2000-10-24 - 8:56 p.m.
I first heard Dar Williams singing "The Ballad of Mary Magdalen" on a promo CD, and recognized her voice again when they played "Iowa" in the background at Ken's Sushi some months back. I finally bought my own copy of Mortal City last week, and have been playing "Iowa" both aloud and in my head the past two evenings. I don't think it's by accident that the "What is love?" uttered during "Iowa" are a melodic echo of the same phrase in a popular version of Shakespeare's "O Mistress Mine," though the verses are four centuries apart and come from opposite sides of more than an ocean:
On a related note, I saw Catie Curtis (who opens for DW on many of her tour dates) open for Mary Chapin Carpenter a couple of years ago. She isn't as strong a writer or performer as either MCC or DW, but I did enjoy her first album Truth from Lies, particularly "You Can Always Be Gone" and "Slave to My Belly."
One of the things all these women have in common is that they have real, full-bodied grown-up voices that I can sing along with, and real lyrics worth singing. I'll take MCC belting out Lucinda Williams' "Passionate Kisses" over any tweety little-girl-voiced Top 40 songster any day:
Is it too much to demand
Shouldn't I have this--
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