1. I saw Kate Havnevik play for the second time. She played at The Living Room this time, the approachable Lower East Side music haven where Norah Jones got her start.
2. Just after Kate finished her set I became an aunt for the first time to a healthy baby boy that was born in Boulder.
Now I could elaborate on what a pile of happy mush I was and how I embarrassed myself on the street crying on the phone with my mom or how the bouncer congratulated me on the way out but I will save you from that.
I want to focus on how Kate presented the best kind of music to be playing why a big life moment happened. She has that beautiful, ethereal voice and she sings with such earnest, really connecting with the crowd, that she creates a whole world that you are privileged to go visit. I admit several of her songs are not about the jubilant moments in life but the way she puts together a song - everything from the lyrics, her vocal range, the combination of electronica and live band - Kate makes the point that those heart crushing moments are also beautiful. I think that is the gift that Scandinavians have mastered well; Kate hails from Norway but is half-POM (property of the UK monarchy).
Most music interviews describe her sound as a combination of Kate Bush, Bjork, and Joni Mitchell. They also inform us that music supervisors of TV shows love her; the O.C., West Wing, and especially Grey's Anatomy. The mega hit show (where Katherine Heigl hysterically resuscitated a deer to kick-off the second season) has featured 6 of her songs, put her on the soundtrack, and asked her to write a song specifically for the second season finale.
What I will tell you is that she is enchanting in between songs. She engages with the audience, tells little jokes and stories that gives you the impression she is completely comfortable talking to anyone anywhere. She knows how to select musicians that compliment her sound wonderfully but what is even more impressive is her use of technology to manipulate her sound, loop her voice, and bring to the table a song that is a full meal though it is really just a bunch of little Kates singing at once.
Kate's next gig is at The Living Room again on May 27th so that gives all you folks in the area plenty of time to check her out on MySpace, buy her CD 'Melankton' and recruit friends that also like being ahead of the musical curve.
Kate's next album is due out in the Fall but her new single 'Halo' just came out on May 2nd!