Fiona Apple’s long-awaited return includes Portland stop

There’s an awful lot of chatter today on Facebook and Twitter about Fiona Apple’s return tour, long-awaited new album and just-announced upcoming July 1 show at The State Theatre.

Fiona Apple (

So, what the heck, I’ll pile on. In case you missed it, Fiona Apple tickets go on sale on April 20 and are $48 in advance, $50 at the door.

She exploded onto the scene in 1996 with the album “Tidal” and singles “Criminal” and “Shadow Boxer,” winning a Grammy two years later at the age of 19. Since then, she’s gone into Radiohead mode, building up a devoted cult following, going long stretches between albums, blowing away critics and doing it all while for the most part flying under the mainstream radar.

Less than two weeks before her scheduled Portland performance, Apple is due to release her long-awaited fourth album, “The Idler Wheel (etc., etc.),” her first studio record since 2005’s “Extraordinary Machine” (itself a newsworthy album, because it took a fan campaign to get it released after studio execs reportedly were considering spiking it — the business-end people were allegedly concerned it didn’t have wide enough commercial appeal).

The fourth album’s title is often referred to in the shorthand, but the full title is a poem (as was the case on her second album): THE IDLER WHEEL IS WISER / THAN THE DRIVER OF THE SCREW / AND WHIPPING CORDS WILL SERVE YOU MORE / THAN ROPES WILL EVER DO.

Just to stoke the anticipation for her Maine arrival, here’s a graph from The State Theatre website about her return to the performance scene and some early reviews:

“Every Single Night” was one of three new songs Apple introduced on her recent sold-out spring tour — her first outing in five years. New York Magazine’s hailed her performances as “mind-blowing” while the Village Voice called her “a lightning-rod presence” and the Philadelphia Inquirer observed: “the word performance doesn’t seem apt. There’s nothing pat about what she does.”

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.