How David Bowie Inspired—and Was Inspired by—Black Artists
The iconic singer, who died of cancer Sunday, embraced the work of black artists and was an advocate for diversity in the entertainment industry.
BY: MIKOL L. CLARKE AND ADRIAN LOVING
Posted: Jan. 12 2016 3:55 PM
David Bowie was an iconic figure whose genius, vision and artistic versatility inspired—and was inspired by—generations of black musicians and artists.
Bowie was an outspoken champion for diversity in the entertainment industry, and he was widely known to embrace black artists and their work. In his recent retrospective touring exhibition, David Bowie Is, he recalled wanting to be a white Little Richard at age 8 after being exposed to his music. “I wanted to be a musician because it seemed rebellious, it seemed subversive.” In the ’70s, Bowie—already a bona fide glam-rock star—turned to R&B, soul and funk to create music he dubbed “plastic soul.” In the ’80s and beyond, his irreverent style was a source of inspiration for artists across many genres, including hip-hop.
Here’s a list of some of Bowie’s more popular intersections with black musicians and performers:
Bowie cited Little Richard as a major influence and said he heard the voice of God when listening to Richard’s “Tutti Frutti.”
Guitarist Carlos Alomar, who previously worked with Luther Vandross in 1974, invited him to attend a Bowie recording session at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia. Vandross’ amazing voice became a fixture on Bowie’s R&B-inspired 1975 album, Young Americans, as a background singer. Vandross also co-wrote the single “Fascination” with Bowie. Vandross would later tour with Bowie as both backup singer and opening act.
Nile Rodgers met Bowie, who was sitting alone at a club one night in New York City, and the two struck up a conversation about music, particularly jazz. They also talked about working on a song together, and the result of their collaboration was the 1983 chart-topping single “Let’s Dance.” Rodgers said the collaboration helped changed the course of his career, following the rise of the “disco sucks” era. Ten years later, Rodgers and Bowie would work together again, along with R&B crooner Al B. Sure, on “Black Tie White Noise,” a song inspired by the Los Angeles riots.
David Bowie: Invisible New Yorker
By STEVEN KURUTZ
JAN. 16, 2016
About 10 years ago, the playwright John Guare got a call asking if he wanted to meet David Bowie to discuss a theater project.
As Mr. Guare remembered it, Mr. Bowie was “in a very dark place” (it was shortly after he had had a heart attack onstage in Berlin), and a mutual friend, the English producer Robert Fox, was trying to coax him back to a creative life. Mr. Guare immediately said yes.
He and Mr. Bowie met at each other’s homes in New York to throw around ideas, and sometimes they went out. “We would take walks around the East Village,” Mr. Guare said. “And I was always praying somebody would run into us so I could say, ‘Do you know my friend David Bowie?’”
It never happened.
Mr. Guare was at first puzzled and then amazed at how Mr. Bowie — the stage creature, the persona, the guy he saw command an audience at Radio City Music Hall in 1973 with his spiky orange hair and snow-white tan — could walk the city streets unrecognized.
“He traveled with this cloak of invisibility — nobody saw him,” Mr. Guare said. “He just eradicated himself.”
People often forgot, but up until his death, on Sunday at age 69, Mr. Bowie was a New Yorker. He said so himself, emphatically. “I’m a New Yorker!” he declared to SOMA magazine in 2003, after he’d been here a decade.
He and his Somali-born wife, Iman, who is a model fluent in five languages, spent almost their entire marriage, more than 20 years, as residents of the city. Anyone will tell you they were one of New York’s most glamorous, graceful couples, made all the more so by the dignified and private way they lived.
South-siders spar over proposed Stony Island bike lanes
Opponents—including Fifth Ward alderman Leslie Hairston—argue the lanes would cause traffic jams, while supporters say they’re a needed safety improvement.
By John Greenfield
For much of it’s length, Stony Island Avenue is basically an expressway with stoplights. Located on the southeast side between 56th and 130th, it generally has eight travel lanes, the same number as Lake Shore Drive, although it carries half as many vehicles per day—35,000 versus 70,000. Due to this excess lane capacity, speeding is rampant.
The city has proposed converting a lane or two of Stony between 67th and 79th into protected bike lanes. Some residents, and Fifth Ward alderman Leslie Hairston, fear the “road diet” would cause traffic jams, and argue the street is too dangerous for bike lanes. Other neighbors say Stony is too dangerous not to have them.
Mayor Rahm wants to spend $16 million on high-end apartments
Emanuel’s handpicked Community Development Commission rubber-stamps a TIF deal in Uptown.
By Ben Joravsky
On January 12 headed over to City Hall to see firsthand if the spirit of reform that’s supposedly transformed the Emanuel administration since the release of the Laquan McDonald video had reached the Community Development Commission.
The CDC is a 15-person advisory body appointed by the mayor to oversee tax increment financing deals. As such, the chief challenge for commissioners is to pretend they’re dedicated watchdogs of the public purse while making sure they actually do what the mayor wants.
I’m sure it’s not as easy as it looks.
On the agenda for this meeting is the Montrose/Clarendon plan. Emanuel’s proposing to give about $16 million to developers so they can make a fortune building approximately 630 upscale apartment units in Uptown, just west of Lake Shore Drive.
Not that there’s anything wrong with developers making a fortune. I’m hoping to make a fortune one of these days myself. It’s just that we have other things we could do with the money, what with the schools being broke and everything.
The hearing opens with city planner Mary Bonome’s explanation of the project.
When Chicago spent its pension money on the mayor’s pet projects
A decade ago, city leaders acted like we didn’t have a care in the world.
By Ben Joravsky @joravben
As we all prepare for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed property tax hike to pay off billions of dollars in pension obligations, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane to a not-so-distant era when our leaders acted like we didn’t have a care in the world.
The year was 2004—and what a glorious time it was!
We were in the midst of a fabulous real estate bubble that sent property taxes flowing into the city’s coffers like champagne at an Emanuel fund-raiser.
Amid the good times, a few wealthy friends of then mayor Richard Daley threw a lavish party in the Pritzker Pavilion at the recently completed Millennium Park.
I knew this was coming…
EPA official resigns over Flint water crisis
By Timothy Cama – 01/21/16 06:16 PM EST
The regional Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief responsible for Michigan is resigning amid charges that she did not do enough to prevent the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis.
Susan Hedman, regional administrator for the EPA’s Chicago-based region 5, submitted her resignation Thursday, effective Feb. 1, the EPA said.
Hedman told the Detroit News last week that her office knew in April 2015 that Flint’s action to switch its water supply could cause increased pipe corrosion and spiked lead levels.
She did not notify the public or take similar action, instead only pushing Michigan officials to fix the problems, the News said.
Later last year, incidents of lead poisoning among children increased substantially, leading to the crisis.
Dan Wyant, director of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, resigned in December for his role in the problems.
E-mails released Wednesday showed that the staff of Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and the environmental agency spent months last year pointing fingers at local and federal offices for the lead problem as they downplayed concerns.
Three days ago…
EPA chief defends agency’s handling of Flint crisis
Jim Lynch The Detroit News 6:36 p.m. EST January 18, 2016
…the head of EPA’s Region 5 covering the Midwest told The Detroit News last week her department was aware since April that Flint water was not being treated with chemicals to prevent lead from leaching — a situation that its water expert said would put residents at risk for contamination. The agency did not alert the public to those concerns.
The failure to include corrosion controls — chemicals such as phosphorus that seal the inside of water pipes to prevent leaching — is considered a key part of Flint’s long-running problems. In April 2014, the city switched to the Flint River for its drinking water, and problems quickly become apparent.
Without corrosion controls, residents immediately noticed their tap water was discolored, with strange smells and bad tastes. A year and a half later, Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards released sampling results that showed high levels of lead in city water. Soon after, Hurley Medical Center researcher Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha discovered elevated levels of lead in the bloodwork of Flint’s children.
EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman said last week that though her agency did not alert the public to the potential dangers, it followed proper protocol by repeatedly prompting Michigan’s DEQ to implement corrosion controls.
“It is important to understand the clear roles here,” Hedman said. “Communication about lead in drinking water and the health impacts associated with that, that’s the role of DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services), the county health department and the drinking water utility.”
When DEQ officials failed to act, an in-house memo prepared by EPA water expert Miguel Del Toral in June outlined the problems posed by the lack of corrosion controls.
“Recent drinking water sample results indicate the presence of high lead results in the drinking water…,” Del Toral wrote. “The lack of any mitigating treatment for lead is of serious concern for residents that live in homes with lead service lines or partial lead service lines, which are common throughout the City of Flint.”
But when Del Toral’s memo began to circulate, internal documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Edwards show Hedman trying to dampen its impact.
“The preliminary draft report should not have been released outside the agency,” Hedman wrote in a July 1 email to then-Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. “When the report has been revised and fully vetted by EPA management, the findings and recommendations will be shared with the city and DEQ will be responsible for following up with the city.”
Last week, Hedman’s office attempted to clarify her handling of the memo: “We were immediately concerned once this information was shared with staff. … EPA regional staff at all levels repeatedly communicated to DEQ a recommendation for Flint to implement corrosion control, did so throughout the spring of 2015 and ultimately DEQ agreed on July 21.”
Documents show that while DEQ agreed in late July that corrosion controls were needed in Flint, corrosion controls were still missing from Flint’s water treatment program months later.
From Jan 12, 2016. Welcome to the bureaucracy.
EPA stayed silent on Flint’s tainted water
Jim Lynch, The Detroit News 11:30 p.m. EST January 12, 2016
Instead of moving quickly to verify the concerns or take preventative measures, federal officials opted to prod the DEQ to act, EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman told The Detroit News this week. Hedman said she sought a legal opinion on whether the EPA could force action, but it wasn’t completed until November.
The state didn’t agree to apply corrosion controls until late July and didn’t publicly concede until October that it erroneously applied the federal Lead and Copper Rule overseeing water quality.
An EPA water expert, Miguel Del Toral, identified potential problems with Flint’s drinking water in February, confirmed the suspicions in April and summarized the looming problem in a June internal memo. The state decided in October to change Flint’s drinking water source from the corrosive Flint River back to the Detroit water system.
Critics have charged Hedman with attempting to keep the memo’s information in-house and downplaying its significance.
As soon as the lack of corrosion controls became apparent, state and federal officials should have acted to protect the public, said Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards, whose water analysis in 2015 helped uncover Flint’s lead contamination.
“At that point, you do not just have smoke, you have a three-alarm fire and should respond immediately,” said Edwards, who, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, has obtained dozens of key documents related to Flint’s crisis through public record requests. “There was no sense of urgency at any of the relevant agencies, with the obvious exception of Miguel Del Toral, and he was silenced and discredited.”
About five months after being alerted to the lack of corrosion controls, a researcher at Hurley Medical Center in Flint began in August detecting high levels of lead in the bloodwork of city children. Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities and, at high levels, may lead to seizures, coma and death, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
DEQ and EPA staffers were at loggerheads over dueling interpretations of the Lead and Copper Rule — a 25-year-old regulation designed to protect drinking water from metals contamination. The interpretation of the rule proved to be crucial after the city — under Snyder-appointed emergency managers — switched from Lake Huron water provided by the Detroit system to Flint River water as a cost-saving move in the spring of 2014.
Following the switch, DEQ officials argued water testing, including two six-month periods of sampling, needed to be completed before making a decision on the need for corrosion controls. EPA officials, according to Hedman, wanted the controls implemented immediately out of concern for public health.
If they knew Flint’s lack of corrosion measures would likely result in lead reaching the drinking water — by June, testing would show it had — why didn’t EPA officials inform the public when the DEQ failed to act?
Hedman said federal law clearly lays out the state and federal responsibilities in overseeing safe drinking water. The EPA’s role is to establish treatment standards and monitoring techniques, and provide technical assistance, she said. The state acts as the primary regulator of water operations.
“It is important to understand the clear roles here,” Hedman said. “Communication about lead in drinking water and the health impacts associated with that, that’s the role of DHHS, the county health department and the drinking water utility.”
In addition, EPA officials argue that there wasn’t sufficient early evidence for any sweeping steps to be taken.
Hedman said the EPA talked with its legal counsel about its authority to compel action — a question that wouldn’t be straightened out for months. In the interim, she said her agency urged Michigan to have its Department of Health and Human Services provide information on precautions for residents.
Well, I think that Susan Hedman’s resignation (which was probably not her idea) is a good start. We’re talking about drinking water here, and she can blather forever about proper protocal and clearly defined roles and so forth, but I refuse to believe that in her position she could not have kicked some a$$ and taken names to move things along more quickly. For example, why did it take so damn long to get a legal opinion? People were drinking contaminated water, for crying out loud.
Even so, no one should lose sight of how and why this debacle got started in the first place. The ones who made the switch to Flint water are at fault. The EPA is a regulatory agency, not the first line of defense. They are a huge, slow moving bureaucracy, not a SWAT team. And sadly, some bureaucrats and heads of big agencies are better than others. It is unfortunate that someone as rigid and inflexible as Susan Hedman was in charge.
Track’s been in DOMESTIC COMBAT in his realtionships with women.
What in the living hell? No breaking news on @CNN about the #danielholtzclaw sentencing? These people make up breaking news everyday.
BREAKING NEWS: #DanielHoltzclaw sentenced to 263 consecutive years in prison.
Well, so be it. He had every opportunity, a college degree, but he chose to be a sexual predator and throw his life away.
YES YES YES YES
Good Day, Dear Chics & Chicettes! I had computer issues, etc so I’m just getting back to my online routine this week. I hope you are all well. I am glad to see the link to that great Vox article about Flint in the thread below. I figured you were on it but I saw it at Zandar’s place and was going to drop it in case it hadn’t yet been shared.
The death of this young girl is a tragedy and a travesty, but nothing from the land of KenKlannistan surprises me.
Bernie’s new ad. Very benign, certainly better than an attack ad.
In 1973 Marlon Brando “regretfully” refused his Oscar for best actor.
Thank you for reminding US of an era where folks still had and exercised their MORAL COMPASS. Marlon Brando took care of business in the most graceful, profound ways at that awards show.
He didn’t tarnish the craft of acting. Through his choosing Ms. Littlefeather, he highlighted the hypocrisy, racism, and inequality of the First Nations Peoples by allowing her to give voice to their treatment, and by him REMAINING INVISIBLE.
Today at these awards shows? It’s pure grandstanding, more power, more prestige, more white entitlement, and crab-in-a-barrel fuckery
YW, Ametia. I gave up on the Oscars at least ten years ago. So many good films, directors, actors, etc…have been overlooked while mediocrity has been rewarded which only guarantees more mediocrity. Once in awhile they get it right, but the wait is usually too long and getting longer.
It made me tear up, Liza.
Just sentence this MOFO & send him up to the BIG HOUSE with plenty of SOAP, & pray that he DROPS it EVERYTIME.
Did y’all see this? The story turns out to be true, but just look what the media did before it was verified. The car was smoking from the deployed airbag, wasn’t on fire, but most people don’t know that happens with airbags so they think there is a fire.
How New England’s Darius Fleming went from hero to liar and back to hero
By Claire McNear Jan 21, 2016, 8:03a 17
On Wednesday, a story made the rounds about the heroics of a backup Patriots linebacker. Darius Fleming, 26, saved a woman from a burning car last week, kicking open a window and sustaining cuts that required 22 stitches in the process. Fleming played in Saturday’s playoff victory over the Kansas City Chiefs despite his injury, and he was celebrated on social media as the account of the accident spread.
Then reports surfaced that the whole thing might have been made up, echoing the saga of former USC cornerback Josh Shaw, who manufactured a story about a drowned nephew in 2014. Yet just hours later, police reports emerged that appeared to confirm Fleming’s account of the accident and rescue.
What exactly happened?
This is a damn good question for today.
Here is a link to Bernie Sanders “Racial Justice” platform page:
Piling on more pain
MAJOR SIDE EYE@ that first PARAGRAPH
Pro Football Writers name Cam Newton their NFL MVP
By Des Bieler January 20 at 8:41 PM
Just as with Hollywood, it’s awards season for the NFL. And even as Leonardo DiCaprio looks like a lock to win the best actor Oscar for “The Revenant,” Cam Newton seems like a sure thing to win the AP Most Valuable Player award for his starring role with the Carolina Panthers.
The latest evidence that it’s simply Newton’s year, at least in terms of individual honors, came Wednesday, when the Pro Football Writers of America named the quarterback MVP, as well as offensive player of the year. The PFWA also named Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt as its defensive player of the year.
Clinton Library set to release Donald Trump records
By Josh Gerstein | 01/20/16 09:39 AM EST
Former President Bill Clinton’s presidential library is set to make public nearly 500 pages of records pertaining to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to an official notice from the National Archives.
The records will detail the Clinton White House’s interactions with Trump and his Trump Organization, as well as how Clinton aides prepared to field questions about Trump’s entry into the 2000 presidential race, where he sought the nomination of the Reform Party for a few months before dropping out.
The files could revive questions about the friendly relationship Trump had with Bill and and Hillary Clinton before Trump launched his presidential bid last year and began taking a withering line against the Clintons.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2016/01/clinton-library-set-to-release-donald-trump-records-218007#ixzz3xtkLyf75
The Clintons and Trump and their relationship. Dear Lord, has it come to this? The nightmare is getting real.
SPIDEY SENSES…TINFOIL HAT…….
Ha ha, I keep my tinfoil hat close by.
you can be blind to it if you want to
Vets balk after Palin connects PTSD, Obama
01/21/16 08:00 AM
facebook twitter 2 save share group 51
By Steve Benen
It’s generally important to consider a politician’s family, especially his or her kids, off limits to political scrutiny. It’s simply unfair to go after private citizens, outside the arena, simply because of their familial connections.
But when a politician chooses to put a spotlight on their family members, on purpose, and uses them to advance an agenda, standards and expectations of privacy change.
On Monday, for example, one of Sarah Palin’s sons, 26-year-old Track Palin, was arrested, charged with domestic violence, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, and assault on his girlfriend. A day later, Palin endorsed Donald Trump, and yesterday she hit the campaign trail – where she suggested President Obama bore some responsibility for Track Palin’s issues.
Sarah Palin suggested Wednesday that her son’s arrest on domestic violence charges this week stemmed from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and – in part – the president’s lack of “respect” for veterans.
Addressing what she called “the elephant in the room” during a rally in support of Donald Trump, Palin said her son Track came back “different” from his year-long deployment in Iraq.
Referencing her son’s problem, Palin specifically said, “[I]t makes me realize more than ever, it is now or never for the sake of America’s finest that we’ll have that commander-in-chief who will respect them and honor them.” She added that veterans like her son “come back wondering if there is that respect … and that starts right at the top.”
Last night, Donald Trump took credit for the rhetoric, saying he “suggested” to Palin that she talk about the issue.
As Rachel noted on Twitter late yesterday, some veterans were not pleased with Palin’s rhetoric.
Don’t blame President Obama for the PTSD that Sarah Palin claims her oldest son is battling.
That was the message Wednesday from the head of a New York City-based veteran’s organization that has fought for years to get Iraq and Afghanistan war vets help with their post traumatic stress disorder.
“It’s not President Obama’s fault that Sarah Palin’s son has PTSD,” said Paul Rieckhoff, who heads Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). “PTSD is a very serious problem, a complicated mental health injury and I would be extremely reluctant to blame any one person in particular…. I hope this doesn’t become a portable chew toy in a political campaign,” he said.
It’s quite simple: bringing attention to PTSD is worthwhile; using PTSD as some of partisan cudgel to take cheap shots at the president is not.
LOL Trump ought to know by now, that Palin is an ANVIL.
MAY THEY BOTH GO DOWN IN A HOT, HEAP OF FLAMES IN HELL
The Return of Sarah Palin is more than I can bear. But, I’ll just say this. I do not believe that Donald Trump intends to keep her around. Whether or not this was true from the beginning, Trump is seriously trying to win the GOP nomination. Palin is a liability, a loudmouth fool of a woman. I can understand why Trump might use her for short term media attention, but he wouldn’t be wise to extend the relationship especially this close to the primaries. I’m hoping she’ll go back down the drain soon, this election is bad enough without her.
It hard for me to even figure out what the HELL I’m looking at in those photos.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Republicans: “Do What I Say, Not What I Don’t Do”
Think for a minute about the agenda that is being articulated by Republicans these days. And then, given the fact that they now control both houses of Congress, think about what they aren’t doing about it. For example:
* They say that we need to fight ISIS more aggressively (whatever that means). But President Obama has been asking Congress to pass an Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS for months now. Nada.
* They say that we need to secure our borders. Most of them think we should build an impenetrable wall on our border with Mexico. Some of them even say that we should deport all 10 million undocumented immigrants. Have we seen a bill on any of that in Congress? No.
* They say that they want to repeal Obamacare. OK, they actually passed a bill to do that. But they’ve also said that they want to replace it. Anyone seen that plan floating around anywhere? Not so much.
* They say that the problem with gun violence is that we don’t do enough to provide mental health treatment. Congress could do something about that. Have they? No.
* We’ve heard a lot about criminal justice reform. And some bills even passed out of committees. But so far – nothing has actually come up for a vote.
* I don’t know about you, but I haven’t even heard rumblings from Congress on anything we can do about jobs or wages.
* Of course, most Republicans deny that climate change even exists, so they’re not interested in doing anything about that.
Waiting on justice?
WHEN WILL IT HAPPEN?
Black-ish was so good last night!
On point and informative.
I was out. What was the content of the show?
Luvvie goes in on Stacey Dash:
Dear Stacey Dash, Who Knew Clueless Was a Biopic?
Awesomely Luvvie — January 21, 2016
I have chilled on writing ex-actress and current Faux News mouthpiece Stacey Dash a sternly-worded letter for years, as I verbally chin-checked Raven-Symone. So this is overdue. Besides, so many of y’all asked me to that I was afraid that if I didn’t, you might pitch a tent on my eLawn (aka my Facebook page) until I did.
She has tried it FOR REAL.
You know how folks talk about the “Great White Hope?” You’re the Great Black Disappointment, because every single time you open your mouth, stupidity falls out. You burp idiocy. And it’s either you’re doing it on purpose to troll us OR you were the prototype for the Child Left Behind that Dubya tried to save.
I do not understand how one person could be so out of touch that they’re a caricature of coon. Some of the things you’ve been saying in these last 5 years are so imbecilic that I’m pretty sure you’re the long lost niece of Uncle Ruckus. Self-hate is a summagoat, and you are swimming in it.
Latest GOP NH Polling:
the latest poll of Republican voters in the Granite State from CNN, WMUR, and the University of New Hampshire.
1. Donald Trump: 34% (up from 32% in early December)
2. Ted Cruz: 14% (up from 6%)
3. Jeb Bush: 10% (up from 8%)
3. Marco Rubio: 10% (down from 14%)
5. Chris Christie: 6% (down from 9%)
5. John Kasich: 6% (down from 7%)
5. Rand Paul: 6% (up from 2%)
Good Morning, Everyone:)
It was 23 degrees this morning…YES!!
Good morning, Rikyrah! I love you but I had to do this. LOL
BWA HA HA HA Honestly, we’re not TROLLING you, SG2.
Acclimating to sub zero weather is a part time job for some of us in the Midwest1
bwa ha ha ha ha
Rikyrah! UH HUH UH HUH
Putin implicated in fatal poisoning of former KGB spy at posh London hotel
By Griff Witte and Michael Birnbaum January 21 at 8:02 AM
LONDON — Russian President Vladimir Putin likely approved the fatal poisoning of a former KGB operative-turned-British intelligence agent at a post London hotel, according to a highly anticipated British inquiry released Thursday.
The findings — nearly a decade after Alexander Litvinenko succumbed to the effects of the radioactive polonium slipped into his cup of green tea at London’s Millennium Hotel — is sure to raise tensions between London and Moscow and possibly sharpen the focus on other suspicious deaths among Putin’s foes.
This is no shock…not in the least.
Not surprised but what’s going to happen now?
Good Morning, Everyone.