Sunday, June 21, 2009

Christine Anu (thanks, Jack)

When we returned from our 2007 Australia holiday, I listened to Christine Anu's "My Island Home" too many times.

I was very sad; missed Australia so much. I liked the song because it's about missing a place you love, and trying to deal with being in a place you don't want to be.

I would put on the song, sit in my chair, and cry.

I would cry for myself, and I would also cry for my cousin who is an expat in Australia. She wasn't happy. She wanted to go home.

The good news is both my cousin and I are doing much better.

I'm okay with being in America.

She's okay being in Australia.

I do get sad every so often. Last weekend I thought of Sydney and had a few tears. But such is life.....

These days I feel less self-pity about not living in Australia. Instead, I feel grateful that I have this passion for Australia. I'm grateful I have all these beautiful memories of Australia. I hope to go back there someday, but if not....I'm fairly satisfied with what I've already gotten.

Well, let's start talking about the woman who sings the beautiful song. I was going to say the woman who WROTE the song, but I don't think she did. There was an Aboriginal band that wrote it. I think?

You know I just remembered something. My Island Home is NOT the first song I heard from Anu. We had a Wiggles video at the lake house with her singing on it. The song is "Taba Naba".

All right. I'm going to start talking to Lord Wiki.

Baby Christine was born on 15 March 1970. She's about three weeks younger than my older sister. I can probably assume them that she's a Pisces like my sister. Oh yeah. She definitely is. I just realized her birthday is a day before my niece's birthday. My niece is a Pisces, so there you go.....

I'll look on the birthday calculator for the numerology number.

She is an 8.

My dad is an 8.

8 is about financial success.

An 8 Pisces would probably be a rich spiritual person. You know what would be the epitome of an 8 Pisces? A person who makes money from writing spiritual self help books. Jane Roberts! She would be the perfect 8 Pisces.

Back to Anu. She was born in Cairns. Her parents were Torres Strait Islanders. They were from the islands Saibai and Mabuiag.

I want to learn more about these islands.

Lord Wiki says Saibai is between the mainland of Australia and Papa New Guinea. Lord Wiki has a map and it looks close to that big pointy part of Queensland.

The population of the island (in 2006) was 337. Wow. That's not a lot of people.

Mabuiag island is in the same general area. The population of that one (in 2006) was 251.

Anu began her career as a dancer and back up singer. She did work with a group called the Rainmakers which included Neil Murray from the Warumpi Band. It turns out it was Murray that wrote the song that made me cry so much.

Anu's first recording was in 1993. It was a cover of a Paul Kelly song..."Last Train". I'm listening to the song now. I like it.

Her next song was "Monkey and the Turtle". It was released in 1995. That year she had three other popular songs including "My Island Home". There was also "My Party" and "Come On".

I couldn't find a video for "My Party", but I did find a video for another party song.

It seems like 1995 was a big year for Anu. She won an ARIA award for best female recording artist. She also won an award from the Deadlys. What a name! It's not as morbid as it might sound. The Deadlys are awards for Torres Strait Islanders. No, wait they're for both Torres Strait Islanders AND Aboriginals. I was confused at first because I saw Ursula Yovich won a recent award. I was thinking....I didn't know she was a Torres Strait Islander.

Oh wait. Yovich wasn't a 2008 winner. I guess she just performed at the ceremonies.

The weird thing is the Deadly website has commercials and the commercials are American. I don't get that.

Baz Luhrmann got into the Christine Anu game. He asked her to sing in an album he made called Something for Everybody. I didn't know the guy did albums. Did I miss that when I was researching him? Or did I write about it and forget about it?

The song Anu did for the album was "Now Until the Break of Day". It was released as a single and did pretty well. This led her being cast in Moulin Rouge. Isn't that song IN Moulin Rouge? Or at least there's a chorus of a song that says now until the break of day. I thought the song though was called "Come What May". I could be wrong.

No. I'm right.

No. Actually I'm wrong. There actually are no lyrics in Come What May that say now until the break of day. I guess I dreamed that. The lyrics say I will love you until my dying day.

Oops.

The year 2000 was another big year for Anu. She released an album called Come My Way. It did well on the charts. One of the singles on the song was a cover of Zoe's Sunshine on a Rainy Day.

That year Anu sang My Island Home at the Olympics.

Christine Anu doesn't just sing. She does acting as well.

She was in a movie called Dating the Enemy. It's a body switching/freaky friday type thing. I don't think Anu has a huge part though.

In the 90's she did some stage stuff....Little Shop of Horrors and Rent. I miss Little Shop of Horrors. I haven't seen it in a long time.

Anu had the part in Moulin Rouge. She also had a role in one of the sequels to The Matrix. Anu plays a character named Kali. I have no idea who that is. I didn't really watch much of the sequels. They looked boring to me. Apparently though, Kali is the leader of the Brahma. What is the Brahma?

Oh... A Zion hovercraft. And yes, it's named after a Hindu God. I thought that name sounded familiar.

The Zion are the last humans on Earth.

I'm getting intrigued by all this Matrix Mythology. Since I never really saw the sequels, I never found out what happened.

Here's something about Anu that totally wins me over.

Im 2004, she was a judge on a reality talent show called Popstars Live. The show didn't do well. In order to increase their ratings, the judges were told they need to offer harsher criticism to the contestants. Anu refused to do this and resigned. She said, I chose to play a positive role model and wanted to encourage these young people in their endeavours, rather than criticise them.

Amen. Thank you Christine Anu.

I am disgusted with how cruel criticism and insults pass as entertainment these days. People today are no different than the Romans really. We might not be entertained by the physical harm of our fellow human beings, but we're very much entertained by the psychological harm.

It's very sad.

All right. I'm done with Lord Wiki. What comes next?

Here's the official website.

The website doesn't really have much. I do see that she recently did a performance in Vanuatu.

She is on MySpace. She logged in recently.  June 9.

There's a listing of her upcoming performances. They're labeled as being PVT. I'm not sure what that stands for.

For July 25, it says busy. What does that mean? I'd imagine she'd be busy everyday. What's so special about that particular day?

She has some biographical information. I'm going to read that.

She studied dance at NAISDA in Sydney. NAISDA looks pretty cool. It's a college where you can learn Aboriginal dance. I wonder if you have to be an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander to go there.

Anu named her first child Kuiam. The MySpace says he was named after a famous Torres Strait Islander head hunter. Yikes! I guess he was also a respected warrior.

She played the character of Mimi in Rent. New York was impressed with her performance, and they wanted her to come to Broadway to do it. She declined the offer, wanting to work on more albums instead.

Here's an interview with Christine Anu about parenting.

They ask her what's the hardest part of being a mom. She says, Feeling guilty! There is never enough hours in the day to fit in everybody's needs (including my own).

I don't feel that too much. I guess it's because I have only one child.

Her advice for parents is to be alone with baby and tune into baby's responses to their new world - mothers can sense what baby needs better than anyone else can.

I agree with that. I think mothers have some kind of biological thing that makes them naturally more likely to know what the baby needs. BUT I think anyone who spends a lot of time with the baby will be able to fill that role. If the mother is not around, I think the father, grandparent, nanny, etc. can probably do just as well.

In 2006, Anu participated in a walk to fight Diabetes. The article says that type 2 Diabetes is four times more likely in Aboriginal Australians than in white Australians. I wonder if that comes from mostly genetics or environment. Well, the Mayo Clinic lists both genetic and lifestyle risk factors.

I looked that up actually because I was involved in an online discussion/debate (civil thankfully!) about the genetics of eating disorders. There are some people out there who STRONGLY emphasis the genetics of eating disorders. They see it is like any other disease. It's in your genes. That is that. Nothing else is to blame.

My argument back was that almost all diseases have both environmental and genetic causes. It's not nature vs. nurture. It's nature AND nurture.

We all have genes that make it more likely we're going to get a certain disease. But in many diseases there are environmental factors that determine whether we'll get the disease or not.

This recent blog entry says that Anu was appointed patron of a charity called Buk bilong Pikinini. They help bring books to Papa New Guinea.

Oh cool. Here's an interview with Anu on the ABC website.

She says she was seven when she realized she had a good voice.

I think I was about the same age when I realized I had such a fabulous voice. The only problem is no one else seems to agree with me. Oh well. They just have bad ears. That explains it all...Right?

Anu says singing is her passion.

The interview didn't really give me that much information.

I'm moving onto another one. Here's one from a single parent website.

She says outside of singing, she's nervous in front of a crowd.

She talks about a children's album she did called Chrissy Island Family.

The album has a website.

Wait. News Bulletin!!!!

Jack just lost a tooth!!!!

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled program.

You can hear songs from the album. They have their version of "Waltzing Matilda". It's very pretty. It might be my favorite version of that song.

I'm looking at Google News now.

Anu was accused of being homophobic in 2007.   I hope there's no truth to the accusation.

It seems what happened is Anu's friend was bothered by the police. Anu intervened and was asked if she was her friend's partner. Anu acted offended by that.

On the surface it does sound a bit homophobic. It doesn't mean a reaction like that proves someone is anti-gay. It could be just that they're uncomfortable with the idea of themselves being gay. There's definitely degrees to homophobia. There's the people who think homosexuals are the scums of the earth and deserve to die. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have people who are okay with OTHER people being gay. But they want to make sure the world knows they themselves are not gay.

I really don't know what happened with Anu. She might be a little homophobic. She says she has gay friends, but that doesn't really prove anything. She could be totally NOT homophobic. The police might have asked the question in a degrading way. His tone might have been what offended Anu.

Well, I'm going to stop here.

I think we're all going to go swimming....minus one tooth.