9/9/09, huh? It’s an exciting day! It marks the last set of repeating, single-digit dates that we’ll see for almost a century (until January 1, 2101), and the Remastered Beatles catalog, Beatles Rock Band, and the new Apple iPod are all being released today.
But my favorite celebration today is my third wedding anniversary with the extraordinary Christopher Gandin Le. Suicide prevention expert, exquisite photographer (still and motion pictures), beloved friend, and the best damn husband and partner I could ever desire.
For our anniversary, he gave me the gift of music from one of my favorite artists: Erin McKeown. Since I first heard Distillation 9 years ago, I have loved this woman’s music, and have had a total crush on her as well. She’s excruciatingly talented across a wide variety of instruments and musical styles, her lyrics are poetic, her style is fantastic (check those Fluevogs!), and her live show is always fabulous. Oh, and she’s only 31; she’s been making great music since she was in college.
Her newest album, Hundreds of Lions, comes out this October on Righteous Babe records, and to raise funds for this self-financed album, she launched a very cool endeavor this summer.
Photo Credit: Nancy Palmieri
“Cabin Fever” comprises four one-hour performances that were broadcast live from her home in MA: one from her living room (during a great thunderstorm), one from her front porch, one from the middle of her river (literally: she sits on a rock in the water), and the last from her front yard. In the fourth episode, she performs the new album in its entirety. Fans can still pay $10 to watch one episode or $30 to watch all four episodes. I missed the live webcasts, so I’m thrilled to be celebrating today by watching them and hearing her new album!
It’s a delicious pleasure to follow an artist through their career. When you buy their new albums as soon as they come out and listen to them thoroughly, their music weaves tightly into your own life story. I can remember parts of my life more clearly when I listen to the Erin McKeown album I was listening to at the time. (You can click on the album cover to be taken to audio previews of her music. You won’t be sorry.)
I am not a musician, though I often want to be when I watch Erin McKeown perform. (I have yet to pick up that steel guitar.) By shining her light, she inspires me to do the same with mine, which I do through my writing. As I reflect on what her music means to me, I think how lovely it would be for my writing to weave into a reader’s life story in the same way. May it one day be so.
Beauty in a Wicked World is a weekly column by Jennifer Gandin Le. It appears on Wednesdays.