Buro 24/7 Singapore Weekly Playlist #88: X' Ho
I did this playlist off the back of an event I played at last week, Asian Film Archive's State Of Motion which commemorated the film, Ricochet. It was shot in 1984 when David Bowie visited Singapore for the first time during his Serious Moonlight Tour.
Bowie had a sensational chameleon look which was very visual and controversial — it's what drew me to him in the early days. In that era of post glam rock, there was a triumvirate of rock gods that rocked my world, with Bowie being up there with Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. The trio remain an important part of my world of rock, both past and present.
Anyone who thinks that Pop's musical heyday is over ought to listen to two recent tracks of his: A Machine For Loving from the album Preliminaires (inspired by Michel Houellebecq's novel The Possibility Of An Island), a spoken-word track about a dog's unconditional love; and Paraguay (the closing number from Pop's newest album Post Pop Depression). They deliver a kind of nihilistic anger that belies Pop's 69 years as rock's elder statesman and reminds all that he is truly the godfather of punk. Lou Reed's Street Hassle from his album of the same title was a magnum opus that turned the late rocker into a patron-saint of sleaze for me back then: A grimy tale of casual-sex, callous street life and redemption that remains a unique classic to this day. Coney Island Baby contains phrases that validate an outré outlook on life: "Remember the city is a funny place/something like a circus or a sewer/And just remember different people have peculiar tastes"
As for Bowie's Sweet Thing/Candidate, it's a song of ritualistic love almost straight out of William S. Burroughs' The Wild Boys — a novel that sparked my imagination during those growing up years.
Chris Ho, also known as X' Ho when he makes music, writes and directs and is currently working on his first digital-only release. You can tune into his radio show, Clubscape, every Saturday, 5pm to 8pm on Lush 99.5fm.
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