ABBA - Happy New Year, Wendy & Lisa - The Closing Of The Year, Otis Redding & Carla Davis - New Year's Resolution, Harry Connick, Jr - What Are You Doing New Years Eve?, Dan Fogelberg - Same Old Lang Syne (okay, the lyrics say "Christmas", but it's totally a New Year song) [more inside]
Tired of the endless onslaught by mainstream Christmas music? Perhaps you might want a break. Tori Amos - Star Of Wonder, Melissa Etheridge - Glorious, The Polyphonic Spree - Winter Wonderland, Jon Anderson - Three Ships, Carbon Leaf - Christmas Child [more inside]
Sessions at West 54th aired for a few years on American public television in the late 1990s, featuring live sets and interviews with musicians. The February 1999 show featured Tori Amos as the guest, performing both solo and with a band. David Byrne, who had himself previously performed, both hosted and interviewed Tori about her music, her life, and her work as co-founder of RAINN. Full setlists from both performances and David Byrne's sartorial wonders inside. [more inside]
Featuring Nellie McKay, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright, Steve Earle, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Kate Pierson (of the B-52s) and many others, Here Lies Love is the result of a recent collaboration between David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. 22-tracks long, it tells the story of the Iron Butterfly, aka Imelda Marcos, first lady of the Philippines, and her relationship with her childhood servant Estrella Cumpas. Its official release is April 6th, but until then you can listen to the whole thing on NPR Music. The double-disc set will also feature a 120 page booklet and a DVD of historical footage. [more inside]
"I don't want to be writing for a fuddy-duddy audience." Tori Amos follows up this year's Comic Book Tattoo (a graphic novel adaptation of 51 of her songs) with a musical version of George MacDonald's The Light Princess for the Royal National Theatre.
AOL Sessions has live videos from more than 150 different artists specially recorded for the series. Here are just a few of the artists on offer: Paul McCartney, Mary J. Blige, Modest Mouse, Tori Amos, Robyn, Tom Petty, Rhymefest, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Natasha Bedingfield, Cat Power, Toby Keith, Lil' Wayne, Robert Plant, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kelly Rowland, Weezer and Brian Wilson. To the left of the videos there's a Q&A link that has short interview videos with the artists as well as behind the scenes footage and longer interviews.
Dead musical instruments... brought back to life by YouTube? Check out this mellotron demo film, a rare trautonium keyboard in some guy's garage, trautonium music by composer Oskar Sala, an original Ondes Martenot, a documentary on the telharmonium (parts 1, 2, and 3), and the Sonovox (used to funny but not-suitable-for-work effect in this parody of Sparky's Magic Piano). Meanwhile, avant-gardists have revived the art of prepared piano, but more mainstream acts such as Tori Amos and Ferrante & Teicher have also experimented with it. Last but not least, another performer of prepared piano is Margaret Leng Tan, but I think she should get more accolades as the best virtuoso of the toy piano since Schroeder from Peanuts.
This cheesy 1979 promo film from the group, Blackjack, offers a glimpse into the hard rock past of balladeer Michael Bolton, which also includes a co-writing credit for a Top 40 hit by Kiss. Similarly, Bill Joel disavows the days when he posed in medieval armor next to slabs of raw beef on the cover of the self-titled album by Joel's heavy metal duo, Attila, although Julian Cope is a fan of the album and its Deep Purplish vibes (check out Holy Moses and Wonder Woman). To round out the trifecta, we have Tori Amos who got marketed as the metal-chick frontwoman of Y Kant Tori Read (check out the video for The Big Picture). On the other hand, metalheads have the opposite problem of hiding their pop past. Examples include the industrial metal band Ministry's early days as a new wave synth act and Tommy Iommi's brief tenure as a member of Jethro Tull before becoming lead guitarist of Black Sabbath. Meanwhile, Bon Scott, the late lead singer of AC/DC, is probably spinning in his grave over the YouTube footage of him as an Australian teen idol and a bearded hippie with a recorder.
Tori Amos changes "MILF" to "MILX" for her recent Letterman appearance. Her new song "Big Wheel" ends with a refrain of "I am an M-I-L-F," but careful listening to the performance suggests that she changed the "F" to an "X" - and perhaps slurred it a little to conceal the fact that the change had been made. Was this a quiet example of giving in to the television morality police, or an artistic statement of another sort?