arcana imperii :: the book of j


tori's top twelve

as i embarked on a hard, very personal and meaningful self-study of piano a few years ago i learned that noah adams (of npr's all things considered fame) had not only begun a similar journey a bit earlier, but had written a book about it, entitled piano lessons: music, love & true adventures. i began a two-year, physical search for a first edition of the book which the splendid powell's bookstore in portland, oregon finally yielded. i sprinted back to my favourite room at the benson hotel, settled into the most comfortable chair in it and read until i'd finished... «and i moved from the messed-up middle section, to the final measures, the melody returning, the b-flat, the f,then a grand and difficult chord, just before the end. i play the chord and i know neenah is crying. what surprises me is that i'm crying too.» i had to wipe tears off my face, imagining myself, also clad in a tux or perhaps not, surprising a lover for christmas with a rendition, however amateurish, of the lover's absolute favourite song or piece, after a year of clandestine study and rehearsal... but i daydream again... the point is that mr adams met tori amos, not just the singer-songwriter, not the piano-player, but indeed the pianist, and introduced her artistry to me via his book. sadly, i've not yet become as familiar with her music as i might be with her lyrics. and while studying current trends in web-design i ran into the beautiful everything tori site where i was thrilled to find a list of her current top-twelve favourite songs. i've always been curious about the music musician's like and listen to as more often than not, the choices prove quite revealing and rather surprising to me. they also allow me to discover what sometimes end up becoming favourites of mine as well.

here's tori's list:

01. livin for the city ~ stevie wonder
02. drive ~ rem
03. ivo ~ the cocteau twins
04. desire as ~ prefab sprout
05. a case of you ~ joni mitchell
06. cissy strut ~ the meters
07. the last chance texaco ~ rickie lee jones
08. jerusalem ~ sinead o'connor
09. a forest ~ the cure
10. fire and rain ~ james taylor
11. beautiful feeling ~ pj harvey
12. feeling good ~ nina simone

what does this list tell you? what does it do for you? what about the all-time top-twelve tori amos songs?