In case the Internet is malfunctioning—or if, for whatever reason, you find its 16 second length too taxing—the above is a "birthday message" from "Uncle Dave," who tells us to play this tape (mind you, this was recorded in 2002) every day, & if we do, then one of those days, it'll be our birthday. Because that is absolutely the most economical way to make use of this recording.
In short, I think it was this long since established birthday-centric lunacy that allowed me to regard the latest news in Bowiedom with little more than blind excitement: in honor of this, his 66th birthday, rather than, you know, receive gifts, Sir Stardust has decided to bestow upon us a single & corresponding video from his new surprise album, The Next Day, which is apparently coming out in March.
For those not keeping score, I would remind you that this will be Bowie's first studio effort in a decade (following 2003's Reality)—& moreover, that he stopped touring soon thereafter due to a heart attack, ultimately all but announcing his retirement from the biz. Now, though, fans (read: I) can look forward to 17 new tracks, of which the now-YouTubable "Where Are We Now?" is but one.
So of course, upon hearing the news, I exploded. Quite literally. In fact, this post is coming to you courtesy of the small piece of brainstem that managed to stay attached to the nerves responsible for puppeting my few remaining fingers. That much goes without saying. (But just in case you'd like to hear it said again, here's a link to Ye Olde "Why I Heart David Bowie" Entry.)
What's a little harder to parse is the part of me (now flung several feet from the computer, but present nonetheless) that, put bluntly, is really worried this is album is going to be bad. Or, if not categorically "bad," then just, well... Lame.
Because if the above video—which, for the record, features serial-killer-lair-style basement clutter, repeated black & white footage of Urban Ruin, & some of the most bizarre, low-budget greenscreenery this side of The Room—is anything to go by, then we may be in trouble. Indeed, it appears Bowie's aesthetic / artistic / special effects aspirations may have dead-ended in the late '90s. Plus, the song itself is nothing to write home about, per se—a rather rambly smooth jazz number over which he voice-breakingly croons what amounts to little more than a list of German landmarks (e.g., Potzdamer Platz). & moreover, I know this for a fact—that, for instance, he says "Dschungel" & not "jungle"—because every lyric appears onscreen, in time, in eroded typewriter font, like an invitation to some sort of demented, postmodern karaoke.
I mean, sure, the man is 66—the fact that he's making any more music at all is miraculous—fantabulous—a godsend—I remain, at my core, exploded (while crossing those remaining fingers with all my might, hoping that he may actually tour again...). The song really isn't bad, just somewhat low key for my taste, & at his age, I suppose, it's unfair, even unwise to expect him to be anything resembling "hip"—or, honestly, to begrudge him some slow, jazzy reminiscence of Straßes & Platzes past. You ultimately can't blame him for wanting reflect on a life lived—because really, it was a pretty bonkers life, one that probably deserves some quiet contemplation.
However, the fact that he's chosen to graft his own head & that of a random mute woman onto a conjoined teddybear creature using by far the lowest quality (& therefore the most disturbing) face-warping CGI—that's something I can blame him for, right? Okay, cool.
Now, to count the days until March... (!) (!!!!!!)
But, in the meanwhile, Happy Birthday right back atcha, Uncle Dave. You will always & forever be my Main Man.
Today's Headphone Fodder:
Every song David Bowie has ever recorded. (See Said Bowie Post for a plethora of links & recommendations.)
Or, if you'd prefer things narrowed down somwhat, here are a few I've been re-(re-re-re-)playing as of late that I don't think I've hyped too much before hereabouts: