Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I won't drag my feet in whatever dirt you track in
I am incredibly superstitious. Always have been. I loathed that story about stepping on cracks and breaking my mother's back when I was little. It terrified me. I never pick up pennies that are tails-side down on the pavement. I avoid walking under ladders (for two reasons...that is just not safe!). I throw salt over my shoulder when it spills on the table. For as long as I can remember when my mom left for work in the morning I would wave goodbye from the window until I couldn't see her car, otherwise I would worry she wouldn't make it home. When my dad traveled on trips the last thing I always made sure I said was I love you. I don't write about boys when I have crushes in my journal...whenever I do and I am happy things head straight to the trash bin. Once when I was walking home while living in Avignon a black cat crossed my path and I literally gasped out loud causing my french family to give me the hairy eyeball. I can't help it. I am beginning to think March is my unlucky month. Just like Cesar bad things befall me during this transition from winter to spring. Last year my boss at the time called me in for a meeting and told me he didn't like my taste in music or my attitude. At the time I was supposed to be at SXSW but had passed up the opportunity to go because I did not want to miss work and spending time with that lovely boss of mine. I remember sitting at my desk listening to Justin Vernon crooning live Bon Iver songs over the airways and straight into my heart and had to bite my lip as hard as possible to stop me from getting up and throwing a chair at my presiding officer due to his lack of intelligence and TASTE. "Where is Bon Iver now", is a something I would love to ask him if we ever crossed paths. Maybe I am his black cat. Things work in this way, especially in New York City. People have different ways of understanding the music business and I have come to understand that it is because no matter why you entered into the arena you end up making it by on your instincts. Music is an instinctual behavior. You either like something and the way it sounds to your own ears, or you don't. You can learn to appreciate an artist, yes. But like them and choose to listen to them on your own time...now that takes a little bit of work and love. But I digress. Again this year I was supposed to go to SXSW and I didn't...for the same reasons as last. Friday I walked into work and was released from my job. My music venue could not afford me anymore and will be booking through outside promoters only now. I did not cry. I cursed March.
And so today I am back talking to my computer and drinking my green tea from the comforts of my little apartment. I can do things like jump around to the Clash and play the latest Silversun Pickups songs as loud as I want to. I don't have to answer to anyone for the moment and until next week I won't be full on freaking out about the R word I don't like to mention. For now I am continent. Which makes it the absolute perfect time to share the latest songbird to soothe my nerves, Alela Diane. She has been floating around the scene for a bit now and was recently signed to Rough Trade records and will remind you a bit of her label mates Basia Bulat and Emilaina Torrini. Her LP To Be Still was released in February and she has recorded a session with Daytrotter that is stunning. To Be Still is the first song by Alela that grabbed my ear immediately. Her lyrics are honest and intense. Although she is a beautiful feminine creature she does not hide behind the pain of loss or loneliness. Instead she steps over the boundaries of fear and fragility and tells you, her listener, exactly how it is going to be.
No I won't drag my feet in whatever dirt you track in
Will you look at me when your face shows the lines of years
While you've been away
I have needed your strong hands
Alela Diane-To Be Still.mp3
Alela Diane-White As Diamonds.mp3
If you are lucky enough to be down in Austin please visit her and support her live:
Mars-19~2:30 PM-SXSW-French Legation Museum-Austin, Texas
4:45 PM-SXSW-Lamberts-Austin, Texas
Mars-20~3:30 PM-SXSW-The Mowhawk-Austin, Texas
10:00 PM-SXSW-Garden Hotel, Black Cab Showcase-Austin, Texas
Mars-21~3:45 PM-SXSW-The Mean Eayed Cat-Mojo BBQ-Austin, Texas