THIS IS NOT A TEST

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The first annual THIS IS NOT A TEST Christmas show and pageant of simpletons, a.k.a. episode #52

http://thisisnotatest.com/the-first...w-and-pageant-of-simpletons-a-k-a-episode-52/

It's the most wonderful time of the year, right? So let's talk about Christmas, the fine family of Unilever companies, year end lists, crying kids and sweaty dads, nostalgia, shoveling brains, the disco 70s, the characters on Mad Men, the old man sitting in the corner, prisons, carnies, dead Blue Whales, paying an extra dime to go behind the curtain, Trilby hats and Presidential bids.


this-is-number-52.jpg
 

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The options below are very useful, especially the 30s skipper.
Yeah, if you just keep clicking that you can listen to the whole thing in like half a minute. :aerb:

The old player had a speed control (that I disabled). Did you know that some people listen to podcasts speeded up so they take less time? That's some kind of Alvin and the Chipmunks bullshit there. I don't understand people at all. Obviously.
 
The new player is definitely more comfortable. When I had to stop the old one (crying kids, doorbell, phone etc.), it sometimes happened that I couldn't restart the podcast. Which was a bit annoying.
 
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CBGB: They paved paradise and pulled up a taco truck - THIS IS NOT A TEST #53

http://thisisnotatest.com/cbgb-they-paved-paradise-and-pulled-up-a-taco-truck-this-is-not-a-test-53/

Blabbing about CBGB, Lemmy from Motorhead, making up new words, 20/20 hindsight, attitude and inspiration, being in the right place at the right time, chess, flophouses, saloons, sewage, little black boxes full of people, bass guitar strings and their durability in the face of continued abuse, the Longhorn in Minneapolis, moping (not mopping), lying around all day fanning yourself, boxer briefs, punk rock as a "brand," the Johnny Thunders replica guitar, cement mixers, scrapes and scars, contrived legitimacy, leather jackets, building stoves, gangs of hooligans, the jazz age, Whitney Houston, paying too much for movies and pretending to be the mayor's son.


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Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Number 52, great photo, the horse don't seem to enjoy the drumming,
about to listen to it,
although 53 is ending. I enjoyed the rap about the art market.
 
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David Bowie, Telly Savalas and "Married at First Sight" - THIS IS NOT A TEST #54

http://thisisnotatest.com/david-bow...married-at-first-sight-this-is-not-a-test-54/

Wondering about David Bowie, hair, catastrophes, cheese blintzes, Powerball, being struck by lightning, little house on the prairie dresses, sand in your shorts, Bob Dylan in a cowboy hat, Iggy Stooge, using to mirrors to see yourself from behind, pale meat, fermentation, wigs, psychologists, nostrils, living in basements, reinventing yourself, how to look a man in the eyes, pleasingly shaped heads, having an awesome boat, irritation as entertainment, the new race and baking bread. Okay, we don't talk about baking bread, but doesn't fresh bread sound good right now?


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Skygazer

And in the end...
mjp said [... Then in 1972 he came to America and saw the New York Dolls, and the next thing you know, he’s Ziggy Stardust! And the guitars are louder and it’s rock and roll, baby. It’s glam. And speaking of Ziggy Stardust, I never bought that whole – thing. It seemed more like a Broadway show about rock and roll than actual rock and roll to me. And I’m pretty sure Bowie looked at it the same way. He never struck me as being very rock and roll, anyway. More art than rock...]

Art and rock, I think, like early Roxy Music. No doubt going to New York was a massive influence on him - Warhol, Velvet Underground, maybe seeing the New York Dolls, who looked and behaved like the Rolling Stones having just raided their little sister's dressing up box, with badly placed lipstick - cute
and subversive. But... Bowie made it art, set the bar very high, for the rest to follow.He was a magpie and pinched from Bolan too and I would give credit to him for being the first with glamrock and Ride a White Swan 1970. Bowie's album of the same year The Man Who Sold The World, the album cover being very different, from the U.S. one, is already darker, more experimental rock, with darker subject matter. The first track The Width of a Circle. still sounds strange and different. Glam Rock is often wrongly seen these days as early seventies fluffy pop, not the disruptive, deeply subversive anarchy - in glitter that the very best of it (both sides of the atlantic) was.
 

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Art and rock...
That's fine. But I don't happen to believe there is any such thing. Once the art enters, the rock leaves through the back door. There are very few words or descriptions you can tag in front of "rock" that don't kill it. "Art," "prog," "stadium," "light" - the list goes on. Each one not rock and roll, but some bastard spawn.

If glitter was subversive it sure took a long time to manifest that subversion. I think we're just starting to see it now in a giant, glittery explosion of all things queer and trans.

But "Ziggy Stardust" was absolutely and unquestionably his take on the Dolls. That isn't really arguable. There is no Velvet Underground or Warhol in Ziggy Stardust. Not to my ears or eyes. Bowie was at almost every show the Dolls did at the Mercer Arts Center in 1972, some people say, "taking notes." Make of that what you will.

It doesn't really matter. Like I also said, musicians all take from each other and they all flex and flow with the changing times. I'm just never going to credit someone with being a pioneer when I know they weren't. A lot of people mistakenly believe that being the most famous whatever means you invented whatever. No so, of course.

I like a lot of David Bowie's songs. I just think when people call him a genius they don't know what genius is. I can't point to a single song he ever recorded that carried the shock of the new when I heard it.

Very good? Yes!
Entertaining? Sometimes.
Inspiring? Very much so, to some.
Genius? Nope.
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
If glitter was subversive it sure took a long time to manifest that subversion. I think we're just starting to see it now in a giant, glittery explosion of all things queer and trans.
It was very subversive at the time both visually and in the trangressive subject matter of the songs.
But "Ziggy Stardust" was absolutely and unquestionably his take on the Dolls. That isn't really arguable. There is no Velvet Underground or Warhol in Ziggy Stardust. Not to my ears or eyes. Bowie was at almost every show the Dolls did at the Mercer Arts Center in 1972, some people say, "taking notes." Make of that what you will.
Bowie was influenced by Warhol and the Velvets, not specifically for that album.The embryonic Ziggy is evident in The Man \who Sold The World.
Bowie also, along with Mick Ronson went on to produce Lou Reed's 1973 Transformer album.
Not reducing the New York Dolls, but they're not in the same league. Maybe if the record labels in the U.S had a little more bottle and foresight in catching trends, the Dolls wouldn't have been kicking around for 3 years with no record contract until 1973.
 

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What "league" a band or artist is in has absolutely nothing to do with how influential they are or become.
 
Having a good shaped head is important if you're going bald, thankfully I have a good shaped head. I was actually told that once by a nice Japanese woman... Arigato. I first noticed a little thinning up top back in 2003, it's been a long process really, I now have a bonafide bald patch, which is kind of irritating because I do often let my hair grow out but it starts to look a bit naff so out come the clippers again. I sometimes wish my hair would just fuck off and have done with it.

Imagine if those guys who got married to a stranger then got divorced after a short time had to pay alimony! I'm never getting married, Marriage isn't what it used to be. I do like to see an old married couple though, an old married couple who love each other, that speaks to the old romantic in me... it's all business these days it seems, prenups, inevitable divorce, alimony, child support, etc. Modern society has killed the sanctity and romance of marriage, it all seems to have gone hideously wrong.
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
But "Ziggy Stardust" was absolutely and unquestionably his take on the Dolls. That isn't really arguable. There is no Velvet Underground or Warhol in Ziggy Stardust. Not to my ears or eyes. Bowie was at almost every show the Dolls did at the Mercer Arts Center in 1972, some people say, "taking notes." Make of that what you will.
The timeline for Ziggy and the Dolls' influence seems wrong. Checking my copy of Uncut's Glam (reprints of Melody Maker and NME stories from that time, with dates of publication to help) Ziggy was out by June 1972. Bowie had already thrown the "I'm gay" quote out the previous year after Hunky Dory and had been photographed in a dress. He'd "given" Mott "All The Young Dudes" which was released July 1972. Seems like he was at the Mercer for the Dolls around September 1972. By then he's working with Iggy on Raw Power and Lou on Transformer. Maybe he got the platform shoes idea from Johansen (Kristian Hoffman of The Mumps suggests that. Hoffman took a photo of Bowie at the Mercer back then). Seems like the recording of Ziggy happened in 1971 and very early 1972, before he saw the Dolls. (It's been suggested both the Dolls and Bowie got the drag queen stuff from the Theatre of the Ridiculous. Dunno.)

All of it adding up to the question how the fuck did I have the guts to buy a magazine like this?

mag_glam resized.jpg
 

hoochmonkey9

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Bowie in the audience of a New York Dolls show at the Mercer Arts Center. Long hair from Hunky Dory (1971) gone. Looking like Ziggy is already in the works.

nyd-bowie-in-audience.jpg
 

mjp

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The timeline for Ziggy and the Dolls' influence seems wrong.
Could well be, I don't know too much about Bowie's timeline. I take the year 1972 as when he saw a lot of the Dolls from other people's accounts, who were there at the time. Could have been earlier, could have been later, but the change in his music has been attributed to the influence of the Dolls by people much smarter and more in-the-know than I am.

It's been suggested both the Dolls and Bowie got the drag queen stuff from the Theatre of the Ridiculous.
That could be too, but I think Johansen got it from just being that way. There are early interviews where he talks about how he's going to get implants because he wants to be "the first male rock star with tits." I'm paraphrasing, but I think that image was more than a pose to him.

The timeline of rock music in general in those days is very interesting. I was only 11 years old when the New York Dolls started playing, and I lived about as far away from New York - psychically - as possible, so I don't have any first hand knowledge. But when I listen to records from the time that first Dolls album was released, I hear no one else doing what they did. And the same can certainly be said for the first two Stooges albums, which must have really sounded insane to anyone who bought them when they were released. Not to mention the aural assault that was Raw Power a couple years later. There's not a record from any era that sounds like that thing. Or the other James Williamson-era Stooges recordings.

What I say in the podcast is just more of what I'm always saying anyway, and I always figure people will take it or leave it. But if you read interviews with 70s musicians, many of them cite the Stooges/Dolls as inspirations. You know, now, in retrospect. It's like they said about the Velvet Underground, hardly anyone bought the record, but everyone who did buy it started a band. I really think you could say that about the Dolls and the Stooges as well.

And I certainly could have gone into where Bowie picked up his later influences too, but I picked the Dolls because they're more up my alley. And it's more of a general point about the guy than finger pointing about the Dolls in particular. I also could have talked more about the Bowie/Iggy relationship, because it was very interesting, as far as how they wrote and recorded songs.

how the fuck did I have the guts to buy a magazine like this?
That's funny, because it's true. I think the cover of the first Dolls album killed it, because too many kids who would have liked to buy it didn't, because they didn't want to answer all the questions bringing that thing home would have caused.

NEW-YORK-DOLLS.jpg
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
Looking things up for 1972; Lou Reed in London for recording of Transformer Aug/ Sep with Bowie and Ronson, Raw Power Sep/ Oct, but by this time, Bowie starting US tour of Ziggy.Perhaps Bowie's production on that album took place when he came home? late 72/early 73. Meanwhile the New York Dolls are in UK doing tour supporting Lou Reed, The Faces and Status Quo, gig with Roxy Music is cancelled following the death of Billy Murcia on 7th Nov. They go back to New York:
http://www.fromthearchives.com/nyd/chronology.html
Bowie started writing and recording for Ziggy as early as 1970 while in the U.S to promote The Man Who Sold The World
http://www.5years.com/early.htm
 

hoochmonkey9

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Bowie was unquestionably the product of his influences (every couple of years), and I'm pretty sure he said as much. But I don't care. It doesn't matter to me. I'm not saying that with any defiance or attitude. Bowie, much like Miles Davis, could sniff the wind and smell change and he would latch onto that change put his Bowie on it. That works for me, and that's all that matters.
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
That could be too, but I think Johansen got it from just being that way. There are early interviews where he talks about how he's going to get implants because he wants to be "the first male rock star with tits." I'm paraphrasing, but I think that image was more than a pose to him.
I always think of Johansen (the performer, anyway) as a great bullshit artist. That sort of quote being made by him more for entertainment than anything else. Seems like the first gig for something close to the band that got recorded was Christmas Eve, 1971.

As far as buying that first album by the Dolls I got away with not buying it at a record store by getting it through some record club. Reasonably cheap as I remember. The club didn't last because their business plan didn't include forcing people to buy something every month. So I got the two Dolls albums. Can't remember buying anything else through the club.

And, no, I didn't steal the Glam mag. That was ten years ago and I've been a fine upstanding citizen for longer than that. Bad knees and no wind for running is another reason to avoid criminal behaviour. I don't want to end up in the RCMP holding tank being forced to suck cock, would rather the cash register geeks just think I suck. :DD
 

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That sort of quote being made by him more for entertainment than anything else.
Could be. The context is what made me think it wasn't just being said for shock value. I'll see if I can find it.

I don't want to end up in the RCMP holding tank being forced to suck cock...
Just tell everyone in the cell you're from NEW YORK CITY. They'll leave you alone. ;)
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Dug out my copy of The New York Dolls: Too Much Too Soon by Nina Antonia (1998 Omnibus). Only thing about Bowie and the Mercer was Sylvain being quoted about fashion questions from Bowie and getting shoes from the same business that made theirs. And that Bowie got scared hanging with the Dolls on 3rd Street in the Bowery.

You know, you could blame the guitar sound on Mick Ronson. He had some talent and had been with Bowie for a couple albums.

(Written with my back to the cell room wall. I think this is what they call a "tight" -- for the first few anyway -- "situation".)
 

hoochmonkey9

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I finally listened to the episode... I thought the Bowie content was generous and fair considering it comes from a non Bowie guy. I may quibble with some finer points, but in general I agreed with most of it.

But I have a glorious head of hair, so maybe that's making me feel magnanimous.
 
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I'm not mad at David Bowie.

I like a lot of his songs, and he never claimed to be anything that he wasn't. Well, except bisexual. What I took/take issue with is people deifying him and hailing him as a genius. After the fact. In my effort to debunk that particular theory, I may have thrown Bowie under the bus. That's my bad.

What made me think about that is Glenn Frey's death, and the way people just dismiss or ridicule him and his band. But if we're going to call Bowie a genius, then Glenn Frey is certainly a genius. He and his cohorts created an entire genre of music for Christ's sake. An awful genre, sure, but they created it all the same. And let's not argue about that. If you don't believe they created it then at least accept the fact that they sealed the fucker in amber, for ever and ever.

But Glenn Frye wasn't cool, I guess. He wasn't weird enough for people to call him a genius. He didn't make music that no one liked or understood - or bought - so he can't be a genius, can he? Isn't that how we measure genius?

Seems to me a lot of musical geniuses didn't sell records, or didn't/don't sell very many records, so maybe we mistakenly believe that not selling records automatically means you must have something very deep going on. Glenn Frye sold more records in any given week than Bowie did in a year, so surely that means Bowie is better. It has to, or all of our notions of what's cool fall apart!

I don't know, man. Maybe it's the John Lennon effect. Darby Crash died the day before Lennon, so his death was overshadowed and no one talked about him. Well, plus he was Darby Crash, and no one knew who he was (so he must have been a genius!). But maybe Frye was just unfortunate, and he died too soon after Bowie. And Lemmy. And that other guy, the drummer. What do you have to do to get some posthumous respect these days? I don't know. It's a tough crowd out there.
 

hoochmonkey9

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Up here in Canada we have a lot of 'alt-country' groups and artists that get a fair amount of radio play. So I've been hearing Eagles love on the CBC. And my Twitter feed has a lot of Glen Frey tributes. Not as much as Bowie, but a lot.

I had two Eagles greatest hits cassettes for a while. I probably still know most of the words to 'Take It Easy.'

But Bowie had just released a record 2 days before he died that was getting universally extremely positive reviews from all quarters ; hipster mags and old farts like me were all excited. Bowie's back! But not back like that record 3 years ago that was just okay, that only Bowie fans gave a thumbs up to, back in the weird lane changing Bowie way. Plus the Broadway play he had just cowritten starring the Dexter dude. This was exciting for fans.

And then he's dead.

I think that's a large reason for the reaction.

Anyway, we all know Gram Parsons is to blame for that whole country rock business.
 
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Glen Frey deserves way more attention than he is getting. The same will be said when John Forgerty dies too. Writing hit after hit. Songs that are not just fun to listen too but also fun to play in a basement garage or around a fire.
Genius is a stupid word and those that use it don't realize that it doesn't mean what they think it means.
I think Frey being part of a band makes his contribution less obvious to the casual fan. Heck who was the drummer in the eagles the bass player-does it matter? People just knew it was an Eagles song. The Bowie spotlight was on him.
I looked forward to new work by either of them and saw them both back in the day (not together).
I've been watching a lot go Grateful Dead concert footage while running (in Canada we use treadmills in the winter) what I've come to realize during the 50 year anniversary is how hard they worked on their craft. I think Bowie and Frey worked just as hard. I mentioned Fogerty because he too made making music seem easy and he too has his own sound. A sound we take for granted. When he dies there will be some outpouring of emotion but he, like Frey will deserve more.
 

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Yes, another Bukowski episode. I figure I'm entitled to one every six months...

Charles Bukowski: the ultimate outsider? Maybe not. THIS IS NOT A TEST #55


http://thisisnotatest.com/charles-bukowski-the-ultimate-outsider-maybe-not-this-is-not-a-test-55/

Bukowski, Bukowski, Bukowski! And let us not forget civil servant weirdos, resisting the draft, spending all day in a bar, paying child support, living on a park bench, having a different kind of brain, fear of public speaking, skin magazines, TMZ, art generated by companies, critical mass, shaking your bush, the foolhardy and ultimately fruitless attempt to make Bukowski palatable to a wider audience, holiday shopping, Bob Marley, bombing churches, a Peter Tosh museum in Jamaica, Prince's purple jacket, mausoleums, Jell-O, rust and Batman.


this-is-number-55.jpg
 
Changing the taste of something to make it more palatable to a wider audience is the height of idiocy and cynical in the extreme. I mean, I'm being captain obvious here but it reduces, and dilutes, and changes the work into something else, it's not "it" any more, it's a shitty copy of the original. Keep it real. It's angering. Goes without saying but I just needed to get it out.
I sort of see the Bukowski "On" series as tasters, signpost books to lead people to Bukowski's door. I love a body of work, if it gets people in then that's a good thing. You've got to start somewhere so a thin book about cats is as good a place as any I suppose! One thing leads to another for those who get the taste.
Fuck Prince's purple jacket, I've never been particularly impressed by stuff like that, "oooh look, Jim Morrison's boots!". One thing that might get me all a quiver is Beethoven's Hair, I think there's a lock of it in some museum or someplace in America. The thought of holding Beethoven's hair in the palm of my hand kind of moves me because it's a part of him, it was on his very head. The distance of centuries and death makes it safe to touch, I wouldn't touch his hair if he was alive, that would be weird and creepy, I can almost see his facial expression! What's German for "Who the hell is this weird fucker"?.
One more thing, are the ecco books safe? They haven't been taken down a back alley by Martin and fiddled with and corrupted have they? I ask because I was looking at some reviews on Amazon uk of Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, and there was a one star review complaining about changes and things.
 
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