Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hero of the Day: Fiona Apple

I remember seeing this when it first aired in 1997, and knowing even then, at barely 10 years old, that her breaking "character" like this, and speaking directly to us, the fourth wall so to speak, was RADICAL.

Fiona quoted Maya Angelou and said at our best, we can only create opportunities, and she used that opportunity to go AWF!!! Opening line: This world is bullshit. AT A TELEVISED AWARDS SHOW WHERE SHE WAS BEING AWARDED.


One word, two syllables: HE-RO.

She was Kanye before Kanye was Kanye. She quoted Maya Angelou, B. She said "Andrew Slater, no one else could have produced this album, and no one else did." AND PAUSED FOR EMPHASIS. SHAYYYYY DEEEEEEE. 


Two more things. Tidal was an incredible, incredibly beautiful album, and even more incredible because she wrote it, recorded and debuted it when she was a teenager. And secondly, that MTV outburst probably cost her many future business opportunities, ones that Alanis Morissette was all too glad to take on her behalf.

So the lesson here is that wylin out may cost you further opportunities. So if you're gonna act wild, make sure to go down in history as a hero.

Sidenote - I'm glad that her genius hasn't gone the Amy Winehouse route, as I still feel pain over Amy's death and can't imagine losing another incredible artist in that way. Also, this Fiona Apple interview in NYMag was pretty great.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Inspirational FKA Twigs and a glimpse of Hong Kong

Are you fucking kidding me?! 

Those were my first thoughts upon seeing this video. I first heard the song 'In Time' on spotify, and was so intrigued I gave it a second listen with headphones, and then after a handful of subsequent listens, decided that the beat was so hot that there had to be an equally dope video - with dancing! - somewhere out there. And boy was my curiosity quenched!

The video adds incredible depth to the already remarkably genre-bending song, and the choreography matches the oriental-tinged bass beats perfectly. Is that a Japanese flute I hear?! Is FKA pregnant? Is she wearing timbs and an all denim outfit and excessive gold jewelry and burgundy lipstick looking like 90s Brooklyn royalty? Is she serving us all the talent and originality that we claim we want to see onscreen but never actually pay mind to when it happens to appear right in front of us?! 


There's no doubt that FKA Twigs can dance her ass off, and the little stomp her and her dancers do (see 2:07 and the swag at 3:23) is so New York to me. Also the amount of fluid shots where she's dancing wow me as well because that means she is just grooving along flawlessly, all in one solid take. The only thing I don't like about the dance scenes is that the dancer on the right appears stiff, like she's counting; meanwhile the belly-baring dancer on the left is sexy as fuck and FKA is dancing like the rent was due last week!

Other details: I love the silky pajamas, I love the contemporary breaks where she's draped in white clothing, and I love the long shots and the sheer simplicity of the set. It's so distracting when a video is overdone, or the editors keep chopping up shots in an ADD-like fashion, so all you see is a second of that, a second of this (I'm looking at you, Rihanna's "Work").

So needless to say I am sooo inspired. You can catch me showing out at a dance class wearing a belly shirt and a NY grimace in the coming weeks. (I already have the pajamas, the ethnic ambiguity and the sass). 

With all these EPs, is FKA even making any money? Is Robert Pattinson funding all of this? What kind of deal did she sign? I hope ya girl is making some money man because she writes and produces her own stuff and gawd knows what else. I should add, the video above is part of a visual album FKA Twigs created called "M3LL155X", and the whole thing can be seen here:


And speaking of inspiration and oriental influences, perhaps I'm more cognizant of that because I just came back from two weeks in Hong Kong! A detailed blog post is coming, and in the meantime you can see a bit of my adventures below!