The Food and Wine Hedonist

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A Palate-Cleansing David Bowie Tribute

When David Bowie died last month, I was on the fence about whether to pay tribute to him here.   On one hand, his music meant a great deal to me during high school and college, those formative years when many try to figure out their identity. I would drive people crazy with how much I listened to him.   I used to pick up the needle on my turntable and put it back at the beginning of the record over and over again– aka “The Old School Repeat Button”.

On the other hand, I wasn’t sure any post I would’ve written would do his legacy any justice. Especially in light of all of the amazing tributes I saw on other blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.   I didn’t see any good ones on Google Plus, though. Mainly because I’m not one of the four people still using Google Plus.

In the end, there was another reason why I did NOT do a David Bowie tribute. Laziness.

But something happened earlier this week that changed my mind. I felt compelled to balance out that huge, monstrous, steaming pile of shit that was Lady Gaga’s tribute to him on the Grammy’s.

 

In case you stopped playing the video a few seconds into it (and I wouldn’t blame you), she performs a six-minute medley of a dozen or so of his songs.

In general, I think she’s immensely talented and I’m a fan of her music. But this was bad. Really bad. I couldn’t get over how awful she sounded. When she wasn’t putting on this weird voice affectation that didn’t sound like her or Bowie, she was yelling lyrics off-key.

She was in full-on Bowie mode with her makeup, costume, and wig as she took turns prowling stage, playing keyboards, prancing, and dancing.   It wasn’t so much a retrospective of his career, but more of a giant self-indulgent “Hey look at me, I’m Lady Gaga and I can do THIS and now watch me do THIS” moment.

Bowie’s career was notable for his willingness and ability to transcend music. Not just changing his musical style, but also taking on different personas along the way.  It was like musical theater.   To be kind, I suppose she was trying to showcase all those different facets of his career.   But to me his music was strong enough to stand on its own without all the theatrics.   Someone could’ve just sang one of his songs while sitting on a wooden stool in jeans and a t-shirt and still moved people. But again, that’s not very Gaga, it it?

She wasn’t alone in milking Bowie’s image and legacy for self-promotion. The beginning of the video featured special effects that digitally put make-up on her that changed as an homage to various Bowie personas.

twice.com

twice.com

 

The effects were courtesy of the magic of Intel, which Intel has not hesitated to mention over and over again.

 

Bowie’s son didn’t like the performance, either.   He used the definition of the term “gaga” itself – irrational, mentally confused.   I guess that happens when you try to fit a dozen songs into six minutes.   It also meant a whole 10 seconds devoted to “Changes,” a song that better sums up his career than the Lady Gaga self-indulgent spectacle.

Since Lady Gaga couldn’t whittle her list of favorite Bowie songs to a manageable few, I will.   Enjoy!

 

Changes

 

Heroes

 

Under Pressure

 

Rebel Rebel

 

and my favorite – Starman

 

 

Yes, I know those are some of the most popular ones and possibly very overplayed.   And there are a ton of others that are worth mentioning.

 

Did you catch her performance on Monday? What was your favorite Bowie song?

 

 

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

7 comments on “A Palate-Cleansing David Bowie Tribute

  1. Yinzerella
    February 19, 2016

    I’m a Gaga fan. She’s incredibly talented. Whoever threw together that medley should be put in time out.

    I think she should have worn the gorgeous outfit she wore on the red carpet–it was Bowie-inspired but not an imitation and sat at the piano and did one song really, really, really well. My choice would be “Life on Mars.”

    That is also tied for my favorite Bowie song with “Modern Love.”

  2. Peggy Isaacs
    February 19, 2016

    “Self-indulgent”. You hit the nail on the head.

  3. anotherfoodieblogger
    February 19, 2016

    Even though Bowie had many many newer and great songs, I’ve always been a fan of Space Oddity, which I affectionately refer to as Major Tom. And I agree with your assessment of the “gaga” performance. I was fortunate enough to see Bowie in Austin while in college. That was the Serious Moonlight tour, and Stevie Ray Vaughan was supposed to be the lead guitarist but something got screwed up and it didn’t happen. And then he up and died on us before I ever had a chance to see him again! (I did see him earlier in Austin.)

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      February 19, 2016

      I’m guessing Stevie got screwed up.. I don’t think he was clean at that stage of his career. Very jealous you got to see him.

  4. Pingback: Oscars 2016: My Thoughts on Snubs and Best Song Prediction | The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on February 19, 2016 by in Music, Television and tagged , , , , .
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