David Bowie's Low (33 1/3 Series) by Hugo Wilcken

By Hugo Wilcken

"One day I blew my nostril and part my brains got here out."<B>Los Angeles, 1976. David Bowie is holed up in his Bel-Air mansion, drifting into drug-induced paranoia and confusion. passionate about black magic and the Holy Grail, he's equipped an altar within the lounge and retains his fingernail clippings within the refrigerator. There are occasional journeys out to go to his good friend Iggy Pop in a psychological establishment. His most up-to-date album is the cocaine-fuelled Station To Station (Bowie: "I understand it used to be recorded in l. a. simply because I learn it was"), which welds R&B rhythms to lyrics that blend the occult with a craving for Europe, after 3 mad years within the New World.<B><B>Bowie has lengthy been haunted by means of the angst-ridden, emotional paintings of the Die Brucke flow and the Expressionists. Berlin is their religious domestic, and after a chaotic global journey, Bowie adopts this urban as his new sanctuary. instantly he units to paintings on Low, his personal expressionist mood-piece.

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70-71. , 71. —your son Jakie! Papa Rabinowitz: I’ll teach him better than to debase the voice God gave him! Mother Rabinowitz: But Papa—our boy, he does not think like we do. Papa Rabinowitz: First he will get a whipping! Jakie Rabinowitz: If you whip me again, I’ll run away—and never come back! ] —The Jazz Singer, 1927 Talkies and the Fading of Vaudeville hen Chicago’s Essanay Film Studios premiered its silent short “The Dark Romance of a Tobacco Tin” in 1911 (a comedy short about a White man’s “great surprise” at finding the girl he’s about to marry is “a Negro”), the film was most likely a small portion of a vaudeville show, preceded by dancing, blackface musical and comedy skits, contortionists, and finally music to accompany the film.

It is during this period in which he made his truly remarkable body of recordings for Paramount, as leader of his own hotand-ragged washboard band. There’s really no other body of work quite like it. At the time of his untimely death, in 1928, he was at the height of his popularity in Chicago. Given a little more time, who knows where it might have led? 127 101 Howard Reich and William Gaines, Jelly’s Blues (Da Capo Press, 2003), 233. , 237-238. , 86. , xi-xiv (preface). , 245-247. , xiii & 249.

Owner of Marsh Laboratories, the studio where many of Paramount’s records were recorded beginning in 1923. Some called him a recording genius (he did have two recording device patents, one for a microphone suspended inside an acoustical horn). Others weren’t so sure. The man made a mess of things sometimes. The production quality on many of the Paramount records is very poor—it wasn’t just the shellac recipe. On the acoustical recordings made early on, sometimes the instruments are too soft, sometime it’s the singer’s voice.

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