Saturday, May 27, 2017

"Imagine, Heal, Resist" – Mayday 2017 (Part 2)


This evening I share a second batch of photos from this year's Mayday parade. As I mentioned in Part 1, on Sunday, May 7, I attended the 43nd annual In the Heart of the Beast Theatre's Mayday parade in south Minneapolis.

This year's theme, "Imagine, Heal, Resist," was all about coming together to "imagine a just and joyous future for all; heal personal, cultural and historical wounds; and to stand as a circle in resistance to false myths of separateness that perpetuate violence and inequality." Inspiring stuff, to be sure!

The words of wisdom and inspiration that accompanies my photos are excerpted from the Mayday 2017 program guide. Enjoy!




Parade Story, Section 1: Imagine, Heal, Resist – Bending the Arc



I am as quick as the hummingbird, watch me fly over your wall. I am as strong as the river current, you can't keep me in. I am as cunning as the dandelion, I will find the cracks and grow strong.

– Ramon Cordes and Serena Black




We have a symbiotic relationship to animals that goes beyond what we can comprehend in the physical world. In Clan systems we are related to animals and in this relationship they protect us in the spirit world in trade for us protecting them in the physical world. In societies and ceremonies we look to animals for lessons on how to live on this planet. And if they go extinct, so do we.

– Rory Erler Wakemup, Gordon Coons, and Frances Yellow




Section 2: Amethyst Souls: Luxuriate in Healing.



Divine Queer Ancestors! We Honor Your Resistance and Sweetness. This section pays particular homage to our queer, gender fluid and trans elders and ancestors of color, through antiquity and their radical spirits and influence. Our ancestors come from a vastness of genders and innate queerness that has been appropriated, abused, erased, closeted, and crushed. Yet there was still limitless resistance and sweetness. We luxuriate in our healing and that of our ancestors and investigate the trauma within our bodies and spirits.

We will no longer be punished or destroyed for being in alignment with our most soulful selves. For generations patriarchy, colonization, religion, racism, gender oppression, and objectification of our bodies has broken us from loving on ourselves and knowing the sacredness in our erotic and magic.

Luxuriant healing will be symbolized through cats, from kittens to pumas to panthers in shades of purple, lavender, and lilac, basking in their sacred sensuality. A giant lotus flower will allow you to give offerings for cleansing and healing while burning lavender and sage. Large amethyst crystals will radiate healing, love, and sweetness. We invoke the Black Joy experiences of Soul Train, The Wiz, disco, Black queer femmes, voguing, soul music, blues music. We honor Bessie Smith and Willie Ninja. We remember Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvester. We acknowledge James Baldwin and Moonlight. We proclaim limitless queerness has always existed within Blackness and always will.

We hold space for our ancestors' dreams. We hold space for all of the beautiful and sacred Black, Brown, and indigenous trans-women and cis-women who are missing, lost, and murdered. We love you. We face the wounds of our ancestors with grace, sensuality, and compassion, and love ourselves with radical acceptance.

– Junauda Petrus, Sam Van Tassel, and Madison Ballis


The speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.

Audre Lorde (1934-1992)
Feminist, activist, and writer



Section 3: Mni Wiconi – Can Wiconi (Water of Life – Tree of Life).



Water has a deep-rooted meaning for many different Nation of people from all over the world.
The very translations for water, from tribal communities of Turtle Island, convey the sacredness and preciousness of blue gold.

Prior to the dual efforts to end the Dakota Access [oil] Pipele in support of the Standing Rock Nation, Mni Wiconi -- Water of Life was a foreign concept and idea [for many]. As different generations of Native people exist and descend, they bear witness to the cycles of destruction that colonize, capitalize, and bully to gain wealth, which then leaves Earth perpetrator's grandchildren in debt. The debt is not having clean drinking water and clean soil for plants to grow for both food and medicinal purposes. Standing Rock was not the first movement where we have seen Native people have their ancestral lands taken for profit for oil. This disease of the mind cycle started decades ago with the Lubicon Cree,
who had their traditional hunting grounds taken by the Canadian government to benefit from the tar sands. The destruction since then is now visibly seen in tailing ponds that host toxic water that was used to separate bitumen oil from sands and gravel.

The constant abuse of Kunsi Maka (Grandmother Earth) from past colonization to modern day parallels the abuse of Native women. Native women are the backbone of the people. They are sacred; they bring life into this world just like the earth and the sun. They are the original water protectors, responsible for caring for the water. But like Kunsi Maka, they have been targeted with violence and abuse.

– Graci Horne, Jacob Ladda, and Angie Courchaine



Above: Artist and activist Jacob Ladda with an oil monster, which can be anything from "crooked politicians, everyday polluters, oil globs (with dinosaur bones sticking out!) to militarized cops."




Upon suffering beyond suffering; the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations. A world longing for light again. I see a time of seven generations when all the colors of humanity will gather under the sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again. In that day there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things, and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom. I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be as one.

– Attributed to Tȟašúŋke Witkó
(also known as Crazy Horse, ca. 1840 – 1877)
Lakota mystic and warrior



Section 4: Sanctuaries Adjust the Law: Sanctuary for All.



Throughout history the the enacted concept of sanctuary has enabled communities to adjust the law to exceptional circumstances.

Sanctuary cities recognize that in most cases, deportation is the wrong punishment for illegal immigration, which is a breach of civil, nor criminal, law.

That tragedy makes it easy to attack the sanctuary movement. But sanctuary's enemies seem unaware of its venerable role in human hitory. It has long been an escape valve for society when the law can't meet the deeper demands of justice.

– Gustavo Boada, Lindsey Samples, and Amm-ra Seka



Section 5: The Work Ahead.



In the spirit of Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, immigrant rights, the Women's March, and many other protests, the dragon of resistance is made of protest signs from recent marches and mobilizations.

A group of worker puppets speaks to the work of enacting change, harkening back to the workers organizations that gave us social security,
the minimum wage, and the 40-hour work week.

Rosie the turtle represents the struggle that follows the enormous energy of our social media-driven resistance. Specifically she represents the long slow work of making good decisions and sustainable changes that lead to a more equitable world.

– Lindsay McCraw and Marc Berg






See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
"Imagine, Heal, Resist" – Mayday 2017 (Part 1)
Photo of the Day – May 7, 2017
"Radical Returnings" – Mayday 2016 (Part 1)
"Radical Returnings" – Mayday 2016 (Part 2)
"Our New Possibility": Photo of the Day – May 1, 2016
"And Still We Rise!" – Mayday 2015 (Part I)
"And Still We Rise!" – Mayday 2015 (Part II)
Mystics of Wonder, Agents of Change (Mayday 2014 – Part 1)
"The Spiritual Dialectic of WONDER?!" (Mayday 2014 – Part 2)
See the World! (Mayday 2013)
The End of the World as We Know It (2012)
"Uproar!" on the Streets of South Minneapolis: Part 1 (2010)
"Uproar!" on the Streets of South Minneapolis: Part 2 (2010)
Getting Started: Mayday 2009 (Part 1)
Celebrating Our Common Treasury: Mayday 2009 (Part 2)
Mayday and a "New Bridge" (2008)
The Time is Now! (2006)

Images: Michael J. Bayly.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Something to Think (and Chuckle) About . . .


Source

Related Off-site Links:
NBA Star Steph Curry Calls Trump an "Ass" – Jennifer Calfas (The Hill, February 8, 2017).
Top Ten Reasons Trump is an Asshole – IndieCentrist (Daily Kos, July 18, 2016).
The Internet Is Losing Its Mind Over a Photo of Justin Trudeau's AssDaily Hive, February 24, 2017).
To No One's Surprise, People Love Justin Trudeau's Butt – Chloe Bryan (Mashable, February 24, 2017).
Donald Trump's Strange Handshake Style and How Justin Trudeau Beat It – David Fanner (The Guardian, February 13, 2017).
Trump Wastes Little Time Breaking His Key Promises In a Cruel Budget – Steve Benen (MSNBC, May 23, 2017).
Justin Trudeau Navigates World of Trump and Brexit: "Globalisation Isn't Working for Ordinary People" – Ashifa Kassam and Laurence Mathieu-Léger (The Guardian, December 15, 2016).
Justin Trudeau Is Not Your Friend – Jordy Cummings (Jacobin, September 9, 2016).


Sunday, May 21, 2017

It Is Happening Again


The groundbreaking TV show Twin Peaks which, among other things, writes Matt Zoller Seitz, was an unrelenting and mystifying meditation on grief and trauma, returns after 26 years.


The revered TV show Twin Peaks returns tonight on the Showtime channel . . . 26 years after it last aired.

The series that begins this evening is considered the show's third, and takes place 25 years after the events of season two. In the last episode of that season, the murdered Laura Palmer tells FBI special agent Dale Cooper in the otherworldly Red Room of the Black Lodge that "I'll see you again in 25 years." . . . And so here we are.

(NOTE: For a 5-minute video recap of the Twin Peaks story so far, click here.)

As with the two original seasons, season three, also being called Twin Peaks: The Return, is created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. It's a "limited series event," consisting of 18 episodes. Two episodes have been selected to be screened at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

Many original cast members have returned for season three, including Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper, Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer and Maddy Ferguson, Ray Wise as Leland Palmer, Grace Zabriskie as Sarah Palmer, Sherilyn Fenn as Audrey Horne, Mädchen Amick as Shelly Johnson, Dana Ashbrook as Bobby Briggs, Warren Frost as Dr. Will Hayward, Michael Horse as Tommy "Hawk" Hill, Harry Goaz as Andy Brennan, Kimmy Robertson as Lucy Moran, James Marshall as James Hurley, Everett McGill as Ed Hurley, Wendy Robie as Nadine Hurley, and Peggy Lipton as Norma Jennings. Director David Lynch will also reprise his role as the hard of hearing FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole.



Above: The three different covers for the March 31, 2017 issue of Entertainment Weekly, featuring some of the returning Twin Peaks cast members. From left: Wendy Robie as Nadine Hurley, Everett McGill as Ed Hurley, James Marshall as James Hurley, Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer, David Lynch as Gordon Cole, Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper, Sherilyn Fenn as Audrey Horn, Mädchen Amick as Shelly Johnson, Dana Ashbrook as Bobby Briggs, and Peggy Lipton as Norma Jennings.


I was sorry to hear that one of my favorite characters in the show, Catherine Martell (played by Piper Laurie [right]), won't be present in season three.

Talking to Entertainment Weekly earlier this month, Laurie said: "I did send a note to David [Lynch] that I would be delighted to return, but I think most of the material that I was in on the original didn’t really involve the darker aspects of the show, and I can guess maybe that’s where David and Mark Frost are going, but I really don’t know. My character was more on the silly, comic, fun side."

Another notable absence is Lara Flynn Boyle as Donna Hayward. According to a recent story in Deadline Hollywood it was the actress's choice not to return.



Above: Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and her best friend Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle) in happier days.


There will, however, be a large number of new additions to the cast, including Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, Michael Cera, Jim Belushi, Richard Chamberlain, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Eddie Vedder.

I don't get Showtime, so unfortunately I won't be tuning in tonight to watch the return of Twin Peaks. I'm definitely curious about it, though. For one thing, I have absolutely no idea what the plotline will entail. In fact, apart from those involved in the show's making, no one does – and the official trailers that have been released reveal very little (see, for instance, here and here). I must admit I have concerns about how good it will be. I mean, the original series ended so dismally (as is discussed here). And then there are the thorny but crucial questions that Melanie McFarland raises in her May 20 Salon piece: "Can a classic succeed at being happening again? . . . Twenty-seven years after a series has broken ground, how can new storylines match the quality of all the shows it spawned?" I suppose I'll just have to wait for the new series to come out on DVD to find out.

In the meantime, Matt Zoller Seitz has a timely and insightful piece at Vulture in which he deftly examines why Twin Peaks is "not the series we’ve convinced ourselves it was."

One aspect of the show that Zoller Seitz explores and which especially interests me (given my current training in chaplaincy) is to do with how the original Twin Peaks was "a meditation on grief and trauma."



Following is that part of Zoller Seitz's article which explores this idea.

Twin Peaks was a meditation on grief and trauma that expressed itself in unrelenting, deliberately unreal, often mystifying ways. People tend to forget this when they talk and write about and remember Twin Peaks. That show did not go down easy. It was charming and weird, but it was also creepy and upsetting and sometimes genuinely horrifying. It gave you a spoonful of sugar, then it punched you in the gut. The gut punches had to do with the psychological effect of loss on individuals and their community.

Twin Peaks is often described as a mystery or a soap opera, and it was definitely both of those things. But it was also the story of a small town reeling in shock after a random act of violence, acting out in strange and terrifying ways, and purposefully and accidentally disclosing not just their naughty secrets (an element common to the soaps that Lynch and Frost emulated, as well as films like In the Heat of the Night and Anatomy of a Murder), but the persistent sadness, desperation, and dread that lurks under the surface of mundane reality. The deeper FBI agent Dale Cooper and his fellow investigators dug into the soil beneath those magnificent Douglas firs, the more ugliness they unearthed. There was incest, sexual exploitation, drug abuse, drug trafficking, domestic violence, smuggling, murder, and corporate crime happening in those cottages and hotel rooms and in the gloom of the woods.



But more impressive – perhaps more daring, considering Americans’ limited tolerance for sincerity – was the show’s willingness to plumb the emotional depths of its characters with the white-hot intensity of a 1950s melodrama or a 1970s Italian horror film, without distancing devices, and often without facetiousness or irony.

The latter was eerie and moving to behold and, for 1990 network TV, unexpected. But it was also upsetting and depressing and occasionally confounding for mass audiences, which is one reason why the show’s ratings, which were immense for the premiere, kept falling by the week, until it became clear a few episodes into season two that ABC was likely to cancel it. Twin Peaks wore the comedy mask and the tragedy mask with equal confidence, and sometimes it put them both away and put on a mask that had live worms in it and might have been made of human flesh.

The audience didn’t just reject the series over the long haul because viewers wanted closure on the question of who killed Laura Palmer, and Lynch and Frost seemed to be in no hurry to provide it. It was also a reaction to the series itself – all of its elements, but perhaps especially the intensity of its darkness. Twin Peaks was not just physically brutal (Leland Palmer’s murder of his Laura-look-alike niece, Maddie [left], is still hard to watch nearly three decades after its airing). It was also emotionally wrenching, in a way that was uncharacteristic of TV in the early ’90s. Supporting characters were forever weeping, sometimes wailing in grief as they remembered Laura. It was an open wound of a show, right up through the end.

The characters’ pain was hilarious if you were a callow teenager or college student who didn’t understand loss and the many, equally valid methods by which art can examine it. You have to permit yourself a certain vulnerability when watching Lynch, otherwise the simplicity of the characters’ needs and fears and the nakedness of their desperation will seem hilarious. Viewers over the legal drinking age had to decide to be okay with a certain level of emotional exposure while watching the original Peaks.



Twin Peaks was playful about everything except pain. It took pain so seriously that over time, an increasing proportion of its initially big viewership did not know how to process it, except to squirm, snicker performatively, or stop watching. Everybody who watches the new Peaks has to recognize this and not be surprised or upset by it. It’s going to be part of the package, because it’s an area of life that is of deep interest to Lynch, the director of such light and peppy movies as Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, and Inland Empire.

A 30-something friend of mine quit watching it after a few episodes because his mother had recently died of cancer; Twin Peaks made him feel as if he was reentering a space he never wanted to be in again.

That Twin Peaks is also coming back.

– Matt Zoller Seitz
Excerpted from "Why Twin Peaks Is Not the Series
We’ve Convinced Ourselves It Was
"
Vulture
May 19, 2017




For more about Twin Peaks at The Wild Reed, see:
The Fizzer Finale of Lost Brings to Mind the Unraveling of Twin Peaks
London Calling


Related Off-site Links:
Everything You Need to Know About the Twin Peaks Revival – Jethro Nededog (Business Insider, May 20, 2017).
Twin Peaks: Can a Classic Succeed at Being Happening Again? – Melanie McFarland (Salon, May 20, 2017).
How Twin Peaks Got Lost, and Found Its Way Back – Finn Cohen (The New York Times, May 17, 2017).
Was Twin Peaks Ahead of Its Time? Let’s Look Back and See – James Poniewozik and Mike Hale (The New York Times, May 17, 2017).
Here's Where Twin Peaks Left Off 26 Years Ago – Eliana Dockterman (Time, May 17, 2017).
Twin Peaks Is Coming Back! Here's Everything You Need to Get Up to Speed for Season 3 – Mayer Nissim (Digital Spy, May 15, 2017).
In 1990, Twin Peaks Was Not Ready for Prime Time. And Vice Versa – Jeremy Egner (The New York Times, May 12, 2017).
Your Complete Guide to Rewatching Twin Peaks – Margaret Lyons (The New York Times, April 26, 2017).
Twin Peaks Cast List: 11 Major Omissions, from Lara Flynn Boyle to Heather Graham – Chris Eggertsen (Uproxx, April 25, 2017).



UPDATES: Twin Peaks 2017: TV Review – Daniel Fienberg (The Hollywood Reporter, May 21, 2017).
TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return – Sonia Saraiya (Variety, May 21, 2017).
Review: In Twin Peaks, an Old Log Learns Some New Tricks – James Poniewozik (The New York Times, May 21, 2017).
Review: The New Twin Peaks Is Strange and Not In a Good Way – Daniel D’Addario (Time, May 21, 2017).
Twin Peaks Review: Woeful Revival Plays Like Fire Walk – No Run – Away – Michael Ausiello (TV Line, May 21, 2017).
Twin Peaks Revival Premiere Recap: The Meaning of the Box Is Threefold? – Kimberly Roots (TV Line, May 21, 2017).
Twin Peaks Review: "I Am Dead, Yet I Live" – Eric Goldman (IGN, May 21, 2017).
Twin Peaks Review – David Lynch Reboot Will Baffle and Irk Even Hardcore Fans – Mark Lawson (The Guardian, May 21, 2017).
Twin Peaks Season 3 Will Baffle and Delight – First Spoiler-free Reviews – Adam Sherwin (I-News, May 21, 2017).
Twin Peaks Premiere: Debating Whether the Return Lived Up to Expectations, and What David Lynch Is Trying to Say – Hanh Nguyen, Michael Nordine and Liz Shannon Miller (Indy Wire, May 21, 2017).
Twin Peaks Season 3 Premiere Review: David Lynch Remains a Master – But the Brutality Toward Women Feels Dated – Liz Shannon Miller (Indie Wire, May 21, 2017).
Twin Peaks Review: WTF Was That & Did David Lynch Just School Peak TV? – Dominic Patten (Deadline, May 21, 2017).
Twin Peaks Review – David Lynch's Revival Is Dark and Intriguing, But It Lacks the Original's Chutzpah – Patrick Smith (The Telegraph, May 22, 2017).
Twin Peaks, Season 3, Parts 1 & 2 Big Questions: Has Cooper Flown the Coop? – Tristram Fane Saunders (The Telegraph, May 22, 2017).
In Its Nightmarish Two-part Return, Twin Peaks is Pure Lynchian Horror – Emily L. Stephens (A.V. Club, May 22, 2017).
Twin Peaks 2017 Review - Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2: David Lynch Makes a Twisted, Triumphant Return – Mayer Nissim (Digital Spy, May 22, 2017).
Talking Twin Peaks: The Return Parts 1 & 2 – Alan Sepinwall and Keith Phipps (Uproxx, May 22, 2017).
Twin Peaks Is Back, As Strange and Stunning as Ever – Alan Sepinwall (Uproxx, May 22, 2017).
Twin Peaks: The Return, Episodes 1 & 2 Recap: Do Not Drop Up – Keith Uhlich (MUBI, May 22, 2017).
Lynch Unleashed:
The Twin Peaks Reboot Is Pure, Outrageous David Lynch – and It’s Glorious
– Laura Miller (Slate, May 22, 2017).
Twin Peaks: The Return Is Riveting, Horrifying, and Patience-Taxing – Matt Zoller Seitz (Vulture, May 22, 2017).





Saturday, May 20, 2017

Quote of the Day

[Roger Ailes (1940-2017)] was a bigot, with well-documented prejudices against people of color, Muslims, women, and LGBTQ people. The network he created ran on division and hatred, consumed by an unslaked thirst to oppress the oppressed and comfort the comfortable.

He was a conspiracy theorist, and so were the hosts he hired, channeling ridiculous accusations from fringe websites to the masses, creating for their audience an alternate reality in which dark liberal forces were ever ready to steal away their freedom.

Over the last two years, his network has been devoted to propagandizing on behalf of Donald Trump, an Ailes friend who shared his bigotry, misogyny, and spite.

For power and money, Ailes turned Americans against one another. He made the nation a meaner, less informed place. That is his legacy.



Related Off-site Links:
How Roger Ailes Degraded the Tone of Public Life in America – Stephen Metcalf (The New Yorker, May 19, 2017).
Roger Ailes: The Man Who Wrecked Conservatism – Bret Stephens (The New York Times, May 19, 2017).
Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever – Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone, May 18, 2017).
The Right Builds an Alternative Narrative About the Crises Around Trump – Jeremy W. Peters (The New York Times, May 17, 2017).


Friday, May 19, 2017

In Too Deep


So have a little faith
in where we're going to
Don't ask me where,
you know I just can't tell you
All I know is I'm swept away,
taken by this undertow
The waves are crashing in
Don't let go

– From "In Too Deep"
by Rick Nowels
(recorded by Jenny Morris for her
1995 album Salvation Jane)


This evening for "music night" at The Wild Reed I share New Zealand-born Australian singer-songwriter Jenny Morris's "In Too Deep," a track from her 1995 album Salvation Jane. It's definitely one of my favorite tracks on a collection of recordings that comprise the fourth studio album of Jenny's illustrious career.

I first came across Salvation Jane in the (Australian) summer of 1996-97. I had just turned 31 and was home for the first time since relocating three years earlier to the U.S. in 1994. I'd admired Jenny and her music prior to my move; she had been an acclaimed and popular singer-songwriter since the early 1980s. And so I was excited to discover in a Sydney record store that she had a new album out – her first since 1991's Honeychild. (To hear "Break in the Weather," a track from Honeychild previously highlighted at The Wild Reed, click here.)

In many ways, Salvation Jane provided an appropriate soundtrack for that particular visit home to Australia, my first since coming out to family and friends. Take for instance the lyrics of "Digger," one of the album's tracks . . .

Don't need a thing
when you're running wild
No complication
All you can feel is the wind on your face
Loving the rush of the river
that opened and gave you your dreams

Brave and mighty is the man
with passion he can show
Wise the tall the boy with soul
as pure as driven snow

Don't need a thing
when you're running wild . . .

– From "Digger"
by Jenny Morris, Mark Cawley, and Bill Baker
(recorded by Jenny Morris for her
1995 album Salvation Jane)


Lyrically, "In Too Deep" doesn't reflect the same feelings and experience of liberation as conveyed in "Digger" and some of the other tracks on Salvation Jane. However, its call to have faith in the journey, despite not always knowing the path or even the exact destination, definitely resonated with me when I first heard it, and still does to this day. Also, musically, "In Too Deep" was, and remains, one of my favorite tracks on the album.

About "In Too Deep," Wikipedia notes the following.

"In Too Deep" is a pop song written by Rick Nowels and produced by Andrew Farriss for Jenny Morris's fourth studio album Salvation Jane (1995). It was released as the album's fourth single but was not successful, peaking at #143 on the Australian ARIA singles chart. The song was covered by American singer Belinda Carlisle, produced by David Tickle for her sixth studio album A Woman and a Man (1996). Her version was much more successful commercially, charting at #6 in the UK and #11 in Australia.


Wow! That must have been a bummer: to have someone else score a hit with (to my ears, at least) an inferior version of a song that you first recorded but which didn't take off. I guess it happens a lot, though, in the music world.

As you probably have gathered, I definitely prefer Jenny's more acoustic-sounding recording to Belinda's more poppy, sing-along one. I also prefer the music video made by David Nelson to accompany Jenny's recording of "In Too Deep" – even if the one made for Belinda Carlisle's cover does feature a handsome man splashing around in a bathtub!

I can't be sure, but it looks like Jenny's video was filmed among the wharves and warehouses of Sydney Harbour. I love the diverse group of people she assembled for the video, some of whom are members of her backing band, the psychedelic pop group Electric Hippies. (This group, which included members of the revered Australian hard rock band Noiseworks, also co-produced Salvation Jane.) There's even a famous (and quite elderly) Australian artist thrown into the video's mix of eclectic characters!




For years, the only version of the video available on YouTube was a rather crappy one, quality-wise. I'm happy to report that that's no longer the case, thanks to "ohnoitisnathan75." True, it's not what you'd call top quality; it is, after all, clearly an uploaded home recording from the Australian TV music program rage. Still, it's certainly an improvement on what was once available.

So without further ado, here's Jenny Morris with "In Too Deep" . . .





So you may be wondering what Jenny Morris is currently up to. Well, unfortunately, she's no longer singing as in 2005 she was diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, a voice disorder characterized by involuntary movements or spasms of one or more muscles of the larynx during speech. Her last album was the sublime Hit & Myth in 2002.

She may no longer be recording but Jenny Morris is certainly not forgotten. Just this past Wednesday, for instance, Jenny was honored by the music industry at a special ceremony in Sydney. I'll close with the following piece by Iain Shedden from The Australian newspaper.


There was a lot of love in the room on Wednesday when singer Jenny Morris was honoured by the music industry at a ceremony in Sydney. Morris was the recipient of the Excellence in the Community award in recognition of her achievements behind the microphone and as a fundraiser for charities such as Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia and Support Act, the industry body that offers financial and other assistance to musicians in difficulty. Support Act was the host for the fundraising Music in the House event at the Ivy Ballroom on Wednesday and a star-studded roster of talent turned up to lend its support as well as to honour Morris. Actors Sam Neill and David Wenham were there, as was actress Rachel Ward, who hosted the event.

There were stellar performances of some of Morris’s best-known songs by other artists including Montaigne, who offered an admirable acoustic reading of "She Has to Be Loved," and Morris’s younger sister, Shanley Del, who did "Everywhere I Go." The star trio of the afternoon, however, featured Mark Lizotte and Neil Finn, Mark Lizotte and Jimmy Barnes.

The large crowd got more than it bargained for when the supergroup of sorts accidentally performed the two songs on its set list — "You I Know" and "Tears" — together instead of leaving "Tears" for the finale. Suddenly aware of their mistake, the three musos had to scurry off to the green room and learn a few more tunes with which to finish off the show after Morris’s gracious, funny and emotional acceptance speech. That turned out to be a blessing that sparked a standing ovation, with Morris, who had to stop singing after being diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia in 2005, joining the three stars and members of her family for a spirited performance of "Piece of My Heart," before the trio closed the show with Crowded House’s "Don’t Dream It’s Over."

The auction part of the function, conducted with some aplomb by ABC broadcaster Simon Marnie, raised thousands of dollars for Support Act, including $2600 from the sale of a black-and-white portrait of Morris by photographer Tony Mott.



Above: Jenny Morris with fellow luminaries of the Australian music scene Jimmy Barnes, Mark Lizotte and Neil Finn – Sydney, May 17, 2017. (Photo: Adam Taylor)


For more of Jenny Morris at The Wild Reed, see:
Saved Me
Crackerjack Man
Sometimes I Wonder . . .
Tears
Break in the Weather

Related Off-site Links:
Jenny Morris: Singer Reveals Career-ending Spasmodic Dysphonia Diagnosis, Hailed a "Real Hero" for Charity Work – Ben Cheshire (ABC News, October 12, 2015).
Jenny Morris Honoured for Fight for Musicians’ Rights as She Reveals She Was Assaulted on Stage – Kathy McCabe (The Daily Telegraph, March 25, 2017).
Singer Jenny Morris on Sharing a House with Michael Hutchence – Christine Sams (Domain, March 27, 2017).
Singer Jenny Morris Honoured in Sydney Ceremony – Iain Shedden (The Australian, May 20, 2017).

Previous featured artists at The Wild Reed:
Dusty Springfield | David Bowie | Kate Bush | Maxwell | Buffy Sainte-Marie | Prince | Frank Ocean | Maria Callas | Loreena McKennitt | Rosanne Cash | Petula Clark | Wendy Matthews | Darren Hayes | Jenny Morris | Gil Scott-Heron | Shirley Bassey | Rufus Wainwright | Kiki Dee | Suede | Marianne Faithfull | Dionne Warwick | Sam Sparro | Wanda Jackson | Engelbert Humperdinck | Pink Floyd | The Church | Enrique Iglesias | Yvonne Elliman | Lenny Kravitz | Helen Reddy | Stephen Gately | Judith Durham | Nat King Cole | Emmylou Harris | Bobbie Gentry | Russell Elliot | BØRNS | Hozier | Enigma | Moby (featuring the Banks Brothers) | Cat Stevens | Chrissy Amphlett | Jon Stevens | Nada Surf | Tom Goss (featuring Matt Alber) | Autoheart | Scissor Sisters | Mavis Staples | Claude Chalhoub | Cass Elliot | Duffy | The Cruel Sea | Wall of Voodoo | Loretta Lynn and Jack White | Foo Fighters | 1927 | Kate Ceberano | Tee Set | Joan Baez | Wet, Wet, Wet | Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy | Fleetwood Mac | Jane Clifton | Australian Crawl | Pet Shop Boys | Marty Rhone | Josef Salvat | Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri | Aquilo