Tori Amos: The gay interview

Tori1“Lighting, sweetie, lighting!” is Tori Amos’ theatrical retort to my compliment about how she’s still looking as radiant as she did at the launch of her career more than three decades ago. Now 50, and with her acclaimed 14th album, Unrepentant Geraldines, she’s facing age head-on. Candor isn’t unusual for the composer; from rape to religion and even her MILF status, she’s approached a bevy of topics too controversial for most artists.

That same directness extended to our recent conversation, prior to her appearance in Dallas on July 29 at the Winspear Opera House in support of the album, during which Amos chatted with our Chris Azzopardi about the LGBT influence on “Promise,” a duet with her daughter; being the muse for the big Frozen ballad; and the gay fans who share their “traumatic experiences” with her.

Dallas Voice:  How did your last several projects — Midwinter Graces, Night of Hunters and Gold Dust — reenergize the contemporary songwriting heard on Unrepentant GeraldinesAmos: All of them fit into giving me fresh perspective. Starting with Midwinter Graces, I was thrown into the deep end, studying carols from the last few hundred years and just immersing myself in a different genre. It’s almost as if it became a baton hand-off, from Midwinter Graces to Night of Hunters and Gold Dust, back and forth with The Light Princess [a musical written by Amos], which was floating between all these projects, because she’s been in development for five years. All of them were giving inspiration to the other. Each one was giving some kind of spark.

The spark linking all of those works is very evident.  They’re very interconnected, and The Light Princess cast recording — I’m producing that for Mercury Universal — will be out globally in early 2015, and we’re making the record on the tour, so [Unrepentant Geraldines] will be affecting that. They all gift each other something. I don’t always know what it is when it’s happening; you just get energy from one that propels another.

There is a freshness, a new perspective [on the new CD] that I was able to bring to contemporary writing because of all these other projects that had shown me different possibilities in structure and different possibilities in line. In that way, I feel like I’ve been rejuvenated by these other projects. When these songs were coming, they were coming not for me to make a record; they were just coming so that I could process what I was going through. And I didn’t share them with anybody. They were for my own private notebook.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Tori Amos tonight at Verizon Theatre

Tori-telling

ToriAmos-300RGB(3)A queen of eclectic music, Amos has gone orchestral in this year’s Night of Hunters. Like scotch, Amos can be an acquired taste, but her ethereal voice and insane amount of talent wins over audiences who get to catch her live. She has the enchanting aura of Stevie Nicks, but that smooth operator delivery is all her own.

DEETS: Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. 8 p.m. $39.50–$59.50. Ticketmaster.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Musical ornaments

Queer music faves decorate the concert landscape this week

Concerts-ArtThis is one of those weeks that really speaks to LGBT music lovers, with live music options across the spectrum — from choral to techno and some local indies in between. Clearly, Dallas is on Santa’s “nice” list.

— Rich Lopez

Moby

Moby2

The electronica superstar comes to town to perform a DJ set at the Lizard Lounge as the club celebrates its 20th anniversary. This is almost full circle for Moby as he performed at the nightlife institution two decades ago. The queer artist returns to the club as a Grammy-nominated musician and an electronica icon.

Saturday at Lizard Lounge,
2424 Swiss Ave. Doors at 8 p.m. $50–$75.
TheLizardLounge.com.

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 Tori Amos
ToriAmos-300RGB(3)A queen of eclectic music, Amos has gone orchestral in this year’s Night of Hunters. Like scotch, Amos can be an acquired taste, but her ethereal voice and insane amount of talent wins over audiences who get to catch her live. She has the enchanting aura of Stevie Nicks, but that smooth operator delivery is all her own.

Thursday at the Verizon Theatre,
1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. 8 p.m. $39.50–$59.50.
Ticketmaster.com.

……………………..

The Women’s Chorus of Dallas

ImthurnThis Peace on Earth concert is a family affair as TWCD brings in a children’s choir and local fave Anton Shaw. The ladies will offer traditional music to some holiday rockin’ with conductor Melinda Imthurn and likely create a new holiday experience.

Sunday at the Wyly Theater,
2401 Flora St. 7 p.m. $30.
TWCD.org.

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Turtle Creek Chorale

TCCholidayStage300dpiLet’s face it: The chorale’s holiday show is a signature — the holidays just aren’t the same without their glorious hymns and wacky antics rolled into one. Interim conductor Trey Jacobs leds a solid show in My Favorite Things that delivers the cheer and the warmth that’s expected from the guys this time of year.

Wednesday at the Meyerson Symphony Center,
2301 Flora St. 8 p.m. $16–$65.
TurtleCreek.org.

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Jim Brickman

Brickman
The elegance of popular pianist Brickman is never lost during the holiday season. He brings back his “Christmas Celebration” concert to North Texas, and while he enchanted us at the Meyerson this past January, he’ll be tickling our ivories in Cowtown at Bass Hall this time. Either way, he makes it look a lot more like Christmas when he’s around.

Monday At Bass Hall,
525 Commerce St., Fort Worth. 7:30 p.m. $33–$82.
BassHall.com.

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CHIX

ChixThis local band has been chipping away at the scene and coming into their own with both covers and originals. With gigs at Mable Peabody’s in Denton and Jet Set in Uptown, they got the gig they’ve been waiting for with a Sunday show in November at Sue Ellen’s. Band member Nikki Stallen called it the best show they’ve had. Now they headline Saturday night  and with a growing fan base, they’re hoping to pack the house.

Saturday at Sue Ellen’s,
3014 Throckmorton St. 9:30 p.m.
SueEllens.com.

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Emmeline

Emmeline
Local indie chick Emmeline is no stranger to queer audiences, making a strong impression at Twist Dallas, which features mostly LGBT musicians. Organizer SuZanne Kimbrell booked Emmeline not just for her talent, but also to “bridge the gap” between straight and gay. She heads north to Denton with killer keyboards and an oh-so-lovely voice.

Saturday at Café Du Luxe,
3101 Unicorn Lake Blvd., Denton. 8 p.m.
ReverbNation.com/Emmeline.

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Infidelix and Immigrant Punk

Queer artists Infidelix, pictured, and world music renegade Immigrant Punk may be rough and tough on the outside, but this show proves they can be softies. The two acts join a hefty lineup of locals for the Wreck the Mics to Christmas Lights show in Denton. The show is a toy drive for low-income families in the area. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and then throw down for Infidelix’s hip-hop stylings and Immigrant Punk’s hardcore fusion of rock, rap and
Spanish influence. (Boombachs, Wild Billand Ewok are also on the bill.)

Monday at Hailey’s,
122 West Mulberry St., Denton.
Doors at 9 p.m. $5–$7.
HaileysClub.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 16, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

REVIEW: Tori Amos ‘Night of the Hunters’

Tori Amos sings a slightly different tune with her first album for the legendary classical Deutsche Grammophon label. With Night of the Hunters, she creates an orchestral woodsy gothic atmosphere that plays more like an opera than an album.

This is precisely her intention as the tracks unfold in a song cycle instead of a mere track list. Although the opener, “Shattering Sea” is misguided in its musical delivery with aggressive and jarring tones, she sets sail beautifully with second track “Snowblind.” Enlisting the help of her 11 year-old daughter, Natashya Hawley,who has a surprisingly mature handle on her own voice, the track puts the listener in the right atmosphere for the thoughtful album.

Amos’ classical background is no secret so perhaps this is the album she was meant to make. She doesn’t miss the mark with luxurious instrumentations that belong in a different time — like in Middle Earth. Titles like “Battle of the Trees,” “Star Whisperer” and the title track give way to such an ambiance, as does her mystical voice.

As beautiful as the poetic nature of the album is, it gets a little wearisome. Fourteen tracks is a heavy load to bear with such complexities and I wished she had gone for a less is more approach.

—  Rich Lopez