Viewing posts tagged Dreams of Orgonon
CW: brief discussion of rape.
Cycling several incarnations before appearing on record, Scottish singer Donovan Leitch’s “Lord of the Reedy River” is a minor classic of his career. Getting performances on a 1968 TV programme and a 1969 celebrities’ demo reel romcom before appearing on Donovan’s 1971 double LP HMS Donovan. Serene, erotic, creepy, and sensuous all at once, Donovan somehow manages to make the Greek myth of Leda and the swan, a fable in which Zeus seduces or rapes (depending on the telling; Ovid, surprisingly, removes the rape, while Yeats writes about it as one) the Aetolian princess Leda. Donovan’s telling is a strictly romantic and erotic one, rejecting the sexual violence of the tale in favor of a sensuous, mythical love affair (“she fell in love with a swan” has no business sounding as beautiful as it does, but that’s Donovan). It’s a stunning piece of work that fixates on the uncanny and eerie aspects of the tale (“he filled her with song,” “she in my boat long hours/he in his royal plumage”). The ...
CW: This entire blog post discusses domestic abuse, sexual violence, and severe emotional manipulation at length and in triggering detail.
“The little fucker had thrown my papers all over the floor. All I tried to do was pull him up… a momentary loss of muscular coordination.”
Jack Torrance, The Shining.
The woman who raised me had seemingly few qualms about shrieking her disapproval at me several times per day. Usually she accomplished her purpose with words, but sometimes she would punctuate her castigations with a punitive strike of her hand. It was unclear to me what this accomplished beyond making me afraid of my own parent. If that was her purpose, she succeeded impressively.
In the summer of 2015, I learned that there was a familial precedent for my birth-giver’s violent tendencies. For a couple months, I stayed with her parents while she worked abroad. After a minor argument in which I told the family that an extended episode of severe depression would impair my ability to join the family on a daytrip, my grandfather trailed me to my guest bedroom and aggressively pushed me through the door. As I attempted to raise myself ...
The first song to have a demo completed for The Dreaming (“Sat In Your Lap” was initially released as a standalone single), “Leave It Open” introduces much of the album’s ambition and cadences. Another treatise on the nature of thought and repression, Bush develops and inverts her previous metaphysical ideas about the world, presenting it as a frightening and hostile sphere yet treating interaction with it as an inevitability, and even a relationship where a person’s interiority can have input. As the refrain stipulates with a degree of bellicosity, “harm is in us, but power to arm.” In “Leave It Open,” Bush creates an ethos of wondrous fear, where allowing the self to become a vessel for something Other is an act of submissive reclamation of human potential.
Let’s start counterintuitively (in the spirit of The Dreaming) with the coda of “Leave It Open”, which sees Bush proffering a rare, aphoristic thesis statement in the form of a repetitive double-backmasked chant: “we let the weirdness in.” Amusingly, upon release this was Bush’s most controversial coda, with listeners calling into Bush’s television and radio interviews attempting to guess what distorted words Bush is singing ...
We did it. I hit $300 on the Patreon because of your support. Thank you so much to everyone who pledged (all 98 of you), shared the link, contributed to reaching the goals, or was just kind and supportive. This is quite literally life-changing for me. I can making a living off my passion without having to compromise financial security or my mental health. You people are amazing and I am indebted to you all. To be clear, $300 is a minimum though. I'm a disabled trans woman, and people will inevitably drop their pledges. Continued support would be great. But in the meantime, thank you. My life is better for your support.
The aftermath of Never for Ever was a period of burnout for Bush. Prone to depressive burnouts after the completion of projects, she found herself drifting into a nadir of fruitless ennui, which she deemed “the anti-climax after all the work.” Completing Never for Ever in May 1980, Bush, not for the last time, put significant space between herself and the public, taking a ...
My Patreon is doing tremendously well, having gotten over the $200 threshold thanks to my amazing backers. This is a huge deal for me. It means being able to survive off work that doesn't interfere with my disabilities and allows me to focus on my writing. I can't thank y'all enough. Yet nothing is quite nailed down - $300 is the point where I'll be able to comfortably live off Patreon income until my seasonal job resumes, and the page has stalled at $206. So here's some fun: at $225, I'll cut a podcast with Daniel Harper (yes! the guy from "I Don't Speak German!"), and at $250, Jack (the other IDSG guy!) will cut a podcast on "Alien" and "The Shining." You don't want to miss out on that now, do you? Of course not. Feel free to back, or at least share my work. Every bit helps. Thanks so much.
“Outside gets inside, through her skin
I’ve been out before, but this time it’s much safer in.”
A refugee of fire and radiation self-sequesters in the only shelter it knows. It’s safe in here, it lies ...
Hello all! Since we only ever moved Christine off the site to make room for Boys in Their Dresses, and since that project has faltered while she keeps absolutely killing it, I thought it would be a good idea to put her back on the site.
More personally, as you probably don’t know if you don’t read my Twitter, my family has recently made the decision to legally adopt Christine, having already helped her relocate away from her abusive family and to Ithaca so she could transition safely. Christine is currently looking for housing, which is exciting for a trans woman in the middle of a pandemic. She’s also disabled and working through some pretty serious trauma of the sort you might expect when your story is “an abusive family so bad you moved across several states and were adopted.” We’re trying to give her some space to heal so she can go back to school and become the amazing and badass woman that anyone who has read her work can blatantly tell she’s going to be. But, well, there’s only so much we can do.
You have all been incredible in supporting me and letting me have the ...
CW: child sexual abuse.
We must address some important facts in this blog post. For starters, folk musician Roy Harper is a songwriter of note. He’s got solid and interesting work in his discography, bits of which get covers by remarkable artists like the Cocteau Twins or, as this post demonstrates, Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel. It’s intuitive that Bush and Gabriel would choose to duet on a cover of “Another Day”; an sturdy and compelling break-up song, whose themes of wistfulness and the cognitive dissonance of desire overlap with both artists’ interests. The Harper album “Another Day” hails from, Flat Baroque and Berserk, has songs that are the equal of mid-tier tracks from Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home, or Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer’s Flowers of Avalon. Harper’s work is firmly second-tier folk music, respectable but not transcendent. Given that he’s a direct influence on Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd (with whom he cut a lead vocal on “Have a Cigar”), and Pete Townshend, he’s clearly a figure with some relevance to both rock and folk music and a force to be reckoned with.
The other thing we ...
A good landmark of an artist’s prestige is when they start doing music for films. A new star will show up on the scene and filmmakers will take advantage of their star power to grab a young, hip audience for their movies. There was a period a few years ago where young bands like Florence + the Machine and Paramore gained traction by recording songs for the Twilight Saga. Of course the inverse is also true, as long-established stars are also likely to help a film earn more press. The UK’s bestselling single of 1979, Art Garfunkel’s “Bright Eyes,” is inextricable from its haunting appearance in Watership Down. Just as a song can mark a film, a film can mark a song.
Of course, this is in no way an assurance of a song or movie’s quality. A song and a movie can both be deservedly forgotten. Such is the case with “Magician,” which, while a footnote in Kate Bush’s wider career, still marks the beginning of a trend for her.
“The Magician,” or “Magician” as it’s usually called, was written by lyricist Paul Webster and composer Maurice Jarre for the virtually unseen film The Magician of ...