David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie’s “Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars” was influential in it’s era that it delivered a style of music that was still not common at that time. Music in the 1970’s was still lead by the pop groups that spilled in from the 60’s. Ziggy Stardust protruded glam rock and was conceptually composed and performed none of which many mainstream artists were doing.  The lyrics as well as the instrumentation were in concept with the Alien world. Their manner of dress added on to the performances. Jack Brady quotes in his article “The Last Influence of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust”: ” While the album is certainly the grandest spectacle of glam rock ever produced, within it lies the nascent origins of countless other genres. From its aggression and distortion, punk, from its romance and synthesizer melodies new wave, and yet more important than any of its theatrics or sounds, were the questions the album posed to the consciousness of rock n roll.”

The layers and intensity of conceptualism within this album has influenced many artists today in every level of artistry and performance.  You will find today that many artists still practice this manner of performing with extravagant wardrobe, hair, and make-up to accompany their music. Lady GaGa is a perfect example of that. David Bowie expressed how, with his troubles as an artist, he created Ziggy Stardust. This grew to be his alter ego expressing all the expectations that come with being a rock star. Ziggy Stardust was not only a persona, but came with an alternate reality that developed in his songs and on stage performances to better express his conflicts. In comparison to Ziggy Stardust modern band, Radiohead, had also delivered a similar style in their albums “OK Computer” and “Kid A”. Even in the Nine Inch Nails “Year Zero” you can see a similar style influence in the world they’ve created about apocalyptic and political ideas. This then became interactive with they’re fans as they were collecting clues for a secret prize. This is brilliant. This is how the idea of Ziggy Stardust grew into today’s musical performances. It’s opened the door to many possibilities whereby fans will continuously dive into a world where they are consumed by the artists and their music. It helps one escape the common days of life to live in the surreal moments of the music they so favor.

The impression Ziggy Stardust made on me? Well, I wish I was Ziggy Stardust, simply put. Or rather, I wish I was in the position David Bowie was in, despite his trials and tribulations, and experiences he faced that brought about Ziggy Stardust. He had the power and resources to create such a character and be that character. He had the freedom to be Ziggy and take his self-expression to a whole new level leaving a mark in music history. I hope to make a mark like this and also take it to another level as Trent Reznor did with “Year Zero”. It’s important to develop new ways to interact with your fans, especially with today’s technology and dismissive media.

The Korg MS20

Electronic Music Innovations

The Korg MS20 is an affordable and portable little synthesizer, which Korg released in 1978. This was the upgrade from the MS10, which only had one oscillator, the MS20 having two oscillators.

 The MS20 was an alternative to the MiniMoog and was more accessible to the starving artists of its time. Though, it’s sound was said to be much weaker than the MiniMoog, it has been used by many artists such as Depeche Mode, William Orbit and Daft Punk. The MS20 still possesses a wide range of sounds and is customizable. The MS20 was also used the Levi’s Commercial for Flat Eric and has since then been in demand. In”40 Years of Korg Gear” they quoted: “ This was the first Korg to offer patch memories and, to this day, it remains the only analogue, semi-modular, fully polyphonic, microprocessor-controlled synth.”

Today, the MS20 use is popular in electronic and experimental music to create very moody sounds, ambient, and tweaked out pink noise; Popular in artists such as Royksopp, Portishead, Jean-Michel Jarre and The Shamen to name a few more.

 

It was interesting researching this Korg. I didn’t know much about it and a lot of the articles help a lot of technical information. I own a Korg 01/WFD. Soemone gave it to me as a gift and I thought to myself, why? It’s so outdated. It’s been sitting in my studio and I have yet to use it. I guess you can say I’ve been a little intimidated., as well. However, these articles have opened up a few doors in my mind on what the Korg products can do and hopefully soon I will be able to put them to the test. To hear that the vintage Korgs are coming back in fashion gives me hope for my experimental music.

Kraftwerk

In the 1970’s, Kraftwerk made their history as a successful electronic band. Led by Ralf Hutter and Florian Schnieider, Kraftwerk kept the clean cut and cookie-cutter image that was so popular in it’s time, however, listening to the album, they proved to have many layers in uniqueness and complexity, yet minimalistic, in their style of music; experimental, mechanical sounds, and conceptual journeys (both musically and visually), exuding simplistic, monotone, and futuristic tracks far ahead of it’s time.

Autobahn (1974) was the first to set a standard in electronic music and grew throughout Germany, the UK, and spilling into the U.S. Radio-Aktivitat (1976) came after that as an accompaniment, both using the artwork with a traffic cone on the cover of the albums. Trans Europe Express (1977) All three albums delivered an industrial and machine-like quality, using sounds from the working world as music. Trains, cars, machines, are a few examples, as well as created sounds with their synthesizers for a futuristic sound. Die Mensch-Machine (1978) was the fourth album before they went into a three-year hibernation, and with a number one single, “The Model”. Computerwel was released in 1981. By this time, everyone was hip to these computerized sounds.

From Kraftwerk emerged, disco, R&B, dance, and techno music. Even pop music had taken a turn in the late 1970’s. Artists such as David Bowie and New Order were paying tribute to Kraftwerk and sampling of their sounds is still being practiced today.

Kraftwerk lead the way through many genres of music we hear today. I am a huge fan of electronic music and of Kraftwerk. Visually and audibly, I am very inspired by their work. I would like to be in that position one day where I can experiment more with sounds, and deliver something of quality, and ahead of my time. Nearly everything has been done by these groundbreaking artists and I often wonder where I have a place in this industry.

Peer Comments

tinsybear says:

Thank you for sharing this entry and the information you provided for “Pet Sounds”. I like how included the struggles Brian Wilson face during the making of this album, and especially the nervous breakdown he experienced which caused him to stay behind to make music while the rest of the band toured. I failed to include the condition Brian Wilson was in during the making of “Pet Sounds”, so this fact was very informative. With this inclusion, it helped me to better understand the “why” of the album as I had already learned about the “how”.
This blog entry was very well written and had a very nice flow to it. I only wish I could read more on how it was an influence on you growing up and how it influences you in your musical craft today.

https://raymondeolivier.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/pet-sounds/comment-page-1/#comment-1

tinsybear

Thank you for sharing such a great and informative entry on Kraftwerk. This was a very well written post and the words roll well off the tongue. “Illusive white rabbit of the electronic world”. Very well said. I love how you mentioned how Kraftwerk was well ahead of its time and it’s an attribute that I hope to attain in the future with my own material. Also, that their legacy still lives on even after all this time. It’s important as artists to make a mark on history and they’re certainly did! They were the start to so many micro-genres of music today, it’s kind of hard to top that.

http://calvilloangelique.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/kraftwerk/comment-page-1/#comment-5

 

 

Thank you for sharing this musical, visual and informative podcast about Heart. I would agree that they are a positive influence on many young women today. The delivered a very positive and powerful feminine energy in they songs and performance.  Especially coming up in an era where artists were testosterone driven, loud, and aggressive in the rock genre.  I really enjoyed the images and songs you put together in your slide and the rests between your information. I really enjoyed watching and listening. The only thing I would adjust would be to volumize your conviction in the tone. It helps to make things sound more like a statement rather than a question when discussing powerful female idols. I am saying this in a standpoint where I would seek out a good female influence. Many thanks for sharing, and fabulous job!

 

http://calvilloangelique.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/heart-podcast/#comments

Brian Eno “40 Years of Changing Music”

You would never think that someone with such a grand reputation in music history would be influenced by anything. That the magic they create with their instruments all comes from perfect genes and alien powers. We hold Brian Eno on a pedestal, but he is as human as everyone else and has inspirations and influences. Brian Eno describes how a musician named Jon Hassell inspired him to create ambient music. 1975, It was at his lowest time when he had just been recovering from a very fatal accident, he decided to play a record and realized one of the speakers wasn’t working. Despite the malfunction, he kept listening to Hassell’s album called “ Vernal Equinox”.

“Another Green World” and “Discreet Music” came after this experience. Comparing these albums to his prior “Here Come The Warm Jets”, he began to use minimalistic sounds and voids to create more of an emotional and heavy feel to his songs., rather than the upbeat sound he had before. Brian Eno set himself apart from other artists by creating sounds without patterns. He also believes that the music doesn’t have to mean specific things, nor does it have to mean anything in the lyrics. Music is mysterious enough to evoke some kind of emotion, different from listener to listener. The use of both classical and contemporary style of music plays well with his philosophical ideas.

It’s so popular now, to make a simple catchy song, with lyrics that tell a story. However, I’ve always believed that format in songwriting tends to alienate some of the listeners. Yes, most of us can relate, but it isn’t anything new. Brian Eno inspires me in a way that his idea that music is to be felt and not defined makes me feel more at home when I work on my music. I have never been able to classify my own music, nor do I want to comfort the listener with safe and familiar sound. If they are to journey through my songs, it needs to take them further than what they feel during their common moments. Brian Eno does this for me.

 

 

My Prezi:

http://prezi.com/vi0g8ecqfxsh/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

“What’s Going On”

“What’s Going On”

During the time of war, riot, segregation, and hunger in the 1960’s and 70’s, R&B singer Marvin Gaye felt passionate about his feelings towards the national concerns that he was compelled to release an album, which expressed these concerns through music.

Before his recording of “What’s Going On”, Marvin Gaye’s focal point was love, which he expressed uninhibitedly. It was an era of Do-Wop and Rhythm & Blues; Soul music was thriving and, with a hint of jazz, he was geared towards helping the listeners escape and forget their troubles.

“What’s Going On” is politically aspiring, and very different from his prior work. Written by Renaldo “Obie” Benson, it was influenced by war events that occured during that time. Marvin Gaye added lyrics to what was supposed to be a love song; he recollects his emotions on pain and violence. His producer, Berry Gordy, was not at all pleased with the change in his songs.

The single “What’s Going On” was rejected by MoTown’s quality Control. This album broke all the rules in MoTown’s lyrical themes, and its style was a completely different direction than other music it’s time. While everyone else was producing more safe music with topics of love and happy times, Marvin Gaye pushed the boundaries and delivered a well-executed album with topics about life, pain, war, politics, and hunger. Gordy, and Mo Town wanted the old Marvin Gaye back.  However, this rejection, being the third, was the reason why he decided to take a break, refusing to write any more music until “What’s Going On” was released. This wasn’t the only obstacle he faced during the making of “What’s going On”. He also had trouble in his marriage, whereby his wife was the sister of producer, Berry Gordy. Therefore, it complicated everything between him and Gordy whenever a disagreement aroused.

After “What’s Going On”, Marvin Gaye continued to delivery great songs, and did not hold back anything he wanted to express. He is a powerful vocalist and an idol to many. I can appreciate the fact that he held on to what he believed in, and never forgot who he was.  Despite his struggles, he has proven to be strong in character and passionate about his craft.