Monday, October 22, 2007

Music Monday - Lady Bell from Austin

Last week I was in Austin, TX for a training conference. Friday night one of my co-workers took us out to see a friend of hers (who recently moved to Austin from northern Virginia) perform at an open mic night. The coffee shop, The Green Muse, was one of the seediest dives I've been in (or maybe this suburbanite was just out of his element, but I generally prefer to hang out with people who bathe more than once a week), and we had to sit through two laughably bad acts (one of whom performed twice) and a moderately decent female singer/guitarist before Lady Bell (apparently her real name) finally took the stage around 10:40. But Lady's performance more than made up for the hour and forty minutes we had waited.

In short, I was blown away by this 22-year-old's performance. Her voice and guitar playing are both fantastic and her original songs are irresistibly head-bobbing. Her set also included unique takes on two cover songs -- a ukulele performance of Margaritaville ("strumming my four-string"), and an amazingly beautiful rendition of Outkast's "Hey Ya". Lady's performance was so well received that the manager let her 20-minute set go on about 40 minutes. Nevermind the fact that more than half the audience was there specifically to see her -- Lady's talent was certainly deserving of the extra time.

I must admit that I do have one complaint, however. Upon visiting Lady Bell's Myspace page and listening to her original tracks, I discovered that Lady sings in a very soft, Jewel-esque voice throughout her songs. The thing is, she has a much better voice than that. It is when she really sings out that she sets herself apart from your average folk singer, starting to sound less like Jewel and more like Alicia Keys.

With Lady's talent, charm, and intoxicating smile, I can't imagine this girl will be performing at open mic nights for very long before moving on to bigger and better things in the "music capital of the world".

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Quote of the day

From Rolling Stone, in a rant about (among other things) politics and homeland security:

"You can have my shoes when you pry them off my cold, dead feet, and those Red Lobster-hostess blazers look fucking stupid on your police-academy-dropout ass."

RS 1037, "Hot Mood - Not Dealing With Reality"