Saturday, January 16, 2016

Look Up, He's In Heaven

5:56 PM

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Our top five Bowie tracks through the ages and suggestions for when you can listen to them.

One of the prettiest stars in our constellation, David Robert Jones, popularly known as David Bowie, died last January 10—two days after his 69th birthday—due to cancer. He passed away the same way he entered our lives: a macabre surprise that filled us with inconceivable wonder and awe. This time, with a tinge of heartbreak.

He was a known innovator, and a rather queer and theatrical one at that. He’s released more than 20 albums in the span of nearly five decades and revamped himself a whole lot of times.

David Bowie’s influence on my life generally centered on self-acceptance: to dance to what life throws at you. He showed me that it is possible and okay to invent and reinvent yourself; to not be barred and discouraged by circumstance or physical appearance; to cultivate a lasting and relentless celebration of the self. He made a home out of his corporeality, weirdness, infirmity; thus showing, and granting us permission, that we can make our own weird become cool, too.

In honor of his extraordinary flamboyance, I compiled a list of my top five favorite Bowie songs—throughout multiple albums and decades—and when to hit the play button on them and dance, who to listen with, and much more. Now, put on yer red shoes and let’s dance!

The Man Who Sold The World (from “The Man Who Sold The World,” 1970)

There’s one thing we should get out of the way: Kurt Cobain first sold this song to me rather rightly when Nirvana sang it on MTV Unplugged in 1994. Then Bowie sealed the deal, and we shook hands on it (METAPHORICALLY) when I watched his 1995 European MTV Awards performance. I’ve cried to this song a lot of times and if you feel like it, you should, too.

Heroes (from “Heroes,” 1977)

Just blast this through megaphones and mega-speakers, with your mega hearts glowing. Listen to this track with your best friend, lover, or life pal/date/queen/king as you walk the mountainous pathways of life. Make sure to sing this line loud and clear: “Though nothing will keep us together, we can beat them forever and ever!”

Under Pressure (from Queen’s “Hot Space,” 1982)

As you burst through academia’s doors—be it this March at end-of-school 2k16, or this June’s back-to-school 2k16—with this song, you can be all like, “LOL everything sux, even this meticulously crafted learning system! But I have to get my grades up high, high, high!” and you’ll be… um, under pressure once and again. But geez, relax, kid.

Ziggy Stardust (from “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” 1972)

Categorizing this here track would constrict it of its greatness, and it is an evil thing to do, so just play this wondersong (like the way Ziggy played guitar) to every party or event you attend. Make sure to blast it loud and close to people’s eardrums and hearts, and go on: Just bitch about life (and your fans), but don’t crush your hands. (Because I wanna hold them.)

Queen Bitch (from “Hunky Dory,” 1971)

This one hell of a song speaks true and rings dear in my own heart because aside from the fact that my initials would abbreviate as KFlo (as in “sister Flo”), I also dedicated a year of my life staging the Queen Bitch attitude (e.g., letting my friends call me Queen Bitch).

So your sister Flo says: “Just prance to this and celebrate your multitude!” We are vast, vast, vast like the wide open space above and we could be heroes for a day, man, or you know, like, forever and ever.


I may not see David Bowie perform live, ever, but I am eternally grateful for this person’s weirdness and bravery and courage. Although he’ll never again be touched, seen, or heard in tangible space, in proximity —he will always touch people, and be seen and heard with the irreplaceable authenticity of his art.

In retrospect, he was not of this world, but of the grand design that’s out there, up there—wherever, whatever. He was not of flesh and bones, but of stars and oddity.

Article by Kiana
Art by Pat P.
Kiana Kimberly Flores's constancy fluctuates. A scholar of nowhere and an aspiring witch, she is a reader and thinker more than a writer and doer. Despite this, she writes a weekly diary at Rookie Mag and has contributed to Femsplain. She seeks to become relentless in her conducts. She lives in Davao City with her grandmother and a dog named Daisy.
Pat is a Visual Communication student and likes to draw comics and watch cartoons. She loves cereal and can eat it for days on end as breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, merienda, dinner, and dessert.


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