Keepsake (Compass), Elizabeth Ziman’s fourth record, began when her landlord was considering jacking up the rent and she had to move across the street into a tiny apartment, far away from her recording gear and the baby grand piano on which she loved to write. Or it began when she started keeping a dream journal, writing down snippets of visions in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning on awakening. Or it began when she started leafing through old journals and diaries, little half-finished snatches of lyrics and couplets and freewriting, and tried to see if she could shape them through to some kind of completion. Well, who’s to say where anything begins or ends? But for Ziman, who records as Elizabeth And The Catapult, Keepsake was definitely a milestone record—the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else. Ziman will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.
Ziman: One of my favorite shows I ever went to was the Cranberries when they performed at the old Knitting Factory around the time of the release of their album No Need To Argue. I was obsessed with their albums for a number of reasons: They’re exceptionally written and arranged, and they are all political without ever sounding preachy. Of course, I was totally obsessed with Dolores O’Riordan’s small-yet-spunky demeanor (her pixie haircut, too) and angsty yodeling. She would start a song with this sweet broody voice, and then by the end of the song,she was a brash lead singer of a punk band belting it out. I loved that range. The night of the show, I used my fake ID to get into the club, and I remember the person behind me spilling beer on my favorite shirt. (Vivid memory of actually thinking that was so “rock ‘n’ roll”—I was just a nerdy kid.) Watching Dolores roll and tumble across the stage with so much confidence and gusto, I knew I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. (That never happened, unfortunately.) I also imagined that her set lists would have little notes for her band like “Play ‘Til You Bleed!” or perhaps “The Future Is Now!” That’s how much I believed in them. Still do.