Song of the day – 156: Laura Borealis
…so I receive these emails from a Canadian lady called Laura Borealis and the gist of them is, well, let’s have a look…
“I think when you stayed at my place interviewing Sloan it wasn’t mentioned that I made music. I’ve never been signed, 20 years running- a clean record.”
No, it wasn’t. The place was in Halifax, Vermont (a very snowy town in the far north east of America) the year was 1993 or thereabouts, and I was known as a scene-maker at the time: record companies would frequently fly me to various cities around America in the hope I could repeat the fluke I had with Seattle. I wasn’t into Sloan particularly, their music seemed quite ordinary if genial enough, but they seemed like nice lads: and when I made up the entire interview later because I’d lost the tape they didn’t complain. Too much. Laura stood out. Even through the years of drunken black-outs and thousands of new ‘friends’. I have no idea why. I didn’t write about her music because it wasn’t my place.
So I wrote back, “Sure, I remember you – you did modelling, or something similar, right? Either that, or you were a PhD student. I like the Rick James cover a lot. Would it be possible to send me a couple of MP3s or something?”.
“Good memory! I was going to do my MFA in Chicago soon after your visit. I wish I had modelled. The closest I came to that was attending some terrifying classes at Casablancas in Chicago . It was there that professor Rande Gerber applied my makeup while I encouraged him to call up Cindy Crawford after her recent divorce. I’m usually behind the camera. I directed some music videos for Sebadoh etc. Glad you like the Rick James. I love the  album Street Songs.”
Then I wrote something back but lost the email (probably asking if she’d like to hear some of my own music, because I’m shameless) and Laura responded thus…
“Thanks for asking for some mp3s. I’m so happy you like the Rick James cover. My friend Steve Raegele (ex-Besnard Lakes) did a very sensitive Teena Marie. I hope to one day have a complete covers album. Let me know if you want to hear more than four songs. I have four or five albums and an EP. The French Le Look album (2010) is the most current project, although I want to re-do my folk stuff more rock before Christmas … I made a few concept albums, and ‘Crumbling Heart’ is from an album of duets with nine different guys, where I wrote songs tailored to them, as a way to cope with my divorce. Get nine guys to sing how much they love me. That album is called I Love You (2009).”
“I was remembering about Sloan that I dated Steve Albini after [Sloan singer] Chris Murphy, and it was then that steve wrote “The Problem With Music” and he slagged Sloan in that article partly because he was my ex. Here are some links to some of the music videos I have directed.”
So I wrote… I sure would like to hear more of your music Laura. I like the ‘Fire And Desire’ cover most still, for your singing, but the others are real nice. [Now, I actually prefer her song ‘GI Joe’, from the 2000 album Funderful]. Although I wasn’t sure about the one with the talking on, at the start. For some reason you stood out on that visit to Sloan town, more so than the actual band. Whatever. Everything’s in the dim and distant past.”
“Thanks Everett, I’m going to listen to the songs you sent today. I’m looking forward to it. I’m glad you remember me. I should have been brave and given you a tape back then. But I’m happy to exchange songs now. ‘Snob Shop – Foxy Inc’ was from my first album, a pink 10-inch vinyl. Then shortly afterward, after I sold one at a record store on St Marks and Printed Matter in NYC, Soul Asylum put out ‘Frustrated Inc’ or ‘Misery’.”
Time goes by. Laura is kind enough to praise some of my songs. I send another email.
“I listened to all of your songs three times in a row earlier today. I think I might be developing a crush on your singing self.”
And that’s it. End. You should go and check her music out. It’s very intimate and rewarding and human and beautiful and coloured with violins and stuff like that. Bye.