-
neumu
Monday, November 20, 2017 
-
-
--archival-captured-cinematronic-continuity error-daily report-datastream-depth of field--
-
--drama-44.1 khz-gramophone-inquisitive-needle drops-picture book-twinklepop--
-
Neumu = Art + Music + Words
Search Neumu:  

illustration



edited by michael goldbergcontact


Tori Amos' New American Journey

Tori Amos' sixth album, Scarlet's Walk, released last week, finds the pensive singer/songwriter taking a journey of discovery across America. It's an epistemological journey, one that explores human nature and historical accountability through the lens of a fictional heroine, Scarlet.

Amos describes the album as a "sonic novel," modeled after classic Beat Generation literature such as Kerouac's "On the Road," and classic '70s albums such as Fleetwood Mac's Rumours and Neil Young's Harvest. Speaking on the cell phone from a truck in New York City this week, Amos discussed her pending tour plans (her tour starts in Tampa, Fla. on Thursday, Nov. 7) and her album's thematic strands.

"You can't be crossing America at this time without deep, troubling political questions coming up," Amos said. "As [Scarlet] goes to visit the Native Americans, they [raise these issues]: Are you going be a taker of your true mother who we call America, or are you going to be a caretaker? And is she really in safe hands? And, by not doing anything, you're doing something. By doing nothing, you're not protecting her."

Political considerations, especially memories of the maltreatment of Native Americans, imbue the lyrics with moral queries, questioning past transgressions. The album also addresses the need for America to heal from the devastation of Sept. 11. In the title track, Amos makes her boldest, most overt political statement, charging, "What do you plan to do with all your freedom?" As Scarlet travels, unsettling political and personal questions arise, Amos said.

"Scarlet meets a lot of people on this trip that she had no idea she was taking," Amos explained. "It's not like she said 'Oh, OK, I'm going to take this classic road trip.' It didn't happen like that. She got a call from a friend who was in trouble, Amber Waves, a porn star at a crossroads. And from there, her life changes. She thinks she's found her soul mate in the second song and that's going be pretty much it, and then she realizes that she was not his fantasy. She can't be his fantasy. She's a real woman with a heavy heart. She gets pulled and she walks. And then really the story sort of opens up, and she's free to meet people. She's not tied to anyone and she starts beginning to listen to how other people take in information, how they see the world. So, that's really how she begins to find out what it is she believes in."

Amos, who was born in North Carolina in 1963, began playing piano when she was 2 ½; she attended Baltimore's Peabody Institute as a 5-year-old prodigy. She released her first recording, on her own label, when she was 17, but it wasn't until her first solo album, 1992's Little Earthquakes, that she achieved both critical and commercial success. Her sometimes-ethereal pop songs have been compared to artists ranging from Kate Bush to Joni Mitchell.

In addition to recording her latest album, Amos has been involved in the creation of a Web site — Scarlet's Web. "The CD is a key, and you put it in your computer and it will take you to Scarlet's Web," Amos said. "Scarlet's Web will be running through the whole tour. The maps will come alive in detail on Scarlet's Web. So, you'll be able to pinpoint places [where Scarlet travels]. It will be in installments — three songs at a time. So, within a few weeks, you'll have the whole record in detailed map form."

Curious listeners can select points of interest, interacting with technology to learn more about Scarlet, Amos' tour, and the American history which underscores the album's narrative. "You'll be able to say, 'I want to know more about Wounded Knee,' and this will connect you to the Native American layer," she said. "Haskell University is assisting us in choosing the Web sites that they feel really represent the tribes and the information."

The Web site will parallel the tour's itinerary and provide fans access to unique content. "There's a tour documents person," Amos said. "She's out there, finding different things, hidden things in the city. People will be sending us messages, linking us up to other ways of thought. There will be sights and sounds. We'll be visiting people. And you're going to kind of see us stumble and fall along the way [laughs], but it's really about life following art, I guess."

As Scarlet's journey traverses geographic boundaries, the album's sound changes. For instance, the archaic Southern melody of "Virginia" feels haunted by ghostly tropes, hearkening back to early settlements and tense racial relations. "Scarlet's Walk" is gauzed in swirling organs, meticulous rhythms and understated anger.

Amos notes the shape-shifting tempos of the album, attributing it to geography and culture. "I feel like this record is very much about the voice and the rhythm," she said. The drums sort of represented the soul of the land, and Matt [Chamberlain] and I worked very closely about the cultures that were in each particular geographic setup. So, we would look and, for instance, in Texas, you have a huge Latino, even Cuban influence, so we want to bring in the low rider, sinister, he's a Mexican Revolutionary, the guy in 'Sweet Sangria.' And how do we translate that into sound? 'Don't Make Me Come to Vegas' is sort of a Cuban, lounge, with blazing saddles and a high heel. So we were trying to go to the land for the clues."

On tour, Amos says she plans to keep the shows "very organic, because I want it to be a sonic experience." Accompanying herself on piano, she'll be backed by two musicians, Jon Evans on bass and Chamberlain on drums. She sees her tours as bringing together the fan community that has formed around her music. "This is more of a campfire gathering, the tours; this is where people gather and exchange news, like you did in the old days," Amos said.

She feels hopeful that further parallels between herself and Scarlet — the classic relationship between authors and the fictional characters they invent — will be become clear as her tour progresses. This album and this tour, Amos said, are truly about forging a firm identity.

"I'm Tori taking Scarlet's walk, and you're [the listener] doing your own discovery, and we're all making our own body maps," she said. "But I like the idea that the story doesn't stop for me as a person. Scarlet's story stops. But I can now have my own." — Brian Orloff [Thursday, Nov. 7, 2002]


Alejandro Escovedo's Joyous Rebirth

John Vanderslice Kicks Genre

Paul Duncan's Elusive Pop

Stephen Yerkey's Wandering Songs

French Kicks Complete 'Two Thousand'

Spazzy Romanticism: Love Story In Blood Red

Brain Surgeons NYC Rock The Big Questions

Jarboe's 'Men' Charts Turbulent Emotions

Delta 5's Edgy Post-Punk Resurrected

Blitzen Trapper Spiff Things Up

Minus Five: Booze, Betrayal, Bibles and Guns

New Compilation Spotlights Forgotten Folk Guitar Heroes

Chris Brokaw's Experiment In Pop

Old And New With Death Vessel

Silver Jews: Salvation And Redemption

Jana Hunter's Beautiful Doom

Vashti Bunyan Finds Her Voice Again

Nick Castro's Turkish Folk Delight

Katrina Hits New Orleans Musicians Hard

Paula Frazer's Eerie Beauty

The National Find Emotional Balance

Death Cab For Cutie's New Album, Tour

Heavy Trash's Rockabilly Rampage

Help The Wrens Get Their Albums Released!

Devendra Banhart, Andy Cabic Launch Label

Lydia Lunch's Noir Seductions

Bosque Brown's The Real Deal

PDX Pop Now! Fest Announces Lineup

Sarah Dougher Starts Women-Focused Label

Jennifer Gentle's Joyful Psyche

Mountain Goat Darnielle Gets Autobiographical With 'Sunset Tree'

Mia Doi Todd's Beautiful Collaboration

Return of the Gang of Four

Martha Wainwright Finds Her Voice

Brian Jonestown Massacre's Acid Joyride

Solo Disc Due From Pixies' Frank Black

Heartless Bastards' Big-Hearted Rock

Mike Watt's Midlife Journey

The Black Swans Balance Old And New

Nicolai Dunger's Swedish Blues

The Insomniacs' Hard-Edged Pop

Yo La Tengo Collection Due

Juana Molina's 'Homemade' Sound

Beans Evolves

Earlimart's Songs Of Loss

Devendra Banhart's 'Mosquito Drawings'

Negativland Rerelease 'Helter Stupid'

Alina Simone Transforms The Ordinary

Sounds From Nature: Laura Veirs

Octet's Fractured Electric Pop

Sleater-Kinney Working With Lips Producer

The Cult Of Silkworm

The Evolution Of The Concretes

Devendra Banhart's Exuberant New Songs

Catching Up With The Incredible String Band

Gram Rabbit's Desert Visions

Three Indie-Rock Stars Unite As Maritime

Remembering Johnny Ramone

Jarboe's Many Voices

Phil Elvrum's Long Hard Winter

First U.S. Release For Vashti Bunyan Album

Incredible String Band To Tour U.S.

New Music From Lydia Lunch

Le Tigre Protest The Bush War Presidency

Joel RL Phelps: Bleak Songs Rock Hard

Time Tripping With Galaxie 500

Patti Smith Wants Bush Out!

Sharron Kraus: A New Kind Of Folk Music

The Fiery Furnaces' Psychedelic Theater

Harder, Heavier Burning Brides

Sonic Youth's Ongoing Experiment

The Dt's Do It Their Way

Poster Children Cover Political Rock

Rare Thelonious Monk Recordings Due

Uneasy Pop From dios

Beck, Lips, Waits Cover Daniel Johnston

Understanding Franz Ferdinand

The Truly Amazing Joanna Newsom

Mylab's Boundary-Crossing Experiments In Sound

Have You Heard Jolie Holland Whistle?

The 'Magical Realism' Of Vetiver

The Restless, Rootsy Songs Of Eszter Balint

The Sun Sets On The Blasters

Devendra Banhart To Tour U.S.

The East/West Fusion Sounds Of Macha

Destroyer Gets Mellow For Your Blues

TV On The Radio Get Political

Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse To Play Lollapalooza 2004

New Music From The Fall

Apocalyptic Sound From The Intelligence

Fast And Rude With The Casual Dots

'Rejoicing' With Devendra Banhart

New Album, Tour From The Polyphonic Spree

Shearwater Take Wing

Sleater-Kinney To Tour East/West Coasts

Resurrecting Rocket From The Tombs

Visqueen Want To Get A Riot Goin' On

Lloyd Cole Makes A Commotion

Funkstörung's 'Cut-Up' Theory

Waiting For Mirah's C'mon Miracle

Electrelane Find Their Voice

The Television Is Still On!

Experimental Sounds From Hannah Marcus

The Ponys Play With Rayguns

Ex-Mono Men Leader Returns With The Dt's

Mountain Goats' Darnielle Adopts A More Hi-Fi Sound

Sun Kil Moon To Tour U.S., Europe

Nothin' But The Truth From The Von Bondies

Sultans Survive 'Shipwreck'

Sebadoh Reunite For Spring Tour

Xiu Xiu's 'Reality' Rock

Meet The Patients

Beth Orton, M. Ward Make Sadness Taste Sweet

Oneida's Pathway To Ecstasy

Radiohead, Pixies, Dizzee Rascal To Play Coachella

Young People Tour Behind War Prayers

Pixies Tour Dates Announced

Ani DiFranco Tells It Like It Is

Deerhoof Back For 2004 With Milkman

McLusky Set To 'Bring On The Big Guitars' Again

Pixies Reunite For U.S., European Tours

American Music Club, Decemberists To Play NoisePop 2004

Damien Rice Set To Tour U.S.

The Frames Accept Your Love

Punk Rock's A-Frames To Re-Record Third Album

Finally! Mission Of Burma Record New Album

A Solo Detour For Ladybug Transistor's Sasha Bell

Return Of The Old 97's

Spending The Night With Damien Rice

Tindersticks Reissues Due This Spring

The Evolution Of 'A Silver Mt. Zion'

Neil Young Rocks Australia With 'Greendale'

Poster Children Back In Action

'The Great Cat Power Disaster Of 2003'

Chicks On Speed's Subversive Strategies

Oranger At A Crossroad

Peaches On Tour And In Control

Jawbreaker's Complete Dear You Sessions To Be Released

Belle & Sebastian + Trevor Horn = Sunny Pop Nirvana

Von Bondies' Pawn Shoppe Heart

Descendents Are Back!

Modest Mouse Touring; Album Due in 2004

London Suede Take A (Permanent?) Break

Saul Williams Wants You To Think For Yourself

The 'Zen' Sound Of Calexico

Elliott Smith Dead AT 34

Debut Due From Mark Kozelek's Sun Kil Moon

The Hunches: Music That'll 'Fucking Live Forever'

Vic Chesnutt Speaks His Mind

90 Day Men Cancel Tour

Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor Highlight SF Jazz Festival

For My Morning Jacket, It's The Music That Matters

EP Due From The Polyphonic Spree

Bright Eyes, Neva Dinova Collaborate On EP

The Rise & Fall & Rise Of Ben Lee

Catching Up With Cheerfully Defiant Tricky

Hanging Around With The Polyphonic Spree

Sophomore Album Due From The Shins

Noise Rock From Iceland's Singapore Sling

Death Cab To Tour U.S.

Rufus Wainwright's Want One Is 'Family Affair'

Death Cab's Transatlanticism On The Way

Heartfelt Rock From Sweden's Last Days Of April

The Minus 5 Get Down With Wilco

Tywanna Jo Baskette's Southern-Gothic Rock

Xiu Xiu's Stewart Takes On 'Gay-bashing'

Portishead Producer Resurfaces Behind New Diva

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wire, Primal Scream On Buddyhead Comp

Yeah Yeah Yeahs To Tour West Coast

Sonic Youth, Erase Errata Kick Off 'Buddy Series'

The Locust Are One Scary Band

Damien Rice In The 'Here And Now'

Remembering Karp's Scott Jernigan

ATP-NY Postponed 'Til At Least 2004

The Soul Of Chris Lee

Gits' Frenching The Bully To See Re-Release

Stephen Malkmus Is In Control

Superchunk To Release Rarities Set; Teenage Girls To Swoon As A Result

Summer Touring For The Gossip

Babbling On About Deerhoof

Irish Song Poet Damien Rice's O Released In U.S.

Chatting With ATP's Barry Hogan

Former Digable Planets Frontman Surfaces With Cherrywine

ATP L.A. Festival Rescheduled For Fall

Freakwater's Janet Bean Takes A Solo Turn

Lee's 'Cool Rock'

Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Highlight YES NEW YORK

Mark Romanek's 'Hurt' Revives Johnny Cash's Career

The Rapture's Post-Punk, Post-Dance Sound

R.E.M., Wilco, Modest Mouse Highlight Bumbershoot Fest

Set Fires To Flames' Sleep-Deprivation Sound

Southern Gothic Past Shadows Verbena's La Musica Negra

The Subtle Evolution Of Yo La Tengo

Spring Tour For Jolie Holland (Plus A Live Album)

Liz Phair Still Pushing The Limits

Gold Chains Wants You To Dance And Think

Young People's War Prayers On The Way



peruse archival
 



-
-snippetcontactsnippetcontributorssnippetvisionsnippethelpsnippetcopyrightsnippetlegalsnippetterms of usesnippetThis site is Copyright © 2003 Insider One LLC
-