This week on State of Wonder: Oregonians mourn the death of a legend (including some who shared his stage); a Portland artist helps reboot DC Comics’ Dr. Fate, and a blind but colorful painter in Wallowa County invites us into his studio.
The Many Lives of Davie Bowie
David Bowie’s decades of recording, filmmaking and trendsetting led many to feel he was super-human, immortal, even alien. Of course, he was all too human, dying this week at age 69 after an 18-month struggle with cancer. The outpouring of love and grief online and across the world is staggering, and Oregon is no exception.
We decided to go in search of how Bowie changed our small neck of the solar system. We talked with the Dandy Warhols about playing with Bowie, heard from Grandaddy’s Jason Lydle about finding out Bowie was a fan, caught up with Matt Sheehy, who covered “Let’s Dance” on the “Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” spent some time with fans singing Bowie-oke, and learned about Bowie’s impact on the gay community from filmmaker David Weissman.
Listen to the Dandy Warhols’ extended interview and see the video of their performance with Bowie here.
Artist Ibrahim Moustafa - 22:13
The Egyptian-American artist Ibrahim Moustafa has helped reboot the classic DC Comics series “Doctor Fate,” with Dr. Fate as an Egyptian-American medical student. We talked with Moustafa about how his own dual heritage influenced the comic, which is out Jan. 20, as well as his own hit series, “High Crimes,” about international intrigue on the slopes of Mount Everest.
Beat Connection - 29:42
The Seattle electropop outfit Beat Connection mixes a stew of influences: pop, calypso, hip-hop, jazz, funk and hatred of Matchbox 20. These disparate sounds are tied together by the soulful voice of lead singer Tom Eddy. Beat Connection stopped by the OPB studios to perform songs from their new album, “Product 3.”
First Edition Shakespeare - 35:24
One of William Shakespeare’s rare First Folios is on display at the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene. Several of the so-called First Folios are touring the country, marking the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death. The museum’s associate curator, Danielle Knapp, talked to Oregon Art Beat’s Katrina Sarson about the folio, which elevated the Bard from the low masses to high art.
The Mostly Blind But Colorful Painter of Enterprise, Oregon - 36:32
Bob Fergison has been compared to the Dos Equis commercial — you know, the most interesting guy in the world. The 82-year-old marketing-executive-turned-rural-arts-impresario-turned-fine-artist continues to paint bold, expressionist nudes and fighters, despite having mostly lost his eyesight and repeatedly beaten back incurable cancer. Now the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph is exhibiting his work through Feb. 17. Producer Aaron Scott visited Fergison in his cluttered studio.
Burke Jam’s Natural Music - 42:52
Sound artist Burke Jam uses landscapes as the raw material for new music. We’re not talking simply taking inspiration from the national natural world. It’s more like a translation of the physical world into sound. It’s known as sonification. Burke Jam spoke with OPB’s Think Out Loud and shared one composition made in Iceland called “Within the Violence of Fractured Light,” using the dripping of melting icebergs. Listen to the extended interview on Think Out Loud.