Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #80 - "The Secret Life of Arabia"



The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #80 - "The Secret Life of Arabia" - HEROES - 1977

Wow... It's been a LONG TIME since I posted a song from Heroes.

I try to rotate these not so daily Bowie posts and keep a mix, but the last Heroes post goes alll the way back to 1602.19 - The Daily Bowie #30 - "SENSE OF DOUBT" - HEROES - 1977.

That's 50 posts ago and almost a full year ago.

I am doing a couple of things I never do in this post. I am posting a snippet from a book that was reprinted last year in the New Republic and here's the mention of this song here following. I am also posting the "ferocious" cover mentioned.

This is an interesting song and an even more interesting cover. Oooh. There's a Nina Hagen cover, also. Okay, I have to share that, too.

I post the article here both as reading material for you and for me, but as a reminder to get the book, which may be a good read.

For Shakespeare, the world is a stage.

For Bowie, the world is a film or a film set.




Similarly, in one of my all-time favorite Bowie songs, “The Secret Life of Arabia” (outrageously and ferociously covered by the late, great Billy Mackenzie with the British Electric Foundation), Bowie sings,


You must see the movie
The sand in my eyes
I walk though a desert song
When the heroine dies.









LOTS OF LINKS

LINK: OUTTAKES FROM HEROES PHOTO SHOOT

WIKI: DAVID BOWIE

WIKI: HEROES

WIKI: "The Secret Life of Arabia"

WIKI: British Electric Foundation

PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME: "The Secret Life of Arabia"


"It’s a D minor vamp that mainly consists of a pair of choruses colliding together, while two six-bar verses with Bowie in self-mocking form (“I walk through the desert song when the heroine dieeees“—it foreshadows Mick Jagger’s equally bizarre Bedouin reverie in “Emotional Rescue”) are stranded in the middle. “Arabia” ends with a shameless bit of padding, a four-bar refrain repeated nine times (with handclaps and sometimes a vocal hook) and then what threatens to be nearly the entire song replaying again, only faded out at a random moment" (O'Leary PAOTD).



"The Secret Life of Arabia"

The secret life of Arabia
Secret, secret never seen
Secret, secret ever green

I was running at the speed of life
Through morning's thoughts and fantasies
Then I saw your eyes at the cross fades (secret, secret, never seen)
Secret, secret ever green

The secret life of Arabia
Never here, never seen
Secret life, ever green

The secret life of Arabia
You must see the movie the sand in my eyes
I walk through a desert song when the heroine dies

Arabia
(Secret, secret)
Arabia
Secret
Arabia
(Secret, secret)
Arabia
Arabia
(Secret, secret)
Arabia
Arabia
(Secret, secret)
Arabia
Arabia
(Secret, secret)

The secret life of Arabia
Never here, never seen
Secret life, ever green

Written by David Bowie, Carlos Alomar, Brian Peter George Eno • Copyright © EMI Music Publishing, Peermusic Publishing, Tintoretto Music





FROM: https://newrepublic.com/article/127430/david-bowies-filthy-lesson

David Bowie’s Filthy Lesson

For Bowie, art was inauthenticity all the way down.

After Andy Warhol had been shot by Valerie Solanas in 1968, he said, “Before I was shot, I suspected that instead of living I’m just watching TV. Since being shot, I’m certain of it.” Bowie’s acute ten-word commentary on Warhol’s statement, in the eponymous song from Hunky Dory in 1971, is deadly accurate: “Andy Warhol, silver screen / Can’t tell them apart at all.” The ironic self-awareness of the artist and their audience can only be that of their inauthenticity, repeated at increasingly conscious levels. Bowie repeatedly mobilizes this Warholian aesthetic.

The inability to distinguish Andy Warhol from the silver screen morphs into Bowie’s continual sense of himself being stuck inside his own movie. Such is the conceit of “Life on Mars?,” which begins with the “girl with the mousy hair,” who is “hooked to the silver screen.” But in the final verse, the movie’s screenwriter is revealed as Bowie himself or his persona, although we can’t tell them apart at all:



But the film is a saddening bore
’Cause I wrote it ten times or more
It’s about to be writ again.
The conflation of life with a movie conspires with the trope of repetition to evoke a melancholic sense of being both bored and trapped. One becomes an actor in one’s own movie. This is my sense of Bowie’s much-misunderstood lines in “Quicksand”:


I’m living in a silent film
Portraying Himmler’s sacred realm
Of dream reality.
Bowie displays an acute awareness of Himmler’s understanding of National Socialism as political artifice, as an artistic and especially architectural construction, as well as a cinematic spectacle. Hitler, in the words of Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, was ein Film aus Deutschland, a film from Germany. As Bowie put it, Hitler was the first pop star. But being stuck inside a movie evokes not elation but depression and a Major Tom–like inaction:


I’m sinking in the quicksand of my thought


And I ain’t got the power anymore. 
In “Five Years,” after having received the news that the Earth will soon die, Bowie sings, “And it was cold and it rained and I felt like an actor.” Similarly, in one of my all-time favorite Bowie songs, “The Secret Life of Arabia” (outrageously and ferociously covered by the late, great Billy Mackenzie with the British Electric Foundation), Bowie sings,


You must see the movie
The sand in my eyes
I walk though a desert song
When the heroine dies.

The world is a film set, and the movie that’s being shot might well be called Melancholia. One of Bowie’s best and bleakest songs, “Candidate,” begins with a statement of explicit pretense, “We’ll pretend we’re walking home,” and is followed by the line, “My set is amazing, it even smells like a street.”

Art’s filthy lesson is inauthenticity all the way down, a series of repetitions and reenactments: fakes that strip away the illusion of reality in which we live and confront us with the reality of illusion. Bowie’s world is like a dystopian version of The Truman Show, the sick place of the world that is forcefully expressed in the ruined, violent cityscapes of “Aladdin Sane” and “Diamond Dogs” and, more subtly, in the desolate soundscapes of “Warszawa” and “Neuköln.” To borrow Iggy Pop’s idiom from Lust for Life (itself borrowed from Antonioni’s 1975 movie, although Bowie might well be its implicit referent), Bowie is the passenger who rides through the city’s ripped backside, under a bright and hollow sky.

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Critchley. This article was excerpted from Critchley’s Bowie, published by OR Books. Reprinted with permission.

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Rest in peace, David. We miss you.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1701.13 -  9:00

NOTE ON WHY THE DAILY BOWIE IS NO LONGER DAILY: For 53 days, I completed daily Bowie posts. My schedule is too demanding to make a post every day, so this will now be a feature that is called The Daily Bowie, but it will not be daily. I will post as I can. I will post often. But if I miss a day, I will skip it. Otherwise, I get in the position of making five Bowie posts all in one day, and that's a lot of Bowie for people to swallow all at once... (yeah, leaving that badly phrased, innuendo packed statement. I bet Bowie would have laughed at it).
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