I'm mixing things up a little for this week, which started with the Grammy Awards on Sunday night.
One of the Grammys' big winners was Western Washington's own Brandi Carlile. Going into the day, the Recording Academy made her the most-decorated female artist with six nominations. She ended up winning three of them -- and may have won the night with this goosebump-inspiring performance of "The Joke." Her breakout night simply shattered.
But, for those of us in Seattle (namely the middle-aged lesbians!), Carlile broke out nearly two decades years ago.
The first time I saw Carlile play was at the Paragon, a little restaurant on top of Queen Anne. It had a fireplace. I saw her play at an even smaller restaurant called the Ravioli Station... I'm not kidding.
I've seen her countless times, now, in six states.
Among the most memorable were a post-Seattle Storm show at the Showbox in 2004 and the release of her second studio album, "The Story," in 2007 at the Triple Door. With the commercial success of that album -- and some of you may remember that the title song was on a Chevy commercial in heavy rotation during the 2008 Summer Games -- her star took off.
Seattle loved her first, though, and she thanked us for that. She did a "secret show" at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard the summer before I moved. Carlile seemed as if she was playing for friends. She amazed.
Carlile released her sixth studio album, "By the Way, I Forgive You," last year. I cried through three songs on the first listen. It ripped me apart with its rawness, its maturity, its stark beauty and depth -- a song about drug addiction, another about an unidentified woman found in a field, yet another about motherhood, and one about not giving up on marriage. It occurred to me, Carlile and "The Twins" (her bandmates, identical twins Phil and Tim Hanseroth) grew up. Or, as one of my friends said, "Brandi graduated."
When I saw them play the entire album at The Palace Theater in Albany, New York in May, I could not keep it together; I had tears streaming down my face for most of the show.
So, Brandi and the Twins won three Grammys this week. I listened to the album again and just marveled at the lyrics. I read them. And, without question, these lyrics are the best things I've read this week.
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.