Concert: Dar Williams in Minneapolis 2000

Artist: Dar Williams

Date: October 1, 2000

Opening Act: Political Satirist – Barry Crimmins

Venue: Fitzgerald Theater

City: St. Paul, MN

Review by [Amy Lotsberg] Producer of Collected Sounds

She began with Calling the Moon.
I Won’t Be Your Yoko Ono – She wrote this while attempting to write a song for a film. She was reading the script and there was a mention of Yoko Ono and this song sprung from that.
If I Wrote You
Spring Street – She described this as a cautionary tale she wrote while living in Soho waiting for her personal growth sprut.
Are You Out There? – This is about a really cool radio station that only she knew about. She said it just made it to the suburbs, but wasn’t supposed to, “Really isn’t supposed to be there, but who could stop ’em?!”
Then she talked about Ralph Nader. She said her parents, via the Dar List, found out that she has been talking about him at her shows and they being democrats, are not pleased. She said her interest in him is strictly…romantic.
So she was trying something new. She thought she would talk about bondage instead to see if it got back to her parents. She said, “Maybe it’s a good thing because it gives you good hand eye coordination.”
It Happens – This was a dedication from a mother to son that I assume was in the audience.
Better things – A Ray Davies song
The band left and she was on stage by herself…she asked for requests then said, “Oh I have one!” and played You’re Aging Well. She told a story about singing it with Joan Baez. She was asked to be a part of a show that Joan was doing and thought them asking her to join in was just a token gesture. But then they asked her to join them on tour, then to go to Europe with her. She found it especially wonderful because she said Joan taught her how to shop!
End Of The Summer
I Had No Right – was “originally to be about an anorexic Christian teenager” then she found a book that her sister gave her about the Trial of Daniel Berrigan.
I think the book she was talking about is “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine”.

The liner notes (on the CD “The Green World”) says she took a line from a documentary called, “An Act Of Conscience”
After All
Playing to the Firmament
We Learned the Sea -After the song (during a pretty quiet time, someone’s cell phone rang. She said that the song is sort of a response to the Nursery Rhyme, Winkin, Blinkin & Nod. Three little kids sent off in a boat all by themselves wondering where the adults are….She said, “then the parents called on the cell phone!”
What Do You Love More Than Love – Dar mentioned that this could be a part two to “Spring Street”
Later in the show she said that with the new monitor thingys she wears in her ears, sometimes she forgets that she is not alone on stage and says really personal things. Like the other night when she played this song. When it was over, she turned to the band and said, “Man, I really can’t sing that song!” and they all looked at her with embarrassed smiles sort of said, “You’re fine.” And she went on to say, “No, really! It’s supposed to be ‘the single’ the one we handed out to the radio and it’s a really hard song to sing!”
Another Mystery – She wrote this how some people give labels to women like goddess, angel etc…and she didn’t want to be a part of that. I couldn’t help thinking of Sarah McLachlan (“Building a Mystey”).
Encore: Iowa – “I seem to get a lot of requests for this song the closer I get to a certain state”. Then she said she didn’t know how this would go over here with us Minnesotans (Lutherans) being so reserved but she wanted us to sing along to the chorus…”It’s entirely up to you…but you have to”.
As Cool as I am

Second Encore:
The Christians and the Pagans – Acoustic
It was a great show, she was silly and charming and the audience loved her

[Dar Williams Official Site]

Concert: Joan Osborne in Minneapolis (2000)

Artist: Joan Osborne

Date: September 23, 2000

Opening Act: Lina

Venue: First Avenue

City: Minneapolis, MN

Review by Anne Deming

I walked into First Ave a little after 7PM to catch the entire set of the opener, Lina. She had a rather pleasant voice, but little else. She stepped on stage wearing jeans, a shiny top and an enormous flower stuck behind her ear and occasionally an orange boa she wore during her “I wanna be Billie Holiday” songs. She was a mix of R&B, jazz and a poetry reading; slightly enjoyable, but not my first, second or third choice to open for Joan Osborne.

Joan hit the stage at 8:45 PM looking like a very pretty Janis Joplin (plaid pants, a white t-shirt with a red car on it, tan suede jacket, and rose tinted sun glasses). She sang three songs off her new release “Righteous Love” and the crowd went crazy. Joan stated, several times, how overwhelmed she was by her Minneapolis welcome. I don’t think that many people even knew she had a new album out, but they loved her performance from start to finish, singing along to any part of any song they knew. “St. Theresa” was AMAZING, her voice growled and soared with unbelievable force. During “Right Hand Man”, Joan had the audience singing and dancing up a storm. Also, transitions from song to song were quite fluid, with a perfect mix of old and new.

I posted my brief and very disappointed review of “Righteous Love” at the beginning of September which, unfortunately, has not changed at all. There is one amazing track on the CD, “To Make You Feel My Love”, which was her closing song. It was simple, sweet and reminiscent of “Crazy Baby” from “Relish”.

Too often an artist can produce a solid record as far as songwriting, musicality and vocals are concerned but lack the ability to bring that music to life on stage during a performance…but not Joan. She was at ease and on fire at the same time during the entire set. While I didn’t quite care for a good portion of the music (her new stuff), I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the concert. Her voice was incredibly vibrant; she utilized the microphone, her band, the room, the people-EVERYTHING-to give an outstanding performance. I would recommend a front row seat to any show she’s giving.

[Joan Osborne Official Site]

Concert: Tegan and Sara in Minneapolis (2000)

Artist: Tegan and Sara

Date: September 5, 2000

Venue: 400 Bar

City: Minneapolis, MN

Review by [Amy Lotsberg] Producer of Collected Sounds

Tegan and Sara performed live on September 5th, 2000 at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis.

My friends and I got to the 400 Bar (really) early and Sara and Tegan were standing outside chatting with a writer/photographer from Lavender Lifestyles (a local magazine). So I got the chance to chat with them and take a couple of pictures.
Then they were off to Perkin’s for dinner. I mentioned to them that there were a lot of good restaurants nearby but they really wanted chicken and potatoes. They were sorry later.
Perkin’s lovers, please don’t send me hate mail. I’m sure Perkin’s is a fine establishment, I am just a food snob is all.

The show was great. They are really fun to see live. If you have the chance to see them, I highly recommend it!
They are witty, a little silly and very talented.

Tegan and SaraSaraTegan

[Tegan and Sara Official Site]

Album Review: You Were Here by Sarah Harmer

Album Name: You Were Here
Artist: Sarah Harmer
Year/Label: 2000 / Uni/ Zoe

[Buy at Amazon]

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

Just a note:

When Sarah Harmer first released her CD “You Were Here” in Canada, it had the cover on the left. When it was released in the States, it was given the cover on the right. In both CDs the music is the same, just the covers are different.

Review by Amy- Producer of Collected Sounds

After hearing some folks on both the Sarah Slean mailing list and Ecto raving about Sarah Harmer, I went to her web site and downloaded her song “The Hideout” and fell in love with it. I couldn’t stop listening to it. I ordered the CD on line and learned that the rest of the CD is as good or better than “The Hideout”. This is a wonderful CD.

Sarah’s music is a little bit country rock, a little bit folk, and totally addicting. She has a wonderful voice and writes beautiful songs.

Review by Morgan Smith
I have to say, that this is, the first time in YEARS I have truly been taken by an artist so violently. After hearing one of my friends rattle on and ON about how fantastic she is, and how fantastic her band, Weeping Tile is, I finally downloaded some MP3’s and MY GOD! What an amazing singer!!! I now own two Weeping Tile CD’s (“Cold Snap”, and “Eepee”) which are both fantastic and also feature her beautiful songwriting.

I have also mail ordered “You Were Here” directly from Cold Snap Music. This is now on my coveted Favourite CD rack in my room directly above my stereo, as it is played so often, I want to keep it in easy reach.

After hearing her intensely heartening lyrics, coupled with her blend of (I hate to sound cliched, but she is THIS GOOD…) “funkified” folk and rock, I can’t get enough!

Now I regret not attending her concert the last time she was here. To hear her intimate songs like “Coffee Stain”, and “Open Window” in a small venue like the ones she performs in now (And believe me when I tell you that she won’t be there for long) would be an incredible experience to say the least. My friend agrees. Of course he actually GOT to go. Bastard.

Anyway, to sum up, Sarah Harmer is now one of my favourite performers, along with others such as Sarah Slean, Ani Difranco, Tori Amos and, of course, Weeping Tile.

Go out and get some Harmer!!!

Posted on August 1, 2000

Track Listing
1. Around This Corner
2. Basement Apt.
3. The Hideout
4. Capsized
5. Lodestar
6. Weakened State
7. Don’t Get Your Back Up
8. Open Window
9. Uniform Grey
10. Coffe Stain
11. You Were Here
12. Everytime

[Sarah Harmer Official Site]


Album Review: Faith & Courage by Sinead O’Conner

Album Name: Faith & Courage
Artist: Sinead O’Conner
Year/Label: 2000 / WEA/ Altantic

[Buy at Amazon]

Review by Anne Deming

I admit to my undying admiration and respect for Sinead O’Connor, her musical talents and her flare for controversy; therefore, I was ANXIOUSLY awaiting the release of “Faith & Courage”.

After listening to “Faith” 4 times in less than 12 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that Sinead has transcended any and all expectations. The 13 songs are extraordinarily fierce; her voice, so soft and haunting followed by screeches filled with rage, defies conventional music.

“Faith” blends a rainbow of emotions into a beautifully balanced work of art, one could even call it a sonic masterpiece. At times, the songs seem too slow for her powerful words, but the strength of the music carries the listener to a higher level of a appreciation and enjoyment. Surprisingly upbeat and pop-ish *cringe*, the album is cushioned with creativity.

I strongly urge everyone to run out and purchase “Faith” as soon as is humanly possible. A word of caution: listen to the entire CD before revisiting those catchy tracks (that would be 1-13 by the way) because each song is better than the one before…come to think of it, just put the damn thing on repeat and enjoy an evening of melodious bliss.

It’s hard to choose, but I have to say “Jealous” and “Hold Back The Night” are the show stoppers on the disc.

Review by Nanna denmarknanna loose

Rating: 5 Stars
I realy think that this record is the best she had made. its having this power and kindness thats makeing me shake!!!!!! numbers as Jelouse and hold back the night , can we realy haer what her voice can do!!!! i started grying the first time I heart them… that one out of millions of resons why is sould have 5 stars….

Posted on June 18, 2000

Track Listing
1. The Healing Room 2. No Man’s Woman
3. Jealous
4. Dancing Lessons
5. Daddy I’m Fine
6. ‘Til I Whisper U Something
7. Hold Back the Night
8. What Doesn’t Belong to Me
9. The State I’m In
10. The Lamb’s Book of Life
11. If U Ever
12. Emma’s Song
13. Kyrie Eleison
15. Full Circle

[Sinead O’Conner Official Site]

Album Review: Frightening Beauty by Xyra and Verborgen

Album Name: Frightening Beauty
Artist: Xyra and Verborgen
Year/Label: 2001 / Independent

Review by Anna Maria Stjärnell

It’s not often you come across a singer as impressive as Xyra Harper Cann.
On her bands second album she sings in the smoky voice of a true diva. She brings to mind the deep, exotic tones of Nico and Marlene Dietrich. Nico is an obvious influence, and Xyra sings a tribute to her called “When She Walks Into the Room”. It’s a dramatic and evocative song.
The music on this album has folky and cabaret touches throughout that fit together perfectly. At times the band reminds me of Roxy Music’s melancholy air and sophistication. They cover Roxy’s “While My Heart Is Still Beating” beautifully too.
The album ends with a jazzy reading of “My Funny Valentine”. This is a truly lovely and stunning record that deserves to be heard by many.

Posted on March 30, 2000

Track Listing
1. Frightening Beauty
2. Find me
3. Random Inquiry
4. Prisoners in a Free Society
5. While My Heart is Still Beating
6. Until I Find
7. Delicate Anger
8. Seeds of Dissension
9. You Forgot to Answer
10. When She Walks into the Room
11. Nibelungen
12. The Fool’s Journey
13. Minstrel of the Grail
12. Funny Valentine..

[Xyra Official Site]