Category Archives: Rebel Rebel

Uplit – An Update!

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UpLit, a vintage rooftop-style installation features the phrase, “Can you stand perfectly still and hold this moment open? by poet Silvia CurbeloThe installation was part of Lights On Tampa, a program developed by the City of Tampa’s Art Programs Division, in conjunction with regional businesses, volunteers, and art supporters. Norman B was invited to be one of the three jurors who selected the UpLit installation. The requirement for submissions was a simple, phrase that can capture the essence of something or some place, it could elude, evoke, suggest and inspire. The idea was  to encounter a phrase or words out of context in the streets of a city park that invite the passer-by to remember a story, give the element of surprise, start a conversation, bring a smile or encouragement, make a memory, perhaps invite us in, but into what we may not be exactly sure. “There were a lot of submissions to wade through”, say Norman B, “but Silvia Curbelo‘s phrase caught my attention immediately.” The project recognizes the value of the written word and invited readers, poets, writers—professional and amateur alike—to submit a phrase that captures how we live now and what that means. Curbelo says of her UpLit work, “I had been thinking about the concept of happiness – how hard we chase it; how tirelessly we work for it; how it’s always ahead; or, something to look forward to down the road. But, that road is long. It’s hard to be content and at peace when we’re always in motion. By the time we come to understand and appreciate a place or an experience, it’s already behind us.” Since we first mentioned UpLit in a post back in February, 2015, we have noticed an incredible number of “hits” on this site, so we thought it worth mentioning again and letting visitors know that currently, UpLit can be found along the Tampa Riverwalk at the Tampa Convention Center. The best advantage point is crossing the West Platt Street bridge, heading east to Channelside Drive.

Our recent interviews with and about musicians has generated tremendous interest in the Life Elsewhere archives. To hear Norman B’s conversations again, with Wreckless Eric, Carrie AkreGlyn JohnsChris O’Leary on his book Rebel Rebel about the songs of David BowieMartin AtkinsGary Wright and many more, go to info@lifeelsewhere.co

Life Elsewhere airs Sundays, at 12 noon ET on The Source WMNF HD3 and Mondays, at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

A Lad Insane?

Aladinsane

“Pop music is acting: it always has been. Yet only David Bowie got the rap for being rock’s pantomime artiste, its greatest pretender. He happily owned up to the charge, calling himself “The Actor” on the sleeve of Hunky Dory, “the faker” in “Changes.” Today, with Bowie a cross-national cultural icon (one can imagine his face on a Euro note someday), it may be hard to believe he was once considered the epitome of weedy English decadence. That he was seen as a fraud, as an affront to the “realness” of Sixties rock and roll. That he was suspect. He agreed with his critics, of course. There had never been so self-conscious an act as Bowie’s  in pop before. In part this was because he’d had such a lengthy incubation, as a marginal act in the mid-Sixties — it’s still strange to realize his first single predates A Hard Day’s Night — and as a struggling folkie and rocker at the turn of the decade. Bowie spent the Sixties in the audience, standing in the corner of a club or perched off stage, always taking mental notes. There was something unique about Bowie, in his assimilative capabilities (and his pack-rat instincts), in his way of imagining himself as his own audience, and so working to entertain himself, first and foremost. And his long internship made him a consummate pro, ready to grab opportunities.” This is from the introduction to Rebel Rebel a fascinating new book by talented author Chris O’Leary, who cleverly details with wit and dedication all of David Bowie’s recorded output from his first single in 1964 to Station to Station. Make sure you don’t miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere, when Chris O’Leary joins Norman B to explore Rebel Rebel and play samples of rare and obscure David Bowie recordings and ask if he really was Aladdin Sane.

Life Elsewhere airs Sundays, at 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  and Mondays, at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Make sure you check out the cultural links at BACK.

Life Elsewhere is now available at Soundcloud

 

Bowie – Song By Song

Young Bowie

Have you ever heard Cygnet Committee  or Alternative Candidate? Two songs, most fans of the man who wrote Space Oddity  are probably not familiar with. Those two rarities, along with Space Oddity,  Man Who Sold the WorldStation To Station  and many more are featured in a new book, Rebel Rebel. This exhaustive and fascinating publication covers David Bowie’s output from first his single in 1964 to Station To Station, his landmark album of 1976. This is volume  one, of what will be the entire discography of Bowie’s recorded work.  Author Chris O’Leary, a past guest on Life Elsewhere, digs deep into the history of each Bowie song, scrupulously examining every one, with a break down of who recorded it, who played on it and produced it, when it was played live or broadcast on TV or radio. He also provides critical interpretations of Bowie’s music and lyrics, as well as how Bowie’s  personal history and cultural trends collided to inspire a particular song, whether it was Tibetan Buddhism, the Apollo moon landing, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four or Philadelphia Soul.

“There had never been so self-conscious an act as Bowie’s in pop before,” writes Chris O’Leary, he continues, “Only the prosperous, youthheady, pop music emporia that was Britain and America in the Sixties and Seventies could have produced Bowie the rock musician. Had he come early in the 20th Century, he would have been a painter or a music hall performer; had he come today, he’d likely be writing for Image Comics.”

Die-hard fans, music lovers and everyone interested in popular culture cannot miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere, when Chris O’Leary will join Norman B to unravel the facts, explain the real stories and play rarities of David Bowie songs.

Life Elsewhere airs Sundays, at 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  and Mondays, at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Make sure you check out the cultural links at BACK.

Life Elsewhere is now available at Soundcloud