moments before the wind.

October 20, 2005

i met leo the lion

Filed under: authenticity, folk, live shows, music, reviews, rock, writing — alimarcus @ 11:03 am

I got to see Dar Williams again last night. And i got to meet her. so cool. What I love about her most is the way she uses her voice in really intriguing ways. There's sort of two different registers she sings in; one, mostly in the lower ranges, is piercing, sharp, painful almost, with this tight vibrato thing, and the other, usually higher, that's like a blanket of sheer sound: it seems to be coming to you and from you and to her and from her, in all directions at the same time. The part that draws me in is the interplay between these two registers; the places that she uses, each, what she's saying, what the music sounds like, and what parts she switches, intermingles, or otherwise employs. I wonder about so many things, like, is she always doing it on purpose? how much of it has to do with her range? how much of it is directly related to the lyrics? and on and on. it's totally inspiring to someone like me, who has experienced the kind of thought (and also lack-of-thought) that goes into performing. Well, in a lot of ways, you could look at Mariah Carey in this light; she is-or was, for most of the 90's anyways-extremely adept at this. Dar Williams brings a kind of legitimacy to it that I can relate to on a much more visceral level though.
in a way, her music exhibits this exploration of the space between in more ways than her singing style. Her songs frequently meld comedy with grave seriousness. Just last night, she must have introduced at least three songs ("Teen For God," "Spring Street," "The End of the Summer") as a combination of religion/spirituality with some more banal element of living (summer camp, fashion, local farming, respectively). Other songs that do this in a stunning manner include "The Babysitter's Here," "It Happens Everyday" "Party Generation," "What Do You Hear In These Sounds?" and "We Learned the Sea."
anyways, i could go one forever about this sort of thing.

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