Sunday, November 15, 2009

tv time with hk

i actually got hk to sit down with me for two and a half hours yesterday to watch some music-related stuff that i'd recently recorded/acquired.

first up, we watched "you're gonna miss me," a 2005 documentary about roky erickson, of course. while disjointed and far from perfect, it was certainly interesting, as it explores the roots of roky's (for lack of a better term) madness. in a way i wish there'd be a followup--"you're still gonna miss me" (or "you're gonna miss me, part ii")--to focus on the state of roky today. i can only assume that since he's been playing more (i remember him playing in austin at least twice during the six months we lived there in early 2009), that he is significantly better. i just saw roky play in houston this past summer, and he seemed rather unhappy to be onstage. perhaps he simply dislikes or has bad memories of houston. i truly hope that he is doing well these days.

next we watched kate bush's 1979 christmas special. i'd seen bits and pieces on youtube previously but never got to experience the full extravaganza before this. i read recently that kate bush was an early crush of richard youngs' (another of my longtime musical heroes). i don't know if he saw this programme as a 13-year-old lad, but if he did, there's no question why he (and zillions of others) fell in love with her. but i can't help but wonder if the show engendered negative reactions. i can't imagine it would have flown on this side of the pond. i'm still dying to see her "controversial" performance of "the man with the child in his eyes" on saturday night live, but i can't seem to find it anywhere.

i've loved kate bush since the first half of the 80s. one of my first jobs was as a shop clerk in a benetton store. my boss was the creative, hip sort (who somehow managed to make an asymmetrical haircut look cool), and she often played cassettes of hounds of love and the dreaming (which may have scared away customers) in the store. it sounds cheesy as hell but it was like i finally found music that spoke to me. i grew up listening to my mom's glen campbell and show tune records, then had a boyfriend who only let me listen to soft r&b and dan fogelberg. i'd been musically sheltered, and i was finally free. i finally traded in my top 40 radio station for whfs in washington, dc, which i suppose, back then, was still referred too as a "progressive" station. it pretty much changed my life. at this point in time i can't even imagine what my life would be like without my daily dose of music that's outside what's considered the "norm."

kate bush's 1979 christmas special is sublime. it's beautiful, it's theatrical, it's funny as hell to watch. she's so exquisite, so uniquely talented...can she really be real? hk's favorite part was a beautiful cover of roy harper's "another day" performed by kate and peter gabriel, so that's what i've linked here.

a very nice quality avi of the show is available at aesoteric sounds' blog:

kate bush - tv christmas special 1979


  1. I usually think of televised "Christmas Specials" as an unrelentingly upbeat and joyous public spectacle (given what one is *supposed* to think of X-mas, it's no surprise). What I loved about this program (heh) is its deliberately non-seasonal tone. It goes from ambivalent gray to outright sad, which for many is how the holiday season feels. But then, this may have been the case of "Hey, we've got an hour's worth of Kate Bush stuff to air, and it just happens to be X-mas time - let's disregard that the whole thing has little to do with Christmas at all, 'cos we really need to fill that hour of airtime blah blah blah."

    Still, a wonderful counterpoint to the endlessly jolly crap that gets force-fed during the holidays.

  2. I've never really explored Kate Bush's records, though I know John Lydon is a huge admirer of hers - I guess she's in that enviable position of being on a huge label but seemingly able to do exactly as she pleases, and whenever she decides to. I remember David Toop writing that she always seemed to be five years behind public taste, and she did seem a bit 1973 when she emerged in the context of things like Gang Of Four and Linton Kwesi Johnson and Sylvester ! One or two of her 'eighties singles (Running Up That Hill and The Dreaming, I'd guess) did seem nicely sticky-outy on Top Of The Pops, though; like PiL's, her performances felt like real events in the context of that show. I think I've always been put off her because of a charity duet she did with comedian Rowan Atkinson, which maybe isn't the best reason not to listen to her...