Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cosmic justice

Saw Gemma Hayes at the Hotel Cafe tonight. FUCKING AMAZING WOW. She was fantastic, even with a simple eight-song set. For most songs it was her and a guitar, when she went nuts it was her with a guitar, a backup on electric and a second vocalist. But she was able to carry so much emotional depth in her songs that she could have been singing a capella. "Easy on the Eye," "Happy Sad" and the new song "Chasing Dragons" (en)raptured the 30 of us in the audience.

Growing up I thought people who said "less is more" were full of fucking shit, but now I understand better. When one has Talent (with a capital T) then less really is more, because "more" just obscures what you already had. And like Gemma Hayes is the more/less non-contradiction—a beautiful, yet totally natural-relateable voice and keen musical sense with cuts-to-the-bone lyrics ("The blacker my heart/ the deeper I feel"), what more could a person ask for in a musician.

Driving home talking with April, we discussed how, sadly, success is a matter of breaks and circumstance. Some people, like Fergie and Maroon 5 have them. Others, like Rachael Yamagata and Gemma Hayes not so much. They're toiling away for a dozens of fans, but fans who love them and would follow them to the end of the world (even if that's tonight). Then there are fans like me who don't even make it to the end of the bus stop (I've been without my car for more than a week and without any wheels for going on five days).

Dave, April and I were lucky enough to sit about three feet from the stage, so close that while Gemma was setting up (Hotel Cafe is cool like that, so artists set up their own shit) she locked eyes with Dave and he got tweaked. And I know that this will sound over-the-top-proseish, but I was like literally nervous to gaze too long at her while she was singing, even though there was nothing else to look at, because I didn't want to be creepy or weird guy even though I was nothing but stardust.

Gushgushgush ... yeah, you might say tis the Scotch. But you'd be wrong. Seeing someone that talented who is so criminally underappreciated just makes me not believe in cosmic justice. Don't get me wrong, "Gimme More" (Brit's new one) is H-O-T. But Gemma Hayes whole new disc is gonna be sublime. Why in the world can't we make room for that?

This post was rambly and the best example yet, why I don't write about music more often, because sadly I can bring it no justice. I'd rather be a SCOTUS law clerk.

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