Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Head cheese

Posted By on Wed, Sep 29, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn (or simply Mirah, as she’s known) has a sweet, tender, girlish voice reminiscent of Juliana Hatfield’s but fuller. She got her start fronting a jazz band, and would later join the Microphones before going solo in 2000. She’s recorded five albums since. All feature earnest (yes, earnest — just check her wholly unironic comments below) emotionalism that’s jarring, whether she’s lauding a lover or assailing Israel’s hypocritical treatment of Palestinians. Mirah’s indie-pop runs from spare lo-fi sometimes accompanied only by acoustic guitar to the more densely produced tracks employing thrumming electronic noises and rough, cantering percussion, as on her latest, C’mon Miracle. This adds a measure of eclecticism, countering the subtle, understated accompaniment she often favors, which mostly recalls Pacific Northwest musical peer Lois Maffeo. Also, her bio describes her as having a “big homo heart.”

5. Being close to a death or a birth: Kind of the same thing really, opens up a hole in the universe.

4. Human voices singing: It’s a very sweet thing to have a voice and want to use it and how each person is so different.

3. Love: Really feeling it, for a person or just for humans in general and how tender we all are here.

2. A beautiful amazing view: Standing somewhere up high and no people or houses or roads.

1. Big, loud, active weather: Like when it’s all blowing around and rain or shiny sun too.

Mirah performs Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Detroit Art Space (101 Baltimore St., Detroit. 313-664-0445) with Tara Jane O’Neil.

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