• The World Beatbox Association presents: The 3rd Annual American Beatbox Championships

  • All of this is to say that, in a year celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of the most important albums of my generation, a record that finally made it OK to not be OK, I’m shocked at how little Tori-lauding is going on. The woman has made several truly brilliant, important records, each treading the line between completely weird art and brilliant avant-rock-electronic-whatever, but she hasn’t returned to the indie blog conversation the way, say, Fiona Apple (whose Idler Wheel album, released this year, sticks its toe into the warts-and-all waters Boys For Pele parted) has.

    These thoughts hung heavy in my head as I stood in line last Friday at (le) Poisson Rouge in Manhattan for an NPR-sponsored concert in which Amos, promoting her newly released orchestral album Gold Dust, would re-imagine her vast catalog of music with a string octet, performing versions of her songs both familiar and foreign as conducted by her longtime string collaborator John Philip Shenale. While I was in line waiting to get in, playing Final Fantasy (the game, not the violinist) on my phone, I overheard a woman several spots ahead of me giving an interview to a reporter. “Tori’s never made any sense and I love that,” she said, “without Tori people wouldn’t have Grimes or tUnE-yArDs or Fiona.” This struck me, as I’d been thinking about a story related to me recently about Grimes being urinated on by a rat she requested at a Vanity Fair shoot — a similar story to one that had circulated years earlier regarding the video shoot for Tori Amos’ “God,” the chorus of which, at the time controversially, goes, “God, sometimes you just don’t come through/Do you need a woman to look after you?” Again: wherefore art thou, Toriphiles, in the new weird music aesthetic?

    On 20 years of Tori Amos 

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