"Kate is perceived to be more ‘one of us’ than other pop/rock figures, one of the extended family. There’s a feeling that she’s ‘stayed the same’, that success ‘hasn’t spoiled her’. She’s someone you might have known at sixth-form college, or at your Saturday job (the artier kind, obviously: knick-knack stall at the local market); but definitely a scream down the pub, with her packet of Silk Cut and pint of proper scrumpy. At the same time, people are drawn to her peacock’s-tail otherness, the slightly recherché taste for odd bods like Ouspensky, Gurdjieff and Wilhelm Reich. She has the soul of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but the robust [...]
While we await the next credit bubble, and with it the circumstances that justify pursuit of my master’s thesis, "Metaphors of Technology in R&B," plz allow me to share some notes for the chapter "Prince//The Komputer."1.
Prince was an early adopter. He got down with l’ordinateur in the early 80s, and quickly established himself as a pioneer of romantic cybernetics. On this extended version of "Computer Blue," from 1983, we hear a Wendy (Lisa?) monologue around the 10 min. mark:
Narrow-minded computer, it’s time someone programmed you. It’s time you learned. Women are not butterflies, they’re computers too. Just like you, Computer Blue.
Chauvinistic computer, it’s time [...]
Donald Sutherland's Riding-Mower Pipe-Organ Rain-Seed Gun To Be Replaced By Kilometer-High Suspended Hose And Stadium-Sized Hydrogen Balloon
"Next month, researchers in the U.K. will start to pump water nearly a kilometer up into the atmosphere, by way of a suspended hose. The experiment is the first major test of a piping system that could one day spew sulfate particles into the stratosphere at an altitude of 20 kilometers, supported by a stadium-size hydrogen balloon. The goal is geoengineering, or the 'deliberate, large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment' in the words of the Royal Society of London, which provides scientific advice to policymakers. In this case, researchers are attempting to re-create the effects of volcanic eruptions to artificially cool Earth." —Cloudbusting takes a step forward.
In this February issue of Fictional Indie Music Magazine, we're celebrating! We've finally reached the bottom of our winter promo pile, and oddly enough, all of the remaining promos are by female musicians. This is purely coincidental! And there is no correlation between this and the fact that there is only one female music critic working in this office and we can't remember whether her name is Heather or Jennifer.
"Last week the reclusive singer-songwriter Kate Bush announced that she would play 15 shows in London between Aug. 26 and Sept. 19 – her first extended run of performances since her single tour of Britain in 1979, at the start of her career. Fascination with Ms. Bush, and the prospect of seeing her – the 1979 shows were lavishly staged and choreographed, and her music since then has retained its inventiveness and mystique – was sufficient to crash her website almost instantly. She quickly added another seven shows at the 3,500-seat Eventim Apollo, extending the run to Oct. 1. Tickets, priced at £49 to £135 (about $81.50 to $225.50) [...]
David Bowie, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" (And How It Was Really The Eurythmics Who Created The World We Live In Today… And Everything Else You Could Fit Into A Superfluous Parenthetical)
There is a lot to talk about about the new David Bowie video. The first thing, I guess, is that it was directed by Floria Sigismondi, who made The Runaways movie two years ago and lots of other music videos set in, as she reportedly put it, "entropic underworlds inhabited by tortured souls and omnipotent beings." (Hooray!) It co-stars Tilda Swinton, who plays David Bowie's wife in the most masturbatory coupling we've seen since Mick Jagger married himself in the form of Bianca Peres Moreno de Macias in 1971.
The claymation video for this two-minute segment of the new Kate Bush song "Misty" is surprisingly realistic. The song, which is 13 minutes long on Bush's new album, 50 Words for Snow, is sung from the perspective of a woman who falls in love with a snowman. The love is doomed, of course, as all love is, by death. (As no. 1 Kate Bush fan Big Boi said recently to Awl pal Doree Shafrir, her new music "is just very somber and very chill.") And it is sad, in the video, the melting, which would indeed happen if a person hugged all up on a snowman under the [...]
The emotional rollercoaster of upcoming Kate Bush albums has been really hard on me! First it was like, oh holy cats, after six years, there's a new surprise Kate Bush album! And then it was revealed that first, there was a reissue album, with no "new" material on it, just recastings of older material, and there's vague talk of an album of new material, with no release date. But then that "covers" album started to sound very cool! (Plus she got permission from the James Joyce estate for the original lyrics to "The Sensual World"?!) And but then the tracklisting came out and then… there were only [...]
For just $14,492.75, you can own an alleged copy of the handwritten lyrics to "The Man With the Child in his Eyes," in hot pink felt tip, complete with Kate Bush's own little pink circles in place of dots over the "I"'s. It is being sold by one of her long-ago former lovers, and it also comes with a "black and white photograph of the teenage pair hugging outside a house." Basically you are buying Kate Bush's Livejournal.
News that Kate Bush will "play her first series of shows since 1979" prompts the Guardian to dig up this video of a performance from May of that year. You should probably watch it while it's still there.
"Conspicuous persons, in my motherland, are most seriously advised to lead a private life denuded of all color and complication. They should also, if they are prudent, have as little as possible to do with America—seen as the world HQ of arrogance and glitz. When I and my wife, who is a New Yorker, entrained the epic project of moving house, from Camden Town in London to Cobble Hill in Brooklyn, I took every public opportunity to make it clear that our reasons for doing so were exclusively personal and familial, and had nothing to do with any supposed dissatisfaction with England or the English people (whom, as I truthfully [...]
Predictably, because she is a seer and a mystic, Kate Bush has released her new single, which is about the existence of the Yeti, on the very same day that the government of the Russian coal mining region of Kemerovo has announced the discovery of "indisputable proof" of the existence of the Yeti. It's also interesting that the talk-singing verses of Bush's song, "Wild Man," rhythmically echo those in the Pixies' "Tame." Although Bush seems to think that we humans will not bother trying to tame our giant, wooly, bipedal cousins once we catch one of them. "They want to know you," she sings, warning the Yeti [...]
"In the first study they found that twice as many mall shoppers who had just ridden an up escalator contributed to the Salvation Army than shoppers who had just ridden the down escalator … In a final study, participants watched film clips of scenes taken from an airplane above the clouds, or through the window of a passenger car. Participants who had watched the clip of flying up above the clouds were 50 percent more cooperative in a computer game than those who had watched the car ride down on the ground. Overall these studies show remarkable consistency, linking height and different prosocial behaviors—i.e., donations, volunteering, compassion, and cooperation." [...]
You know Big Boi is incredible. You know he loves penguins and that he discovered the phenomenal Janelle MonÃ¡e and that his album Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son Of Chico Dusty comes out July 6. But did you know how well he can freestyle? (I didn't. That particular talent always blows me away. How do people think that fast?) In this clip, he riffs on the black-and-white tiles that make up the floor of the New York barber shop that serves as the setting for the latest installment of Pitchfork TV's highly stylized hip-hop series Selector. Also, in the accompanying interview, he reaffirms his [...]