Monday, May 21, 2007

She Comes Down to Santa Barbara to Tell Us Everything Is Fine

Back 12 years ago for a really cool zine called Fond Affexxions (you have to miss print, you really do) I wrote a review about Victoria Williams' still-crowning triumph Loose which said this:

Acquired taste she is, but given this is by-far her best album (number three), getting turned on by Loose is like finally getting beluga at the Russian Tea Room after years of supermarket jars that only hinted at the wonderment of caviar. Wonderment is the key word, by the way: She comes off as a scat-singing Glenda the Good Witch, and that's all part of her charm. Williams helps make Van Dyke Parks' Amerikitsch make sense--the arrangements are as all-over as her voice. What else could they be, given it's her personality that holds together her mix of country, folk, gospel, pop, jazz, rock. And that personality is fighting her multiple sclerosis, the death of a best friend, the death of her dog. With all the ugliness, so much to bemoan, she sings about love--lots--and makes you believe it. I never thought I would call a record uplifting without falling out of my chair laughing at myself. Instead, I can only sit here and smile.

Seems those of us in Santa Barbara can sit in the chapel at the Presidio and smile this Friday, for Victoria Williams will be heading up a show with Devon Sproule and Angela Correa. Tickets are available at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation office, located on the Presidio, or by calling: (805) 965 0093. You won't want to miss this terrific, intimate night.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Numfar said...

I confess that Victoria is my Harry Shearer -- I want to like her more than I do. A friend gave me a mix CD years ago with "Train Song" on it, and I've tried -- many times -- to get the rest of her stuff and I just can't. For me it's music to slit my wrists by.

9:51 PM  
Blogger George said...

She's an acquired taste, I admit. A good way in is to listen to Sweet Relief so you can hear her terrific songs without getting caught up in her unusual voice (Christgau compares her, not fancifully, to Blosson Dearie). If Lucinda Williams doing "Main Road" or my usual not-favorite Evan Dando doing "Frying Pan" don't get you, I don't know what will.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Numfar said...

Okay, worth a shot. But Lucinda could sing "It's a Small World" and I'd still play it till it my synapses sizzled.

6:45 AM  

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