Fiona Apple contributes new song “Container” to Showtime’s The Affair — listen

Singer/songwriter/musician Fiona Apple

Singer/songwriter/musician Fiona Apple

 

Fiona Apple has contributed a brand new song entitled “Container” to Showtime’s forthcoming original series The Affair. Produced by frequent collaborator, Blake Mills, the song will soundtrack the show’s main title sequence, which you can see and hear below.

In a statement, the show’s creator and executive producer Sarah Treem said, “Fiona Apple has been my favorite songwriter since I was 16. I am honored and humbled that she has chosen to lend her talent to our opening title sequence. If our show can approach one tenth of the depth and complexity of her song, I’ll be very happy.”

Starring Dominic West (aka “McNulty” from The Wire) and Ruth Wilson (Luther), The Affair “explores the emotional and psychological effects of an extramarital affair, and will be told separately from the male and female perspectives,” according to a press release. It will premiere Sunday, October 12th at 10 p.m. ET.

We’re very happy to see Fiona back,  a beautiful human being.

Fiona, who canceled a run of dates last November to be with her dying dog, seemed giddy to be back on stage,”  When she sang, it was like nothing else in the world existed for her: just the song and the microphone, a relationship she has mastered. …

Fiona made light of past blow-ups: ‘People come see me to see the crash,’ she said early on, and fell to the floor in a knowing pratfall.” Stereogum corroborates the night’s generally wonderful nature, reporting that the crowd “cheered as Fiona bent her body into all manner of uncomfortable looking shapes, and shouted the occasional word of encouragement and love. But they otherwise they kept mum out of respect or a simple fear that they could frighten the fragile 36-year-old away at any moment.”

No more. Fiona is in great shape both physically and emotionally. A woman who is kind at heart and caring.

Welcome back Fiona!

 

Awesome Concert by Fiona Apple and Blake Mills at Chicago’s Bank of America Theater.

The genius of  Fiona Apple

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It’s a shame that a distraction by a bully in one audience ultimately steered attention away from what’s really noteworthy about Fiona Apple’s live performance on this current tour: how amazingly tight, yet spontaneous both she and the band is. Throughout the show, you feel like you’re watching a theatrical performance rather than a concert because the stage feels like a play’s set. You see a table set up with teacups before anyone enters. When the four band members do enter, the show starts with Apple and drummer Barbara Gruska writing “Teach me how to be free” on a chalkboard before the entire band launches into a new song, possibly called “Tipple”. And later, when Apple moves over to grand piano and Mills launches into his “Curable Disease”, Gruska and bassist Sebastian Steinberg are no longer needed. So they clink whatever they’re drinking on stage, sit, and watch.

Indeed, it was this interplay between playful spontaneity and precision that defined Apple and tour partner Blake Mills’ show last night at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre. Gruska’s drums, Mills’ incredible guitar work, and Steinberg’s jazzy upright bass playing provided an extra oomph to songs like “Every Single Night” and “Regret” from last year’s instant classic and Top Star-earning The Idler Wheel…. While sometimes, it was the little things, perhaps unplanned, that added just the right tone to a song, like when the microphone picked up Apple tapping her drumsticks against her neck various times throughout the show, creating faint, yet still discernible percussive elements to songs that already sported unconventional percussion.

Meanwhile, the same playful, bordering on “just fucking with you” (something Mills actually said last night) attitude characterized Mills’ otherwise in-control guitar work throughout the set. Whether on Apple’s songs or on his own, Mills, seemingly a run of the mill Americana singer/songwriter, is actually an innovative guitarist with a sense of humor. During the band’s cover of Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe”, the guitarist was able to emulate the tones of a theremin, while during the outro of his and Apple’s duet “Seven”, he repeated the same guitar riff at increasingly lower volume until it delved into silence. Then, he perked up and said, “The song was over three minutes ago.”

Most importantly, last night, it was obvious that the audience was conscious of the meltdowns that have plagued Apple’s recent shows because audience members were only shouting out words of encouragement and positivity. From “We love you Fiona!” to “You look great!”, the audience’s role as a sort of safety net gave Apple room to even joke (!) about her past on-stage troubles. “How am I supposed to have my meltdown? I don’t do Twitter,” Apple quipped at one point after warning all “assholes” to stay away.

Most importantly, last night, it was obvious that the audience was conscious of the meltdowns that have plagued Apple’s recent shows because audience members were only shouting out words of encouragement and positivity. From “We love you Fiona!” to “You look great!”, the audience’s role as a sort of safety net gave Apple room to even joke (!) about her past on-stage troubles. “How am I supposed to have my meltdown? I don’t do Twitter,” Apple quipped at one point after warning all “assholes” to stay away.

While her self-awareness and sense of humor shone through, perhaps the best way to take in her performance, however, was to simply sit idly by and allow yourself to be captivated and even intimidated by her physical voice and her agency. Because when Apple sings “I ran out of white dove feathers/ To soak up the hot piss that comes from your mouth,” she could be talking about anybody in her past or present, any given audience member. Maybe even you.

Photography by Katie Schuering.