'When I first started, I talked about things I should have kept private,' said Tori Amos

My parents and I have finally reached a truce.

My dad’s 84 now and he’s become more chilled out as the years have gone by. As far as religion goes, we can now agree to disagree. Half my childhood was spent in church, Bible classes, choir practice and religious youth groups. That went on until I left home at 21.



Fiona Apple Balances Intensity, Wit at the Hollywood Palladium

Singer wrings out her emotions at hometown show

Fiona Apple is a lover and a fighter who doesn’t differentiate much between a strike and a kiss. The stormy dynamics of her romantic relationships, excavated in many of her songs, carried through on stage at the Hollywood Palladium Sunday, where she gripped her face, pulled on her hair and lashed her voice until it frayed. It was Apple’s way of wooing a devoted hometown crowd full of fans who sang along and screamed “I love you!”

She arrived apologizing for being half an hour late, blaming her nerves. But for all her human emotions, Apple also seems to think of herself as a machine who can survive, even thrive, when pushed to extremes. She hovered on the brink of breakdown during “Criminal,” standing at the microphone with her gaunt frame folded into itself as she tore into the self-flagellating lyrics. Apple kept her eyes shut, as if she didn’t want to witness her own thrashing.
Fortunately, Apple balances the intensity with theatrical wit. That combination has never been more mesmerizing than on her new album, “The Idler Wheel.” Influenced by her Broadway veteran parents and cabaret-singing sister Maude Maggart, Apple sometimes seems like Edith Piaf if she’d grown up watching Girls. While her backing band re-created the churn and clatter of “Anything We Want,” Apple sang the song’s most playful line in a quavering voice: “Let’s pretend like we’re eight years old playing hooky/ I’ll draw on the wall and you can play UFC rookie.”
The small group of musicians on stage with Apple, including guitarist Blake Mills (who opened the evening with an intriguing set of country-tinged porch music), took two tacks in supporting their little sparrow. Their playing was muscular and bruising in “On the Bound,” all the better for Apple to rush to her piano and plunk out a few chords.
Other times they hewed close to the bare percussive settings of “Idler Wheel.” Though the audience gamely followed either course, the more bluesy treatments of Apple’s older songs sometimes made them feel out of date. For “Sleep to Dream,” Mills finished the song with a blast of guitar soloing that felt more appropriate for a honky-tonk dive. It seemed like the guitar was intended as the instrumental copy of Apple’s feral but controlled vocals, but the song sounded fresher when it was stripped back.
For “Daredevil,” the band’s muscle seamlessly meshed with the song’s minimal rhythms. Drummer Amy Wood raced along with Apple, who by the end of the song had found her way to her own pair of mallets, bringing them down for the last beat. It was one of the few moments when Apple seemed a little more loose, her body not wired to explode. Throughout the evening, her tension simultaneously connected her to the crowd and kept her at some distance.
But her focus was always dazzling, as were the limber tones of her voice, from supple conversation to hoarse despair. With her low moan drawing out the chorus of “Shadowboxer,” her defensive posturing seemed more convincing than ever. Apple was only 18 when the song came out in 1996 and already hip to love’s tricks. But now at age 34, she’s smart enough to know that spotting the dangers doesn’t offer any real protection from getting ensnared all over again.
Skipping the formalities of the encore with a funny little speech about it, Apple launched into a lovely cover of Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe,” which she delivered with the conviction of someone who intimately knows that fantasies can keep us going through the darkest hours.

Fiona Apple Balances Intensity, Wit at the Hollywood Palladium

Singer wrings out her emotions at hometown show

Fiona Apple is a lover and a fighter who doesn’t differentiate much between a strike and a kiss. The stormy dynamics of her romantic relationships, excavated in many of her songs, carried through on stage at the Hollywood Palladium Sunday, where she gripped her face, pulled on her hair and lashed her voice until it frayed. It was Apple’s way of wooing a devoted hometown crowd full of fans who sang along and screamed “I love you!”

She arrived apologizing for being half an hour late, blaming her nerves. But for all her human emotions, Apple also seems to think of herself as a machine who can survive, even thrive, when pushed to extremes. She hovered on the brink of breakdown during “Criminal,” standing at the microphone with her gaunt frame folded into itself as she tore into the self-flagellating lyrics. Apple kept her eyes shut, as if she didn’t want to witness her own thrashing.

Fortunately, Apple balances the intensity with theatrical wit. That combination has never been more mesmerizing than on her new album, “The Idler Wheel.” Influenced by her Broadway veteran parents and cabaret-singing sister Maude Maggart, Apple sometimes seems like Edith Piaf if she’d grown up watching Girls. While her backing band re-created the churn and clatter of “Anything We Want,” Apple sang the song’s most playful line in a quavering voice: “Let’s pretend like we’re eight years old playing hooky/ I’ll draw on the wall and you can play UFC rookie.”

The small group of musicians on stage with Apple, including guitarist Blake Mills (who opened the evening with an intriguing set of country-tinged porch music), took two tacks in supporting their little sparrow. Their playing was muscular and bruising in “On the Bound,” all the better for Apple to rush to her piano and plunk out a few chords.

Other times they hewed close to the bare percussive settings of “Idler Wheel.” Though the audience gamely followed either course, the more bluesy treatments of Apple’s older songs sometimes made them feel out of date. For “Sleep to Dream,” Mills finished the song with a blast of guitar soloing that felt more appropriate for a honky-tonk dive. It seemed like the guitar was intended as the instrumental copy of Apple’s feral but controlled vocals, but the song sounded fresher when it was stripped back.

For “Daredevil,” the band’s muscle seamlessly meshed with the song’s minimal rhythms. Drummer Amy Wood raced along with Apple, who by the end of the song had found her way to her own pair of mallets, bringing them down for the last beat. It was one of the few moments when Apple seemed a little more loose, her body not wired to explode. Throughout the evening, her tension simultaneously connected her to the crowd and kept her at some distance.

But her focus was always dazzling, as were the limber tones of her voice, from supple conversation to hoarse despair. With her low moan drawing out the chorus of “Shadowboxer,” her defensive posturing seemed more convincing than ever. Apple was only 18 when the song came out in 1996 and already hip to love’s tricks. But now at age 34, she’s smart enough to know that spotting the dangers doesn’t offer any real protection from getting ensnared all over again.

Skipping the formalities of the encore with a funny little speech about it, Apple launched into a lovely cover of Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe,” which she delivered with the conviction of someone who intimately knows that fantasies can keep us going through the darkest hours.

I been meaning to post my Fiona updates/articles from The Hollywood Palladium, but been super busy.

So… Today I’ll post since it’s the only time I’ll have. Last Sunday, a week ago today was the Hollywood show I attended.

The downtown ingénue takes on bigger audiences and weightier issues.

This is a great article!

Plotting her next piece of stunning sacrilege

Plotting her next piece of stunning sacrilege

regina spektor

Fiona Apple feels guilty about including songs about exes on album

Fiona Apple was uncertain about including songs about her failed relationships on her new album because it could set her up for awkward situations with her ex-partners’ new girlfriends.

The 34-year-old, who recently released her first album in seven years, sat down with a journalist from Interview magazine to talk about the inspiration behind several of the new tunes.

During the discussion, Apple admitted she was wary about including romantic songs about her ex-boyfriends – director Paul Thomas Anderson, who is now dating “Bridesmaids” star Maya Rudolph, and writer Jonathon Ames – because she didn’t want their new lovers to feel threatened and uncomfortable.

Apple, who wrote a track about Ames in the midst of their relationship, said, “I was staying in an apartment in New York and he was just starting up his (TV) show (‘Bored to Death’). I was writing this instrumental thing that I’d started after he had taken me to Coney Island – he takes all his girlfriends to Coney Island. I was b**chy about it later on, but at the time he gave me this really wonderful day of simple joy and kindness. But after we broke up, I was like, ‘Am I gonna put this song on the album?’

“That’s why I feel really bad when I’m talking about people. I feel like there are women out there like, ‘Stop talking about my [bleeping] boyfriend!’ Maya Rudolph is gonna be like, ‘What the [bleep]? Can you just leave? Can you not be around anymore? Insane.’”

“The Idler Wheel…,” Apple’s fourth studio album, was released last week.

Photos I took of Tori in New York