Moving Liquid, Yes You Are Just As Water

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.

Oh, and check out her band members in this vid.

 

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5 responses to “Moving Liquid, Yes You Are Just As Water

  1. ML, thank you for your post and musical references.
    Seems like we have similar tastes.
    I want to listen to the music you posted, in theory, but since my discard most music triggers me and guts me like a fish.
    Maybe later tonight, I can listen to Wuthering Heights or Babushka…
    I think it is a miracle that both of us can have deep thoughts after the pain of our discards, so this is an awesome thread and we among others who have chosen recovery from betrayal are mighty no matter what our exteriors look like..
    It is so sad in the times we live in that people in many cases are valued first for their appearance and size. There are so many people who get older and maybe heavier (just like me) who have productive later years.
    I am thinking about Mary Gauthier right now who recovered from addiction and came out as being gay and she is a truly wonderful singer songwriter and a favorite song is Mercy Now. Check it out

    Oh, and “I Drink” is also a pretty powerful statement.
    Sorry if my response is just so random. My head is a mess over this family shit I am living in… My brother is unraveling just like my x wasband did at then end of the marriage. In my marriage, I was desperate to fix it. Now with my family, I am sick sad and angry that I am yet again caught in this rigged game and no matter what, I will be the asshole.
    However, I have committed to buying a cheap home and moving on by myself. I may never be thin and I certainly will not get any younger, but I want to pull myself together and make my life the best it can be and make some effort to share my life experiences in an attempt to save others from the protracted pain I needlessly endured. I would also like to more regularly be making art/objects and maybe, just maybe allow myself to play one of my instruments or sing without the self conscious fear and triggers.
    Things are changing for both of us. Slowly but surely, just as promised, the pain is finite. We have the luxury of dreaming of futures on our own terms and the head space to actually cultivate deep thoughts and conversations.
    Let’s some day get together and just have random conversations about whatever pops into our heads.
    I love you!
    Echo

  2. ENM, I love you too and look forward to a stream of consciousness conversation soon! I think I know what you mean about music being a trigger. I didn’t begin to enjoy music again until well over a year out from discard, and I started by listening to Bach, which was totally new to me. It helped me ease back into something I’ve always loved. I hope your full ability to enjoy music you love comes back soon. I’m listening to Mary Gauthier as I write this. I had never heard of her and look forward to exploring her work.

    Do you have venues near you where you can take part in singing or playing instruments? I’ve always been intrigued by the Irish pub scene where people of all ages and abilities contribute to the music. We have a place in town that apparently offers something a couple nights a week, but alas I’ve been too shy to go there on my own to check it out. I came upon an Irish penny whistle in my charity shop excursions and thought it would be fun to learn to play.

    I’m so angry about your brother’s behavior and even your mom’s inability to make him stop — I’m sorry you have to deal with another human who is so similar to your ex — It simply isn’t fair! I pray that you will be able to get out of there soon so that you can explore your own creativity, which I know is crucial not just for our happiness, but for the health of our very soul. You don’t deserve any more pain.

    I’ll light a candle for you at church this morning.

    xox

  3. Thank you ML.
    I can not go out anywhere in this area where it has not been tainted by the x wasband. He either plays there, has played there, or people know we were married once, or who he is…
    I am leaving this area, because it is now poisoned.
    This may make me sound like a horrible person, but when my dad died, I felt like my life began…. I am starting to think I will have the same feeling when I cut ties and move from where I have lived my entire life.
    Oddly, I do not fear being alone in the immediate sense or for a long time. For some reason, I am projecting that I will NEVER recover my faith in humanity and be alone until the day I die… Pretty fatalistic thoughts my monkey brain conjures up huh? It is just so hard to internalize that I am not the cause of all of this interpersonal strife here… It is them, and unfortunately, I am a magnet for these types of people and I am too much of a chump still to just put on my running shoes and cut them off cold.
    I am hoping that my planned relocation will bear out that I am the nice person I try to be and not some horrible shit pot stirring monster.
    Thank you for the love, friendship and support.
    Have a wonderful day!

    • Oh, ENM, I feel when you leave there you will feel freed of shackles and your life WILL begin anew. You’re a helper, not a shit stirrer — remember, Depression Lies. It’s a big fat liar so do not believe it. As far as faith in humanity, well, that’s a tough one. After 2+ years in the child sexual abuse workforce I can tell you that all men and a lot of women look like abusers to me now! It just comes with the territory. I have to remind myself frequently that most people are good and kind and I do believe that. As far as the others, I have no use for them! Because of your helper mentality, you need to try to keep people at arm’s length while you figure them out. I would love to see someone come into your life who offers love and companionship and isn’t just a taker. Being alone while we seek out special people is better than being with people who drag us down and use us. Keep your eye on the ball. xox

  4. “Being alone while we seek out special people is better than being with people who drag us down and use us. Keep your eye on the ball.”
    No truer words said!
    It is the difficult truth that was so hard for me to realize.

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