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December 01, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-01

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The Michigan Daily -

Continued from Page 8
In addition to Ralph's deep sounds,
these two elements monopolized one's
As the music began increasing in
intensity and the clock moved closer
towards midnight, personal space dimin-
ished on the dance floor. To make it to
bathroom or to the bar, one had to lit-
c ally swim through the compressed
crowd. Ralph's trance functioned as a
magnet, drawing even the crowd mem-
bers more interested in drinking than
dancing towards the main dancefloor.
:Just before midnight, Ralph began
prying a harder, more uptempo style of
trance. At this point the younger ravers.in
their eccentric clothing had their glow-
sticks twirling every 10 feet or so at full
sed. Even the older, meticulously
ped members of the crowd began
Wtting their drinks down and getting a
bit wild. The distinct scent of warm
sweat replaced the earlier aromas of per-
fume and smoke as the temperature rose
:Slightly after midnight, Ralph inten-
tionally killed the intensity by spinning a
nellow track featuring a female diva.
Dancing transformed into subtle body
niovement, waking everyone up from
singer Aj
Ihe Washington Post
Fiona Apple, whose 1996 debut,
'Tidal," sold more than 3 million copies,
-eturns with what is surely the world's
ongest album title: "When the Pawn
its the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King
t He Knows Throws the Blows
en He Goes to the Fight and He'll
in the Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters
he Ring There's No Body to Batter
hen Your Mind Is Your Might So
hen You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own
and and Remember That Depth Is the
'reatest of Heights and If You Know
here You Stand Then You Know
here to Land and If You Fall It Won't
atter Cuz You'll Know That You're
t makes more sense once Apple
xplains that it's her response to a 1997
pin magazine cover story painting her
s a self-obsessed drama queen exploit-
ng her psychic wounds.
"They screwed me from the begin-
ing," Apple says. "They knew what
hey were going to do with the story
nd it didn't really matter what I said,
ut I said some things that they could
easily edit together and make
look like a moron. I was upset
bout it but thought, well, that's just
hat they do to you.
"A month later, I was just going back
n the road for another two-month run
nd I was really tired," Apple says. "And
had just sat on the bus and there's Spin
ith Bjork on the cover and I picked it
p and there were all these terrible letters
n reaction to my story - 'She's the
annoying thing in the world,' etc.
I got so upset. I was crying, and I
idn't know how to make myself go on,
ake myself feel like it was all going to
1e OK."
So Apple responded by writing, the
0-word mantra serving as her version of
humbawamba's inspiring "I get
nocked down but I get up again."Apple
,orked out many of her adolescent
bsessions and frustrations with youth-
ul abandon on "Tidal"; on the new
, she exhibits a more mature per-
p'ctive, focusing on the complexities of
stablishing and maintaining relation-
Writing has been liberating for Apple
ince she was an 8-year-old trying des-
>crately to be heard in a fractious home4

vhere her parents were dissolving their

their trance-induced spell. Some headed
to the bathroom while others headed to
the lounge to rest.
Just as the vibe began diminishing,
Oakenfold joined his partner in the dis-
tant DJ booth, causing more than a few
crowd members to point their fingers
and alert their friends to get back on the
dancefloor. Once it became clear that no
one was even dancing to the music,
Oakenfold removed the needle from the
record and gazed across the now capaci-
ty crowd. Arns and hands stood erect as
chatter mutated into cheering.
After a minute of soaking up the
admiration as if he were a sort of musi-
cal god to the assembled hundreds,
Oakenfold gave the frenzied masses
what they came for.
After dropping the needle on a spin-
ning slab of black vinyl, a blaring chorus
of synthesized sounds formed a melody,
signaling the beginning moments of an
exhausting journey sure to challenge the
energy levels of everyone in the dark,
smoky room.
The opening track built up for a few
minutes to a screeching yet melodic peak
before exploding with spine shaking
bombs of bass. All of a sudden the suffo-
cating lack of personal space became
overly apparent as the explosion of bom-
bastic bass beats swept through the

crowd. What had been dancing only an
hour earlier now became cataclysmic
convulsion as drowned-out screams
filled the air, arms pumped in the air,
bodies unintentionally rubbed against
one another from all sides and feet
everywhere left the floor.
Oakenfold's extreme style of exhaust-
ing trance characterized by anthem after
anthem perfectly follows Ralph's deeper
style of lush, uplifting trance grooves.
Where one relaxes and slowly drags the
listener into its realm of audio sensory
bliss, the other injects raw energy into
your spine, quickly spreading feelings of
celebration and euphoria through the
Similar to Oakenfold's "Tranceport
I" album, one track of long build-
ups, radiant peaks and momentary
lapses of welcome ambience replaced
another track for the rest of the night.
The crowd followed the music, going
from near-standstill swaying to deto-
nated tantrum whenever the track's
build-up would commence.
By 2 a.m., a good portion of the
once excessively energetic crowd
now battled with inevitable fatigue.
The relentless ups and downs of
Oakenfold's trance had taken its toll.
Though there were still plenty of
screams and hands jetting into the air

Wednesday, December 1, 1999 - 9
began heading for the exit, he cued up
vet another record, suffocating the
weak chatter of the crowd The inter-
mission promed beneticial to the
crowd's remaining energy levels a
they once again broke into frlcie
The 10-minute encore com-
menced abruptly, replaced with a
second round of admiration and
worship. When just as many peopL
stormed the Di booth for autograp4
or any chance for interpersont'l
interaction, it became obvious that
the crowd perceived Oakenfold as
anything but a standard Di.
Though he may be far from the
most technically talented D3,
Oakenfold's selection of music and
his speechless plea for acclaim and
worship never fails. After bei4N
taken on a long and exhaustive autia
journey testing the outer limit; of
their endurance and tolerance fJr
continual sensory overload, crowds
cannot help but feel loyal to the
Perhaps as intense as any experi-
ence one can hope for as a human,
nights like Monday surely reminded
everyone assembled of both his or
her physical limits and euphoric

JOSH BVNOSpeu to the Oaey
Dave Ralph warmed up the crowd with his lush blend of electronic dance sounds.

during the momentary peaks of each
track, exhaustion had replaced
Oakenfold showed mercy on the
crowd, taking the needle off the
record for good at exactly two. For at
least two minutes, he stood in the

)ple adds hope in new album

booth, solemnly gazing out across the
beaten crowd of hundreds. His face
showed little if any emotion or feature
as he reveled in the screams of admira-
tion and applause.
Just as soon as the worship dimin-
ished and groups of sweaty masses

"I'd get into arguments with my par-
ents and I couldn't ever make my point.
It was when I was in therapy for whatev-
er everyone thought was wrong with me,
and it kind of made my credibility noth-
ing. If I was making an argument, every-
body thought I was ... trying to manipu-
late them," Apple says.
"So I'd go back into my room and I
would write a letter and an hour later, I'd
come out and read it - 'This is how I
feel' - and I'd go back into my room,"
she says. "I would love the way that it felt
to have your side of an argument right
here in front of you. If I wrote a letter, I
didn't even need to win an argument."
Two years later, the letters had a score
to them - Apple had taught herself
piano - though she was too shy for
school talent shows. Fiona lived in New
York with her mother, a former dancer
and singer, and spent summers with her
father, an actor in Los Angeles. He
encouraged her writing and helped her
with some early demos, but her music
career was just a fallback when she
couldn't get into college in fall '95.
"I'd been going to high school and
progressively getting worse at every-
thing," Apple recalls. "I started out in
private school as a freshman, spent my
sophomore year in public school, and my
junior year in night school. I had never
taken my PSAT, and all of a sudden my
night school closed two weeks before we
were to start up again and I couldn't get
into any other schools around New York.
"So that started me to going, 'What
am I going to do?' Well, the thing that I
can do is music. I called up my dad in
California, finished home school there
in two months, and decided to make
another demo tape. I literally made up 78
copies and handed out one."
Thanks to a baby-sitting pal, that three-
song demo landed with New York power
publicist Kathryn Schenker, who was
impressed by the maturity of the material
and the sophistication in the teenager's
vocals, and passed it to producer-manag-
er Andrew Slater. Soon after, Apple was
signed to the Work label and, with Slater
at the helm, began work on "Tidal," which
includes one track, "Never Is a Promise,"
direct from the demo.
The album's first two singles,
"Shadowboxer" and "Sleep to Dream,"
established Apple as an artist deserving
wider recognition. A third video, for
"Criminal," won more attention than she

Directed by Mark Romanek, it
addresses a young woman's guilt after
taking advantage of a love-struck boy
simply to offset her own low self-esteem:
"I've been a bad bad girl/ I've been care-
less witha delicate man," Apple sings.
But in Romanek's vision, she repents as
a sulking, scantily clad nymphet crawl-
ing over the human wreckage of an all-
night party. It was a kiddie-porn-style
peep show in the manner of Larry
Clark's "Kids," and Apple is still dealing
with damage control.
"I had qualms when it was being
made but I could not admit it to myself,"
she says. "I'd done two videos and it
wasn't satisfying; everybody knew they
could get a lot more from me. And it
came to me as 'Everything could be so
great if you did this with Mark
Romanek; he gets his videos played on
MTV' "
When Apple arrived at the shoot, she
found her wardrobe consisted of "a bed
full of underwear! And all I can think is:
I'm a teenage girl. If I'm in my under-
wear and everybody sees it and tells me
it looks great, it makes me feel good and
I'm not going to argue.
"Then the video comes out and I just
felt like an ass. Forget the fact that I was
in my underwear, I thought that it was
cheesy. I didn't look like myself. It's
kind of ruined the song for me." is time
These days, Apple's comfortable
with her videos. They're being helmed
by her beau, Paul Thomas Anderson,
acclaimed director of "Boogie
Nights" and the upcoming
"Magnolia." After first teaming up for
Apple's cover of the Beatles' "Across
the Universe" (from the
"Pleasantville" soundtrack), they
recently collaborated on the new
album's first single, "Fast as You
"Paul's going to do all my videos
from now on," Apple enthuses. "We
used all the people from his movie crew,
and it's all really fun. I don't have to
wear any makeup or anybody else's
clothes - no negligees!"
And where "Tidal" was a tsunami of
adolescent feelings in which Apple
revealed far too much of herself, "When
the Pawn" is a decidedly more mature
work that trades in youthful melodrama
for somber ruminations on shattered

relationships and romantic obsession
delivered in Apple's husky alto. The
album offers cycles of struggle and sur-
render, optimism and cynicism, hope
and hopelessness.
"When I was sequencing the album. I
was thinking about the amount of hope
in each song," Apple admits. She also
recalls cataloguing the album's ever-
shifting perspective on relationships:
"Don't try it ... OK, try it, please ... OK,
we tried it, it failed ... Please, one more
chance ... I'm not going to give you one
more chance."
In "On the Bound," the singer con-
cedes, "It's true/ I do imbue my blue unto
myself/ I make it bitter," and there's plen-
ty of residual rage in tracks like "Limp"
and "Get Gone." But there's also vulnera-
bility to songs like "The Way Things
Are," "To Your Love" and "I Know."
In "Love Ridden," the singer dismiss-
es a former lover when she realizes she's
the one in control. "I want your warm,
but it will only make me colder when it's
over/ So I can't tonight, baby ... Only
kisses on the cheek from now on/And in
a little while/ We'll only have to wave."
That kind of emotional resilience per-
meates the album - a corollary to her
rekindled optimism, Apple says.

The Psychology Peer Advisors Present
Fall 1999 Focus Group #5
Career Opportunities with an Undergraduate
Psychology Degree
Thursday, December 2, 1999
7:00-9:00 PM
4" Floor Terrace, East Hall
There will be refreshments.
Anyone interested in Psychology and/or Mental
Health Professions is encouraged to take.advantage of this opportunity,
The Psychology Peer Advisors are located in
1044 East Hail and have walk-in hours from
1 1:00AM-4:00PM Mon-Fri. They help students
with questions regarding the Psychology and
Biopsychology concentrations and can help
declare students in either concentration.


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