Friday, January 30, 2009


Madeline opened for Adron at Star Bar last night. She was so great it kind of hurt a little, especially since I was at that moment convinced that I would never really like another folk musician. The Dutchess and the Duke don't count because it's really pop music and I only love them by way of hating them for breaking my heart afresh every time I hear "Scorpio."

But Madeline was monstrous. She reminded me of Buffy Sainte-Marie and no one reminds me of her. Madeline's voice is higher and more delicate and pretty (crystalline even) but it has a similar power. And by power, I might mean vibrato.

She also has a kind of human-ness and sincerity that is out of fashion at the moment. It enables her to be exactly who she is while getting away with a song about Johnny Cash being bored in heaven. It's a little Dorian Gray-eerie when she sings about hard living because she looks exactly like Anne Hathaway, but I still bought it.

So, I let her unlock my personal stores of regret and remembrance with all her love songs. But she has this skill that made it worth the trouble: She can draw the poison out.

With The Dutchess and the Duke, you don't get much in exchange for your suffering.

I'd question my own ravings, but this was a show in a bar and she was the first act and no one was talking over her. They listened like kindergartners at story time. And then they were consistently unruly for the rest of the night.

She has an new album called White Flag.


No comments: