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In Memory Of Violet's Husband, Kim Flint
1969 - 2010

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    Tour Status

    Tori is touring in 2017 to support the release of Native Invader. The European legs runs from early September through early October and the North American leg runs from late October to early December. We do not know if additional dates elsewhere will be added.

    Other News Sources
    Current Release

    Native Invader (album, 2017)
    Recent Releases

    Unrepentant Geraldines (album, 2014)

    Gold Dust (album, 2012)

    Night of Hunters (album, 2011)

    Midwinter Graces (album, 2009)
    Abnormally Attracted To Sin (album, 2009)

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    (bio, 2006)

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    (DVD, 2006)
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    comic book tattoo Comic Book Tattoo (book, 2008)

    News: Those Feisty Women

    Posted by Beth on Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Reviews

    CD Reviews writer Stephen Foster recently wrote this eloquent, in-depth review of Feist’s new album, The Reminder. Wait, what’s that got to do with Tori? Well, in the process, he also reviews American Doll Posse and compares the two women with respect to the place each is in her career. Nicely done; grab a cuppa and check it out.


    Feist – The Reminder
    Written by Stephen Foster
    Canadian songstress releases fine, if unadventurous, album. [5.21.07]

    Music cred, she has: Feist (Canadian-born Leslie Feist) nearly torched her voice as a shrieking teenager in a Calgary punk band; lived and performed with smutty-mouthed rocker Peaches (who dubbed Feist “Bitch Lap Lap”); later decamped to Paris, de rigueur destination of the artist’s artist; and along the way played and performed with, among many other bands or cutting edge musicians, momentary indie sensation Broken Social Scene. She has also managed to release three (four if you count a remix CD, Open Season) solo efforts as a rock/indie chanteuse, each one adding exponentially to expectations for the next. Her latest, The Reminder, has received massive attention from the mainstream media (whatever that fully includes, but at least The New York Times and The New Yorker) and from less conspicuous taste shapers’ blogs, websites, esoteric music rags — and nearly all of it is positive.

    Even those who dislike The Reminder dislike it modestly: its faults and miscues are marginal, they suggest, forgivable, not fatal to the overall work. So, how good is The Reminder? It’s not really a simple question, mostly because of the prodigious talent Feist brings to her work, and because anything she releases is now freighted with monumental expectations. The simplistic answer is that The Reminder is excellent but still disappointing and misses greatness by a fair margin. But that view is rendered from a larger context that may not be exactly fair to Feist.

    No reason exists, really, to compare Feist’s The Reminder to another recently released work, Tori Amos’ American Doll Posse. But the urge is irresistible and not entirely unwarranted. They are both female solo artists, sure. And even though both artists are at vastly different points in their respective careers, they are not dissimilar in background and inclination. They both emerge from a devoutly indie milieu, with an emphasis on artistic independence and willfulness, even intemperance. Their art resides in their singer-songwriter efforts, and yet they are comfortably creative in covering other artists. Neither is likely to be viewed as conventional.

    It is not surprising, given its maturity, that Amos’ work is fuller and more robust. Despite its occasional tendency toward the precious and the tendentious, Amos’ music is a paradigm of what an ambitious artist does, of a musically restless, hyper-creative singer’s soul. American Doll Posse, her current release, is frustrating and debilitating; it is also startlingly brilliant — in no small measure because of its ambition — and will almost certainly hold up, I believe, for as long as we pay attention to music. Each of Amos’ releases (American Doll Posse is her ninth), even her covers album Strange Little Girls, represents an artistic stretch, conceptually, lyrically or musically, entirely successful or not.

    Not so, so far, with Feist. The Reminder is not dissimilar from 2004’s austere Let it Die. Both have the courage of their very earnest convictions, not an insignificant statement. It’s just that The Reminder‘s convictions are modest. Whereas Let it Die is coy and shadowy, The Reminder is, well, coy and nearly as shadowy. It’s a quiet album. It plays as forlorn as it does heartfelt, and it needs more kick to make it full-bodied — and with Feist’s talent, fair or not, that is what we expect. It does show, however, a lyricist whose economy with the language is sharpening, and its sentiments, in its most emotionally bare tracks, are hard won, truthful, plaintive.

    In “The Water,” one of the disc’s more somber works, Feist writes: “The harbour becomes the sea/And lighting the house keeps it collision free/Understand the lay of the land/And don’t let it hurt you or it will be the first to.” Later, in “How My Heart Behaves,” one of The Reminder‘s stand-out tracks, Feist, in keeping with the water imagery, writes: “I’m a stem now/Pushing the drought aside/Opening up/Fanning my yellow eye/On the ferry/That’s making the waves wave/Illumination/This is how my heart behaves.”

    A knowing and an alert sensibility is at work here: language of this
    clarity and perception is almost nonexistent in rock music.

    And when Feist sings, her lyrics retain the poetic tendencies they
    display on the page, which is rare. Her phrasing is astute, subtle,
    highly interpretative: she sings the way she writes, from some
    subterranean place where knowledge is obliterated and the soul of her sound is purely organic and intuitive. As an artist, Feist is blessed to have this ability and smart enough to indulge it. Her voice is a cabaret singer’s — jazz inflected, slightly grainy, lilting, and lovely. In the love song “So Sorry,” Feist’s voice flirts with, and then succumbs completely to, a delicate yearning that is just this side of eroticism. On the sweetly affectionate “Brandy Alexander” her voice is sprightly and childlike: a sweetly singing Lolita.

    And yet, put together, her lavish abilities don’t fully satisfy on The Reminder — which is to say that my expectations for it were greater than the sum of its parts. The album is too quiet. It wants more life and, for lack of a better term, edge. Where Feist amps up her sound or tempo on The Reminder — as in “1234” and in “Sealion,” a cleverly inventive near-cover of Nina Simone’s “Sea Lion Woman” — the album sparkles and pops. It takes a larger, more satisfying shape. Unfortunately, this happens too infrequently to make The Reminder truly great. Her talent, in The Reminder, simply needs more exploration than she gives it.

    Exploration of the type the protean Tori Amos is all about: not for its own sake, but for expression’s sake, for the sake of the sound and its truth. Feist is an artist whose work will clearly evolve and endure. It will show up in the next album, or the next. And we will all be waiting, and listening.