Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Goodbye, David Bowie


David Bowie has influenced my life as long as I can remember. I love how his life itself was a work of art. He reinvented constantly, somehow remained relevant, and never seemed to falter under the burden of success. An iconoclast and creative force over so many decades, it's hard to imagine a time when David Bowie wasn't. 

His death is affecting me more than most musicians' have because he is more than most musicians are. Bowie was a mogul of music, art, fashion, literature, film, and  more. This is the guy who produced Iggy Pop. This is the guy who made the suit cool again. He could take anything and make it cool. In Young Americans, he quotes the Beatles' A Day in the Life, creating elegant intertextuality and subtle commentary you just don't find in pop music every day. He wrote Heroes in German about the Berlin wall and translated it into English so we could all partake in his emotional journey about the tension between east and west. And the way he recorded that song is insane, but simple. He was over the top and minimalist at the same time. He wrote songs about space men playing them with acoustic guitars. He was everything an artist should strive to be, and managed humility. 

I'm sitting listening to Blackstar, his swan song. It was released on his birthday. Even in death, he was a transcendent artisan.

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