David Bowie – Black Star (Epic 2017 #026)

The Epic 2017 Project #026: 170126

David Bowie – Black Star (2016)

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Recently I watched a YouTube video tribute to the great man as 1,000 musicians collectively performed ‘Rebel Rebel’ on the floor of a stadium to a packed crowd all belting out the lyrics. It brought tears to my eyes as, of all the very many losses to the music industry through passings last year, David Bowie’s was (and remains) the most felt for me.

Black Star, his 25th studio album, was released on 8 January 2016, his 69th birthday and just two days before his death.

‘Lazarus’ (featured here) is notable now for the lines “…look up here, I’m in heaven; I’ve got scars that can’t be seen…” It comes from his Off-Broadway musical of the same name.

Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls (Epic 2017 #005)

The Epic 2017 Project #005: 170105

Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls (2012)

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This is what the Los Angeles Times said about this Athens, Alabama based band’s debut album released in April 2012.

The Alabama Shakes’ first album, “Boys & Girls,” is an electric jolt that anyone who loves blues-based rock music should track down immediately. Consisting of three men and one young explosion named Brittany Howard on vocals and guitar, the group, which formed in northern Alabama in 2009, offers stripped down truth, minus any affectation, histrionics or irony.”

Here’s the title track.

Admiral Fallow – Boots met my face (Epic 2017 #002)

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Admiral Fallow – Boots met my Face (2011)

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Originally formed in 2007 by singer-songwriter Louis Abbott under the name ‘The Brother Louis Collective’, Admiral Fallow are based in Glasgow.

‘Boots Met My Face’ was recorded in July 2009

All of the songs document the first chapter of my life, be it memories from school or kicking a ball about with my childhood chums. All are taken from real life events. There’s no fiction. I’m not into making up stories or characters for the sake of trying to stir emotions. They are songs about friends and family as well as a fair bit of self-evaluation”. [Louis Abbot (2010)]

The Divine Comedy – How could you leave me on my own? (Leaping Ahead #366)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #366: 161231

[A song for 2016]

And so – a full leap year of 366 days later – the Leaping Ahead project reaches its swan song. And what better way to finish than with a song for 2016. There’ve been many crackers I could have chosen, but this one from Neil Hannon’s Divine Comedy sort of sums it all up really. Lots have left us this year and…well the lyrics say it much better than I can. Thanks for sticking with the project – I’ve enjoyed the posting challenge so I hop you’ve enjoyed what I’ve chosen each day.

Starting tomorrow though is a whole New Year and a whole new project – ‘Epic 2017’. Every day I’ll be posting a different album (365 in total), a track or two from it and (most days) a comment as to why I’ve picked that particular album. No easy way to approach this so I’ll be starting at the beginning and working through to the end. Seems reasonable. A-Z. 365 albums. A new Jem Tunes post every day.

King Size Slim – May we find (Leaping Ahead #364)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #364: 161229

[Song from 2015]

…and we’re down to the final three in this year-long episodic series; a themed track for every day of 2016. King Size Slim supported Son of Dave at the Brighton leg of his European tour in early December and counts amongst the top gigs I’ve been to this year. A worthy contender for the ‘Leaping Ahead’ project. Three and counting…