I’ve gone through a lot of musical phases, most of which I look back on fondly although I cringe if I have to admit to them in public. Prominent among those phases was my early discovery of strong female singers from eras before mine. This came after my modern pop princess obsession (I suppose I’m dating myself by saying that phase included Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, not Brittany) and before I’d discovered the angsty, angry girl songs (think early Ani) and the strength of all-girl bands (think Indigo Girls).
It was before I really knew what to look for at all, when I was just stumbling along finding music that made sense to me, that I discovered Patti Smith. Now, of course, I know that she was an amazing feminist singer who shook up the punk movement and gave it a female edge. But back then, when I stuck a bargain-bin-bought album of Horses on to my oh-so-retro record player, all I knew was that when her scratchy sexy voice crooned about owning her own sins, everything in the world made sense to me for a moment. (See YouTube footage from off of that album here).
My phases may have come and gone, but Patti Smith is still out there making good music which has all of the chutzpah of the seventies combined with the insight gained only by time. She has recently announced an April release of a new CD, Twelve, and has posted her tour dates for 2007. Smith’s new tour is primarily in Europe (see dates here) including an appearance at May’s All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in the UK, but you’ve got the chance to catch her in the U.S. for three dates at the end of February.
Smith will be playing February 22nd in Providence, RI at Lupo’s, February 23rd in New Haven, CT at Toad’s Place and February 24th in Asbury Park, NJ at Stone Pony.