In case you missed it, the Internet was a horrible place to be for a short spell last week. In the midst of an international tour and just before a gig in Austin, singer Fiona Apple was arrested Thursday at a West Texas border checkpoint for the possession of hashish. She summarily posted bail, but the usual social media suspects continued to spin the most pathetic Apple puns. "What she needs is a good defense," went a chorus of a million hackneyed jokesters on Twitter, turning the hook of her 1997 hit "Criminal" into the most obvious quip possible.
But the real story as Apple comes to Durham remains her first album in seven years, March's incredible and expectedly strange-named The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. On these 10 songs, Apple reveals herself as one of the most versatile vocalists at work—the dips and dives of "Every Single Night" rival those of Joanna Newsom, while closer "Hot Knife" grabs at the grit of atavistic Southern gospel. The writing's incredible, too, skipping from winsome thrills ("Let's pretend we're 8 years old, playing hooky") to poignant considerations ("That's how you got me/ You taught me to be mean"). Blake Mills opens the 7:30 p.m. show. —Grayson Currin