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Printed From: Madeleine Peyroux
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Forum Name: Madeleine
Forum Discription: Discussion of all things Madeleine
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Topic: This is interesting
Posted By: angus
Subject: This is interesting
Date Posted: October 28 2005 at 7:19am
From the Scotland Herald

by Alison Kerr
Jazz Corr

IT is unusual that I can mention a favourite record and watch a wave of
recognition cross my friends¹ faces. Not since my teens have I had to kick
myself for missing Top of the Pops. Such is the lot of the jazz fan. Rarely,
too, have I anticipated a concert as much as the Fringe show I attended
this summer ­ and never before has my review been reprinted in a news
story. Yet all these things happened this year because of one unusual
singer and guitarist ­ Madeleine Peyroux.
Peyroux, for anyone who hasn¹t yet heard Careless Love, her beguiling
album, or read the news stories about her supposed disappearance just
as she hit No 7 in the charts, is a 32-year-old American who was
discovered busking in 1996. She landed a
record deal, released the well-received Dreamland, and disappeared only
to resurface last winter with a ³comeback² album that made her the most
talked-about singer of 2005.
With her languid yet fragile vocals,  which bear a startling resemblance to
Billie Holiday¹s, and the unusual, folksy feel of her music, Peyroux
seemed to be a throwback to an earlier, less commercial era. Add to the
mix her self-imposed withdrawal from the public eye and her ongoing
love of busking, and she appeared to be the real deal: a musician for
whom making music, not fame and fortune, was the main motivation.
Peyroux, a quirky character who ran off with street musicians in Paris as a
teenager and threw away her first chance at fame when she realised ³it
wasn¹t really something I could handle², had an authentic air about her.
When I interviewed her, back in June, I found her easy to chat with, as we
shared interests in old movies (Mr Smith Goes to Washington is one of her
favourites, though she struggled to remember its title), classic jazz (she
loves Fats Waller and, of course, Billie Holiday) and Paris. Perhaps she was
a little unfocused, but her southern drawl and pauses to smoke seemed
to explain the laid-back pace of her speech, and her slow responses to
After the interview, I happened upon a story about her ex-lover and
musical partner, harmonica player William Galison, with whom she is
embroiled in a legal wrangle over a CD. Got You On My Mind, recorded in
2003 (and guest-starring Carly Simon), has been dismissed as a demo by
Peyroux¹s record company, Rounder Records. They have accused Galison
of trying to cash in on Peyroux¹s success, and have threatened anyone
who distributes it with legal action. This was the first inkling I had that all
was not as Ms Peyroux¹s ³people² at Universal, which has leased the CD
from Rounder Records, had suggested. Peyroux herself had told me that
she had had several abandoned attempts at a second record during the
seven-year period which her press people cloak in a veil of mystery.
Galison, who has alluded in his legal correspondence to her ³history of
attempted suicide², met her when she was playing in a New York bar in
2002, and she popped up as a sideman to the trumpeter Peter Ecklund on
his CD Gigs, on the Arbors label. So, if she was really lost, it was only
because nobody was looking for her.
For Peyroux¹s Scottish debut at the Fringe in August, I invited along a
jazz musician who had played on the same Ecklund session, and who was
intrigued by the young singer¹s sudden celebrity. Neither of us could
believe what we heard that night.
It was excruciating. Our jaws dropped as we struggled to reconcile the
strangulated sounds from the stage with the sublime singing on the CDs.
Madeleine Peyroux the live performer sounded like a tone-deaf geriatric

Posted By: Greg
Date Posted: October 29 2005 at 5:12pm

This is interesting too ... "after 90 minutes of relentlessly sensual
unctuousness, you feel slightly like a pollen-drunk bee"   Helen
Loughlin's review of the same show that Alison Kerr seemed so
displeased by! (See Loughlin's article of Madeleine's Edinburgh show in
the Assembly Rooms).    Sruely this all goes to show that it really is all a
matter of opinion. I caught the show at The Assembly rooms and was
enchanted! This young woman's voice can really trascend you into your
own heavenly sphere where you momentarily can get lost.

What works for some of us - clearly doesn't work for others. There were a
couple of songs which weren't quite as compelling as others, but overall, I
found her a completely engaging performer with very few airs and graces!
She did it for me and in a startingly simple way she was entrancing.

I am really looking forward to the upcoming Galsgow show.

Cheers - Greg.   (READ Helen's review)

Madeleine Peyroux
Assembly Hall

TO call Madeleine Peyroux a new star is to do an injustice to her 1996
debut Dreamland. Released when Peyroux was just 22, Dreamland sold an
admirable 200,000 copies worldwide. There was a hiatus of eight years
before she released Careless Love last year. This was Peyroux's only
Edinburgh show. Both were worth waiting for.

Vocal comparisons to Billie Holiday, while flattering, are an easy way to
classify Peyroux's sound.

Her work, however, is difficult to categorise, as interpretations of classic
jazz (Josephine Baker) sit alongside versions of songs by Bob Dylan,
Leonard Cohen and Hank Williams. No style is left undone - blues, jazz,
chansons, country.

But it's Peyroux's stunning alto that delivers the unique experience.
"Honeyed tones" is such an overused cliche, but in Peyroux's case
completely apt - after 90 minutes of relentlessly sensual unctuousness,
you feel slightly like a pollen-drunk bee. But in a good way.

Peyroux and her back-up band launched straight into a stonking version
of Leonard Cohen's Dance Me to the End of Love. Peyroux also plays bass
and acoustic guitar and is backed-up by piano, drums and double bass.
In a venue like the Assembly Hall, you can kid yourself that you're in a
smoky club in the Quartier Latin.

Peyroux, still only 31, cut her musical teeth performing on the streets and
in the small clubs of Paris before touring Europe with various bands. She
certainly learnt her craft and has made her version of Dylan's You're
Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go her own. Equally, Josephine
Baker's 1930s' J'ai Deux Amours, Mon Pays et Paris (I have two loves - my
country and Paris), becomes completely Peyroux's, both musically and

But it was her rendition of a haunting 1940s country song that summed
up this divine show - This Is Heaven To Me. It was the performance of a
star in the ascendant.


Posted By: angus
Date Posted: October 31 2005 at 9:29am
Obviously, either Helen Loughlin or Greg (or both) don't know what the
word "unctuousness" means. According to Webster's:

One entry found for unctuous.
Main Entry: unc·tu·ous
Pronunciation: '&[ng](k)-ch&-w&s, -ch&s, -shw&s
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle
French unctueux, from Medieval Latin unctuosus, from Latin unctus act of
anointing, from unguere to anoint
1 a : FATTY, OILY b : smooth and greasy in texture or appearance
2 : PLASTIC <fine unctuous clay>
3 : full of unction; especially : revealing or marked by a smug,
ingratiating, and false earnestness or spirituality
- unc·tu·ous·ly adverb
- unc·tu·ous·ness noun     

unc·tu·ous     P   P ronunciation Key (ngkch-s)
Characterized by affected, exaggerated, or insincere earnestness: “the
unctuous, complacent court composer who is consumed with envy and
self-loathing” (Rhoda Koenig).

So Helen was essentially saying that Maddie delivered 90 minutes of
'smug, ingratiating, and false earnestness or spirituality" - "but in a good
way!" Well, different strokes for different folks.

Personally, I prefer my false earnestness a little less smug.


Posted By: Greg
Date Posted: October 31 2005 at 5:01pm
Thanks Angus for the reply - it is always good to hear differences of
opinion, although the little lesson in english was perhaps unecessary. I
am sure Helen understands the meaning of the word (as do I). However,
as I am sure you are aware the use of metaphor is always interesting and
works quite well here - in my view there is a seemingly effortlessness to
Madeline's delivery which I have always found very pleasing. Slick (a
adjective / noun often associated with oil) is not necessarily a bad thing.
Personally, I am not embarrased in the slightest to admit that I delight in
'sensual' music which is easy on the ear. Clearly it doesn't do it for you.
BUT that is okay isn't it. I am still greatly looking forward to Wednesday
night's show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

I'll be quite happy to feel like a pollen drunk bee once again.



Posted By: angus
Date Posted: November 01 2005 at 3:51am

I've heard there's a wee operation that can make you feel like a pollen
drunk bee all the time. Alison was saying that Careless Love is one of her
favorite albums. She obviously doesn't object to the kind of music. It was
MP's performance that ruined her day. A number of my mates had the
same experience. Did you see her on the telly the week after? She looked
and sounded like a drunk bee, but not on pollen.

Getting back to Webster: Unctuous doesn not mean sensual, or pleasant
or easy on the ear. That's not even in definition #5. Find me a definition
that is anything but negative and I'll buy you a pint.

Keep iin mind that that sentence was written by the same genius who
wrote that MP plays bass (?) and that "heaven To Me" is a country song.

I did a little research on the CD "Got You On My Mind" that Alison
mentioned. Bought one in fact. Damn good. Not as "unctuous" as CL, so it
may not be to your taste, but it most certainly exists.

Let's see, if Dreamland is her first album, and Careless Love is her
second.;;; Then gee, where does GYOMM fit in? And why do you suppose
MP has been denying its existience?

Funny business.

I don't know the story on this Miss Peyroux, but there's something going
on that smells....unctuous.


Posted By: Byron
Date Posted: November 01 2005 at 10:50am
There's something else going on here which smells a great deal like what we were treated to some months back for weeks at a time.I'll be happy if it doesn't spread.     Geoff


Posted By: angus
Date Posted: November 01 2005 at 2:12pm
A rotten fish won't stop stinking because you throw it in the closet.

There is only one way to stop this smell and that's to clean it up.

That is the job of Ms. Peyroux, if she has the spiritual awareness to
recognize that she is in league with dark and dangerous powers.

It seems that she is a lost soul, guided by damned ones.

Posted By: Amelie
Date Posted: November 01 2005 at 4:29pm
William stop being so melodramatic ... your veneer as a pseudo Scot is a
transparant one - and your underhand postings will simply serve to
annoy all those who participate ... Any sympathy the readership of this
forum may have had for you will wear thin if not wear out.

Develop your own website and post there I am sure those that are truly
interested to read the latest will read it - those who don't will thank you
for not continually dragging the focus of this forum in directions that
most do not want it to go.


Posted By: angus
Date Posted: November 02 2005 at 4:58am
Drats, you saw right through my transparent Scottish veneer. I hope I was
wearing clean underwear.

Well, you/re way off, my friend. But even so, I'd rather be a pseudo Scott
than a pseudo intellectual internett cross dressing baloon like yourself.

It appears Will Galison dressed you down pretty effectively several months
ago, so I won't bother, but I have read your other posts, and i've never
seen such a dizzy headed, brown nose, celebrity obsessed bunch of
losers as you and your little gang of cheerleaders

Your rants would be merely pathetic if the stakes weren't so high for Ms.
Peyroux. Its clear as day that Madeleine Peyroux is either being dragged
through the mud by her management, or is one of the schemingist little
snakes since Lady Macbeth.

She's a great talent, Ms. Peyroux, but it appears that she's being led down
a road to destruction by people such as yourself, who are too blind,
stupid or ambitious to see what's going on.

Keep your silly forum to yourself.

Posted By: WebMaster
Date Posted: November 02 2005 at 9:10pm
There is no reason for Madeleine fans to resort to name calling. We may actively disagree about Madeleine and her career. We may even disagree about how we personally feel about Madeleine's talent.

But there is no need to resort to name calling. I think the tone of the last few posts on this particular topic were uncalled for.

Let's all move on, everyone has better things to do in their lives.

Rich Hanson -

Posted By: doug
Date Posted: November 23 2005 at 3:37pm
I'm now convinced that Madeleine has a Sybil thing going on. I saw her a
year ago at the Mountain Winery and wrote to this forum at how hugely
disapointed I was in her performace. Angus' description is perfect.   
Someone named GYOMM, who claimed to be her wrote me a private
message. It said:

Dear Doug,
I really appreciate you writing to me. Thanks! I apologize for your not
having as good a time as you should have that night. I admit that it was
not a show I would ever boast about. Every artist goes through a few very
rough nights. And if I could make up every last one of them, I would!
If you decide to come to another show, I would be pleased if you'd come
back to meet me afterwards.
   Sincerely Yours,

And yet I keep reading about bizarre behavior that goes way beyond a
"rough" night. You explain it Oh Mighty Webmaster. I suspect Angus' and
my frustration stems from people insisting its us, not her. Believe it, its
her! And not to throw stones, but what the hell is all the excitement about
anyway. Go listen to Patty Griffin. A great songwriter with an amazing
voice, a real gift.

Posted By: WebMaster
Date Posted: November 24 2005 at 10:28am
It's not my place to 'explain' Madeleine's behavior. Nor is it for me or any fan to approve or disapprove of her behavior. It is what it is.

As fans we have the choice of attending her performances or not, of buying her CDs or not. We can go from being fans to not being fans (or not being fans to being fans) based on our own criteria.

We can also voice our opinion on this forum (or other sites). All I ask is that we be civil about and not attack others for their opinion.

Obviously you and Angus were disappointed with Madeleine's performance. That's not something that can (or should) be argued about. Again it is what it is.

I respect your opinion and this bulletin board is an appropriate place to express it.

I actually prefer not to post on the bulletin board (except to present factual information). I do not view the bulletin board as my soap box. The bulletin board is for fans and all I try to do is keep the discussion civil

For all the US members, have a happy Thanksgiving and for everyone else enjoy the day.

Rich Hanson -

Posted By: doug
Date Posted: November 24 2005 at 10:50am
You're right, Rich. I really don't mean to harp on this. She's playing at the
Concert for Kids here in SF in Dec. I'm gonna go. My wife won't. She's far
less forgiving. I was trying to turn her on to Madeleine that night at the
Winery. Anyway, I'm extremely curious to see if she is exactly the same,
meaning that different people see her differently, or she knocks me out
the way so many here have said she can do. I'd love to "come back and
meet her afterwards", but she wasn't real clear on how one might do that
so I'll settle for a great show. Happy Thanksgiving all.

Posted By: Edward
Date Posted: November 28 2005 at 2:10pm
Hi, I'm new to this forum but not to Madeleine's music. Talking about singing and playing abilities and studio tricks I'd like to share this with you:
It was recorded live in Rome on a radio studio at the beginning of 2005 when she was promoting Careless Love in Italy. Just Madeleine and her beloved guitar.
Hope you like it

Posted By: kobe
Date Posted: November 29 2005 at 5:41am

Thanx Edward,

     This is a very nice clip. When the camera is right you can even see all the chordal changes that Ms. Madeleine is making. I see cheat sheets being printed everywhere. Thank you for sharing. If you haven't listened to the sound clip found under "Do you know what it means" in this forum, Please do. I think you'll like it. Thanx again

Ron Kobe


Posted By: Edward
Date Posted: November 29 2005 at 2:17pm
Hi Ron,
Thank you for your advice. I went to that site but I think the clip has moved. I couldn't find it. Thanx anyway.

Posted By: Don Clark
Date Posted: December 24 2005 at 5:01pm

As for dictionaries, they record usage, not definitional correctness.

As for unctuous, a working knowledge of English (or a little thought and research) will tell you that the word has its roots in the act of anointing: it also carries the sense of slipperiness and lubricity. "Unctuous with honey" is as rich a description of that sweet treat as one might ask for.

As for vocal quality live vs studio recorded, this artist is indeed able to present a complex vocal style with great and engaging success in live performance.

This link, which does work today, should give anyone who listens to it considerable pleasure.  If her instrument is sometimes uncertain, that is the risk that a real artist takes: to sing such gems without a safety net. She is to be applauded, as was (in another field) the equally electrifying Callas.

Live at The Living Room NY, 2004 -

And if she wasn't a serious and talented artist, she would hardly keep finding musicians of this quality to work with.

A Merry Christmas to all.

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