“Yet another thread unraveling from the very fabric of society.”

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Legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen passed away on November 10, 2016.

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love

The Crack In Everything Widens: A Dirge For Leonard Cohen By Sezin Koehler

Photo from: www.leonardcohen.com

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Hate is such a strong word, Mr. Fry

A spirited response to comedian Stephen Fry’s contrary confession

On hearing English writer and comedian Stephen Fry express his strong dislike of dancing, Los Angeles-based filmmaker and dancer Jo Roy responded in the most appropriate way she could: through the medium of interpretive dance. In a film likely to make the outspoken Brit shudder, the choreographer and director filmed herself performing a moving reaction to his energetic outburst.

 

Watch it here: I Hate Dancing

 

 

David Bowie 1947-2016

DavidBowie-portrait

The first time I saw David Bowie, he was staring back at me from the record cover of ‘Hunky Dory.’ Someone had left the record on an upright piano in a hall while I was away at summer camp, and before I first heard ‘Changes’ and ‘Life on Mars?,’ I was perplexed by this strange man who looked like a woman. It would have been very early in my childhood, but it was to have a lasting influence in my thinking about music.

Billy Bragg, a voice of reason in all the noise, said it is “… not only the timing of his death and that fact that he was 69 that links Alan Rickman to David Bowie … both were working class kids from council estates who went to art school where they gained enough confidence in their own creativity that they were able to go on to find fame and fortune … The social mobility that Rickman and Bowie experienced is increasingly stifled.”

That would truly be a shame, because the world needs more people like David Bowie and Alan Rickman.

Starman. Life on Mars. Space Oddity. Heroes. Ashes to Ashes. Under Pressure. Let’s Dance. Modern Love. Black Star. So many songs, sounds and visions. His career spanned six decades.

heroes

Perhaps his shape-shifting nature was what made him so popular. Perhaps it was his extensive collaboration with musicians and vocalists (some with successful results-think Freddie Mercury, others less so-think Mick Jagger). Perhaps it was the staying power of someone who met with failure and bounced back, wrestling with personal demons and using music as catharsis.

He captured people’s imagination in a way that made it all right to be different. In fact, he actually made it cool to be different from the norm and challenge the status quo. According to Annie Lennox, Bowie was “…a quintessential visionary, pushing the limits of his shape-shifting persona. The ultimate iconoclast – gracious, dangerous and legendary.”

He was a black star, but only because we live in a world in which all the characters, as David Bowie’s imagination created them, could exist, however alien. He will continue to inspire as the music lives on. We can be heroes, but only if we can be ourselves, allow young people to imagine, and create visions that resonate and transcend beyond the prosaic realities of life.

Starman – 1972

Ashes to Ashes – 1980

 

Chris Hadfield singing Space Oddity (revised) in Space – 2013

Melodians Steel Orchestra – The Man Who Sold the World for Jeremy Deller’s English Magic – 2014

Blackstar – 2016

References:

Hitt, Carolyn (January 16, 2016) Working class heroes Bowie and Rickman were forging their career paths at a time when the arts were seen as a necessity rather than a luxury, Wales Online

 

Go out and start creating! Share your passion!

If you haven’t come across this whole manifesto thing already, it is worth consideration, though I have to admit I didn’t buy a copy of it at $36.00 a pop. I do, however, like the messages for the most part, so I am posting it on this blog. I think we often make life a lot more complicated than it needs to be, and if we followed some of this advice the world would be a better place.

5 ways to be more grateful

Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia dies at 66

Paco-de-Lucia-jpg

“My father and all my brothers played guitar, so before I picked it up, before I could speak, I was listening. Before I started to play, I knew every rhythm of the flamenco. I knew the feeling and the meaning of the music, so when I started to play, I went directly to the sound I had in my ear.”

 

 

World-renowned Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia has died aged 66 

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Arcade Fire’s Reflektor is the latest track off their upcoming LP, which is out by the end of October. Never a stranger to ideas of philosophical complexity, including death and the horror that is the suburbs, the song suggests that we are just projecting mirror images on rock stars. This is not a new idea, but one that asks an important question: What is a rock band anyway but a collection of our shared projections? Like a mirror ball.

In the video we are forced to confront the big-headed notion that we have projected our own ideas on Arcade Fire. They are wearing masks, of course, and they are looking into the reflecting water, just like Narcissus and reflecting our own fears back at us. In the Greek myth, Narcissus falls in love with his own image in the water–his reflection. In the myth, he dies.

It’s also a great dance song, and it’s catchy in the way that Daft Punk’s Get Lucky is catchy. But it’s just a reflector…don’t just fall in love with the reflections of reflections.

If you want a more interactive experience, check out the Just a Reflektor website, which is very impressive.