My friends Jackie and Sheila are going to see Phantom of the Opera tonight and I'm a little jealous. That was my very first big play, I was 8 and in the Queen's Theater in London and I love the music to this day. Since I already have great big plans tonight (backyard chili party at the Cicelas- holla!) and I need to stop humming "All I Ask of You" lest I get uninvited, I will take my musicality out on you fine folks. Here are three people I love that you might not already be listening to:
1) Priscilla Ahn- Pfunk has a voice that will make you think you've crossed over. I first met her when she was singing alongside Joshua Radin last summer and she was a standout even then. She released her first solo EP earlier this year after being on the Hotel Cafe Tour with Radin, Cary Brothers and the rest of that fabulously unholy bunch. When she opened for Cary at Schuba's it became clear very quickly that she was coming into her own. "Are We Different?" and "Lullaby" both have winged melodies to them that lighten my heavier days. And girlfriend can handle a late-night veggie pizza and bike rack jumping like you would not believe possible for someone her size.
*UPDATE: As if on cue, P's song Lullaby closed out tonight's Grey's Anatomy. Even if you can't handle that show anymore (hand raised) it's still a good thing!2) Thomas Dybdahl- I owe this one to my brother but I have been hooked on him ever since the suggestion was made. At this rate, I may need to fast-track France and find Scandinavia on my next trip over the Atlantic. Sensual, emotive and altogether beautiful, "A Love Story," "Dice" and "Pale Green Eyes" are my favorites. In fact- this deserves a little YouTube. I think the Swedes, Danes, Fins, Norwegians and I are going to get along juuuust fine.
3) Bon Iver- Ok, I just got this one today from what is now a reliable source. To be fair though, I have looped the album at least 9 times today while finishing up a project (YEA byline!!). This strikes me as a good time to discuss voice breakage in song. It is just so hard to do right but wow, he's got it in spades. I crumble when he sings the hook in "Skinny Love" and the rest of the album is equally haunting (What could have been lost- "The Wolves Act 1 and 2"). More than a little jealous that he's going to be at Paradise Lounge before getting to Chicago.
I haven't even been listening long enough to know the appropriate picture to put here so I'm just gonna issue that as a challenge. Justin, as soon as you come to Chicago, I will come down to the Empty Bottle/Schuba's/Double Door/Beat Kitchen/wherever else and take your picture then backlog it. In the meantime, we have been provided with a live clip from the Bowery Ballroom thanks to TKTC's frequent music contributor (does that sound official enough?) JonK who I understand gets to see the man himself in concert tonight!
And on that note, if you are in the area and just looking for something cool and new then you should stop by any of the aforementioned spots and just grab a ticket.