I love Beth Orton. Her music sounds like what being a grownup woman feel like to me. Strong and confident but also playful and flirtatious. Plenty capable and independent but still likes to wear sexy shoes and red lipstick. Doesn't need but really wants someone to argue with about wet towels on the floor and how many times a person really needs to watch Sports Center. Happy to be a female but also so delighted and enchanted by men. If her songs were clothing I would want to wear them.
I also love live music. And the very best next thing to being there is a good live recording. I adore them. I love hearing the background noise. I love the subtle differences of a song performed for people instead of a sound booth. I love that invariably, you hear more passion and guts in a good live version of a song than you do in the album track. I love the audience interaction. I am a sucker for a live album and will buy them even if I already own all the songs. This might blow every bit of credibility I have but I have a two-disc set of James Taylor live that I regularly put in my "desert island" top five. It's really that good.
So imagine my great joy this evening when I was catching up one of my favorite music blogs and I stumbled upon live Beth Orton plus special guest M. Ward. If you like either of these artists then you must check out this link. If you aren't familiar with either of them but you do like good indie/folk/acoustic stuff, you should give this a try. I especially recommend "Comfort of Strangers". It's the title track from an album she put out last year but with more teeth than the CD version. I'm telling you-music is made to be heard in person.