Today’s great thing is a bit of a letter of encouragement to one of my favorite musicians who is on a sort of semi-hiatus right now. Well, she’s still doing stuff…but you know…not the stuff that I, as her fan, want her to do. Hmmm…maybe that’s part of the problem. The adoration of fans isn’t without its exhausting demands and from what I’ve read, that’s sort of why she’s cooling her heels for a while.
Not that I have an inside track or anything, but what I’ve been led to believe in a few press snippets is that Leslie Feist, Canadian (though I think that we Americans can claim a fraction as she has duel-citizenship thanks to bi-national parentage) chanteuse, has put her solo musical career on hold because her recent mega-success kind of knocked her socks right off. Having built up a career teeming with indie credibility–being part of the Canadian music collective Broken Social Scene, touring with electro-sex-bot Peaches (even appearing in her video for “Lovertits”), and collaborating with Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear, probably led her to some personal artistic fulfillment but also protected her from the rabid and frothy masses and the demands of the mainstream press.
Her second solo album received a bit of attention with the Postal Service’s remix of her catchy single “Mushaboom”. Mushaboom, btw, is a rural community in Nova Scotia. A little, gentle taste of mainstream(ish) success was the reward. Then, in late 2007/early 2008, things sort of exploded for Feist. She was covered in the media extensively due to the iTunes-assisted smash “1234”. Though, to be accurate, that song is her highest ranking single in The States and it ONLY got as high as number 8 on the charts…hardly a Whitney Houston-challenging record. However, her general media presence was all of a sudden multiplied by ten. It didn’t hurt that her videos are eminently watchable. Here’s one now:
Then, add her adorable appearance on Sesame Street to the bubbling pot of publicity:
Just try to imagine how many young hipster parents ran out and bought the CD after that uber-adorable performance.
Then, of course, there was her brilliant contribution to A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All (available on DVD AND on iTunes) and you’ve pretty much got yourself a fan-frenzy.
The problem, of course, is that Feist has such a wide appeal because she is so likeable and unique. We, (meaning people with working ears), require more of Feist because even the most top-40-hardened radio listener can appreciate the hard-to-categorize catchiness of her music. It’s at once instantly hummable and refreshingly different. Plus, she plays guitar real good! Here’s some Feist footage from a live performance:
I was lucky enough to catch Feist on tour when she passed through Manchester a couple of years ago. It was one of the top 5 concerts I’ve been to. She had the perfect blend of musical chops/original material/and stage banter to make everyone there feel like they were lucky to be in the room. Feist had a sort of grade-school projector art display to accompany her music at the gig and we had terrible Alpine-height seats…could barely see the visuals that were being broadcast behind the band. But, what was sort of cool was that she acknowledged that she’d taken a hike up to the highest seat earlier that day and saw for herself that visibility was limited. All it took was her cracking a few jokes about it to make us feel better in the nose-bleeds.
You see, her worries aren’t completely unmerited. She is dangerously obsession worthy.
Though everything about you tempts us, Leslie Feist, I promise from a fan’s perspective that we will not be overly obsessive or harass you in an oppressive or stalkerish way. Perhaps that would take some of the pressure of working in the music industry off your shoulders.
I know the music industry must be tough…I mean, I can barely stay awake at my day job after doing a stand-up gig at night and I’m not touring or shooting music videos. Don’t get me wrong, I like your recent collaborations…but I also LOVE your original material. Please make more. We need you back Leslie Feist. I think it’s been long enough. Please go back to work. Drop that next record.
Until then, I’ll just keep on checking up on your homepage, like a saddo: Feist