Video Grab Bag: David Bowie

Several years ago, at the end of a long conversation about Elvis Presley, and specifically the world’s response to his death, a friend of mine asked me: “Who’s our Elvis? Whose death will stop the world like his?”

We mulled and debated and left the question open.

At 1:30 this morning I rolled over and checked the Internet and got the answer.

I texted the friend this afternoon, to say: This is it. Our Elvis has died.

David Bowie has left us, and I have to tell y’all, I don’t even know where to start. At the beginning, I guess, or what was the beginning for me: Dance Magic Dance from Labyrinth:

David Bowie "DANCE MAGIC" Labyrinth Music Video

I don’t remember when I first heard Let’s Dance, title track of the 1983 record, but it has always been one of my favorites. Here he is singing it, as well as one other song that comes first, with Tina Turner:

Tina Turner & David Bowie - Let's Dance [Official Music Video]

Jumping backwards a little bit, this is Beauty and the Beast, from Heroes (1977), which I stumbled over probably ten years ago, and half a story fell fully formed into my head. I still haven’t written it down, but it’s there.

David Bowie Beauty and the Beast Live Bremen 1978 HQ & Rare

Space Oddity, from David Bowie (1969) has always made me sad, and now, even more so:

David Bowie – Space Oddity (Official Video)

On a lighter note: Starman, from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), and David Bowie in full androgynous effect:

David Bowie - Starman (1972) HD 0815007

And finally, Blackstar, from the record released just days ago, because David Bowie was an uncompromising beautiful weirdo right up to the end, and we should all strive to reach his level:

David Bowie - Blackstar

Rest in peace, good sir. We shall miss you very much.

Video Grab Bag: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears were the 2nd opening act at the Flogging Molly show I went to earlier this week, and they were excellent. Because of a combination of factors (being late because of school and mysterious venue shenanigans) I only got to hear maybe two and a half songs, but those two and a half songs were amazing.

I’d say about 25% of the room was dancing – including me, I was totally doing a slow twist-frug with a stranger – 25% of the room was at least swaying and clapping appreciatively and the rest of them I guess either wanted Flogging Molly or nothing at all or might be dead inside.

Anyway. Here are some videos, as an introduction. Some of these songs are a little slow, but I assure you that live, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears are an electrifying jazzy-funk sensation.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Sugarfoot

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Livin' In The Jungle

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - I'm Broke

Video Grab Bag: Panic! at the Disco, Christina Perri, Industries of the Blind and Empires

This video for Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind), Panic! at the Disco‘s second single off of their new record Vices & Virtues, just came out yesterday, and, you guys, I really just love it so much. Not only is it a great song (turn it up!), but the video is beautifully shot and lit AND there is fabulous choreography. There are also fun costumes, because the whole thing is a visual tribute to musicals, including Grease, Mary Poppins and Singin’ in the Rain. Oh and also SOMEONE GETS SHOT OUT OF A CANNON. It is just delicious.


Panic! At The Disco: Ready To Go [OFFICIAL VIDEO]


Continuing with the movie theme, this is the lyric video for Arms, from the upcoming lovestrong by Christina Perri, which features words “projected” onto old-fashioned movie screens. I’ve already confessed to typography nerdery; what I especially like about this one is the way the letters shuffle and jump and sometimes arrive as snarled little knots that then expand into words and phrases.


Christina Perri - Arms [Official Lyric Video]


Next up is music that sounds like it should be in movies, from Industries of the Blind. This video is a teaser trailer for their upcoming record Chapter 1, and so doesn’t contain a full song. It does, however, give you the chance to see all nine (!) of them in action. I haven’t yet had the chance to see them live, but once this semester is over and law school (temporarily) stops interfering with my social life, I’m going to venture out to Brooklyn and catch one of their shows. In the meantime I put it on while I’m working on writing projects, because it is perfect for making all of the other noise in my head settle down so I can focus and concentrate on the task at hand.


Industries of the Blind - Chapter 1 promo


And in conclusion, a band that I hope gets their Hollywood ending: that’s right, Empires, the little rock band that could/band of my heart, has made it all the way to Round Three of the Rolling Stone cover contest. If they make it to Round Four, they have a shot at playing a battle-of-the-bands style show with the other finalist at Bonnaroo,  and, of course, being on the cover of Rolling Stone.  As an enticement to vote for them as often as you can before the contest closes on May 13, I submit TWO new videos for songs written and recorded during the contest, Night is Young and Hard Times. There is also a third song, Hells Heroes, which is available for free from their website. If you join their mailing list while you’re there, you’ll periodically get epistles addressed “Dear Scholars,” which is one of the very many reasons this band is the band of my heart.