Poem: Beacon Of Light

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Some beacons of light make the world easier,

Liberate people to be themselves

And show them it is ok to be.

 

Some beacons of light make music

That passes through generations

And is timeless.

 

Some beacons of light make an impact

On how you see the world

And how you see people.

 

Some beacons of light make an impact

On how others see the world

And how they see you.

 

Rest in peace David Bowie.

David Bowie The Next Day Deluxe Edition Review!

Some artists have a great successful career the first time around but when they come back to make an album years on it doesn’t sound quite as well and listeners are left yearning for the glory days of the past. Not so with David Bowie whose 2013 offering The Next Day when played alongside his older studio albums all at least ten years old sounds just as authentic and wonderful. What makes this album so amazing is that Bowie stuck to what he knew how to do brilliantly and didn’t try to conform to contemporary musical trends. Then again when did David Bowie ever conform? and we all love him all the more for that fact.

Let’s look at each track individually:

The Next Day

From the title opening track you know that this is going to be a great piece of work. It is assured, thundering perfection. The instrumentals are invigorating and it is an epic start.

Dirty Boys

The flow into the chorus on this track is brilliantly constructed and the intro is very unique. Bowie’s vocal is very storytelling-esque. The instrumentals have a very funky rock feel to it.

The Stars (Are Out Tonight)

One of my two favourite tracks on the album. I also love the video because the amazing Andreja Pejic is in it. It’s a brilliant video starring Bowie and Pejic as well as Tilda Swinton and Saskia de Brauw. What a cast, eh? The song itself is very catchy and layered in meaning. It’s uplifting and meaningful with great lyrics. Endlessly-playable.

Love Is Lost

Emotionally-rich ballad with beautiful instrumentals that flow wonderfully.

Where Are We Now?

This ballad shows the excellent narrative of Bowie’s vocal. It is a poetic, heartfelt and raw vocal delivery. Effective and hypnotizing.

Valentine’s Day

I love the intro to this song and how cohesive the instrumentals are. It is assured and layered and Bowie’s vocal as always is amazing.

If You Can See Me

Dynamic and effortless this song is a strident listen from start to finish. Bowie is singing notes very quickly and I personally don’t know how he keeps up with it because I certainly can’t keep up with the notes when I’m trying to sing along. Trying been the object word in my case so good on him for that.

I’d Rather Be High

A very laid-back number. It feels like a jamming session which is wonderful. Delightful vocal and instrumentals throughout with skillful sensitivity and a wonderful hook to remember.

Boss of Me (Bowie, Gerry Leonard)

This is my other favourite song on the album. Another endlessly-playable track with a great chorus. Great hook. The narrative in Bowie’s vocal is brilliant. I love how all the parts of the song just seamlessly flow into each other. This David Bowie and Gerry Leonard composition is incredible.

Dancing Out in Space

Catchy with a great hook. Stunning flow from section to section. Strong and compact and the chorus is very memorable.

How Does the Grass Grow? (Bowie, Jerry Lordan)

Laid-back instrumentals flow into thunderous instrumentals. The vocal combinations have a very old school rock feel to them in this David Bowie/Jerry Lordan track. Focused and refined.

(You Will) Set the World On Fire

The intro to this track is a great slab of thunderous rock. This is my second favourite track on the album to The Stars (Are Out Tonight) and Boss of Me. The lyrics are great and the chorus is very memorable. Bowie’s vocal is stunning, edgy and narrative-like.

You Feel So Lonely You Could Die

Beautiful and poignant, this number is amazing, textured and emotional.

Heat

Dramatic intro that has a very experimental and ethereal quality. Bowie’s haunting vocal over these instrumentals sounds glorious. Hauntingly beautiful with a mesmerizing, mythical and musical quality. Bowie’s vocal has a narrative vibe and draws you completely into the song.

So She

A lighter track than many of the other numbers it has a very sunny, fun feel to it and a bit of a folk feel. Stunning track.

Plan

Stunning instrumentals. Glorious sound storming into your ears.

I’ll Take You There (Bowie, Leonard)

The second of the David Bowie/Gerry Leonard compositions is a delightful closing track to the album. It is masterful and refined rock ‘n’ roll and is thrilling and polished.

The Link Between Shyness and The Creative Arts!

When I was younger, I used to sing in school shows and the amount of times I heard that it was a surprise to people that I did perform on stage was countless. I don’t think people mean it with any malice. I think they just genuinely are surprised. I think it has been conditioned into peoples’ minds that shyness somehow means that a person will be cowering away in a corner half the time or something. And that doesn’t tend to be true. I think where the problem begins really is that people don’t understand what shyness is. Shyness is when a person is not confident in how they speak. That doesn’t necessarily mean that that lack of confidence in one area of their lives translates in any other particular area. It’s like a person who isn’t confident in their driving for example, it doesn’t mean they are going be not confident in another part of their lives such as playing a sport for example. And it can completely go the other way too. I have seen people who are the biggest talkers freeze when they go on a stage and that’s because they are confident in their speaking but not in performing.

I always find it weird when people say that they don’t think people can achieve in creative fields due to their shyness. Especially when you look at the history of so many successful people in the creative industries. And I’m not just pulling at straws. So many of the people who were successful shy creatives have been major names in show business and have been brave enough to be unique and do something new. Let’s look at a few and celebrate them for a few moments:

Music

David Bowie

“I’m not particularly a gregarious person. I had an unbearable shyness; it was much easier for me to keep on with the Ziggy thing, off stage as well as on. Who was David Bowie and who was Ziggy Stardust? It was motivated by shyness.”

Ella Fitzgerald

“I’m very shy, and I shy away from people. But the moment I hit the stage, it’s a different feeling. I get nerve from somewhere; maybe it’s because it’s something I love to do.”

Bob Dylan

“I remember Bob had soft, squidgy, little hands and was really shy – he hardly said two words.”

– Thin Lizzy’s Gary Moore speaking about Bob Dylan.

Freddie Mercury

“In real life nobody knew Freddie. He was shy, gentle and kind. He was never the one, he was on the stage.”

– Queen bandmate Roger Taylor speaking about Freddie Mercury.

Brian Molko

“I am actually a shy person, but there is a need for the flamboyant aspect of myself to express itself. The context for that is the live show. That side of my personality is satisfied by the act of performance, and I don’t need to behave extravagantly in my everyday life. Which I’m quite grateful for.”

Elvis Presley

“Here I was with somebody who I didn’t know was going to become famous. But I did know two things: I knew that he was not shy – I mean, Elvis was shy in the sense that he was introverted,but he was not shy to the camera – and he made the girls cry.”

– Alfred Wertheimer speaking about Elvis Presley.

And alas, that’s just six in music. If you Google it or read music biographies you’ll find so many more your eyes will burst with pride and awe if you are shy like me.

And now onto fashion which I shall list three people from but like music if you search you’ll find so many more!

Fashion

Yves Saint Laurent

“An ugly, ungainly, overgrown boy with thick glasses, and so horribly shy he couldn’t take his eyes off the floor”.

– Womens Wear Daily’s correspondent speaking about Yves Saint Laurent.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

“I remember reading a book about Chanel in which a woman talks about seeing her singing in a little cabaret when she was maybe 18. Chanel was described as a shy, ambitious girl. This adjective of ‘shy’ surprised me. I think that is what is interesting about her, that she had such different dimensions. She couldn’t only be a strong and tough and stubborn person, because you don’t create with your confidence. You create with your doubts.”

– Audrey Tautou speaking about Coco Chanel

Gianni Versace

“I’m still the little, provincial shy boy who forced himself to be a public person.”

And three examples from the acting profession darlings!

Acting

Cillian Murphy

“The shy Corkman tells Stephen Milton about his venture to the small screen and how he’s recently started getting offers to play ‘dad’ roles”

– from independent.ie speaking about Cillian Murphy.

Ben Whishaw

“Dressed in a black polo neck and blue trousers — an ensemble that wouldn’t look out of place on Bond himself – Whishaw is sitting opposite me on a sofa somewhere in central London. Slender and stubbly, he appears initially nervous as he distractedly picks at a sandwich. But I soon realise that he is appealingly shy.”

– James Rampton speaking about Ben Whishaw.

Keira Knightley

“I am crap at parties. I tend to sit in the corner. I’ll sit in the corner and find one person to talk to or I’ll go on the dance floor and get quite drunk. But I am not good at that whole … (About been at the round of parties for Pride and Prejudice with her brother and parents.) We all stood in a corner, saying ‘Oh, this is weird!’.”

So I think all these people and countless others have proved that shyness won’t stop a person achieving what they want to achieve in life. And yet even today people say, “Great yet shy.” like the two can’t exist together or it’s strange that they do which I find a little strange really. I often wonder where the rule that to be publicly successful you had to be a great talker anyway came in. After all, what has it got to do with a person’s craft and talent? We may not be the bravest in social situations but we are in life.

Happy Birthday David Bowie!

Yesterday was the legend that is David Bowie’s birthday!

I was watching a concert of his yesterday but I didn’t get around to putting up this blog. He was 68 yesterday. Belated happy birthday David! 🙂

Let’s take a look at three of his hits in celebration:

Heroes

Life On Mars?

Ziggy Stardust

23 Sexy Men Through The Years!

Have you ever flicked through magazines with pics from the past or seen a past star online and thought if I had have been out in your day I’d have had a crush?

Well that’s exactly what this blog post is all about, men who I have thought that about. I’ve narrowed the list down to 23 handsome men throughout the years and their in no particular order (Well I’ve put all the music guys together, guys in fashion together and the actors together but in terms of gorgeousness it’s no particular order.). From sexy rock gods to actors with sensual charm with two gorgeous popstars, a smouldering man who served in the U.S. Navy in Word War II, a beautiful poet, a very handsome fashion photographer and a strikingly handsome fashion designer, take a minute, sit back and enjoy a trip down memory lane sexy-style! 🙂

1.   Marc Bolan

Look at those eyes! Piercing, deep … swoon! 🙂 The frontman of T. Rex Marc Bolan looked every inch the star and a great looking man. He oozed sex appeal which is something most rockers do ooze and aren’t we all glad they do?! 🙂

2.   Kurt Cobain

Gorgeous blue eyes and flowing blonde locks! Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was simply a beautiful man. I remember the first time I seen him was in a picture inside the locker of a girl at school and I thought he’s good-looking to myself but I didn’t know who he was. At that stage I only knew Smells Like Teen Spirit. Cobain came across as very gentle and kind on YouTube videos I seen of him and that’s attractive too!

3.   Roger Taylor

I am a huge Queen fan and I don’t actually think any of Queen was bad-looking men but in opinion something stood out about Roger Taylor. The drummer was just this incredibly gorgeous blonde guy! Cute with edge! 🙂

4.   Phil Lynott

Again I’m a massive fan of Thin Lizzy! They were our Irish rock heroes! And frontman Phil Lynott had this magnistism about him which was intoxicating. You could lost in his eyes, couldn’t you? 🙂 A beautiful, beautiful Irishman with immense musical talent!

5.   Jim Morrison

I think everyone fancied The Doors’ frontman Jim Morrison. He was so complex that you wonder how his wife Pamela Courson put up with him and why. Then you look at him and you understand why! Jim Morrison was kind of sex appeal personified in his leather trousers and with his overall sexiness. He had this sexual stare, he was so hot it was almost intimidating. I mean it was a kind of an exciting, wild, sexual danger that can be quite enticing.

6.   Billy Idol

English rock star Billy Idol was incredibly sexy. His Rolling Stone cover was super hot! The Dancing With Myself and White Wedding singer just looked gorgeous and hot in photographs. He was intensely sexy! 🙂

7.   Jeff Buckley

I remember an album was released of Jeff Buckley’s music and the ad was on the TV. I hadn’t heard of him at that time and the ad went quite quick so I thought he was a new artist and you know, he looks good-looking, a new crush. It was only after that I realised he had died many years before. He was very young like quite a few men on this list when he died. But when he was alive he was a very gorgeous man with a haunting voice and great musical talents.

8. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was an amazing guitarist but he was also very attractive. There was a very sexual feel to his stage performances and I remember watching a documentary on him and he was sitting on a bed talking and I was thinking this must have been good for peoples’ healths back then! 🙂 Like many guys on this list he was also very individualistic and that’s a very attractive quality in a person. 🙂

9. Iggy Pop

There was something incredibly sexualised about Iggy Pop’s stage performances. I recently was watching a program called Anarchy In Manchester and his performance of Passenger was just something else! 🙂 Beautiful dark features he had and was very attractive in that whole time of punk.

10. Adam Ant

Adam Ant with eyeliner around his eyes? Oh heaven! 🙂 It just went so well with his dark, amazing eyes. I even used that picture in a fashion project I done in college about Gothic looks. And of course he looked damn beautiful in the project. He was incredible looking and those eyes, wow! 🙂

11. Brian Jones

Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones’ beauty just oozes out of pictures. Fit as hell!

12. David Bowie

With sex appeal to burn David Bowie always looked downright hot!

13. Andrew Ridgeley

I know almost everybody back in the day of Wham! was besotted by George but I think I would have fancied Andrew. He didn’t tend to sing much but he looked absolutely stunning! 🙂

14. Chris Lowe

I used to watch the video to the Pet Shop Boys’ West End Girls when I was younger and I used to kind of think to myself that the little, dark-haired lad at the back was quite handsome. That lad of course was Chris Lowe! 🙂

15.   Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent I first seen in a book on fashion I borrowed from the library and he was just this incredibly handsome man. Long before it was fashionable, Saint Laurent was making geeky chic and he had this lovely personality too. I know he was criticised quite a lot for his shy personality but I thought it was just gorgeous! 🙂

16. David Bailey

Fashion photographer David Bailey more known for his work behind the camera was also pretty damn photogenic himself! With gorgeous deep eyes that looked mysterious and dark hair he was a gorgeous man who could have anyone he wanted. Gorgeous! 🙂

17.Frankie Merlo

Frankie Merlo was and came into the whole arts/culture world when he started dating and subsequently living with writer Tennessee Williams. I mean look at him, he was the epitome of handsome sophistication. Tennessee Williams done very well for himself indeed! Frankie was supposed to be liked by almost everyone who met him and I would have thought he was fantastic too. He seemed a really nice, down-to-earth person and I would have loved to have been besties with him! 🙂

18.   James Dean

What can you add to a comment about James Dean’s beauty which hasn’t already been said?! I think everyone fancied James Dean, didn’t they? And it’s easy to see why. The Rebel Without a Cause star oozed sex appeal and brooding masculinity. He was just incredibly handsome. Each feature just perfect. Those piercing eyes that pierce right through you, full of cool, casual swagger and almost uneffortlessly handsome. Stunning, stunning, stunning! 🙂

19. Montgomery Clift

I read about Montgomery Clift before I ever seen what he looked like in Truman Capote’s biography and he seemed a nice man but quite troubled at the end of his life. He was an amazingly natural actor who starred in movies such as I Confess, Lonelyhearts and Suddenly, Last Summer and he had these incredible eyes which in his roles were so emotive and convincing. Very, very handsome man.

20. Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando oozed that sophisticated, very strong air. Some scenes in Tennessee’s Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire when he gets all angry are really rather hot and it’s very easy to see why he was such a sex symbol back in the day! 🙂 He had such a fabulously chiseled face with brooding deep eyes and very kissable lips.

21. Errol Flynn

Australian-American actor Errol Flynn was a smouldering, beautiful man with a gorgeous smile. He played Robin Hood and needs to be seen in tights!:-) Other roles this very sexy man was in included Against All Flags, Mara Maru and Montana.

22. Anthony Andrews

I’m a huge Brideshead Revisited fan and Anthony Andrews was this gorgeous blonde hunk! 🙂 He played the role of Sebastian Flyte and while Jeremy Irons who played Charles wasn’t hard on the eye either there is just something about Andrews. Watch him smoking in his role as Sebastian. It’s kind of sexy! 🙂

23. Lord Alfred Douglas

Poet Lord Alfred Douglas was probably more known for been Oscar Wilde’s boyfriend which in a sense was a shame because I’ve read some of his poetry and it’s quite good. Reading about his story with Oscar, you do get the impression that maybe Oscar loved him a bit more than he loved him and when you look at Lord Alfred with those delicate, beautiful features, gorgeous eyes, soft blonde hair you can see how he became so besotted by him. If I was a man back then and Lord Alfred showed a bit of interest then I think I would have been caught hook, line and sinker too to be fair! 🙂

The Brits 2014!

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Last night’s Brit Awards saw Arctic Monkeys and One Direction emerge as the big winners with both acts winning two accolades each at London’s O2 Arena.

Arctic Monkeys won Best British Group and Album Of The Year for their album AM while 1D won Global Success Award and British Video Of The Year for their hit Best Song Ever.

Meanwhile Ellie Goulding beat off stiff competition from Jessie J, Laura Marling, Birdie and Laura Mvula to win Best British Female Artist and the amazing Bastille took home British Breakthrough Act.

Kate Moss wore one of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust playsuits to accept the award on his behalf for British Male Artist.

Other winners:

Best International Male: Bruno Mars

Best International Female: Lorde

British Single: Rudimental for Waiting All Night

Best International Group: Daft Punk (Award accepted by the amazing Nile Rodgers on their behalf)

Critics’ Choice (already awarded): Sam Smith