The Montreal music scene pays tribute to David Bowie

Hear local musicians’ favourite Bowie tunes and read about how his music affected them and their work + watch Arcade Fire’s memorial Bowie parade in New Orleans.

Lexis by Djordje Zivaljevic
DJ Lexis

Song: “Right”

“‘Right,’ from the Young Americans album, is one of my favourites despite being a fairly simple song. But like most great soul songs, it’s all about the feeling around it. For a brief moment you forget this slow-burning late-night sexy jam is coming out of a 100-pound whiter-than-white British boy with orange hair.

“Many Brit-rockers tried over the years to make a black-sounding record but few succeeded in making one that was loved by both white and black audiences. Bowie was actually the second white artist ever to perform on Soul Train (the first being Montreal’s Gino Vannelli!).

“For a white British artist to record an album in Philadelphia with musicians from the soul and funk scene was a huge risk in and of itself. ‘Right,’ as he called it ‘plastic soul,’ stands the test of time as one of the finest marriages of white and black music.”

Lexis, DJ/founder of and 24 Hours of Vinyl events. This month he’s DJing at le Bleury Bar a Vinyle on Feb. 19 (with Jay Daniel) and Feb. 27–28 (with guests, as part of 24 Hours of Vinyl for Nuit Blanche)

Jef Barbara

Song: “Station to Station”

“I didn’t have cool parents or older siblings to introduce me to cutting edge stuff. What’s more is my parents hardly listened Song: “Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide”

“David Bowie was a most complete artist. He gave you an experience along with his music. He made vanity acceptable — good looks and confidence become excusable when the actual art is so masterful. Class and elegance right to the end.”

Plastik Patrik, singer, DJ, MC. He DJs at La Revue Disko Kommando at Club Play most Saturdays. Montreal Roller Derby (Plastik Patrik is the announcer) begins on March 5 at le Taz.

Suuns photo by Nick Helderman
Ben Shemie (Suuns)

Songs: “Quicksand”

“Kind of an obvious choice I guess, one of his best tunes. Beautiful lyrics, amazing arrangement, heartbreaking chorus.

“To me, Bowie represented hope. His audacity and vision, so incredibly admirable – all done with so much class. It proved that you could be anyone or anything. It guided a lot of us – a role model that really put himself out there. Proving that whatever you did, whoever you wanted to be, it was ultimately the quality of your art, your music that was the trump card.”

Ben Shemie of Suuns. The band’s third album Hold/Still will be released on April 15. The album launch is happening at la Tulipe on April 20.

CONTINUE TO PAGE 3: Michael Venus, DJ Construct and Jace Lasek of Besnard Lakes