The Weepies, 4.22.06, Living Room
by Charlotte Deaver
I was so excited about seeing Deb Talan for the first time a couple of years ago, having recently discovered her first two CDs and being astonished that she wasn't more popular. The show back then was a bit of a letdown, as I wrote about here, because she played only a few of her songs and put most of her effort into supporting the band she was opening for, The Weepies, fronted by Steve Tannen.
This time around, though, now that they really are one band (and one couple, btw), these two just seemed amazingly tuned in to each others' voices and musicianship. Deb has transformed both her own and the band's music by incorporating her solo stuff, as well as Steve's, into their live performances. Their songs are delicate, lilting, Deb's voice is charged and full, but subtle, all about texture, and about stroking the melody with her voice, and their harmonies simply melt into one another. Deb also happens to look great -- gorgeous and sexy, something I hadn't particularly noticed before, and has lost a lot of the girlishness she's demonstrated in the past.
With their recent release, Say I Am You, these two singer/songwriters have made deeply emotional, tender music that displays their combined respect for the simple structures of "the popular song" (Joni, Free Man in Paris), but also for nuance. While they rely upon folk/pop, singer/songwriter devices and conventions, their melodic and tonal shadings are just magical. I've been listening to the songs "The World Spins Madly On" and "Gotta Have You" since their release a few months ago and love them, but I just got the full CD. And it does not disappoint. There are lots of great songs on it, including "Riga Girls," "Suicide Blonde," "Love Doesn't Last," and "Take It From Me."
Check out their myspace site, listen to their interview on WNYC, and Buy their CD here.