Everything That Rises Must Converge: Amanda Palmer, Power & Times Up
Featuring the single Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now
EVERYTHING THAT RISES MUST CONVERGE
Amanda Palmer, Power, and Times Up
Hunter S. Jones
Musician and best-selling author Amanda Palmer took some time to chat with me this morning about her new song, Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now. I was stunned by her candor and ability to communicate. The song is breathtaking, heartbreaking, and it connects on so many levels. After hearing it last night, I sat in silence for at least twenty minutes attempting to grasp the emotions I felt, and the questions I needed to ask her about this song.
Hunter S. Jones: A lot has been written about you, but how would you describe yourself in twenty words or less?
Amanda Palmer: Different, Artistic, Song writer, Book writer, Connector, Communicator.
HSJ: In the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, there’s the quote “musicians are touched on the shoulder by God” due to their power to help heal those who feel isolated and lonely. As a powerful woman who is a musician, performance artist, and writer, what or who has been your inspiration/motivation?
AP: I had a diet of Madonna and Cindy Lauper; I clutched onto them. Growing up, I only heard the music of men; music that was dominated by males—The Beatles, Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Prince. I wanted to be a man. They are great artists, but I was scared of women. By my twenties, I found the strength of women in Alison Moyet, Laurie Anderson, Tori Amos, and Ani DiFranco. They enlightened me.
HSJ: How has being a female in the arts helped you?
AP: As a female…I don’t know. There are two sides to every coin. People don’t like an opinionated woman. The secret weapon as a female is that we are emotional, and people accept it. We can be physical, holding hands; this may not be possible for men.
HSJ: How has being a female in the arts hindered your career?
AP: It’s hard to be counted. It made me independent. I built my own world. Any woman who is vocal—in any industry, who expresses her own narrative—will be scrutinized. It’s the spectre of patriarchy.
HSJ: Do you believe this song is gender specific, or do male artists need to be involved in this conversation?
AP: Male artists have to be involved. Abuses are not limited to men. Harvey Weinstein and Bill Crosby are examples of men abusing power—male on female. It’s the structure that has been built by power. Women are victims. There are two sides of the narrative. And yes, men have to join the conversation.
HSJ: At the opening night reveal party, how did you feel when you experienced the crowd’s reaction to this song?
AP: The song was debuted in the dark. You could feel the sense of community, the understanding. Everyone just hugged and held hands. You could sense the emotions.
HSJ: In your opinion, what is the most powerful lesson contained in this song—the healing aspect or the candor of the topic?
AP: That’s up to the audience to decide. I’m…just…
HSJ: One last question, on a different note: you seem to have a fascination with New Orleans. Can you elaborate on that for me?
AP: It’s warm! I have a lot of friends there. There’s a love of the arts and an energy that can’t be found anywhere else.
Many thanks to Amanda and her team for the time and opportunity to share this powerful song and interview with you today. Here’s the vid and background of how the project developed.
Digital TrackStreaming + DownloadIncludes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
time’s up, mofos. 100% of the digital sales of this song until june 30th are going to be donated to the TimesUp legal defense fund. https://www.gofundme.com/timesup
“Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now”
Song origin story by Amanda Palmer:
The song began as a “let’s write something, anything together” jam session between me and Jasmine Power, a 24-year-old Welsh songwriter who happened to be over to dinner party at my house, she’d been randomly invited over by a mutual Welsh playwright pal of ours, Hywel John. We’d never heard each other’s music, and after bonding over a late night music-sharing-wine-party, we found ourselves in a studio three days later, excited to create something from scratch.
The news cycle of truth-telling women was just hitting fever pitch, and I found myself thinking about closed doors to hotel rooms across the world and over time and how they’ve been the backdrops of so many of these painful encounters. That was the starting point, and we wrote with the idea of a split self: two voices inside one woman’s head. British film-music arranger, Sketch & Dodds, then added strings and orchestration to make the track more cinematic; almost overdoing it at points to kick Hollywood in the face. It doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever made before, it’s almost a mini piece of theater.
I’ve been fiddling in my own head for months with ideas for songs and tunes to address the #MeToo movement, and it’s such a hard thing to write about it. It’s so personal to these women, these stories, and it felt too wrong to write something funny and cabaret, the topic is too harrowing. It’s not surprising that, just like the movement itself, it took two women getting into a room together, comparing notes and joining forces to create something almost like an anthem for taking back our narrative.
The working title of the song was “The Hotel Room”, then I thought it’d be a stronger statement to call it “Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now.” I mentioned the title to my patrons online and one of my feminist writer friends texted me, warning me that the title itself could be controversial. When I asked why, she said, “Because you cannot tell a story that isn’t yours, not this one”. I didn’t agree with that one, as I think that spells the end of all art as we know it, but I said, “What if I asked Rose McGowan to read the lyrics and tell me her own opinion?” So I tweeted Rose McGowan the lyrics, and she gave us her blessing to use the title.
Every time I hear this track I get goosebumps.
Every time I play the track for one of my female friends, we have an important moment together.
I don’t know if most people will even understand this song – and I don’t care.
The women we wrote it for will understand.
For further info on Amanda Palmer, please email: email@example.com
To connect with Welsh Artist & Songwriter, Jasmine Power:
Instagram: jasziepower (Jasmine Power) – https://www.instagram.com/jasziepower/
Facebook: jasziepower (Jasmine Power) – https://www.facebook.com/jasziepower
Song written by Amanda Palmer, Jasmine Power and Sketch & Dodds
Vocals: Amanda Palmer and Jasmine Power
Piano: Sketch & Dodds
Photo: coco karol
Design: andrew nelson
Production: Sketch & Dodds
Strings: 7 Suns Quartet
Cello: Earl Maneein
Violin: Jennifer DeVore
Interview edits by Safeword Author Services