Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Life in the Ghost of Bush

Until July 2008, KATE BUSH was a name which I had heard mentioned in passing, but I had never pursued her music for myself. I had before heard praise for her work, but did not know whether or not it was something I would really be able to DIG, so she remained estranged to me for quite some time. For some reason, last semester I found myself engaged in a conversation with my friend, LINDSEY, about her song "WUTHERING HEIGHTS" and we watched the music video for it and I remember feeling like she was an artist to whom I would need to dedicate some time in order to really get into her. This past summer I was in the CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY sorting through the music section when I came across her 1989 album, THE SENSUAL WORLD. I checked it out from the library and took it home and listened to it once. Again I was fond of it, but I felt that I would need to give her another chance at a later point, as I just was not quite connecting with LP.

The music from THE SENSUAL WORLD (the album physically returned to its place in the Chicago Public Library) went un-listened-to on my computer/iPod for a while, despite the recurring notion that I should be giving it another chance. In the past few weeks, though, I have experienced a surge of allusions and references to the work of KATE BUSH. In a relatively short span of time I purchased PETER GABRIEL's, SO, which features her in one song, heard her name mentioned in interviews with the bands HIGH PLACES, VIVIAN GIRLS and then again at my friends' house as I browsed through JOSH's music collection. The latter three of these instances involved the exact same song, "RUNNING UP THAT HILL," which I now know to be one of her biggest hits. After these encounters I gave this song a good listen, enjoyed it and decided that NOW is the time that I will actively pursue KATE BUSH's discography.

As I gave THE SENSUAL WORLD a couple more (figurative) spins, I finally started to be able to get into it. I think I was intially driven away by the many IDIOSYNCRASIES that make up the album, its tendency to sound somewhat DATED in its overall sound and the DENSITY that permeates every song. My recent multiple listenings and continually increasing enjoyment of THE SENSUAL WORLD are where now I stand in my first steps of KATE BUSH IMMERSION and APPRECIATION. Since listening to it, particularly the last song, "WALK STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE," I have again seen her influence on the band PONYTAIL's singer MOLLY SIEGEL, especially in very beginning of their song "BEG WAVES." Both women make that noise that happens when you MAKE YOUR LIPS LIMP AND BLOW THROUGH YOUR MOUTH WHILE HUMMING IN A HIGH PITCH, a sound often more associated with small children than with pop vocalists.

The ICING on my PROVERBIAL KATE BUSH CAKE, though, appeared after the commencement of my IMMERSION and APPRECIATION. Last Thursday I got RA RA RIOT's new album, THE RHUMB LINE (pictured) from WUSC while doing a radio show. I listened to the this album a lot last weekend and had chosen a couple of initial standout tracks to frequently revisit, one of them being the ninth song, "SUSPENDED IN GAFFA." I listened to this song a few times before I researched their album and figured out that this particular selection is a KATE BUSH COVER.

No more than four days later, I was at work creating an ON THE GO PLAYLIST on the company iPod. There is a lone song by British post-punkers, THE FUTUREHEADS, that comes from their self-titled album that I frequently listened to when I was a junior in high school. The song is called "HOUNDS OF LOVE" and I put it on the playlist I was making to see if I would still enjoy it as I used to do. Continuing to scroll through the selections, I came across KATE BUSH's name and, because I had recently started my venture into her work, I threw that song, also entitled "HOUNDS OF LOVE," into the mix as well. Of course I noticed that these two songs have the same name, but I did not pen THE FUTUREHEADS as people who would cover KATE BUSH. I was quickly proved wrong, though, as not longer after hearing THE FUTUREHEADS' singer request for his shoes to be taken off and thrown into the lake, KATE BUSH did exactly the same.

Here I realized that I was SO CLOSE to accessing her music YEARS before I actually did, if only I had checked for writing credits upon hearing the song the first time! I am trying to decide if an AFFINITY for KATE BUSH has always been in the cards for me, if I have been experiencing more encounters with her recently than can be considered normal, or if she is simply a HUGE, INTERNATIONAL POP STAR and it is common to hear her name mentioned. If the latter is the case, then maybe one or a couple mentions got her on my brain, so I have just been taking more notice when her name arises. I'M NOT REALLY SURE, but I am glad I have finally started to take note of and experience KATE BUSH's (so far) unique, gratifying music.

No comments: