July 15, 2005

MARTHA WAINWRIGHT // 07.14.05 // Granada Theatre - Sherbrooke, QC

okay. i must admit up front that, although i bought her debut album when it came out, i had yet to listen to it. i have nothing against her personally, i've been doing this with a lot of albums this year. too little time, too many albums. i'd listened to her ep and the Factory cd-r she'd assembled, which i'd gotten at one of Rufus' shows in Montreal a couple of years ago (and freaking loved it). so last weekend, when i learned that we finally had our tickets for the show, i made it a point not to listen to her album. i wanted to go in and enjoy her voice and the songwriting, and not nitpick through the songs. the place was set up cabaret-style - lush decoration with small oil lamps on each table. the crowd was older than i'm used to (although i didn't even know who'd turn up at this show since it wasn't publicized much) but it did make sense since her musical family is well-known in our country, and she would appeal to a literary crowd. she came out with her acoustic guitars, a piano player, a drummer, a bassist, and her cousin on backvocals (who was part, the ex-roommate informed me, along with Martha, of Rufus' backvocal ensemble when we saw them a few years ago). her songs are passionate and bohemian, speaking mainly of love and self-hate. and the songwriting itself is refreshing, giving way to complex melodies. and she's an astounding guitar player too! i wasn't ready for that, but she mastered those acoustics like a madwoman. her songs can be as explosive and breathtaking as any of Rufus' soaring melodies. what can i say, they've got drama in their blood. the quieter songs hit you in the gut with astonishing revelations. the audience loved it. she even played Leonard Cohen's Tower of Song, and threw in a couple of french songs for the crowd. it was a nice two-hour set that only proved what i thought of her from those Rufus shows and her two ep's i've got -- the girl's got a voice that cuts through anything. and it's not about the notes she can hit (because she can - with no superficiality to it), it's her tone. she brings me chills everytime i hear her sing. and tonight i felt what i felt watching Martha and Rufus playing together - two little kids having fun putting on a show for the parents every weekend. she has talent to spare - has been in it since birth. that's obvious. but more importantly - she knows how to have fun with it. and it's damn infectious.

ps. i even spotted an old crush i'd only come across once in the past four years. sigh... see, we need a better musical scene around here so i can spot-n-meet girls who have similar tastes as mine :P

Posted by Sam | 12:24 AM |