Ziggy is fifty!

One of my absolute favourite albums was released 50 years ago today, on June 16th, 1972. I think it is still pretty much the only album (apart maybe from Paul Simon’s Graceland) that I still love to listen to all the way through from the first to the last song.

To celebrate here are videos to the songs, in the same order as they appear on this album.

First off, number 1: Five Years. My fave lyrics section from the song:
I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlor
Drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine
Don’t think you knew you were in this song
And it was cold and it rained, so I felt like an actor
And I thought of Ma and I wanted to get back there
Your face, your race, the way that you talk
I kiss you, you’re beautiful, I want you to walk

We’ve got five years, stuck on my eyes
Five years, what a surprise
We’ve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that’s all we’ve got

Number 2: Soul Love. My fave lyrics section:
Love is careless in its choosing
Sweeping over cross and baby
Love descends on those defenseless
Idiot love will spark the fusion
Inspirations have I none
Just to touch the flaming dove
All I have is my love of love
And love is not loving

Number 3: Moonage Daydream. Fave lyrics section:
Press your space face close to mine, love
Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah!

Number 4: Starman. My fave lyrics section from the song: oh, pretty much all of it! Here is most of it:
Didn’t know what time it was
The lights were low, oh, oh
I leaned back on my radio, oh, oh
Some cat was layin’ down some rock ‘n’ roll lotta soul, he said

Then the loud sound did seem to fade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase
That weren’t no DJ
That was hazy cosmic trace

There’s a Starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a Starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

I had to phone someone, so I picked on you
Hey, that’s far out, so you heard him too!
Switch on the TV, we may pick him up on channel two
Look out your window, I can see his light
If we can sparkle, he may land tonight
Don’t tell your poppa or he’ll get us locked up in fright

Number 5: It Ain’t Easy. Fave lyrics from the song:
It ain’t easy, it ain’t easy
It ain’t easy to get to Heaven
When you’re going down

Number 6: Lady Stardust. Fave lyrics from the song:
Femme fatales emerged from shadows
To watch this creature fair
Boys stood upon their chairs
To make their point of view
I smiled sadly for a love
I could not obey
Lady Stardust sang his songs
Of darkness and dismay

Number 7: Star. Fave lyrics section:
So inviting, so enticing to play the part
I could play the wild mutation
As a rock & roll star
I could do with the money
I’m so wiped out with things as they are
I’d send my photograph to my honey – and I’d c’mon like
A regular superstar

Number 8: Hang Onto Yourself. Fave lyrics section:
We can’t dance, we don’t talk much, we just ball and play
Then we move like tigers on Vaseline
Well, the bitter comes out better on a stolen guitar
You’re the blessed, we’re the Spiders From Mars

Number 9: Ziggy Stardust. Fave lyrics section:
Making love with his ego
Ziggy sucked up into his mind, ah
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man
I had to break up the band

Now, Ziggy plaaaaaayed guitar.

Number 10: Suffragette City. Fave lyrics section (always makes me laugh somehow):
Oooooh, wham bam, thank you ma’am

And last but by no means least, number 11: Rock ‘n Roll Suicide. Probably my fave song on the album which has meant the most to me in my personal life. The whole lyric of this song is just awesome but my fave lyrics section (which even after hearing it soooo often can still make me cry) is:
Oh no love! you’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if I could only make you care
Oh no love! you’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone
.

I think the line: “Hey, that’s far out!” (part of the Starman song) best typifies this album. It is weird and out there and the lyrics make you think and the music is aweome and it’s conceptually nothing like the world had ever seen before, I don’t think. I love love love this album and will cherish it forever. Happy 50th Birthday to Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars!

2Cellos in Amsterdam

Last night Mr E and I went to see 2Cellos perform live at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. The place looked pretty much sold out. It still feels a little weird being in such a full venue but the seats beside Mr E were free, so we had a little space.

The concert was awesome, these two really are a force of nature on stage! There are also some Richard Armitage vibes to the guy (Luka Šulić) who sat on the right which was a nice little bonus to me personally. The other guy, Stjepan Hauser, is the more outgoing, clownish one in the pair who I felt was a little too aware of the sex appeal these guys seem to have. He did most of the talking (which wasn’t a lot) but I liked it best when they just stuck to the awesome music they make.

I recorded small bits and pieces of the concert and compiled a little 15 minute video of those bits and pieces (the concert itself lasted about 90 minutes).

If you’re interested in hearing a specific cover, here are the times in the video: 0:08 min: U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name | 1:57 min: Ed Sheeran – Castle on the Hill | 3:15 min: Muse – Resistance | 4:40 min: Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal | 6:53 min: AC/DC – Thunderstruck | 9:26 min: Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer | 10:59 min: Iron Maiden – The Trooper | 11:58 min: Johnny Cash (or Nine Inch Nails) – Hurt | 13:09 min: Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah

2Cellos were especially electric in the upbeat rock numbers (Resistance from Muse, Thunderstruck from AC/DC, The Trooper from Iron Maiden, and Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal were I think my faves of those) and in the final two numbers (Hurt and Hallelujah) they were very touching as well. The concert ended on that contemplative note and I’m really glad we got to see them live, especially as this apparently is their final tour together and they’ll be off doing solo projects in the future…

Edited to add a picture 2Cellos shared on their Instagram.

If I were visible, it would be somewhere in the middle of that lower balcony on the right.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

This evening on TV we happened upon the Simon and Garfunkel concert in Central Park from 1981 (which sounds ancient now). I used to have the double album of that concert on LP records and listened to it all the time back then in the 1980s and 1990s.

After an awful news week were 19 young children and 2 teachers were killed in a senseless school shooting in Texas and there are no common sense laws in sight to ban assault weapons and initiate even basic screening for gun ownership, this soothing concert comes at exactly the right time. I picked Bridge Over Troubled Water to share here, as I have no words of my own that I am able to express at the sadness of this preventable tragedy and I think we can all use some comfort.

The whole concert can be watched here if you like. It’s good for the soul.

Depressing News & Eurovision & Mika & Richard

Israeli police attacking Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral (seriously, the coffin almost fell! I’m soooo pissed off, WTF does Israel think they can achieve with that?!), 10 people shot dead by a racist terrorist in Buffalo, NY and possible Russian phosphorous bombs used in Mariupol (Ukraine). In fact, this whole Putin and his war on Ukraine thing is so exasperating! Man, the news cycle these past 24-48 hours is brutal. I think I want to retire to my convent and never come out again. Let’s focus on better things…

Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, which was fine with me. I had no real favourites and their song was one of the better ones and so I’m glad they won, with the added bonus of again besting Putin’s Russia (Russia and Belarus were banned from Eurovision this year). It shows yet again that Ukraine has Europe’s support (and speaking of Europe uniting, Sweden and Finland are turning to NATO as well!). Eurovision shouldn’t be about politics, of course, but underneath it all, it does get mixed in and this year maybe more so than other years. Aggressors need to be stopped and if culture sending a message can help, even in a small way, then that is a good thing. Apparently Russian hackers also tried to influence the voting results but those attempts were foiled.

Anyway, back to the actual song contest: this was Ukraine’s winning song…

Although I had no real favourites this year, I do admit that I did root for this somewhat absurd act by Norway. I don’t know what it is, but there is something fascinating about it (they came in 10th)…

The singer Mika was one of the presenters of Eurovision. Every time he came on I started chanting at the screen “I can be brown, I can be blue, I can be violet sky, I can be hurtful, I can be purple, I can be anything you like” which is a quote from his most famous song called Grace Kelly

It was also a meme on TikTok last year, where people sing that line as a harmony challenge. Even Ryan Reynolds participated…

In more lighter news, Richard Armitage has been spotted, dining out in Paris…

… and he had some Café Richard coffee…

I can relate to drinking out of a Richard cup, although I had tea instead of coffee last year in Paris…

Anyway, I’m glad he had a little fun with dinner and coffee and hopefully other nice things in Paris as well. It’s good to remember the little joys in life (as I also tell myself for the millionth time as I switch off the news again).

Muse & Metallica ice dancing

During the pandemic somewhere early last year I came across a mesmerizing ice dancing routine set to Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters on a quiet rink with no one around in New York City. It is skated by American teen siblings Oona and Gage Brown and I have watched that video several times. It flows so beautifully, the camera follows every movement so closely and there is a magical and intimate quality to it all…

I came across it again today, was as mesmerized as when I first saw it, and now find that they have recently also made a video set to Exogenesis by Muse! It is just as mesmerizing to me, even though that Muse piece is less known than the Metallica song to most people…

Wow, I like these youngsters and their ice skating music choices. I wonder if they will one day end up winning World Championship and Olympics medals. I, for one, would give them one!

Apparently these videos are made by a former ice skater turned videographer, see his YouTube channel here for some more mesmerizing videos with other skaters.