Missy Higgins

If only Kelly Clarkson had the talent of Missy Higgins.

We want our artists to contain a spark. Something deep inside that we can touch and ultimately hold, bonding us to them.

We live in a land of sold-out corporations telling us who to be and how to feel. And none of it registers with us, none of it reflects what we truly feel inside.

Life isn’t about being famous, partying with Paris and Lindsay. Life is oftentimes drudgery, doing what you’re supposed to, seemingly ad infinitum, until you get out of school and are free and can make your own decisions and find that no one cares. We need someone to give us hope, to speak to our alienation, to guide us through as we drift along in the river of life with more questions than answers.

They call these people artists.

That’s what’s lacking in mainstream music in the United States, artistry. Everybody’s so whored out to the man, so busy making money, that the relationship with the fan has been sacrificed. And it’s only this relationship that counts. We want to be fans. We need to be fans. We need to believe in something.

And what we believe in isn’t what’s plastered all over the media. Because then it’s not ours. It’s got to feel like ours. Even if everybody else has it. And when we go to the gig and see the sea of faces we believe that we have commonality with the assembled multitude, that we’re an army more powerful than any sponsored by a government, we’re like the North Vietnamese, we won’t be beaten, we can’t be beaten. Because oppressive forces can never take over our hearts and minds. Rock and roll used to be a nation separate from the system, impenetrable by the forces of commercialism, where we and our feelings ruled. And what kept us together was the artists.

We cut our hair like theirs. We wanted to look like them. We wanted to be them. Free from the constraints, being who we truly wanted to be.

And at the core is the artist. Not the executive, whether it be Clive Davis, Michael Rapino or Judy McGrath. The suits were all subsidiary to that waif who poured out her heart.

But we’ve had a lack of waifs. Certainly ones with a sense of melody, who touched our hearts with their truth.

Missy Higgins fits the bill.

I discovered Missy not from the press, not from the machine, but a listener.


I love your emails and suggestions, you have led me to some really good tunes and I’m glad you’re finally on board with some country music, I’ve been listening to Keith Urban for awhile now and love where artists like him and the Dixie Chicks and Dierks Bentley and others in that same vein are going with their music and live shows. Rascal Flatts had a show in the building I work in last night and had one of the more innovative stage set ups I’ve seen in a long time, and I work at or attend about 100 shows a year if not more.

So I got the song by Colbie Caillat you were talking about and it’s good, but it isn’t anything Missy Higgins hasn’t done on her last two albums. Check her stuff out if you like Colbie Caillat.

Just another music fan
John VanderHaagen

And as I was listening to Missy’s "Where I Stood" on her MySpace page, I received the following e-mail from Toby Mamis.

i like the clarkson album. just got back from australia, where i couldn’t get enough of "where i stood" by missy higgins…

We don’t need Sony BMG. We don’t need Clear Channel. We don’t need LiveNation. We just need each other. While the labels are decrying the death of their business model, trying to frighten us by saying music won’t survive as they release pap, we’re keeping the flame alive.

Listen to "Where I Stood" at night, when it’s dark, when you’re alone.

We’ve all been in love. Or thought we have. And when the inevitable breakup happens, we’re at loose ends.

Our friends tell us to come out and party, find someone new. There are images in visual media of us eating ice cream and watching movies. But really, what we want to do is stare at the ceiling and listen to music. It provides understanding and a link back to health. We know the artist has felt like we do. And he or she has made it through. We can too. And this bonds us to them.

We’re not bonded to the flavor of the moment. They come and go. They contain no hooks to catch our Velcro loops. Hooks aren’t something catchy you hear in the track but something emotional, that speaks to us. Won’t someone speak to us?

I started researching. Wikipedia says Missy’s sexuality is in question. Her Website tells me that she played Live Earth. I launch Firefox and find her singing on a big stage in the Olympic stadium with a candelabra on her piano. But somehow it doesn’t seem fake, doesn’t seem manipulated or dishonest. Because there’s no dancing, no elaborate backdrop or video, no melismas, no histrionics. Just a young woman at the piano. In a long line, a continuum reaching from Laura Nyro to Tori Amos to her.

Music will survive. Not everyone is sold out to the machine. The Internet has allowed us to fan a spark into a flame. The rules tell us we can’t buy "Where I Stood", that it’s only available Down Under.

But we can hear it on Missy’s aforementioned MySpace page. We can download it P2P. It’s readily available in a world that doesn’t understand us.

And that’s why we’re going to win. Because of the tools. Steve Jobs has only created tools. The computer, the iPod, iTunes. Adobe and Web Companies have contributed their little part. The labels’ part is the music. Assuming we need labels at all. It seems that now acts can go directly to their fans. Doing what they do best, which is speak from the heart. Sans the filter of septuagenarians, jaded fucks wedded to the old model who aren’t versed in the ways of the Net, who don’t know we’re experiencing a revolution, that nothing will ever be the same again.

Missy Higgins Myspace

Missy Higgins Website

Missy Higgins Wikipedia

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