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Tori Amos: Piece by Piece

Tekijä: Tori Amos, Ann Powers (Tekijä)

Muut tekijät: Mel Odom (Kansikuvataiteilija)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
622837,594 (3.89)8
An intimate, eye-opening look inside the life of one of the most unique and adored performers of contemporary rock music From her critically acclaimed 1992 debut, "Little Earthquakes, to the recent hit, "Scarlet's Walk, Tori Amos has been a formidable force in contemporary music, with one of the most dedicated fan bases in the industry. In "Tori Amos: Piece by Piece, the singer herself takes readers beyond the mere facts, explaining the specifics of her creative process--how her songs go from ideas and melodies to recordings and passionately performed concert pieces. Written with acclaimed music journalist Ann Powers, "Tori Amos: Piece by Piece is a firsthand account of the most intricate and intimate details of Amos's life as both a private individual and a very public performing musician. In passionate and informative prose, Amos explains how her songs come to her and how she records and then performs them for audiences everywhere, all the while connecting with listeners across the world and maintaining her own family life (which includes raising a young daughter). But it is also much more, a verbal collage made by two strong female voices--and the voices of those closest to Amos--that calls upon genealogy, myth, and folklore to express Amos's unique and fascinating personal history. In short, we see the pieces that make up--as Amos herself puts it--"the woman we call Tori." With photos taken especially for this book by the photographer Loren Haynes, "Tori Amos: Piece by Piece is a rare treat for both Tori listeners and newcomers alike, a look into the heart and mind of an extraordinary musician. Now, backstage at an undisclosed arena where the sweat of athletes is still perfuming my makeshift dressing room, my many conversations with Ann Powers have begun . . . "You come from the journalist side. I come from the artist side. It can become offensive. I'm sure from your side as well as fr… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Man, what a pain! This is a tough call. I'll go with the 2 stars and call it even, I guess.

Unfortunately, I feel like I need to talk about my Tori feelings first. Curse it!

Before reading this, I correctly worried I would find it all so annoying that I'd be sad. But I picked it up because I conducted an experiment where I re-listened to every Tori song that I've had since high school, which I can't say is every song? But is a few hundred. I just shuffled them around for days. I wasn't allowed to skip any, even the horrible ones, except for the song that used to make me cry really hard, just in case. It was a good idea, and giving the new songs some time was good too. And I saw some done in new ways; are you kidding me, P.S. 22? For real, doesn't that make you want to listen to Tori Amos?

But really for each thing that makes me go YES, something else makes me go NO. The unfortunate penchant for role play. And she's kind of obsessed with being skinny. And I have a low threshold for her more dippy beliefs. I even like obscure myths and stuff, but it's just distraction here.

Anyway. This book is not good, and it begins with this narcissistic problem. People do like to read one's thoughts, but they also read nonfiction for facts, and not facts like the name of the paint color of the studio in one's beach house. Which I think we get told two or three times, actually. Once is too many. It could all be less horrible to read if anyone had reined in anyone else, but that clearly didn't happen. Did the editor just give up?

I think the editor just gave up. The problem really is the book itself -- Tori's annoying sometimes, but at least I still respect her a lot at the end of all this, and instead I find Ann Powers the lamest hack ever. BAD. The structure is ridiculous -- it's barely a book at all. And Powers's own insertions are crazy and factless. "The degradation of archetypes within contemporary society has made serving Dionysus a sloppy affair for many." THE WHOLE THING IS LIKE THAT.

But. My favorite part to read was the chapter about touring, because touring is cool, and it was also the most grounded in reality chapter. I like someone telling what it was like when their driver got the upper deck of their bus torn off, and they still slept in it because they didn't know what else to do. And the historical ironies are kind of funny. Like how her first tour manager ditched her in 1992 for They Might Be Giants. You can't make that stuff up. My very favorite was probably Joel Hopkins, Security Director/bodyguard, describing his management of the intense fan base: "I try to keep a close watch on the vulnerable ones." Oh my gosh man. Like a biker with a kitten, that one.

But see, that basically good chapter of a book is titled, "Sane Satyrs and Balanced Bacchantes: The Touring Life's Gypsy Caravan". Ann Powers, are you serious? Because I about have a conniption here with you.

I think Powers's main crime, though, is not questioning one single thing Amos has to say. There are literally no follow up questions, or another point of view. Her authorial method seems to be: 1) bring up thing, 2) copy down what Tori says, 3) publish book. This makes for such indulgent content, plus it looks like total whitewashing over the slightly controversial pieces of Tori's history. It renders a book basically useless.

The actual best chapter is the one about her relationship problems with record labels. How Atlantic warned they'd bury her by making her live out her contract, and when it was done, she would be too old. It's a long story, and her telling it is great because above all it proves that she is no dummy. Not at all.

Too bad none of the people on this project with her could tell it. ( )
1 ääni pokylittlepuppy | May 20, 2010 |
Probably would get 5* if I was more of a fan of her work, this made me want to get as much of her back catalogue as I could and listen to it all. Friends have recommended her but I've resisted to this point and though reading a bit about her might be useful and interesting, and it was. This is the kind of biography where you actually should know more about the music than I did and I would have loved to have had some more pictures, particularly of album covers discussed in the text. Still quite an interesting read, it did speak in particular to the mystical and feminist corners of my brain. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Mar 10, 2010 |
Piece by Piece is the autobiography of singer/songwriter Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos) and is subtitles "A portrait of the artist. Her thoughts. Her conversations." And it really is. A wonderful insight into Tori Amos as a musician, a mother, a lioness and a spiritual follower of her own path. Separated into conversations between Tori and Ann, Tori's own observations adn writings, Ann's comments, passages from interviews with those close to Tori including her husband and song canvases, I couldn't put this down from the first sentence.

There are eight main chapters names after goddesses or archetypes (Tori is a fan of mythology expert Joseph Campbell and psychologist Carl Gustav Jung) wich cover Tori's opinions and experiences including motherhood, her image, the trouble she had with her first record comapny (Atlantic Records), her failed project Y Kant Tori Read, three devestating miscarriages, her relationship with christianity and the two Mary's (the Mother and the Magdalene). From her Cherokee grandfather Tori has found her love of spirituality rather than a dogmatic religion and performs ceremonies before going on stage with her close friends, family and crew (pretty much all the same thing). The tale she weaves is intelligent referencing many mythologies and folktales whilst being intimatly personal when she speaks of her daughter and failed pregnancies. Weaving stories behind her songs and what they mean to her amid the narrative, it really feels like you are talking to Tori and she is present in the room with you.

It gives an amazing insight into her creative process. This includes how she writes her songs (song Beings), gets her inspiration from basically everywhere and everyone around her, pieces sections of fragments of music and lyrics together and pieces together her image. It was written just before The Beekeeper was released and it was interesting to read of the symbolism of the bee and the six sides to Tori. This is simply a MUST for all fans of her music and what she stands for.

A little about my journey with Tori so far. I first heard Cornflake Girl when it was in the charts and then promptly forgot about her. The same with Professional Widow (the remix). It wasn't until I was around 15 that I went to an unconventional party that I really discovered her music on a deeper level. The party was the first birthday party for STEPS. STEPS was a group in Liverpool for woman who self harm and it was the first time I had plucked up the courage to attend one of their meetings. There I met some great people and started the long road to not being ashamed of mt ways of coping. At the party one lady did a modern dance interpretation to Tori's song "Hotel" from the album "From the Choirgirl Hotel" and it still is my favourite of her songs. It was so poignant with the ending "I'm still alive" repeated and I adore it when she plays it live. I have seen her live four times now and the third time I was lucky enough to be one of 200 people at an intimate gig in a theatre in London where she was interviewed by Ann Powers for part of this book. They sat on stage and chatted with Tori playing two sets of four songs inbetween. Amazing. ( )
3 ääni Rhinoa | Aug 10, 2008 |
Take Tori, her music, religion, art work, mythology, spirituality, voo doo and awesomeness and you might come close to this book. Must have for Toriphiles and dirty mouths with feet. ( )
  whimsyblue | Jun 2, 2008 |
A great look at approaching archetype through writing and creation. Reads like an intense conversation about religion and art with a good friend. Knowing Amos' musical archive provided a great subtext to the biographical and writing-process aspects of the book; I imagine this one will probably be dominantly interesting to those acquainted with the artist and her work. ( )
  NoSuchUser | Dec 26, 2006 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Tori Amosensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Powers, AnnTekijäpäätekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Odom, MelKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (3)

An intimate, eye-opening look inside the life of one of the most unique and adored performers of contemporary rock music From her critically acclaimed 1992 debut, "Little Earthquakes, to the recent hit, "Scarlet's Walk, Tori Amos has been a formidable force in contemporary music, with one of the most dedicated fan bases in the industry. In "Tori Amos: Piece by Piece, the singer herself takes readers beyond the mere facts, explaining the specifics of her creative process--how her songs go from ideas and melodies to recordings and passionately performed concert pieces. Written with acclaimed music journalist Ann Powers, "Tori Amos: Piece by Piece is a firsthand account of the most intricate and intimate details of Amos's life as both a private individual and a very public performing musician. In passionate and informative prose, Amos explains how her songs come to her and how she records and then performs them for audiences everywhere, all the while connecting with listeners across the world and maintaining her own family life (which includes raising a young daughter). But it is also much more, a verbal collage made by two strong female voices--and the voices of those closest to Amos--that calls upon genealogy, myth, and folklore to express Amos's unique and fascinating personal history. In short, we see the pieces that make up--as Amos herself puts it--"the woman we call Tori." With photos taken especially for this book by the photographer Loren Haynes, "Tori Amos: Piece by Piece is a rare treat for both Tori listeners and newcomers alike, a look into the heart and mind of an extraordinary musician. Now, backstage at an undisclosed arena where the sweat of athletes is still perfuming my makeshift dressing room, my many conversations with Ann Powers have begun . . . "You come from the journalist side. I come from the artist side. It can become offensive. I'm sure from your side as well as fr

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