Saturday, March 22, 2008

O'Keeffe "Petunia"

"Calling All Angels", by Jane Siberry
final two stanzas + chorus:
and every day you gaze upon the sunset
with such love and intensity
it's's almost as if
if you could only crack the code
then you'd finally understand what this all means

but if you you think you would
trade in all the pain and suffering?
ah, but then you'd miss
the beauty of the light upon this earth
and the sweetness of the leaving

calling all angels
calling all angels
walk me through this one
don't leave me alone
callin' all angels
callin' all angels
we're tryin'
we're hopin'
we're hurtin'
we're lovin'
we're cryin'
we're callin'
'cause we're not sure how this goes

Lately, I'm spontaneously promoting American singer Brandi Carlile, who grew up in Washington state. From a bio:
Blue-eyed soulful singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile taught herself to sing and play guitar and piano with other members of her family while growing up in Ravendale, a small community outside of Seattle.

She began performing early in life. At age eight, her singer mother brought her onstage to sing Rosanne Cash's "Tennessee Flat-Top Box." Brandi played live as frequently as possible in small clubs and bars in the Seattle area.

She has been most often compared to Patsy Cline because of the distinctive break in her voice. Her music could be described as singer-songwriter rock with a slight country tinge.
Here, Brandi sings "Calling All Angels"[full lyrics] with her sister: Tiffany.

a nice interview with Brandi:
"When we were playin The Tonight Show I was fine - up until the guitar solo - then I just looked up and went 'Ohmigod I'm on The Tonight Show' and just ... flipped out."

Below is my other lately favorite girl singer: Norah Jones, playing at a Johnny Cash tribute. The first thing to notice about Norah is her immense talent. Much of her performance is in her soulful intonations. The second thing to notice is that Norah sings for people who love music. She doesn't perform for the larger audience, as Johnny Cash did so well. Why?

Like a lot of famous girl singers: Norah is a naturally shy girl. Watch the song below: her eyes do not connect with audience as she sings - a signal of shyness. Watch, also, at the very end, when the applause flows. At a moment when most country music girls would be greeting the applause with ebullient, gleaming smiles: Norah seems almost embarrassed. Culture may be a factor: Norah is Indian, and Indians are modest about public display. Also, Norah may simply consider bigger performance to be artistically ungraceful. When you are as talented as Norah Jones, you simply let your talent flow out, and you let audience members experience it as they will.

Norah may not realize it, but there are millions of $ waiting for her if she ever goes full out into country music. Or, she may realize it and just not care. She lives in a not-too-large apartment in NYC. She has comfortable income, she has close friends in the city, and she plays at and haunts NYC nightspots most nights of the week. There, she can play and try out any new or experimental type of music which catches her fancy; can go to a club where she is known, and ask if she may play a set or two.

Encore example of Norah and "performing": a duet with Keith Richards[fast forward to the 2:00 minute mark]. He is old, wrinkled, lecherous; she is young, beautiful, modest. He can't sing; she can. He pulls her in close to his old man breath; she bravely sings through it.

HOWEVER, Keith Richards, from 18 inches away, is giving Norah Jones a lesson in performing. Love HURTS, and you can feel it in everything about his outstanding performance. He is performing; she is being careful to hit correct notes. The difference is easy to see. He, with a lifetime lived, with a lifetime of performances under his belt, is conveying the essence of the song. I don't know if she notices the lesson, or if she cares about the lesson. But she should. I like to think she does, and that she is gradually maturing both as a person and as a performer.

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