Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Goo Goo for Zooey

I'm all giddy. Almost skipped my way home. Why? I saw She & Him in concert. She is quirky actress Zooey Deschanel. Him is folsky musician M. Ward.

I caught the show with a friend who has professed a "big girl crush" on Zooey. And, you know ... I now understand why. Zooey has quite the sprightly presence. She's like a peppy girl from the 50's who isn't aware that she's in the 21st century. She's like Reese Witherspoon's character from Pleasantville, except likable. (Wait ... I mangled that. Reese's character was a girl from the 90's transported to the 50's. Let's try that again: Zooey's like Reese Witherspoon, except likable.)

I was supposed to see She & Him last night at Hiro Ballroom, but Zooey fell ill and lost her voice. At tonight's make-up show, Zooey was clearly still suffering from whatever ailed her. So distressed were her vocal chords that she refrained from speaking to the crowd between songs. Instead, she
pantomimed her gratitude and held up goofy homemade posters with messages like "Hi" and "Thank You New York." (Sprightly, I said.) But even with less than cooperative vocal chords, she sang with clarity. It's hard not to be enchanted by that joy-infused voice of hers, a few crackles and all. She could sing sadness with a smile and get away with it. I think The Times described her rather fittingly as "a natural hyphenate, an actress-musician-crafty girl."

I was happiest when they played "I Thought I Saw Your Face Today." I give the track my early nomination for most sway-worthy song of the year. My head seems to tic-toc reflexively like the needle on a metronome when I hear that bouncy little ditty. (And I know the professional critics mock comparisons of Zooey to Dusty Springfield as lacking in discernment, but it's pretty hard to listen to songs like "Sweet Darlin'" and "I Was Made for You" without thinking that Zooey could win quite a few karaoke contests with a rendition of "I Only Want to Be with You.")

I think I may now have a "big boy crush" on Zooey.

And as if the sundae of a night needed sprinkles to top things off ... I got a message from a friend letting me know that My Bloody Valentine will headline ATP New York 2008 in September! Woohoo!

And then She & Him showed up on Conan ... with Yo La Tengo as a backing band! Double woohoo!

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