Hoshti Goshtas (rpeate) wrote in thepawn,
Hoshti Goshtas

Fiona Apple Tonight

Tonight is the Fiona Apple concert at the Wiltern Theatre. My wife, Robin, and I are going. Am I happily excited about this? Am I looking forward to this show with great eagerness and pleasure? No. I've been forgetting it's even happening--last night Robin reminded me again.

In 1997, I liked the song "Criminal" but not the video. I remember watching it with crovy in his parents' house. In 1998, I bought Tidal and loved it. In 1999, I acquired When the Pawn . . . and loved it. I loved Fiona, and considered her the best musician on the scene. In 2000, I told Robin that my definition of success in Los Angeles would mean meeting Fiona Apple. Not by going out of my way to meet her, but by meeting her as a matter of course. If I found myself in the same place as Fiona by chance, then I would have arrived, I felt.

In 2005, I heard the leaked version of Extraordinary Machine and loved it. I wrote a letter to Sony, demanding they release it, under the impression they were the obstacle. Under that impression, I supported the Free Fiona movement. I loved Fiona, and I would have fought for her.

But we were all of us deceived . . .

Fiona herself was the obstacle, suffering a classic and typical case of musicianitis--the Insecurity That Kills Art. She took the tracks, butchered them, diluted them, turned them into hip-hop crap (I love hip-hop, but Fiona as hip-hop is crap), and claimed the previous versions (though they had more instrumental tracks and better vocals) hadn't been finished. She suffered an attack of self-doubt and the music suffered. As did my opinion of her. When I had the opportunity to meet her at an in-store appearance this fall, I declined to go. I declined to meet the person who for five years was my highest personal star in Los Angeles, the person my meeting whom represented success in Los Angeles to me for five years. I was too disappointed in her, along with everyone else who truly understood and cared about Fiona Apple. The ad campaign for the album alone, before we even heard it, was disgusting, and I was amazed she even allowed it, was even willing to attach her name to such commercialism. As aliciaf put it, Fiona had "sold out".

But Fiona's fans knew better than Fiona did. They let her know their displeasure with her overproduced, underoriginal crap. She said it might be "interesting" to re-release the album using the original tracks, while still maintaining they were not finished, which was, of course, the only way she could save face. I believe it is unprecedented for an artist to admit, even indirectly, that she made a mistake in response to the outcry of her most astute, observant, and refined fans. It's like Bush with Miers--you don't alienate your base.

We bought the bullshit version, for the sake of hearing it, for the two completely unaltered tracks, and for the bonus videos. The live videos were so great I said, "Fiona, you can do whatever you want!" Call that temporary insanity, caused by the power of a siren.

So there is hope for her live show. I may come away from it as excited as I was by the DVD. But after a mistake like the one she made this year, I do not wish to get my hopes up. I am feeling guarded at best. I have every reason to believe she will be great live; I am sure she always has been. But why, oh, why did you betray yourself, your art, and your admirers, sweet Fiona? Why did you tarnish yourself? Why did you break our hearts?

I do still love her, but now I am like a battered spouse. I love, but I am hurt, and changed. It will take time and effort on Fiona's part to rebuild my trust.

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