Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hello, Spaceboy

I’m sorry that there haven’t been any updates in quite some time. Like most people, I’ve become somewhat lost in microblogging on Twitter. If you want more frequent updates on what's going on with me, my Twitter is where it's at. I’ve also been working a lot with my local Friends of the Library (but that’s for a different entry).

I’ve been reading a lot about David Bowie, lately. What’s interesting to me about that is that I’ve liked Bowie for a while, now, but it wasn’t until I moved a year ago to the city that I live in now that I really became interested enough to read books. In the absence of an autobiography, I've read these three (so far):

My interest has a lot to do with death. Bowie is now 64 years old. In 2004, he had to stop touring because of a heart attack. Doc Hammer, one of the creators of Venture Bros., said during a panel in 2010 that we have to understand that we may very soon live in a world that has no David Bowie in it.

Some things that I have found interesting so far in these books:

- All the focus seems to be on the early 70s albums ("Hunky Dory,” “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” “Aladdin Sane” and “Diamond Dogs”), and the late 70s albums (The Berlin Trilogy of “Low,” “’Heroes,’” and “Lodger”). As the book progresses, the stories about each album get shorter and shorter. By the time the books get to “1.Outside” the first Bowie album I heard, there’s hardly any focus at all.

- Bowie’s “coming out” in the early 70s and then “going back in” for the rest of his career is fascinating. I find myself wondering if the homosexuality referred to in that infamous article was him speaking in character, and not his own admission.

- I find myself drawn in to the question that the authors all investigate in different ways: is Bowie a genius who reinvents himself, always seeming to hit the zeitgeist-nail on the head, or is he a ruthless thief, stealing from those around him before they can become famous with their own style?

- As I’ve said in an earlier entry here, the reason I like Bowie (especially his early 90s work) is that he’s not afraid of atonal work, or even compositions that are ugly on purpose. Though he’s abandoned that aesthetic, I still find it fascinating.

I find myself wanting to raid the “further reading” sections of these books and bury myself in the subject of Bowie for a while, but I can’t. Palahniuk’s new novel just dropped, and Dennis Cooper’s comes out in a little over a week. Not to mention the fact that my “to-be-read” pile has climbed to 20 books in the meantime. At some point, though, I want to do that—devote myself entirely to one subject for a while.

I wonder what it’d be like to write a Bowie book of my own.

Or steal his life for a character

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