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Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Little project for you all:

We're pursing a female vocalist here at the label I work for. She's, you know, Disney-style, Broadway, great chops. And we'd like to pitch some songs to her for the album she's (we hope) going to do.

So: what songs should I pitch? The things that spring immediately to my mind are "Mushaboom," Stephin Merritt's "I Think I Need a New Heart," and Yo La Tengo's "Tears Are In Your Eyes." We're looking for stuff that's interesting but not too weird (I get the feeling she won't like it otherwise), and preferably with a good dynamic range. What can you guys think of? Other Merritt stuff? I've skewed indie here, but all genres are welcome.

"Letter From An Occupant"? Hmm...

ADDENDUM: Tori Amos? Squeeze? The Cardigans? Nellie McKay? Other female artists in that kind of vein? (Fiona Apple?) Probably couldn't sell her on Elastica, sigh. Scissor Sisters?

Would this be a good thing to post on ILM?

Things I wish I could sell her on but know I can't: Candypants "I Want a Pony," Liz Phair, the Danielsen Famile, Kimya Dawson.

ADDENDUM 2: Writes a correspondant (the penultimate bit is probably the most relevant to y'all):

well, whenever broadway artists want to go respectible, they usually turn
toward cabaret. you can't go wrong with anything from the kurt weill
catalogue, but on the other hand she's probably no ute lemper so there
might not be much point in that. besides weill, i especially like erik
satie's cabaret songs (french language). they're faaairly commonly
recorded, but not nearly as often as weill's catalogue. and they're
FANTASTIC. you also might check out Clement Georges (Parisian Bluettes) or Walther Mehring for some gritty pre-war german cabaret music. other suggestions depend on the direction you want to go--you could pick out art songs for the lady, but again, the territory has a lot of better competition. in terms of slightly arty
pop, it might be interesting/gimmecky to have her do leonard cohen style
shit. apparently she's a huge abba and olivia newton-john fan--that might lead to inspiration. personally, i would suggest an entire album of burt bacharach tunes arranged for soprano, jazz organ, double bass, marimba and percussion. ahem.

Emphasis mine. Because damn, that's awesome. We can work with that, yeah?