In the spirit of experiences vs stuff, my family planned an outing see the David Bowie Is exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum for Mother's Day. It's created a big buzz around town and we thought it'd be more fun than fighting for a brunch table. For those of you who don't know, David Bowie Is is an exhaustive collection of media, art and sound all about the genius that is David Bowie. And it definitely is an experience. Equipped with headphones that play different songs, shows and interviews—automatically shifting from display to display as you stroll about. I'll admit, not the easiest with a toddler since we're wearing said headphones and trying to pay attention while there's a little person tugging at you repeatedly for another snack. (Note to self: Pack more snacks. It doesn't matter that she just ate a HUGE breakfast...) She didn't much care for the "words" but we did catch her dancing to the songs, loving the costumes and getting mesmerized watching the various videos for Space Oddity. You can see a video from 1969 and 1972 on YouTube. As well as several others including live shows. I'm really jealous of the people that witnessed this 1974 show and here's another live show in 1980 on YouTube. You can really go down a rabbit hole. And that's just the one song. This genius goes on and on.
Full Disclosure: of course I knew David Bowie was talented and had several hit songs I could sing the words to, songs that were amusement parks for my mind. But I never went through a David Bowie phase like I did with other bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Doors, Pink Floyd…and the like. I'm sad it took me until now.
Visiting this show blew my mind. His artistic genius blew my mind. On so many levels. I'm still trying to comprehend the whole thing days later. I was so inspired walking through the collection of work and thinking about the state of the world and the state of music at the time. The detailed planning of each album and it's 360º experience promoting it, living it. His vision to change personas, his music and his designs. He was everything. He had the ideas for wardrobe, the stage, the show, the album cover. Not to mention the lyrics and music. Mind. Explosion. Such a true artist. And it holds up. It's still relevant. It was 40 years ago. David Bowie makes me jealous.
If you haven't listened to his stuff in a while, or ever, I def recommend taking a little trip into the mind that is David Bowie. Look up videos. Read about him. You won't regret your time. As my kid says, "Promise!" — though she's still trying to figure out what 'promise' means, when I say it, I mean it.