develop them in astonishing ways in collaborations with Miles Davis (In a Silent WayBitches Brew), and then eventually as one of the founding members of Weather Report (working alongside Wayne ShorterMiroslav Vitouš, Alphonse Mouzon, Airto Moreira, Jaco Pastorius and others).
weatherreport
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weilandmirror
DIVIDER – SCOTT WEILAND
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 This lounge act sad tale of two codependent lovers locked and lost in the same impotent spiral–vicious only in its futility–has long been one of my favorite tracks by Scott Weiland.
When she comes divided
She nearly comes alive
scott&mary

[Scott Weiland & ex-wife Mary Forsberg in the May 2000 issue of Jane Magazine. I recently read Forsberg’s memoir Fall to Pieces, and I must say I found it beautiful; very moving, nervous at times yet honest…and actually full with a warm sense of humor.]

weilandxy
Featured on his erratic and stylish solo debut record from 1998, 12 Bar Blues, “Divider” features Weiland’s own work on vibraphone, his brother Michael on Percussion, the fragile hum of a mellotron played by Victor Indrizzo, the lithe and searching work on bass by Martyn LeNoble of Porno For Pyros, and phenomenal Brad Mehldau playing opium parlor piano, which all perfectly apply a graceful sleaze to the lovely slink of Weiland’s vocal melody and lyrics like:
A drinker, he’s a boozer
A junkie, she ain’t shit
Some of them get famous
But most of them just get it
or the recurrent chorus of:

She only cares when her libido is buzzing

Bees only thrive when the honey is there

She knows the way to the script write doctor

She calls him up when the itch gets bad, 
 

and then Weiland informs you of the woefully inevitable:

 
…the itch gets bad…
…the itch gets bad…
 

…the itch gets bad…

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Kevin Barnes

OBSIDIAN CURRENTS – OF MONTREAL

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With a jettison of the manic weight and vertigo that effectively marked much of their previous records, of Montreal mastermind and ringleader Kevin Barnes explored more of a gentle loll through the sound of 1960’s San Francisco in their 2013 LP Lousy with Sylvianbriar; albeit still a highly idiosyncratic one. The structures are tight-knit and the feel intimate. To my ear one of the most honest and gorgeous moments of the record arrives early with the second track, “Obsidian Currents.” This song comports itself through a plain spoken cadence buoyed about by the lilt and wobble of soft psychedelic-folk.
 
Lousy

[gatefold jacket for the LP packaging designed by the incredibly talented Nina Barnes & Jerrod Landon Porter]

    Highly critical, yet still this tune retains a sweet compassion that the majority of “let me tell you something you might not know about yourself” songs can–by their nature–rarely deliver (think young Dylan, Lou Reed). It is an appeal to a loved one (although ironically, and perhaps more poignantly, that loved one might be the singer himself) about their callous rationale and intellectual detachment. More so it is a warning about the logical conclusion to a mind spent dedicated to only concepts and logical conclusions:
 

There is a virus in your tenets

Don’t be naive, you know it’s true

And if you don’t protect yourself

Obsidian currents

Will devour you

    This “virus” of  “obsidian currents” to my mind serves as a poetic descriptor for the alluring pull and singular end-point of pursuing to “live beyond good and evil” when “you have committed yourself wholly to the dominion of semantics and ideas”: Nihilism.
    Conducting a marvelous investigation with hopscotch-like gambols between the recondite traditions, phenomena, art movements, and demands that have had a force in shaping modern culture, in 1989 music journalist and cultural critic Greil Marcus published Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century. At several points within this book he writes:
lipsticktracesjpg
“Nihilism is the belief in nothing and the wish to become nothing: oblivion is its ruling passion.”
“Nihilism can find a voice in art, but never satisfaction. Nihilism means to close the world around its own self-consuming impulse […].”
“The nihilist, no matter how many people he or she might kill, is always a solipsist: no one exists but the actor, and only the actor’s motives are real.”
“When the nihilist pulls the trigger, turns on the gas, sets the fire, hits the vein, the world ends.”
ninatwin

[“In order to change perspective, or more so, to open the gateway to a world unseen –Art knew she had to open the perception through the realm of emotions”, (2015) by Nina Grøttland Barnes, aka Gemini Tactics, aka ANIN TIWN ~ NINA TWIN, ex-wife of Kevin Barnes.]

     On a somewhat lighter note, discussing this particular song in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine‘s Ryan Reed, Kevin Barnes had this to say: “My brother had a funny vision for that one. He said it was a superhero who got beat by his arch-nemesis, and the arch-nemesis has him tied in this dark cellar, and he’s saying these things to this superhero and forcing him to come to terms with his flaws.”
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newsome

[photo by Annabel Mehran]

YOU WILL NOT TAKE MY HEART ALIVE – JOANNA NEWSOM
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And what do you remember most?
The line of the sea seceding the coast?
Fine capillaries glowing with cars?
The comfort you drew from the light of the stars?
It is with these two memorable couplets strung together that Joanna Newsom opens the song “You Will Not Take My Heart Alive” from her latest work of lavish precision, Divers. In an interview regarding her appearance as actor and narrator in Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel Inherent Vicethe conversation turned to the distance between this and 2010’s three-disc opus, Have One on Me: “I’ve been working hard for a lot of those five years on a new idea.”
       This “new idea” having to do with time, the transcendence of, and this statement she made to Laura Snapes of Uncut magazine:
Everyone’s getting older. When I crossed that line in my mind where I knew I was with the person that I wanted to marry, it was a very heavy thing, because you’re inviting death into your life. You know that that’s hopefully after many, many, many, many years, but the idea of death stops being abstract, because there is someone you can’t bear to lose. when it registers as true, it’s like a little shade of grief that comes in when love is its most real version. Then it contains death inside of it, and then that death contains love inside of it.
[cover art Wildflowers 52i by artist and former NASA thermal engineer, Kim Keever.]

[cover art Wildflowers 52i by artist and former NASA thermal engineer, Kim Keever.]

Lauper
    Admittedly, I am still in the process of engaging and fully appreciating Newsom’s new idea.The first time I listened to this album it was at a ridiculously low volume at 4:30am as I fed my nine-month-old son and attempted to not wake my wife. I truly enjoyed what I could hear, but I must also confess that as a whole at the time it all sounded like various alternate takes of Cyndi Lauper performing her 1986 hit “True Colors” (I know that thematically Lauper’s 1984 hit “Time After Time” might seem more aligned with the concerns of Divers but that is just not what came to mind; and this comparison is in no way meant as an insult as I find Cyndi Lauper to be pretty . fucking . fantastic!).
   Yet, even at low volume those opening lines above struck me, and what followed:

And I rose to take my shape at last

from the dreams that had dogged me through every past,

when, to my soul, the body would say

You may do what you like

as long as you stay.

Harp
  This all delivered in the delicate music-box whirl of Newsom’s odd baroque-pop, with its conflict of light and shadow and yet a fluid exchange between the two. The song at first functions as a courtly dance between her lighthearted if somewhat hesitant harp and her elastic soprano, but as it builds in height it also takes on a heft as if to bear the weight of the words. Small patches of glutinous synthesized keyboards enter and leave with an exquisite sense of timing just as frigid droplets pinprick the melodic line. For all it’s obvious antiquated instrumentation and arrangement, I adore how the song truly sounds as if it is being pushed forward in increments by some strange pedal-pump operated mechanism. Newsom hits an operatic height with the line, “Now the towns and forests, highways and plains / fall back in circles like an emptying drain / And I won’t come round this way again / where the lonely wind abides,” then proceeds to move on by digging in with a repeated defiant sentiment that leads us on out:

and you will not take my heart, alive.

You will not take my heart, alive.

You will not take my heart, alive.

You will not take my heart, alive.

You will not take my heart, alive.

You will not take my heart, alive.

You will not take my heart, alive.

You will not take my heart.

[photo by Jay L. Clendenin, 2015]

[photo by Jay L. Clendenin, 2015]

The whole song lasts no more than four minutes and one second, and yet seems so expansive you might forget where you began or realize that it’s now over.
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Program illustration by Léon Bakst. In 1912 Debussy’s piece was made into a short ballet with costumes and sets by painter Bakst, choreographed and performed by renowned Ballets Russes dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.

Program illustration by Léon Bakst. In 1912 Debussy’s piece was made into a short ballet with costumes and sets by painter Bakst, choreographed and performed by renowned Ballets Russes dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.

PRÉLUDE À L’APRÈS-MIDI D’UN FAUNE – CLAUDE DEBUSSY 

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Translated into English as “Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun” (first performed in Paris on December 22, 1894, conducted by Gustave Doret), this symphonic poem for orchestra by French composer Claude Debussy (1862–1918) has long been a favorite piece of music for me, just as I relish much of his compositions and “tone paintings.” I will place very little claim towards my knowledge of “Classical” music, but there is something to Debussy’s work–its layered textures, its strokes of color, the way that it seems to both manipulate and accept the immediacy that is inherent in the flux of time–that speaks to me. He had a true appreciation for the sensory nature of man and that it is through a correspondence of those faculties we experience and orient ourselves in temporal existence and in memory. His music is alive. It is a disturbance and it is a pleasure. It is mysterious and wet. It is something you can swim in.
Misty Morning on the Seine [Claude Monet, 1897]

Misty Morning on the Seine [Claude Monet, 1897]

[Claude Debussy (1862-1918), photo taken in 1904.]

[Claude Debussy (1862-1918), photo taken in 1904.]

    In a 1906 letter to his step-son Debussy argued: “Music has this over painting–it can bring together all manner of variations of color and light–a point not often observed though it is quite obvious.” It is with this same sort of fluid mind frame that he attempted to evoke scents in his piano prelude “Sounds and Fragrances Swirl Through the Evening Air.” That work was inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s poem Harmonie du Soir, featured below in translation by William Aggeler:
One illustration by Beresford Egan (1905 – 1984) for a 1929 edition of Charles Baudelaire’s 1857 volume of poetry Les Fleurs Du Mal (The Flowers of Evil).

One illustration by Beresford Egan (1905 – 1984) for a 1929 edition of Charles Baudelaire’s 1857 volume of poetry Les Fleurs Du Mal (The Flowers of Evil).

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Evening Harmony

The season is at hand when swaying on its stem

Every flower exhales perfume like a censer;

Sounds and perfumes turn in the evening air;

Melancholy waltz and languid vertigo!

.

Every flower exhales perfume like a censer;

The violin quivers like a tormented heart;

Melancholy waltz and languid vertigo!

The sky is sad and beautiful like an immense altar.

.
The violin quivers like a tormented heart,

A tender heart, that hates the vast, black void!

The sky is sad and beautiful like an immense altar;

The sun has drowned in his blood which congeals…

.
A tender heart that hates the vast, black void

Gathers up every shred of the luminous past!

The sun has drowned in his blood which congeals…

Your memory in me glitters like a monstrance!

 .
    To return to the work featured on this mix, Debussy was very engaged with the cultural innovations and mutations occurring in Fin de Siècle France: Aestheticism, Decadence, and Symbolism, amongst various other movements. Debussy himself was regarded as one of the prominent figures associated with Impressionist music, yet he himself rejected that association and viewed it as only some label created by art critics.
[Despite Debussy’s rejection of the “Impressionist” label, one can see why Margaret Lam would state that when considering “Debussy’s vision focused on the colours and textures of sound, rather than the established structures and grammar of music” […] “Claude Monet’s paintings, like Rouen Cathedral, Portal in the Sun, 1894, may be more helpful in understanding the music of Claude Debussy than other types of analysis.”]

[Despite Debussy’s rejection of the “Impressionist” label, one can see why Margaret Lam would state that when considering “Debussy’s vision focused on the colours and textures of sound, rather than the established structures and grammar of music” […] “Claude Monet’s paintings, like Rouen Cathedral, Portal in the Sun, 1894, may be more helpful in understanding the music of Claude Debussy than other types of analysis.”]

Debussy much more aligned himself with the literary school of his period known as Symbolism, and it is from a work by major French symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) that “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune” takes both its title and inspiration. Mallarmé believed in the essential creative function of poetry (as in the theological sense of “creation”) and in a complexity to art where the audience should have to participate–they must pull meaning out of both the semantic and acoustic surface of his words.
[Stéphane Mallarmé by Edouard Manet (1832-1883). On display at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France, this portrait was painted in 1876, the year of the publication of Mallarmé’s Après-midi d’un faune, a long poem illustrated by engravings by Manet.]

[Stéphane Mallarmé by Edouard Manet (1832-1883). On display at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France, this portrait was painted in 1876, the year of the publication of Mallarmé’s Après-midi d’un faune, a long poem illustrated by engravings by Manet.]

     Mallarmé described the heart of his own poem, L’après-midi d’un faune as a “very lofty and beautiful idea,” and it is clear that this syntactically complicated reworking of the Ovidian myth of Pan–with here this Satyr accompanying himself on his reed pipes while recounting (or living) the erotic fantasy of his failed possession of two nymphs–deals with the elemental confusion within desire and memory. The poem begins with the Faun stirring to indulge himself in sensuous, if frustrated, memories:
[1876 Engraving by Edouard Manet for Mallarmé’s Après-midi d’un faune.]

[1876 Engraving by Edouard Manet for Mallarmé’s Après-midi d’un faune.]

These nymphs, I would perpetuate them.
So bright
Their crimson flesh that hovers there, light
In the air drowsy with dense slumbers.
Did I love a dream?
My doubt, mass of ancient night, ends extreme
In many a subtle branch, that remaining the true
Woods themselves, proves, alas, that I too
Offered myself, alone, as triumph, the false ideal of roses.

[1876 Engraving by Edouard Manet for Mallarmé’s Après-midi d’un faune.]

[1876 Engraving by Edouard Manet for Mallarmé’s Après-midi d’un faune.]

After a total of 110 lines the work concludes with the Faun returning to his slumber with a tranquil resignation:

Farewell to you, both: I go to see the shadow you have become.

 

[(considered the greatest male ballet dancer of the 20th Century) Vaslav Nijinsky as the faune, 1912.]

[(considered the greatest male ballet dancer of the 20th Century) Vaslav Nijinsky as the faune, 1912.]

[Lubov Tchernicheva as a Nymph and Vaslav Nijinsky as the Faun [photo by Baron Adolf de Meyer, Vogue’s First Staff Photographer]

[Lubov Tchernicheva as a Nymph and Vaslav Nijinsky as the Faun [photo by Baron Adolf de Meyer, Vogue’s First Staff Photographer]

[Lydia Nelidova and Vaslav Nijinsky entwined.]

[Lydia Nelidova and Vaslav Nijinsky entwined.]

[Vaslav Nijinsky as the Faun [photo by Baron Adolf de Meyer.]

[Vaslav Nijinsky as the Faun [photo by Baron Adolf de Meyer.]

[Still from Charlie Chaplin’s Sunnyside (released June 15, 1919). Nijinski and Chaplin met in 1916 on the set of Easy Street and Nijinsky complimented Charlie on how balletic his moves were. With this fantasy scene of a dance with wood nymphs Chaplin payed homage to Vaslav Nijinski and the ballet he choreographed, L’Après-midi d’un faune (The Afternoon of a Faun). Below you can watch this short silent film written, directed and starring the always fantastic Charlie Chaplin.]

[Still from Charlie Chaplin’s Sunnyside (released June 15, 1919). Nijinski and Chaplin met in 1916 on the set of Easy Street and Nijinsky complimented Charlie on how balletic his moves were. With this fantasy scene of a dance with wood nymphs Chaplin payed homage to Vaslav Nijinski and the ballet he choreographed, L’Après-midi d’un faune (The Afternoon of a Faun). Below you can watch this short silent film written, directed and starring the genius and always fantastic Charlie Chaplin.]

    In 1891 the journalist Jules Huret (1864-I915) interviewed Mallarmé on the significance of symbolism, the obscure play of associations, the sacred magic of evocation in poetry, and the end of naturalism. Here Mallarmé asks, “Is there not something abnormal in the certainty of discovering […]?” He also states:
 .
“To name an object is to suppress three-quarters of the enjoyment of the poem, which derives from the pleasure of step-by-step discovery; to suggest, that is the dream. It is the perfect use of this mystery that constitutes the symbol: to evoke an object little by little, so as to bring to light a state of the soul or, inversely, to choose an object and bring out of it a state of the soul through a series of unravelings.
[…]
“The childishness of literature, up to now, has been to believe, for instance, that choosing a certain number of precious stones and writing down their names on a piece of paper, even very precisely, was to make precious stones. Well, no! Poetry being an act of creation, one must draw from the soul of man states, glowing lights, of such absolute purity that, well sung and well lighted, they become the jewels of man: that is what is meant by symbol; that is what is meant by creation, and the word poetry here finds its meaning: it is, in sum, the only possible human creation. And if, in truth, the precious stones with which one adorns oneself do not convey a state of the soul, one has no right to wear them . . .”
.
    Mallarmé even extends these ideas to musical composition:
“In music, the same transformation has occurred: the firmly delineated melodies of yesteryear have made way for an infinity of shattered melodies that enrich the fabric without making us feel the cadence as strongly.”
 .
[Jim Morrison as the Faune. photographed by Frank Lisciandro, 1970.]

[Jim Morrison as the Faune. photographed by Frank Lisciandro, 1970.]

Or, perhaps, as Jim Morrison wrote in his poem, Ghost Song:

Enter again the sweet forest

Enter the hot dream

Come with us

Everything is broken up and dances

    In the preparatory notes for his highly ambitious but completely unrealized masterpiece Le Livre (“The Book”) (in which he hoped to reveal “all existing relations between everything”), Mallarmé writes: “Mystery and Drama, Drama and Mystery are only the same thing reversed and presenting the one on the surface while the other is hidden inside.” To my mind it is the sentiment behind that statement that is much in play in the intricate pattern of Debussy’s musical evocation of The Afternoon of a Faun, and it is this that makes it such a pleasure to listen to. Debussy’s music was a radical departure from the grand gestures and formalities of traditional harmonic chordal resolution found in the Romantic era, and he sought to create a music with new harmonic and melodic language. In this Debussy could be said to be largely responsible for what we consider modern music, from “classical” to jazz to pop (and that influence can be clearly cited in works from artists as diverse as Charlie Parker and Trent Reznor).
[A design by Léon Bakst for the stage setting.]

[A design by Léon Bakst for the stage setting.]

    With a sinuous melody played on flute, which intimates the sensual grace of the feminine figure, and the gentle swells of strings, horns, harp, oboe, clarinet, and finger cymbals all utilized to be evocative of a mind at drift, I am not surprised that after this composition’s controversial debut Mallarmé wrote a short note to Debussy that read:
 .
I have just come out of the concert, deeply moved. The marvel! Your illustration of “The Afternoon of a Faun,” which presents a dissonance with my text
only by going much further, really, into nostalgia and into light, with finesse, with sensuality, with richness. I press your hand admiringly, Debussy. Yours, Mallarmé.
 .-________________
[I should of course note that Claude Debussy’s 1894 musical composition is here beautifully performed live in 2007 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the American-born Grammy winning David Robertson who has served as principle guest conductor since 2005.]

[I should of course note that Claude Debussy’s 1894 musical composition is here on this MixTape beautifully performed live in 2007 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the American-born Grammy winning David Robertson who has served as principle guest conductor since 2005.]

-_____
-__________
-________________________________-_____________-_____
-________________ – ______
dd-poster

Art by Guy Peellaert, based on a photo by Terry O’Neill [both 1974]

SWEET THING SUITE – DAVID BOWIE

 

-_
blackstar

[designed by Bowie’s long-time graphic design collaborator Jonathan Barnbrook]

[I feel for context sake that it should be noted that these songs’ inclusion on this mix was done prior to the sudden news of David Bowie‘s death on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his final, harrowing, strange, and truly beautiful record, Blackstar (or ★). This parting album is one that continues to elicit a response of real tears while I listen and sing along. With that in mind I’d like to state that this MixTape and all below should not be seen as the total of my eulogy for this incredible artist, as it could not do justice for all that Bowie’s over five decades of art has meant to me throughout the thirty-six year course of my life, nor the resonance I am sure it will continue to have with me. Additionally, David Bowie’s art and his relationship with his attendant spirit of genius are profoundly complex. To paraphrase Walt Whitman‘s Song of Myself, he is large, he contains multitudes. That being so, I’d love for this to be lucid but find that here I am only able to discuss his art in laborious whorls and intellectual flits that I can only hope at least create a mandala of thoughts caught adrift, but resulting I’m sure in deficient generalities and the broadest of terms, or worse a babbling ouroboros. In short, the essay below is a failure and I know full of holes. Yet, I present you the fragments. To be honest, I will likely tinker with this essay some day to be featured in a post of its own where it can accompany a Bowie tribute mix, much like I did for Lou Reed upon his passing. Of course, it should go without saying, all below are facets of my David Bowie, as I am sure you all have numerous ones of your own.]
To you, David Bowie, in memoriam, I can only return your own words, which you placed as the dying invocation of a young Tibetan monk under stars that look so special as his brains spill out into snow that looks so old:
sevenyears
I praise to you; Nothing ever goes away.
_____-_________
Our alienation goes to the roots. The realization of this is the essential springboard for any serious reflection on any aspect of present inter-human life.
 
We are bemused and crazed creatures, strangers to our true selves, to one another, and to the spiritual and material world — mad, even, from an ideal standpoint we can glimpse but not adopt. 
 
What is to be done? We who are still half alive, living in the often fibrillating heartland of a senescent capitalism — can we do more than reflect the decay around and within us? Can we do more than sing our sad and bitter songs of disillusion and defeat? The requirement of the present, the failure of the past, is the same: to provide a thoroughly self-conscious and self-critical human account of man. 
 
We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love. I am a specialist, God help me, in events in inner space and time, in experiences called thoughts, images, reveries, dreams, visions, hallucinations, dreams of memories, memories of dreams, memories of visions, dreams of hallucinations, refractions of refractions of refractions of that original Alpha and Omega of experience and reality, that Reality on whose repression, denial, splitting, projection, falsification, and general desecration and profanation our civilization as much as anything is based.
rdlaing
.
The above four quotations were all pulled from The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise (public library), the 1967 book by radical, Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing (10/7/27 – 8/23/89).
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bowcrop
    Many might have made the remark that David Bowie’s art is a cold, impersonal thing more concerned with a narcissistic surface image and style rather than authenticity (see for example critic Lester Bangs excellent if shortsighted reviews featured in the brilliant collection Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung)(public library).
lesterbangs
Now, I might accede to certain facets of that argument, but only as I believe that much of the true depth of expression in Bowie’s art was achieved through a meditative manipulation with, against, and between exteriors and such modern concepts as the Constructivism art movement; “the reconciliation of ostensible paradoxes” in Hegel’s dialectic; the synthesizing of multiple abstractions through imagism; an odd and somewhat absurd blend of the Theatre of Cruelty developed by Antonin Artaud with the dramatic theory of “making it strange ” or Alienation Effect developed by German dramatist-director Bertolt Brecht; and the disturbed fun one can have with a simulacrum, as demonstrated through Pop art, particularly how it relates to an individual’s desires regarding celebrity and mass society in the condition of industrialization (and of course, coupled with his obviously quick, inquiring mind, these all seem to be interests that he would acquire organically when considering he was raised in a family plagued by psychosis and various mental illnesses, and that he spent his younger years alternately as a junior visualizer at a London advertising firm, studying the theatrical medium of mime under legendary Lindsay Kemp, and seriously considering becoming a monk while learning Tibetan Buddhism under meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Scotland).
Lindsay Kemp in his own stage production of Oscar Wilde’s 1891 play, Salomé [photo by Graziano Villa]

Lindsay Kemp in his own stage production of Oscar Wilde’s 1891 play, Salomé [photo by Graziano Villa]

Bowie as Pierrot for 1980's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) [photo by Brian Duffy, makeup design by Richard Sharah, costume designed by Natasha Kornilof] Although Bowie's sense of performance was certainly expressive, he always employed an economy of movement that comes from the traditions taught by Kemp.

Bowie as Pierrot for 1980’s Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) [photo by Brian Duffy, makeup design by Richard Sharah, costume designed by Natasha Korniloff] Although Bowie’s sense of performance was certainly expressive, he always employed an economy of movement that comes from the traditions taught by Kemp.

Many of the photos from the session with photographer/designer Duffy were then given to artist Edward Bell for further treatment.]

Many of the photos from the session with photographer/designer Duffy were then given to artist Edward Bell for further treatment.]

    With these ideas about dramaturgy and numerous other art theories in play, Bowie was able to mate them to his idiosyncratic approach to song-craft, which was certainly innovative yet wholly intuitive. Assimilating and modifying his restless enthusiasms, forthright about the varied range and taste of his influences, Bowie would then turn his own singular talents and personality(ies) and those of his calculatingly chosen collaborators towards transforming them into a more personal and peculiar mechanism of artistic expression. In a society where increasingly narrow definitions and allegiances to lifestyle brands are demanded of us this system for songwriting might seem facile, fraudulent, or worse as grasps towards relevancy. However–with his curious immersion into whatever music, art, theater, and literature that caught the interest of his eclectic mind and his teasing of elements from these sources to service as layers and textures in the pursuit of a work all his own–Bowie’s songwriting should be appreciated for what are truly organic methods. To borrow F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s description of his own technique, Bowie’s processes of accretion, expansion, and reduction are more honest about the natural attitudes and non-linear patterns of the hearts and minds of men and women as they search to express themselves down here in “reality.” As transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson said in his 1841 essay Self-Reliance: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall.”
Bowie-Nothing-has-changed
      In her essay in the collection David Bowie: Critical Perspectives, Dr Kathryn Johnson writes: “[…] Bowie continued to mine diverse sources of inspiration and later became adept at assimilating them into new and original work of rare variety and depth. Songwriting, for Bowie, became part of a holistic creative process which also involved visual design and resulted in a ‘total’, three-dimensional vision.”
smile
Considering the later concepts of a “fiction suit” (an apparatus of the imagination that enables us to enter a work of art) as coined by Grant Morrison when creating his brilliant “hypersigil” comic series The Invisibles, and writer Alan Moore‘s statements regarding human beings existing as essentially amphibious creatures (“in the etymological sense of ‘two lives’”) inhabiting the commensurate realms of the solid material world and the world of ideas inside our head–one could take Bowie’s “dimensional vision” as consisting of more than merely three, but incorporating four or more dimensions. His art could be appreciated as a landscape composed by and for his various characters and concepts to inhabit and explore themselves poetically and as a terrain of interaction where we the audience can freely explore our own characters and emotions as well. This of course is possible when an artist has a full regard for language and art, symbols, words, and images as being consciousness altering tools–or magic. This is a conviction that Bowie has enthusiastically demonstrated wholly throughout his long career. Likewise, in this formula for communication, his music–the clusters of notes, its timbre and beat, etc.–should be regarded as characters and concepts too as they contain as much information or more than say a choice in wardrobe, prop, or lyric; thus all this are really emotions, attributes, emanations, or sephiroth if you were feeling Kabbalistic. As Bowie says with a compressed sepulchral croon among other disjunctive images and sentiments that knit through 1993’s “You’ve Been Around” from his oh-so-nearly but disorienting variation on new jack swing LP Black Tie White Noise: this is a permeable zone “Where the flesh meets the spirit world/Where the traffic is thin,” and here in this liminal space we can “slip from a vacant view.”
[David Bowie, Los Angeles February 17, 1993, photo by Herb Ritts]

[David Bowie, Los Angeles February 17, 1993, photo by Herb Ritts]

      I find it both impressive (and obviously somewhat bewildering to write about) that this sort of deep engagement with a work seems to be achieved in part through the distance imposed by artifice and performance (what Prof. Shelton Waldrep calls The Phenomenology of Performance in his book The Aesthetics of Self-Invention: Oscar Wilde to David Bowie) (public library) or by presenting an unexpected frame within a frame that the audience must first recognize and be unsettled by in order to make contact with the work.
Frames from Kubrick's 1968 epic science fiction 2001: A Space Odyssey.

[Frames from Kubrick’s 1968 epic science fiction film  2001: A Space Odyssey.]

Think of the meticulous mise-en-scène, framing, cuts, soundtrack, and the actor’s performances in the films of Bronx born and bred director Stanley Kubrick, an obvious and well-known influence on Bowie. With these films the audience is made constantly aware of the technical aspects of “movie-making” by a master of the form and thus forced to confront certain abstractions, and yet somehow his fastidiously orchestrated work is more powerful, more visceral and intimate than the majority of movies that merely rely on pathos’ overwhelming effect on a passive audience. As Kubrick himself once said, “A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.” Or more specifically as Kubrick commented on his own brilliant film A Clockwork Orange, “The story functions, of course, on several levels, political, sociological, philosophical and, what’s most important, on a dreamlike psychological-symbolic level.”
[Final scene from Kubrick's 1971 brutal masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange]

[Final scene from Kubrick’s 1971 brutal masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange]

Rather than an immediate emotional identification (which can be developed later organically by the audience’s active fascination, or not), this discipline demands of the audience a critical reaction.
Young Americans A side.tif
Fascination
Take a part of me
Can a heart beat live in a fever, raging inside of me
Fascination takes a part of me, I can’t help it
 
Got to use her, every time, every time, every time, got to use her
Every time
Fascination comes around
“Fascination” by Bowie & Luther Vandross from Young Americans (1975)
As Hugh Iglarsh writes in his review Rescreening Dr. Strangelove, “It is similar to what Bertolt Brecht describes as the alienation effect, forcing the viewer to see characters in terms of what they represent, coloring the subjective perception of objective reality, and creating the psychological conditions for both detachment and enlightened re-engagement.”
George C. Scott's unforgettably manic performance as the boorish Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

[George C. Scott‘s manic, unforgettable performance as the boorish Gen. ‘Buck’ Turgidson in Kubrick’s brilliant 1964 comedy of frayed nerves, nuclear mutually assured destruction, and sexual frustration, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb]

[the incredibly skilled bassist Gail Ann Dorsey & Bowie in the 1997 video for "Dead Man Walking" directed by the always fascinating artist Floria Sigismondi. The song comes from Bowie's 1997 record of intricate glitch and textured, percussive loops, Earthling , which really deserves another listen by those who haven't in a while

[The incredibly skilled bassist Gail Ann Dorsey & Bowie in the video for “Dead Man Walking” directed by the always fascinating artist Floria Sigismondi. The song comes from Bowie’s 1997 record of abrasive, intricate glitch and textured, percussive loops, Earthling , which really deserves another listen by those who haven’t in a while]

      David Bowie himself has cited this German poet and playwright’s methods as an enormous influence on his creative process and composition.  Particularly, I find his comments in a June 1997 issue of the magazine Guitar Player to be quite illuminating on this subject:
          ….I’m sorry to keep using the word “context”, but it’s a governing principle. Context is almost everything. This is something too pretentious for words, but there’s another attitude that’s very much a part of what I do as a musician and performer. Brecht…[dissolves into laughter].
          Can you believe I said that?
         Bertolt Brecht believed that it was impossible for an actor to express real emotion in a natural form every night. Instead, you portray the emotion symbolically. You don’t try to draw the audience into the emotional content of what you’re doing, but give them something to create their own dialog about what you’re portraying. You play anger or love through stylistic gesture. The voice doesn’t rise and fall and the face doesn’t go through all the gambits you would portray as a naturalistic actor.
          I’ve done that an awful lot throughout my career. A lot of what is perceived as mannered performance or writing is a distancing from the subject matter to allow an audience to have their own association with what I’m writing about. That comes straight from Brecht, who was a major influence on me as a whippersnapper. It applies to any art form. It’s a question of creating a space between your subject matter and yourself as an artist. I sing notes that stand in for emotion. I honestly couldn’t care less about what the subject matter [of the album] is. I need lyrics; I write some lyrics. I guess a lot of subconscious things come through, and that probably says something about me. But it’s almost like lyrics standing in for lyrics: [sings] “Some words go here, and here’s some more words”. That’s enough. It’s almost like when you do an undersketch for a painting. You sketch out what it looks like–a sun here, a house here. That’s fine. The enthusiasm fleshes things out.
      All this creates a multivalence to Bowie’s work. As he describes his own painful jewel of a tune (which likely concerns, Bowie’s experiences with his closest childhood companion, his own schizophrenic half-brother, Terry) “The Bewlay Brothers“:
“[…] there are layers of ghosts within it. It’s a palimpsest, then.”
[From the 1971 Marlene Dietrich inspired Hunky Dory photo sessions with photographer Brian Ward]

[From the 1971 Marlene Dietrich inspired Hunky Dory photo sessions with photographer Brian Ward]

 Bowie’s work is instinctual and empathetic. There are contradictions at work. There are frustrations. Frustration creates narratives. There is a friction. Friction opens possibilities. If nothing else, Bowie’s work is about possibilities.
[One of Jung's numerous illustrations and mandalas for his own The Red Book: Liber Novus; a sort of journal wherein he recounts and comments upon the his imaginative experiences and unconscious visions between 1913 and 1916]

[One of Jung’s numerous illustrations and mandalas for his own The Red Book: Liber Novus (public library); a sort of journal wherein he recounts and comments upon his imaginative experiences, unconscious visions, and encounters with the symbolic language of expression and archetypes between the years 1913 and 1916]

      The founder of analytical psychology (the central concept of which stresses that individuation—or the psychological process of integrating opposites within the psyche—to be the central process of human development) Carl Gustav Jung wrote in 1923: “Since life cannot tolerate a standstill, a damming up of vital energy results, and this would lead to an insupportable condition did not the tension of opposites produce a new, uniting function that transcends them. […] From the activity of the unconscious there now emerges a new content, constellated by thesis and antithesis in equal measure and standing in a compensatory relation to both. It thus forms the middle ground on which the opposites can be united. […] The standstill is overcome and life can flow on with renewed power towards new goals.” This process is of course facilitated by active imagination, which results in the creation of a living symbol of some sort that assimilates and embodies the once adverse forces in the psyche.
He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar. Another illustration by Carl Gustav Jung for The Red Book: Liber Novus.

[He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar. Another illustration by Carl Gustav Jung for The Red Book: Liber Novus.]

In her fantastic essay “Crashing Out with Sylvian: David Bowie, Carl Jung and the Unconscious”  Tanja Stark writes:
“A prolific writer, Jung’s theories are complex but at their core was an understanding of life as an ongoing process of Individuation, a psychological journey of emergence, transformation and centered integration of the psyche within a holistic Self through conscious awareness, engagement and balance with the energies of the Personal and Collective Unconscious. Jung held that subliminal essences and universal energies profoundly influenced the lives of individuals and societies and believed the recurring mythopoeic symbolism, imagery and narratives found across cultures in art, myth and religion drew from the powerful energies of this Collective Unconscious. Manifesting in ways such as dreams, visions, art, intuitions, spiritual experience and synchronicities, active attention to these expressions could provide pathways to greater integration and wholeness. In contrast, unhealthy repression, denial or unbalanced inflation of unconscious energies could result in pathology, illness, psychosis and psychological disintegration.”
leroijones
      This repression and denial is what LeRoi Jones (aka Amiri Baraka) depicts as one of the worst sins in his 1965 novel The System of Dante’s Hell (public library). In the brief notes that open this book, Jones attempts to define his concept of a heretic (or Heathen, as Bowie titled his brilliant album of 2002):
[Heathen album artwork designed by Bowie's long-time graphic design collaborator Jonathan Barnbrook]

[Heathen album artwork designed by Bowie’s long-time graphic design collaborator Jonathan Barnbrook]

I put The Heretics in the deepest part of hell, though Dante had
them spared, on higher ground .
It is heresy, against one’s own sources, running in terror, from
one’s deepest responses and insights . . . the denial of feeling . . .
that I see as basest evil .
We are not talking merely about beliefs, which are later, after the
fact of feeling. A flower, turning from moisture and sun would
turn evil colors and die.
[Heathen interior art by Jonathan Barnbrook; based on the 1611 painting Massacre of the Innocents by Italian Baroque painter Guido Reni]

[Heathen interior art by Jonathan Barnbrook; based on the 1611 painting Massacre of the Innocents by Italian Baroque painter Guido Reni]

The contradictions and facades inherent in Bowie’s work could and should be considered as an active attention to his expression, in pursuit of his “own sources,” or a truth of feeling.
[Photo by Markus Klinko for GQ Men of the Year, 2002]

[Photo by Markus Klinko for GQ Men of the Year, 2002]

As Bowie said in a 2002 interview:
 
“Heathenism is a state of mind. You can take it that I’m referring to one who does not see his world. He has no mental light. He destroys almost unwittingly. He cannot feel any God’s presence in his life. He is the 21st century man.”
brainpickings
      In a post for her stunning and always stirring blog Brain Pickings (with its stated intention being to aid us to “tap into our mental pool of resources”), Maria Popova writes: “Creativity is a combinatorial force — it rests on our ability to fuse, usually unconsciously, existing concepts, memories, bits of information, pieces of knowledge, and fragmentary impression into novel ideas that we call our own. A mind of exceptional creativity, then, is a mind brimming with vibrantly diverse bits that can be fused together into a boundless array of possible combinations.” Popova also depicts the creative process as a “dancing in a delicate osmosis of conscious and unconscious work.”
[Beautiful detail of an illustration by the legendary Steve Ditko for his creation Doctor Strange, published by Marvel Comics in STRANGE TALES #138 (Nov. 1965)]

[Beautiful detail of an illustration by the legendary Steve Ditko for his creation Doctor Strange, published by Marvel Comics in STRANGE TALES #138 (Nov. 1965)]

David Bowie in designer Kansai Yamamoto’s “Rites of Spring” costume (photo by Terry O'Neill, Ziggy Stardust UK tour, 1973)

David Bowie in designer Kansai Yamamoto’s “Rites of Spring” costume (photo by Masayoshi Sukita, Ziggy Stardust UK tour, 1973)

I understand how a consumerist public might either be absolutely allured or totally disinterested by a self-aware art that at times could present itself boldly with the warm plane of a four color sci-fi comic book–as the year or two of the Ziggy Stardust project and much of glam rock did–as Warhol’s Death And Disaster series of silk screens do.
[Andy Warhol, Orange Car Crash, 1963]

Andy Warhol looks a scream / Hang him on my wall / Andy Warhol, Silver Screen / Can’t tell them apart at all. [Andy Warhol, Orange Car Crash, 1963]