From The Desk Of The Green Pajamas: Anne Sofie Von Otter

Like its Southern California influences in the Paisley Underground (Rain Parade, Three O’Clock), named as an homage to the psychedelic heyday of Jefferson Airplane and Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Green Pajamas must hold the world’s record for most albums (somewhere around 30) recorded by a band with the fewest number of live appearances (somewhere more than 30) over a career that has spanned almost 30 years. Jeff Kelly and Co. recently released longplayer Death By Misadventure via longtime Pajamas label Green Monkey. Kelly and bandmates Laura Weller and Eric Lichter will be guest editing magnet all week. Read our recent feature on them.

Kelly: The first artist who made me realize that all classical vocal music didn’t sound like Wagner’s big and bellowing viking women wearing their horns and XXXL Teutonic muumuus was the work of Swedish singer Anne Sofie Von Otter. On a whim, because of the intriguing cover and a lucky intuition, I picked up Von Otter’s Sings Berlioz in the mid 1990s. It was a huge revelation: Here was an opera singer who sometimes sang quietly. Here was a classical vocal music that was not only dramatic but sometimes soft and sensuous. It seemed like something I had only dreamed about. Von Otter has an amazing back catalog of treasures. But this Berlioz recording is one of her best and features the beautiful “La Mort d’Ophélie,” (The Death Of Ophelia), which my wife Susanne and I had the pleasure of hearing live in performance one lovely winter evening in Vancouver, Canada. Our seats were so close, I could see her spit fly as she sang. When we got back to our hotel we found that thieves had broken into our car, trying to steal our CD player. All in all, the broken car window was worth it.

Video after the jump.