Fanatics! Henry Rollins' KCRW Show Tomorrow Night: David Bowie's "Scary Monsters"
KCRW BROADCAST #196
Fanatics! Tonight we bravely launch into our last week in December, the last installment of our David Bowie marathon and as well, the last show for 2012.
We are already gearing up for our first show of 2013. Always looking forward!
Hour one is a crazy mix that starts off with quite a roar. Hour one went through many versions and there was quite a lot of listening, swapping songs in and out and order changes before we finally boiled it down to what waits for you.
I do believe we have a few new additions to our ever broadening resource pool. The Paper Chase is a band I don't know anything about but they are really cool. The label that released this, at least this re-issued version of Cntrl-Alt-Delete-U, Gilead Media, sent me this a few years ago. It took me awhile to get to it but I eventually did and I thought it was really cool. I will check out some more of their records and if I think it's worth your time, I will report back to you with more of their work. Also, I don't think we have listened to any Fursaxa yet. Fursaxa is Tara Burke out of Philadelphia. I think I first heard her on a compilation CD. I don't much about her but I have a lot of her albums now and have been listening to them a lot in the last several weeks. Her material isn't all that easy to find, check Discogs, you might get lucky there.
Seeing that January 1 is Gail Zappa's birthday, I thought we better play some Frank to wish her a happy birthday. Happy birthday, Gail!
We end our first hour with more Minutemen. I know we played them last week but In late December, we make sure we keep the band's music on our minds.
In our second hour, David Bowie shows just how great he is with his 1980 album Scary Monsters. This is the last one before he made Let's Dance and took over America. For a lot of people, Let's Dance was their first Bowie album and for a lot of Bowie fans, it was their last.
Of all his many incredible records, Scary Monsters is my personal favorite. I remember when it came out. I remember being at the Ontario Theater, I think it was the Bad Brains / Stranglers show. I was talking with Chris Haskett and he suggested to me that I should check out Scary Monsters. At that time, I was too tough to buy a Bowie album. I think I kind of snorted at Chris, like he had offended my macho sensibilities. A couple of summers later, it was one of my favorite albums and it still is to this day. To me, it's the last really great Bowie album. There are certainly great moments on many of the others that came afterwards but as far as one album all the way through, it is Scary Monsters for me.
Comparatively, Scary Monsters sounds so much more together than Lodger, that is perhaps one of the reasons I like it so much. Scary Monsters has a confident power to it that Station To Station and Heroes has and that Low and Lodger, at least to me, lack. I love them all but I guess I prefer Bowie when he is more composed and able to utilize his great talents.
I read an interview with Bowie conducted about a decade ago where he is asked about Lodger. He said that he still played it and liked it very much, although he wished the sound quality was better. He said that it was in part due to a poor choice in studios.
If you go to this site, there is some cool info on the album as well as pictures of the singles from the album.
What brilliant bit of work this album is. Fripp is back in the fold, having sat out on Lodger and his parts are in your face and brilliant. I think it's cool that the first vocal you hear isn't Bowie but Michi Hirota, who apparently was part of the Red Buddha Theater who were performing in London at the time Bowie was finishing work on the album. I can't find out much about her and I don't know how Bowie found her.
Scary Monsters definitely has a bit of an 80's sound to it, or at least what the music of that decade was going to sound like. There were a lot of people who copied what Bowie was doing. I think tracking the basics at the Power Station in New York also may have given the rhythm section a bit of a more professional wallop.
I hope you enjoy listening to this album. Perhaps it's one that you have not heard in awhile, perhaps you only heard the singles from it. "Kingdom Come" is a Tom Verlaine song. I heard the Bowie version six years before I heard the original. Cool that Pete Townsend makes an appearance on this album, as well as Roy Bittan from the E Street Band.
I think we used our second hour rather well this month! I know it was a lot of David Bowie and it has been intense to have listened to these five albums so many times in the last several weeks as I was putting these shows together but I now have a much deeper connection to them, which I am enjoying.
This will be our last show of the year. Engineer X and I have been at KCRW now for a little over three and a half years. So far, it's been great. Thanks for listening and get ready for 2013 as we are going to kick it up a few notches and do some serious listening, which I do hope you will enjoy. That is what it's all about. Until next week and next year, turn it up and STAY FANATIC!!!
Read Henry's tracklist below.
01. Slayer - Stain of Mind / Diabolus in Musica
02. Bad Brains - Pay To Cum / Banned In D.C.: Bad Brains Greatest Riffs
03. Stooges - Down On The Street / Fun House
04. Dead Boys - Sonic Reducer / Young Loud and Snotty
05. Johnny Thunders - Chinese Rock / LAMF (Lost '77 mixes)
06. Frank Zappa - Cosmik Debris / Apostrophe
07. Nightstalker - Dead Rock Commandos / Dead Rock Commandos
08. Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin - Orang Outang / Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus
09. The Paper Chase - Press Any Key To Continue (Pts. 1-3) / Cntrl-Alt-Delete-U
10. Fursaxa - Song Of The Spindle Berry / Kobold Moon
11. Scientist - Time Warp / Meets the Space Invaders
12. Eric Dolphy - Geewee / Berlin Concerts
13. White Mystery - Good Girl / Blood & Venom
14. Robert Johnson - Stop Breakin' Down Blues / The Centennial Collection
15. Black Flag - Padded Cell / Everything Went Black
16. Minutemen - Search / The Punch Line
01. David Bowie - It's No Game (Part 1) / Scary Monsters
02. David Bowie - Up The Hill Backwards / Scary Monsters
03. David Bowie - Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) / Scary Monsters
04. David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes / Scary Monsters
05. David Bowie - Fashion / Scary Monsters
06. David Bowie - Teenage Wildlife / Scary Monsters
07. David Bowie - Scream Like A Baby / Scary Monsters
08. David Bowie - Kingdom Come / Scary Monsters
09. David Bowie - Because You're Young / Scary Monsters
10. David Bowie - It's No Game (Part 2) / Scary Monsters
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.