The greatest image manipulator of all time is back. The man who wrote the book about staying ahead of the game has a new album. The man who tried to bend art to fit pop, with mixed results, has folks running up their own arses all over again. Easy isn't it Dave? Been doing it all your life, running around looking at what the outsiders are doing, knocking off the rough edges and selling it to the people. You see, some people are so gullible that if you call it art it is art.
Hide away for awhile and start the speculation: is he doing a Garbo? Or is he dead?
Suddenly release a single without fanfare and make a video that makes as much sense as the Ashes to Ashes video... so it must be serious, deep, art.
Follow it up with a video featuring international queen of pretension Tilda Swinton and some Europeans we're supposed to know the names of but don't and therefore realise we are cultural deserts waiting for Dave to irrigate us. Just in case some folks weren't watching at the time make the video a remake of something David Lynch left twitching on the cutting room floor 20 years ago.
Or is that deliberate? Who cares?
Dave's a lovely bloke, full of life and humour. But you'd never know it. Funny Dave prefers us to see serious Dave because it makes him less human, a trick learned from arch comedians Kraftwerk.
And it's a trick that trips otherwise sensible people into writing nonsense...you know who you are, don't do it again, stuff that could fill pseuds corner for the rest of eternity.
It's pop music OK?
And some people are very good at it, and the game that goes with it. Bowie is one of the best. As are Kraftwerk. They make clever people look stupid by inviting them to jump off the cliffs of pretension - gigs in art galleries? Then it must be art and must be written about with different words that make me look very clever while the 'artist' sniggers behind his hand and counts the takings.
As somebody once said of Zaphod Beeblebrox, "He's just this guy you know?"
David Bowie, he's not the messiah, but he is a very clever boy, and most critics aren't.
Tom Artrocker Fawcett
Editor in Chief Artrocker Magazine
After a Christmas made memorable not by angelic faces carolling in the snow but by rain and novovirus I for one am happy to bid farewell to the whole damn thing. Only the inevitability of its returning 12 months or so hence brings a small cloud into my otherwise perfect sky. But after yet another Yuletide spent sniffling around the TV I've decided that, as far as the Artrocker household goes Christmas will be celebrated this year in July. Admittedly that isn't going to preclude the rain if the last two summers are anything to go by, but spontaneous up-chucking and howling winds would probably be less likely, probably. Whoever it was (I'm looking at you Vatican Council) who decided to plonk our one annual bean feast in the middle of winter didn't live in Blighty that's for sure. It's the only thing that could ever make me cast an envious eye on Australia, but it would take a lot more than that to make me ever consider actually living there. God put Australia at the other side of the world for good reason, to hide it. He never expected a bunch of Polynesians to stumble across it while out shopping and he never foresaw Captain Cook setting foot on that blasted earth and doing anything other than purchasing a return tout de suite.
So we're all back at the Rock face, banging away at the old keyboard, trying to work out what it was that we did at the office party that makes the intern giggle every time she catches the eye. And like a rocket of relief here comes Artrocker to lighten up the dull skies with our New Blood Festival, six nights kicking off tomorrow at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen. And you can get a ticket for the whole damn thing, 24 bands, for a tenner LINK WORD!here
If you can't make it console yourself with our latest Django Django clad issue here.
And don't forget our Gary Numan special app for tablets, it's a cracker, available from Apple for iPad here, Google Play for Android devices etc LINK WORD! here (?) and from the Amazon store for Kindle Fire HD any minute now. Even in Australia.
OK, I'm done plugging. You can look now.
Here's to another year together
Woke up this morning...at about 6am with a bursting bladder, put the radio onto 5live Sport Extra to see how we're doing in the fourth test against India and heard Jonathan Agnew giving the latest score: "Swann 17, Root 66".
Woke up this morning...to a world wrapped in rain. But it will stop, apparently, in time for our free Christmas Party at The Old Blue Last next week. And there may be snow for our New Blood Festival in January.
Woke up this morning...to find Nick Clegg talking sense about drugs and nonsense about everything else.
Woke up this morning...with a cat asleep on my head.
Woke up this morning...and headed out to buy a Christmas tree. For the first time ever I plumped for an artificial one. The family will collectively plotz when they find out.
Woke up this morning...and accidentally drove through a massive puddle, soaking several pedestrians. Sorry!
Woke up this morning...Thank God
Last week I mentioned that I'd never been to LA, and the people of the city of angels proved themselves to be angels indeed. I received several offers to show me around and one offer of a bed. So that's my mind made up, I'm off there just as soon as I can build up the energy for the marathon fight.
Los Angelenos have proved themselves to be generous to a fault.
Now then, since I seem to be on onto a good thing allow me to mention that I've never been to; Jamaica, The Maldives or Brazil...
But I have visited London's green belt. In a country where only 1% of the available land is built on, in a country that is dependent on the south east for wealth creation, the green belt has become a tightly laced corset that threatens to squeeze us to death. Conceived as London's lungs the present day reality is that it is agriculturally defunct and is now an excuse for home county nimbies to exclude we urbanites and preserve their view. These are the same nimbies who send planes across central London rather than have their hens disturbed. The green belt is in the way. Pretending that we are still a nation of farmers is in the way. When I see thousands of acres of unproductive fields sitting there doing nothing but looking quaint and then think of the desperate need for more London housing it makes me fume. We're being held ransom by the green wellie brigade at a time when we need growth.
I say build on it, build Boris Island, build HS2, build for our children and bequeath them a future. The past, and the wax jacket brigade, can take care of themselves.
Until we come for them.
Not that long ago Eddie Argos was seriously considering a move to LA. Having thought about it he decided against the west coast and opted for Germany instead.
Gary Numan has just moved there, you can read about it in our Numan Special out next week.
Artrocker Editor Marc Sallis is living there.
The Artcic Monkeys are rumoured to be considering the move.
But this lifetime Beach Boys fan has never been to LA. I've done The Big Apple and found it to be boring, safe and bourgeois, Manhattan anyway. I've studied my Kerouac and can conjure up visions of Big Sur, I can picture Death Valley and imagine the view of San Francisco harbour, The Big Bang Theory has taught me about Pasadena and The Wilson brothers made Hawthorn come alive. I know from discussions with Marc and The Pet Shop Boys where the hipster areas of LA are (hello Silverlake) and I know how the marijuana laws work there (a damned sight better than they do here). There is every reason for me to go there...But I don't. Why? I have no idea.
But as of now I'm seriously considering a holiday in LA. Once The Artrocker Awards are sorted on December 7th, (voting still open), I just might head over.
I just might get Californiacated.
Artrocker is back with its June issue - number 130, which is available to everyone right now! **** Miles Kane talks suits **** Echo & The Bunneymen's Will Sergeant talks about a new project **** Joe Boyd talks Nick Drake **** All the regular new blood action with the likes of Wampire and Wolf Alice **** Loads of reviews and more!
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