Archive for July 2012 | Monthly archive page

posted by on Fashion/Beauty, Library, Lists, Movies/TV

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A while back I happened to be browsing the biographies section of our local library. I was mainly looking for author bios but a brightly colored book stuck out. Grabbing it off the shelf my inner 5 year old was giddy. The book was Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life. I was in awe, I was excited, I was confused.

The book was published in 1983 (the year of my birth!) and was written as told to Henry Beard (aka by him, since she’s a muppet). Apparently he was one of the founders of the National Lampoon magazine.

The crazy thing is that it’s an awesome book. As I repeatedly perused the pages I knew that had to share it with you guys. It’s funny, empowering to women (odd since it’s by a man in the early ’80s) and written with an adult tone. Though tempting I did not scan the entire book (also plagiarism, ahem) but I wanted to highlight some key parts.

Now let’s bask in the wonder of Miss Piggy’s wisdom, aka one of my role models while growing up (which also includes Dolly Parton, hmm, no wonder I’m a bottle blonde).

1. Complexion Perfection


Miss Piggy advises a simple skin care regime of basically washing your fae with water, admiring it and then eating candy, how can you go wrong?

Yes, tanning is bad for you, blah, blah, blah. If you’re saying that you never do it though, you are lying. She advises tanning in moderation as Kermit has been known to go from green to blue with too much exposure.

2. Depression

Obviously not for serious depression but if you have a bit of the blues think about things that could be worse (see above). No TV, the horror!

3. “Dieting”

(please read her scale)
Sure you could diet but it’s restrictive and not at all fun, besides you probably burn some calories just being your amazing self, right?

4. Have a Little Fun (ex. Spin the Bottle)

This is actually under party planning advice but I just needed to share that somewhere out there muppets are playing spin the bottle. BTW-a quick spin the bottle tip from moi? Don’t let it evolve into groping. The whole group dynamic goes down the toilet.

5. Exercising

If you’re bf could actually exercise for you that would be amazing. Yes, you can exercise but don’t forget about all of the above activities you may do that already burn calories.

6. How to Model

Modeling is actually under exercise. I know that sounds ridiculous but there have been times that I woke up the next day after taking photos and wondered why does this muscle hurt? Oh yeah, I was crouching down for that perfect shot. These are some key pin up looks that I recommend you try ASAP. So fun!

7. Choosing a Career (based on the clothes)

Before Elle Woods, Miss Piggy also considered a career in law but the robes are just not flattering. She’s a wonderful model but she isn’t into actually dieting so she also rules that out. The underground food critic option sounds like a good choice for her, though I abhor the outfit.

In case this sounds like an odd way to choose a career I must tell you a tale. As someone who has always been fascinated by fashion my father once remarked after seeing me browsing a Newport News catalog, “you can wear suits like that every day if you become a secretary”. Surprisingly I was a teen in the 90s, not the 40s, I know, I know.

8. Cooking

As any modern woman of the 80s, or 90s, or whatever the hell you call the decade that we currently reside in, who the fuck wants to cook? Not moi. Order takeout instead and save your energy for after dinner smooches.

The message that you take away from this book is surprisingly better than any actual, serious self help book I’ve ever read. Don’t take life so seriously and have some fun!

FYI-This book is out of print (sigh), so most people are gouging the price of it.

or you can try eBay

You may also enjoy:
Super Links: 11/20/11-featuring Miss Piggy in a punk rock look from MAC
Movies Quotes: Disney’s Tangled
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Beauty and the Beast

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posted by on Movie Reviews, Movies/TV

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4.5 out of 5 stars

Note: spoilers abound

This post is for the current LAMB Movie of the Month: The Shape of Things. I’m not always crazy about the writer/director of this film, Neil Labute’s, work but I’m big fan of this flick. While the story is, of course integral to that, it’s actually the amazing acting by Rachel Weisz and Paul Rudd that initially drew me to (and continues to draw me back to) this disturbing film.

“You could be a sadist for all I know”  “Stop sweet talking me.”

Aside from Rudd and Weisz there are really only 2 other main characters, a yuppie couple played by Frederick Weller and Gretchen Moll. Weller looks like he’d fit right into a Whit Stillman movie, making the viewer (or at least this viewer) instantly hate him. Moll is interminably boring in this flick. Pre The Notorious Bettie Page I never saw a spark in her. Afterward she not only captured Bettie’s spirit but later tackled comedies, leading me to become a fan. However at this time, she was supposed to be the next big thing despite being as exciting as plain toast.

Neil LaBute originally wrote the The Shape of Things as a play. The cast who later went on to star in the flick originated the roles in the play two years prior to the filming of it. Probably my only real beef with the film is that the cast play college characters and only Moll was actually around college age during filming. However though the film is set at a college that isn’t really the point so it’s not that big of a deal.

“See I’m totally different, I think everyone should see themselves doing it and their friends should see it too.”

The film centers on Adam (Paul Rudd). He’s a shy student and museum guard. It’s always assumed that a shy character should be drawn out so initially someone would probably think that when an anarchist artist named Evelyn (Weisz) starts flirting with him that this would only lead to good things. I can’t even explain how much more attractive this type of woman is to the faux manic pixies of our current pop culture landscape.

In reality Evelyn is continuously altering Adam, mostly by using sex and flattery as tools of manipulation. Some of the things that she gets him to change about himself are his weight, fashion sense and haircut.

“What? Did she give you a haircut and a blowjob and now you’re her puppy?”-Phillip

His friends, in particular Phillip (Weller), call him out on this fairly quickly. However Phillip is a dick. Phillip is engaged to Jenny (Gretchen Moll). The fact is that Phillip is the type of guy who nabbed Jenny because he knew that Adam was interested in her. It’s basically impossible to see what Jenny sees in Phillip aside from his dominance (she often seems to disappear into the background in his presence).

While Jenny does compliment and end up hitting on Rudd (“You’re like this totally hot guy now”), in part due to his makeover and most likely also due to both of them being taken, she actually goes into the subject more thoroughly with Weisz. Weisz seems to want to change the subject when Jenny questions her. However what is truly scary about the film is that what Jenny says is true, people often are in actual relationships with other people and they think that person should just change for them. I’m the complete opposite type of person so I’ve never really understood that. To paraphrase Jenny, “Cosmo says if you change one thing you could have the perfect man. Well Phillip has about six of those one things”.

The cruelest part of Weisz’s makeover is cutting him off from his friends after both of them have indiscretions with the other couple.

“…from the scorned girl’s handbook.”

The big reveal is that Weisz has being using Rudd as her experiment or “human sculpture” for her thesis project. She is a huge fan of performance art and takes great pride in her unveiling.

"Tell me how cute this is then? Fuck you, you heartless cunt!"

It’s definitely Weisz that steals this movie. She is so strong and interesting to watch. When you rewatch the film it’s definitely easier to see her character a bit more. While she may smile, flirt and act interested in Adam, the only times that she truly seems emotional is when she is either espousing or arguing about art. Art is her life.

The Shape of Things is definitely a must watch, but it’s not an easy watch and not for everyone.

You can watch The Shape of Things on Netflix Streaming.

You may also enjoy:
Movie Review: Total Recall (1990)-for LAMB Acting School 101: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Movie Review: The Ice Storm-LAMB Director’s Chair #26: Ang Lee
Movie Review: ZPG Zero Population Growth-retrfuturism at its best
Sonny Movie Review aka Whores In Love-starring James Franco

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posted by on Movies/TV, Netflix Streaming

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As an obsessive fan of Marilyn Monroe something came to me the other night while watching one of her flicks on Netflix. Duh! She needs to have her own Online Movie Resource on my site.

If you aren’t familiar with this concept, what I do is scour the net for legal video on demand films starring a certain actor. Thus far I had only put together one for the amazing Johnny Depp last summer but a post of this nature is definitely needed for the lovely, talented Marilyn as well.

Enjoy!

SUBSCRIPTION
Netflix (subscription)
All About Eve
How to Marry a Millionaire
Monkey Business
River of No Return
The Seven Year Itch
There’s No Business Like Show Business
Marilyn in Manhattan (documentary)

Epix (subscription)
Love Happy

Hulu/Hulu Plus (free/subscription)
Marilyn Monroe: In the Movies
Marilyn in Manhattan
The Hollywood Collection Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend

(all are about her, not actual movies)

FREE
YouTube (free)
Home Town Story

Internet Archive (free, public domain)
Home Town Story
The Legend of Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe-Beyond the Legend

Amazon Instant Video (Video On Demand, pay per title)
over 30 titles (affiliate link)

The following titles are included with their subscription service Amazon Prime:
Home Town Story
The Misfits
The Seven Year Itch
Hollywood Collection: Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend

TV
TV Guide’s listing of Marilyn Monroe movies airing in the near future.

You may also enjoy:
Just Because: Marilyn Monroe
Just Because: More Marilyn Monroe
my Marilyn Monroe tags on tumblr
Johnny Depp Online Movie Resource

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posted by on Conventions, Movies/TV

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Mark Metcalf, Amber Benson, James Marsters, Clare Kramer, Kristy Swanson

Kristy Swanson, Clare Kramer

The woman who was in charge of handling the press told us where we could sit. She also said, feel free to crouch on the floor for close photos if you want. So near the end of the panel I literally crawled around in the below pink dress and took these pics because I had to, and it was encouraged! Man, how beautiful is Kristy Swanson, BTW?

(Other photos included in this post were taken from our normal seated position and aren’t as clear but I’m including them anyway so you can get a fuller experience.)


The panel started off with Clare letting everyone know that she’s filling in for Juliet Landau (who was originally scheduled to attend) and joked that she’d try to field any Drusilla questions. James promoted his band, Ghost of the Robot.



on the best acting advice they received
The second video is just a shorter, clearer version of the first about acting advice. My sister shot it because of her James Marsters obsession so I’m including it for all of us fangirls out there.


most memorable moments


James Marsters delves into how Joss Whedon really used a mixture of genres on Buffy, sometimes within the same episode or scene. He also discusses stage Vs screen acting.


on their characters’ deaths


Amber Benson comments on what it was like to have her death scene be used as her opening title credit for the rest of the show.


Amber Benson on Tara and Willow’s lesbian relationship
She talks about how it’s not about sexuality or even physicality but about love.


Benson discusses Tara’s death
James Marsters talks about what it was like when fans found Spike sexy since that wasn’t Joss’ original intention.


answering if they ever took anything from the set
I love that Clare Kramer stole Glory’s panties!


James Marsters on working on Buffy Vs. Angel
It’s awesome when he talks about working with Boreanaz on Angel.

Amber Benson, Mark Metcalf, James Marsters, Clare Kramer, Kristy Swanson

Well the Buffy panel at the 2012 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con was awesome, as would be expected. As I mentioned in my Thor panel post, BTVS fans are the best. They are perceptive, witty and inquisitive.

Mark Metcalf, Amber Benson, James Marsters, Clare Kramer, Kristy Swanson

I’ve been to a small, intimate Angel/Buffy convention years back. Plus my sister and I had also met a couple of the actors at another convention years ago but this was a first for her to see an actual Buffy panel. You don’t even know how excited she was.

Mark Metcalf, Amber Benson, James Marsters, Clare Kramer

I did most of the filming on this one and for some reason the fact that her camera is 2MP higher than mine makes a huge difference. That’s why some videos are clearer and closer than others. I’m also usually steadier but it was too much fun to stay completely still during this thing.

Mark Metcalf, Amber Benson, James Marsters, Clare Kramer

Mark Metcalf, Amber Benson, James Marsters, Clare Kramer

I would definitely say that a fun time was had by all. If Wizard World does another Buffy panel in the future I highly encourage you to attend it. What a blast!

Hot Donna, James Marsters, missemmamm

Press passes to the convention were provided to both Hot Donna & myself gratis from the awesome PR team at Wizard World.
The next Wizard World Comic Con takes place in Chicago this August. For more info on their upcoming cons please visit the Wizard World site.

You may also enjoy:
Hot Donna’s Top 5 Season 1 Angel Episodes
Hot Donna’s Top 5 Season 2 Angel Episodes
Hot Donna’s Top 5 Season 3 Angel Episodes
2012 Wizard World Philly Comic Con: Thor Panel with Chris Hemsworth
2012 Wizard World Philly Comic Con: An Exclusive Interview with Amber Benson
2012 Wizard World Philly Comic Con: My Favorite Costumes

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posted by on Library, Music

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Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

http://youtu.be/qTPdoLz3YDI

Werewolf by fionaapple

Fiona Apple Tells V That She Reached A Point Where She ‘Could Let Myself Die, That Slow Suicide’ via MTV Newsroom (06/26/12)
I think I did a really smart thing a few months ago. I’m one of those people, one of the many, that has a drink before every show. I just don’t know any different. And I really needed to learn how to not do that. … I thought that having a drink was what took the edge off or made me feel more confident, less self-conscious or whatever. But it turns out to be the other way around. And now I don’t immediately react to myself or judge things that are going on. It doesn’t even occur to me anymore. I think I’ve grown up in that way. I became less inhibited. I don’t care as much about being judged.

About her label Epic hounding her for new material over the last 7 years:

No, they don’t care, because they don’t look at me as someone who’s gonna make a lot of money. So they just forget about me.

Fiona Apple: The Billboard Cover Story (June 18, 2012)-
“Apple rarely leaves her house. The 34-year-old singer/songwriter has turned into a serious homebody since moving to Los Angeles in 2001-housework, as we’ll discuss, is one reason she hasn’t made a record in seven years-and her stay-at-home tendencies have only intensified in recent years.”

“Apple wants to “wait until she’s in the other world to move.” She worries about isolating herself too much, but she also knows that it works for her.”

“It’s the same when I’m on tour, actually,” Apple says. “During the day, I never go out and do anything fun. I stay in the hotel room and I just stay really quiet so then I’m in the mood for being in front of a lot of people a little bit more.”

“Fortunately, though, I also tend to go away during the songs.”

“Seven years wasn’t intentional. It’s just because I’ll finish something and then two years will go by where I don’t touch the piano. I might think of a song and then be like, “I don’t care if I forget it. I don’t want to do that shit. I’m not writing a song.”

“There are many different things I get obsessed with and go around and take pictures of. I’m pretty good, I think, and I enjoy it. And while I’m doing that I’ll also be studying and reading about whatever I’m taking pictures of. I make up courses for myself to take.”

“I like writing words, but music is annoying as hell because there’s always a point in time when I want to kill a song. I know that it’s a good song and stick with it, because if I’ve made any effort on something, then it’s worth it. I don’t have a bunch of songs lying around that I don’t use.”

A New Album And Life For Fiona Apple from Elle (June 7, 2012)-
Apple, who lives in California, has been holed up in her­ ­hotel room for a week with the flu. She came down with it at the end of a seven-stop mini tour of ­intimate ­venues that met with rave reviews and lit up the Internet. She says her New York City support ­system has taken good care of her, especially her ex-boyfriend, the magician David Blaine, who plied her with lots of healthy soups and ­juices.

“I’m getting calls from people who I called when I had a fever and was talking in accents,” she says, rolling her eyes at herself. “I’m not the type of person who drunk-dials. I must’ve been crazy.”

The new album marks a striking depar­ture from the large-ensemble, often orches­tral arrangements that domi­nated Apple’s previous albums. She and Drayton agreed to stay unplugged for as long as they could in the recording process. The resulting stark piano ballads with intricate melodies, changing time signatures, and a bluesy or jazzy, even Tom Waits–like feel make an elegant backdrop for Apple’s passionate and committed vocals, which range from cabaret-style formality to what almost sounds like the artist talking to herself. Dodging artfully around each tune are Drayton’s fluttery drumming, nimble-fingered ­percussion work, and plenty of found sounds of ­mostly indeterminate origin (one rhythm track is a recording of the two dancing on a truck).

“Fiona’s growing and taking bigger chances, an experience she needed to go through,” says Drayton. “I believe she’s not really aware of the size of her musical gift, which often makes me wonder where she finds her ­inspiration. Amongst all there is out there these days, we’re not challenged all that much. Fiona does not compromise how she feels, and why should she?”

There are far fewer portions of ­Angry Young Woman and finger-pointing at ­Apple’s past lovers…on this album than in her earlier work; more songs are about her looking inward and figuring out what makes her tick. “It used to be that everyone else was wrong and I was right,” she says. “Maybe that’s growing up or something, because I absolutely don’t think everyone was so bad to me as I used to think.”

In the loping piano ballad “Left Alone,” she insistently interrogates herself, “How can I ask anyone to love me when all I do is beg to be left alone?”

But it seems that she has learned to appreciate her idiosyncrasies, though she says she’s still on medication to make her day-to-day life run more smoothly.

“I had really bad obsessive-compulsive disorder,” Apple recalls. “At its worst, I was compelled to leave my house at three o’clock in the morning and go out in the alley because I just knew that the ­paper-towel roll I threw in the recycling bin was uncomfortable, like it was lying the wrong way, and I would be down in the garbage.” She grew increasingly frustrated at wasting valuable time when she could be writing songs, and after the last time she rifled through the trash she wrote a reminder to herself on her vintage 1930s chalkboard: “Don’t waste your crazy!”

Lately, Apple prefers to spend her days alone at home in Venice Beach, mainly staying indoors, opting to walk her dog, Janet, either before sunrise or after sunset. “I have no social life or anything like that,” she says. “I used to be ­really ashamed of it, but now I can just freely say that I don’t ever go anywhere or have people over.”

The one exception is Apple’s visits to ­Largo, the L.A. nightclub where she spends time with musicians she’s known for years, though even those excur­sions can bring on social anxiety. “I still get psychosomatically ill going to Largo, to see my friends, getting in the car,” she says, “and my brother will take so fucking long—because my brother has to drive me everywhere—and I’ll start freaking out, and it won’t stop until I’m ­actually there.”

Apple, who’s thinking about moving back to New York City, says she’s newly single and content with it; she doesn’t see herself ever marrying or ­having children.

Fiona Apple’s Return: Idle No More from Spin (May 31 2012)-

She’s told me she lives in Los Angeles, but she doesn’t leave the house. Apple is 34 years old and doesn’t have a driver’s license. “I’m noticing now that I’m not feeling shame saying this,” she says. “Whereas before I probably would’ve, like, lied a little bit about it and been like, ‘Yeah, you know, I see friends sometimes.’ But I really don’t.”

(She does, however, seem comfortable enough around civilians, judging from a scene I witness right before the two of us sit down: Apple rushing up to a deeply perplexed man in a suit and enthusiastically introducing herself, mistaking him for me.)

And now she’s telling me about her first psychiatrist, back when she was a kid…And Apple was furious, even then, about the things other people would write about her, because it was as if the doctors “didn’t even see me — like, they got my hair color wrong even.”

…it’s 2012, and Fiona Apple now has been doing this, trying to explain herself to strangers, for nearly 17 years. She’s been a public figure for half her natural life. And she is still impossibly bad at it.

We talk for a little while about this, the idea that a person in her position might choose to hold back as many details of her personal life as she could. That she spent the first five years of her career speaking her mind in public and being criticized for it. That many people who have sold far fewer records than she has might have figured out ways to be savvy and self-protecting around people who don’t necessarily have their best interests at heart.

“How would I be more savvy right now?” she asks. She’s genuinely perplexed.

…What do you do, except answer the questions honestly? What’s the point if you’re not going to? What’s the point of any of this?”

All the things that would be embarrassing or something, I’m fine with it. I have no shame about any of that stuff. And it delights me to look at that, to be like, ‘Look, you thought that was the end of the world.” And it’s not, it wasn’t, it really wasn’t, so much so that I have not a bit of cringe in me about these things.”

“I sometimes think that I must time-travel and I don’t remember it,” …I can’t remember writing any of the songs that I’ve written. I don’t know what the hell I do with myself…I can’t tell you what I did today. I can’t tell you what I did for seven years. I can’t tell you. It happens so seamlessly — I’m just floating along and seven years go by.”

According to Apple, the concept behind the title The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do is hard to explain but has to do with the idea of “being still in the middle of everything else but being able to feel everything.” The idler wheel is the gear that does no work, drives no shafts. “It doesn’t look like it’s doing anything, but I feel like it’s connected to everything,” she says. It’s about how she feels inside the machine of her own life and career. It’s about how she marks time.

She read about whipping cords, which are used to bind and repair frayed ropes, in “this book about boating that was at my last boyfriend’s house.” The idea is less about avoiding mistakes than learning how to cope with them. “You’re gonna get punched and blown around,” she says. She looks over my shoulder into the empty restaurant, tries to figure out how to express what she wants to express. “What’s valuable is to know how to make something out of that.”

She says she hated working on Tidal. She spent those sessions doing crosswords under the piano in the Sony building in Manhattan. “I felt ridiculous being in a studio with real musicians, and I felt like everybody hated me. Everybody did hate me.”

The ‘Extraordinary’ Truth from Entertainment Weekly (09/30/05)-
“She took walks, she read plays, and she watched movies. But mostly Apple just sat in silence out on her lawn. ”You can call it a very long-drawn-out day-to-day meditation,” she says. ”I went through a period where I had a razor blade and was carving things out of wood. I would just do that all day, sitting there and thinking.”

Girl Trouble from Spin (November 1997)- (I transcribed it, it’s a photocopy)
Suddenly she walks up and says “Are people ever mean to you?”

She later tells me that she likes to act all freaky and possessed around reporters so they won’t ask the same dumb questions, like “How does such a big voice come out of such a tiny girl?” and “I heard you were raped, what was that like?”

Fiona Apple is a rock star, and before she has fully become a person, she has become a persona. It’s taking her time to decide which part of her is the image, and which is real.

…Apple started psychotherapy when she was 12…

…she wrote the lyrics for Never Is a Promise when she was 15…

(on Criminal) “I decided if I was going to be exploited, then I would do the exploiting myself.”

(was dating magician David Blaine)-“David and I are both completely fucked-up”…”We’re the most fucked-up people I know.”

“…it’s not about a ‘a place you go.” Making music, I mean. It’s about a place you get out of. I’m underwater most of the time, and music is like a tube to the surface that I can breathe through. It’s my air hole up to the world. If I didn’t have the music I’d be under water, dead.”

Fiona Apple was raised Fiona Maggart-Apple is from her grandmother, her dad’s mom.

When she was a little girl at St. Hilda’s School, she went through a phase where her sister Amber was teh Queen and she was the Dog, and lots of her classmates were mean to her. She calls this period Dog Time.

Once, at Amanda Wheaton’s tenth birthday party, some guys made ten-dollar bets with one another to ask her to dance, so they could reject her when she said yes…She got mad and poured a bucket of cold water on them.

(her mother)-“There’s Fiona, my candle-burning vampire child, who stays up all night long and gets phone message from Marilyn Manson, every mother’s dream”

Then suddenly she’s talking about when she was raped… (the day before Thanksgiving, 1989, 12 years old)
…I started kind of hallucinating…
Afterwards…(she) “took this self-defense course, 25 hours of it, five hours a day for five days”

“I know I’m going to die young…I’m going to cut another album and I’m going to do good things, help people, and then I’m going to die.”

I remember her saying that the guy who raped her was much weaker than she was. “How much strength does it take to hurt a little girl?” she asked. “How much strength does it take for the girl to get over it? Which one of them do you think is stronger?” She is strong enough to admit she’s a mess…”It’s impossible for me to be happy; psychologically and chemically impossible, so I’m going to help some little girl out there. I’m going to let her know that I have stretch marks on my ass, and bunions, that I don’t have my shit together. I want to give that girl some hope. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to have her shit together. She doesn’t. It’s okay if she doesn’t. I’m going to prove that, and then I’m going to die.”

You may also enjoy: (on missemmamm.com)
Fiona Apple Discography Playlist-which includes 15 of my favorite Apple tracks. Hot Knife and Periphery from her new album are included as I particularly dig them.

(elsewhere)
Official Fiona Apple Site
Official Fiona Apple Facebook
Fiona Apple on Soundcloud
Fiona Apple on Ticketmaster-yes, she’s touring!
a ton of photos of Fiona Apple on Brooklyn Vegan
Fiona Apple tags on my tumblr

NOTE: Normally for a Super Links post I would include much shorter parts of the interviews. I find this impossible to do with Fiona Apple. Her music has deeply touched my life for the past 7 years and I feel a real kinship with her. Though I’ve never been raped, I have serious issues with people like she does. So I just couldn’t go bare bones with this.

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