I've been listening to this woman since I was 18, so finally having the chance to hear her magnificent voice in the same room and not through a recording was very surreal. I don't remember how I discovered her, especially since I don't listen to jazz too much (it's too difficult for me to follow because I r dum), only that it was right around the time when her 2004 album "Careless Love" started gaining more critical attention. She's very much the real deal; I'll share a song at the end of the post, but if you don't believe me, look at her tour destinations. To me, touring all over Europe = fance to the nth degree.
After almost a decade of listening to her, it was evident that a lot of her songs touched on the color blue. Heck, her newest album is called "The Blue Room." And her voice often gets compared to queen Billie Holiday's, who sang the hell out of the blues. (This comparison is questionable, depending on who you're talking to. Here's what Madeleine herself had to say about that.)
With all this in mind, picking out a polish to wear to the show was a no-brainer.
Three coats with Gelous + NYC Grand Central Station.
Endless Blue is one of those blues that is
BUT. For $1.99 (and 99 cents if there's a sale at Wags), this polish could not have been more amazing. There's the vibrant color, sure. However, the formula was pretty good, too! Again, to go back and compare with Baker Street, Endless Blue was more thick, so you don't need to load up your brush. The dry time was quite good with the Gelous + NYC Grand Central Station combo, but its wear time was what impressed me. YOU GUYS. I had this on for ONE WEEK with NO CHIPS and *very* minimal tip wear. I know. And that's not all -- when I removed this polish, there was no staining, presumably because I'd doubled up on base coat. How awesome is that? Gah, what a winner.
Don't quote me on this, but my understanding is that Endless Blue started popping up earlier this year as a limited edition shade and became part of the core Sinful line by April, which is when I bought mine.
OK, perfect polish, so ... perfect concert night, right? Almost. The only thing that would have made the evening better would have been getting there on time ... I took a different route to the venue than the one I've taken in the past and my sense of direction was a little messed up once I got on the beltway. Reorienting myself cost me a seat with an ideal view, although I was much closer to the stage than my awful photos would lead you to believe.
Not that you can tell from these pictures, either, but she was accompanied by an eight-piece band. To my memory, this show was the first of this style and genre of music that I've ever seen live and the band was so good, they made me wonder why I don't listen to this type of music more! I did get a kick out of recognizing her bassist, who had been featured on another 2004 album by another artist (which I thought was so-so, but I had a tiny crush on the main artist, WHAT).
Another thing you can't really tell from these pictures is how packed the venue was, and mostly by the, ah, older crowd. That's probably why the show began and ended earlier than most of the ones I've attended. But you could tell everyone was having a wonderful time, and it was basically a perfect senior citizen date night. As a result, you can imagine how slightly out of place I felt, being, oh, in my twenties and very much alone. Me dates are awesome, but man, that night, it would have been nice to have been on a regular date.
You know how you follow some musicians partly because of their music, but also partly because of their personalities/personal lives? Well. I didn't know that much about Madeleine Peyroux, and based on every interview I Googled before writing this post, that's the way she likes to keep things. All I knew -- and this is common knowledge -- was that she lived in Europe for a time and busked in Paris's Latin Quarter. (I guess this is why her cover of Josephine Baker's "J'ai Deux Amours" is extra significant. She did sing "J'ai Deux Amours" at the show ... and replaced "Paris" with "D.C.," to the audience's delight.) She's also a little awkward, but not in an off-putting way. I wasn't really expecting that for some reason. I was expecting, maybe, a less ... understated glamour?
Her set was a back-and-forth between the songs on "The Blue Room" (an homage of sorts to the 1962 Ray Charles album "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" ... so an homage to an homage?) and her most popular old stuff. The set, for the most part, were covers of songs written, as she joked, by "dirty old men." Somehow that became a running joke that night. She covered Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Warren Zevon, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan masterfully and with ease, which I'd say was a credit to the way each song was arranged, since she found a way to make them her own. Very different, but the same. It's difficult for me to explain, but I think you know what I mean.
If you get the chance to see her (you know, the next time you're futzing around Europe), GO. It doesn't matter if you don't like jazz standards or the blues ... like I said, she's the real deal, and I'm looking forward to her next projects even though she just released an album.
Would you like to hear my favorite Madeleine Peyroux song? Of course you do. Fair warning, this ends up on every other mixed CD and playlist I make -- after you hear it, you might be tempted to follow suit!
She performed this one at the show, though I'm pretty sure no set of hers is complete without this number (an original composition, and the only one on "Careless Love"). I liked it immediately the first time I heard it, but I had only a vague idea of what she was singing about, because I was 18 back then. After all this time, I'm happy to report that the lyrics are timeless and perfect.
... just like her music. And after a few years, I'm willing to bet colors like Endless Blue will be, too.
P.S. Last week was my last show of 2013, so look for a blog post on that in the next few days.