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Tori Amos

“Where have we gone wrong, America?” asks Tori Amos in “Yo George,” the leadoff track from her ninth studio album, American Doll Posse. It’s a question she asks, in different ways, throughout the album—and she’s not just wagging her finger at the White House.

“[People are] interested in the women who are so weak that they’re self-destructing,” she says, chiding a certain stripe of starlet without having to name names. “They can’t even stand up to their own addictions. That’s fucking weak, man.”

Doll Posse is basically a rock record, a departure from her more polished recent albums—the most quintessentially Tori, say some fans, since 1998’s From A Choirgirl Hotel. On the album, Amos adopts five different characters, or personalities: Tori, Pip, Isabel, Clyde and Santa. This division of personalties, she says, was initially a by-product of her songwriting.

“When the music was coming,” she explains, “the styles were incredibly varied. So the producer side of my mind said I’m either doing many records, or one record with many voices.”

But she quickly found a through line: “I was asking a lot of questions about where the women were in the last election—women meaning us, citizens. . . . I was observing women, just seeing how we can step into these images. And I found them to be incredibly confining. I didn’t see a lot of integration of other facets of the being. So I started to think about applying it to myself, and what that would look like?

She continues, “If the women were stepping out of the compartments that we had so easily stepped into, it might not be so easy to distract us about who the real enemy is. . . . I noticed, in my niece, specifically—at the time, she was stepping into these roles without a problem, and I was saying to her, ‘Do you know anything about Aphrodite? Because these chicks you’re looking at are really diluted versions.’ I mean, if you’re gonna drink, don’t fucking have a spritzer, babe. Let’s have some Barolo. Let’s sit down. You wanna play? I’ll play with you motherfucker.”

On the fall leg of her U.S. tour—her first with a full band in nearly eight years—one of her four alternate egos will open the show, followed by a second set as herself. “Each of the women doesn’t just do the songs on ADP,” she explains, “they also do other songs. Each show is very different.” So fans should be pleased to expect a variety of selections from Amos’ vast catalog, and not just the new material.

Often seeming prone to vagary in interviews, Amos sounds relaxed and focused. Calling from her beach house in Florida, her speech is calculated and low-tempo—except when discussing the state of the Union.

“[T]he right wing was doing a very good job at keeping us women distracted. We know their ideology is a male authority, one male, monotheistic God. So I thought, what would they abhor? And that’s the idea of the mother gods, so let’s bring on many.”

“I refuse to get caught up in the right wing’s agenda,” she says. “The most important thing is to get some of the masses . . . choosing to take their blinders off and asking questions. Questions I think that if we had asked as a mass, we would have made a different decision [in the last election]. We were asking different questions, you see. That’s the only way that the administration could get in again, and [why] the world is where it is. I’ve traveled a lot now, and where we are in the world standing is heartbreaking.”

Tori Amos and her band will perform on Tuesday (Oct. 9) at the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $40 and $50. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call the box office at 465-3334.

—John Brodeur

 Armitage Gone! Dance

The acclaimed Armitage Gone! Dance, led by choreographer Karole Armitage, return to Western Massachusetts—after hit performances at Jacob’s Pillow in 2006—for two shows at MASS MoCA this weekend. They will be bringing along two recent works, Time is the echo of an axe within a wood, featuring music by Bela Bartók, Charles Ives, Gavin Byars and Annie Gosfeld, and Ligeti Essays, set to music by Gyorgy Ligeti.

The New York Post called these dances “far out and altogether terrific.”

Armitage Gone! Dance will perform Saturday (Oct. 6) at 8 PM and Sunday (Oct. 7) at 4 PM at MASS MoCA (87 Marshall St., North Adams, Mass.). Tickets are $32, $28 and $15 students and children. For more info, call (413) 662-2111.

Capitol Chamber Artists

The spotlight will shine on another unheralded woman composer this weekend when Capitol Chamber Artists perform two concerts (in Albany and Benson, Vt.) dedicated to Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, aka the “wunderkind of the court of Louis XIV.”

This would be, specifically, 18th-century France.

The program will include de la Guerre’s unpublished Trio Sonata in B-flat and Violin and Harpsichord Sonata in D-minor. Also on the bill is part of François Couperin’s Les Nations.

Capitol Chamber Artists will perform Saturday (Oct. 6) at 8 PM at First Congregational Church (405 Quail St., Albany); there is a preconcert recital at 7 PM. They will perform the same program Sunday (Oct. 7) at 3 PM at Community Hall (Stage Road, Benson, Vt.); there is a preconcert recital at 2 PM. Tickets are $16, $8 students. For more info, call 458-9231.


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