Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie Dead At 69

Music icon David Bowie passed away just days after releasing his new album Blackstar and celebrating his 69th birthday. It was unexpected to the public, but it was confirmed after that he had been battling cancer for the past 18 months. His wife Iman had posted various messages and pictures in the days leading up to his death.

He began making the album after his cancer diagnosis. The idea of having jazz musicians on the record came when he was in a jazz club and saw some musicians that he liked in mid-2014. The album was confirmed by producer Tony Visconti to be designed as a parting gift to the fans, with Bowie knowing it would be his last. Blackstar was recorded earlier in 2015, yet held off until Bowie knew he was near the end of his life. The hit album is peppered with Jazz music throughout, though it remains a rock album at its core. Bowie also drew inspiration from Kendrick Lamar. 

The music video for his haunting new single "Lazarus" was carefully planned to be released to the public when he was sure he only had a few days left. The lyrics to the song begin as, "Look up here, I'm in heaven!" The whole album is filled with lyrics about mortality, and when it was released a few days ago it was met with acclaim. Yet, none of us took any of the lyrics of the video for "Lazarus" to actually symbolize his fate. 

After a 10 year hiatus from music, he released The Next Day in January 2013 without much advance notice, and followed that up with an EP in the fall. That album was also received well and showed Bowie had reached yet another creative high point. He stayed away from touring though, with his last live performance coming in 2006 at a charity concert with Alicia Keys. 

Bowie was a true innovator right up until the end.

There's a starman waiting in the sky. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ricky Gervais Takes On Mel Gibson

Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes again this year, and of course the censors were ready through the night. He joked about a number of things from <i>The Martian</i> being considered a comedy (because a person being stranded in space, trying not to starve, with impending death on the horizon is a comedy) to the whole Sean Penn/El Chapo thing.

The highlight of the night came when Gervais met Mel Gibson. Gibson was one of the award presenters, so of course Gervais, who joked about him at previous Golden Globes, introduced him. He pulled no punches, having one long sentence bleeped out. The bleeped out line that he asked Gibson directly: "What the fuck does sugar tits mean anyway?" Sugar tits is of course a reference to Gibson's 2006 arrest when he drunkenly called a female cop sugar tits. Watch the awkward yet mesmerizing exchange below.