Jun
2009

Lost Ones

This comes as no big surprise, but still disappointing – Rolling Stone reports:

Reclusive R&B-hip-hop star Lauryn Hill has put a halt to her planned comeback tour, canceling her entire European lineup of dates, the AP reports. Hill was scheduled to headline this year’s Stockholm Jazz Festival on July 15th, but her agent informed festival organizers yesterday that the show was off due to unspecified “health reasons.” Hill’s performance at Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival was also called off, as were scheduled concerts in Sweden, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Italy, France and Austria. The canceled European tour is just the latest in a long string of mysterious events surrounding Hill in the decade since she released her 1998 Grammy-winning masterpiece The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Back in 2003, Rolling Stone released a feature article, “The Mystery of Lauryn Hill” which tried to piece together what’s happened since the release of that album. More recently, the magazine also did a great article last year titled “Inside “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” which featured interviews with many of the people involved in its recording. Oddly enough, the most recent official release from Lauryn Hill was a song included on the soundtrack from Surf’s Up, the animated movie about surfing penguins. I’ve always wondered about the origins of this track (it almost sounds like the surf-rock beat was added after the fact) and how it ended up on this release, but it’s a good track so I’m happy we got to hear it regardless:

Lauryn Hill – “Lose Myself” (mp3)

One of my favorite performances by Fiona and definitely my favorite cover she’s ever done (and she’s got some great ones to choose from, particularly the Beatles’ “Across the Universe” and Bill Withers’ “Use Me”) was her version of “I Want You,” part of a VH1 Classic tribute to Elvis Costello which featured Fiona, Death Cab for Cutie and Green Day performing his songs and Elvis taking a stab at a few from their catalogs as well.

Fiona Apple – “I Want You” [Elvis Costello cover] (mp3)

Elvis singled out this performance of “I Want You” as his favorite of the night saying:

Fiona is light years ahead of everyone else. She sang ‘I Want You’ with the Imposters and I on a television show last year. It was like a very intense performance of Lady MacBeth… of Mtensk.