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Jan 08 2013

David Bowie’s still got it

He’s released a new single for his 66th birthday — a lush, melancholy song that made me happy.

He’s looking good at 66. Even though I can’t quite imagine the thin white duke as a senior citizen yet.

20 comments

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  1. 1
    Pteryxx

    d’awww. And the video incorporates captions! ♥

    direct youtube link

  2. 2
    Akira MacKenzie

    Bowie: “PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE HANDSOME AND AGELESS ROCK STAR HIDING BEHIND THE COUCH! I AM THE MIGHTY SOVEREIGN!”

    Watch: “Everyone knows who you are, my master.”

    Bowie: “REALLY! YOU’RE SURE? EVERYONE?”

    Ward: “Pretty much, and may I say that ‘Hours’ was a totally under-rated album.”

    (Bowie stands up from behind the couch.)

    Bowie: “Yeah, I mean I thought so, but wasn’t it kind of too-little-too-late?”

    Watch: “That would be ‘Tin Machine.’”

  3. 3
    sundoga

    Yup, he’s still got it. Voice is going a little, maybe doesn’t have the range he once did, but what of it? As long as he can still write strong, meaningful stuff like this, there’s a place for Bowie.

  4. 4
    Martin Wagner

    So. Stoked.

  5. 5
    Orac

    I don’t know. I like the song a lot. Very wistful in a way that I’m starting to understand as I pass over to the other side of 50. The video, however, borders on coma-inducingly dull and pointless even if you do happen to know that it was shot in the garage under the apartment where David Bowie lived during his “Berlin period.”

    Video misfire aside, I can’t wait for the album. I might have to download the song from iTunes later.

  6. 6
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    This is going to end up as the newest song on my Zen. I think it will be the only song from this century on my Zen.

  7. 7
    epweissengruber

    Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips wrote a song “David Bowie, are you Dying?” and I am glad the answer is “no.”

  8. 8
    Kilian Hekhuis

    Happy, happy, day. Was fearing the man retired, as Paul Trynka claimed. Glad Ken Scott was right! Beautiful song at that. It sounds like something he’s done before. From Hours? Heathen? Touch of Buddha? Perhaps even a hint of Low? Aaah… nostalgia…

  9. 9
    thewoodguy

    Lovely song, great video. Tony Oursler is one of my favorite artists working today. Dull, perhaps, to some, it seems to fit the song wonderfully.

  10. 10
    DonDueed

    I guess I’m an outlier here, but Bowie’s music makes my skin crawl. I have some very, very un-fond memories associated with his Ziggy Stardust period. Not entirely Bowie’s fault — it had to do with other things going on in my life at the time. Still, I was at best lukewarm to his stuff before then, and those events ruined any chance I may have had to appreciate his music.

  11. 11
    auntbenjy

    Orac has a point about the video, but I like the song.

    Much better than Bon Jovi’s recent effort, for which the kindest thing I can say is that for a 3 1/2 minute song, it is about 5 minutes too long…

  12. 12
    sinned34

    PZ, thanks for this post. Now I understand why Phantom Limb called the Sovereign, Leader of the Guild Of Calamitous Intent, “the thin white douche.”

    Also, Akira beat me to it.

    Go Team Venture!

  13. 13
    a3kr0n

    That guy scared me as a child. Still does sort of.

  14. 14
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Bowie was part of the rebellion against the music of the generation before him. I was a part of the rebellion against his generation’s music, though he was never as despised as some. And now he’s gotten old, and I’m heading the same way. Hell, in the eyes of the generation behind me I am old though it might not seem so to me. And from this lofty perch of wise and hoary years I realise that I’m very disappointed in the baby boom generation.

    They’ve changed the world to suit themselves through the years, the tyranny of a population bubble has served them well. But in their latter years they seem to have given up and nowhere more obviously than in music.

    I want to hear what the survivors of that generation have to say about their lives now. I want to learn what it’s like to be that age just as I learned from their songs what it was like to be young in the sixties. Whether to rebel against it, or to embrace it, or to simply appreciate it as another point of view I can’t say, but my ears are open and I hear almost nothing. Perhaps that’s my fault, I must admit that I haven’t been making an effort.

    I love this song.

    I love that Bowie is speaking to his current experience. And perhaps my desire to hear that experience of age is the most profound sign that I too am no longer young.

  15. 15
    birgerjohansson

    And today (Tuesday) was the 78th birthday of Elvis. I wonder if he would have tried to develop his music even more, or would he have been content to sing in Las Vegas?

  16. 16
    patterson

    Very surprised, the song is amazing even on my phone’s tiny speakers. It seems to capture that feeling of where did everyone go? That kind of hits you at a certain point in life.

    I’d been reading about how radical this is for Bowie as he doesn’t do nostalgia. I think he has but nostalgia for the world you’ve become alienated from, the world you’d been promised, or nostalgia for how the world should have been. I don’t know how else to describe songs like Five Years, Lady Stardust or Ashes to Ashes.

    And unlike apparently most people I really liked the video. The sadness and ordinariness, and the oldness of Bowie’s face in the drab studio I thought was perfect. Not something you ever really see in video or film. Amazing really.

  17. 17
    moelarryandjesus

    Where has he hidden his horcruxes?

  18. 18
    Kilian Hekhuis

    #14

    Bowie was part of the rebellion against the music of the generation before him. I was a part of the rebellion against his generation’s music

    This begs for evidence. Bowie has, especially in his early years, been looking back at the music before him (Pin Ups being a celebration of it). He may have been seen as a rebel, but did he openly rebel against “the music of the generation before him”? I don’t think so.

    You say you were part of a rebellion. In what way? And what do you call “his generation’s music” when the man has had a career spanning decades?

  19. 19
    Antares42

    Yay, shout-out from a Berliner in exile. Sweet tunes.

    But it’s spelled “Potsdamer Platz”, not “Potzdamer” ;-)

  20. 20
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    I am so getting this album when it comes out.

    I’ve never been a big Bowie fan, but the songs I like, I really really like. This ranks right up there.

    Also, he reminds me of the babe.

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