David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed
Nov21

David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed

David Bowie Nothing Has Changed (3-CD Deluxe Edition) Columbia / Legacy; 2014 By Douglas Wolk  November 20, 2014 8.8 BEST NEW REISSUE To pick a few selected works from an artist’s career is to construct an argument about that artist. Every curator knows that, and David Bowie is nothing if not a curator. The first great Bowie best-of was 1976’s Changesonebowie LP, whose argument was that he was a mamapapa comin’ for you, a rocker too strong and too glittery to be pinned down. (The 1981Changestwobowie LP and the 1990 Changesbowie CD, stabbed in its gut by the dreadful remix “Fame ’90”, tried to extend that premise.) Bowie’s initial attempt at a full-career assessment was the 1989 Sound + Vision box set, revised and updated in 2003. In both forms, it’s a bunch of hits and album tracks and rarities clumped together, an impressive show of range whose failure is that it assumes, rather than argues, that he’s a rock god and that therefore anything he does is interesting. Twenty-five years later, coinciding with an actual touring museum exhibition of the apparatus around his music, Bowie has assembled a new retrospective. Nothing Has Changed—a very sly title, as a riposte to Changesonebowie and “Changes”, especially since it’s also a lyric lifted from his 2002 song “Sunday”—comes in three different versions, each with a cover image of Bowie regarding himself in a mirror. That’s a sharp gesture too: he’s never been shy about his fascination with his own mercurial self, shedding his skin again and again and then carefully preserving it to wriggle into again later. (This is not the first time he’s done the “multiple versions of a greatest-hits set” trick, either: 2002’s Best of Bowie had twenty different track lineups, depending on which country you bought it in.) The weakest of the three versions of Nothing Has Changed is the chronologically sequenced 2xCD version. It’s basically just a slight revision of Best of Bowie, compressed to throw in five later songs including the newly recorded oddity “Sue (or In a Season of Crime)”. The first disc starts with his commercial breakthrough “Space Oddity” and ends with its sequel/repudiation “Ashes to Ashes”, which is a nice bit of symmetry. Mostly, what we get is Bowie as he’s understood by oldies radio, although we’re seven tracks in before he really starts to toughen up (with “Ziggy Stardust”). But the second half of the 2xCD version covers three times as many years as the first, and suggests that Bowie was a temporarily interesting trend-follower whose fade-out has been slowed by his being repeatedly propped up and dragged into modernity by big-name...

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Amanda Palmer Releases Her Book. And You Should Buy It…
Nov13

Amanda Palmer Releases Her Book. And You Should Buy It…

“Everybody struggles with asking for fear of being vulnerable” – Amanda Palmer in The Art of Asking

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