Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jann Arden... goddess of Canadian music

I’m getting ready to go to a Jann Arden concert in London, Ontario. For those of you who don’t know her… well, your life is empty. I’m sorry to be the one who has to tell you that, but surely you had some inkling of that before I wrote those words.

She’s a Canadian musician who’s been on the scene (or, actually, just outside of the scene) since her first album in 1993. The biggest single from that album was “I would die for you”, which is a hauntingly beautiful song. She made it ‘semi big’ south of the border, with the song “Insensitive”. That’s probably the one she’s most well known for. My favourite song of hers, though, is “Good Mother”. There’s a line in there, referring to her father ‘and his strength is what makes me cry’. (Actually, I have no idea if it’s about her father, I’m assuming it is, because she and her parents have a close relationship, and, in fact, live, like really really close to each other) There’s also a duet that she’s sung with Jackson Browne, but on her album, I believe its someone from her band. “Unloved”, the most gorgeous song I’ve heard. I could (and have) listened to that song 10 times in a row, in the car, singing along (to both parts).

This will be the third time I’ve seen her in concert. I’ve seen her at Massey Hall in Toronto, and in Mount Forest, in a renovated movie theatre. She is fricking hilarious. The time I saw her in Mount Forest, she told this story of waking up on a Navy ship with a trumpet in her bed, or some such thing. (That concert was the first time I actually spoke to her… well, spoke... ok, I’m misrepresenting that. She asked where people were from, I shouted out “Midland” and she replied “Finland?? Cripes that’s far”. End of Conversation. Sigh.)

Jann is someone who’s never really hit the ‘big time’(like, famous famous, i mean. She can walk the streets without being mobbed) although she’s a familiar sound on Canadian radio. You might not be able to name a song of hers, but you’ve definitely heard more than one. If I played one for you, you’d say...Oh, yeah, I’ve heard that. Nice.

I’ve had this feeling, for so long, that if we ever actually met, we’d really get along. I like to think that our sense of humour is similar, we share that love of music, and we have similar values. (Well, what I can glean of her values through her twitter and her blog, and her song)

How does one tell someone famous that, without coming off as a crazy stalker? I had similar thoughts when I went to see Robert Wiersema at a reading he did at Yorkdale Mall, in Toronto. Although “Robert” and I are... well… you know, “facebook friends”, I thought it might come off as just thiscreepy for me to tell him that he’s my absolute favourite author. I tried to play it cool, when I asked him to sign my copy of his book, and I think I did ok, but, man oh man. I really just wanted to say “Hey, didja want to grab a beer or something?” (But I would have had to ditch my mother, and that’s not cool). (And, in all likelihood, I’d be a little star struck, end up being all tongue tied, I’d be out of my league, intellectually, and I’d sound like an idiot)

So, yeah. My dream in life is to sit and have a glass of wine with Jann, shoot the shit and just yak for an hour or two. If, from there, she asked me to jam with her, or sing back up, well... who am I to turn down a request like that?


RJW said...

For the record? We'll have a beer next time. No angst or worry about asking -- consider it a done deal.

Monica said...

Awesome, Robert. I'll buy the first round.

Ben said...

Jann Arden - love her! You've reminded me it's all too long since I've listened to her though, so now I'm Living Under June.