Kate Bush: The Dreaming
In 1982, Kate Bush’s daring and dense fourth album marked her transformation into a fearless experimental artist who was legibly, audibly very queer, and very obviously in love with pop music.
In 1978, Kate Bush first hit the UK pop charts with “Wuthering Heights” off her romantic, ambitious progressive pop debut The Kick Inside . That same year, her more confident, somewhat disappointing follow-up Lionheart and 1980’s Never for Ever had a grip of charting singles that further grew her UK success without achieving mega-stardom—she barely cracked into American college rock. What is truly amazing between the first chapter of her career and the new one that began with 1982’s The Dreaming is how consistently Bush avoided the musical world around her, preferring to hone and blend her literary, film, and musical inspirations ( Elton John , David Bowie , and Pink Floyd ) into the idiosyncratic perfection that was 1985’s Hounds of Love . The Dreaming is the artist statement that cleared the way.
The Dreaming was a turning point from Kate Bush, pop star to Kate Bush, artist: a fan favorite for the same reason it was a commercial failure. Part of the Athena myth around Bush is that she arrived to EMI at 16 with a huge archive of songs, and from this quiver came most of the material for the first four albums. The Dreaming was her first album of newly composed work and for it, her first real chance to rethink her songwriting praxis and to produce the songs on her own. Using mainly a Linn drum machine and the Fairlight CMI—an early digital synth she came to master in real time—she cut and pasted layers of timbres and segments of sound rather than recording mixing lines of instruments, a method that would later be commonplace among the producer-musician. At the time, it was still considered odd, especially for a first-time producer, and especially for a young woman prone to fabulous leotards.
The result was an internal unity, a more well-paced album than anything she’d done prior. The songs are full of rhythmic drive, moody synth atmospheres, and layered vocals free of the radio-friendly hooks on earlier albums. The sounds that kept her tethered to rock—such as guitar and rock drum cymbals—are mostly absent, as are the strings that sweetened her prior work. The fretless bass—often the masculine sparring partner to her voice—is still omnipresent. The instrument that connects this all, as always, is the piano, that plodding Victorian ringmaster of Bush’s weird carnival. Considering that the same new-wave combo of drum machines, synth leads, and girlie soprano drove fellow Brits Bananarama to the top of the charts in the same year, it’s easy to hear how far Bush went to tune out the zeitgeist. Accordingly, critics didn’t quite understand it, radio mostly ignored it, and the label hated it. But the album gave Bush the space to build her dream world, and once she figured out what sounds and character should be there, she could make pop again, her way.
The Dreaming really is more a product of the 1970s—which actually sort of began in the late ’60s and extended through most of the ’80s—when prog rock musicians sold millions, had huge radio hits, and established fan bases still rabid today. But the album also came out in 1982, and it only cemented the sense of Bush as a spirited, contrarian of Baroque excess in a musical moment defined largely in reaction to prog’s excess. It’s exactly that audacity to be weird against the prevailing trends that made Kate Bush a great feminist icon who expanded the sonic (and business) possibilities for subsequent visionary singer-songwriters. While name-checking Emerson, Lake & Palmer or Yes is relatively unheard of in today’s hip hop, indie, or pop landscapes, Kate Bush’s name was and is still said with respect. Perhaps it’s because unlike all those prog dudes of yore, she’s legibly, audibly very queer, and very obviously loves pop music, kind of like her patron saint, David Bowie.
On The Dreaming , Bush’s self-proclaimed “mad” album, her mind works itself out through her mouth. Her cacophony of vocal sounds—at least four on each track—pushed boundaries of how white pop women could sing. Everything about it went against proper, pleasing femininity. Her voice was too high: a purposeful shrilling of the unthreatening girlish head voice; too many : voices doubled, layered, calling and responding to themselves, with the choruses full of creepy doubles, all of them her; too unruly: pitch-shifted, leaping in unexpected intervals, slipping registers until the idea of femme and masculine are clearly performances of the same sounding person; too ugly: more in the way cabaret singers inhabit darkness without bouncing back to beauty by the chorus in the way that female pop singers often must.
All this excess is her sound: a strongly held belief that unites all of the The Dreaming . Nearly half of the album is devoted to spiritual quests for knowledge and the strength to quell self-doubt. Frenetic opener “Sat in Your Lap” was the first song written for the album. Inspired by hearing Stevie Wonder live, it serves as meta-commentary of her step back from the banality of pop ascendancy that mocks shortcuts to knowledge. A similar track, “Suspended in Gaffa,” laments falling short of enlightenment through the metaphor of light bondage in black cloth stagehand tape. It is a pretty queer-femme way of thinking through the very prog-rock problem of being a real artist in a commercial theater form, which is probably why it’s a fan favorite.
“Leave It Open” is a declaration of artistic independence hinging on the semantic ambiguity of its pronouns (what is “it” and who are “we”?). Here’s the one solid rock groove of the album, and it crescendos throughout while a breathy, heavily phased alto Bush calls and high-pitched Bush responds in increasingly frantic phrases. “All the Love” is the stunning aria of The Dreaming —a long snake moan on regret. Here she duets with a choirboy, a technique she’d echo with her son on 2011’s 50 Words for Snow . The lament trails off with a skipping cascade of goodbyes lifted from Bush’s broken answering machine, a pure playback memento mori .
The other half of the album showcases Bush’s talent for writing narratives about historical and imagined characters placed in unbearable moral predicaments. This is often called her “literary” or “cinematic” side, but it is also her connection to character within the Victorian-era British music hall tradition, a bawdy and comic form of working-class theatre that borrowed from American vaudeville traditions and became the dominant 19th- and early 20th-century commercial British pop art. As much as she’s in prog rock’s pantheon, she’s also part of this very-pre rock‘n’roll archive of cheeky musical entertainment.
When it works, her narrative portraits render precise individuals in richly drawn scenes—the empathy radiates out. In “Houdini” she fully inhabits the gothic romance of lost love, conjuring the panic, grief, and hope of Harry Houdini’s wife Bess. Bush was taken by Houdini’s belief in the afterlife and Bess’s loyal attempts reach him through séances. Bush conjured the horrified sounds of witnessing a lover die by devouring chocolate and milk to temporarily ruin her voice. Bess was said to pass a key to unlock his bonds through a kiss, the inspiration for the cover art and a larger metaphor for the depth of trust Bush wants in love. We must need what’s in her mouth to survive, and we must get it through a passionate exchange among willing bodies.
In her borrowing further afield, her characters are less accurately rendered. This has been an unabashedly true part of Bush’s artistic imagination since The Kick Inside’s cover art, vaguely to downright problematic in its attempts to inhabit the worlds of Others. On “Pull Out the Pin” she uses the silver bullet as a totem of one’s protection against an enemy of supernatural evil. In this case, the hero is a Viet Cong fighter pausing before blowing up American soldiers who have no moral logic for their service. She’d watched a documentary that mentioned fighters put a silver Buddha into their mouths as they detonated a grenade, and in that she saw a dark mirror to key on the album cover. While the humanizing of such warriors in pop narrative is a brave act, it’s also possible to hear her thin arpeggiated synth percussion and outro cricket sounds as a part of an aural Orientalism that undermines that very attempt.
Then there’s “The Dreaming,” a parable of a real, historical, and contemporary group of Aboriginal people as timeless, noble savages in a tragically ruined Eden that lectures the center of empire about their (our) political and environmental violence. Bush narrates in a grotesquely exaggerated Australian accent over a thicket of exotic animal sounds, both holdovers from music hall and vaudeville’s racist “ethnic humor” tradition, a kind of distancing that suggests that settler Australians are somehow less civilized and thus more responsible for their white supremacist beliefs than the Empire that shipped them there in the first place. In telling this story in this way—without accurate depictions of people, and without credit, understanding, monetary remuneration, proper cultural context, or employment of indigenous musicians—she unfairly extracts cultural (and economic) value from Aboriginal suffering just as the characters in the song mine their land. As a rich text to meditate on colonial, racial, and sexual violence, it is actually quite useful—but not in the way Bush intended.
The closer “Get Out of My House” was inspired by two different maternal and isolation-madness horror texts: The Shining and Alien . In all three stories, a malevolent spirit wants to control a vessel. Bush does not let the spirit in, shouts “Get out!” and when it violates her demand, she becomes animal. Such shapeshifting is a master trope in Kate Bush’s songbook, an enduring way for her music and performance to blend elements of non-Western spirituality and European myth, turning mundane moments into Gothic horror. It’s also, unfortunately, the way that women without power can imagine escape. The mule who brays through the track’s end is a kind of female Houdini—a sorceress who can will her way out of violence not with language, but with real magic. At least it works in the world of her songs, a kingdom where queerly feminine excess is not policed, but nurtured into excellence.
Everything Coming to Netflix February 2019
Now that 2019 is in full swing, and we’ve done all the looking back on 2018 that we possibly can, it’s time to get excited about what’s to come this year. Of course, this includes the massive slate of movies and TV shows making their way to Netflix over the next 12 months.
We can’t see what Netflix is planning to add throughout the entire year all at once, but the streaming service has finally unveiled the list of titles that are arriving in February, and that’s the next best thing.
Of course, as has become the norm for Netflix, a lot of the titles on the list belong to the site’s original content. Comic book fans are undoubtedly circling February 15th on their calendars, as that’s the day when the first season of the highly-anticipated Umbrella Academy TV series will debut. February 1st is also a pretty big day for originals, with the release of the Amy Pohler-produced Russian Doll TV series, and the Dan Gilroy/Jake Gyllenhall horror film, Velvet Buzzsaw .
Keep scrolling to check out the entire list of titles arriving on Netflix next month! Slide 1 of 8 Coming 2/1
As Good as It Gets
Dear Ex — NETFLIX FILMWhen Sanlian’s ex-husband passes away, she discovers he has altered his insurance policy, cutting out their son in favor of a stranger named Jay. Outraged, Sanlian decides that she and her son will confront Jay, but Jay proves equal to her scheme. However, when her son unexpectedly moves in with Jay, she is forced to reassess her relationship with them both.
F ree Rein: Valentine’s Day — NETFLIX ORIGINALZoe and the gang plan a girls only Galantine’s adventure. But when they set out to find the mysterious Maid’s Stone it soon becomes clear they’re not the only ones on the trail. As they race against Pin and Marcus, Holloway, and a not-to-be-trusted Mia, the girls’ friendships are tested to the limits. And, with the end of the quest in sight, Zoe wonders if some things might be better left buried…
Pretty in Pink
Russian Doll — NETFLIX ORIGINALRussian Doll follows a young woman named Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) on her journey as the guest of honor at a seemingly inescapable party one night in New York City.
Siempre bruja — NETFLIX ORIGINALSiempre bruja follows 18 year old Carmen, a Colombian slave and witch from the 17th century who, in a desperate attempt to save her loved one, travels in time to present day Cartagena. Navigating the waters of this exciting new world, Carmen will soon discover that once a witch, always a witch.
The Edge of Seventeen
True: Happy Hearts Day — NETFLIX ORIGINALOn this special day, True and her friends share their Happy Hearts and celebrate love in the Rainbow Kingdom … until Glummy Glooma starts to turn things blue! The title Happy Hearts Day was chosen for this episode because the episode is about the Rainbow Kingdom holiday Happy Hearts Day. The whole village shares in the warm traditions of Happy Hearts Day. It’s a play on Valentine’s Day.
Velvet Buzzsaw — NETFLIX FILMVelvet Buzzsaw is a satirical thriller set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles where big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce. Slide 2 of 8 Coming 2/2 – 2/8
Bordertown : Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINALPast and present collide in dizzying ways for Kari Sorjonen and his colleague Lena as they investigate murders and other crimes with links to Russia.
Romance is a Bonus Book (Streaming Every Saturday) — NETFLIX ORIGINALA gifted writer who’s the youngest editor-in-chief ever at his publishing company gets enmeshed in the life of a former copywriter desperate for a job.
Ray Romano: Right Here, Around the Corner — NETFLIX ORIGINAL23 years after his last stand-up special, comedian, screenwriter, and Emmy Award-winning actor Ray Romano debuts his first Netflix comedy special, Ray Romano: Right Here, Around the Corner. Performing two sets on the same night – one at Manhattan’s Comedy Cellar and the second at the Village Underground, literally around the corner – Romano advises on choosing friends, surviving marriage, and knowing the difference between being old and not being young. The comedy special will launch globally on Netflix February 5th.
¡Nailed It! México — NETFLIX ORIGINALThe fun, fondant and hilarious cake fails head to Mexico, where very amateur bakers compete to re-create elaborate sweet treats for a cash prize.
El árbol de la sangre — NETFLIX FILMMarc (Álvaro Cervantes) and Rebeca (Úrsula Corberó) are a young couple who goes to an old farmhouse belonging to Marc’s family. There, they write the shared story of their roots, creating a large family tree that harbors 25 years of love, heartbreak, sex, madness, jealousy and infidelity… and under which lies a deep mystery that marked their lives. Over their days at the farmhouse, each one will reveal secrets from their past to the other, putting their own love story in danger.
High Flying Bird — NETFLIX FILMIn the midst of a pro basketball lockout, sports agent Ray Burke (André Holland) finds himself caught in the face-off between the league and the players. His career is on the line, but Ray is playing for higher stakes. With only 72 hours to pull off a daring plan, he outmaneuvers all the power-players as he uncovers a loophole that could change the game forever. The outcome raises questions of who owns the game – and who ought to. Directed by Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) from a script by Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), HIGH FLYING BIRD features an acclaimed ensemble cast that includes Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg, Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan and Bill Duke, plus appearances from NBA athletes Reggie Jackson, Karl-Anthony Towns and Donovan Mitchell.
Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History — NETFLIX ORIGINALIn this 1+ hour comedic special, Kevin Hart plays himself while discussing the fascinating contributions of lesser known individuals from Black history through the lens of various educational reenactments.
One Day at a Time : Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINALPenelope studies to become a nurse practitioner, Elena and Syd grow closer, Alex gets punished, Lydia tackles a bucket list, and Schneider falls in love.
ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cook e — NETFLIX ORIGINALREMASTERED: A long form documentary series of high profile, in-depth stories about music’s impact on society, as told by critically acclaimed directors, with each episode revealing surprising insight beyond the expected or commonly known. SAM COOKE: Sam Cooke was the most influential black musician of the Civil Rights Movement and advocated for the rights of black musicians, frustrating the white establishment. An investigation into the circumstances and controversy surrounding his shooting death include theories that he had been robbed and “trick-rolled’ by a woman, later revealed to be a prostitute. But many believe in a larger societal set up; namely that he was targeted by music industry moguls with links to the mob who all wanted him dead for emerging as a totem for black musicians’ rights.
The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants : Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINALGeorge and Harold have to keep their grades up to go to summer camp. But it’s a tall order with Melvin — and a cyborg Melvin — running the school!
Unauthorized Living — NETFLIX ORIGINALAn influential Galician drug cartel leader must seek out his successor while keeping his degenerative disease a secret. Slide 3 of 8 Coming 2/9 – 2/15
The Break : Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINALYoann Peeters finds himself tangled in another disturbing murder case when his former psychiatrist asks for help proving a patient’s innocence.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj : Volume 2 (Streaming Every Sunday) — NETFLIX ORIGINALHasan Minhaj’s informative and innovative comedy show returns with more deep dives into global politics and culture.
Flavorful Origins: Chaoshan Cuisine — NETFLIX ORIGINALDelve into the delectably diverse world of Chinese cuisine and discover its regional variations and unique histories.
Dating Around — NETFLIX ORIGINALEvery episode, one single goes on five first dates filled with flirty banter, awkward exchanges and moments of true connection. Who will get a second date? Netflix’s first original dating show takes an honest and compelling look at the real world of dating.
Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho — NETFLIX ORIGINALComedian, actor and former physician Ken Jeong returns to his stand-up roots for his first-ever Netflix comedy special, Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho. Filmed at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, California, where Jeong first got his start in comedy, You Complete Me, Ho reflects on how Jeong went from being a doctor to a comedy superstar and opens up about how his wife’s courageous battle with breast cancer led to him starring in one of the biggest comedy franchises of all time, The Hangover. The special is directed and executive produced by Jon M. Chu, who also directed Jeong in the groundbreaking box office phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians. Den of Thieves produced the special with Executive Producers Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager, Jared Morell, Jordan Barrow, and Brett Carducci.
Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy — NETFLIX ORIGINALLegendary comedy writer and director Larry Charles travels the world in search of humor in the most unusual, unexpected and dangerous places.
The Breaker Upperers — NETFLIX FILMTwo women run a business breaking up couples for cash but when one develops a conscience their friendship unravels.
The Dragon Prince : Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINALRayla and the princes hurry toward Xadia with their precious cargo. But Claudia and Soren are close behind — and determined to stop them.
The Umbrella Academy — NETFLIX ORIGINALReunited by their father’s death, estranged siblings with extraordinary powers uncover shocking family secrets — and a looming threat to humanity.
Yucatan — NETFLIX FILMCompeting con artists attempt to creatively and ruthlessly swindle a fatherly lottery winner while on a lively cruise from Spain to Mexico. Slide 4 of 8 Coming 2/16 – 2/22
Chicago bar lists ‘No Trump supporters’ in house rules
• January 24, 2019 A new bar in Chicago is under fire for its house rules, which include “No Trump supporters.” (Photo: Getty/Instagram) More A new bar in Chicago is facing backlash after debuting a list of 16 “House Rules,” which include “No Cubs fans” and “No Trump supporters.” The Hyde officially opened on Jan. 18, and already it’s stirring up controversy over some seemingly extreme regulations targeted at its customers’ sports team preferences and political views. But the bar’s owner, Jovanis Bouargoub, is trying to explain that all of the rules are aimed at invoking the space’s easy-going and inclusive ambiance — not at excluding patrons. “These are the rules of the house making their rounds,” an Instagram post of the rules reads. “There’s no room for negative people in our house. If you don’t understand the industry and are ignorant to the humor in this then do us a favor and hit that unfollow button.” Rules like “No Shoes, No Teeth, No service” and “$50 fine for b****ing” are probably an attempt at humor. Still, those responding to the Hyde’s social media posts don’t seem to be laughing. “Patiently waiting for the Google page to go live, so I can leave a nice review like thousands of other Trump supporters,” one Instagram commenter wrote. Another added, “ Guess I won’t be going to this bar, the IQ of the owner and patrons wouldn’t add up to nearly enough to waste my time!!” And even when Bouargoub tried to explain to a concerned community member on Facebook that the “the ‘House Rules’ are for entertainment purposes,” and that “Everyone is welcome,” people continued to express their apprehension. One person responded: “Even for entertainment purposes, I implore to understand our community and how these ‘rules’ be received. I may not be the only person with a pause moment.” Bouargoub didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, he told the Chicago Sun-Times that it is “disturbing” that people don’t appreciate the humor. According to his conversation with the outlet, the only rules that the speakeasy will strictly enforce are on cellphone use and the dress code . So long as patrons don’t show their support for the Chicago-based baseball team or President Trump by wearing a jersey or a baseball cap — both of which are prohibited under the dress code — they should be good to go. Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: