Tuesday, March 13, 2007

i missed david bowie. having loved bowie so much as a kid, but hearing his hits placed so often in commercials etc., i wondered if i had lost my love. so i had the idea that i would create a playilist of all the songs that havent been overplayed or overused from records that i didnt listen to as much as a kid. i listened to bowie before i was old enough to know how cool he was; also listening to styx, kiss and elton john singing with kiki dee at the time. but my best friends father was a famous guitarist named gabor szabo and he introduced me to bowie. i was maybe 11 years old? but i digress, back to the bowie playlist, basically i saw making a playlist of deepcuts as a way to sort of rediscover an artist i know well and loved once. got me thinking that artists deep cuts have always been what gave an artist a depth to their fan base; devotion. but some of that went away with the focus on singles, or i should say refocus on singles (pop started that way after all). the music biz furthered their own demise along more quickly with this fixation on singles, which fit in nicely to the early small bandwith download culture of the late nineties. not enough bandwith yet to download an entire cd but enough to make pirating a single song doable. and if you repeatedly dupe us into buying expensive cds with only one good song, while bandwith starts going broadband and digital copy ability/internet distribution makes downloading copies of songs easier and easier, you have a recipe for the disaster the major labels find themselves in. tough to feel bad for them. the enormous vacuum they left is being filled piecemeal by lots of smaller and exceedingly more interesting businesses and models. i will watch it continue to unfold to the tune of 'memories of a free festival'. the sun machine is coming down and we're gonna have a party.

45 comments:

Chris (C. Brian) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris (C. Brian) said...

Bowie is seemingly ageless and eternally cool. Constantly morphong, experimenting. Mad respect for the man, but I must admit I need to become more familiar with his catalog.

Suring YouTube recently (always on the hunt for new discoveries) and happened upon this EA footage.

The caption says the performance was in LA, but, in reality, it was in Santa Barbara - - the football field @ UCSB, to be precise. I know; I was there. I was 17 and and suffering from acne. I waited in the sun all day for your show, and the left side of my face turned beet red from the sun. "What happened to you?" my Dad asked when I came home, as he scanned my face.

The day was worth it . . . a rite of passage. My most memorable concert in my three decades. Total passion and power. Tuned me in to importance of bass, too.

You, sir, created that experience for me and the rest of crowd members. Thank you!

Do you, by chance, remember that show? Are there particular past performances that are seared on your synapses? Or do they kind of meld together?

Anonymous said...

Hey Eric, it's Alec again. I really admire Bowie but it really gets annoying hearing songs like "changes" in so many commercials. it really makes me wonder why so many of his good songs are used to market items. it seems thats mainly whats happening in his music career now.

also i watched the youtube video chris c brian found of you. its really amazing. i love to play guitar and bass to mountain song. that was the 1st jane's bassline i ever learned and the 1st jane's song i ever heard. also 1 question: i live in Washington state and do you remember when jane's 1st came to seattle in 87? i read the setlist at janesaddiction.org and it sounded like an awesome show. and 1 more: do you remember jane's 3 nite stand at the hollywood palladium in 90? i love the version of "up the beach" that was recorded there on 12.19.90 that's on the kettle whistle album.
thank you eric. jane's is nothing without you.
ALEC

chris said...

love bowie too. not bugged out by commercial exposure. he is still brilliant. didn't he make his catalog available to invest in or something like that (stock market thing) plus he still has great taste and stays on top the current stuff. he guests on tv on the radio's new album. the song is province and its beautiful. eric, you familiar with them? they are pretty much the pride of the neighborhood here in williamsburg, brooklyn. also, i see the Blonde Redhead gang just about every morning at my coffee shop. pretty cool. i know you are a fan of thiers.
as far as the record biz, love watching it go down. its levelling the palying field for sure.

Anonymous said...

?

Anonymous said...

I too grew up loving Bowie. Changes One was one of my first 3 albums (Jackson Browne - "Late For The Sky", and Elton John's - "Greatest Hits" being the others). After all is said and done, David Bowie - "Live at the Philadelphia Tower" still finds a great deal of play in my home.

Be well

SR

PS: Hope the party lasts well beyond the machine's next arrival.

Monster Mush said...

I've always been curious, Eric, what are you saying at the end of the Soul Kiss video? You know, the part that is played backwards.
Yes, I do realize with today's technology I could record the audio into a program and then reverse the track, but I no longer have my copy of Soul Kiss. I know, it's a geeky question, kinda like the nerd at the Star Trek convention asking William Shatner the combination he used to open the safe in episode #143.

George D said...

Yea i love bowie, i remember when i first listened to Ziggy it was so incredible, Moonage Daydream is my favorite song by him. I love Hunky Dory and Station To Station as well. Oh and i was doing my daily Janes Addiction look up on Youtube and found a pleasent surprise in the package of Polar Bear. The Flyer video of sorts was posted and i must say, What a Fucking Song, i love that subtle piano and i think guitar that goes with it. Im not to sure about what instrument that makes that lil wailing sound but man i wanna know and play around with it. I heard a similar effect on the Arcade Fire song Intervention, Where the guitarist uses a slide and produces this unbelievable sound, which i am dieing to figure out how. ive been fideling with my slide and delay chorus etc etc you know the drill but i cant seem to hit it. So Frustrating Getting Started.

Ryan Parr said...

E-
I'll be in the front row, hell, I already am....Sounds like you've been talking to Dave.
R

Anonymous said...

eric,
what songs made your bowie playlist?
-jim

matt volpe said...

Eric,

I've always mad respect for Bowie. He is truly a great artist that transcends the art of songwriting. One thing I also like about him too his is cameos in movies. One in particiular is THE PRESTIGE. Have you seen it? My wife and I watched it last night and it was real intriguing film. A little hard to follow, but overall a well made film. And Bowie played the part of a well to do guy who created a machine that cloned things. He was real good in it, has that way about him that's real creepy yet oddly warm--kind of like his music. Anyway, speaking of deep cuts, I once read that someone else played bass on OF COURSE off of Ritual, is that true? Also, I just wanted to let you know that FACE off of the PB ep is one of my new favorite tunes right now. I've always known the song, but, suddenly the other day, it struck me what an awesome song it is! Cool, take care and talk soon.. Matt

Anonymous said...

I echo Matt's sentiments about FACE-excellent song. actually that whole EP is fantastic! I was at one of the earliest polarbear shows at the Alligator Lounge in Santa Monica. This was my first time seeing Eric in person playing live and they opened with Gimmee. I had no idea what to expect and if you know that song well, you know the bass doesnt come in for like the first 2 minutes or so but when it does come in, it is such a classic Avery bassline. I felt like Eric did this intentionally, like he was building the curiosity for fans like myself who werent fans yet and were going to see him play bass. Any thoughts on this, Eric?

J.

Anonymous said...

Upon first listen, I fell in love with 'Flier'. Where can I purchase a copy of the record?

Be well,

SR

-ea. said...

chris c. brian- i do remember that show.seemed like an unimaginably huge audience. the footage is great. ive seen it lots. i love the way that, considering the fact that we were in santa barbara in the noonday sun, we still insisted on trying to use the smoke machine. spooky. i remember thinking it was silly then. depending on wind direction i had trouble finding my amp.

oh and acne. fuck. talk about the cosmos kicking you in the teeth while you are down. another reason to be glad ill never be an adolescent again.

-ea. said...

alec - well this is fitting because mountain song is the first janes addiction that janes addiction learned to play as well.

i do remember playing the paramount in seattle. was that 87? seattle music scene was on fire then. mudhoney nirvana soundgarden etc.

i dont remember three nights at the palladium but i remember three nights at the john anson ford theatre. i had a friend in high school who lost his mind/found god. i ran into him at a club in hollywood. he told me that god had told him that he was going to the top of the music world and that i was welcome to come along but he was going either way. year or two later i got eye contact with him at the john anson ford. he was about a third of the way back in the audience. very cinematic moment.

-ea. said...

chris- do know tv on the radio. really liked there last cd. for some reason i am just not feeling this one as much. i wonder if im not suffering from that teenage syndrome where i like a band while i feel like im one of a few and then the band loses some of its luster when they get popular.

blonde redhead. my favorite drummer is in that band. best combination of really good solid player with really creative ideas and approaches. unfortunately im the only musician i recognize at my coffee place and the barista there keeps thinking my name is chris. i dont fight it anymore. when they call out chris i go fetch my coffee.

-ea. said...

monster mush- no problem. im happy to discuss the wizard behind the curtain but on this one i cant for the life of me remember. i dont have a copy of it around either so i cant see if it looking at it jogs the memory. sorry.

-ea. said...

george d- i think its all about the fast staccato strumming of a single string with delay. on both flyer and intervention. i think. incidentally, the new arcade fire is great. it is really difficult for a band in their position to pull off a great record at this point in their career. so glad they didnt disappoint.

-ea. said...

ryan parr- "sounds like ive been talking to dave"? me no get? what do you mean?

-ea. said...

jim- funny i blogged before finishing the playlist. playlist so far is just basically the entire space oddity record sans the song space oddity. it is one of his records that i havent really listened to. i think i will be adding some scary monsters though. of course i will have to stop listening to arcade fire long enough to squeeze any of this in.

-ea. said...

matt volpe- yes saw and dug the prestige. theme of commitment is very interesting to me.

i do remember something about 'of course'. but i think i did play the bass, its just that i played what i was told which was unusual in those days. i just wasnt feeling a bass line on that song. couldnt find it. maybe my tracks didnt make it to the record. i do remember tracking it though. not sure would be the short answer.

-ea. said...

j.- wow. alligator lounge. i remember that night. i was late. thankfully i was on my bike so i didnt have to find parking but i remember going straight to the stage with helmet in hand. we started with gimmee. hmm? i am always trying to set things up in a way that would create tension and then release but i wouldnt hold back my bass playing to do that. i wouldnt presume that people would be excited to hear my bass playing in particular. i remember my wife was at that show but she was just a friend of a friend at that time. i can see what she was wearing in my minds eye.

-ea. said...

sr- we will make 'why something instead of nothing' available at some point this year. if not, i will personally send you a cd.

Mike Walters said...

Hey Eric, if you're still on a Bowie kick may I suggest Hunky Dory. IMO it's one of Bowie's greatest works. The only song from it they ever play on the radio is Changes. Which is a damn shame.

ellis said...

I have a hard time dealing with my favorite bands shifting gears into new styles of music. I've always loved Gomez and there's been a few instances where I'll make a mix CD of all their chill stuff. I've done the same with Pearl Jam too. It's always bothered me that not many people liked the No Code record of PJ... or at least, that's when it seems people stopped being interested in PJ. Start to finish, I think its a perfect record.

My only hope is that my new favorite band OCEANSIZE doesn't ever change their approach to music. I feel they're the next Pink Floyd. Absolutely amazing music. I recommend that everyone check them out.

I'll always be a fan of Nick Drake and that's one artist I WISH was still around to make music. But he made such a limited number of songs that you could probably fit them all on one CD.

chris said...

hey eric, chris is a great name, embrace it!
(just kiddin)
; )

Anonymous said...

Wow. Flattered, humbled, and honored for real. Most generous. I hope you release it again as artists are entitled to earn a living from their labors. Either way won't diminsish my enjoyment of it.

Speaking of which.... it's your blog, but I would love to read your thoughts on downloading and the artist at some point.

Respectfully,

SR

matt volpe said...

EA,

I hear that about sometimes not feeling a bass line on a certain tune when recording. I felt that way in my old band sometimes, where once or twice I reluctantly had to play what I was told to play when recording. To play something when not inspired to play it is the worst thing anyone can do, I think. But, in any event, for what it's worth, the bass line on Of Course is cool in that it's very sparse and tasteful sounding. By the way, do you still own the P-Bass you played back then with Brahms sticker on it? Hope all else is well, Matt

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric!
I'm listening Hüsker Dü alot in these days. "Celebrate Summer" is in my heart. "The Living End": such a intensity.... just three person, tons of emotions. Did you like them?
Eric you are the best bass player ever,(mmmh..okay the second, just after Peter Hook :-D ). I'd like to hear something electronic with Pete D., Peter Hook and you. Would be stellar.
Your basslines comes out of the stomach.
Thank you for all:)
STICKYFINGERS.

George D said...

I figured out that effect and been playing with it but i cant seem to get any riffs going with it so i abandoned it for a while. On Another note, Polar Bear and Deconstruction The two Polar Bear CD's Why SOmething.. and Chewing Gum im waiting to buy until i get my credit card and same with the deconstruction album but the only way i can get it is threw amazon or ebay. So im just wondering. Do you get any of that money? And if those albums are being re released by a post i see there a couple posts ahead of this one, that would be very good. Oh and also, i ahve tons of questions to ask you about janes and polar bear and decon but im gonna space em out over your posts. But heres another question. Rhino the division of warner bros i hear is making a Jane's Addiction Box Set, do you have any more information on that??

Anonymous said...

diverting from the topic a bit, who came up with the melodies/riffs on "obvious"? that song stands out from the rest of the tunes on ritual, being that it has such an "eastern" vibe to it. why wasn't it performed live much?

juan from buenos aires said...

hi. I love bowie's Outside and Low albums. That piano playing in outside
is just brilliant and also I'm Deranged is on Lynch's Lost Highway
soundtrack, a great road movie-sound combo!
I want to ask you Eric if you like Tool?

Anonymous said...

Eric, I am enjoying Why Something "Instead of Nothing" through a download. Notwithstanding my hypersensitivity, I would like to make this bargain right somehow.

Be well,

SR

-ea. said...

mike walters- hunky dory is the one. i have spent countless hours over the years with that one. therefore though that is one that is way too familiar to go into this category.

-ea. said...

ellis- small selection but still i never tire of drake. the perfect music while making dinner with the wife.

i just never got pearl jam. still dont.

dont know oceansize but pink floyd has had a special place in my heart since i was ten. they were the first band that taught me you could have truly literary lyrics in a rock song. still play/sing pigs on wing, nobody home, final cut (song and cd) and brain damage on acoustic in heavy rotation in the avery household.

-ea. said...

matt volpe- i do still have brahms. in fact someone asked me about it a few months ago which prompted me to fish it out of my storage space. got my guys at truetone music (plug for the fellas) to clean it up and it is now again in working order and in my room where i write/record.

-ea. said...

stickyfongers- yes on the husker du front.

second place. i appreciate the honesty. hook will always be king.

pete d. is out with hybrid right now. just spoke to him the other day. i assume you know this but in case you dont, he has done some stuff with them and hook already.

-ea. said...

george d- no dont see any money from those. another example of my astonishing business acumen. its how i can afford my pimp lifestyle.

i dont have any recent news about the box set. but that is the reminder to call the guy at rhino and get the skinny on whats up with that.

-ea. said...

anonymous- 'obvious' was (as usual): melody was perry, riff was me. i think that we always believed in shorter more intense sets rather than long e street band evenings so it might not always have made the cut. we did play it fairly often though; as a sort of refresher song.

are you sure you mean 'obvious' and not 'of course'.

-ea. said...

juan from buenos aires- low is right up there for me with hunky dory for most listened to. really love it.

as for tool. i really respect those guys and what they have consistently done creatively over so many years. i think they are one of the truly great art bands ever. heavy as fuck but really smart, creative and surprising. now all that being said, i dont ever really listen to them. i am much more likely to listen to serge gainsbourg than anything that resembles metal. always been that way.

-ea. said...

sr- download?! illegally?! i have alerted officer ulrich at the metallica hotline. the big blacks boots of homeland security will soon be kicking in your door.

ellis said...

Eric... get this, "Oceansize - Effloresce (Beggars Banquet)".

You will not be disappointed. Beginning to end it's amazing. Or seek out some samples of the record online.

don cammell said...

wow. i moved to LA around 96, and caught every show i could make it to. alligator lounge, moguls, dragonfly, whiskey. and the green jello place even! ahhh the mammaries! hope to see you out there again. you are truly inspirational. i guess i'm just jaded now, but there seemed to be alot of good local music out here when i came to town. i guess i just don't bother looking anymore.

Blaise said...

Hey Eric, strange chain of events leads me from the Weirz official website to this blog entry where not only do I realize that Jane's Addiction Eric Avery is St. Paul's Eric Avery but I get credit for intoducing you to Bowie. Needless to say a little bit of excitement for a high school teacher in Massachusetts. Not sure where to go from here but "Life on Mars" still does something to me I can't explain. So many music memories from the St. Paul days... BeeGees, Kiss, Boz Scaggs ( my first dance when we roadied for the Weirz at some airforce base), Elton John (and Kiki Dee) ELO at Jeff Valines? house... Can't believe that's you pumping my adrenaline at the beginning of "Mountain Song." Lots and lots of thoughts.

Blaise

Matt Thompson said...

Hi Eric,
I like Low the most. The 70s was a long peak for Bowie but Low, that's the one I can listen to forever. The lyrics are fantastic. People talk a lot about Bowie's style and his voice, but when he was in direct contact with the music gods, the lyrics were superb. What great throwaway lines like "You're such a wonderful person/But you got problems, oh oh oh/I'll never touch you."
Hey, I've never posted here before but I think you were in direct contact with the music gods, too. The runs of the bass and guitar together. And I am always fascinated by the Deconstruction album. Wonderful lyrics and delivery there, too.
Matt.