Speaking of Marilyn Monroe and the Mocambo in Hollywood. In 1955, Ms. Monroe persuaded the owner of the Mocambo to hire Ella Fitzgerald (the Mocambo did not book Black artists).
Ms. Fitzgerald on Ms. Monroe to Ms. magazine in 1972: “I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him - and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status - that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman - a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”
Sometimes I find myself almost panicking about the media's narrow and twisted portrayals of young women, the sexualization of girls and the backlash against women that it all represents.
I caught up with a precious friend from high school on the weekend and spent a number of moments panicking about it again. Chris assured me I would work it out.
Another dear friend Maree sent me this link today. I'm comforted, reassured and inspired by this. There are more of us than a tiddly wee few who want sharper awareness, change and guts shown by and for women.
A heartfelt and very strong poem performed by Kate Wilson:
Just when I thought the whole world had turned into miserable versions of Paris Hilton or Christine Freaking Aguilera (Please God, can you make them go away?) I discover these marvelous pieces of sound and picture.
They feature women doing something other than being porn stars. Rebellious hey. Who woulda, I mean who woulda thought.
Ms Dynamite is even regarded as feminist in da rap and hip hop crib ugh. And Boy Does That Community Need a Feminist.
Here's Mark Ronson and The Business Intl. Female depictions are by MNDR and remind me in a delightful way of Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson of the B52's. But you know what? This is just a great and playful clip.
Dy-na-mi-tee next folks. Try and get this one out of your head after you play it - it's gorgeous...
"It's, as I say, a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.... It's a rather joyous song." ~ Leonard Cohen.
My favourite song ever, sung by someone completely unknown to me and she's has nailed it entirely. Covered by scores of high cool artists, this song for me is best handled by a woman called Allison Crowe. I'll even overlook the fact she spells Alison wrong. This is tear-inducing:
It's true that I'm a big supporter of Australian music, films and art. It's because I live here and it represents my own experience oftentimes. It's also because I know how hard it's been for us to get an identity of our own.
You might say I was always like it. I like to give the impression I have been. But a deep secret within surfaced two weeks ago.
I never appreciated Christina Amphlett (Divinyls) all those years ago. Oh I had a passing interest, but I admit at the time if it came to girl/bands -it was the B52's for me.
Little did I realize, that we had a precious gem-girl in the form of Ms Amphlett.
Last week, I hit up youtube for some old clips and found her. The sexy, pissed-off, inyaface and funny Christina Amphlett. She of a greatness in stage performance: Bless that girl. She was very freaking good.
Oz bands still have to "proove" themselves, but it aint so bad now. The Divinyls really did have a lot to give, and damn they gave it, in an small and difficult local industry. More admirable now in hindsight. From 1984:
Photo of Christina from here, where she talks about her own experience of Multiple Sclerosis.