David Bowie
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars (RCA)
I Speak Machine Speaks Bowie: Tara Busch of L.A. experimental project I Speak Machine told us about her Bowie/Ziggy love. 
Tara Busch: To be honest, it depends on the day — it’s usually Bowie or the Beach Boys. And today? Looks like it’s going to be Ziggy Stardust, though “Life on Mars?” from Hunky Dory is a hard one to abandon. And of course Pet Sounds is absolutely crucial in all its life-altering perfection as well. I mustn’t overthink this — Ziggy Stardust popped in my head first (and I haven’t even gotten to Janis Joplin yet) so I’ll run with that.


This is probably the most foundational record in my life, hearkening back to the mid/late-seventies when my older brother would be blasting “Suffragette City” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” from his bedroom. I could literally feel my six-year-old brain shuffling, shifting and building a home in which that album would dwell and comfort me forever. My goodness, where to start with this one? My biggest inspiration as an artist. Every song is an utter face-ripper, totally original with a presence, opulence, sensuality and swagger I can’t begin to describe (but I’ll try anyway!)So, the eponymous tune is not the one that springs to mind first as most people may cite. For me, it’s the opening song, “Five Years.” It still effortlessly turns me into a weeping hot mess every time, and it’s really one of those tunes I have to be prepared for and fully resigned to when it comes on. “Five Years” doesn’t remind me of anything or anyone — it’s just the pure sound of the song itself, the absolutely brutally sad lyrics, the incredibly romantic, innocent longing in the vocal performance, the childlike melancholy … it just involuntarily moves me like few other songs do. It literally causes a chemical reaction with my body and I, well, vaporize? That fade-in with the drums is perfect too. At least it provides ample warning of what’s to come so I can prepare myself (or run).I could say “Five Years” is my favorite song on the album as it moves me the most, but then we get to wander through the magnificence and, dare I say “refuge” of “Moonage Daydream” (greatest song intro ever?) to “Starman” to “Hang on to Yourself” (consequently one of the songs that literally saved me from a terrible acid trip when I was 15).

  It’s such a delicious, thrilling, shape-shifting listen that still feels completely fresh at 50 years old. His personas were so bright and beautiful, and were something to which I could run to when the world just sucked too badly and I needed some reassurance and perhaps some magic. I basically feel as though this album built me and showed me how to listen. It also carved very important paths in my brain as a kid, and it still does.
I Speak Machine Speaks Bowie: I Speak Machine’s “The Metal of My Hell” is out now.

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