And another Album Project Update! 'Low' (1977). This is an experimental and largely instrumental album. It's a bit weird. Interesting, and at times beautiful and haunting, but I don't think I want instrumentals when I buy a David Bowie album. At least it has some eerie saxophone on it played by Bowie himself...
Labels: 1977, Album Project, David Bowie, Low
Album Project Update! 'Station to Station' (1976). That's the 10th David Bowie album out of 25. This is a strange kind of album. It's often said to mark a change in Bowie's musical style. You may well have heard 'Golden Years', but this isn't an album of catchy singles. Indeed, it only has 6 tracks. I like it, but you can see things are heading in a strange direction...
Labels: 1976, Album Project, David Bowie, Station to Station
And another Album Project Update! 'Young Americans' (1975). I have to say, the thing about this album that stands out for me is the excellent saxophone. I was interested to read that it was David Sanborn - we have one of his sax albums, 'Hearsay'. The sax on here is really outstanding, particularly interestingly on the track 'Fascination', where it's hard to tell whether it's guitar or sax. It seems silly to say that, but when you listen to it you'll see what I mean. Growly. :) I guess the most well known songs are 'Young Americans' and 'Fame'. This album is just so well executed.
Labels: 1975, Album Project, David Bowie, Young Americans
Album Project Update! 'Diamond Dogs' (1974). This is a strange album. I'd really love to hear the backstory behind it all, but sadly I haven't found it anywhere on the internet. And it's not in the booklet with the album. It's basically some sort of dystopian future, bit Blade Runner, bit 1984, bit Brave New World... You get the idea. It has a definite air of menace when you listen to it. The most well known song on the album is 'Rebel Rebel', but somehow that seems quite out of place. I like the album because it's unsettling. I wonder if there was something particularly bleak about the mid 1970s? It was when The Kinks released 'Preservation', after all. Stranger and stranger...
Labels: 1974, Album Project, David Bowie, Diamond Dogs
Wow, the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday was amazing! The two hour wait was worth it in the end (they red flagged the race because of the rain) - Jenson Button had the drive of his life. What a brilliant race. It seemed odd that they had to run behind the safety car for so long at the restart (they all switched to intermediate tyres as soon as it came in and they were allowed). And there was some awful marshalling all weekend. Could have resulted in some terrible injuries. At the very least it held up the racing! But the end of the race, with Michael Schumacher mixing it at the top end, and Jenson's last minute overtake to win the GP... Wow. Great stuff!
I guess I should blog about our epic coach holiday to Austria!
Day 1: Left St Margaret's Bus Station, Leicester at about 8am. We went with Skills on a month old luxurious supercoach! Drove to Folkestone and caught the train to France. It was a very tight fit to get the coach into the train. I've only been a passenger on the train, never driven on, so that was interesting. Then we drove through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and into Germany. I hadn't realised there were so many windfarms around. One of the first things we saw in Germany was the karting centre Michael Schumacher built for his village. And we went past the Nurburgring, too. Stopped the night at a Mercure hotel in Bonn.
Day 2: Drove through Germany, went past Hockenheim, and into Austria. Went through some really long tunnels - some were over 10km I think. The mountains are amazing the first time you see them. Giant snow covered things. After many hours we reached our holiday hotel, the Hotel Kajetansbrucke. It's 2km outside the village of Pfunds. We were supposed to be staying at another hotel but that one had closed since the manager was ill. So this hotel had especially opened to take our coach party and one other that had been there before us. It had an authentic Tirolean atmosphere, by which I think it meant lots of dead animals on the walls. Anyway, the room was very cosy and it had a balcony looking out over some people's back gardens (with cows!).
Day 3: Trip to the Bernina Express! Woo! We drove through Switzerland, stopping briefly at St Moritz, then into Italy, to Tirano. We had a little while there to get lunch (yummy Pancetta panini and spagnola ice cream. Yum yum yum. Then we caught the Bernina Express. It's a special train with panoramic carriages, with lots of glass so you can see the spectacular scenery. We travelled through the snowy mountaintops, seeing beautiful lakes, quaint villages, even a glacier! It's an amazing train ride if you ever get the chance to go there. Then the coach took us back to the hotel...
Day 4: Today we went back into Italy. Lots of fruit and vineyards everywhere! First stop was a flooded village. The onyl thing left when the reservoir was created was a medieval clock tower. Then we stopped at Merano, which was a bit of pointless stop, but pleasant enough. Bought some cold pizza at some sort of bakery. It was very hot weather. Then we went to Vipiteno to look at the shops, though unfortunately we arrived when they were closed for their long lunch. We found one shop open that had interesting bits and I bought a Murano glass bracelet. Thought I should get some sort of souvenir. And it was a very pretty place to walk around. We bought some pasta to bring home, too, since it seemed like a good thing to do when in Italy. On the way back to the hotel we had a photo stop at the Brenner Bridge, and went past Innsbruck where I recognised the ski jump from a cake on 'Ace of Cakes'. That's terrible, isn't it?
Day 5: Had a tour around Pfunds, with an English lady who'd lived there 45 years. It was most interesting since you learnt about about how people lived there, rather than just seeing old houses and things. She led some of us up to see Mini Fundus, which is a model village. Not many people did that part of the tour. Then we went to one of the supermarkets and bought random things. Ate lunch at the hotel. Didn't do much else really. We had been intending to walk around more but Rob's hayfever had reached terrible proportions and all he was doing was sneezing. In the evening there was a 'peasant style' buffet dinner, which was tasty. And also entertainment, though we ran away from the yodelling accordion man. :)
Day 6: Start of our journey back to England. Back into Germany, where we stayed at a Mercure hotel at Koln.
Day 7: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France again. We stopped in Belgium at a chocolate factory that seems to be a favourite stopping place for English coaches! We had to stop because the wing mirror fell off the coach and he needed to fit his spare. Took quite a while. He had a few problems over the trip, it could have gone a lot smoother... Oh, we went past another motor racing track - Spa. At Calais we looked round the terminal a bit before catching the train. In England the traffic was terrible, so it took ages to get back to Leicester.
All in all I enjoyed it, saw lots of interesting things, visited lots of countries. And it was very cheap. The coach was comfy, had films to watch and hot and cold drinks served by a hostess. Both she and the driver were really friendly and entertaining. The driver was called Winny, if you've ever travelled with him on a trip you'll know just how entertaining he is! Oh, and we won a bottle of wine for answering three questions. I'm really good at winning wine in competitions, maybe it's because I don't really want the wine. Who knows? :)
There are some photos on my Facebook: here