Tori Amos is one of the first artists I remember getting excited about when Little Earthquakes showed up at KNWD. I’m unapologetic about loving the arty garrets of pop music. So few people get it right. For every great piece from Brian Eno or Godspeed, You Black Emperor! there are embarrassing, overblown indulgences from musicians with just enough education to be dangerous. In her 20-year solo career Tori Amos has been all over that spectrum. I’m glad to say that Night of Hunters is a resounding success. The songs here are inspired by European composers like Satie and Schubert. The whole album is simultaneously21s-century lieder (it’s even released by Deutsche Gramophon) and the best sort of college radio chamber pop. NPR Music has the album streaming for a limited time check it out at the link.
I live in Waterbury, Vermont. The community was hit particularly hard by Tropical Storm Irene. Our place was without electricity for a couple of days, but many neighbors have it SO much worse. North Main Street is a line of houses with their owners’ ruined possessions on the lawn, the stink of mold coming out of every open window. A thin, shifting layer of brown dust covers everything outside; once the storm passed, the sun came out and quickly baked the mud that had been left on the street. We have our problems, certainly; Suri’s workplace was destroyed and we might have trouble paying some bills until her income gets restored. But mostly I’m grateful that we, our cats, and our property are safe and sound.