• Moonage Daydream

    15 April 2023

    I watched Moonage Daydream, the "cinematic odyssey" David Bowie movie. As a huge fan of 35 or so years, I enjoyed it, though would have preferred a more in-depth, less scattershot approach. But it definitely served as a nice reminder of how influential, experimental and fascinating a musical artist he was.


    Bowie is one of a small number of artists/bands whose body of work is a lifelong exploration for me. Pixies, Talking Heads, The Smiths, The Beatles, The Who, Radiohead, Fred The Band, Pink Floyd, REM, Nick Cave, U2... are some of the others. I fairly regularly cycle through most or all of their albums, even though you'd think there's nothing new to glean from them after two of three decades of heavy listening. But no, they captivate me still, and I return to the bulk of their recorded output, even the albums which aren't their strongest, to explore them again and again and again.


    There are more whose work I dip into regularly but not in that same level of depth. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, Green Day, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Jam, Kasabian, Oasis, Metallica, Neil Young... They've produced some of my favourite music, and there are certain albums or greatest hit collections that I return to frequently, or listen to again several times after years of having not even thought about them, but although I've listened to almost everything they've ever recorded, I almost never sit down and go through all the albums again. I enjoyed them at some point in the past, and probably still would if I listened to them again, but they just don't have the same overall, in-depth draw for me that those in that first bracket do.


    It's impossible to explain why one artist intrigues me more than another. If you asked me to pick a favourite out of The Kinks and The Who, I might well plump for The Kinks. In many ways I prefer the Stones to the Beatles. Yet The Who and the Beatles draw me back to their large backlist much more often than the Kinks or the Stones.


    It can be the same with writers, movie directors, TV shows, artists, comics. Some things in this world just connect with us especially deeply -- if we're lucky. My advice, as a guy in his 50s who's been around a few blocks in his time, is to try and find creators (in whatever fields are of most interest to you) whose work can continually stimulate you. New finds are great, and it's lucky to look up old favourites who you might not have thought about for a couple of decades. But those few whose work journeys with you through life and compels you to appreciate it at regular, different points along your life curve -- for me, along with the musicians, that would include the likes of Stephen King, John Ford, Stanley Kubrick, the TV show Cheers, Vincent Van Gogh, the Watchmen graphic novel -- those are the creative companions you will most cherish and draw most comfort and inspiration and wonder from.




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