S04E05 – Leave It Open

We can tell you what we’re letting in: a new episode of Strange Phenomena! This week, we’re talking about track five on The Dreaming, the strange and compelling Leave It Open. Christine Kelley, the author of Dreams of Orgonon, the Kate Bush blog, joins us for a discussion of this song this week. Listen as we discuss about the lyrics (at least, what we can decipher of them!), the theme of the song, and Cecilee gets to nerd about the music production too (SO. MANY. VOCAL. EFFECTS!). We’ll also get to hear some thoughts from fellow Kate fan, Daniel Thomas, who we got to talk with earlier this season for Pull Out The Pin.

Are you ready to let the weirdness in?

We hope so!

Other links:

Dreams of Orgonon: The Songs of Kate Bush

Song clips used:

Leave It Open (album version)

Leave It Open (demo version)

Intruder

S04E04 – Suspended in Gaffa

Can you believe we’re almost done with the first side of The Dreaming? This week, we’re talking about a song that was released as a single in continental Europe, the lively but thoughtful Suspended in Gaffa. To discuss one of the more lively and, admittedly, more accessible tracks on an otherwise very experimental album, we have a longtime Kate fan named Emery Bonannella on the line from California! This week, we’re talking about the rapid-fire lyrics, the instrumentation, the video, the rather varied TV performances to promote the song (marionettes! French tennis stars!), and our own histories and personal thoughts on Suspended in Gaffa.

Song clips used:

TV Performances Mentioned:

Houba Houba, October 1982, French TV

Champs-Elysées, French TV, 1982

Live on German TV, the “marionette” version, November 1982

S04E03 – Pull Out the Pin

On to the third track from The Dreaming, the dense, jungle-scented Pull Out the Pin. An album track that stands out for its atmosphere and percussion, Pull Out the Pin continues in the vein of Kate songs that are told from a character’s point of view. This time, we as the listeners are transported to a thick, humid jungle in Southeast Asia in the middle of the Vietnam War as Kate tells us a story about a Vietnamese soldier stalking his prey: an American soldier.

To discuss this song, we have Daniel Thomas from Seattle, Washington on the line. We discuss our personal thoughts on the song and how it was a song that initially scared both of us, but which we’ve both grown to love. We also talk about the theme of the song and its implications, the inspiration behind the song, and speculate what a live version might look or sound like.

Song clips used:

Pull Out the Pin

The Dreaming Interview, 1982

S04E02 – There Goes a Tenner

No need to wait any longer for a new episode of Strange Phenomena! This week, we’re continuing into The Dreaming with a discussion of the second track, the one single that didn’t even chart (what???), There Goes a Tenner.

Released as the second single in the UK, with the French-language original Ne t’enfuis pas on the b-side, There Goes a Tenner is a pastiche of various film references tied up in a story that could’ve been something out of an old movie: a bank robbery gone wrong. To discuss this song this week, we have Dani Llamas, who was on the Kidnapped on a Building Site episode, and Diego Ortega, another young Kate fan from California. We’ll talk about the Paul Henry-directed music video, the many film references, the song structure, and speculate on why this song didn’t chart.

Also included is another essay about There Goes a Tenner from Kate fan Daniel Thomas!

Song clips used:

There Goes a Tenner

Pebble Mill at One, October 8, 1982, interviewed by Paul Gambaccini

The Dreaming Interview, 1982, unknown interviewer

There Goes a Tenner live on Razzmatazz

There Goes a Tenner music video

S04E01 – Sat In Your Lap

Sat In Your Lap could be summed up in one word: bombastic. Isn’t it fitting then that the episode about that song is jam-packed with guests? Of course!

What a way to start off Kate’s (now) beloved fourth album The Dreaming, than with five different guests this week from many different parts of the world! And they all have one thing in common: they love Sat In Your Lap.

  • Tomer Feiner (Israel)
  • Craig Houston (Ohio)
  • Wayne Henderson (California)
  • Vanessa Ramos (Canada)

AND we have a special contribution from longtime Kate fan Daniel Thomas, who was last featured on the Coffee Homeground and Symphony in Blue episodes. You’ll get to hear from him on each song from The Dreaming thanks to essays he has written comparing songs from The Dreaming with Tori Amos’ equally experimental (and the first of her albums to be self-produced, like with Kate) Boys for Pele.

This week, we’re talking ALL about this song. What it was like for us the first time hearing this song. The production. The lyrics (all of us going, so that’s what she’s saying at the end!). What others have said about this song. What Kate wrote extensively in the Kate Bush Club Newsletter. And lastly, who can forget the bonkers music video?

It’s all here in this first episode of the fourth season of the show!

Song and interview clips used:

In the Air Tonight

Sat in Your Lap (demo)

Sat in Your Lap (fan-made instrumental)

Sat in Your Lap (fan-made piano instrumental)

The Dreaming 1982 Interview (interviewer unknown)

Kate Bush on Razzmatazz, July 14, 1981

S04E00 – The Dreaming Album Introduction

Woohoo for the start of another album season! Welcome to the fourth season of the show, which will be all about the weirdly wonderful (and fan favorite) The Dreaming. Regarded by the artist herself as her “she’s gone mad” album, The Dreaming is the work of someone working in the explosive computer technology of the time to create her most dense and experimental work to date, her own self-contained world of darkness and deep exploration of human nature.

To discuss this album as a whole, we have a familiar voice on the show: Zoey from New York. Zoey and Cecilee both count The Dreaming as their favorite Kate Bush albums, so there is a LOT to say in this album introduction episode! There is the constant myth that The Dreaming is a warm-up to Hounds of Love. They also discuss how the album was received at the time and its impact on modern music. The cut-and-paste way it was recorded (revolutionary for 1982, commonplace in 2019). Who played on the album. And we rank our favorite songs from the album and why (despite it being a difficult task for both!).

It’s all here in this album discussion episode! Then next week, we’ll get to hear a fun discussion of the first track, and single, Sat In Your Lap.

Patreon Plug!

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon. If you’d like to support the show, visit www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast and become a subscriber today!

Interview clips used:

Paul Gambaccini Interview, Pebble Mill at One, October 29, 1982

Profiles in Rock, 1980

Bonus: Cathy/Phoenix Demos

This week, we’re not talking about just one song but rather a bunch of songs! Specifically, the sort of songs that Kate Bush doesn’t want us to hear, but which we’ve heard anyway.

This is the week of the Cathy/Phoenix Demos, which were recordings Kate made of her songs when she was a teenager before she became famous. The Cathy Demos refer to tape recordings made when Kate was probably about 15 (circa 1973) of some of her songs. These songs were going to be put out on a bootleg record in 1986, when Kate got wind of what was going on and stopped it from being released. However, they have leaked anyway (well, all but one song, Go Now While You Can).

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Demos refer to a group of almost two dozen previously unheard songs that a Phoenix, Arizona DJ and former EMI A&R man John Dixon played on the air in 1982. These songs were recorded around 1976, according to the tape reel he played that night, so Kate was a little older than those first Cathy demos in ’73. Either way, the songs have leaked and since the 80s, these songs have been endlessly bootlegged and have, of course, made their way to the Internet for an even wider audience to find.

Some of these demos even contain embryonic versions of songs that later made her albums (Violin, The Kick Inside, and Oh To Be In Love, to name a few). To talk about these little gems, we have a familiar voice, Zoey P, on the show. We go into the history of how these songs, which were recorded in the privacy of Kate’s home, were leaked to the general public and what we think of these recordings.

To listen to these demos, you can find them here. Also, check out Chris Kelley’s Kate Bush song-by-song blog, Dream of Orgonon, which you can find here.

Song clips used/mentioned:

On Fire Inside a Snowball

The Disbelieving Angel

Frightened Eyes

Sunsi

You Were the Star

It Hurts Me

Stranded At the Moonbase

Rinfy the Gypsy

Dali

Where Are the Lionhearts

The Gay Farewell

Nevertheless You’ll Do

Frightened Eyes (Alphan Remix)

Bonus: Humming

It started as an excerpt on a radio show called Personal Call in 1980. Only a verse and part of a chorus were ever played. “I was waiting for the flat note in the middle,” she said as the tape faded out. And for years, fans have wondered about this mysterious song. Is it called Maybe? Humming? Davy? No one knew. All anyone had was the clip she played on that radio show as well as an unreleased recording of a song called Davy that had a similar melody and chorus to what was played on Personal Call.

What was this song? And would it ever be released in full?

Apparently, yes!

Years later, in 2018, the full version of this mythical song finally appeared on the Kate Bush Remastered box set, under its official title: Humming. All of her albums have been rereleased and remastered along with two CDs of bonus tracks, called The Other Sides 1 and 2. Track 7 on The Other Sides 2 contains the first ever full release of that little song Kate shut her ears on.

This week, we’re talking about this little gem with Tomer Feiner, a Kate fan from Israel. We discuss the history of this song, what the song is about, and a little of Kate’s early history before getting signed!

Also, we couldn’t find that flat note in the middle.

Song clips used:

Humming/Davy and Personal Call clip

Humming

Bonus: Let the Weirdness In #1

Welcome to a special episode of Strange Phenomena. This week is the first “mailbag” episode. Over the last year and a half of this show, I’ve gotten messages from listeners about different episodes and their thoughts on some of the songs I’ve discussed so far, including some corrections (oops!). So this week, we get to hear from YOU, the listeners, AND…..

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon page!

For just $5 a month, you can get a special parallel show called Deeper Understanding, which will include general Kate Bush chat and deeper discussions of her work, rather than focusing on a particular song. The main show will always be free, but for those who are subscribed to Patreon, you get a little something extra!

You can find said Patreon here:

http://www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast

S03E22 – Flowers (Zaine Griff song)

And now the end is here! Wrapping up this third season of the show, Cecilee is by herself to discuss a song from Zaine Griff’s 1982 album Figvres, called Flowers, which our lovely Kate Bush lent her vocals to! In this episode, Cecilee talks about the references in the song to French literature (who is Jean Genet and why is he important) and about the inspiration for this song, a certain mime/dance teacher named Lindsay Kemp, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 80.
Song clips used:
Other media: