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Book of Love, temporally proximate theatre stuff - Mostly, it is...

Jan. 19th, 2010

12:18 am - Book of Love, temporally proximate theatre stuff

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at youtube: Book of Love - Nataly Dawn

Years ago, when I went to small independent music stores more often (back when there were more of them that hadn't closed or moved entirely online), I was browsing and was excited to come across a copy of The Magnetic Fields (a Stephin Merritt project) album 69 Love Songs. I had heard Patricia O'Callaghan cover Book of Love, one of the songs off of that album, live several times by then (My favourite performance being the one from the first time I saw her at Hugh's Room, I think, about three albums ago. All preferable to her album version, alas.) and though I didn't 'agree' with all of the possible interpretations of what the song could have been saying about love and relationships, loved the song nonetheless. I also remembered Neil Gaiman's enthusiasm for Merritt's music prompting me to go and check out articles about him and The Magnetic Fields, and finding the descriptions appealing to me. While they had come to town at least once that I knew of, the timing hadn't worked out, so I was still curious to hear their sound. So I put it in my stack of stuff to buy and kept going. Two guys came in, one talking enthusiastically about this album that he'd seen that he wanted to come back and show to the other one, buy and listen to together. He saw it, noticed that I'd pulled it, and got this look of disappointment. I don't know if they were just friends, boyfriends, or one was a potential boyfriend who the other hoped to impress with his taste in music/to move along in that direction with an album of the above title by a band with at least two queer members (depending on their lineup at the time), but I'm enough of a romantic that in case it was, I let him get it. Either of us could probably have gotten another copy another day, but his afternoon, and possibly more, could work out much better for him if he got it at that particular moment (yes, or it could make little difference at all, but you aren't actually going to know all of the consequences of your actions), whereas if I got it then, it might be months before I listened to it.

Since then I've heard a few other covers of songs by The Magnetic Fields, but I still don't have a copy of their albums and haven't heard their version of Book of Love. A few days ago, when I decided to see what else Pomplamoose (from my previous blog entry) had done, I heard another one. This one by Nataly Dawn, who is half of Pomplamoose (Her Master's degree is in French literature, and she lived in France for years before coming back to the States, so AFAIK the spelling is intentional.). It's a good bit slower and more deliberate than the others that I've heard. It reminds me of somewhat of Kim Richey's style. (Aside. I first payed attention to her music thanks to A Place Called Home being used to such powerful effect in Angel, during the end montage of the episode, or the episode after, depending on how you look at it, in which Fred died. Like Joss's style or not as a showrunner/storyteller, he can pick music to go with his style.) The vocal has more hiss in it than others, among other technical transmission aspects, but they don't matter enough to keep this from being my favourite recorded performance of this song that I've heard/seen yet (not better than O'Callaghan's live, but that's not re-playable.)

Hmm. The Magnetic Fields are going to be touring February and March. I might get to go see them. We'll see. There are a few things I want/have wanted to go see that I won't attend while coughing uncontrollably. Even if I'm wearing a mask, you don't do that at a quiet live performance. I got to see My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding at the end of December, thanks to my sister, but I've already missed Next Stage's Fringe Festival remounts. Cloud 9starts its one month run tomorrow today. The show's themes would be enough for me to want to see it, but they've also got Alisa Palmer directing and her wife Ann Marie MacDonald on stage (She's mostly a writer these days so chances to see her acting live are not all that frequent. I missed her in 2007 at Soulpepper. Related recommendation: I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, kind of a film about art and appreciation of it.). (see also: Cloud 9 Toronto and this article in The Globe and Mail. Dance Ontario's DanceWeekend 2010 starts this Friday. And I haven't had this cold that long. It's only been 16 days. I don't get colds that often, but they tend to run long when I do. Sorry for the scattered approach. I've had separate blog posts about each of these things in mind for several weeks now, but given the time and that I haven't written them, I figure, better a mention than nothing.


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