Tori Amos to Celebrate Two Decades of RAINN

Categories: Tori Amos

RAINN Screen Capture
Tori Amos in an Early RAINN PSA
This weekend RAINN, the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network, is celebrating 20 years of providing an outlet for survivors and making a difference with a special banquet in Washington DC. Singer Tori Amos, who will be in attendance, has been a long time champion of the organization, even giving a memorable concert of her's benefitting RAINN aired on the Lifetime network in 1997. While Amos has been the name most associated with the organization, there have been a number of other known musicians ranging from R.E.M. and Sarah McLaughlin to Hootie and the Blowfish and Toad the Wet Sprocket who've helped raise awareness and donate their talents to RAINN. We spoke to RAINN co-founder Scott Berkowitz about how RAINN's grown over the past 20 years and the impact music's had on spreading the word.

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Tori Amos - Rough Trade NYC - 4/29/14

Credit: Abbey Raymonde // @abbey808

Every time Tori Amos returns to music, it feels as if she's been gone forever. The reality is she only breaks between album cycles for two, maybe three years. The time leading to her latest album has been one marked by a departure from the mainstream and into classical music (Night of Hunters), and one full of re-workings of songs spanning her then 20-year career (Gold Dust). Amos' 14th studio album, Unrepentant Geraldines, set to be released on May 13th, may be a return after her longest musical displacement yet. Judging by the sound of her newest songs, the alt-rock goddess has done nothing but find ways to fuel her musical fire.

See also: Y Tori Can Groove

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Underwhelmed And Overstimulated, Part III: Occupying The Year Of The Woman Cliché In Hopes Of Blowing It Up

Kanye West at Occupy Wall Street; confused woman.
Sound of the City's year-end roundtable, with contributions from Tom Ewing, Eric Harvey, Maura Johnston, Nick Murray, and Katherine St. Asaph, continues. Follow along here.

Hello all, and thanks! I'm honored to be here. Let's talk about the collapse of the global economy.

Or rather, let's not; as tempting as it is to link early 2011's glut of apocalyptic dance or late 2011's druggy numbness to financial panic or cultural malaise, you'd have to glibly ignore 99% of both music and the cultural moment. Even the arguments that almost worked didn't, like the reductive meme that Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne was just about being rich, not about the experience of being black and having become rich. And speaking of the 99%, it's far too soon to anoint any Occupy Wall Street anthem. (Sorry, Jonah, Miley's track is just a fanvid.) There's been music on the ground, of course, and there's an album coming out, but it's telling (of my now-bastardized Google Reader feed, if nothing else) that my main associations between music and Occupy are three things: the Radiohead non-concert that turned out to be a new-media bro's prank, the musicians whose Zuccotti cameos were probably out of good intent but in practice indistinguishable from photo ops, and the albums in Occupy's library, which was seized after the NYPD raids—alas, the cloud couldn't save it.

Nor can megastars—they're too busy mythologizing themselves to survive in lieu of those megasales. There are exceptions; candor in interviews and mega-megasales aside, you can't really call Adele a "celebrity," at least not using that term. (Contrary to rockist belief, this is not a selling point.) But take Rihanna, who's wearing herself out being better at this sort of thing than anyone else. Icky news stories? Out-ick them on Twitter! Gossip cackling about Chris Brown? Tease it in the "We Found Love" video! Moral guardians carping about being too sexy? Send racks of raunch down the Talk That Talk assembly line!

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The Ten Best Musician/Comic Artist Friendships

Grant Morrison in the video for My Chemical Romance's "Sing"

Grant Morrison is a U.K. comic book writer known for known for highly singular--or insane, if you prefer, in a good way--takes on established mainstream properties like X-Men and Doom Patrol as well as his own, peyotesque original series like The Invisibles and Seaguy. He is also a friend and mentor to My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way, and even adroitly played the part of "menacing bald guy in a rock video" for their "Sing" and "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" clips.

Their relationship is an example of a long-running but increasingly public trend. Comic books and rock/rap music have always had a close relationship. Both were tagged as mind-rotting, juvenile trash for much of their early existence, and over the years we've seen everything from KISS getting their own Marvel comic (printed in their own blood, they would have you believe) to Rivers Cuomo singing about his favorite X-Men members.

With the rise in cultural prominence and respect for funny-book creators, liking comic books--or graphic novels, if you're fancy--is no longer an activity that will blow your cultural cachet or get your lunch money stolen, and many musicians have quit being shy about waving their fanboy/fangirl flags. In honor of our recent Comics Issue, we present the ten best musician and graphic novel-type friendships. We even reached out to some of our favorite artists about their collaborations.

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