Entries tagged with: Blake Mills
by Doug Moore
photo via Iva Boguslawska
Fiona Apple and Blake Mills brought their "Anything We Want" tour to NYC for two nights at Beacon Theatre this week -- Monday (10/21) and again last night (10/22). We caught night 2.
Apple's 2012 tour stopped in Terminal 5, which struck me at the time as an odd fit. That venue's sound system and acoustics are geared towards loud, pounding rhythms, which meant that Apple's more spare material was often overpowered by even relatively sparse percussion work. The Beacon, with its gentler acoustics and lighter touch on the mixing board, did her music a service.
Though Mills also opened and performed as a side musician for Apple on that tour, this jaunt changed the format -- instead of opening, Mills and Apple took the stage together and traded off songs throughout the set. I'm not wild about Mills's singing, but he's an excellent guitarist. The spiky rake rhythms and legato-heavy leads he added to Apple's tunes worked remarkably well, given the jazzy nature of the material, and he took a few borderline rock-god solo turns during his own songs. He also served as an emcee of sorts for the night -- whenever Apple's stage banter started to wander, he'd step in and move the set along.
Apple, for her part, seemed in good spirits and performed beautifully. (All this despite dressing like an old-school Charlotte Hornets fan out for a jog.) Her body language is often a little childlike, but it was especially so at this show; she'd shimmy her feet in place or hop up and down, like she was impatient for the next chord change. Her set drew from the breadth of her career, though her 2012 effort The Idler Wheel... received better representation than any of her other albums. Apple's band was also briefly joined by ?uestlove on drums for a blazing rendition of "Not About Love" from Extraordinary Machine, which established the set's emotional and aural high water mark.
We also covered this tour over at BV Chicago. In case you missed them, check out streams of new songs "I Want You To Love Me" and "Tipple" (both of which they performed last night), along with the setlist and a pic of Fiona and Questlove, below...
photos by Cory Dewald
Fiona Apple at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre - 10/15/13
Fiona Apple has been on her "Anything We Want" tour with Blake Mills, which comes to NYC for shows at Beacon Theatre tonight (10/21) at Tuesday (10/22). Tickets for tonight's show are still available, but Tuesday's is sold out.
The tour recently hit Chicago's Bank of America Theatre (10/15) for a show which saw Fiona and Blake playing some new songs, a cover of Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe," and songs from both of their own albums. Pictures and the setlist from that show are in this post. A review from the Chicago show is at BV Chicago. Streams of a couple of the new songs (from different tour stops) are below.
The tour also included a show at Portland's Newmark Theatre on October 3, which, as Stereogum points out, saw Fiona heckled by a woman in the crowd who yelled out "Fiona, get healthy! We want to see you in 10 years. I saw you 20 years ago and you were beautiful." Fiona then reportedly kicked her out of the show. Pitchfork then caught up with Fiona and asked her about the incident:
Pitchfork: The audience member in Portland who yelled out, "Get healthy, we want to see you in 10 years!"--is that someone who got in your way?Read the rest of the interview here. Check out more pictures and the setlist from the Chicago show, the new song streams, and the list of updated tour dates, below...
FA: Yeah, it was. She hurt my feelings. I don't think what I look like is relevant. And by the way, this whole "unhealthy" thing has me baffled. It's really confusing to me why anyone would have an opinion about that. And [the heckling] just takes you out of [the live performance]. People around me try to tell me that's not going to happen, but it always happens. It's really disappointing. I can't laugh--I'm an emotional person. And I'm just very sensitive about that. Many people are, not just women. The heckler said, "I saw you 20 years ago, and you were pretty." That's just rude, and I don't want her there anymore because it's my stage, you know? I got very angry. But I'm going to try and be more prepared for that. I'm assuming that people are going to start to say those kinds of things just to egg me on now. Those people are going to have to leave if they interrupt me. I need to be able to do my job.
Pitchfork: Your weight and appearance have been discussed throughout your career. Has it gotten easier to deal with?
FA: No. It's a sensitive subject because it's not something that should be talked about, because there is nothing wrong with me. I'm healthy and I shouldn't even have to say any of that. What makes me unhealthy and puts me in danger is that kind of scrutiny itself. It's the same as being bullied at school, and just because you're getting older, it doesn't mean that you aren't hurt by it. You could make anybody cry if you told them that they're ugly.
I don't even know what I'm being accused of. Do they think I'm on drugs? That I have a life-threatening illness? Do they think that I'm anorexic? At this point, emotionally, it doesn't get easier to hear those criticisms--but it gets easier to be resolute about my reaction to it. Which is just: "Go ahead and call me ugly, call me skinny, call me crazy and speculate as much as you want, but not at a show." I don't think that there's anything meltdown-y about that. I don't have any problem getting angry at someone who insults me in the middle of a show.
by Wyatt Marshall
Andrew of Castevet at Lit Lounge, 2010 (more by Samantha Marble)
Extreme sport junkie, Music Academy presenter, sponsor of cool Sound Select shows, magazine publisher and beverage maker Red Bull has put together a list of the 30 best guitarists under 30. In the two-part rundown, the list covers some territory, lumping Pallbearer's Brett Campbell, Liturgy's Hunter Hunt Hendrix, Mac Demarco, Danielle Haim, Ben Greenberg of The Men, Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz, Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females and Fun guitarist and Lena Dunham-dater Jack Antonoff onto the list. You can check out the whole list below.
Music of the heavier persuasion was decently represented, and Castevet's Andrew Hock made the cut. You can catch him in action with Castevet at an Invisible Oranges sponsored show on October 25 at Union Pool with Churchburn, Oneirogen and Vorde. Also on the list, as a pair, are Inter Arma riff monsters Trey Dalton and Steven Russell. Inter Arma will be back in NYC soon to play Saint Vitus on October 30 with Black Tusk, Descender and No Way.
Ty Segall, who also made the list, will be here next weekend (but on drums) with his band Fuzz, playing a sold out show at Mercury Lounge on 10/12 with CCR Headcleaner. (There is also a show with "Buzz" and "DDT Shampoo" at Death by Audio on 10/13).
You can catch The Men at MHOW in November.
Speedy Ortiz, among others, will be here for CMJ.
Who'd they leave off the list? Check out the full list of Red Bull's 30 under 30 below...
As mentioned, "Anything We Want: An Evening with Fiona Apple and Blake Mills" will be touring around the country in October. Their NYC date on October 22 at Beacon Theatre sold out, and the pair have now added another Beacon show the day before (10/21). Tickets go on presale on Tuesday (8/27) at 10 AM and the public on-sale starts Friday, September 6 at 10 AM.
For a taste of what Fiona and Blake are working on for this tour check out a video of them performing "I Know," along with the list of updated tour dates, below.
Fiona Apple at Terminal 5 in 2012 (more by Caroline Harrison)
Fiona Apple has announced that she'll embark on another tour this fall, which is being billed as "Anything We Want: An Evening with Fiona Apple and Blake Mills." Blake also opened and played in her band on Fiona's last tour, and we just caught him on stage with Dawes at the Newport Folk Festival.
Regarding the name of the tour, Fiona and Blake say, "We know it'll be something special, and we aren't being coy here -- it's just that we have about 26% of an idea of what the fuck we will be playing for you" and that "the uncertainty excites us." The tour comes to NYC for a show on October 22 at Beacon Theatre. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (8/2) at 11 AM with a presale starting Tuesday (7/30) at 10 AM.
Fiona also recently made a video for "Hot Knife" off her 2012 LP, The Idler Wheel.... The video was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, her ex-boyfriend and famous movie director (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, Magnolia). Check out that video, along with Fiona's list of fall tour dates, below.
Phosphorescent at Bonnaroo 2011 (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
As mentioned, Newport Folk Festival is returning this year to Fort Adams State Park from July 26 to 28, and since we last spoke, the lineup has been revealed. This year's fest includes Beck, The Avett Brothers, Feist, Jim James, Colin Meloy, Andrew Bird, The Mountain Goats (who just announced a tour), Father John Misty, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Dawn McCarthy, Justin Townes Earle, Felice Brothers, Jason Isbell, Amanda Palmer, Phosphorescent, Beth Orton, John McCauley, Michael Kiwanuka, Lord Huron, Frank Turner, Black Prairie, Langhorne Slim, TIft Merritt, Spirit Family Reunion, Blake Mills, Houndmouth, Cold Specks, and others, plus more TBA.
Speaking of the Rough Trade-signed, Lumineers-like Houndmouth, you have two chances to catch them in NYC this week before they become as big as the Lumineers. They're at Mercury Lounge on Wednesday (4/10) and Rockwood Music Hall on Thursday (4/11).
Full initial Newport Fest lineup below...
Eric Clapton at BAM in 2010 (more by Kevin Mazur)
Eric Clapton is kicking off a major US tour in March, 2013 which will culminate in NYC with the two-night Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden from April 12 to 13. In addition to Clapton, the festival will feature a ton of other artists, including Allman Brother Band, Jeff Beck, BB King, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Gary Clark Jr., Blake Mills, Los Lobos, Frank Ocean sideman John Mayer, and many others.
The Terrace level at MSG will also host the "Guitar Center Road to Crossroads Exhibition," which will feature a number of historic guitars on display, memorabilia, archival footage, and interactive exhibits where fans can play products by Fender, Gibson, Ernie Ball, and Martin. The exhibition will open at 6:30 PM on 4/12 and 6 PM on 4/13, and is free to ticket holders.
Tickets for the festival go on sale Friday, November 30 at noon with a Chase (who is presenting the show) presale beginning Monday, November 26 at noon.
A list of all Clapton dates, the full Crossroads Guitar Festival lineup, and a video, are below.
words and photos by Caroline Harrison
Fiona Apple @ T5, 10/17/2012
Fiona Apple played the second of two shows at Terminal 5 last night (10/17). Guitar phenom Blake Mills, a member of Apple's band for the tour, was also the opener. Fiona Apple is touring in support of her most recent album, The Idler Wheel..., her first in seven years.
I would be remiss to talk about Blake Mills without mentioning his impressive credentials. At only 25, Mills has already worked as a session and touring musicians for the likes of Lucinda Williams, Conor Oberst, Andrew Bird, and Jackson Browne. Mills played with a casual grace that displayed his technical mastery of the guitar. He closed with a cover of the instrumental song "Sleep Walk" by Santo & Johnny, as featured in the 1987 movie La Bamba.
Fiona Apple opened with "Fast As You Can," making it clear to the audience that she was not about to hold anything back. Her backing band, including Mills and former Soul Coughing bassist Sebastian Steinberg, matched every ounce of her intensity. Their arrangement of "Sleep To Dream" relieed heavily on distorted guitars, amplifying the sinister bite of the tune. Of course, the highlight of every song was Apple's vocal acrobatics as she leapt from snarling, sultry contralto to fragile whispery soprano. Apple closed with a cover she's performed on a number of her tour dates, a classic Conway Twitty tune called, "It's Only Make Believe." There was no encore, but after the performance she gave, no one seemed to mind.
Fiona Apple heads up to Albany on Friday (10/19) for her last show in New York state. She then heads to Atlantic City before finishing the tour in Pittsburgh on Sunday (10/21).
More pictures from last night's T5 show and the full set list are below.
photos by David Andrako
Fiona Apple at the Capitol Theatre - 10/10/12
Fiona Apple, whose recent arrest for possession of hash led to an onslaught of news articles on the situation which eventually (and probably inevitably) led to Fiona backlashing against all the internet gossip, came to Port Chester's Capitol Theater last night (10/10) for her first of multiple post-hash-incident shows in the NYC area. Fiona was great as usual, though she ended her set abruptly without an encore. Last night's show, like the rest of the tour, was opened by Fiona's guitar player Blake Mills. PIctures from the show are in this post.
Her tour continues, hitting Wellmont Theater (10/12), Huntington's Paramount (10/13), Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ (10/15), Terminal 5 (10/16-17), and Albany's Palace Theatre (10/19). The Terminal 5 shows are sold out but tickets for Wellmont, Paramount, Count Basie Theatre, and Palace Theatre are still available.
More pics from Capitol Theatre below.
Fiona Apple @ Bowery Ballroom in March (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Fiona Apple, whose current tour schedule already included Denver's Paramount Theatre on 7/20, the Seattle Paramount Theatre on 7/25, Terminal 5 in NYC on 10/16 & 10/17, and Wellmont Theater in NJ on 10/12, has just announced a few more shows including 10/13 at The Paramount in Huntington, NY (aka Long Island and another Paramount), 10/16 at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, and 10/19 at the Palace Theatre in Albany.
Tickets for the Long Island show go on general sale on Friday, 7/13, at 10am, but first a venue pre-sale will start on Wednesday at 10am (PASSWORD = PULSE). Albany and Red Bank tickets also go on sale Friday. Tickets are still available for the Wellmont show, and for both Terminal 5 shows.
An updated list of tour dates (with possibly more TBA), all with Blake Mills (who opens and plays in her band), below...
Fiona Apple at Governors Ball on Sunday (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As mentioned earlier today, Fiona Apple has been scheduling new dates, including two in NYC which happen on October 16 and 17 at Terminal 5. Those dates are part of an expanding tour which will be opened by guitar great and solo artist Blake Mills, who is also member of her touring band and also opened for her in NYC earlier this year. That tour now includes another NYC-area date, which happens on October 12 at Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. Tickets for that show, and for the T5 shows, go on general sale Friday (6/29) at noon.
Blake Mills recently recorded a 'Sound & Vision' video for Red Bull Soundstage, which you can check out HERE.
An updated list of Fiona Apple tour dates is below.
photos by Chris La Putt
Fiona Apple @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Fiona Apple completed a short tour in March with shows in some major cities including NYC (Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg), Chicago and Austin for SXSW. She also announced a single June show taking place in NYC as part of Governors Ball on Randall's Island. Now that show is part of a tour that begins on 6/19 at Ithaca's State Theatre, vists CT for two shows, returns to Boston and Chicago and eventually ends in LA on July 29.
All dates are listed, along with a previously unposted set of pictures from the March Brooklyn show, and the tracklist from her new album, below...
A long line of hopefuls extended down the block outside the Bowery Ballroom Monday night for Fiona Apple's second sold-out show in New York. (The first was Friday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.) Given Apple's reluctance to perform and the long gap of silence since her last album (7 years), seeing her perform was surreal - especially since she opted to skip Terminal 5 in favor of more moderately sized venues.
Say what you will of her music or her decision to tour and record again, Apple's impact on the alternative scene, and really on an entire generation of female music fans and musicians, should not be downplayed. In a world rife with Sarah Mclachlans and Natalie Merchants, artists like PJ Harvey and Fiona Apple helped to establish a much-needed alternative - something that wasn't quite punk, mainstream, precious, or sugarcoated. Her lyrics were dark, intimate, and deeply personal. Guys wanted to date her. Girls wanted to be her. The pressure was on.
As she approached the mic, Apple visibly shook. "Yes! 1996!" Someone cried out behind me. And as if in on the joke, Apple wore her long, straight hair pulled back with a scrunchie. Accompanied by a competent but low-profile four-piece backing band (which included opener Blake Mills), Apple didn't waste anytime with a slow build, opting instead to open with the punchy "Fast As You Can."
With only a mic stand to hide behind, Apple seemed ready to explode and after giving a few tugs to her scarf, pulled it off, and began to whip it around, sending glittering dust particles into the white spotlight.
After the opening song, she walked over to the piano, took a few gulps from a ceramic mug, then marched back to the mic, shaking her head. "Ok. I was going to say this to myself," she quickly mumbled. "But I thought it'd be interesting for you to hear what I was going to say to myself. Ok. I don't want to go through this whole fucking show where it's like six songs into it, and I'm finally relaxed. I'm just going to skip that part."
Though her voice exuded an aggressive confidence, her wild eyes and stilted speech sent a different message, one of deep vulnerability. But the ecstatic crowd (who sang along to the majority of the set) was quick to forgive her nervous ticks. "THANK YOU FOR COMING BACK, FIONA!" came one cry. "Thank you for wanting me back," Apple replied.
To reward the crowd of long-time fans, Apple's set (which was nearly identical to what she played on Friday night, save for the second to last song) was heavily weighted with crowd pleasers (yes, she played "Criminal" and "Paper Bag"). But she also threw in a couple of new songs and covers, including a lovely rendition of the old Conway Twitty song, "It's Only Make Believe."
We posted one set of pictures from the Bowery show this morning. Here is a second. More them with the setlist below...
photos by Ryan Muir
Fiona Apple @ Bowery Ballroom - 3/26/2012
"During [the Music Hall of Williamsburg] show Ms. Apple moved between the microphone at center stage and a piano off to the side with an array of votive candles on top. Slender and toned, she wore a green tank top; her muscles spoke loudly as her body moved in precise ways on each song. On "Paper Bag" she held her hand tight against her stomach, muscles flexing, as she swayed side to side ever so slightly. During "Sleep to Dream" she stretched up against the piano like a cat, yawning with her frame.Fiona Apple played Bowery Ballroom last night (3/26). It was almost the same hour-length setlist as the Music Hall of Williamsburg show, set-closing cover of "It's Only Make-Believe" included. The most (only?) notable difference was her choice/not-choice to play Beatles song "Across the Universe" 2nd to last (after "Criminal"). It was on the Music Hall setlist, but she didn't play it in Brooklyn. In Manhattan she played it only after a fun argument with Blake Mills who started playing the first notes (without her permission?)... I couldn't fully get what she was mad/fake-mad at him about, but regardless, she played it and it was great. In fact, the whole show was great from start to finish. Music Hall wasn't bad, but Fiona was in top shape for Bowery - her voice seemed so much more on this time, and she delivered in a huge way from start to finish.
These were careful maneuvers that played as a contrast to Ms. Apple's voice, which can be raspy and slithery and unhinged when she so chooses. Her band -- Blake Mills on guitar, Sebastian Steinberg [of Soul Coughing] on bass and Amy Wood on drums -- matched that range, creating a vivid and flexible noise that veered from gnarled rock to dirty blues. Mr. Mills, in particular, was intense, coaxing lust and anguish from his instrument." [NY Times]
Here are some pictures from the Bowery show. More of them below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Fiona Apple @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
"Fiona Apple got a warm welcome back to her native city [Friday] night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Born in New York City in the fall of 1977, her last live show here dated back to December 2005 [actually she played NYC in August 2007], so fans --most of whom, we're assuming, probably didn't see her performances at SXSW last week-- were exploding with emotion as the lights dimmed. She came onstage to deafening cheers, her hair in a simple ponytail, wearing a bright green camisole cinched with a silver-y belt that hung stylishly in a bow at her side. She declared that she had two things to say:Guitar great/singer-songwriter Blake Mills opened the Brooklyn show and also addressed talkers ("I can't hear myself think"). He then joined Fiona as a member of her extremely talented live band, as he will again Monday night at Bowery Ballroom (part of a very short North American tour).
1) She missed her dog Janet, so her friend had made her a cardboard cutout of her canine pal that she could bring with her on stage.
2) Even though she wouldn't hear anyone chatting away during the show, she suspected other folks in the crowd wouldn't appreciate any loud talkers.
(On the second point, there would be little to worry about. The crowd hung on her every lyric last night. Talkers? No. But there were plenty of participants, as the set would veer into a full-fledged sing-along at several moments during the hour-long show.)" [VH1]
Like she did in Chicago, Fiona, who was on stage by 9:45pm (I know at least a couple of people who missed the first 15 minutes of her set), played for just under an hour. Her 12-song, encore-less performance included a couple of new songs, hits like "Fast as You Can", "Sleep to Dream", and "Criminal", and the title track of her 2005 album "Extraordinary Machine" (one of my favorites of the night). She closed with a cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins/Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make-Believe" which I thought, despite being a cover, was the greatest, most powerful moment of the too-short show. Video of that & more, with the full setlist and more pictures from Music Hall of Williamsburg, below...