Monday, August 1, 2011

5 Tori Amos songs.

Because every now and then you need a reminder of those crazy ladies whose lovely voices and melodies and lyrics got you through high school and taught you it was okay to be weird and dramatic and, once again, weird. Am I right or AM I RIGHT?!

There are so many things to love about Tori Amos, from her wild curly red locks to her crazy eyes. OH, and also, her music. Her twisted, mysterious, piano-driven music with those cryptic lyrics. Who knows what any of them mean? Who cares!

Also, the fact that PS22 loves her is just an added bonus.

(Although really let's talk about how amazing this video is. The teacher is SO HAPPY IT'S HEART-MELTING. And it's okay Tori, if PS22 were singing my songs, I would weep too! And if that wasn't enough, you can watch PS22 sing Winter. WINTER, PEOPLE! IN SANTA HATS!)

So, in my tradition of 5 Songs posts, here are a random sampling of some of my favorite Tori songs to get lost in nostalgia to.

1. Cornflake Girl

OH MAN THIS SONG IS SO BADASS. Especially when she starts singing about that man with the loaded gun who thinks he knows so much, THINKS HE KNOWS SO MUCH, YEAH. (Seriously, you have to listen to the song until it gets to this point.) Who exactly this man with the loaded gun is is a little less certain, but I certainly feel plenty pissed off at him anyway whenever I listen to this song. And then the way she bangs on that piano after this! Such a great way to focus my teenage rage! I never was a cornflake girl, bitch!

2. Happy Phantom

Talk about Little Earthquakes is so often centered around Silent All These Years, Precious Things, or Winter, and while it is completely valid to obsess over these songs, this little diddy is often forgotten. It's one of those wonderful little Tori gems that can actually make you want to dance. Don't worry, it's still a little creepy! But, you know, overall happy sounding. Even though it's about dying and being a phantom and stuff. But, whatever. I also just love so many of the lyrics in here, whatever they mean. Some of my favorites:

And I will never need umbrellas in the rain
I'll wake up in strawberry fields every day
And the atrocities of school I can forgive
The Happy Phantom has no right to bitch.


So if I die today I'll be the Happy Phantom
And I'll go wearing my naughties like a jewel
They'll be my ticket to the universal opera
There's Judy Garland taking Buddha by the hand
And then these seven little men got up to dance
They say Confucius does his crossword with a pen
I'm still the angel to a girl who hates to sin.

Naughties like a jewel! Confucius does his crossword with a pen! Such amazing lines!

3. Raspberry Swirl

So let's be honest. The Choirgirl Hotel--with Tori splayed on the cover art like she's trying to claw her way out of the picture--kinda scared me when I bought it, and it still kinda scares me now. At the same time, however, there is something intensely satisfying about singing along to the line, "I am not your seƱorita." And while "if you want inside her world, boy, you better make her raspberry swirl," does indeed sound like the dirtiest line ever written, it is, again, still pretty fun. I just love any lady who can make a song like this, and a song like Jackie's Strength, all on the same album.

4. Jackie's Strength

Well, since I mentioned it. To be honest I forgot this song even existed until I YouTubed Raspberry Swirl and this popped up in the sidebar. Oh, Tori. Years after Little Earthquakes, you still possess the ability to combine your lilting voice with pretty tinkling piano to create these overwhelmingly sad and lovely and dramatic songs that are so perfect. To hear Tori singing, So I show you some more, and I learn what black magic can do, is to pretty much hear the essence of Tori.

5. Merman

I couldn't decide which song to include as the 5th one--too many choices!--so I'm sticking this one in because I think it's relatively unknown and is just plain pretty. I love the just-slightly-out-of-sync singing in the chorus, so perfect, and this: Who could ever say you're not simply wonderful? If there is a nicer line sung any lovelier by anyone else ever, I would like to know. So I can properly get weepy over that, too.

As a final note, Kathy and I have been discussing singing Precious Things at karaoke somewhere for a long time, since we have a good tradition going of singing the most awkward songs possible at karaoke whenever we go. (We have proudly been loudly heckled as being a "buzzkill"!) So watch out, PDX: somewhere sometime soon, you will know what doesn't make you Jesus. Look forward to it.

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