"Kashka From Baghdad/Babooshka" by The Plunging Necklines
"Why a medley?" some of you may be asking. And well you might, unless you are already acquainted with the Plunging Necklines and their belief that there are so many good songs in the world -- why not do all of them, all at the same time? We were thrilled that Tom Dunning decided to accommodate our musical addiction (fetish?) and give us not only "Kaska from Baghdad" but "Babooshka". He told us, "If you can't put them together, just do Kashka and that'll be O.K." -- something akin to waving a blood-soaked rag under a police dog's nose and then suggesting that it take a little nap...we had the scent and we were off, barking and frisking joyfully (all right, perhaps this isn't the most accurate description of our working process. Most of the time we sit on chairs and behave in a ladylike fashion).
It seemed to us that the songs shared a preoccupation with spying, gossip, subterfuge and mystery. According to the delightful ladies at the Parents' Music Resource Center, these songs are about "Voyeurism, infidelity, and homosexuality". They see this as some sort of problem, apparently; sounds to me like a really successful party. We thought of neighborhood women whispering these stories to each other and also of children sneaking around, peeking in windows and speculating about half-understood adult activities. We even considered the possibility that Kashka's unknown lover might actually be Babooshka's husband.
Several weeks of musical cutting and pasting followed, and then we went into the studio, where we did the standard stuff: twirled toy carousels, sang through telephones and bruised our thighs with vibraslaps (video available). Thankfully, our engineer Ellis Clark, had an open mind -- and two phone lines. Thanks also to Liam Davis of The Moviegoers for moral support, to my partner Jacquie for thinking a lot like I do (and for having much more concrete ideas than I did about how to get our concepts on tape), to the fabulous Tom Dunning for asking us to be a part of the project, and of course to Kate Bush for her remarkable creativity and vision.
- Meg Guttman, The Plunging Necklines