The It Gets Better Project — founded by journalist-activist Dan Savage in 2010 — strives to create a better, kinder world in which we’re all free to be who we are in our own true way. Spreading this message specifically to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth who are suffering from fear and subjected to discrimination, the organization has repeatedly found new ways to empower youths to have courage and find the support they need to flourish. (Who can forget that amazing video campaign?) Their current initiative — a fundraising album — is a really smart one in that no one knew how to live by his own rules better than rock legend David Bowie. Because of that, pairing up contemporary artists with songs by the iconoclastic artist resonates on many levels. And if upcoming generations don’t really know who Bowie is yet, this new album Let All The Children Boogie: A Tribute to David Bowie is a wonderful way to help change all that.
An all-ages album, Let All the Children Boogie is produced by Spare the Rock Records who have enlisted a diverse list of musicians to share their own thoughtful reinterpretations of such classics as “Heroes” (Ted Leo), “Modern Love” (Gina Chavez), “Space Oddity” (Gustafer Yellowgold and the Pop Ups) and the like. As such, the album is really a chance to hear Bowie’s discography anew.
Brooklyn’s Antibalas’ afrobeat version of “Let’s Dance” definitely will inspire you to “put on your red shoes and dance the blues” while Elizabeth Mitchell’s folksy refashioning of “Changes” gently reminds you that “time may change me but I can’t trace time.” One particularly standout rendition is Rachel Loshak and the New Standards’ “bass and voice” take on “Starman” which definitely brings home the message to march to the beat of your own drum. In the immortal words of Bowie himself: “Let the children lose it, Let the children use it, let all the children boogie.” That’s a message that’s lost none of its appeal over the years.
To learn more about Spare the Rock Records’ initiatives — which include previous albums that raised money for the Haitian People’s Support Project and Girls, Inc. — visit their website.
Photo by Elmar J. Lordemann
PS. Check out our tributes to the legendary Mr. Bowie in our posts David Bowie: Sometimes Three Years Are Better Than Five and Bowie to the Future: He Does It Again. And if you want to hear more great cover songs, check out our post 59 New Dead Tunes: We Needed That!