Pop-Culture | Posted by Brian C on 10/9/2011
Support Women Artists Sunday: Blair
Alright time for super indie. The near impossible to find, but incredibly talented Blair!
You know how when you go to a concert you kind of roll your eyes when the warm up band comes out that you’ve never heard before? If you find a gem, your concert experience is multiplied by about 10000 but if they’re a dud, it really puts a damper on your evening. This year I saw Say Hi when they came to Cleveland. Blair opened up for him and wow were they talented. She has just that right kind of voice that’s soothing to listen to. Blair’s style is kind of pop but while teetering on the edge of becoming folk. I can’t recommend Blair’s first album Die Young highly enough, it’s a go to relaxation album of mine.
Blair now lives in Brooklyn, but until recently, gigged in and around the Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods of Los Angeles. But this story doesn’t begin on the west coast, far from it actually… ..Blair grew up in the Deep South, New Orleans specifically, and in a town as soaked in gin as it is jazz, brass and funk, an adolescent Blair alternately drifted towards the sounds of Neil Young and Bob Dylan drifting out of her mother’s turntable. But she is no folkie. Born in the ‘80s it was inevitable that the pop sounds of ‘90s FM radio would seep into her musical DNA; remember, these were the days when Nirvana and Beck dominated the airwaves.
A quick study, Blair taught herself guitar by listening to and learning the tunes on John Frusciante’s first solo records and by her late teens was opening for the likes of Cat Power and Bright Eyes… ..Fast forward to 2007. At 22, Blair self-releases her debut EP, Pluto. At four songs the EP is a quick dash through the past four decades of pop music as filtered by someone who grew up with a healthy collection of Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Replacements, Velvets and Pavement… ..Die Young, Blairs first full-length, is a collection of songs written and re-recorded over the span of five years. Half of the record was written in New Orleans, and half while living in California. The songs have turbulent titles: “Kamikaze”, “Murder”, “Rampage”, “Die Young”, etc.
It’s a record about violence and daydreaming – it’s the angst of heart, and dreamy escapism, of a 20 something girl all wrapped up in melodies. It’s vague as to which ones are real and which ones are daydreams. Perhaps that is the point. As a kid, Blair repeatedly watched “Die Hard” and listened to her walkman alot — maybe that explains it… ..Recorded in New Orleans in the middle of an especially hot summer the album was produced by Keith Ferguson and uses all New Orleans based musicians. It was crafted in studios and in the homes of friends creating vocal booths out of closets with borrowed equipment.
Candy in the Kitchen