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I watched West Wing just now and they played a song that haunted me, that gave me goosebumps. It was a Tori Amos remake of a song called "I Don't Like Mondays" and I may have never felt more touched watching standard television programming in my life. The song, her voice, and the storyline combined to crash down on my senses, my perception, my very existence in a way that shook me more than any episode of Survivor or Friends ever could.

I'd previously purchased Scarlet's Walk and liked it quite a bit. This song, Tori's voice, and the story and cinematography of West Wing… at the very least it gave me goose bumps. It touched me, it made me feel. It stuck with me, and as I listen to the song, I continue to have goosebumps.

I'm not afraid of feeling. I'm not afraid of thinking. I like people that make me do either, for better or worse. I'm human, and the only thing that may set me apart from my dog is a higher capacity for feeling and thinking. I like artists that are artists. Britney Spears may be hot, and she can sing (kinda), but people like Tori Amos are artists. They craft, they create, they sculpt, and ultimately they provoke. They provoke a reaction, a feeling, a thought.

I picked up Strange Little Girls, From the Choirgirl Hotel, Little Earthquakes, Boys for Pele, and Under the Pink today. I guess the only one I'm missing is To Venus and Back. I took a trip with a friend recently and listened to some of her other songs, and heard some of the stories behind them (like "Me and a Gun"), but I couldn't name many. I've listened to "I Don't Like Mondays" about ten times now. I still have goosebumps.

…securing peace in a time of global conflict, sustaining hope in this winter of anxiety and fear. More than any time in recent history America's destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedoms and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people's strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive.

Forty four people were killed a couple of hours ago at Kenneson State University. Three swimmers from the men's team were killed and two others are in critical condition when after having heard the explosion from their practice facility they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran into the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight.

But every time we've measured our capacity to meet a challenge we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars.

I believe in rewarding the true artists out there. I haven't listened to much of Tori's music. I'm about to. I may not agree with Tori - I've heard the word "feminist" used more than a few times, and most of her fans are decidedly female, not male - but I'm often surprised by what I like, and I'm certainly not afraid to try new things, nor am I going to let what other people think going to influence my opinion.

After all, I still have goosebumps.

11 Responses to "Tori"

  1. You need to hear tori's 'Smells like teen spirit' as well. It is incredible. It's a B-Side, i'll dcc it to you. 🙂

  2. (i also have bought every one of her CDs, as well as a lot of her singles.. anyway, smells like teen spirit is on one of the Crucify singles)

  3. I'd recommend finding if you can the Boomtown Rats' album with the original of I Don't Like Mondays.

    I remember the first time I heard that song. I was just a kid. It was the middle or late '70s, and they did that song on the Merv Griffin show. (Or the Mike Douglas show.) It was just totally great, different from everything else in that era of Foreigner and Pink Floyd and REO Speedwagon. I loved it.

    I still have the album. On vinyl.

  4. I remember the firest I told an American friend about the story behind "I don't like mondays". It was about 10 years ago, and back then, High School shootings seemed so for us, like the most extraordinary story.

    Nowadays, they've become all too commonplace... 🙁

  5. Yeah Tori is a special artist, it's rarely mentioned but her voice does bear a striking resemblance to uk songwriter Kate Bush in her "Kick Inside" days.....Nevertheless I can see Tori being around for years to come, quirky, beautiful and inspired.

  6. Tori Amos rocks. Gorgeous and talented, the thinking man's Britney Spears 🙂

  7. Tori amos looks Hmmmmm 😉 I like Tori

  8. I watched the The O.C. season finale today (while I was without internet access for seven hours) and at the end they played a song which had previously been in West Wing when Mark Harmon's character was shot. Like a...

  9. That scene from the West Wing is probably my all-time favorite. Right after the speech, Bruno (who is in the back of the room) turns to Sam and says "When did you write that last bit?" Sam replies "in the car." Bruno says, with nothing but respect, "freak."

  10. [...] This reminds me a bit too much of this [...]

  11. I just found this post the other day through Google, and found some common ground. I became a big West Wing fan in recent years, and just watched "20 Hours In America" again and was blown away by the song/acting/dialog/cinematography combination. I'm not sure why I hadn't noticed the song before, but like you mentioned, it haunted me in the same way and had to get it from iTunes.

    I've since listened to it about 30 times over the last several days.

    But even though the song is amazingly emotive in its own right, when placed in the backdrop of that tragedy and speech, "We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great." Solid.

    I think that what's so amazing about aesthetics is that it's possible for people to feel the same way about something without communicating at all; it was very cool to stumble upon your post and think, "Wow, he understood just like I did."

    As an aside, The West Wing has so many of those scenes - the end speech of The Crackpots and These Women, the final montage in In Excelsis Deo, Ainsley being made to feel welcome at the end of And It's Surely To Their Credit, the run-up to the press conference in Two Cathedrals, the assassination scene in Posse Comitatus, the list goes on... such a great show.