Take an hour to enjoy Liaisons Dangereuses, Live in 1982, The Hacienda
I find Beate particularly inspiring. Synth goddess.
OK this article is nuts.
I studied opera when I was a teenager and from my experience, physical appearance never played much of a role in casting. I would often see a small 5”2 robust male playing Rodolfo in La Boheme, and a much larger woman playing his love interest, Mimi. As the singer in this article states: it is all about the voice. The voice transcends physicalities, and the two lovers relationship is brought to life based on the sheer musicality and communication through the human voice. This is an actual thing that happens. Though they may seem like an unlikely pairing at first glance, these heroes and heroines always manage to create a love story so real you can touch it. And it is almost more engaging to watch two people fall in love that you may not usually get to see fall in love on a screen. Women in opera have never been criticized for their weight on the stage, in fact a heavier set woman often results in a voice with more depth, and so size could sometimes be seen a plus.
The fact that these singers have been excluded from the outrageous bodily expectations society lays upon women (until now) is what I find pretty crazy. Today, if you read the same article about a woman in pop music: would you be surprised? Of course not. I’ve read countless articles about Adele’s weight, and she has even gone so far as to speak out about it: “I make music for the ears, not for the eyes.”
In thinking about how they have avoided these criticisms until now: its possible that woman in opera have throughout history enjoyed respect and admiration from their peers in a way no other female artists have. Since people stopped regularly castrating men’s voices to play the female leads, there have always been Divas. And these performers are not appreciated for their bodies, or their beauty, they are appreciated for their enormous skill to control the human voice. Men and women alike recognize that to be able to sing opera requires years of training, dedication, discipline, and a woman who excels at this is always credited for her work. Today in pop culture I often see woman being reduced to their physicalities as an explanation for success. It is extremely difficult for a woman to achieve “genius” status like her male counterparts, an example of this lies in Jessica Hopper’s review of St. Vincent’s latest record: http://www.spin.com/reviews/st-vincent-self-titled-SPIN-essential/
And so, maybe it is the history of respect that woman have enjoyed that has protected them from sexism and misogyny in the present day entertainment industry. Centuries of admiration for the Diva have carried on into our current decade: and this is why the fact that woman are now suddenly being targeted for the way they look in this ancient art form is enraging the community.
Maybe it is some indication that we have gone backwards. Obviously woman have more rights today in the western world than ever before, but the impossible bodily expectations laid upon us is creating a new kind of opression: one that dangerously overrides the work, talent, skill and genius we should be credited for.
Read cookbooks! I love to ingest, but my proficiency in the kitchen has always been less-than-adequate. I recently discovered, though, that if you follow a recipe magical things can happen. And a cookbook is better than looking up a recipe online because when you search the web you have to know what you are searching for, whereas when you read a book the ideas are plainly laid out for you. So the past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time in my kitchen making things and its been very rewarding. For all those hummus-loving lesbians in the world that “Jerusalem” cookbook has the best recipe, and it makes like 10 time the amount you would normally buy for $5 in a grocery store. Also, reading this other book “Every Grain of Rice” has made me wish I were Chinese. I’ve filled my cupboards with things like Chinkiang Vineger and Cassis and have learned that you can basically make anything you would get at a Chinese restaurant in less than 30 minutes with 5 ingredients.
We are thrilled to finally announce HABITAT our new EP out June 17th !!
Stream the track, and get an immediate download if you pre-order:
HABITAT will be available digitally, and as a limited edition 12” vinyl. The single also includes 3 new instrumental tracks: our latest computer music experiments.
Habitat iTunes: http://smarturl.it/habitatitunes
Habitat 12”: http://smarturl.it/habitatvinyl
Bass Drum Dance
cover photo by matt lambert, design by anna-sophia vukovich
We invited our friend, and long-time collaborator, to join us in the desert and take some photos.
See below, images from Palm Springs, Coachella and Joshua Tree. Can you feel the sunlight?
Joshua Tree by Kate Young