I was thinking of writing a post about this conversation I transcribed while at lunch the other day. The sort of awkward scene where two men behave very differently toward a woman with very different results. Or, I was going to write of yet another mis-adventure on the bus. Or, lament about my many ‘issues’ around the next Barbra Streisand CD release. Or, I thought I might write about something of great import. And, then I listened to the new Tori Amos CD and decided I would write about it! I mean, what is more important in my little world than art that inspires, motivates or intrigues me!?!? Correct! Hardly anything!

With an artist like Tori Amos I figure one either loves her — or, doesn’t. I think the same is true when it comes to most of the artists I like. There are very few artists who manage to hang in that “Well, she/he is OK” category. I like a bit of extreme in my art. I don’t like half commitment. If one wants to be indulgent — go all the way! If one wants to create work of social or political import — do it, baby! If one wants to ride the Glam Glitter Glory Wagon — Ride it, and please let me jump on for the ride!!! I do so love glam and glitter. Anyway, I guess I don’t see someone like Tori Amos being fully accepted for MOR or the mainstream.

She is one of those musical artistes who would be relegated to MTV’s 120 Minutes — if that show still existed and if MTV still showed actual Music Television. Or, you might find her on Night Flight …if that was still on the air. If you’re in the UK, you might catch her on Jools Holland program where interesting musicians get air time. In other words, she doesn’t go down easy (please, that pun was NOT intended!)

…As they often say about wine, some fish and one of my distant relatives: Tori can be an acquired taste. I acquired it about 16 years ago when I saw her play a few songs from a CD that would be called LITTLE EARTHQUAKES. I’ve never forgotten that experience. Seeing this unusual looking woman ride her piano as much as she played it — but not in a manipulated/planned out sex’d up way we are so use to seeing with performers. She was for real. A bit crazy, very inspired and completely lost in her sonic world.

Over the years she has developed (or has found the freedom) to develop her own style. She walked away from the Kate Bush/Elton John retro smash-up she seemed to be working a very long time ago.

Her devotion to womens, children and civil rights never falters. And, as a rape survivor, one has always been able to see her struggle against the machine of a culture that fails to nurture, support and protect rage onward.

No wallflower.

As she showed with UNDER THE PINK and BOYS FOR PELE — she is quite often out for blood. And, as she has shown in the last several years — she never loses sight of the importance of love, friendship and hope.

She fell in love, married a British man and packed it up to England years ago. Her new CD is a work in which she ‘speaks’ thru multiple characters about the state of things. This collection is long and awesome! The sound is similar — like Led Zep funked up on piano and amp’d out on an intellect wire’d toward the revel-a-Tori. I love this CD. It took me two listens to grasp some of the ideas. Ever cryptic — this is not ‘easy’ listening.

So, I will leave you with a few quotes from the CD:

“I salute to you Commander
And I sneeze
Cause I have now an allergy
To your policies it seems
Where have we gone wrong America
Mr. Lincoln we can’t seem to find you anywhere
Out of the millions
From the desserts to the mountains
Over prairies to the shores
Is this just the madness of King George
…Well, you have the whole nation on all fours.”

“…Envy can spread
Herself so thinly
She slipped in
Before I could notice it

In my own war
Blood in the cherry zone
When they
Pit woman against feminist

Riding on backs of palominos
Ditching the blond shell
Working her hell
On that red carpet…”

May 2, 2007. Uncategorized.


  1. ing replied:

    That IS a cool CD cover — very Carrie White, I think.

    I’ll give this new one a try. Maybe I’ll like it?

  2. deldell replied:

    The first thing I listen for with any artist is commitment. That’s why I respect artists as dissimilar as Wendy and the Plasmatics and Joan Baez. Tori Amos is so cool.

  3. Dessie replied:

    Bouncing off Clouds – my new Life Theme Tune 🙂

  4. matty03 replied:

    Ing! I think you’ll like it! I hope you’ll like it! We shall see!

    Daniel – I deeply appreciate those qualities in any individuals, but it seems to me that should be essential in any artist. However, I guess that doesn’t have to be the case. And, any rate — Toni Basil was deeply committed to cheer leading. That’s got to count for something!

  5. matty03 replied:

    Dessie! Yes! …”make this easy! it is not as heavy as it seems!” I seem to be most drawn to “Big Wheel” “You Can Bring Your Dog” and “Digital Ghost”…Now, I need to go bounce off some clouds!

  6. Dessie replied:

    What the hell was she singing about being a MILF though? Or did I grossly mis-hear that???

  7. Kris replied:

    I’m gonna have to give her a listen.. Ermmm, ummm.. I don’t know any of her old songs. I think around the time when she came out, all I was really, really really about zig a zig ahhhh..

  8. matty replied:

    Dessie — You know, that line threw me, too. I do believe it is slang for “Motha’s I’d Like to fuck” or some such.

  9. matty replied:

    Kris! Bad boy! Take a listen! I think you might like her!

  10. ing replied:

    What’s “zig a zig ahhh”? If that means eight years old, then yeah, me too.

  11. matty03 replied:

    Ing — I think it means Kris was too busy being stoned. so, you too! LOL!

  12. Kris replied:

    Oh god, I feel like a child now, thanks you two. Ok ok, would it help if I sing..

    I’ll tell you what I want, what I realy want..
    So tell me what you want what you really, really want.

  13. matty replied:

    Kris, Now I’m lost! LOL! …or, wait! Oh wow! Are you not who I think you are?!?!? …are you a Spice Girl? …a forgotten spice girl!

  14. hot lunch replied:

    i’m sorry, i am not a Tori Amos fan even though I saw her live a few years back.

    are u going to fly to London to see Babs live?

  15. matty03 replied:

    Hot Lunch! Well, she is not for everyone.

    No! I keep tellin’ you guys! I could not handle being in the same vicinity as Barbra. …It would kill me.

    I would just die.

    No, I will keep the idea of seeing/hearing her live in my head where it will be crystal perfect!

  16. Old Cheeser replied:

    I haven’t listened to any of Tori’s stuff properly for years – certainly not her recent material. Although like you I got into her around the time of “Little Earthquakes”, which is a mighty fine album. I loved “Silent all these years”, “Leather”, “China”…She certainly is on a whole planet of her own, in the Kate Bush tradition – and those lyrics prove it! But those kind of artistes are to be nurtured and cherished I think. Might have to check out some of her recent tunes. She did an album of covers not so long back didn’t she?

    And I love that photo of her outside the frighteningly suburban looking house – kind of like a Stepford Wife on acid.

    And what’s this with you not being able to handle being in the same vicinity as Queen Babs? From the sounds of it you think she wouldn’t be much good live?

  17. matty03 replied:

    Cool Old Cheeser! Yes! You should check some Tori stuff out! The covers LP is awesome but quite dark! Isn’t that picture awesome!!?!? …all of the artwork for the new CD is really interesting.

    No, I’m sure Barbra is perfection live. However, it would just be too much for my little gay heart to hold. It would burst!

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