"Kate Bush is more like Keats."
January 2, 2018 9:14 PM   Subscribe

"Byron once said about Keats, 'Keats writes about what he imagines; I write about what I live.' And most Rock & Roll people write about their lives in some way. Kate Bush is more like Keats in that she writes about what she imagines." -Steve Coogan
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey (24 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
Warning, fellow 80s kids: There were a couple of times during the documentary when a song would start playing and I'd find tears filling my eyes, even as I thought "What? I don't even have a personal association to this one!"

I respect Kate Bush so much for doing her mime-inspired, leotard-wearing thing regardless of whether the critics and viewers considered it cool (if it ever was (cough)). She had a vision and she went for it, and that makes me happy in a way that puts a glow just behind my sternum.

Also, I thought this was well done in terms of documentary editing and structure. As a minor documentary fan, I wish it were easier to follow their makers.
posted by Lexica at 9:28 PM on January 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

Kate Bush is a force of the Universe incarnate upon our planet. She's basically the female David Bowie, IMO. When I think about her music, at the bottom of all the other things I'm thinking is "brilliant".
posted by hippybear at 9:39 PM on January 2, 2018 [9 favorites]

"When does the next Kate Bush come along after Kate Bush? There hasn't been one." -Elton John
posted by hippybear at 9:44 PM on January 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

Kate Bush cannot be compared to anything else that has ever existed or will exist on this planet, sorry Steve Coogan (and I say that as a huge fan - ah-HA!).

I am watching the second Wuthering Heights video right now. Nearly 40 years on and even though I can't stand the Twyla-esque interpretive modern dance absurdity, I STILL don't think I will ever get tired of it.

Also there used to be a video on YouTube called "Bet on Cathy", which was the video of "Bet on It" from High School Musical (which I have actually never seen) set to Wuthering Heights. It was a fucking glorious thing and I never got tired of THAT video either, but sadly it was removed from YT several years ago and I have been bereft ever since. It was amazing; Zac Efron *really* emoted himself to some Kate Bush. WHILE GOLFING.

posted by elsietheeel at 10:10 PM on January 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love that Byron and Keats quote. James Ellroy has great quip about early crime noir fiction authors, "Chandler wrote the kind of guy that he wanted to be, Hammett wrote the kind of guy that he was afraid he was." I have always loved that line (because I prefer Hammett and it is super catty) and wonder if Ellroy ran across Byron's Burn somewhere along the way.

Now to watch the Kate Bush documentary. Nice post. Taki.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:11 PM on January 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

Watching this documentary I find myself thinking "outsider art gone hugely successful".

Which I think is a well-supported argument, really.
posted by hippybear at 10:14 PM on January 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

all I really know for sure about Kate Bush is that this extended mix of The Big Sky has been known to give eyesight to the blind ...
posted by philip-random at 11:29 PM on January 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

How the hell did she get snubbed for the Hall of Fame?
posted by Beholder at 12:15 AM on January 3, 2018

I love her more with every year. So much complexity in her music. Such an artist. And I would nominate both 'The Man with the Child in His Eyes' and 'This Woman's Work' as two of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.
posted by h00py at 1:18 AM on January 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Hearing the opening to Wuthering Heights always takes me back to the unsettling feeling I had the first time I heard the song, where the emotion or feeling it induced was at once disquieting for the song being so "wrong", out of concordance with what I expected from music or thought good music was, and yet at the same time so right for simply being what it was that I had to hear it again, and then again, and on and on. That kind of self possession, or at least the feeling of it transmitted through the work, whether the artist believed it of themselves or not, is something that defines the works I am most fond of.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:00 AM on January 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

I remember a story in popbitch (the showbiz/pop gossip email) where a couple of music company execs go round to Kate's depleted house/mansion, sometime during her fallow years, to talk ongoing royalties and other biz... however partway through the conversation they get very excited when she suddenly interrupts them with: 'Oh, do you want to see what I've been working on?' and to their enthusiastic yeses leaves the room. She soon returns with a plate of home-made scones.

I so want this to be true.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:14 AM on January 3, 2018 [13 favorites]

> Kate Bush is more like Keats...

It surely can't be a coincidence that Her name is an anagram of 'Keats Hub'.
posted by misteraitch at 4:28 AM on January 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

As a former photographer, I have to remark upon how much the camera loves her - iconic English Rose face and hair, dancer's body, she could be anything she wanted to be in front of a lens, all without looking model-ly or contrived. (I hope this comment isn't offensive).

Artistic gifts and integrity too? FTW!
posted by Chitownfats at 4:39 AM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

There are two kinds of people in this world: Kate Bush fans, and people who are wrong.
posted by brand-gnu at 4:48 AM on January 3, 2018 [8 favorites]

10 quatloos that Luna Lovegood is based in part on Kate Bush.

When I hear experts discussing her music, I can't help thinking of this. I just like her music because it's fun, different, interesting and dog-tilt-head odd and by crikey if that's not enough, I invite you to go choke on Zlad.
posted by zaixfeep at 5:22 AM on January 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

How the hell did she get snubbed for the Hall of Fame?

Because it is the Hall of Fame. At this point it is almost like you are a better artist for being snubbed. For the most part they go for obvious/token picks, particularly as we get further away from the monolithic Rock + Roll of the 60s and 70s.

Back on topic, this is a great doc... THE DREAMING is such a mindblowing album because Kate is so fearlessly idiosyncratic. Just puts a big dumb grin on my face.
posted by theartandsound at 6:50 AM on January 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

> this is a great doc

Yes it is. I watched the whole thing even though Kate Bush never meant anything to me (I remember hearing "Wuthering Heights" back in the day and writing it off as outsider weirdness)—I love listening to people who love something talking about what they love, and by the time I finished watching and listening I had gained a lot of respect for her. Hell, if she's OK with Viv Albertine and John Lydon, she's OK with me! (And I wonder: if my friend who loved Stevie Nicks had loved Kate Bush instead, would I be a fan of hers now? Probably. As Bush said, people are the most important influence.) Thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 8:50 AM on January 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've always loved 'Something Good' by Utah Saints... basically because it a Kate Bush remix
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:19 AM on January 3, 2018

Anyone else here got first hooked on her via SNL 197x/Them Heavy People rather than Wuthering Heights? WH is one of hers I don't really like so much. (ducks and covers)
posted by zaixfeep at 10:31 AM on January 3, 2018

Except for the whole KB being a Brexit fan thing
posted by scruss at 3:58 PM on January 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I so wish the filmings of her recent concerts hadn't gotten fucked up because she was doing her two long-form works, The Ninth Wave, and A Sky Of Honey.

I guess Before The Dawn has been released as a live album, but not a film. *sigh*
posted by hippybear at 7:50 PM on January 3, 2018

Thanks for posting this. Kate is so much a part of my life as a fan girl that I can't begin to pick a favourite moment. Now I need to see Annie Clark's drunk-karaoke version of Wuthering Heights.

Except for the whole KB being a Brexit fan thing

I hadn't come across this before. It seems to have originated with a non-opinion she expressed here. There's also this interview, in which nobody mentions Brexit but Kate observes that the world is changing for the better and that she quite likes Theresa May.

I'm not sure I can draw any conclusions from this about her views on anything in particular, only that she wasn't very well-informed about Theresa May at the time. But one thing I've gleaned from all my years of Kate fandom is that she lives in a bubble and has some strange ideas about certain things, as you might expect from someone who once sang Pi to 137 decimal places.

It's not her job to be politically engaged. I don't need her to be a lefty any more than I need Jane Austen to be a feminist. She's Kate Bush, ffs. Her art speaks for itself.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 3:55 AM on January 4, 2018 [7 favorites]

Thank you for posting this. I have loved Kate Bush since I heard her when I was 15 or so, but I had only listened to her total work in pieces, from time to time, never with my full attention. And, I'd always skipped pretty much over The Dreaming because I couldn't understand it and I was young and impatient. Then, decades later, I heard an interview with Dave Grohl on Marc Maron's show, and he described listening to it over and over with friends growing up, just slack-jaw amazed. I'm no big Dave Grohl fan, but that's when I finally listened to The Dreaming and was completely knocked out. I've never heard the rest of her music the same way again. I pay more attention now.

My son, who has a thought-processing disorder, also caught onto Kate Bush's overall innate talent much more quickly than I did, and much earlier than I did by a few years; he targeted The Dreaming as much too powerful, warning me not to listen to it, or it would mess me up, too.
posted by not_on_display at 9:24 PM on January 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another docu; “Kate Bush: Under Review”
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 3:37 PM on January 7, 2018

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