ZoneOneRadio – #ZoneOneDigest – Clipshow With a Grudge – Presented by @5tuartHardy @z1radio

Stuart Hardy presents #ZoneOneDigest – ZoneOneRadio’s weekly “Best of..” show.

Download from from iTunes – boos/1387273– or listen online…

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Stuart Hardy Presents the best of the week on Zone one Radio, as long as you don’t feed him after midnight…

This week, the best of the week on Zone One Radio, was compiled from prison where regualr host Stuart Hardy awaits trial for kidnapping station founder Matthew Layton’s pet Chameleon. He plays:

#LondonLife host, the tweed jacketed Ian Hawkins watches all the Harry Potter films for the first time at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square.

#LondonGigGuide with Tom Du Croz bring you an interview with hipster indie band The Forestry Commission.

#Generation3 with Empress Susan Vickers and Lord James Levett bring you an interview with upcoming London artist D.Dark

and #LondonArts with Jenny Runacre take a tour of the V&A exhibition: David Bowie Is…

www.twitter.com/5tuarthardy and www.twitter.com/z1radio

www.ZoneOneRadio.com

www.facebook.com/Stubagful and www.facebook.com/ZoneOneRadio

Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak

The Avalanches – A Cowboy Overflow of the Heart

The Forestry Commission – Wait

D.Dark – Wait

David Bowie – Let’s Dance

David Bowie – Space Oddity

Stuart Reviews David Bowie’s Entire Discography from start to finish Part 7: The Next Day

We had no right to expect this album. I know that myself and every avid fan of David Bowie, which includes a lot of people and given my age I cannot really place my longing for a return from David Bowie at the top of that list of desirents, we were all praying this would happen but no one really held out any hope for it. David Bowie has been in music long enough. He has had, I think I can say as much effect on pop music as we know it as all the greats, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, you don’t need me to tell you that David Bowie is in that category of people you can’t believe are actually still alive. Legendary. The stories have been told so many time it seems weird to think they’re actually people and actually still around. He has made so many albums, performed so many times, if anyone deserved to retire, especially following a heart attack it was Bowie. We had no right to expect a new album.

We also had no right to expect, if on the minuscule chance it did happen for it to be any good. We don’t need another incredible David Bowie album. We really should be content with the lifetime of work readily available. When surprised by a sudden return, even if it sounded like a child straining out diarrhea into a potty while scraping a cat’s head against a wall, given that this is a sixty six year old man who really deserved to not have to bother anymore given his back catalogue returning to work when he really doesn’t have a whole lot of time left on this planet anyway because, well, who are we kidding here? We had no right to expect it to be good. The fact it is is just a bonus.

It feels weird listening to it and realising just what you’re listening to. I think it probably feels this way for everyone as no one expected it. Has a doorway to a parallel dimension been opened? Is this really David Bowie or an incredibly talented impressionist? Well, that would be even less likely given the quality of the finished product. If by the off chance you actually accept the baffling fact that this is a new David Bowie album, something no one thought possible, when you actually calm down and take the music at face value: by Christ is this a moody album.

Emotionally draining is how I’d describe the Next day, something summed up quite well by the cover art which up until I heard more about the album I assumed was a joke. Forgetting or obliterating the past is the theme; subverting a revered classic to make it jarring. Sums the album up perfectly as the album is a mixture of unsettling and melancholy. Not exactly something to be listened to when you’re in a good mood.

The opening track sounds upbeat and jaunty enough at first, almost like his eighties material, except with a loud and a bit fuzzy voice; kind of like he doesn’t want you listening to him. As you move through Dirty Boys and the beautifully downbeat The stars are out tonight, the album feels like its taking bits and pieces of Bowie’s various styles he’s flirted with over the years and sucking the life out of them. The ballads, the glam rock, the industrial electronic stuff, the soul tinged rock, its all there but its all taken a downward turn, its looking back and spitting at it all.

And its awesome.

I mean really, though I don’t think his last few albums are nearly as mediocre/poor as most people do, this is probably his best since Outside. I’d probably compare it to Outside as the mood and atmosphere take precedence in the album’s composition. Its very downbeat, its very grimy, its gone none of the shiny trendy plastic film of pop music enhancing the sound.

If you’ve been reading my look back through Bowie’s discography you’ll know I prefer it when Bowie’s cool and trying to make a point as opposed to his appeal to a mass audience, Scary Monsters over Let’s Dance. The Next Day is probably the least commercial pop music you will ever hear by a major artist.

All this emotion is drawn from Bowie’s years out of the public eye. He pretty much vanished off the face the Earth for a decade and much of the album feels like a statement about what it feels like to be invisible. It doesn’t feel self indulgent though which is odd. Its a melancholy reflection on the vapidity of stardom and life behind the scenes: subverting the past. This album is something you need to hear.

But make sure to do something to cheer yourself up afterwards. Go for a walk in the park, grow a sunflower, sing a song, buy a puppy, eat marshmallows. You will need it after this.

Stuart Reviews David Bowie’s Entire Discography from start to finish Part 6: The 00’s

Yes, I refuse to use the word  “noughties” If you can’t see why then please look in the mirror and then smash your head on it for being a twat.

HEATHEN (2002)

Given what people say about Bowie’s early 2000’s offerings (i.e. nothing)
I really wasn’t expecting much from the two we got. By this point he really didn’t need to bother making albums at all. He’d had his rise and his lull, he’d also had his comeback and by 2002, there really wasn’t anything else Bowie really needed to do with his career. You may be thinking that always equals disasters, since if you have nothing new to say, why go ahead and say it? Well that doesn’t mean Heathen was pointless. There are other reasons for making albums outside needing to. That being because you want to.

Heathen feels like a more grown up effort than most of his albums because he wasn’t trying to convince people of his chameleonic ability to fit in with any genre of music. Heathen is an album about terror and decay in a world where the young have to kill the old and his coming to realise he is old. Its Bowie putting his status as a trend setter to one side and recording a rather haunting album making clear that in the face of decay, he’s still here. Its awesome.

REALITY (2003)

As the title suggests, this album is probably the most normal one he’s ever made. Not say its bad, its a fun listen and like Heathen, more grown up than his previous efforts. Classic rock for the modern age is what I’d say.

Not as dark as Heathen, Reality is David Bowie coming down to earth and though pointless, its ultimately listenable. I don’t know why I can’t muster up anything else to say really, its good. Its actually very good and a lot better than people give it credit for. Its just…Reality really was such a good name for the album. It sums it up perfectly so I don’t have to.

THE TEN YEAR ABSENCE (2003-2013)

So Bowie had a heart attack on his last tour and quite understanably went into a quiet retirement afterwards. Occasionally making guest appearances with other bands and acting in Christopher Nolan’s best film…yeah you heard me, it was the best one! And randomly a Spongebob Squarepants TV movie. And other random cameos and things.

I almost feel bad that I and millions of other David Bowie fans were calling for his return for so long. Constant album production and touring for thirty five years, it was only right he took some time out. And he’d had a heart attack, that would put the shits up anyone really. That and if Reality and Heathen said anything, in spite of their quality, David Bowie has made enough albums.

The only reason for David Bowie returning at all was if he had anything more he wanted to make.

And given what The Next Day sounds like, thank fuck he had more in him.

Stuart Reviews David Bowie’s Entire Discography from start to finish Part 5: The Nineties

This decade really wasn’t kind to Bowie. Not to say his output was bad at this time, but no one bought his albums and he was generally seen as a relic of forgotten decades. Sad to say but these were dark times for Bowie’s career. He did make some interesting albums at the time though…

TIN MACHINE II (1991)

So yeah…did anyone else know there was a second Tin Machine album? I didn’t and most people don’t. Admittedly trying to make the project more interesting with the shop window dummies waving their dicks in your face was a bit more of an inspired move for the cover art than the first one. I haven’t bothered listening to it. You can’t find it anywhere either, its not on iTunes, the CD has been out of print for years. Anything could be on this album. It could be just the first album played backwards. It could be a musical version of the Nuremberg trials. It could be an audio record of Bowie making first contact with alien life. I mean all evidence and reviews point to it not being any of those things and it just being the first album again but blander. I guess we’ll never know…

BLACK TIE, WHITE NOISE (1993)

Yeah, you know how back when I was talking about Young Americans and Never Let Me Down that I think they’re not very good but they aren’t by any means my least favorite Bowie albums? Yeah its this one. I don’t know why, I just know I could barely bring myself to listen through it once. Its his least interesting. Its his least memorable. It doesn’t seem to have any real…point. That’s my problem with Black Tie White Noise, it all feels relatively pointless and lifeless. I lost the will to live during this record.

Yeah he tries more electronic stuff but just…. Okay, Bowie has always gone with what’s popular and usually he’s either set the trend or established just how good that trend was. This sounds like someone’s dad trying to be down with the kids. And yes, he hadn’t really done electronic music at all before and this was him trying something new, and all power to him for that and he did manage to pull it off on a couple of later albums. But I wouldn’t listen to this again if you paid me.

THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA (1993)

Randomly, the same year as his most boring album, he did the soundtrack for a BBC mini series I didn’t watch and know nothing about. I probably should watch it because the album’s actually pretty good. No one’s heard it though. Its a well kept secret of Bowie’s discography. No one bought it. Barely anyone’s heard of it. No one’s listening. I kind of like it being this undiscovered secret. Its like if you found out Bowie’s excrement tasted like jelly beans. No one knows and no one has any reason to try it, but it does and its awesome when you find out… I really should think about my comparisons before I draw them.

So far as the music’s concerned, its got some songs, mostly soundtrack material. Its pretty interesting listening though. I’d liken it to Low if anything else. An eighties version of Low that came out in the 90’s. There, I sort of thought that comparison through…a little bit.

1. OUTSIDE (1995)

Really…really awesome. I mean so awesome. Its like Black Tie White Noise if it didn’t suck basically. He was trying to really get how to make electronic music and fortunately discovered Nine Inch Nails and this style really suits him. As opposed to sounding like someone’s Dad, this is the cool edge Bowie had in the seventies but he’s swapped cocaine fueled frenzies for a dark noir story and industrial metal.

Originally this was going to be part 1 in a series of albums about the same characters. Though the story is there, at the same time it feels more like an album than a concept which is probably why he left it at just this one. For what it is though, its an awesome dark and weird listen and probably one of his best. Yes I did just say that. What of it?

EARTHLING (1997)

Ehhh…mixed. Earthling was well received at the time and though its not really my style of music, Bowie’s take on dance and electronica that was getting really popular around the time was… okay I guess. I don’t really know what else to say about it except it doesn’t really feel like Bowie. Its kind of like Let’s Dance in that people say its really good but its good in a really general way. Its pop music without the grimness and coolness that Bowie’s known for. While good, coming off the back of Outside, the contrast is similar to Scary Monsters and Let’s Dance. That one was cool while this one’s the trendy one.

Still, I’m Afraid of Americans is okay, but I feel disconnected from that whole scene. While I’m kind of into industrial music, this end of electronica is too clean for my taste, too polished. While I see why its good and appreciate it, I feel that end of music is liked by people I consider bellends. If that’s shallow and stupid then…you’re a boobieface.

….I’m a mature critic.

`HOURS…’ (1999)

Why has this album had so much shit thrown at it? Why? I’d really like to know. No one likes this album, no one remembers it, and when they do its never in a positive light. I read the reviews of it and they all keep saying the same bloody thing. Just random words like “no style” and “no quality” and “consistent” …how the fuck does any of this have any relevance to what’s actually on the album?

Yeah alright, its mostly slow, calm and soothing but there’s nothing wrong with that. Bowie’s got a nice voice and its totally not gay to compliment another man on his voice. If I was commenting on the shot of his dick in “the Man who fell to earth” it might be a different story but no, Bowie has a nice voice and this album is pretty much just an hour of “Bowie has a nice voice, doesn’t he? Let’s listen to it” That and the track “The Pretty Things are Going to Hell” is probably his best hard rock song since the seventies.

So underrated it hurts.

Stuart Reviews David Bowie’s Entire Discography from start to finish Part 4: The Eighties

SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS) (1980)

Six months into a decade and Bowie defines the way pop music would sound for the rest of it. A lot of eighties pop music has that general sound, you know the one, sort of squeaky, like the music’s been wrapped in cling film. This was by no means a bad thing and anyone looking for eighties cheese will love that almost all pop music made in this decade sounds like it but Scary Monsters was probably what started it and was definitely the best example of it.

You wouldn’t expect me of all people to like eighties cheese, but I go for some occasionally. I am one of those people that actually listens to Duran Duran by actual conscious choice and genuinely enjoys it. I know, its crazy. I don’t go in for eighties cheese that much but Scary Monsters is a different kind of eighties cheese. The rest is Camambert, this is definitely Wedneslydale… okay that description sucked didn’t it?

More artsy than cheesy, well aside from a couple of tracks. It does seem like a steady reworking of Bowie’s general sound into this new form pop music was starting to take to but Scary Monsters really set the trend. Its what he’s known for and his chameleon tendencies are really apparant here.  Its also awesome and one of his best.

CHRISTIANE F. (1981)


Soundtrack for a German movie I haven’t seen. I haven’t heard anything from it either. Appears to be instrumental versions of tracks from his mid seventies albums and a live version of Station to Station thrown in for good measure. I didn’t bother reading the description of the film but apparantly people that liked it on imdb also like Milk, the pursuit of happyness and the aviator so its probably some emotional oscar baiting crap. As I said though, I haven’t the foggiest. It could be about aliens that look like microwaves for all I know…shit what if it is? What if I’ve been letting this pass me by and its actually the mental story of a girl called Christiane F. who’s made of matchsticks and fends off the microwave aliens by making crete paper model trains…

*TWO HOURS LATER*

Yeah its not, its some oscar bating shit about drugs. David Bowie actually shows up briefly when the girl who’s into drugs and stuff goes and sees him in concert… yeah that’s all I can be arsed to say about it.

LET’S DANCE (1983)


And again, I’m that one twat alone in his stupid opinions. Okay, Let’s Dance is a good album, its sort of similar to Scary Monsters in sound but its veering off in a different and cheesier direction. While Scary Monsters was cool, Let’s Dance was…well, trendy. And I think that’s what I don’t like about it.

Yes Scary Monsters was pretentious in many places. The most glaringly obvious one being the opening track which has Bowie screeching like he’s getting his testicles removed with a pair of pliers while a Japanese lady reads the lyrics like the voice in an in-flight safety video. It’s just that Let’s Dance was… too pop. The only track that seems really out of place is China girl, which has a grittier and darker edge, swastikas and globalisation and things, but the rest…take it or leave it really. Not a bad album and I see why it gets the respect it gets but its just not the side of Bowie I personally like.

TONIGHT (1984)


Again, similar opinions on this one, though people don’t seem to like it as much so kinda between the two. Yeah its alright, and everyone seems to think its alright, just not that memorable. Mostly filler, no tracks apart from Blue Jean that really set it apart from other eighties cheese.

That said, the video for Loving the Alien is so unbeatably ridiculous and mental and crazy and… you just have to see it to believe it.


Why are there grey people playing the cello? There is no cello in this song! Why is he blue and shaking? What’s that thing that looks like a fountain? Why’s he playing an organ suddenly? And now there’s two of him…and his teeth are glowing…and now he has a shield and is being set on fire…. NURSE!! MY MEDICATION!!

LABYRINTH (1986)


So they eventually did get David Bowie to star in a film AND write the soundtrack for it. And instead of psychosexual mental explosion of drugs and madness The Man Who Fell to Earth, its a Jim Henson movie for kids. As far as different goes, that’s at least 12.7

The fact the movie is so monumentally weird and in a lot of places dark and creepy and really is something I think everybody should see at least once no matter your ages, you’d think the album to go with it would be just as awesome, right? Well… mostly. Its a mixed bag. Some of the songs are general examples of Bowie’s mid eighties cheese period. They go really well with the movie though, its a lot better to see these songs sung with a bunch of puppets than listened to on an album. Its a cheesy eighties movie for kids, this music works well with it just not so much on its own.

NEVER LET ME DOWN (1987)


Okay did he seriously call this Never Let Me Down as an ironic statement? Cause its probably considered his worst album. Is the full title “Never let me down…up until now” Maybe its a fictional narrative about the expectant David Bowie fan tired of going “oh yeah, new David Bowie album, it’ll be awesome as always, surprise me why don’t you? Is the sky also blue? Does grass grow upwards? Can penguins fly now?” Then they get it and end up screaming in horror that maybe life isn’t as predictable as they thought. Now they’re doomed to wondering what’s going to happen next. Maybe dancing skeletons are going to knife you at the bus stop because life’s suddenly gone all weird.

Bowie himself actually apologised for it. He said he was convinced at the time it was awesome but that he was unhappy at the time so his opinion was probably coloured by that and he’d convinced himself of its merits. Written to be a stage production, its sort of like Labyrinth in that the music feels lacking when visuals aren’t with it. But since there are no visuals with it, it just ends up feeling lacking. Well, there were visuals, they toured it the year it came out and released a concert video…was still shit though.

Also – no its not my least favourite, that’s still to come.

TIN MACHINE (1989)


Trying to get away from the rather bloated position of global phenomenon that he clearly despised, Bowie’s next project was something call Tin Machine. It didn’t sell very well. Obviously because the words “David Bowie” have more credibility than two random words shoved together, even in spite of the decades of awesome music behind that name. I mean “tin machine” isn’t exactly the most exciting name you could think of. Tell ya what, I’ll put together a band called “space bazookas”. No matter if the album’s just me farting into a microphone I reckon it’ll sell millions.

…I’ve just realised I’m a paragraph in and I haven’t actually talked about Tin Machine. It was an attempt at a supergroup by Bowie and…three other people…with names…and hair…and arms. Tin Machine was just an indication of just how utterly miniscule every other musician on the planet who wasn’t David Bowie looked by comparison and was the ultimate flaw in the plan. You could tell he cared about it though, he grew a beard for it, that shows some dedication to sounding cool I guess.

So far as the music’s concerned, its really good… sorta. Its kind of like a dingier cooler, almost grungier version of his seventies stuff. Think Nirvana fronted by David
Bowie… yeah I know that’s two of my favourite musical entities, why the fuck am I not salivating at this album? I think its okay, just a bit too slow and moody, I like slow and moody I just felt this album needed more energy. I need to be in the right mood to listen to it really. Under the God is a fucking tune though.

Stuart Reviews David Bowie’s Entire Discography from start to finish Part 3: The Rest of the Seventies

YOUNG AMERICANS (1975)

….ehh…really, I love Bowie and like I said about Diamond Dogs, the fact some of these albums come slap bang in the middle of a string of classic albums year in, year out, some come off looking worse no matter if they’re awesome on their own merits. Young Americans just isn’t very good really… wow, as far as unqualified sentences go that’s got to be up there.

I don’t think I’ve bothered listening to it more than once. Which is saying a lot considering most of his albums, there’s only one other album he’s made I haven’t listened to more than once and it wasn’t the first one (I’ll let you know when we get to it). I’m not that well versed in soul music so call me uninitiated all you want it just seems so… bland. This album is the musical equvilent of making beans on toast. The title track’s okay but then it just sort of faffs around, throws out a rather weak cover of Across the Universe… “nothing’s gonna change my world” …isn’t that the opposite of what Bowie is? Fame is awesome as expected, it was sort of eighties music before the eighties, so yes, that gives this album reason to sit in this period of classic Bowie. Still not that good though.

STATION TO STATION (1976)


In my humble opinion, his best work. There everyone was living their bland 70’s lives listening to the same old Bowie inspired glam rock band after another and all of a sudden, the man himself throws this together over a weekend in a haze of cocaine and makes everyone attempting to make music at all look ultimately pointless by comparison.

That opening track is a fucking monolith. It goes up, down, side to side, diagonal and through the forth dimension and into a world where everything’s made of chocolate and cuddles. I feel like this album takes me to pieces and puts me back together in different places every time I listen to it. By the last note of Wild is the Wind my foot’s in my ear and my toes are growing out of my nostrils.

It’s that good.

LOW (1977)


Sort of a soundtrack album. Only a couple of tracks have vocals but it doesn’t really detract from the general mood, which does seem to be more what he was going for. Nothing much more I can say expect it definitely deserves all the praise it gets.

A lot of people say this is mostly leftovers from the soundtrack he wanted to write for his first starring role in “The Man Who Fell to Earth”. I’ve seen it and I would definitely see that. The music does have a very otherworldly feel. Art Decade and Warszawa would have gone especially well with it.

“HEROES” (1977)


I’m about to say something that will lose me every bit of credibility as a David Bowie fan: I think Heroes is the most overrated song ever written… so now you’ve clicked close, I might as well type to a blank screen and justify this statement with a half hearted “okay, I don’t think Heroes is in any way bad but by comparison to literally every other song David Bowie has sung; its probably his most boring”

…so what does that mean Stuart? Be a bit clearer! Okay I will: the dull guitar tone, David himself sounds kinda disinterested in it, its the musical equivilent of a wet Bank Holiday morning. Its rather bland and generic message and simplistic structure really does remind me of inspirational fridge magnets rather than the crazy zaney man who threw together the gigantic masterpiece Station to Station in a flurry of cocaine over a few days.

I’d also like to add that the opening track; Beauty and the Beast is seventy three times better and Heroes itself was harshly improved by Celtic Frost when they covered it years later. Just saying:

LODGER (1979)


For some reason people say this is his most underrated album. I’d say Diamond Dogs is, but I’d say this is his most overlooked as no one says its out and out bad, just they don’t remember it as much. It doesn’t have any of the big name tracks that people remember like Sound and Vision, Heroes, Changes etc, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good for what it is or worth checking out if you’ve never heard it.

While it maintains the musical style of Heroes, I’d say the overall quality is a bit more consistent across its ten tracks, I remember a lot more about it than Heroes. That and D.J’s a personal favourite of mine. So yeah, overlooked but not so much underrated.

ZoneOneRadio: Zone One Digest: Salad, Beer and Lies

This week on Zone One Digest, the best of Central London’s community radio station, Zone One Radio:

#LondonArts with @Jenny_Runacre chat to Katie Moore about @Katiesaladdays her musical adaptation of Salad Days

@techtalkfest with @zoefcunningham chat to Daria Cybulska of @wikipedia & @wikimediaUK on why you should edit

@_InGoodtaste head to Goa for a few cookery lessons in authentic Indian cuisine

@LondonLifeRadio with @SillyMrhawkins and @hunterolhunter try their hands at home brewing and over the course of the show get drunk.

Enjoy 


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