After discovering that I was in fact not on “the list” to get into Water Street Music Hall, and after talking to Charlotte Martin’s tour manager, I was finally escorted backstage, through a larger room than was allotted for the evening’s entertainment, and was brought to a lounge where Charlotte and Matt Nathanson, who is headling the tour, were sitting. I had seen photographs of Charlotte before, but I was shocked about how petite she was, especially in comparison to her large, operatic voice. Her long hair is reminiscent of Alanis Morissette’s, only blonde instead of brown, dominating the majority of her small body. Throughout the interview she intermittently drinks her wine, which she transfers from the floor to her hand. Charlotte offers me a seat next to her on a couch, and we begin, as Matt sits on a smaller couch, periodically adding to the conversation. Campus Times: How has this tour been going for you so far?Charlotte Martin: It just started, actually. We started yesterday. I have toured with Matt before, that’s why it’s going to be the best tour.CT: When there is time off on the road, what is your favorite thing to do?CM: My favorite thing would be to do pilates with Matt in the morning, then we would possibly go shopping, or antiquing or look for CDs. Then, we may order in some really shitty Chinese food and get a pay-per-view, particularly “Mean Girls.” CT: How does it feel to have your first album out?CM: It’s kind of like having your first period. You just are glad it finally came – So glad that you are finally a woman. CT: As I read your lyrics, I realized how poetic they are. Did you write a lot of poetry as a teenager? CM: Not as a teenager. I was mainly focused on music. I studied a lot of languages, but I was too swamped to really get into the actually meaning of the librettos that I was studying. I read a lot of poetry now, in my 20s. I love Anne Sexton, I’m obsessed with Ted Hughs, all of the depressing ones, Sylvia Plath. I read a lot of my fans’ poetry.CT: Do they put it on your Web site?CM: They send me mail. I like to read my fan art before I go on stage. I read everything. Even if it’s insane, I read it.CT: If you weren’t singing, what do you think you’d be doing?CM: I’d be teaching college, probably music history at a little community college, and I’d have really good health benefits. CT: Do you have an iPod? What’s on it? CM: I do. Snow Patrol, Beethoven’s Nine symphonies, I love Iron and Wine. I really like the new Cure record – I’m a huge Cure fan.CT: How do you feel about the role that music has played in politics in this election? CM: I did a show called “Vagina Vote,” with Vanessa Carlton in New York City. Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda spoke. It was all the people who produced and created the “Vagina Monologues.” It was to encourage women to vote and was nonpartisan. CT: If you were a color what color would you be?CM: My music is all the color of the skies, I might be periwinkle blue, with a little hue of yellow somewhere. Charlotte dominates the stage, as she sits at her piano, peers into the crowd with a gaze that both entices the audience and makes them question what she is all about. Her first song, “Keep Me in Your Pocket,” allows hesitant listeners an opportunity to hear that Charlotte is in fact talented, and tells them that there is more to come. “Every Time it Rains,” “Closer to Fun” and “Limits of Our Love” follow, but it is not until the fifth song, “I’m Normal, Please Date Me,” that Charlotte both receives and retains her audience’s full attention. Charlotte’s bouncy piano chords and melodic tone remind me of a catchy song in a musical production. “I’m Normal” is lyrically funnier as it progresses, documenting the story of a girl who stalks boys. By the ending of her final song, “Beautiful Life” truly has the audience convinced that Charlotte carries a wide rage of talent, and will not disappear from our lives for the foreseeable future. Charlotte’s first full-length album, “On Your Shore,” on RCA records, is in stores now. Katz can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
give me sweaters or give me death
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