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Alanis Morissette Feeling No Pain
In theory, a name should tell you a little bit about something or someone. Mom, dog, Ginger, Rock.. . you get the picture.
Alanis Morissette's name gives insight into her personality in one way - it's complicated and different. But from the meaning point of view - her name couldn't be more different than her personality. The definition for the word 'alanis' in an old English dictionary is; a vacant plot of land; often used to describe alayabout.
Alanis Morissette is anything but vacant. The feisty 24 year old Canadian opened the door for Girl Power with her honest, biting views on life, love and relationships. Metaphorically, Alanis stripped naked, showed her heart, and won acclaim beyond her wildest fantasies. 'The most ironic thing was that the moment I let go and stopped wanting to be a celebrity, was the moment that I got more of it than I'd ever gotten in my life', reveals Alanis. 'I can't forget that, what led me into this fulfilled place.'
Years of writing and therapy has helped Alanis channel the anger out of her system. While she may have been a finicky kid, she's totally got it together as she enters adulthood. 'Anger is a cowardly expression of pain,' declares Alanis, who uses her songs to channel her pain and her anger. The world can relate. Chart riding anthems like 'You Oughta Know' and 'Ironic' share a vulnerability many of us are familiar with.
Alanis Morissette has a unique voice. The Ottawa-born feminist's last album, 1994's Jagged Little Pill, could have been interpreted as the whining of a poor little rich girl. Instead, the disc became quite the event. The album was accepted and adopted globally. By the time Alanis finished her world tour, Jagged Little Pill had sold some 26 million copies worldwide, making it one of the biggest selling albums ever by a female performer.
Now.. as they have been for the past couple of years... fans of Alanis' biting poetry and euphoric live performances are diligently awaiting the release of her next album. She's been working with producer/co-writer Glen Ballard since last winter, creating and recording, allowing the record to bloom. The album will be done when it's done. Nobody's in any particular hurry. 'I write all the time,and when it's time to do a record I will wake up one morning and it will be done,' shares Alanis holistically. 'No pressure. It'll happen when it's supposed to happen.'But when?
'I'm very inspired right now. So i'm not worried.' Word on the wire has it that Alanis' new album 'Desperately Yours', will be released in the heat of the Summer. The tunes are whole, honest visions of life through Alanis' spectacles. There are relationship and slice of life songs such as 'No Pressure Over Cappucino,' 'Can't Not,' 'King Of Intimidation' and 'Death Of Cinderella.' Other tunes like 'Fretboard Hold' and 'The Bottom Line' have a freer spirit.
Alanis is pretty insistent about being pure of motivation. For her, music is catharsis. When she was younger instead or crying or yelling, she played her guitar, and went to her therapist. Playing the guitar and singing is the purist form of expression Alanis has to share. When she is onstage she is stripped bare, and reveling in it all. Her fans get off on her pure, unadulterated passion. It's a win-win situation for everybody. 'I'm a little bit in denial about what's happened,' admits Alanis. 'I now look back to what I was doing when I was 15 and go Whoah! I see it very objectively now because of the years that have gone by, so I think the same thing will happen with what's going on right now. Maybe when I am 30 or 40 i'll look back and go, I'm trying to keep it together right now. I'm kind of in the eye of the storm and it's very calm and peaceful.' Brains and success seem to rule in the Morissette household. Ironically, Alanis is not considered to be the smartest or the most talented one in her family. Those praises go to her older brother Chad, a businessman who has always been the 'brain' of the Morissette family. She also has a twin brother, Wade, who is older by 12 minutes. Alanis and Wade are best friends and have a special connection like all twins do. They seem to know what each other is thinking. Alanis is a hippie at heart. She says that if she were going to be sent somewhere else in time, she'd like to be part of 'the whole hippie era, definitely.' Her looks and her environment reflect that attitude. Her house is ladden with incence and candles, simple and elegant, without a lot of electronics. If she weren't globetrotting the world all the time, she'd have dogs but no cats, because she is allergic to felines.
For those of you who can't wait until summer for a new Alanis Morissette album, there is new music out there. A track called 'Uninvited' was written for the soundtrack of 'City of Angels'. The film is a remake of the 1987 Wim Wenders film 'Wings of Desire,' this time around starring Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage. The remake is being directed by Brad Silberling, who shot the 1995 friendly ghost flick 'Casper'. Need more? There's a video, Jagged Little Pill, Live. The video includes performances of all cuts on the CD of the same name, many of them with multiple renditions, plus two new songs. In addition to the regular stage shows, there's special appearances including the MTV Video Awards, plus interviews and backstage footage of Morissette and her then-band.
Want to read? There are two new books on the market, 'You Oughta Know' by Paul Cantin and 'Ironic' by Bary Grills. And the new album and tour will be along shortly. If ever anyone were to take things as they come, it's Alanis. 'When I was young and wrote poetry it was a stream-of-consciousness process, a very unfettered kind of crazy experience,' she concludes. 'When I go into the studio I want to apply that to my songs. It got so many thumbs up, so many pats on the back last time, I know this is the right thing to do on a new album.'