When I saw k.d. lang perform live recently for the first time, I was so incredibly invested in and taken by her presence onstage, in her suit and bare feet, crooning so intimately with the audience. I felt connected in a way I hadn’t felt at a concert before, and I wasn’t sure exactly what that was, until I realized that it was probably one of the first times I’ve seen a butch woman perform. Okay, so I’ve been to Michfest, I’ve seen Ferron and Alix Olsen and Melissa Ferrick – but somehow this was different, I’m not exactly sure how. Maybe because we were at Radio City Music Hall, and the audience wasn’t particularly queer? These were jazz lovers, a highbrow audience.
k.d. is one of the few artists whose albums I will go out and buy the week they come out. I have almost her entire library in my collection, and I often go back to her old albums just as often as her new. Hymns from the 49th Parallel is just as brilliant as Drag and as Ingenue … I love ‘em all.
Watershed, which came out recently, is really worth a listen. It’s her first collection of songs written by her since 2001, and it’s gorgeous. Here’s the ad trailer (!) for the album.
L-word fans (or, if you’re oldschool, Murmurs fans) probably know that k.d. lang dated Leisha Hailey for a few years … man, to be a fly on the wall in that bedroom. Talk about a power couple. That’d be some good fan fiction, if I wrote that kind of genre.