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Bowie profile in The Guardian

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on January 02, 2016

 

“A very strange enchanted boy”

 

Andrew Harrison has written an interesting piece on David Bowie for the regular Guardian Profile piece in today’s paper.

The full page feature is titled: “Turn and face the strange: time may change him, but not his mystique”, while the online version is headed: “David Bowie: Back in the spotlight, still refusing to play along”.

Here are a few edited paragraphs from it.

 

As Bowie discarded Ziggy for a succession of personae – the cadaverous, cocaine-addled soul boy of Young Americans, the austere European man-machine of his trilogy of Berlin albums – it became a cliche to describe him as a chameleon of pop. But this was to miss the point.

 

“The idea that he puts on a mask simply to market what he’s done is mistaken,” says Paul Trynka, author of Bowie biography Starman and a former editor of Mojo magazine. “Actually, he creates the mask in order to make the art. A chameleon changes to mimic its background. Bowie forces the background to change to mimic him. His great achievement is not to market himself with a persona, it’s to create a persona with which to make art.”

 

In an overmediated time where social media robs everything of its mystery, Bowie’s obstinate refusal to play along is almost a work of art in itself. Sphinx-like, he may infuriate. But at least he’s consistent.

 

“All my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience,” Bowie admitted to Paul du Noyer of The Word magazine in 2003. “My work is always stronger when I get very selfish about it.”

 

Which leaves us with only the music to go on. “There’s usually an inexorable drift to the centre as time goes on,” says Du Noyer. “Bob Dylan makes Christmas albums nowadays. Not so David Bowie. He’s rediscovered his gift for strangeness.”

 

Now on Friday, the day he turns 69 comes Blackstar, his 26th album, which is as startling as anything he has done, taking in hip hop, Brechtian theatre and abstract jazz.

 

Read the full profile here.

 

#Blackstar  #imablackstar  #BlackstarAlbum  #BowieGuardian

blog image: 
    2 January 2016
    Bowie profile in The Guardian

     

    “A very strange enchanted boy”

     

    Andrew Harrison has written an interesting piece on David Bowie for the regular Guardian Profile piece in today’s paper.

    The full page feature is titled: “Turn and face the strange: time may change him, but not his mystique”, while the online version is headed: “David Bowie: Back in the spotlight, still refusing to play along”.

    Here are a few edited paragraphs from it.

     

    As Bowie discarded Ziggy for a succession of personae – the cadaverous, cocaine-addled soul boy of Young Americans, the austere European man-machine of his trilogy of Berlin albums – it became a cliche to describe him as a chameleon of pop. But this was to miss the point.

     

    “The idea that he puts on a mask simply to market what he’s done is mistaken,” says Paul Trynka, author of Bowie biography Starman and a former editor of Mojo magazine. “Actually, he creates the mask in order to make the art. A chameleon changes to mimic its background. Bowie forces the background to change to mimic him. His great achievement is not to market himself with a persona, it’s to create a persona with which to make art.”

     

    In an overmediated time where social media robs everything of its mystery, Bowie’s obstinate refusal to play along is almost a work of art in itself. Sphinx-like, he may infuriate. But at least he’s consistent.

     

    “All my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience,” Bowie admitted to Paul du Noyer of The Word magazine in 2003. “My work is always stronger when I get very selfish about it.”

     

    Which leaves us with only the music to go on. “There’s usually an inexorable drift to the centre as time goes on,” says Du Noyer. “Bob Dylan makes Christmas albums nowadays. Not so David Bowie. He’s rediscovered his gift for strangeness.”

     

    Now on Friday, the day he turns 69 comes Blackstar, his 26th album, which is as startling as anything he has done, taking in hip hop, Brechtian theatre and abstract jazz.

     

    Read the full profile here.

     

    #Blackstar  #imablackstar  #BlackstarAlbum  #BowieGuardian