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(Holiday!) Video(s) of the Moment #2255: Violet Skies and Fiona Apple

 
By on Friday, 23rd December 2016 at 10:00 am
 

’Tis the season for snippets of music and DIY videos! This December has seen intimately conspiratorial, up-close-and-personal videos from a pair of feisty female artists, Welsh singer/songwriter Violet Skies and American alt-rock icon Fiona Apple. Though both new songs are ostensibly Christmas-themed, neither of them could be classified as jovial or jolly.

Violet Skies internal

Violet Skies, who we met at SXSW 2016, has composed an original holiday tune, aptly titled ‘Little Sad Christmas Song’. Arranged simply for keyboard and her own soulful singing voice, Violet Skies’ track is forlorn rather than festive as she sings “We both know you’re not coming home for Christmas / and we both know I couldn’t make you stay.” Her wistfully wintery vocal tone might not be chock full of Christmas cheer, but it’s nonetheless appropriate for the season.

Fiona Apple (pictured at top) takes a far more bitter tone in her remarkably witty parody of a Christmas classic. Her pointedly political remake of ‘The Christmas Song’ is unambiguously subtitled ‘Trump’s Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire’, in a less-than-celebratory reference to the recent American presidential election. Though it appears that Apple’s parody was originally intended just for a devoted fan club Web site, Apple also performed it live last Sunday night at a Los Angeles area benefit for the Standing Rock Sioux. Barbed lyrics like “everybody knows some money and entitlement / can help to make the season white” are a stark reminder of where American society stands as the 2016 holidays approach.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/weipMms_rMg[/youtube]

TGTF’s previous coverage of Violet Skies can be found right here.  Our archive of Fiona Apple coverage is back this way.

 

Video of the Moment #1276: Fiona Apple

 
By on Monday, 29th July 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

The never compromising and fan of ridiculously long album titles Fiona Apple has a video for her song ‘Hot Knife’, which closed our her 2012 album ‘The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do’. In the promo, multiple Fionas sing at each other, which has the effect of sounding like the Andrews Sisters. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG1VVFfOnYQ[/youtube]

 

Preview: SXSW 2013 – General Ticket Information and the Headliners

 
By on Monday, 4th March 2013 at 9:00 am
 

South by Southwest 2013 is almost upon us (like next week!), and at TGTF towers we are honing our scoop sniffing skills, polishing our camera lenses and preparing ourselves for a glut of musical goodness. So who can you catch in Austin that you haven’t seen paraded in front of you on MTV and the BBC? Well, probably no-one, but I’m going to point you in the direction of one of the shows I for one, would not be missing. (And best of all, it’s absolutely free – along 2 other nights of outdoor music goodness.)

That is of course, The Flaming Lips‘ Auditorium Shores show on Friday, the 15th of March. Drawing from a back catalogue of (deep breath please):

  • ‘Hear It Is’ (1986)
  • ‘Oh My Gawd!!!…The Flaming Lips’ (1987)
  • ‘Telepathic Surgery’ (1989)
  • ‘In a Priest Driven Ambulance (with Silver Sunshine Stares)’ (1990)
  • ‘Hit to Death in the Future Head’ (1992)
  • ‘Transmissions from the Satellite Heart’ (1993)
  • ‘Clouds Taste Metallic’ (1995)
  • ‘Zaireeka’ (1997)
  • ‘The Soft Bulletin’ (1999)
  • ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ (2002)
  • ‘At War with the Mystics’ (2006)
  • ‘Embryonic’ (2009)
  • ‘The Terror’ (2013)

Yes, they have that many albums in their backpocket,s ready to unleash a cornucopia of funkadelic sounds at you. So the question before you go and see this show is, could you bear a medley of Wayne Coyne’s latest album, or will you hit and hope for a collection of Flaming Lips singles, from ‘Do You Realise?’ to the mind bending ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’?

The audience may not be big enough for Coyne’s signature zorbing trick, but hey, would you put it past him pulling the trick out in Austin, Texas?

Get ready to carry the man, that’s all I would say! He is getting on.

But while the band are growing senior (at least compared to the majority of acts showcasing this year at SXSW), their live performances have not suffered in the slightest, and they remain a festival of the weird, the bizarre and the downright whimsical. So take a night off from the un-established and just rock out to one of the most challenging/rewarding bands of the last two decades. Read more about the 3 nights of free shows at Auditorium Shores here.

For your information, tickets to the music portion of SXSW from Tuesday the 12th of March all the way to Sunday the 17th of March are still available; music badges are now US$750 (approximately £499 at the time of this writing) but the walk-up rate increases to US$795 the week of the festival (approximately £529) and hotel rooms are going fast, so if you are still interested, we recommend you act quickly. Please note TGTF as a music Web site does not support ticket touting of any kind and we have been advised by the SXSW folks that wristbands for the gig portion only, which can only be bought by those with an Austin credit card billing address, are not transferable. So be prudent with your purchases to avoid getting ripped off.

 

Video of the Moment #846: Fiona Apple

 
By on Saturday, 16th June 2012 at 10:00 am
 

After some much talked about appearances at SXSW in March and a U.S. tour, Fiona Apple has released two new songs and now there’s a ‘back to nature’ video for one of them. Hopefully no animals were harmed in the making of this. I think she managed to unweird Lady Gaga and her meat dress in just one video.

‘Every Single Night’ will be the first track off her forthcoming album, ‘The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do’. (Guess she never got the ‘short and sweet’ memo in school.)

 

Preview: SXSW 2012 – General Ticket Information and the Headliners

 
By on Wednesday, 29th February 2012 at 9:00 am
 

So you’re probably wondering why it’s taken me so long to write a preview of this year’s South by Southwest festival (now to be described as SXSW from this point forward), held annually in Austin, Texas. And yes, your faithful editor will be there to catch as much of the action as humanly possible (read: I’m putting my body to the test on this).

For your information, tickets to the music portion of SXSW from Tuesday the 13th all the way to Sunday the 18th of March are still available; music badges are now US$750 (approximately £472 at the time of this writing) and hotel rooms are going fast, so if you are still interested, I recommend you act quickly. Please note TGTF as a music Web site does not support ticket touting of any kind and I have been advised by the SXSW folks that wristbands for the gig portion only, which can only be bought by those with an Austin credit card billing address, are not transferable. So be prudent with your purchases to avoid getting ripped off.

I make it a point for our festival previews to include headlining acts, since these are the big names you will have heard of. It’s not a surprise that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be performing, since the Boss was announced previously as the keynote speaker to the music portion of the SXSW convention. Rather disappointingly if you’re a Boss fan, Bruce and co. are only performing a small show on Thursday 15 March and the only way in is through a ticket drawing open to those with badges and certain wristbands. If you are keen, the details on entering are here.

Far more interesting to me is the return of Keane – as a four-piece including former touring musician Jesse Quin – making their first appearances here in America in over 2 years, albeit in club-sized spaces. (I’m actually sick with worry that I won’t get in to see them.) Fiona Apple, who surely you remember her ‘Criminal’ and for having an the album title so long, everyone was mocking it and she got into the Guinness Book of World Records for it, is making her first live appearance in years at SXSW, at the intimate Central Presbyterian Church on Thursday 15 March (good luck getting into that one). The list of headliners for the massive outdoor Auditorium Shores Stage is a surprise: the Shins perform on Thursday night, ’90s hitmakers Counting Crows are on Friday and the Cult are on Saturday.

Keep it here on TGTF, as I’ll be posting more in-depth previews to SXSW 2012 in the coming days. Ooh, the excitement!

 

Bands to Watch – Fiona Apple

 
By on Thursday, 12th February 2009 at 2:13 pm
 

Fiona Apple (side)The quirky pop sound that makes Fiona Apple who she is has been getting a lot of attention recently. Fiona has all that is required to be a pop sensation and her refreshing sound is inspiring hole hoards of alternative artists to pick up their instruments. She is far from an overnight success having worked hard on new material and the sheer talent on display makes her gigs one hell of a show.

Pure vocals and dark piano licks go hand in hand on a Fiona Apple track but the odd splattering of a distortion guitar or crashing symbol from the drums makes every listen exciting and gives it an extra kick. Her debut albums were actually a bit of a failure as the records did not have stand out hit singles but the more recent Fiona Apple material is nearly unrecognizable due to the improvement she has made over the years.

While her cover of “Frosty the Snowman” has been getting plenty of attention, there are two tracks that really stand out from her collection. “Get Him Back” is crammed with quicky piano licks which other artists wouldn’t consider playing and the vocals ares simply stunning. However for me, the song “Not about love ” stands out from the rest. As soon as it starts, it is catchy and the steady tempo makes for a comfortable listen but the addition of an electric guitar with a bit of attitude and some big drum beats makes it a brilliant tune that varies from the calm and gentle vocals to the rocky chorus.

I’ve known of Fiona Apple for a while and it is great to see her finally getting to where she should be and getting the recognition she deserves but I still feel there is more she can offer. I would say she lacks a bit of consistency but she still manages to come up with a huge hit from time to time.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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