I get on kicks of listening to music on YouTube on Saturday mornings. Now and then it’s new stuff like Sia, Arcade Fire, or Iggy Azalea. Often it’s Bach. And a few times a year I go back and listen to a lot of music I used to love in my youth.
This concert, Todd Rundgren and The Metropole Orchestra – Amsterdam 2012, is positively mind blowing and should only be enjoyed at maximum volume. It’s mostly his older music, but performed recently and with an orchestra.
Todd singing with Daryl Hall and his top notch musicians is awfully cool, too, although I’m always aware that most of the music enjoyed at Daryl’s house in Hawaii is an almost strictly boys club:
I got distracted (again) watching and listening to that Amsterdam concert. Todd, like Bowie, falls into the highly gifted category for me.
Bowie did seem like a genuinely nice person with a lot of long term, loyal friends, and he kept much of his life private, which I respect. I just can’t get over that sex with 15 year olds stuff when he was young, so he’s not Godlike to me. And frankly, and this is just my humble opinion, I don’t think his music and lyrics “mean” as much as some would like to think they mean. I think Bowie made a sport out of pretending he was deeper than he was — it kept his cerebral fans guessing “What does he mean?”
When I was young, and wanted to be a singer, my female idols were Kate Bush, Deborah Harry (Blondie), and then Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders). These were women who were comfortable in their sexuality who wrote and performed their own unique music. For me, the one who stood head and shoulders above the rest was Kate.
I didn’t realize until much, much later, that Kate was a year younger than me. Her lyrics and subject matter were so wise, mature, sexual, that it never occur to me that she was that young. Her debut album The Kick Inside was released in 1978 when she was just 19 years old and according to Wikipedia she wrote some of the songs when she was only 13. So my baby daughter, born in 1976, was raised to the sounds of “Wuthering Heights,” “Them Heavy People,” and “The Man with the Child in His Eyes” and we used to dance together singing “Babooshka.”
The music, her voice, the lyrics, and later, when I saw rare videos of her, her movement and dancing were unlike any other performer, male or female, from then until now. I’ve never loved her mime work and her modern dance, but I appreciate that she was loyal to it!
Like Bowie, she was never a real mainstream top ten hit in the US. I think that is partly due to her unique and heady sound as well as the fact that she never toured here. I don’t know if she had performance issues or just hated to fly, but she kept her live performances to a minimum. Most Americans don’t “get” Kate and I can understand why as she is an acquired taste!
She had a son and kept producing albums, but they were fewer and farther between, she was thought to be a recluse, but I think she just loved having a private life. When she reappears for a rare sighting or rarer performance people talk about her weight as though that is simply all that matters.
“Oh, but she got fat. Have you seen her?”
It’s so incredibly insulting and untrue. She’s not even fat. She’s simply an older woman now. She’s probably 57ish, since I’m 58. News flash, 57 year olds don’t look like 27 year olds. We just don’t.
Even if we succumb to plastic surgery, botox, or fat injections, we still don’t look 27.
The world is so unforgiving.
No credit given for a huge body of original work, no. Just comments on a puffy face. Fuck me.
Kate, Chrissie, and Debbie weren’t the only women of rock at the time (I appreciated Patti Smith but found her too “male” for my taste at the time), but they were my top three. Following them were light 80s groups like The GoGos and Cyndi Lauper and more women did come on the scene, but while they were entertaining, many were just fluff. Women rockers didn’t become the same sort of superstars their male counterparts did. They weren’t taken as seriously.
A few years ago Christopher Hitchens declared that women simply aren’t funny. In the short time since that comment was made there have been some amazing women to come to the fore in comedy from Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, just to name a few off the top of my head. Plus Christopher Hitchens died, so, there you go.
I’m seeing more women in music getting attention in the last few years than I ever did before. Often they seem to have been manufactured and are not all that talented, but sometimes, they are mavericks (Sia) and they blow my mind.
I think women are slowly being allowed to be equal.
We can watch other groups make strides in more bold a fashion, LGBT rights is the biggest one in my lifetime, but women’s equality still crawls along at a very slow pace. Still too slow for my taste.
I don’t know why this is. I really don’t. Are men actually threatened by us? How can it be that we give birth to men who can rise to heights we can only imagine? It isn’t simply because they are better or more superior in any way. It’s that we’ve been held back and I don’t know why.
But I look at the young women I work with facing the decision over when to have children. Have one and you can return to work fairly easily, have two or more and it becomes an almost insurmountable challenge and the childcare costs are huge. End up in a divorce and good luck balancing kids and a career. You’re fucked.
I’ll close with a great live version of “Moving” — it’s the song I named my blog after.