Lisa Loeb Performs at The Cafe Carlyle - New York City Article
The Café Carlyle
35 E 76th Street, (212) 744-1600
Through June 17
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Lisa Loeb is best known for what might be described as a business distinction: unique in the history of recorded music, she is virtually the only completely independent artist (ie, without benefit of any recording company affiliation) to have ever scored a number one hit. (That was the 1994 “Stay,” as heard in the film Reality Bites.) But in experiencing her live the intimate space of the Carlyle, it seems that she should be celebrated for her music itself. She has the unique ability to create what seem like relatively simple and whimsical songs for adults (that often have profound implications), such as “The time between meeting and finally leaving / Is sometimes called falling in love.” Yet at the same time, she composes songs for children (admittedly more of an interest for her ever since she became a mother) that are filled with deep and highly original imagery far beyond the usual lullabye cliches, like her tale of a “Disappointing Pancake” that somehow manages to travel the world. Carlyle habitues will also cheer for her interpretations of several familiar show and movie songs, notably Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” (she talks about being asked to sing it at somebody’s wedding, but points out that it’s a pretty bleak wedding song), a highly original ¾ time arrangement of Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin’s “Tomorrow” (from Annie) and Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher’s Muppet masterpiece, “The Rainbow Connection.” The latter was rendered, in accordance with tradition (also) as a waltz, but rather unconventionally as a touching duet with an amazing colossal drag queen named Alexis Michelle.
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)