Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  NIGHTSPOTS

David Bowie: A man of sound and vision
Dancing About Architecture
by Marc 'Moose' Moder
2016-01-13

This article shared 2672 times since Wed Jan 13, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Much will be written in the years to come of the life, death and in-between of most influential artist of our time, David Bowie, after this week's news of his passing. The point cannot be made harder that Bowie changed the face of popular music, not once or twice like most superstars, but over his entire career. With abbreviation, here's a brief look at some of the key ways in which the White Duke made a difference in our pop lives.

Electronics and rock

Being one of the first rock starts to embrace electronics, Bowie famously powwowed with producer Brian Eno after hearing Donna Summer's groundbreaking "I Feel Love" while recording his Berlin Trilogy. Electronics incorporated into rock tracks is standard practice now.

Fashion

There was an entire exhibit last year at the MCA based in large part on Bowie's influence on fashion and costume. It was a rarity before Bowie ( see Sgt. Pepper's ) to see artists come out in costume, let alone take on entire characters for an album or single. This versatility and willingness to go outside his comfort zone made it okay for generations of drag queen, trans kids, club kids, and fashion designers to let go of societal norms and discover their inner fashion child.

Age

It was nothing but a number to him. While his contemporaries were happily complacent touring their old material and even abandoning any new material, Bowie kept right on making new, groundbreaking sounds up until the age of 69, and doing it better than kids a third his age. The men of rock could use some of Bowie's balls right about now.

Sound and music

Back when MTV started, there's was a pretty small pool from which channel could choose. Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" was one they played ad nauseam, not just for its great visuals, but because it was before a time when artists automatically did videos. If you go back to the start, Bowie always used the visual medium as well as the audio, helping to create a whole new medium.

Race

Although he was a darling at MTV, Bowie also questioned the behemoth. In an interview with Mark Goodman back in 1982, he pushed Goodman, asking why there were no black artists on MTV, and he wasn't taking Goodman's excuses. That same year, Michael Jackson surfaced with "Billie Jean" and broke down the remaining wall. Even before that, he worked with a young Luther Vandross on "Golden Years," even appearing on Soul Train. He then went on to make an album with R&B artist sand producers Black Tie, White Noise.

Genre

While Bowie did try briefly in the '60s to fit into a pop mold, it was his second album, Space Oddity, that most consider to be his real debut. After that glam masterpiece, he rarely stuck to a sound for more than three albums. He went from glam to soul to gloom/electronic/experimental in the '70s, then turned full pop in the '80s, industrial in the '90s, and then fully experimental in the '00s; Bowie was not going to be what you wanted him to be, unless what you wanted was surprise and artistry. He taught us and other artists that you must challenge to make great art, and never do what's expected.

Sex

He didn't have to tell Melody Maker in 1972 he was bisexual ( a decision he'd later regret ), but he did, and declared his alter ego Ziggy Stardust to be bisexual as well. At that time, sexuality was rarely discussed in private, let alone by a major star in print. Whatever his motive for his revelation, it was a clear bell to those young queer kids like Marc Almond, Neil Tennant and Boy George, along with countless others, that there was more than what is never spoken. It would be decades before it was again okay to be an out pop star, and by now it rarely makes a blip on the radar when it happens, and can often help a queer artist's career ( although not always ).

Volumes could be written about the ways this one man changed our lives, and it might takes us years to sort it out and absorb. Bowie's influence and impact is not just seen in the careers of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Janelle Monae, but in every artist free to be themselves and to reflect their true selves back at you, making us all a little Bowie.


This article shared 2672 times since Wed Jan 13, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Ann Hampton Callaway releases 'Revelation' 2021-05-12
--From a press release - The latest in a string of singles, Ann Hampton Callaway, releases "Revelation", a song she composed to a Robert Frost poem which she kept in her jeans pocket when she was a teenager. Callaway wrote the ...


Gay News

Tina Turner, The Go-Go's among 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees 2021-05-12
- The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame revealed its 2021 inductees, calling this class "the most diverse list of inductees in the history of the organization." In the Performer category, inductees include The Go-Go's, Tina Turner, ...


Gay News

Jody Watley: Conversation with an icon 2021-05-09
- Singer Jody Watley has been many things during her illustrious career, including an activist, fashion plate—but, most certainly, a musician. Among her many achievements in that latter area are a Grammy win; a Lifetime Achievement Award ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Tig Notaro, films, E. Lynn Harris, Nick Jonas 2021-05-09
- Emmy- and Grammy-nominated stand-up comedian Tig Notaro (HBO's Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted), will return to HBO this summer with the first-ever fully animated stand-up special, HBO announced. The special ...


Gay News

Citadel Theatre to return in fall with a four-show 2021-22 season 2021-05-08
--From a press release - LAKE FOREST, IL - Citadel Theatre Company will return to live, in-person, indoor performances in September with a season of four productions — three plays plus the company's traditional holiday musical - according to Artistic Director ...


Gay News

Ravinia Festival announces 2021 summer programming 2021-05-06
--From a press release - HIGHLAND PARK, IL — The Ravinia Festival, under the direction of its new President and CEO Jeffrey P. Haydon, announced the concert schedule for 2021 today, celebrating the reopening of the park for the first time ...


Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot, DCASE announce Chicago summer events 2021-05-06
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Choose Chicago, and Chicago's cultural community today announced "Open Culture" — the next phase of ...


Gay News

Northalsted plans to hold Market Days Aug. 6-8 2021-05-04
- The Northalsted Business Alliance plans to host Market Days August 6-8, adding a Friday night edition, the first in its 38-year history. As vaccinations increase and Illinois begins planning for stage 5 reopening, organizers of the ...


Gay News

Heather Headley to headline Goodman Theatre's May 22 virtual gala 2021-05-03
- Goodman Theatre announced that Tony-winning Broadway actor and Grammy Award-winning singer Heather Headley will headline the company's "Together Center Stage" virtual 2021 gala fundraiser. "Together Center Stage" is slated to stream Saturday, May 22, ...


Gay News

Jeannie Tanner show at City Winery on May 20 2021-05-03
- On Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m., City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St., will host the first in-person performance of "3 Martini Jeannie." Throughout the pandemic, every Friday at 5 p.m., Tanner celebrated the close ...


Gay News

Vintage House show honoring Chicago House Music with DJ Lori Branch May 5 2021-05-03
--From a press release - Chicago, IL. May 3, 2021. Paving the way for every DJ behind her, DJ Lori Branch is continuously receiving flowers for her talents and dedication to music. Currently, through May, Spotify (spotify.com/chicago) billboards highlighting Chicago music ...


Gay News

Windy City Smokeout to return July 8-11 2021-04-29
- The outdoor country-music/BBQ festival Windy City Smokeout will return to Chicago on July 8-11 outside the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. Hosted by BBQ joint Bub City and the venue Joe's Bar, the event will ...


Gay News

Pride in the Park' on June 26-27 2021-04-29
- There will be at least one big LGBTQ+ event in Chicago this summer. Pride in the Park is slated to take place June 26-27 in Grant Park. It will be 2-10 p.m. on June 26, and 3-10 p.m. the following day. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Joe Exotic' series, Luther Vandross, singer's announcement, star couples 2021-04-25
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch's John Cameron Mitchell has been tapped to play the title character opposite Kate McKinnon in the series Joe Exotic (working title), Deadline reported. The limited series centers on Carole Baskin (McKinnon), ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Brandi Carlile, 'Legendary,' children's book, film festival, Janet Mock 2021-04-18
- Lesbian musician Brandi Carlile memoir, Broken Horses, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a press release announced. In addition to the hardback book, a very special audiobook edition of the ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.