April 22, 2013
Win tickets to see Jane Siberry live
Jane Siberry’s website is headed-up with the strapline “singer, songwriter, poet, trollop | hello!”. The Canadian musician and writer has her own unique voice and style and has always walked to the beat of her own drum.
I’ve loved her work for a long time: she’s intelligent and collaborative and she’s in the UK right now for a small tour of intimate gigs and salon-style events.
If Siberry is playing anywhere near you then go and see her – you’ll not regret it. Better still, why not take advantage of the great free giveaway we’ve sorted. There are two sets of tickets up for grabs for two of her live shows in Birmingham and Nottingham (see the end of the article for details on how to apply).
If you’re unfamiliar with Siberry’s music, here’s my take. The first reason I like it is because it’s pretty difficult to categorise. Over a long and respected career she has mixed a whole host of styles to constantly produce albums that engage and surprise. Latin rhythms, jazz and samba, dark and broody soundscapes, spoken word pieces, pop and love songs, concept and song sequences – Siberry can do it all.
And her voice – no exaggeration – is to die for. Returning to her back catalogue to write this reminded me how much her voice puts me in mind of Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins. Her vocals are sometimes sweet and light, sometimes metallic-edged and dark, but always compelling. That she often blends vocals and spoken word is of particular interest to me as a poet and creative writing researcher, and Siberry manages to make imaginative and witty music that is also accessible.
A sampling of her song titles: “Goodbye sweet pumpkinhead”, “Half angel, half eagle”, “Mimi on the beach”, “Barkis is willing” and “Miss Punta Blanca”, conveys her wide-ranging subject matter and clear love of language. Some of her rhymes “I coulda been Miss Punta Blanca / but I didn’t wanta” are funny and kind of throw-away but then, in a heartbeat, you listen to a song like The Valley (covered wonderfully by KD Lang) and it takes your breath away it’s so beautiful.
The musicianship on her albums is amazing and where she really excels is in live performance, which she spices with a dose of theatre. I’ve seen a Siberry show once, a few years ago, at The Sage Gateshead and met her briefly afterwards – although, in truth it was my partner who spoke to her, as I tend to go mute on encountering artists I really respect. Siberry admired my partner’s coat and we found her to be personable, open and very funny. Her set of songs that night had the whole audience transfixed. In the course of the evening she played a variety of instruments, told affecting stories and had me laughing out loud and in floods of tears. Not many artists can do that in one fell swoop.
It’s hard to pull out one stand-out track from Siberry’s catalogue: on different days I’ll listen to different things and in the canon of women artists Siberry – for me – is up there with the best of them.
Check out her website (www.janesiberry.com) for more info on her music and other creative outputs. You can download files and listen to some of her work. And while you can download files for free I’d urge you to make a donation and help support an innovative artist happy to put her work out there for us.
Win Jane Siberry gig tickets
To win one of two pairs of tickets to see Jane Siberry live, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to write “Jane Siberry – Lesbilicious competition” in the subject line of your message. Please state which show you’d like tickets for – Birmingham (Wednesday 15 May 2013) OR Nottingham (Sunday 17 May 2013) and leave your full name and a telephone contact. Winners will be picked at random. Good luck.
ASL Gotye “Somebody I Used to Know” (HiDef)
This video is an ASL interpretation of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used To Know.” An expression of ASL music composed by a team of Deaf and CODA (Child of Deaf Adult) members, including the crew and cast members.
July 28, 2012