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Much of the history of Fiona Apple is a matter of easy-to-find record. Recently, by coincidence, I found some interesting news about Fiona: she has a very talented family. First, her father, Brandon Maggart, is a Tony-nominated actor who also appeared in several television shows. He has been married twice, and his second marriage brought us Fiona and her sister Amber. However, a half-brother from the first marriage, Garett Maggart, has numerous television credits to his name, including being the sidekick in UPN’s The Sentinel which ran alongside Star Trek Voyager in the mid-1990s. He’s still going strong, appearing soon in CSI Miami.

Of course, the second marriage is where things get really interesting from our standpoint. This brought us Fiona, to be sure, Amber is no talent pushover. Primarily known as a cabaret singer performing in major U.S. cities, she uses the stage name “Maude Maggart,” an homage to her paternal great-great-grandmother, Maude Apple. Currently, she is fighting her way through the business, taking on artistic projects of interest and gaining praise from the New York Times.

How did I learn about her?

Well… you know that with me, most things come back to Star Trek. Unfortunately, I am a Wolfram Alpha Star Trek computer (the name for Wolfram Alpha clearly being stolen from Memory Alpha… grumble). Maggart recently recorded an album with Brent Spiner, who plays Mr. Data in the show and movies from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Here’s a video of how the album was constructed, with far too little of Maude (but check 3:25, 3:56, 4:20 are key moments):

It’s an album concept that works. You can hear the similarity to Apple’s voice, as well. A little research dug up that she’s done a lot more than just Dreamland. But at the same time I was thinking about writing these posts, I came across this article in NYT Arts section, one of the must-read links in my Google Reader:

As Maude Maggart rummages through several decades of popular music in “Parents and Children,” her bewitching new show at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel, you have the eerie sensation that a precocious young girl is leading you by the hand into an attic where forgotten family secrets are stored. […] Singing these two songs… in a sweet, delicate voice whose rapid vibrato lends everything she performs a slightly otherworldly quality, her long-lined phrases, filled with twists and turns. […]

Like Ms. Marcovicci, Ms. Maggart acts a song with a fluid body language that lends everything she sings an added dramatic intensity. And like Ms. Marcovicci she wields old-time Hollywood glamor to cast her seductive spell.

Interestingly, the article goes out of its way to not mention her sister Fiona. Maybe this is just being fair to Maude, who may be a formidable artist in her own right, but if so, the comparison to Claire Danes in the article seems gratuitous.

Maybe I should have titled these posts: “The Royal Applebaums.”


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