<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Helenna. We met on twitter not too long ao, and she’s totes mcgotes one rad chiquita banana with a flare for all things flair! That’s right, Helenna here is what we call an artsy fartsy nerd. She’s a poet, into all things dramatic arts, and she’s going to come on board to write each week about her love of said drama. Well not like actual drama drama, like some cat fight shit – but you get the idea. I only have one thing left to say … HIT IT HELENNA!!! </editorsnote>
I’ve always had a glorious love affair with Fiona Apple.
While all music has the incredible ability to transform us and transport us, there is something very specific about Fiona Apple’s artistry that has always had me in knots more than any other singer.
I started listening to her music when she released her first album “Tidal” in 1996. One of my best friends and I would sit in class and listen to the album on our CD players while we were writing poetry. This introduction to her songwriting came at a time when my days were filled with young teen angst, and wishing for ways to transform me and my life. Every single one of her songs seemed to speak directly to me, and cut right through me like she’s the “hot knife…[and I’m] a pad of butter.”
My husband Barry and I went to her concert on Friday night at the Greek Theatre in LA, and there’s nothing like experiencing her powerful ability to rock you to your core, than being in a stadium full of people who are feeling similar emotions. If you can believe it, her vocals were even more filled with pain and grieving than on her albums, and she takes you on that journey with her. Each song feels like a chapter in a child’s tantrum filled twisted fairy tale, making you feel all at once weighed down with sorrowful nostalgia, and yet still completely filled with wide eyed hope.
If you aren’t familiar with her music, I encourage you to grab a glass of wine, throw on one of her four albums, and get prepared to be transported. Some songs might take you a bit to get into, but once they have you, you’re hooked.
I wrote this poem awhile back, and while it’s about all artists in general and not just Fiona Apple, it definitely tells a lot about how powerful I think she is:
The Artists – by Helenna Santos-Levy
Jim Morrison once said,
“We could plan a murder, or start a religion.”
Our volatile, volatile minds.
Volcanic activity erupting under the surface.
mixing the meaning of black and white,
like stone cold monuments
shielding the dark from the sun.
But we are also doves of anarchy,
and clowns of shifting perception.
We see the other side, the eclipse,
the paralleled paradox of now,
and show it to the masses, the soldiers, the they.
Because, “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”
The creators, the lovers, the dreamers, the perceivers,
Fiona Apple lives in Venice, CA, and I’ll never be able to forget this story my friend told…
One fall afternoon a number of years ago there was a massive torrential down pour, thunder happening all around. For some reason instead of staying inside, he decided to go for a run in the storm. He ran down to the beach. There was absolutely no one in sight. He started walking down the end of the Venice pier and there was a woman standing at the end of it screaming into the wind. That woman, of course, was Fiona Apple.
That story has always made the “feels too much” teenager in me happy, because that’s the exact same thing I used to do. Ah, kindred spirits we artists are. Kindred Spirits.
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