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David Bowie

Casting David Bowie in Musical Adaptations: Labyrinth, The Last Temptation and More

Buzz 16:01PM EDT

David Bowie has been working on a musical adaptation of the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth for some time now, and today fans were greeted with the news that the title character Lazarus would be portrayed by Michael C. Hall of Dexter fame when the off-Broadway theater production begins its run later this year. Unfortunately, alas, Bowie himself won't play a role in the actual stage portion of the production, although he will work with Tony-winning writer Enda Walsh (Once) to write original songs and arrangements for the performance. Hall is a solid choice for the role of an alien who comes to Earth, seeking water for his famished planet, only to be turned to the temptations of drugs and sex. If you've watched him in Dexter, you know how much emotion he can bring to a character that struggles with expressing emotions. Hall has a decent block of Broadway work as well however, including stints in Hedwig and The Angry Inch, Chicago and Cabaret. It got us thinking…if we were to create musical versions of other Bowie films, who would we put in the Thin White Duke's shoes? Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983) Certainly one of Bowie's more challenging and underrated roles in film, the performer's turn as Major Jack "Strafer" Celliers during Nagisa Oshima's Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence demands an actor that can sincerely portray the sexually ambiguous nature of Bowie's character, along with all of the other traumatic occurrences that take place during a film set in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. Celliers serves as a foil, perhaps even a romantic one, to the character of Captain Yonoi (played by Ryuichi Sakamoto), but there is no hope to be had. One man is executed before the war is over and the other is executed after the war has concluded. We recommend Andrew Garfield for a potentially breakout role…he was Tony-nominated for his role in Death of A Salesman during 2012…does he have the voice to make a musical out of Merry Christmas? Labyrinth (1986) If any of the films suggested in this list have the potential to hit Broadway, Labyrinth is probably at the top. Although a commercial failure upon release, children of that generation and later have formed a cult audience around what is probably Bowie's best-known film appearance. Also consider the fantasy realm in which the film takes place and the current pro-puppet attitude on Broadway (Avenue Q, Warhorse) and this Henson Studios is just begging for a rebirth. Bowie of course plays Jareth, the goblin king, and we're going to play the Neil Patrick Harris card here. Sure, it seems like a obvious notion, casting NPH in a prominent role in a musical, but think about it: for all of wacky musical numbers he's done on awards shows, rarely have we gotten to see him play anyone…weird (outside of Dr. Horrible). Just imagine him with Jareth's blonde coif and the rest of the glimmering outfit will just fall into place. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) If you think Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ is too touchy for Broadway…you obviously haven't been on Broadway recently. Religion is as fair game as anything, from The Book of Mormon to Jesus Christ Superstar. The latter is actually a rather watered-down version of Christ, one of the most controversial films of the '80s. Bowie, alas, did not play Jesus, but he did play a rather hard-up Pontius Pilate (give Scorsese credit…while many directors try to make Pilate out to be a sympathetic character, Bowie wants blood). It's not a headlining role, to be sure, but it's a necessary one that Bowie performs with his usual pleasant intensity. We're going for a more strapping Pilate, played by an actor who has excelled at keeping his cool while dropping the axe for years on Mad Men: Jon Hamm. Basquiat (1996) The focus of the film Basquiat should of course be upon the work of real-life artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (and the excellent performance of Jeffrey Wright in the role) but inevitably attention heads back to one of the most possessing cultural figures of the 20th Century, the artist's friend and sponson Andy Warhol. The pop art figure dominated the cultural landscape of New York City simply by knowing how to present himself, and anyone planning on featuring Warhol in a stage of film project needs to present him in a similar way, regardless of how little the plot focuses on him. If you want a replication-level performance, it's tough to do much better than Daniel Day-Lewis. The guy takes method acting to the extreme, and the results are usually good. And yes, he's sung a bit…although Nine was one of his least popular works. The Prestige (2007) This production—a battle between two turn-of-the-century magicians—hardly revolves around Bowie's character at all, yet the musician plays one of the most curious characters in both science history and regular history: Nikola Tesla. We want to throw out Joseph Gordon-Levitt's name to play the genius and theoretical physicist…and maybe not just for the sake of a Prestige musical but a whole project dedicated to Tesla himself. It got us thinking...if we were to create musical versions of other Bowie films, who would we put in the Thin White Duke's shoes?READ MORE

David Bowie at the 11th Annual Webby Awards

David Bowie Teams with Michael C. Hall for 'Lazarus' Off-Broadway

Buzz 10:00AM EDT

Rumors were rampant earlier this year that David Bowie was looking for a way to bring 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' to the theater, and now it seems he's booked Michael C. Hall to star in the lead role. The stage play will be titled 'Lazarus,' after the main character in the film (slash novel by Walter Tevis).READ MORE

David Bowie

David Bowie Unveils Details of 'Five Years 1969–1973' Box Set

Buzz 12:48PM EDT

David Bowie has confirmed that he's dropping a box set, bridging the eminence of his entire career. The 12 CD or 13 LP set titled 'Five Years 1969-1973' gathers material recorded during the specified time period along with six remastered albums, two live albums and rare recording compilations.READ MORE

Yes, that IS Bill Murray.

Bill Murray, David Bowie and The Clash Hit 'Rock The Kasbah' Trailer [WATCH]

Buzz 10:59AM EDT

Bill Murray is hilarious so we're glad that the trailer for his new film features David Bowie, Deep Purple, The Clash, Elvis Presley and Guns N' Roses, so we can write about it for Music Times. OK, so there are mostly just references to the aforementioned bands, but we're still pretty stoked to check out 'Rock The Kasbah,' a film starring Murray alongside Zooey Deschanel, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson and more.READ MORE

David Bowie

David Bowie and 'Once' Writer Working on Theater Adaptation of 'The Man Who Fell To Earth'; Is It A Musical?

Buzz 11:20AM EDT

David Bowie may not have new music ready anytime in the near future but he will be working on a theater adaptation of his cult classic 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth, according to reports from The New York Times. Other details from the stage production remain unknown, such as whether it will be musical or a more straightforward play. The new production will be titled Lazarus.READ MORE

James Murphy

James Murphy Covers David Bowie's "Golden Years" for 'While We're Young' Film [LISTEN]

Buzz 12:06PM EDT

James Murphy recently shared the new song "We Used to Dance" from the soundtrack for While We're Young. The former LCD Soundsystem frontman scored the film, which stars Ben Stiller and was directed by Noah Baumbach. Murphy's latest track from the collection is an instrumental cover of David Bowie's "Golden Years."READ MORE

It's Real.

5 Musicians with Alien Encounters Aside from Tom DeLonge: Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Sammy Hagar and More

Buzz 12:43PM EDT

Tom Delonge has apparently had enough of discussing his role in the recent breakup of Blink-182...so he recently unleashed the news that he had an extraterrestrial experience while camping "near Area 51" in Nevada and that since the occurrence his phone has been tapped by the government. Here are six other musicians who have claimed experiences with aliens. Not just the belief in extraterrestrials, but actual encounters of the third kind.READ MORE

Lou Reed

Lou Reed Says He Never Actually Liked The Beatles and Thought The Doors Were "Stupid" in 'Blank on Blank' [LISTEN]

Buzz 18:08PM EDT

PBS series "Blank on Blank" recently shared a lost interview involving Velvet Underground mastermind Lou Reed. The singer threw shade at two famous bands -- The Doors and The Beatles -- revealing that he thought the former was "stupid" and the latter was "garbage." The lively chat took place in 1986 between him and music executive Joe Smith.READ MORE

David Bowie at the 11th Annual Webby Awards

7 Hit Albums We Waited More Than 10 Years For (David Bowie, Sade and D'Angelo Have Nothing on Harper Lee)

Buzz 15:49PM EDT

The world was pleasantly surprised to find out yesterday that Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of To Kill A Mockingbird, would finally be publishing her second book during 2015 after years of hiding from the spotlight. The new title, Go Set A Watchman, was actually written before Mockingbird yet is set 20 years following the events of her published book. It should be noted that Lee is not in the best of health, and some allege that publisher HarperCollins may have swooped in following the death of her sister and lawyer Alice Lee and taken advantage of the situation. We hope for the best, like what happened with the seven albums listed below, which were critical smashes when performers such as David Bowie, D'Angelo and Sade released them after decade-long spans.READ MORE

David Bowie, circa 1973

5 Great Rock Docs Focusing on UK Acts and The '70s: David Bowie's 'Cracked Actor,' 'The Kids Are Alright' and More

Buzz 15:38PM EDT

David Bowie has had several documentaries made about his legendary and varied career but none have come close to the original: Cracked Era, which debuted on the BBC during 1975 and caught the vocalist following the release of Diamond Dogs and his preparation for the tour in support of the album. More relevantly, it caught Bowie at the peak of his addiction to cocaine and gave viewers a look at the paranoia and mental exhaustion it caused him. Bowie was far from the only British musician from that era to be captured on film. Here are five other documentaries (some mad during the decade and some made later looking back) that give viewers a new understanding of that period in UK music history.READ MORE

'Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1'

'Guardians of The Galaxy' Soundtrack: 'Awesome Mix Vol. 1' Goes Platinum...Fans Looking Forward to Sequel, 'Vol. 2'

Buzz 12:23PM EDT

Something skipped the attention of both Billboard and ourselves when reporting the Billboard 200 and album sales totals this week: Guardians of The Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1 broke the million-albums sales mark last week with its 35,000 haul last week, bringing it to platinum status. Had it managed to sell just a tad faster in the last weeks of 2014, the mainstream soundtrack accompaniment to the film Guardians of The Galaxy would have been just the third album released during the year to attain platinum status, joining Taylor Swift and 1989 as well as Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour as albums reaching platinum. The soundtrack for Frozen was the second highest-selling album of 2014, being the last soundtrack album to reach the million-album mark (although it was technically released during 2013).READ MORE

Led Zeppelin in 1973

Ranking The Royal Mail's 10 Rock 'n' Roll Inspired Stamps: Led Zeppelin 'IV', Pink Floyd's 'The Division Bell', The Rolling Stones 'Let It Bleed' and More

Buzz 14:37PM EDT

Just five years ago the UK Postal system introduced a series of ten stamps featuring album art from classic records by British rock bands. Are we behind the times? Yes. Were we around to weigh in on the list when it dropped? No. Now Music Times weighs in on all ten album covers and rank them from 10 to 1 in terms of which serves best as a stamp...both for its aesthetic and its relevance within music culture. Artists include The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.READ MORE

Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal

Of Montreal Share New Song 'Empyrean Abattoir' from New Album 'Aureate Gloom' [LISTEN]

Buzz 14:18PM EDT

Georgia psych-pop crew Of Montreal have shared a new track titled "Empyrean Abattoir" from their upcoming album "Aureate Gloom," which you can check out below. The song is one of the best things Of Montreal have put out in years, starting with a vaguely mournful disco/post-punk groove but eventually shifting into a snottier punk jam, reminiscent of David Bowie's early 1970s work, such as "Queen Bitch." Frontman Kevin Barnes has said that "Aureate Gloom" was inspired by the "mid-to-late-'70s music scene in New York," and based on this song he is not messing around. You can check out Of Montreal's 'Empyrean Abattoir" here, via "Stereogum":READ MORE

A title from Madonna's 'English Roses' series.

Classic Music Artists Who Have Made The Jump to Children's Literature: Paul McCartney, Madonna, David Bowie and More

Buzz 14:48PM EDT

Danny Brown surprised us, or at least those familiar with his foul mouth, by revealing that he was in the process of writing a Dr. Seuss-style children's book aiming to encourage black girls to appreciate themselves while promoting self-esteem. The emcee is hardly the first established musician to try his hand at children's literature, although usually those handling the pen could also live off their royalties forever so they have time to experiment with new things. Here are seven of the biggest musicians in recent memory that have taken time from their career of performing for adults to wrote for kids.READ MORE

St. Vincent

St. Vincent Talks About David Bowie and Artistic Authenticity at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art [WATCH]

Buzz 16:32PM EDT

David Bowie's influence on popular music has had a lasting effect on numerous artists over the years. There is no other act from 2014 that carries on Bowie's chameleon spirit like St. Vincent's Annie Clark, though. The artist's fourth, self-titled album was a big hit, and Clark stopped by Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art to discuss Bowie's influence. As "Consequence of Sound" points out, the MCA has hosted a special exhibit titled "David Bowie Is" since September. It features more than 300 items from the artist's personal collection, and the museum has also hosted live events in addition to the exhibit. Clark talked about some of her own career experiences before launching into Bowie. "I am curious to unpack this idea of authenticity," Clark says in the video below, "and when did it become more authentic to just stand onstage with no lights or costume or theatricality and just stand up there with a beard and your feelings? Bowie's heroes were people like Little Richard who did '50s queerness with a wink and a smile because that was all that was palatable for the time."READ MORE

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