. : : November 24th, 2012 : : .
Coming back to this blog after so many years has been really interesting.
As I sort through an archive of unreleased recordings, I’ve re-discovered shows that I’ve entirely forgotten I’d been to. Among them was Jenn Grant‘s show at the Winter Garden Theatre to promote The Beautiful Wild in 2012. In trying to recall details about the show (ie. where I sat specifically), I tried to pull up a digital receipt for my ticket purchase.
While I couldn’t find it, I did find a conversation I had where I lamented that tickets for the show had gone on sale on Groupon for a fraction of what I’d paid for them — and the discounted tickets were only a handful of rows behind my seat. But I wasn’t mad because I’d unnecessarily spent extra money; rather, I was planning to bail on the show altogether and sell my ticket and chances of finding a last minute buyer now where nil.
I’d originally purchased the ticket to give Jenn Grant a second chance. Or maybe it was second-second chance? Longtime fan of the blog @Ricker had kept insisting I check her out, give her a real listen, and asked that I go to her shows when she was in town. Our favourite musicians intersected so frequently that I really, really tried. Although I found things to like about her (a handful of singles, a portion of the live setlist), I just couldn’t connect with her music the way he had.
Listening to it back, I begin to remember why it wasn’t posted back in the day and why I was so close to bailing on this concert altogether. The sound quality was pretty bad. The Winter Garden Theatre is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but it’s PA system wasn’t set up for clarity. It appears I was also under the weather, as I detected a cough or two, and maybe a handful of light sniffles throughout the recording.
Realistically, I probably gave it about 20-seconds of attention after getting home, shrugged at my misfortune at such a poor recording, and put it away to deal with Later (you know, the later with a capital L that’s perpetually on the horizon but never seems to arrive?).
Imagine my surprise when I was able to prove that the idiom about polishing a turd is flawed. The master is decisively unlistenable, but putting a bit of elbow grease into EQ’ing the tape made it not just listenable, but actually very good. Really very good, even.
Then imagine how my surprise exponentially stacked upon itself when I finally, out of nowhere, started to finally connect with Jenn’s music. This show, originally so unforgettable that I didn’t even remember going to it, was now single-handedly turning around my opinion around. I found myself wanting to listen to these songs again, and looking forward to playing it through as I wrote this little opinion piece. I had written her off as flat tempo’d, somewhat samey, safe soft rock — but now I was uncovering a variety, energy and dynamism that somehow I had just… missed? Even when sitting there, only a few dozen feet from the stage.
Her voice soars between innocent and timid to bold and vivacious. The melodies are lush and engaging. The hooks are catchy. I can’t explain it: nearly eight years ago, this recording was completely skippable. Now? It’s a must-listen.
I guess sometimes things having a way of coming into your life — or back into your life, as it may be — just when you need it.
And I can’t think of a better way to bring this blog back online.
02. The Fighter
03. Gone Baby Gone
09. White Dove
15. In The Belly of a Dragon
17. Eye of the Tiger [Survivor]
19. I Want You Back
20. I’ve Got Your Fire
23. Getcha Good