Lisa Loeb: finding her voice
BEAVER CREEK – Listening to her new album, “The Way It Really Is,” woven with tracks about heartache and new beginnings, you’d think Lisa Loeb had written every musical morsel from the chambers of her own heart. After all, she recently underwent a breakup with longtime boyfriend Dweezil Zappa. Though the majority of her latest album was recorded prior to the breakup, and as it turns out, the intensely private musician tells everyone’s story but her own.Most of the songs, Loeb said, chronicle observations from the lives of characters in film scripts she has read. She believes it’s her job, as an artist, to create from scratch, drawing from her imagination rather than her personal life. So when she released the album Aug. 10 with songs like “Lucky Me,” reflecting the sadness of something ending yet the joy of starting over, and “I Control the Sun,” examining the frustrations of not being able to change someone, Loeb deemed the tales prophetic rather than biographical. Songwriters’ lyrics that sound like passages from their journal, Loeb said, seem like weak attempts at the craft.
“It’s important to learn how to tell a story,” Loeb said Wednesday while driving from Boulder to Lions to teach a songwriting workshop. “It can be in a very direct way. It can be in a very poetic way. It can be very personal, and sometimes it can seem like it’s very personal.”Loeb, famed for her 1993 hit “Stay,” took the media by storm as a so-called “overnight success” after her New York neighbor Ethan Hawke gave her demo tape to “Reality Bites” director Ben Stiller and it wound up on the soundtrack.”My overnight success was really 15 years in the making,” Loeb said. “Id been writing songs since I was 6 and playing in bands and performing since I was 14.”It was her big break, however. The platinum-selling “Stay” earned her both a Grammy nomination and a “Best New Artist” Brit Award and resulted in a record deal with Griffin Records.Making good on her successful debut single, Loeb followed with four more albums, including “Tails” in 1995 and its follow-up Grammy-nominated “Firecracker” in 1997. In 2002, Loeb ushered in the millennium with a pair of CDs, “Cake and Pie” and “Hello Lisa.” Recently, Loeb reunited with her college music partner, Elizabeth Mitchell on the children’s CD and companion book “Catch the Moon,” released in May.
Aside from making music, Loeb co-hosted a series for the Food Network in 2004 with her ex called “Dweezil and Liza,” a weekly culinary adventure showcasing the pairs passion for food and music, which is still in reruns. Where does the 37-year-old who loves to cook, go on dates and brush up on her French see herself in 10 years?”Probably married with kids, making music, making TV shows and making movies.”Maybe Loeb will even be telling her own story by then.”It’s something I’m working on, writing more biographical songs. I thought it was weak and more artistic, and the more I listen to it, the more I see it as an artistic challenge and a personal challenge for me as a musician. I think people can learn a lot from fiction and nonfiction.”
Tickets are $28. To purchase them, call the Vilar Center for the Arts at Beaver Creek at 845-TIXS (8497) or visit http://www.vilarcenter.org.Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 619, or HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com.Vail, Colorado
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