Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #81 - "Candidate"

The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #81 - "Candidate" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974

Hi, we're back to that article from the last post again, but I do have some other stuff, too. Found a new blog: STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANT MIDGETS.

In this modern world, there are more artists and writers than ever before.

We can all "publish" after a fashion.

This bit struck me:

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.”

I am going to circle back to this suite and discuss "Sweet Thing" separately. but for now, just think on that idea of the world as a film set.

Here's two versions with a live one that includes footage!!



"Sweet Thing/ Candidate/ Sweet Thing (Reprise)" WIKI



There’s a funereal tone to the suite, fitting for its year of creation. Nick Drake, after recording his “four last songs” in February, died in November. Duke Ellington died in May. Archigram closed. Candy Darling died, age 25. Gene Ammons recorded Goodbye and departed. It was the year of Shostakovitch’s last quartet, Syd Barrett’s last-ever studio session. All that came out of the latter were a few brief guitar pieces. One, known as “If You Go #2,” (3:00 in the preceding link) is a jaunty hint of a song, incidental music for an impossible life.

Bowie’s guitar keeps to the margins until “Candidate,” when begins to cut into the vocal, like an increasingly belligerent drunken party guest. Crude and insistent, possessed by an appalling truth. At first confined to the right speaker, the guitar starts bleeding through. Bowie’s vocal starts matching the guitar’s tone, his phrasing mimicking the riffing.

Making bullet-proof faces, Charlie Manson, Cassius Clay. 1974 was the wake for the Sixties. Everyone came wearing tatters or suits: they dressed as the person they pretended they once were. Bob Dylan and the Band, touring North America early in ’74, played songs that had earned boos and jeers in ’66, but the songs had become, blessed by time, victory anthems. Dylan sang in a bellow: he might as well have used a bullhorn. He played “All Along the Watchtower” in Boston as if he meant to roust Hendrix from the grave.



I'll make you a deal, like any other candidate

We'll pretend we're walking home 'cause your future's at stake
My set is amazing, it even smells like a
There's a bar at the end where I can meet you and your friend
Someone scrawled on the wall "I smell the blood of les tricoteuses"
Who wrote up scandals in other bars

I'm having so much fun with the poisonous people
Spreading rumours and lies and stories they made up

Some make you sing and some make you scream
One makes you wish that you'd never been seen
But there's a shop on the corner that's selling papier mache
Making bullet-proof faces, Charlie Manson, Cassius Clay
If you want it, boys, get it here, thing
So you scream out of line
"I want you! I need you! Anyone out there?
Any time?"
Tres butch little number whines "Hey dirty, I want you
When it's good, it's really good, and when it's bad I go to pieces"
If you want it, boys, get it here, thing

Well, on the street where you live I could not hold up my head
For I put all I have in another bed
On another floor, in the back of a car
In the cellar like a church with the door ajar
Well, I guess we've must be looking for a different kind

But we can't stop trying 'til we break up our minds
Til the sun drips blood on the seedy young knights
Who press you on the ground while shaking in fright

I guess we could cruise down one more time

With you by my side, it should be fine

We'll buy some drugs and watch a band

Then jump in the river holding hands

Writer(s): David Bowie

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.


Rest in peace, David. We miss you.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1701.17 - 8:00

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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