Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Of Music and Membranes

I was born in 1959 and my sister was born in 1961. That makes me two years older than her. (Some of you might want to do the math; the rest of us will move on.) When I was growing up (as opposed to out), I was not considered mainstream in my musical choices. I remember asking Lisa one night in 1980 if she wanted to come with me to see this Irish band I'd heard tell of, performing live.

'Who are they?'


'Nahh. I never heard of them.'

I went to the show, history, of course, was made, and little sister still kicks herself when I mention it. (Sorry.) But, I have noticed over the years that Lisa has become quicker on the ball to new music. She bought and runs a record store, has for almost 20 years. In that time, she has sent me enumerable packages filled to brimming with CDs she thought I might like. I have discovered many a new band within those packages that I wouldn't have if Lisa had not sent them on.

Last week I saw Heart in concert. My heart wasn't in the show because I was away from Max who has been going through a few unexpected medical dramas. (He's recuperating.) But at the show Ann Wilson, Heart's lead singer, mentioned her new solo CD and I thought to myself, "I wonder if there'll be a promo?" Seven days later, without having spoken, that CD was on my doorstep. I attribute that to sibling membranes. (Or the fact that Zoe Records decided to do some marketing.) Even though Lisa and I live on different sides of the continent and see each other only once a year, those sibling membranes are still strong.

And Hope and Glory shows Ann Wilson is still strong. She had performed a beautiful rendition of John Lennon's Isolation at the concert but the CD is equally as beguiling. It is very directly and poignantly Ann's stance regarding the situation this country is in. All, but one, of the songs on the CD are covers, and she has chosen each title specifically and performed them with various partners subtly. From a very original take on Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song to her impassioned plea (with help from Wynonna) on We've Got to Get Out of this Place, Ann has carved a new niche for herself as a protest singer with soul...and heart. If you appreciate her message, you'll certainly appreciate the beauty of this undertaking. If you don't, she sings some really nice songs.

Thanks for a great CD, hon. Oh...pluralize that.

love you

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