September 16, 2005

Brush With Fame

From the photos, she was uncommonly beautiful (maybe more accurately, beautifully uncommon -- a cool, odd, quirky sort of beauty), and the songs she wrote were always immaculately crafted alt-rock pop with sharp, allusive (even elusive) lyrics about relationships, the world, politics, whatever. Just the sort of singer-songwriter we were looking for: smart, thoughtful, successful on her own terms, but not successful enough to have ever broken into the mainstream Big Label world.

So we got in contact with her agent and flew down to LA for the day to explain to her what we wanted, and how she might benefit (or not) from what we were doing. What a shock. We sat there incredulous as this beautiful woman (yes, beautiful in real life, too) in front of us spent several hours barely following along as we discussed record deals, finance, the state of the world, etc. -- her world, her life, her bread and butter. It was excruciating -- she barely seemed to follow even the simplest ideas, and it didn't seem like a drug problem (the usual excuse in these circumstances). We waded on against the tide, and eventually pretty much gave up (by this point I would have used sock puppets or animated cartoons if I thought it would help). She just sat there blankly and occasionally asked the sort of question that made it clear she had no idea what we were talking about -- or anything much else to do with the real world, actually.

Later, after making our excuses, we sat slumped in the cab on Santa Monica Boulevard thinking, what a disaster... we suddenly turned towards each other and blurted out in chorus: "so where did all those lyrics come from?!"

Her next release was as sharp as ever.

(Peripherally part of the Punk (and Later) thread).


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