Emiliana Torrini. The Troubadour. March 30, 2009

We walk into the Troubadour expecting there to be people slammed up against the entrance as usual - shoulder to shoulder, trying not to spill their drink. To our surprise, the main floor is spacious and roomy. We are baffled, as the good folks at KCRW have been in love with Emiliana Torrini the past few months and play her songs every chance they can. We head to the bar and notice we are the youngest in this crowd of floral prints, stripes and tie dye. This is not a normal night at the Troub for us. As the set time approaches, the room begins to fill up. Now we understand, everyone has come for Emiliana - the hell with the openers.

Emiliana takes the stage wearing a 40's style floral print dress. Her friend picked it out for her because "she wears the same dress every day." The band, usually couped up in the cold, loves the California sunshine. The night before they celebrated by drinking and taking photos "spanking one another." We misjudged her as conservative and dainty (she enjoys whiskey, which she asked the audience for and received two full glasses of, taking it gratefully). She is cute on stage - her arms move stiffly and her face shows much emotion as she sings. In between songs, she talks with the crowd and tells stories, like how her bandmate wrote "Birds" while she sipped a cocktail inside and he was thrown into the woods for inspiration. She's admitted to forgetting much of the songwriting process due to late-night whiskey feasts.

Her voice sounds amazing. Her diction was impeccable, much like her fellow Icelander, Bjork. She is vulnerable and real. You can fee the sensuality in "Ha Ha" (there are times where she just breaths a stacatto breath into the microphone). You believe her when she dedicates the song "Big Jumps" to those people in her life who "have really taken chances" and "believe in love and the pursuit of happiness, not silly things like religion."

Highlights of the show were "Jungle Drum" and "Birds."

Side note about the Troub: the speakers upstairs in the Loft work now so you can hear the show. Hoorah!

Emiliana on the harmonium

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