Until recently, I’d have said that The Red Shoes was my least favourite Kate Bush album. I hadn’t listened to it for years. Then Lily and Big Stripey Lie scrobbled on my last.fm account and I completely changed my mind. Maybe The Red Shoes resonates more as you get older. It’s a complex, mature woman’s album, exploring themes of self-determination, resilience (Rubberband Girl), creativity (The Red Shoes), and spirituality.
Well I said, “Lily, oh Lily I don’t feel safe
I feel that life has blown a great big hole
Through me” And she said
“Child, you must protect yourself
You can protect yourself
I’ll show you how with fire”
My partner got me listening to Cris Williamson’s classic of feminist, lesbian and women’s music, The Changer and the Changed (1975). Williamson has such a beautiful, soaring voice. ‘Waterfall’ (0.00) gives me chills and you can just hear them playing ‘Sweet Woman’ (12.51) for the slow dance at the end of the lesbian disco in the 1970s. You might like to compare the original ‘Shooting Star’ (21:15) with the Butchies cover. Williamson has developed a more solidly country sound in recent years. Fringe (2007) is awesome too.
I love Songs in the Dark by The Wainwright Sisters. These are gorgeous cover versions of songs they heard as children. I particularly love their versions of El Conda Pasa, Our Mother the Mountain (Townes!) and ‘All the Pretty Little Horses’.
Spring Mixtape (random tracks)
Veruca Salt, Laughing in the Suger bowl . Oh Veruca Salt. Never change.
Stevie Nicks, Planets of the Universe.
Lesbians on Ecstasy, Sisters in the Struggle The refrain reworks ‘Gay and Proud‘ (1975) by Debbie Lempke.
Anna Calvi, Suzanne & I
David Bowie, (You Will) Set the World on Fire
REM, Boy in the Well
Tanita Tikaram, Dust on my Shoes
Kyla La Grange, Cut your Teeth
La Roux, Silent Partner
Unkle, When Things Explode