the Buzz for January 16th, 2012


Tori Amos — “Silent All These Years” (from Little Earthquakes) — Silent All These Years - Little Earthquakes

In all my agita and verklemptitude over the One Life to Live series finale last week, I allowed two crucial anniversaries slip right past my addled mind: Friday actually marked the twentieth anniversary of the release of one of the seminal recordings of the 1990s, Tori Amos’ intensely personal, ionically charged quasi-debut record, Little Earthquakes. (Earthquakes isn’t technically Amos’ first album, as she was the brilliantly becleavaged, hellaciously hair-sprayed face of an ill-fated ’80s rock band called Y Kant Tori Read, whose one and only release was such a dismal failure that Amos has since disowned it.) The album was never the out-of-the-park commercial sensation it so richly deserved to be — quirky and disquieting generally makes for a lethal combo out on the mass-appeal market — although it did, largely on the strength of word-of-mouth and scattershot radio and television exposure, scratch and crawl its way to platinum status, and it undeniably laid the foundation not only for Amos’ future success but for the estrogen-fueled revolution that lay in wait just around the bend. (I know I’m given to hyperbole around here, but it seems absolutely reasonable to believe that there could nor would have been no Jagged Little Pill without the trail that this astonishing album so fearlessly blazed, and that gals like Liz Phair, Sarah McLachlan, Joan Osborne, and Jewel should write profusely effusive thank-you notes to Ms. Amos daily.)

(The second anniversary is much less culturally and sonically significant by comparison, but Saturday marked the third birthday of Brandon’s Buzz Radio, which continues going strong after thirty-six months and eighty-seven episodes, which have been listened to by roughly 56,000 people all around the world. I remain extremely humbled and honored by your response to the marvelous madness that I continually conjure up in this forum, and I hope you all continue to come along for the ride.)