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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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
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
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