Music Monday

For Music Monday this week, I wanted to share an artist whose work I’ve recently revisited and rediscovered. She now goes by the name of Issa, but for many years recorded under her given name – Jane Siberry.

Jane’s work is unique and hard to classify, but she was similar in texture and tone to unconventional artists like Kate Bush and Patti Smith. One of the reasons that Jane/Issa is so fascinating to me because her music varies so drastically from project to project.

The worm in my brain for the last few weeks has been “Ingrid and the Footman,” a song with smart lyrics and a very funny video. Jane looks incredibly laid-back, cool, confident and knowing here.

This is a great live performance of her song “Love is Everything” from about five years ago. I believe this is from Sessions at West 54th.

And perhaps her most recognized song – at least here in the U.S. – is her beautiful duet with k.d. lang, “Calling All Angels.” It’s been featured on a number of TV shows and in movies (like Pay it Forward, the movie featured in the images of this YouTube video).

I’ve lost track of Jane’s – er, Issa’s career over the last decade or so. But Jane/Issa was one of the first artists to move away from the traditional record company/artist relationship. Like Ani Defranco, she created her own record company, Sheeba Records.

And a few years ago, she took her entire catalog to MP3 sales only, and pioneered the pay-what-you-want mode (which Radiohead experimented with on In Rainbows).

She’s not only making interesting music, but has found interesting, Web 2.0 friendly ways to get them in the hands – and ears – of listeners.

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