Discussion:
Kate Bush and speculative fiction
(too old to reply)
Joe Bernstein
2020-02-12 01:47:18 UTC
Permalink
I've been re-listening to English-language albums I own or used to
own recently - an amazing number are available at YouTube these days -
and this week it's been Kate Bush. Today, specifically, an early
greatest-hits compilation, <The Whole Story>, actually the first
album of hers I owned or heard. For which one single was released,
its A-side "Experiment IV". And unlike previous more or less
speculative songs of hers - "Wuthering Heights" (in which she becomes
the voice of Cathy's ghost [1]), "Breathing" (which takes rather a
lot of decoding) - "Experiment IV" is very clear; it's almost a
libretto for the music video rather than a song. And the music video,
faithful to that libretto, is science fiction horror.

I haven't yet gotten to <The Red Shoes>, and had not previously
watched her videos. So I'm not even close to trying to be
comprehensive here. But it seems that Google Groups doesn't know of
this group having a thread devoted to her - or anyway her written
lyrics, ahem - before. So I thought I'd start one and see what
happens.

Joe Bernstein

Two discussions from ten years ago:
<http://watchinghorrorfilmsfrombehindthecouch.blogspot.com/2010/08/its-coming-for-me-through-trees.html>
<https://www.tor.com/2010/09/30/frequency-rotation-kate-bush-deeper-understanding/>

[1] A new version of "Wuthering Heights" was the B-side of the single
for <The Whole Story>. Since it's the version I first heard, it's
the one I prefer; trying for a less idiosyncratic explanation, Bush
sings it in a deeper voice that to me fits a ghost better. Most
people for some reason prefer the original (1978) version that
reached #1 in the UK - such trivia people focus on! So if you look
for this version at YouTube or elsewhere, look for something like
"Wuthering Heights" 1986.
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
-dsr-
2020-02-12 13:34:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
I've been re-listening to English-language albums I own or used to
own recently - an amazing number are available at YouTube these days -
and this week it's been Kate Bush. Today, specifically, an early
greatest-hits compilation, <The Whole Story>, actually the first
album of hers I owned or heard. For which one single was released,
its A-side "Experiment IV". And unlike previous more or less
speculative songs of hers - "Wuthering Heights" (in which she becomes
the voice of Cathy's ghost [1]), "Breathing" (which takes rather a
lot of decoding) - "Experiment IV" is very clear; it's almost a
libretto for the music video rather than a song. And the music video,
faithful to that libretto, is science fiction horror.
I haven't yet gotten to <The Red Shoes>, and had not previously
watched her videos. So I'm not even close to trying to be
comprehensive here. But it seems that Google Groups doesn't know of
this group having a thread devoted to her - or anyway her written
lyrics, ahem - before. So I thought I'd start one and see what
happens.
"Cloudbusting" is certainly SF-adjacent. It's told from the POV of Wilhelm
Reich's son; his father was engaged in rather unconventional research, including
building "orgone accumulators", which somehow were expected to harness the
power of orgasms to cure people. There's some discussion of this in Robert
Anton Wilson's Illuminatus Trilogy, I think, although all of RAW's fictional
work blends together in my head.

"Hounds of Love" is a desire, possibly fictionally fulfilled, to swap bodies
with the narrator's lover so that they can better understand each other. John
Varley comes to mind, of course.

-dsr-
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-02-12 15:07:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by -dsr-
"Hounds of Love" is a desire, possibly fictionally fulfilled, to swap bodies
with the narrator's lover so that they can better understand each other. John
Varley comes to mind, of course.
Is it okay if I respond, "Ewwww!"?

Reminds me of a comic I saw in the early fifties-- the kind of
comics they had in the early fifties, which resulted in pious
people trying to ban comics altogether-- in which a mad scientist
discovers his wife's been cheating on him, so he performs some
mad-scientist surgery, and when the lovers wake up, each head has
been transferred to the other's body. Ewwwww.

And then of Turtledove's "Earthgrip," in which a very warlike
species, which nearly annihilated itself a few million years ago,
turns out to consist of two subsets: one kind is born female and
eventually becomes male; the other kind is either male or female
their entire lives. And each kind thinks the other kind is a
disgusting perversion of the natural form, namely their own; AND
they go into a blind murderous rage at the scent of each other's
pheromones. I won't spoiler which kind is the natural form of
the species and which kind was a deliberately induced mutation.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
James Nicoll
2020-02-12 15:38:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by -dsr-
"Hounds of Love" is a desire, possibly fictionally fulfilled, to swap bodies
with the narrator's lover so that they can better understand each other. John
Varley comes to mind, of course.
Is it okay if I respond, "Ewwww!"?
In 2018, the big drama production for UW was TomorrowLove, which had a number
of vignettes each focusing on the impact of some innovative technology. Generally
all of them were implimented in ways that suggested people hand't thought things
through but the one that most struck me as "why did you think this would end well?"
was the one where people got to design ideal VR bodies for each other, without any
discussion beforehand about what constitutes ideal.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-02-12 16:00:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by -dsr-
"Hounds of Love" is a desire, possibly fictionally fulfilled, to swap bodies
with the narrator's lover so that they can better understand each other. John
Varley comes to mind, of course.
Is it okay if I respond, "Ewwww!"?
In 2018, the big drama production for UW was TomorrowLove, which had a number
of vignettes each focusing on the impact of some innovative technology. Generally
all of them were implimented in ways that suggested people hand't thought things
through but the one that most struck me as "why did you think this would end well?"
was the one where people got to design ideal VR bodies for each other, without any
discussion beforehand about what constitutes ideal.
That's a definite Ewwwww.

Actually, one got a cut-down version of that in the early days of
MMORPGs. All the male avatars were brawny and muscular; all the
female avatars were exaggeratedly curvaceous and wearing as
little as possible. So the male players could ogle them.

(The first MMO I played was _Asheron's Call_, which was in fact
very good, but all the female avatars had boobs that were so
conical you could've impaled yourself on them.)

What also happened was that the male players started making
female characters to run around in. Not because they secretly
wanted to be female; _au contraire._ Because the default view in
an NNO is third-person; you're looking at your character, as it
were, over her shoulder. And, as a young player in a cartoon
about gamers put it, If he was going to be looking at somebody's
backside all the time, he wanted it to be a female one.

(There were also male players who made female characters for
catfishing purposes, but that predates MMOs, going all the way
back to the earliest BBSes.).
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Chrysi Cat
2020-02-16 08:20:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by -dsr-
"Hounds of Love" is a desire, possibly fictionally fulfilled, to swap bodies
with the narrator's lover so that they can better understand each other. John
Varley comes to mind, of course.
Is it okay if I respond, "Ewwww!"?
In 2018, the big drama production for UW was TomorrowLove, which had a number
of vignettes each focusing on the impact of some innovative technology. Generally
all of them were implimented in ways that suggested people hand't thought things
through but the one that most struck me as "why did you think this would end well?"
was the one where people got to design ideal VR bodies for each other, without any
discussion beforehand about what constitutes ideal.
Which in turn explains why this ( https://egscomics.com/egsnp/2015-09-21
) arc of _El Goonish Shive--EGS-NP_ turns the way it is. They're
designing a _physical_ transformation rather than even just a VR one
that will alter people's bodies along lines their template has set.

Their somewhat-mutual boyfriend (well, on the increasingly rare
occasions when he doesn't feel like being a cisgender _girl_ instead)
programmed an "ideal female" template in-universe-years before the comic
started, and it _is_ treated as mildly creepy at the beginning, though
most male characters and I think all female ones have intentionally
undergone said temporary magical tranformation by now anyway.

(And I'm hoping that all of us either already read it, or get hooked,
but bear in mind it's a webcomic that never updated less than twice a
week and it celebrated its 19th anniversary a couple days ago).
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
Robert Woodward
2020-02-12 18:04:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by -dsr-
"Hounds of Love" is a desire, possibly fictionally fulfilled, to swap bodies
with the narrator's lover so that they can better understand each other. John
Varley comes to mind, of course.
Is it okay if I respond, "Ewwww!"?
<snip>
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And then of Turtledove's "Earthgrip," in which a very warlike
species, which nearly annihilated itself a few million years ago,
turns out to consist of two subsets: one kind is born female and
eventually becomes male; the other kind is either male or female
their entire lives. And each kind thinks the other kind is a
disgusting perversion of the natural form, namely their own; AND
they go into a blind murderous rage at the scent of each other's
pheromones. I won't spoiler which kind is the natural form of
the species and which kind was a deliberately induced mutation.
I think that the near extinction event happened only about 50K-30K years
ago. Also, I don't remember any definite resolution on which form was a
deliberate mutation (I consider both sides of the dispute to be
completely unreliable on that matter). I guess I will have to check the
resolution.
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
‹-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Joe Bernstein
2020-02-12 20:18:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by -dsr-
Post by Joe Bernstein
I've been re-listening to English-language albums I own or used to
own recently - an amazing number are available at YouTube these days
- and this week it's been Kate Bush.
But it seems that Google Groups doesn't know of
this group having a thread devoted to her - or anyway her written
lyrics, ahem - before. So I thought I'd start one and see what
happens.
"Cloudbusting" is certainly SF-adjacent. It's told from the POV of
Wilhelm Reich's son; his father was engaged in rather unconventional
research, including building "orgone accumulators", which somehow were
expected to harness the power of orgasms to cure people. There's some
discussion of this in Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus Trilogy, I
think, although all of RAW's fictional work blends together in my
head.
The video is also SF-adjacent, focusing on Reich's rain-making
machines, portrayed as rather steampunkish.
Post by -dsr-
"Hounds of Love" is a desire, possibly fictionally fulfilled, to swap
bodies with the narrator's lover so that they can better understand
each other. John Varley comes to mind, of course.
I'm not sure you've got the right song there. I haven't really
looked at the lyrics of "Hounds of Love", but the lyrics of "Running
Up That Hill (A Deal with God)", more so the video, fit that
description, and come from the same album. Just the video isn't *as*
spec-ficnal as "Experiment IV"'s is.

OK, just *did* look at the lyrics of "Hounds of Love", and you did
have the wrong song, but those lyrics are also spec-ficnal; the line
"it's coming for me through the trees", that titled the discussion of
Bush and horror I cited last time, comes from this song. The video
downplays the spec-ficnal angle, though.

For any not familiar with her. She was born in 1958, and although
her first two albums came out in 1978, the first had been in
development, so to speak, for years; she became a professional
musician in her teens. She writes essentially all her own material.
A significant part of her work refers to speculative fiction all
along, but I think this intensifies in her middle albums:

1. <Hounds of Love>, 1985 (source of "Cloudbusting" and "Running
Up That Hill"), which I've never owned so hasn't been part of
this listening project,
1a "Experiment IV", 1986,
2 <The Sensual World>, 1989 ("Deeper Understanding", whose lyrics
are again very clear, and which got a video for a 22-years-
later remake which is again science fiction horror; there's a
sense in which the album's title song is also sf, in the voice
of James Joyce's Mollie Bloom, stepping out of the book into
the sensual world), and finally
3 <The Red Shoes>, 1993 (the titular, at least).

Her next album wasn't until 2005; I own it, but have played it much
less, and haven't heard her later albums, both of which came out in
2011, right *after* the discussions I cited in my last post. (One's
the source for the remake video of "Deeper Understanding", and in
that her voice sounds damaged. "Deeper Understanding" is the focus
of the other article I cited last time, and its 2011 video is rather
reminiscent of the movie <Her>, 2013.)

Oh, and speaking of spec-fic and music, Bush was discovered by David
Gilmour, yes, that one, from Pink Floyd.

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Robert Carnegie
2020-02-12 21:35:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by -dsr-
Post by Joe Bernstein
I've been re-listening to English-language albums I own or used to
own recently - an amazing number are available at YouTube these days
- and this week it's been Kate Bush.
But it seems that Google Groups doesn't know of
this group having a thread devoted to her - or anyway her written
lyrics, ahem - before. So I thought I'd start one and see what
happens.
"Cloudbusting" is certainly SF-adjacent. It's told from the POV of
Wilhelm Reich's son; his father was engaged in rather unconventional
research, including building "orgone accumulators", which somehow were
expected to harness the power of orgasms to cure people. There's some
discussion of this in Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus Trilogy, I
think, although all of RAW's fictional work blends together in my
head.
The video is also SF-adjacent, focusing on Reich's rain-making
machines, portrayed as rather steampunkish.
Post by -dsr-
"Hounds of Love" is a desire, possibly fictionally fulfilled, to swap
bodies with the narrator's lover so that they can better understand
each other. John Varley comes to mind, of course.
I'm not sure you've got the right song there. I haven't really
looked at the lyrics of "Hounds of Love", but the lyrics of "Running
Up That Hill (A Deal with God)", more so the video, fit that
description, and come from the same album. Just the video isn't *as*
spec-ficnal as "Experiment IV"'s is.
OK, just *did* look at the lyrics of "Hounds of Love", and you did
have the wrong song, but those lyrics are also spec-ficnal; the line
"it's coming for me through the trees", that titled the discussion of
Bush and horror I cited last time, comes from this song. The video
downplays the spec-ficnal angle, though.
You or someone else told me... well, anyway, it's in
Wikipedia: "The words 'it's in the trees, it's coming!'
heard at the beginning of the track are sampled from
the British 1957 horror film _Night of the Demon_",
based on M. R. James with rather a lot of creative
freedom. Reginald Beckwith plays a medium but "his"
voice is that of Maurice Denham, who - well, I spoiled
it already - the demon got him in act one. These are,
in effect, his last words. The character's;
Maurice Denham the actor was fine! He was in a
1980s _Doctor Who_, something else got him then...
he was a 1969 _Julius Caesar_, I won't spoil that...
Post by Joe Bernstein
For any not familiar with her. She was born in 1958, and although
her first two albums came out in 1978, the first had been in
development, so to speak, for years; she became a professional
musician in her teens. She writes essentially all her own material.
A significant part of her work refers to speculative fiction all
1. <Hounds of Love>, 1985 (source of "Cloudbusting" and "Running
Up That Hill"), which I've never owned so hasn't been part of
this listening project,
1a "Experiment IV", 1986,
2 <The Sensual World>, 1989 ("Deeper Understanding", whose lyrics
are again very clear, and which got a video for a 22-years-
later remake which is again science fiction horror; there's a
sense in which the album's title song is also sf, in the voice
of James Joyce's Mollie Bloom, stepping out of the book into
the sensual world), and finally
3 <The Red Shoes>, 1993 (the titular, at least).
Her next album wasn't until 2005; I own it, but have played it much
less, and haven't heard her later albums, both of which came out in
2011, right *after* the discussions I cited in my last post. (One's
the source for the remake video of "Deeper Understanding", and in
that her voice sounds damaged. "Deeper Understanding" is the focus
of the other article I cited last time, and its 2011 video is rather
reminiscent of the movie <Her>, 2013.)
Oh, and speaking of spec-fic and music, Bush was discovered by David
Gilmour, yes, that one, from Pink Floyd.
Joe Bernstein
--
Jaimie Vandenbergh
2020-02-13 00:35:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
Her next album wasn't until 2005; I own it, but have played it much
less, and haven't heard her later albums, both of which came out in
2011, right *after* the discussions I cited in my last post. (One's
the source for the remake video of "Deeper Understanding", and in
that her voice sounds damaged.
It's a rather awful audio post-processing effect rather than her own voice
being damaged - it allows midi-keyboard-driven pitch modulation of an existing
recording, in this case leading to Kate's voice being distorted well outside
the bounds of good taste.

Whoever did it probably thinks cyber is a pretty neat word... the video is a
terrible waste of acting talent too.

Cheers - Jaimie
--
"Even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all"
-- Hypatia of Alexandria
Joe Bernstein
2020-02-14 20:00:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jaimie Vandenbergh
Post by Joe Bernstein
Her next album wasn't until 2005; I own it, but have played it much
less, and haven't heard her later albums, both of which came out in
2011, right *after* the discussions I cited in my last post. (One's
the source for the remake video of "Deeper Understanding", and in
that her voice sounds damaged.
It's a rather awful audio post-processing effect rather than her own
voice being damaged - it allows midi-keyboard-driven pitch modulation
of an existing recording, in this case leading to Kate's voice being
distorted well outside the bounds of good taste.
Well, there may be post-processing that made it worse, and damage may
not be the right word, but something's wrong.

People refer to her voice in this century as her "mature" voice,
which seems to me to be a nice way to call her in 1993, when she
turned 35 and when she released <The Red Shoes>, immature. But the
evidence that her voice has changed is pretty strong. She's done
concerts in this century; although she apparently exerts herself to
get rogue uploads of video from those concerts taken down, I've
watched a couple, and her voice in those isn't what it used to be.
It's hard to believe that the voice she used in <Aerial> is so
different from her past voices just as an aesthetic choice.

Problem is, none of the articles I've read about damage to the vocal
cords describes these changes as typical. She hasn't lost her high
notes. She hasn't become breathy or raspy. She doesn't seem to have
trouble sustaining notes. So that's why "damage" is problematic.

But so is "mature". Tenors famously keep performing into their 50s
and 60s, but maybe that's just tenors. So let's look at some people
with the same voice type Kate Bush is usually said to have, dramatic
sopranos. Maria Callas died at 54, and seems to have performed until
a few years earlier, but with, at the end, a worn out voice. Birgit
Nilsson died at 87, and seems to have continued performing until 64,
an age Bush has not yet reached. Other dramatic sopranos are said to
have flamed out, but whether that was because of vocal problems or
because of Callas isn't clear.
Anecdotally, I'm now five years older than Bush was in 2005, and
although I haven't sung much in years, I'm pretty sure my voice is
now more resonant than hers in that year - which was decidedly *not*
the case when each of us was, say, 35. [Tries.] Hmm, okay, maybe
not. Hmmm. (I'm not currently in the best place to sing, but what I
got makes me nervous about what'll happen when I'm in a better one.)
Loss of resonance, which I think is the single biggest change in
her voice, does seem to go with aging [1], but it comes at wildly
different times to different people. And I think it's probably some
of what some people mean by a "worn out" voice, which would imply it
can be caused by singing.

So in a nutshell. Her voice has changed - not as dramatically as
Marianne Faithfull's has, but to a lesser extent in the same
direction. I would guess that this change came early to her, and did
so because - hypothetically - being a perfectionist, she sang too
many trial runs of songs on albums like <The Sensual World> and <The
Red Shoes>, all alone there in her home studio. Which makes me, at
least, as someone who really likes those albums, complicit in the
change; which may be why everyone pussy-foots around it.

To put this in terms she might find acceptable, and edge this post a
little closer to on-topic. Seems to me her early albums were work of
the Maiden, growing increasingly deranged in her isolation. Starting
with <The Hounds of Love>, she started transitioning toward becoming
the Mother. <Aerial> is the album on which, both in real life and in
her lyrics, she actually *is* the Mother; but in it, she already
sounds like she's embraced the Crone.

[back to the "Deeper Understanding" video]
Post by Jaimie Vandenbergh
the video is a terrible waste of acting talent too.
Ah, I didn't think the acting too bad. But then I'm rarely a good
judge of acting.

Joe Bernstein

PS No YouTube cites to back this post up because YouTube just pissed
me off. I was re-listening to <Aerial>, trying to assess it fairly
now that I know why I've rarely listened to it, but because I didn't
keep my phone in my hand the whole time doing nothing *but* listening
to <Aerial>, YouTube decided I wasn't being subservient enough and
stopped playing it. Faugh.

[1] The next singer on my list is Flory Jagoda, a Sephardic singer
whose first album came out, sez me anyhow, the year she turned 58.
I listened to a couple of songs on that album - and indeed, not much
resonance.
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
D B Davis
2020-02-14 20:19:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
PS No YouTube cites to back this post up because YouTube just pissed
me off. I was re-listening to <Aerial>, trying to assess it fairly
now that I know why I've rarely listened to it, but because I didn't
keep my phone in my hand the whole time doing nothing *but* listening
to <Aerial>, YouTube decided I wasn't being subservient enough and
stopped playing it. Faugh.
FWIW, Kate Bush's apparently available at an alternative, unUtube site,
which imposes minimal control freakishness on its users:

https://vimeo.com/search?q=Kate+Bush+aerial



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Joe Bernstein
2020-02-15 23:30:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by Joe Bernstein
PS No YouTube cites to back this post up because YouTube just pissed
me off. I was re-listening to <Aerial>, trying to assess it fairly
now that I know why I've rarely listened to it, but because I didn't
keep my phone in my hand the whole time doing nothing *but* listening
to <Aerial>, YouTube decided I wasn't being subservient enough and
stopped playing it. Faugh.
This happened *again* last night. So <Aerial> became my first
experiment in non-YouTube legal music sites.
Post by D B Davis
FWIW, Kate Bush's apparently available at an alternative, unUtube site,
https://vimeo.com/search?q=Kate+Bush+aerial
But not this one. I don't know from what country you found the album
there, but here in the US (a part of it occasionally, but not often,
confused with Canada), all Vimeo tells me she's posted is one video
and one commercial. And that search didn't even get me that - I had
to search separately for "Kate Bush".

I find <Aerial> at IHeartRadio:

<https://www.iheart.com/artist/kate-bush-37936/albums/aerial-3799444/>

(but only the first disc),
at Pandora:

<https://www.pandora.com/artist/kate-bush/aerial/ALqbXlrp79lp26c>

and in both its original form and the 2018 remaster at Spotify:

<https://open.spotify.com/album/0Bk6rV33JObdtOpjJg0vIy>
<https://open.spotify.com/album/0xo3ZL0B9982pr08stcNlt> (remaster)

It's also one of the few albums on my list available in the US from
Deezer, but since the free version of Deezer only works in its app, I
saw no point in copying the URL. Deezer uniquely has the 2010
version, identifiable because the second disc becomes a single track.

I already know the way Deezer and Spotify both punish people for not
having money is by shuffleplay, so it's clearly time for me to find
out how IHeartRadio and Pandora punish me. OK, with Pandora it's
that they require you to *volunteer* for ads every two songs. You
can't just keep listening; you have to start over, presumably because
that's the only context in which they know how to show an ad. Other
things I'd heard about Pandora proved untrue, but for the second disc
of <Aerial>, which is a single piece of music divided into nine
tracks, even this was too much, and I'll be going back to YouTube.

Little could have worked so well to reconcile me to YouTube's flaws
as my recent visits to other sites.

Everything YouTube has, among the first ten singers, other sites also
have. The flipside is almost true. The only albums on my list from
those ten which I don't find lawfully at YouTube are:

<Close-Up>, Bonnie Koloc (-)
<Wild and Recluse>, Bonnie Koloc (-)
<Maria>, Jane Siberry (Pandora)

YouTube does have a probably-unlawful copy of <Wild and Recluse>,
claiming to be remastered.

So there isn't that much diversity among sites.

One main issue seems to be that performers who can reasonably be
described as "local" can be problematic - this is true of Koloc
(Chicago), folkish band The Common Faces (Madison), and punk band
Surrendur Dorothi (Chicago). No idea why, exactly. Koloc or a
representative is online, putting her small-label albums out there,
so I don't know why her major-label ones are harder. (They didn't
come out on CD, but neither did her other 70s albums, so that isn't
it.) The Common Faces and Surrendur Dorothi had nothing *but* small-
label albums, and members of both are still in the music business, so
I'm not sure what the issues are there - maybe that the band leaders
(who aren't those still-active members) just don't see any profit in
dusting off their old masters.

Relatively obscure acts may also forget their oldest albums in going
online. Besides Flory Jagoda, in Judaica I bought two albums each by
the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble and by The Voice of the Turtle. The
former packaged one of those albums into a retrospective; the latter
did nothing with them (which I think were its first two).

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
h***@gmail.com
2020-02-15 09:59:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Jaimie Vandenbergh
Post by Joe Bernstein
Her next album wasn't until 2005; I own it, but have played it much
less, and haven't heard her later albums, both of which came out in
2011, right *after* the discussions I cited in my last post. (One's
the source for the remake video of "Deeper Understanding", and in
that her voice sounds damaged.
It's a rather awful audio post-processing effect rather than her own
voice being damaged - it allows midi-keyboard-driven pitch modulation
of an existing recording, in this case leading to Kate's voice being
distorted well outside the bounds of good taste.
Well, there may be post-processing that made it worse, and damage may
not be the right word, but something's wrong.
People refer to her voice in this century as her "mature" voice,
which seems to me to be a nice way to call her in 1993, when she
turned 35 and when she released <The Red Shoes>, immature. But the
evidence that her voice has changed is pretty strong. She's done
concerts in this century; although she apparently exerts herself to
get rogue uploads of video from those concerts taken down, I've
watched a couple, and her voice in those isn't what it used to be.
It's hard to believe that the voice she used in <Aerial> is so
different from her past voices just as an aesthetic choice.
Problem is, none of the articles I've read about damage to the vocal
cords describes these changes as typical. She hasn't lost her high
notes. She hasn't become breathy or raspy. She doesn't seem to have
trouble sustaining notes. So that's why "damage" is problematic.
But so is "mature". Tenors famously keep performing into their 50s
and 60s, but maybe that's just tenors. So let's look at some people
with the same voice type Kate Bush is usually said to have, dramatic
sopranos. Maria Callas died at 54, and seems to have performed until
a few years earlier, but with, at the end, a worn out voice. Birgit
Nilsson died at 87, and seems to have continued performing until 64,
an age Bush has not yet reached. Other dramatic sopranos are said to
have flamed out, but whether that was because of vocal problems or
because of Callas isn't clear.
Anecdotally, I'm now five years older than Bush was in 2005, and
although I haven't sung much in years, I'm pretty sure my voice is
now more resonant than hers in that year - which was decidedly *not*
the case when each of us was, say, 35. [Tries.] Hmm, okay, maybe
not. Hmmm. (I'm not currently in the best place to sing, but what I
got makes me nervous about what'll happen when I'm in a better one.)
Loss of resonance, which I think is the single biggest change in
her voice, does seem to go with aging [1], but it comes at wildly
different times to different people. And I think it's probably some
of what some people mean by a "worn out" voice, which would imply it
can be caused by singing.
generally classical singers get a lot more training in singing than people in pop and rock.
The classical singers come from a centuries long tradition in how to preserve their voices, pop and rock singers don't have that basis.

She also apparently started smoking as a kid and, according to somebody who recorded a song with her in the mid 80s, was smoking a lot of pot at that stage and that ages voices
Post by Joe Bernstein
So in a nutshell. Her voice has changed - not as dramatically as
Marianne Faithfull's has, but to a lesser extent in the same
direction. I would guess that this change came early to her, and did
so because - hypothetically - being a perfectionist, she sang too
many trial runs of songs on albums like <The Sensual World> and <The
Red Shoes>, all alone there in her home studio. Which makes me, at
least, as someone who really likes those albums, complicit in the
change; which may be why everyone pussy-foots around it.
To put this in terms she might find acceptable, and edge this post a
little closer to on-topic. Seems to me her early albums were work of
the Maiden, growing increasingly deranged in her isolation.
not sure deranged is a great word to use to describe somebody if you want terms she might find acceptable...

Starting
Post by Joe Bernstein
with <The Hounds of Love>, she started transitioning toward becoming
the Mother. <Aerial> is the album on which, both in real life and in
her lyrics, she actually *is* the Mother; but in it, she already
sounds like she's embraced the Crone.
again, describing her as the Crone is just brilliant wording...
Robert Carnegie
2020-02-15 10:50:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Joe Bernstein
To put this in terms she might find acceptable, and edge this post a
little closer to on-topic. Seems to me her early albums were work of
the Maiden, growing increasingly deranged in her isolation.
not sure deranged is a great word to use to describe somebody if you want terms she might find acceptable...
Starting
Post by Joe Bernstein
with <The Hounds of Love>, she started transitioning toward becoming
the Mother. <Aerial> is the album on which, both in real life and in
her lyrics, she actually *is* the Mother; but in it, she already
sounds like she's embraced the Crone.
again, describing her as the Crone is just brilliant wording...
To me, it sounds not very gentlemanly.

Is it a term of art? Maybe you've mistaken
the word "croon". She was crooning on _Aerial_.
Not croning.
J. Clarke
2020-02-15 13:34:07 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 15 Feb 2020 02:50:51 -0800 (PST), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Joe Bernstein
To put this in terms she might find acceptable, and edge this post a
little closer to on-topic. Seems to me her early albums were work of
the Maiden, growing increasingly deranged in her isolation.
not sure deranged is a great word to use to describe somebody if you want terms she might find acceptable...
Starting
Post by Joe Bernstein
with <The Hounds of Love>, she started transitioning toward becoming
the Mother. <Aerial> is the album on which, both in real life and in
her lyrics, she actually *is* the Mother; but in it, she already
sounds like she's embraced the Crone.
again, describing her as the Crone is just brilliant wording...
To me, it sounds not very gentlemanly.
Is it a term of art? Maybe you've mistaken
the word "croon". She was crooning on _Aerial_.
Not croning.
Google "Triple Goddess".
Robert Carnegie
2020-02-15 16:19:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sat, 15 Feb 2020 02:50:51 -0800 (PST), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Joe Bernstein
To put this in terms she might find acceptable, and edge this post a
little closer to on-topic. Seems to me her early albums were work of
the Maiden, growing increasingly deranged in her isolation.
not sure deranged is a great word to use to describe somebody if you want terms she might find acceptable...
Starting
Post by Joe Bernstein
with <The Hounds of Love>, she started transitioning toward becoming
the Mother. <Aerial> is the album on which, both in real life and in
her lyrics, she actually *is* the Mother; but in it, she already
sounds like she's embraced the Crone.
again, describing her as the Crone is just brilliant wording...
To me, it sounds not very gentlemanly.
Is it a term of art? Maybe you've mistaken
the word "croon". She was crooning on _Aerial_.
Not croning.
Google "Triple Goddess".
Yes, but in my house, we say, "The maiden, the mother,
and 'the other one'."

Some fellows need to think about why they're single.
Kevrob
2020-02-15 16:30:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Jaimie Vandenbergh
Post by Joe Bernstein
Her next album wasn't until 2005; I own it, but have played it much
less, and haven't heard her later albums, both of which came out in
2011, right *after* the discussions I cited in my last post. (One's
the source for the remake video of "Deeper Understanding", and in
that her voice sounds damaged.
It's a rather awful audio post-processing effect rather than her own
voice being damaged - it allows midi-keyboard-driven pitch modulation
of an existing recording, in this case leading to Kate's voice being
distorted well outside the bounds of good taste.
Well, there may be post-processing that made it worse, and damage may
not be the right word, but something's wrong.
People refer to her voice in this century as her "mature" voice,
which seems to me to be a nice way to call her in 1993, when she
turned 35 and when she released <The Red Shoes>, immature. But the
evidence that her voice has changed is pretty strong. She's done
concerts in this century; although she apparently exerts herself to
get rogue uploads of video from those concerts taken down, I've
watched a couple, and her voice in those isn't what it used to be.
It's hard to believe that the voice she used in <Aerial> is so
different from her past voices just as an aesthetic choice.
Problem is, none of the articles I've read about damage to the vocal
cords describes these changes as typical. She hasn't lost her high
notes. She hasn't become breathy or raspy. She doesn't seem to have
trouble sustaining notes. So that's why "damage" is problematic.
But so is "mature". Tenors famously keep performing into their 50s
and 60s, but maybe that's just tenors. So let's look at some people
with the same voice type Kate Bush is usually said to have, dramatic
sopranos. Maria Callas died at 54, and seems to have performed until
a few years earlier, but with, at the end, a worn out voice. Birgit
Nilsson died at 87, and seems to have continued performing until 64,
an age Bush has not yet reached. Other dramatic sopranos are said to
have flamed out, but whether that was because of vocal problems or
because of Callas isn't clear.
Anecdotally, I'm now five years older than Bush was in 2005, and
although I haven't sung much in years, I'm pretty sure my voice is
now more resonant than hers in that year - which was decidedly *not*
the case when each of us was, say, 35. [Tries.] Hmm, okay, maybe
not. Hmmm. (I'm not currently in the best place to sing, but what I
got makes me nervous about what'll happen when I'm in a better one.)
Loss of resonance, which I think is the single biggest change in
her voice, does seem to go with aging [1], but it comes at wildly
different times to different people. And I think it's probably some
of what some people mean by a "worn out" voice, which would imply it
can be caused by singing.
generally classical singers get a lot more training in singing than people in pop and rock.
The classical singers come from a centuries long tradition in how to preserve their voices, pop and rock singers don't have that basis.
She also apparently started smoking as a kid and, according to somebody who recorded a song with her in the mid 80s, was smoking a lot of pot at that stage and that ages voices
Ever notice how many pop/rock/country singers not trained in proper
technique wind up being treated for things like nodes on the vocal chords?
That's down to overuse and poor technique.

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/19/arts/music/why-voices-of-singers-like-adele-and-john-mayer-are-stilled.html

I can still hear Mrs Primavera urging my grade school choir to
"sing from your diaphragms!"

When I auditioned for a part in my senior year high school
musical, Sr. Directress had to tell me to NOT project so
much.

This was Catholic school. The girls weren't even supposed to have
diaphragms, let alone use them. :)
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Joe Bernstein
So in a nutshell. Her voice has changed - not as dramatically as
Marianne Faithfull's has, but to a lesser extent in the same
direction. I would guess that this change came early to her, and did
so because - hypothetically - being a perfectionist, she sang too
many trial runs of songs on albums like <The Sensual World> and <The
Red Shoes>, all alone there in her home studio. Which makes me, at
least, as someone who really likes those albums, complicit in the
change; which may be why everyone pussy-foots around it.
To put this in terms she might find acceptable, and edge this post a
little closer to on-topic. Seems to me her early albums were work of
the Maiden, growing increasingly deranged in her isolation.
not sure deranged is a great word to use to describe somebody if you want terms she might find acceptable...
Starting
Post by Joe Bernstein
with <The Hounds of Love>, she started transitioning toward becoming
the Mother. <Aerial> is the album on which, both in real life and in
her lyrics, she actually *is* the Mother; but in it, she already
sounds like she's embraced the Crone.
again, describing her as the Crone is just brilliant wording...
According to the Wiki, I'm 2 years older than Kate. What's the
male equivalent? The Coot? :)

Kevin R
Joe Bernstein
2020-02-16 00:32:16 UTC
Permalink
[Kate Bush's voice in 1993 and earlier versus in 2005 and later]
[Opera singers as against Kate Bush, which turned out not to be the
open and shut case I thought it would be.]
Post by Kevrob
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Joe Bernstein
Anecdotally, I'm now five years older than Bush was in 2005, and
although I haven't sung much in years, I'm pretty sure my voice is
now more resonant than hers in that year - which was decidedly
*not* the case when each of us was, say, 35. [Tries.] Hmm, okay,
maybe not. Hmmm. (I'm not currently in the best place to sing,
but what I got makes me nervous about what'll happen when I'm in a
better one.)
This also turned out not to be an open and shut case. Having just
re-listened to the first disc of <Aerial>, as documented in another
post, I hear more resonance than I'd remembered. Flipside, my own
voice has more resonance left than the test notes I tried at this
desk led me to fear. My pitch control is utterly shot - I couldn't
finish "I've Been Working on the Railroad" nor the verse part of
"Greensleeves" for sheer humiliation - but in easier music, like the
chorus of "Greensleeves" or like "Camptown Races", I got the
*impression* I still have a fair amount of resonance, not that that's
the easiest thing to hear in one's own voice. Me now vs. KB in 2005?
She'd probably win, just not by very very much. Whereas KB in 1993
vs. me in 2002 (same age) ? She had about a thousand times as much.
Post by Kevrob
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Joe Bernstein
Loss of resonance, which I think is the single biggest change in
her voice, does seem to go with aging [1], but it comes at wildly
different times to different people. And I think it's probably
some of what some people mean by a "worn out" voice, which would
imply it can be caused by singing.
generally classical singers get a lot more training in singing than
people in pop and rock. The classical singers come from a centuries
long tradition in how to preserve their voices, pop and rock singers
don't have that basis.
She also apparently started smoking as a kid and, according to
somebody who recorded a song with her in the mid 80s, was smoking a
lot of pot at that stage and that ages voices
Ever notice how many pop/rock/country singers not trained in proper
technique wind up being treated for things like nodes on the vocal
chords? That's down to overuse and poor technique.
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/19/arts/music/why-voices-of-singers-like-adele-and-john-mayer-are-stilled.html
Thing is, all this is the kind of stuff we mean by "damage". Vocal
cord nodules (and yes, it's "cord" not "chord", sorry), and a bunch
of worse things, all come from bad singing habits. English Wikipedia
says she used her advance on <The Kick Inside> not for voice lessons
but for dance ones, but she did come from a musical family. I didn't
know she'd smoked, but my point is, if you look at the articles about
vocal damage, they're pretty explicit about what it does to your
voice, and that's *not* what we hear in Kate Bush's recent voice.

Flipside, a really untrained singer couldn't be classified as
precisely as Bush. Her really loud notes are usually clearly
operatic in style. That's how people know she's a *dramatic* soprano,
as opposed to the more common lyric kind.

So this is the hidden benefit of the time wasted comparing her to
opera singers. Because opera singers can wear out their voices too,
but they don't do it by improper technique or by smoking, they do it
by singing too much. Bush isn't one of those a-show-a-night pop
singers, so instead I imagined her hidden away in her home studio
(which she in fact has) singing the same notes over and over until
she wore them out.
Post by Kevrob
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Joe Bernstein
To put this in terms she might find acceptable, and edge this post
a little closer to on-topic. Seems to me her early albums were
work of the Maiden, growing increasingly deranged in her isolation.
not sure deranged is a great word to use to describe somebody if you
want terms she might find acceptable...
Of course you're right, but I wrote that just after reading what EW
quotes as her own much later take on her experimental album <The
Dreaming>: her "I've gone mad album", and 'quite an angry record'.
(The article on the album presents the first as a direct quote, the
second not, though it sounds like one.)

So I sorta figured in the right mood she'd see that and laugh.

(In actual fact, she'd probably stopped being a literal Maiden by the
time of her *third* album in 1980. I was talking about the music,
not her personality.)
Post by Kevrob
Post by h***@gmail.com
Starting
Post by Joe Bernstein
with <The Hounds of Love>, she started transitioning toward
becoming the Mother. <Aerial> is the album on which, both in real
life and in her lyrics, she actually *is* the Mother; but in it,
she already sounds like she's embraced the Crone.
again, describing her as the Crone is just brilliant wording...
Not mine, though.

And she *isn't* the Crone on that record, not in what she wrote. She
just doesn't sound like, oh, *my* mother at anything like that age,
for example. She sounds much older than she in fact was.
Post by Kevrob
According to the Wiki, I'm 2 years older than Kate. What's the
male equivalent? The Coot? :)
I was worried, because for this longtime fantasy reader the obvious
completion of the sequence Warrior, Father, was King, and I knew that
wasn't right. But I'm seeing two that do work: Youth, Father, Sage
or Youth, Warrior, Sage. More realistically, Warrior, Father, Sage.
(Yet *another* site offers "Lover" for that problematic first term.)
Sage is still too complimentary compared to Crone, but I think Crone
has been getting a lot of reclamation work from the neopagans, and
it's not exactly common in anyone else's vocabulary these days, so
it's probably OK.

Ooh, this is an appealing one: son, lover, victim. Step right up!

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Robert Carnegie
2020-02-16 02:11:56 UTC
Permalink
The lean and slippered pantaloon?

Being inspired:

A man has seven ages;
A woman, only three.
If you're going to bring them up
It's rather you than me.
Joe Bernstein
2020-02-13 19:55:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by -dsr-
"Cloudbusting" is certainly SF-adjacent.
The video is also SF-adjacent,
[spec-fic supposedly more prominent in her middle albums]
Post by Joe Bernstein
3 <The Red Shoes>, 1993 (the titular, at least).
Lyrically, besides "The Red Shoes" itself, I'd understand the song
before it, "Lily", and the song two after it, "Constellation of the
Heart", as fantastical.

<The Red Shoes> was accompanied, like some of her previous albums,
with a video album. In this case it was a short movie, and that
movie (<The Line, the Cross and the Curve>) is flaming fantasy. All
the videos for <The Red Shoes> - all *five* of them - were adapted
from this movie, although in one case pretty drastically adapted. Of
the videos taken by themselves, "The Red Shoes" is clearly fantasy,
"Moments of Pleasure" almost as much so, while "Rubberband Girl" is
just a smidgen away from the mundane; I don't see the video for "And
So Is Love" or the revised one for "Eat the Music", taken alone, as
having any fantasy. Part of the movie that didn't become a video for
"Lily" is flagrantly fantasy.
Post by Joe Bernstein
Her next album wasn't until 2005; I own it, but have played it much
less,
This is <Aerial>. Its first part, a set of seven more or less
unrelated songs, touches on spec-fic several times. Lyrically, this
is most overt in "How to Be Invisible", in which the invisibility
teeters between normal middle-aged female invisibility and the
literal kind. Two other songs are "sf-adjacent": "Joanni" is about
Joan of Arc, while in one whose title, given what I hear about this
newsreader, I'd better render as "Pi", she pays tribute to a number
theorist by singing roughly a hundred digits.

The album got only one video, which turns the Elvis-tribute lyrics of
"King of the Mountain" into a fantasy of Elvis living on.

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Loading...