Music: Emiliana Torrini at the Hiro Ballroom

Posted on March 30, 2009

Emiliana Torrini Concert

I’ve got to hand it to Last.fm. Not only are do they fill my speakers with new and interesting music, but they even manage to get me out of the house once in a while.

Last week, when I was killing time  browsing my profile, they kindly informed me that Emiliana Torrini (you’ve heard her if you’ve heard the ending theme of The Two Towers) was playing at the Hiro Ballroom on Saturday. Before you could say “Ticketmaster”, I scooped up a couple of tickets and dragged a friend of mine down to Chelsea for a chance to see the Icelandic diva in person.

We waited nearly an hour in an evening so crispy it could cut your fingers. But as is always the case in New York City, the wait was not without event. Turns out the guy in front of me is a Lehman alum, currently working for Barclays Capital. After briefly reminiscing on old times, I found out that his team is using an application I wrote just before being shown the door.

What were the chances? – Ladies and gentlemen – I officially have a legacy!

I suppose that would go over really well in an interview (“See that trading app over there? Yeah, that was me…can you guys let me back in now?”), but as my friend quickly interjected – “Are you sure you want to work there again?”

Who knows? These days, I’ve learned to go with the flow (as long as it isn’t taking me over a waterfall).

But I digress. As we in the standing room tip-toed to get a glimpse of her, Ms. Torrini pretty much sang most of the songs from her last two albums Fisherman’s Woman and Me and Armini, in her hauntingly icy voice that yes, sounds somewhat like Bjork’s. These ranged from folksy (“Lifesaver”, “Nothing Brings Me Down”), to the reggae-influenced “Me and Armini”, to power-pop (“Jungle Drum”, “Gun”). She did an admirable job on all of these, but did best when her backing band hung back, and let her expressive voice weave itself around finger-plucked chords.

She can be a bit of a diva, though (no pun intended?) It was mildly amusing watching her get flustered after one of the guitars unexpectedly went out of tune, and after a fan demanded she perform “Unemployed in Summertime“.

Perhaps the best part – bought a copy of “Me and Armini” from her tour manager for only $10 after the show. I’ve been listening to it all day today – I highly recommend it. This is what the music business should be like – an interchange between artist and fan; reasonable rates for top-quality music, no fat-cat music execs to keep warm.

» Filed Under Everything and Nothing, Music

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