Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Feb 08th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Mirah’s Bug Life

music_MirahThe indie queen draws inspiration from the ground up

Don’t box Mirah in. This becomes crystal clear to me about 10 minutes into my phone interview with the 35-year-old indie musician when I suggest that entomology writings are an odd place to draw artistic inspiration from. I am swiftly taken to task, admonished for harboring a narrow view of music, and informed that such a muse can come from anywhere. I feel I’ve just learned a great deal about the songstress.

Originally hailing from Philadelphia, Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn now lives in San Francisco after having spent a number of years residing in the Pacific Northwest and splitting time between Seattle and Portland. “There are just such beautiful views everywhere, the air is really good,” says Mirah of her new home. “I like to climb and get up high—whether it be on my bike or on foot—to get views of the ocean.”

Since 1997, the openly gay, Jewish singer-songwriter has put out a baker’s dozen of releases, including four proper studio albums. Last year she released (a)spera, her first album since 2004, and the album features a distinctly dark tone and is flush with lyrical longing—but good luck getting Mirah to admit what subject she personally had in mind. “I leave room for people to view into it what they will,” she explains about her lyrics. “It would be so boring if I didn’t leave space for ‘the other.’ It’s not all about me.”

So while she may leave many of her lyrics intentionally vague, there is one project in which Mirah’s impetus is less convoluted, but far more out of the ordinary—even if Mirah herself doesn’t think so. 2007’s collaboration with Spectratone International, entitled Share This Place: Stories and Observations, draws upon the writings of entomologist Jean Henri Fabre and is, in fact, written from the point of view of bugs. “It was actually my friend Lori’s (Goldston, of Spectratone International) idea, she just happened to be reading a book by Fabre and handed it off to me,” remembers Mirah.

Among the other projects that Mirah took on during her five years between official studio albums was a remix project. Though in recent years it’s been far from uncommon for indie acts to put out such remix albums—Minus the Bear’s Interpretaciones Del Oso and Explosions in the Sky’s All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone immediately come to mind—for Mirah it was all part of expanding the creative process. “I thought it would be fun, and I didn’t really have any expectations for the final result,” she says about allowing others to tinker with her creation. “It was a really liberating experience just letting go of control of my own material and passing it off to others. It was super informative, I really got a new vantage point.”

Despite the fact it took her five years to put out a new studio album, it’s only been about two since the last time Mirah made the short jaunt down to Santa Cruz. In January of 2008 Mirah played the Rio Theatre, with electronic act The Blow opening, and brought a full backing band. This time around—coming to the smaller Crepe Place on Friday, Feb. 19—her plan is to form a duo with multi-instrumentalist Kane Mathis providing licks on a West African harp and Middle Eastern lute.

“I pleaded with my booking agent to send me back (to Santa Cruz),” Mirah admits. “After my last show (at the Rio) there was a couple outside who had parked their car and were blasting my album, dancing in the street.”

 


Mirah performs with Birds Fled From Me at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, at the Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 at the door. For more information, call 429-6994.

 

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by oakley sunglasses stores, August 30, 2012
well this blog is great i love reading your articles.,http://www.oakley-sunglasses-stores.com
Booking
written by Alli, February 22, 2010
No One should ever have to plead with their booking agent to go back to Santa Cruz! One of the best places for music today! “I pleaded with my booking agent to send me back (to Santa Cruz),”

:-)
Allison Austin
Artist Development

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits