Music Monday: David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust

Everyone loves David Bowie. And everyone that doesn’t only feels that way because they’ve never heard (enough) Bowie or they have terrible taste.

Alright, maybe that’s not fair to say. But it’s no secret that Bowie’s one creative, talented, innovative bastard that’s made some incredible music over the years, regardless of how you feel about him or his work (not to mention his influence on music and on society in general – I can never get enough Ziggy Stardust androgyny.)

Earlier this year, I mentioned getting hooked on Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album as a side note in a blog post. I spent the entire month of January with this album on loop in my car, learning the characteristics of each individual song. It’s rare that I find an album that I absolutely love from start to finish, but there’s just something about this one. Five Years starts off slowly but quickly sucks you in, and every subsequent song just gets better and better. I couldn’t even tell you which is my favorite because it changes every time I hear the album. (Okay, so I guess it’s a tie between Lady Stardust  -namely the original demo-, Moonage Daydream, and Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide… Although Suffragette City and John, I’m Only Dancing -though that’s a b-side but whatever- are also a fuck ton of fun).

The point is, this is an incredible album and if you haven’t already listened to it, I suggest you get yourself a copy ASAP. Or ask me and i’ll get you one (already did it for two friends).

Here’s one tune to get you started on falling in love with Ziggy and the Spiders.

Also, if you haven’t already, definitely check out the documentary named after the album. For those of you with Netflix, there’s also the David Bowie: Spider from Mars: Interviews doc, which spans several decades of interviews related to that era of his career (but is NOT the Ziggy Stardust film itself).

 

PS. Sorry for the delay on this week’s Music Monday. Will try to be more consistent on timing and length of these posts. Generally, it’ll be a music recommendation, but I might veer in different directions as time goes on.

J is For… : A January Playlist

Oh, January. My, how good you’ve been to me. I’ve been wondering just how February plans on topping off the past 31 days…

good times. always.

Anyway, this has been my soundtrack for the past month; a mix of old favorites and songs overheard at, well, key moments. Most of these are on one of the many mix CDs I have currently sliding around in my car (no, I don’t have an MP3 player in my car, I know, I know…). UPDATE: I found this site, 8tracks.com, that helps you quickly upload a mix. It doesn’t make it available for download unfortunately but this should be good for now.

LISTEN: J is for… : A January Mix Tape

Playlist:
Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”
De La Soul “Eye Know”
TLC “Creep”
The Walkmen “The Rat”
Animal Collective “Fireworks”
Edwyn Collins “Girl Like You”
Pulp “Common People”
Social Distortion “Under My Thumb”
The Replacements “Alex Chilton”
Florence and the Machine “Addicted to Love”
Weezer “Tired of Sex”
Beirut “Nantes”
The Black Keys “Unknown Brother”
Wolf Parade “I’ll Believe in Anything”
Lykke Li  “Possibility”
Pedro the Lion “Bad Things to Such Good People”
David Bowie “Lady Stardust”
Neutral Milk Hotel “Two-Headed Boy”
Radiohead “Gagging Order”
Best Coast “When I’m With You”
Sex Pistols “My Way”

Suggestions for what should go in my car this month? Just downloaded R.E.M.‘s and Atmosphere’s entire discography and the Tank Girl soundtrack for starters. Might also re-visit some old Tool since they’re coming to town.

Happy February!

This Week In Amazing: Miami Winter, Enchanted Santas, Impossible Missions, and the Spiders from Mars

If the first week of 2012 is any indication of what is to come this year, it may very well be the end of the world.

Alright, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but these first few days have been admittedly too much fun (if such a thing exists). It’s been deliciously cold out (cold for Miami, that is), so it’s been difficult not to be out and about. There were about 3 days in a row where my main mission was to find a good place with coffee and pie, a la Twin Peaks (holy crap someone get me this shirt!!). In between these days have been hang outs revolving around playing pool and watching movies. My pool game has sadly not gotten any better in the past few days, but I have to say it’s definitely improved in general over the past few months. As for the movies, we saw Young Adult a few nights ago (I’m still trying to write out my disappointment about this film in a separate post) and this past Sunday, I took my dad to watch the latest Mission Impossible film for his birthday. Maybe it’s because I didn’t exactly have high hopes for it, but MI4 wound up being exactly what it was supposed to be: mind-numbingly entertaining. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Simon Pegg, and hell, Jeremy Renner isn’t exactly hard on the eyes. See for yourself:

On top of all of this, there have been nature walks in parks (and almost getting pegged by the Frisbee golfers), my first time feeding my baby nieces (messy, to say the least), bonfires and barbecues in backyards (not to mention unpasteurized Gouda), drinks with the ladyfriends (at Fox’s, Mr. Moe’s, Sunset Tavern, Sandbar, and Titanic’s – all places I should be piecing together some reviews for soon), and the rediscovering of good music.

In particular, I’ve been indulging myself in a lot of Radiohead (the Com Lag and Airbag/How Am I Driving? EPs to be specific) and David Bowie (namely: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars). Getting lost in music again is inspiring me to bring back the old podcast, maybe even if it’s just mini-mixes for now. Will be trying to get something going for that in the near future.

Quite possibly the best night so far of 2012 though involved a trip to that Miami holiday staple: Santa’s Enchanted Forest.

Santa’s is the annual winter-themed carnival that graces Tropical Park from November to January. Like most Miamians, I’ve been visiting the Enchanted Forest since I was a little kid – I’ve even got the Polaroids to prove it. Of course, back then it was much smaller and a lot less expensive. Nowadays, the roughly $27 entry fee gets you admittance into the park where you can indulge your inner child while walking past Christmas-y dioramas, watching acrobats and clowns and the occasional fire-breathing act, stuffing your face on elephant ears and other fried goodies, and riding everything from rollercoasters to ferris wheels to the infamous Himalaya (“Let me hear your screaaaaaam!” is a popular phrase you’re sure to hear if you happen upon this particular ride). While this was a place I used to absolutely love coming to as a kid, it was sometime around early adolescence that I decided I was “too cool” to keep going to such a “childish” establishment. Luckily, the older I get, the less I care about ever looking goofy or silly, so my friends and I revived this old tradition last year and have since come to enjoy it as one of our new winter traditions. This time around, we over-indulged in cotton candy and nachos, enjoyed defying gravity on numerous rides, and even made friends with some enterprising, traveling caricature artists. And of course, there are more details about all this, but for that you’ll have to wait til I jot ’em down in the book (wink, wink). Suffice to say that sleep has been lost, memories have been made, and plenty of cafe con leches have been drunk in between. So is the good life.

On a side note, I’ve got my first part-time gig going for the year and quite hopefully more work to come. If all goes well, I may be returning to the store to reward myself with this dress:

I’ve spent far too much time wearing the same tired old things. 2012 requires drastic wardrobe overhaul!

For now, it’s time to continue with the writing goals and see where the rest of the year takes me.

 

How was your first week of 2012?

If it hasn’t been spectacular just yet, start adding a little magic to your life. Take an alternate route home sometime. Talk to the stranger next to you. Do something completely unlike you. You might be surprised at how much these little details can alter the course of your day, your week, your year.