Thursday, February 24, 2005

Women we love: Vivian Green

Tonight I saw R&B chanteuse Vivian Green sing at S.O.B.'s. Her first album came out a couple years ago and included two smoky mid-tempo numbers: "Emotional Rollercoaster," which I have to pronounce the way she does in the chorus, so it's actually "E-mo-tion-al Rollah-coastahh"; and "What is Love," a song that is blessed with perhaps the sultriest first 25 seconds in all of neo-soul. These were the only two songs of hers I know, but the concert was great. She only did about 10 songs, most from her new album, but she was charming and funny and self-deprecating. She's a great songwriter - she comes across as a full-blooded woman, not just a dramatically romantic silhouette - and you just know she and I would be close if I, you know, knew her.

The arrangements were good and my neck was doing its back-and-forth work the whole night. Several times I caught myself marvelling at how much I love this music - how I can't imagine being who I am without this music. Hardly any of my friends know Vivian Green or her style, and yet it taps into something that's deep within me. Anyways, it was an interesting crowd, too: mostly a buppie haven, many industry types (including the freakish Wendy Williams ["is she really on fire?" "I don't know, maybe just her weave"]), a few white people, an unexpected contingent of gay men. I suspect we were the only ones who paid full price for a ticket.

But I would do it again! I walked out happy and rejuvenated. Even if you listen to music all the time, it's great to occasionally devote all of your attention to it - to hear it in a communal environment, to feel the bass in your chest, to watch it being created and consumed and reciprocated. Encore, please.

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