Fanatics! Henry Rollins' KCRW Show Tomorrow Night: Henry Dissects Bowie's 'Low'
See also: Henry Rollins: A Death in the Family
Fanatics! We are back with you live, almost all of us. Engineer X is out this weekend but Young Will Bentley will be on deck, so two thirds of the Big Three will be at Tha K for the first time on months! We will all be back together again next Saturday to give NPR what will probably be remembered later as a tremendous downgrade. Perhaps they'll keep us around for awhile longer.
Before we go Low with the Bo in hour two, let's take a look at what's happening right at the top. If you take a brief look at our first hour, Fanatic, you will see that it's a mix fo sho but a fanatic can't help but notice a lot of German music featured. I thought it would be a good idea, seeing we are getting into Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy" that we have mood that goes through the entire show. As well as all of the great German tracks, there are other main ingredients thrown in to make you think you won the sonic lottery!
I think this is our first visit with Lost Sounds, one of Jay Reatard's old outfits. As well, you get some pre-Saccharine Trust-era Jack Brewer with the Exxtras. These are new recordings of old songs, if I have that right. The label putting out the album is called Water Under the Bridge.
It's week number two of our five weeks of Bowie for this month, December 2012. Not to get into an argument with any of you Fanatics, but my favorite period of David Bowie would be the last five albums that preceded Let's Dance. Station to Station, Low, Heroes, Lodger and Scary Monsters, are to me, perfection. Besides Ziggy and Man Who Sold the World, these were the Bowie albums that grabbed me initially.
Arguably, the Bowie catalog is pretty damn amazing overall but after Let's Dance, when Bowie "came to America" if you will, that's when he kind of lost me. But until then, it's almost frightening how consistently good those records are, one right after another.
For an extremely well written and hard to put down bit of musing on Bowie and the Low album, I would recommend you head straight for Hugo Wilken's 33 1/3 series book called Low. There's a lot of great information in this slim tome.
If you spend a lot of time with the Bowie catalog, some of the things mentioned in the book have either occurred to you while listening or make a great deal of sense after you read it. The "Berlin Trilogy" as Low, Heroes and Lodger were referred to were not all made in Berlin. Perhaps the Berlin part was more an inspirational, mindset and awareness.
As I learned more about music, heard more, read more, it seemed to me that the Berlin/Kosmische/Motorik direction that Bowie went in started with Station to Station.
Wilken's research reveals that Bowie was quite into Can, Neu!, Kraftwerk and others well before making Low.