October 21, 2014
MUSIC Reinventing music comes easy for Jude
by Hannah Allen White
Oct 15, 2013 | 1052 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jude Gonzales of Reinventing Jude. Photo courtesy of Reinventing Jude
Jude Gonzales of Reinventing Jude. Photo courtesy of Reinventing Jude
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If you follow music news at all, you’ve probably heard about the open letter/Tweet exchange between Sinead O’Conner and little miss provocative Miley Cyrus last week. If you haven’t, I’ll fill you in: Cyrus appears to be going through that awkward phase all female former child stars seem to have. Those of us who have been around longer than say, one news cycle, might see this for what it is. But in response to being cited as an inspiration in everything from an overtly adult music video to an unconventional haircut in a recent Rolling Stone interview, O’Conner wrote a response in the form of an open letter to the former Disney starlet, saying Cyrus should go ahead and put some clothes on, and remember that she’s a great singer, not a flash-in-the-pan pop tart.

Cyrus, lest we forget, is a 20-year-old woman who, presumably, gets her way at all times and reworked some of O’Conner’s less-than-flattering Tweets from 2011 during a period of admitted mental illness. O’Conner fired back with another letter condemning Cyrus for being insensitive and ugly about those suffering from mental illness, again pointing out clothes might be a good idea and promised there would be words from her attorney. Pretty dramatic.

In response to both O’Conner’s strongly worded chastisements, punk cabaret sweetheart and Sinead O’Connor fan Amanda Palmer climbed onto her black lace-covered soap box and penned an open letter of her own while on a flight to Dallas for an appearance at a Girls Rock Dallas benefit concert. This letter reminds Sinead O’Connor that transformation and reinvention is part of every female’s journey. It concludes with the remarkable declaration, “It is always my fantasy that we can take these painful experiences and feed them back to the upcoming generation of women rockers in a way that creates a larger playing field instead of a smaller one. I want female musicians to feel like they can do more with their mad artistic energy, not LESS.”

Social media has exploded with all manner of responses and condemnations regarding both O’Connor and Cyrus, but I think Palmer makes an interesting point.

Perhaps that point struck a particular chord with me since I had chosen a female musician who values that “mad artistic energy” and transformation to the point that she included it in her band’s name this week.

“I think every artist needs more room,” Jude Gonzales, of Reinventing Jude, said in response to the star-studded, virtual feud. “What women need is more dignity. I think it would be great if there were more women that kicked butt in the music world — I want to be one!”

Reinventing Jude released its fourth album called Sundial Soliloquy this past weekend, which Gonzales refers to as her “Russian Waltz” since, true to form, she and the group reinvented themselves from their 2012 singer/songwriter centric Shoulder Season. Gonzales said reinvention is an empowering concept for her and joked that she even rearranges the furniture in her home several times a month. The idea found her early as a homeschooled child when her mother taught her the phrase “reinventing the wheel.” Since then, it has permeated her musical journey, which began at about eight years of age.

“Why not combine all the things I love and spit it back out my way?” she asked after talking about her newest interest — Latin Jazz. “My music will know no bounds — ever.”

Gonzales collaborated with acclaimed producer Salim Nourallah on Soliloquy, and the result is an album that has the feeling of a carnival vignette at dusk. Gonzales’ vocals are impressive and grittier than her previous releases while managing to be vulnerable and strong simultaneously.

“Everything supports her voice and her guitar,” Nourallah said. “Her band very deftly maneuvers their way around these songs.”

Around town Reinventing Jude is known for having a diverse and sometimes extensive line-up with any number of crazy instrument combinations during their live performances, Soliloquy manages to capture that in a very authentic way without falling flat.

“She’s another great example of great Dallas talent right under our noses,” Nourallah said. “More people need to know about her — she’s special.”

Gonzales said she already has the next several albums written but looks forward to reinventing everything about herself as she moves forward.

“This is the most honest recording I’ve put out yet,” Gonzales said. “I would not be happy doing anything else.”

Visit reinventingjude.com to check out her music.
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