Sunday, October 12, 2003

Life imitating Art?

I have been thinking about what music to share with you. Rather than just picking the latest song du jour I thought I'd go back a little. I came across Lili Anel way back when I was still in New York. West had gotten me hooked on folk and world music with her MR2-full of CDs. After I wore down those Alphabet Soup tapes she made, I started to find my own sources. Sure I still listened to WLIR (or WDRE for a while back then), but more often than not I was tuned to WFUV, a public radio station out of Fordham. One night I heard this song, Dance the Life Away, playing and fell in love with the singer's voice. It was rich and intoxicating. I bought her CD, Laughed Last, and it was so good it never left my 6-pack Pioneer CD player (slot #6).

I never got the chance to see her perform. I certainly did frequent the places she has played, The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village with Karen and George and the Turning Point in Piermont, NY with Marcia. But her music came to mark events in my life.

Trying to pick just one song for you to listen to was hard. I mean, there was an entire heart-wrenching 6-month love affair that I can mark by her first CD. It started with the ecstasy of Tonight and the happy Laughed Last. A short dip of anguish on her part marked by The Wrong Time. Did I mention she was married. Yeah okay, not the wisest move on my part, but wait, we make up and Love Is It expresses those sentiments. Then come the broken promises and the distance of a 1000 miles between us. Did I mention heart-wrenching? Baby When? says it all, I'm too miserable. So I'm not surprised when I find out there is someone else just like what happens in Say It Isn't So. Okay I wasn't so completely heartbroken not to notice the eerie similarities between my life and Roberta Flack's song, Killing Me Softly.

I actually took her out of my CD Player for a month or so and tried to be a big girl and get on with my life. But there is nothing that makes you feel more alive than the ecstasy of love won and the agony of love lost. Really my scorpio nature couldn't stay away. So I put her back in her slot and I couldn't think of anything better to get into a properly bad mood than to listen to all those happy fall-in-love songs. I had forgotten about this one song nestled in with all the rest that oddly made it all better. Let Her Go (available for your listening pleasure) got me out of my funk of despair. The fabulous rhythms in this one will cheer you up if you need it. On an interesting small world side note, the guy playing the kick-ass vibes is Jeff Berman, who I met through Marcia at his funky Brooklyn apartment. He played a song for me that he was working on for one of his CDs. Find them and buy them if you love the sound.

I had secretly hoped that Lili would come and whisk me away, just like in the song, but I got over it. I got into painting and found other things that make my heart happy. Of course I will always have a weak spot for serenading strangers.

I am happy to add that Lili is back with a new-ish CD, Hi-Octane Coffee. I am still listening to the new one. Laughed Last however does qualify for that special satisfaction guarantee. Listen to the song here and if you love it, buy Laughed Last. If you really hate it I'll buy it or trade it for something you will like.

How's that, eh?

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