David Bowie’s best-selling record until the day he died was launched 35 years ago today. The move to sing for the many not the few did help his career but would cost him his hardcore fan base who would return to him only on occasion after that when the launched three of his more obscure masterpieces like “Outside”, “Heathen” and the haunting “Blackstar”.
By the time you read this it will be already April 14 in Australia, the continent he took to in order to film the video clip for the song “Let’s Dance”. It was 1983 and there were more folk dancing to David Bowie than ever before. “Let’s Dance” was the main single from the eponymous album and suddenly a considerable part of the world discovered the icon gone global after fourteen albums where he appealed mostly to a crowd that felt motivated to live up to their different music tastes, clothing, sexuality and whatever Bowie stood and stands for ever since he appeared with his new approach to music and fashion. Assisted by funkmaster Nile Rogers, better known as founding member of Chic and producer of major hits from bands like Sister Sledge the record made its way to dance floors. But despite the clear funk influence Bowie did not give up his rock influences having invited Steve Ray Vaughan to add his guitar riffs thereby launching an album with the right funky feel that suited the early 80’s but with a pint of rock here and there. The image, another distinguishing feature of David Bowie seemed to follow the popular spirit of the new Bowie. Wearing immaculate suites in pastel colours and his hair dyed blond Bowie looked rather like an northern-European holidaymaker than the alien he had impersonated in some records.
35 years after being released “Let’s Dance” is still a difficult album to digest for the hardcore Bowie fan and marked a period of some creative decline in the man’s career. The Bowie for the many not the few was not the Bowie the few waited for and he would regain his particular fanbase only after “Outside” which followed the popular “Tonight” and the not so popular “Never let me down” and “Black Tie White Noise”. After that he failed again when trying to have a go with drum’n and bass with “Earthling”, when he launched “Hours” a mild album and “Relity” equally mild, the album that preced “Heathen”, the record that hinted somehow to the path he would follow when he launched “The Next Day” and his final epos “Blackstar”, the record that proved that despite some failed attempts he was still the man he stands for for many – avant-garde, unpredictable and master of reinvention.
Grupo de rapazes de Cádiz aproveita o Carnaval para cantar sobre piropos e dignidade da mulher.
É bom que compreendas que quando um murmúrio lhe é atirado durante a noite tremem-lhe as pernas. O medo invade-a e desata a correr para casa e a única coisa que pensa é chegar a casa para não ser mais uma na lista de nomes de mulheres que não regressam.” Esta é a frase mais contundente do pasodoble cujo vídeo se tornou viral, cantado pelos Niños Sin Nombre no concurso de coplas de Carnaval de Cádiz. Composto por Antonio Pérez Fuente Piru e Sergio Guillén El Tomate o grupo chama a atenção para a prática de lançar piropos que são muitas vezes ofensivos para as mulheres. “Escucha un momento, machito de turno, el mundo ha cambiado y te toca callar”, dizem, e a mensagem não podia ser mais incisiva numa Andaluzia (e em grande parte do sul da Europa) onde impera uma forte cultura machista. Colocar o dedo em algumas feridas foi uma constante na actuação destes rapazes de Cádiz e em cuja actuação não passou também despercebida a tragédia dos meninos que morrem a tentar atravessar o Mediterrâneo. Mas o tema mais forte é este “Escucha un momento”, cujo vídeo aqui reproduzimos, e que neste dia Internacional da Mulher dedicamos às mulheres de todo o mundo.
The Prodigy became one of the most important names of the nineties mixing punk with electronica and big beat. On the day of Keith Flint’s passing we evoke the work and stamina of the band’s frontman.
It’s 1996 and the second day of Super Bock Super Rock, an open air festival hosting its 2nd edition in Lisbon and featuring David Bowie on the third and last day. After a first day featuring Portuguese bands the second proved to be the most fruitful given the chance we had to see acts that would become major names in modern music, from the Divine Comedy to Fluke, from Massive Attack to The Prodigy. After the easy listening charm of The Divine Comedy, the groovy sounds of Fluke and the mellow tunes of Massive Attack the Prodigy ignited the audience with their powerful sound and the strong presence of Keith Flint. “Firestarter“ was the hit of the moment and all of a sudden the whole audience was pogo dancing in a sort of wild exorcism assisted by a 25-year young man with devilish hair and grins jumping like mad in a relentless performance. We hadn’t seen anything like this for a long time since the days of punk. It was as if punk was back under a new guise assisted by electronic beats and power drums. It wasn’t the first time Punk and derivatives had taken to the clubs with their hard beats. Names like SPK, Nitzer Ebb of DAF had done it to perfection before them. But The Prodigy were making it now in the nineties, the craziest decade as far as music is concerned and when rockers engaged in dance moves thanks to bands like Underworld, Chemical Brothers, Leftfield, Renegade Soundwave and The Prodigy. After a decade of new punk and synth, madchester and rave, the early nineties were much about rock either under grunge or combined with a molotov cocktail of beats and riffs which The Prodigy did master. Most of Prodigy’s material was signed by Liam Howlett, but much of the success of the band was due to Keith Flint with his provocative looks, spiked hair and piercings, who had joined the band as a dancer but who would become the frontman and distinguishing mark of the band, the very same man who brought back some rebellion to the music scene. Keith Flint died today at the age of 49 and the music scene is now paying tribute and acknowledging his role as one of the most influential names in the 1990’s.
A cozinheira, o francês, o surfista, o casal africano, a fadista, o americano e um casal e o seu gato.
Numa mesa de uma colectividade uma moça de cabelos pretos sentada a fazer um puzzle de mil peças e um francês que se senta ao seu lado. Analisam cuidadosamente cada peça que vão colocando no lugar certo por entre pequenos goles de vinho tinto. Na mesa ao lado um casal africano e um amigo bebem cerveja de garrafa por entre acenares de cabeça simpáticos a quem entra. Atrás deles um casal na casa dos trinta joga snooker sob o olhar do gato que insistem trazer todas as vezes que aqui vêm numa mochila verde alface. No ar o som de um concurso de TV e um homem magro que adivinha quase todas as respostas. Ao canto, ao lado da biblioteca e onde se acumulam livros e jogos de mesa, um homem de meia idade e uma sopa de legumes servida pela mulher com ar mais jovem e de modos meigos, mesmo ao lado de um homem e uma mulher numa conversa sobre filmes quase oscarizados, cantores esquisitos e personagens de um humorista famoso. Na mesa à entrada, um jovem com ar de surfista e uma imperial e um queijinho de ovelha, na mesma mesma mesa onde se senta às vezes um senhor americano de idade avançada com ar de actor de cinema, casado com uma brasileira, amigos da inglesa que conheceram através de uma cozinheira que costuma parar no bar do francês onde a dona da leitaria gosta de tomar a bica com uma fadista que é mulher do rapaz que está sempre no bar onde pára esta gente toda e outros tantos que entram e saem num espaço onde cabe toda esta a gente.
Em 2010 Karl Lagerfeld foi convidado para editor por um dia da revista francesa Madame Figaro, lançada em plena Semana da Moda de Paris em Setembro. Nada de estranhar tendo em conta o peso de Karl no mundo da moda. Por entre escolhas e grafismos mais ou menos óbvios o mais curioso nessa edição surgia umas páginas mais à frente. Anos antes de Portugal se tornar o paraíso de reformados, estilistas e futebolistas franceses já Karl Lagerfeld andava de olho há muito em Portugal mais precisamente na obra de Eça de Queiróz, um dos seus escritores favoritos. “Li o seu livro mais famoso, “Os Maias”, uma saga familiar proustiana sobre a vida em Portugal e em Lisboa no final do sec XIX. “E descobri depois por acaso outros livros dele que estou agora a ler “O Primo Basílio” e “202 Champs Elysées” que decorre em Paris onde morreu, e “O Crime do Padre Amaro”. É genial. A reeditar”, disse então.
E ao que parece este criador consagrado, dono de uma enorme biblioteca, que gostava também de editar estaria mesmo interessado em editar toda a obra de Eça de Queiroz em França. As referências a Portugal nessa revista estendem-se ainda à música, já recomendava então na secção de espectáculos “la trés grande pianiste portugaise en son domaine privé (le dernier Concerto pour piano de Mozart)…. cela ne se refuse pas”. Karl Lagerfeld morreu hoje e não consta que alguma vez tivesse considerado a possibilidade de viver em Portugal, mas fica a curiosidade neste post publicado pela primeira vez em 2010.
The picture reads “save on housing”, is part of series of glazed tiles and was taken at a bar in Lisbon one day before a business newspaper reported that a City Council member had bought and renovated a building in a traditional neighbourhood for around €350 thousand and now plans to sell it for around €5 million. So far so good, nothing new in a city that is selling its soul, its houses, gardens and whatever is there to sell. The only issue raised by nearly everyone left, right and center pertains to the fact that he was elected by a left-wing party and so therefore he incurred in the sin of capitalism, along with the fact that he has been one of voices against speculation and eviction of inhabitants from the historic centres. Not only is he now embarking on this game but he negotiated also with the tenants to leave the building which will be probably inhabited by some affluent investor. Nobody is innocent in this story: neither the people making business selling places that will be worth far less when the bubble finally and hopefully bursts; nor the critics who short rent a room, a house or the backyard or at least have a relative who does it; nor the government officials promising to find accommodation for tenants in need while selling at the same public buildings and whatever to the first foreigner with millions to spend. Everybody has a role in the real estate plot either as main actor or as complacent bystander. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
“The Next Day”, the much anticipated and publicised new album by David Bowie is out this week worldwide. It all began with the release of the first single “Where are we now” that brings us to Berlin, to the city where he once lived and recorded three of his best albums and where his creativity was at its […]