Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at

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    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    music: "Oh Well" by Fiona Apple "My peace and quiet was stolen from me ... "

    On Tuesday I completed one of my goals in meet FIONA APPLE. Anyone who knows me, knows that Fiona has my hetero card with no expiration date! She is like an Angelina Jolie but with innocence. I was overwhelmed when I found out Fiona would be signing her CD booklet at the Virgin Megastore on Tuesday, September 20th. Some of you may not have heard of Fiona (maybe that's what's missing in your life), but this woman is the most incredible musician, lyricist, vocalist and passionate artist -- in the most ORIGINAL WAY --that I have ever heard or experienced in my adult life. Fiona has more soul in one of her farts than Beyonce Knowles has in one millisecond of a riffing and running note!

    When I listen to her music I hear myself, she is the white female version of me, and I would lick her coochie on my mammy's birthday if I had the chance! Her music speaks to me like no other piece of art has in my life (well, running neck and neck with Prince and Janis). I don't even think I could DATE someone who didn't appreciate this woman. Here are just a couple lines from some of her iconic songs:

    Your hungry flirt borders intrusion -- I’m building memories on things we have not said, Full is not heavy as empty, not nearly my love

    No thing I do don't do no thing but bring me -- More to do, It's true, I do imbue my blue unto myself, I make it bitter

    You were kissing me once more than once -- And you looked as sincere as a dog - Oh you silly stupid pastime of mine -- You were always good for rhyme

    The day started early with me arriving at Virgin Megastore Union Square at 8:15am and standing in an endless line with what seemed like transplants from the Midwest -- I swear, most of the people I saw in that line didn't look anything like New Yorkers. They were very plain janes and boring john does. Of course there were the alternative gay and straights - but I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb with my hat to the back and locs to my shoulders.

    This early morning line at Union Square was only to buy the CD, which I won't get till October 4th, and get the wristband to come back to Union Square at 6pm that evening to actually see Fiona perform. I was in the line for me and Apollonia (due to work she could not make it), who I met at a poetry spot years ago where we bonded by spitting Fiona Apple lyrics at each other. So naturally, we had to see Fiona together. However, I find out in line that you can only buy ONE wristband per person - NO EXCEPTIONS. I didn't know what to do and tried to think of every hustle in my head to get Apollonia a wristband - I couldn't imagine experiencing Fiona without her.

    Once I got to the cash register I was blessed to have a cute Latin girl as my cashier -- I begged her to let me have another ticket for my girlfriend (I said Apollonia's real name in the ultra-hyper-latin pronunciation that you only hear news anchor do - you know you got to pull the good race/ethnicity card whenever needed!) who would be so upset if I didn't get her a wristband. I gave her the lusty, banjee trade look making her feel like I would bang her out in the Virgin Megastore bathroom if she only asked! However, she goes: "Aye papi, I can't - but you can speak to my manager ... " As she said that her manager walks by who is another Latin girl ... out of desperation I made up a vicious lie (well, it's a little true) on why my "girlfriend" needed a ticket ... I refuse to say it on this blog for fear of putting bad energy out there, but I did would I had to do! Lawd knows, most of you all would've done the same thing for Beyonce to meet her face to face and bring your best friend!!!! The manager whispered: "Give him another one." I thanked them both deeply and grabbed my two wristbands !!! As I left there were already people waiting in another line to see Fiona at 6pm - mind you it was 9:30am!!!

    The whole day I overdosed myself on Fiona music and read an article
    from Interview magazine with Fiona interviewing Kanye West. Kanye explained how he puts Fiona on the same level as Lauryn Hill, which in case you all didn't know that is an excellent comparison ... I would actually say Fiona is better since Lauryn doesn't want to release an album!

    I figured I might as well wait at least an hour in line so I would hopefully have a good spot for the show. I was back at Virgin at 5pm and it was already crowded. Every black or Latin person who walked by obviously came to me and asked who we were in line for. At one point, a pack of about five thugged-out around the way boys walked up hollering and screaming: "Why all these people sittin' on the concrete???" They come right up to me and a twenty something white girl next to me CRINGES like it was 1803 and she was about to scream rape to save her from the nig'ras!!!! They say to me: "Yo, why they sittin' outside like this???" As if I wasn't part of the group -- I explained, Fiona Apple. They shrugged their shoulders and walked away. I felt like asking the white girl next to me who was cringing: "Was that your first experience being that close to so many black men at one time?" I didn't think she would get it ...

    Later this gay guy walked by who was obviously half in drag (you know, heels with jeans, no make-up but has all the hair) - when someone told him that we were out here for Fiona Apple he yells in the most flamboyant voice saying: "WHOSE FIONA?????" he kept on repeating it as he walked away patting himself with a napkin because it was hot. It was hilarious ...

    Apollonia arrives and we are acting up like two crazy coloured folks talking about racism, the first black female President at Brown University in Rhode Island, Hurricane Katrina and everything else in between. Everyone around us stared and looked completely uncomfortable.

    A long line continues and we finally make it to a tiny space in Virgin where we could barely see anything. I didn't mind that, but what really bothered me is that somebody was WING-DINGIN' (smelling like a mothafucka!) right next to us! I understand if you wanna be dirty, greasy, rock star boy but you can at least wash your shit-hole!!! It was horrendous -- it was so strong, like getting repeated uppercuts by Mike Tyson in 1987! Apollina was delirious-- every thirty seconds we were complaining to let whoever that person was know that they needed to wash their stinky azzzzzzzz before they go in public and keep in clean even if they are sitting in the hot New York sun for six hours -- we are not the Hamptons crowd who won't say anything!

    When Fiona hit the stage it was amazing!!!! She was so beautiful -- it was incredible. She began her first song and I gave her life like she was a gospel singer at a black church -- I waited till it was dead quiet while she was singing and roared: "GO ON, FIONA!! YOU BETTA' SANG!" Apollonia is in tears laughing at me ... while everyone around me is once again -- extremely uncomfortable! Later on this girl in front of Apollonia turns around and goes: "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" Right in Apollonia's face! I said to myself: "Oh lawd - Apollonia is about to throw a bitch to the ground and get the only few people of color kicked out of a concert!" Mind you, Apollonia wasn't really being loud - she was just singing along to the song like the rest of the crowd. Thankfully, Apollonia ignored her and bonded with a girl next to her who purpsoely sang louder to irritate the girl. I didn't understand why the girl did that -- i mean this is a concert .... granted Apollonia has a voice that I've heard clearly over booming speakers in a club .... even when I was all the way on the otherside of the room -- but i'm saying!

    Fiona went on to sing an acoustic set and moved our spirits to the edge. I helped some gay boys (who were dry humping each other during the whole damn show) take some pictures because I am tall and was a little closer to the stage. It was nice to see us Fiona fans bonding ...

    After a long wait in ANOTHER line to get Fiona to sing our CDs, Apollonia and I are acting up again .. Apollonia was suffering residuals from the horrible body odor we endured during the performance, while I was looking for any sign of Fiona. After thrity minutes of waiting we finally sat on the floor - as I hit the floor I said: "Oh lawd, I feel like an old black woman in 1901 Tennesse baptist church during a three-hour long revival!" The people around me once again gave the: "Should I be laughing at this?" look -- they were extremely uncomfortable. A Rican boy who was behind us in line threw his hands up in the air and lets out in a high-pitched falsetto: "What's going on?" correctly singing the notes of the 4 Non Blondes song "What's Up?" ... it was funny as hell -- of course it had to be the black and Latinos acting up!

    Finally we met Fiona and I was awe-struck...Apollonia said: "Your music is the soundtrack of my life!" Fiona said: "Really - the soundtrack?" I tried to slip her my demo, which I haven't gave to anyone in a minute -- she was about to take it, but her verbally violent security guards snatched it from me like it was tainted with anthrax. She said: "I'm sorry." I said: "It's all right - thank you for your music." She stared at me with those piercing eyes and I almost nutted on myself! Lawdddddddddddddddddddddddddd ... it was amazing. I was high like heaven and strong like music. The album Extraordinary Machine comes out October 4th. I encourage all of you to buy it if you want something fresh, original, creative, passionate, soulful and TRUTHFUL.

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    Posted by Clay :: 10:00 AM :: 30 comments


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