This week's Monday Magick entry is "Station to Station" by Glam-Rocker David Bowie. It comes from the androgynous, multiple identity-flipping stars 1976 LP of the same name. The album was recorded during a tumultuous time, when Bowie was both obsessing over the occult and addicted to drugs.
"Here are we, one magical movement from Kether to Malkuth..." kinda says it all, don't it?
While "Station to Station" certainly isn't Bowie's only foray into the occult, it stands out for the above lyric which remains one of the most explicit references to Jewish Mysticism on wax. In addition to Kabbalah, the album touches on the occultism of Aleister Crowley, the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, Nazi mysticism, and Grail mythology, themes that informed a great deal of Bowie's output and persona throughout his career.
We haven't uploaded a podcast since 2010. But this weekend I re-teamed with Emeyesi, my former co-host on both the Urban Alternatives radio program, which graced the Western Massachusetts airwaves for close to a decade, and the UrbALT podcasts which previously appeared here on the blog, to record a new episode of what we hope will be a new podcast series!
We've been out of the game for a long time, so we're still kinda feeling our way back with this new iteration of podcasting here on Imageyenation. We're also not really sure what we'll be calling our new podcast, so we left this episode untitled. One thing we're sure of though is that this lone episode of whatever "show" this turns out to be won't be the only episode, nor will it be the only series, we'll be bringing to you in the near future.
If you've missed us, or are just wondering what took us so long to upload another episode, take a listen.
Terrence Nance ('An Oversimplification of Her Beauty') provides appropriately phantasmagorical visuals for The Dig's ethereal, dreamy Indie-Pop in his two-part mini-movie-length video "You and I and You".
The two songs featured in the clip, "Cold Afternoon" and "So Alone", are drawn from the New York-based quartet's 'You & I' EP which is available for purchase from their Bandcamp page.
This week's Monday Magick entry, "In Ancient Days" by Black Widow, was inspired by a brief mention of the band alongside occult-rockers Coven in Peter Bebergal's new book on popular music and the esoteric 'Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll'. The tune comes from the British Prog-Rock outfit's 1970 CBS Records LP 'Sacrifice'.
I wasn't familiar with Black Widow until coming across their name in association with Coven as one of the few bands of the era who made blatant references to Satanism and the occult in their music. Unsurprisingly, especially considering their similar names, they garnered comparisons to Black Sabbath although their songwriting was far more devilish than anything Ozzy and company put out. "In Ancient Days" for example celebrates the summoning of infernal powers in a highly theatrical fashion using very straightforward language. Even more surprising than the darkness of the lyrics though is the funkiness of the track which leans heavily on a churning groove and plaintive horn line which conjures images of smokey jazz clubs more-so than smoke from the fires of hell. Who knew Satanists could get so soulful?
The band soldiered on long after 'Sacrifice', releasing several albums, seeing personnel changes, and even rethinking their ideology. They were still active as recently as 2011 when they released an album titled 'Sleeping With Demons'.
In the province of the mind, what is believed true is true, or becomes true within limits to be learned by experience and experiment.
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