I have just started watching (read: binge-watching) Showtime’s “The Affair.” I’m only on the third episode, but it’s already drawn me way in. I am most taken with the he said/she said format of each episode. The differences in the two perspectives on each scene are subtle. Barely different turns of phrase, minor events recalled in a slightly different order, who made the first move, but it’s the even smaller details that I think have the most profound effect on the viewer’s understanding of the character’s recollection. Things as small as looks exchanged, wardrobe differences, or the placement of furniture in a room really set the mood. And for me, one of the elements that most clearly defines the atmosphere of the show is its opening title song. Fiona Apple wrote and recorded the song “Container” for the show.
The lyrics tell the beginnings of a bizarre story. A woman falls? is pushed? into a canyon and screams all the way down to her death. The sound she makes is so violent, it creates an avalanche that kills a man. The man’s widow then meets another man “and they made you.” It makes no sense, but there’s something so haunting about Apple’s telling of it, I just want more. Unfortunately, try as I might, there’s no legitimately longer version. I’ll just have to be satisfied with the one-minute twenty-second version.
Not very satisfying, is it? Sorry, but I hate to suffer alone. . .
Okay. To keep us from being too bummed about the brevity of the incomplete-feeling song above, here’s a couple of tracks from her 2012 mostly-unlistenable album, “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do” (mostly known as “The Idler Wheel” for the obvious reasons). I find I am enjoying her more recent music less than I did her earlier work, but there’s still some good stuff here. And her piano-in-need-of-voicing, slightly pitchy, tortured soul thing still works.
“While you were watching someone else, I stared at you & cut myself.” -“Valentine”