In the same way that when she covers Hallelujah, she is clearly covering Jeff Buckley’s version of Leonard Cohen’s song, when Washington singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile took on “Mad World” at Portland’s Schnitzer Hall last Thursday night, she was wailing her way through Gary Jules’ unsettlingly sad version (from Donnie Darko) of the Tears for Fears song.
This gives me chills; sometimes I wander away from listening as much to her as I used to a few years ago when her stunning first album came out, but then I am reminded all over again of that voice and how much brutal raw emotion she can squeeze into three minutes. She has a marvelous new album Give Up The Ghost that she is touring in support of, and still manages to always pick out some of my favorite songs in the world to cover. We’re, like, music soulmates.
Mad World (Gary Jules/Tears for Fears) – Brandi Carlile
(live in Portland, 10-22-09)