||DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE Silent All These Years: Sexual abuse, pop music
by Marc 'Moose' Moder
This article shared 2100 times since Wed Mar 2, 2016
The most powerful moment of the Oscars this past weekend was Lady Gaga's heart-wrenching performance of Diane Warren's "Til It Happens To You," nominated for Best Original Song. Her emotionally strained vocals were only amplified by a crowd of sexual assault victims joining her at the end with messages of trauma scrawled on their bodies. The rare moment of acknowledging sexual assault in an entertainment setting seemed right but rare. Sure, we often see rape and molestation in movies and TV, and we've had our fair share of movie ( Jared Leto, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby ) and music ( David Bowie, R. Kelly, Gary Glitter ) icons face accusations, sadly with little repercussions. But we rarely hear men or women confront the topic in song, seemingly until now. Looking back, though, it's been there all along.
In 1987, Sonic Youth gave us "Pacific Coast Highway," written by singer Kim Gordon from the vantage point of the rapist. In it, Gordon unleashes the rage and fear that the woman is feeling, while co-opting and ultimately undermining the power of the male. Much like Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" belittles the blue-collar bigoted character through dumb dialogue, Gordon does the same and makes the voice of her abuser so creepy you feel the victims own pain.
Although it now seems like a "bro" empowerment anthem, Pearl Jam's "Alive" is actually about an abusive oedipal situation. "Oh, she walks slowly. Across a young man's room. She said I'm ready, for you. I can't remember anything. To this very day. 'Cept the look, yeah the look. Oh, you know where". Written as part one of an abuse trilogy, "Alive" tells the story of a boy who looks just like his deceased birth father, who in turn is raped by his lonely mother.
Not a big single like "Alive" or her own "Silent All These Years" ( about an unplanned pregnancy, physical and emotional abuse ) Tori Amos' "Me and a Gun" directly addressed a time when she was raped at knifepoint. She said in a 1991 interview, "I was singing hymns, as I say in the song, because he told me to. I sang to stay alive. Yet I survived that torture, which left me urinating all over myself and left me paralyzed for years. That's what that night was all about, mutilation, more than violation through sex. I really do feel as though I was psychologically mutilated that night and that now I'm trying to put the pieces back together again. Through love, not hatred. And through my music. My strength has been to open again, to life, and my victory is the fact that, despite it all, I kept alive my vulnerability." Tori used that experience to write and used that writing to form her amazing organization, RAINN ( Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network ).
Though Lady Gaga didn't win the Oscar, Sam Smith's winning Bond theme will be forgotten in weeks, while Gaga's anthem will live on and hopefully inspire not only healing in the victims, but understanding and prevention for those of us to whom it hasn't happened.
RAINN's National Abuse Hotline is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-656-HOPE
This article shared 2100 times since Wed Mar 2, 2016
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|Lollapalooza expected to return July 29-Aug. 1 2021-05-14|
- The Lollapalooza Festival will return to Chicago with a four-day event at its usual place and date range Grant Park, July 29-Aug. 1according to Variety. The City of Chicago gave the event the green light ...
|Ann Hampton Callaway releases 'Revelation' 2021-05-12|
--From a press release - The latest in a string of singles, Ann Hampton Callaway, releases "Revelation", a song she composed to a Robert Frost poem which she kept in her jeans pocket when she was a teenager. Callaway wrote the ...
|Tina Turner, The Go-Go's among 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees 2021-05-12|
- The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame revealed its 2021 inductees, calling this class "the most diverse list of inductees in the history of the organization." In the Performer category, inductees include The Go-Go's, Tina Turner, ...
|Jody Watley: Conversation with an icon 2021-05-09|
- Singer Jody Watley has been many things during her illustrious career, including an activist, fashion plate—but, most certainly, a musician. Among her many achievements in that latter area are a Grammy win; a Lifetime Achievement Award ...
|SHOWBIZ Tig Notaro, films, E. Lynn Harris, Nick Jonas 2021-05-09|
- Emmy- and Grammy-nominated stand-up comedian Tig Notaro (HBO's Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted), will return to HBO this summer with the first-ever fully animated stand-up special, HBO announced. The special ...
|Citadel Theatre to return in fall with a four-show 2021-22 season 2021-05-08|
--From a press release - LAKE FOREST, IL - Citadel Theatre Company will return to live, in-person, indoor performances in September with a season of four productions — three plays plus the company's traditional holiday musical - according to Artistic Director ...
|Ravinia Festival announces 2021 summer programming 2021-05-06|
--From a press release - HIGHLAND PARK, IL — The Ravinia Festival, under the direction of its new President and CEO Jeffrey P. Haydon, announced the concert schedule for 2021 today, celebrating the reopening of the park for the first time ...
|Mayor Lightfoot, DCASE announce Chicago summer events 2021-05-06|
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Choose Chicago, and Chicago's cultural community today announced "Open Culture" — the next phase of ...
|Northalsted plans to hold Market Days Aug. 6-8 2021-05-04|
- The Northalsted Business Alliance plans to host Market Days August 6-8, adding a Friday night edition, the first in its 38-year history. As vaccinations increase and Illinois begins planning for stage 5 reopening, organizers of the ...
|Heather Headley to headline Goodman Theatre's May 22 virtual gala 2021-05-03|
- Goodman Theatre announced that Tony-winning Broadway actor and Grammy Award-winning singer Heather Headley will headline the company's "Together Center Stage" virtual 2021 gala fundraiser. "Together Center Stage" is slated to stream Saturday, May 22, ...
|Jeannie Tanner show at City Winery on May 20 2021-05-03|
- On Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m., City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St., will host the first in-person performance of "3 Martini Jeannie." Throughout the pandemic, every Friday at 5 p.m., Tanner celebrated the close ...
|Vintage House show honoring Chicago House Music with DJ Lori Branch May 5 2021-05-03|
--From a press release - Chicago, IL. May 3, 2021. Paving the way for every DJ behind her, DJ Lori Branch is continuously receiving flowers for her talents and dedication to music. Currently, through May, Spotify (spotify.com/chicago) billboards highlighting Chicago music ...
|Windy City Smokeout to return July 8-11 2021-04-29|
- The outdoor country-music/BBQ festival Windy City Smokeout will return to Chicago on July 8-11 outside the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. Hosted by BBQ joint Bub City and the venue Joe's Bar, the event will ...
|Pride in the Park' on June 26-27 2021-04-29|
- There will be at least one big LGBTQ+ event in Chicago this summer. Pride in the Park is slated to take place June 26-27 in Grant Park. It will be 2-10 p.m. on June 26, and 3-10 p.m. the following day. ...
|SHOWBIZ 'Joe Exotic' series, Luther Vandross, singer's announcement, star couples 2021-04-25|
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch's John Cameron Mitchell has been tapped to play the title character opposite Kate McKinnon in the series Joe Exotic (working title), Deadline reported. The limited series centers on Carole Baskin (McKinnon), ...