May 2005

Veda Hille and her Skilled and Devoted Band
May 6, 2005Lula LoungeToronto
She’s funny strange and funny ha-ha as well as being a multi-talented musician—composer, singer and instrumentalist on piano, organ, and guitar.

Veda Hille with her skilled, devoted Martin Walton steady on bass, Ford Pier jumping with his guitar, and Barry Mirochnick drumming and crooning, put together some very individual sounds last night around songs like Veda’s ‘song about theoretical math’ from her musical Death of the Finance Minister’s Wife, done in the cabaret style of Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera.

Veda does her onstage thing naturally. Her songs are often backed by arrangements so quiet a camera flash could shatter them. Their lyrics are simple and ingenuous. They gleam with a naïve brilliance that is quite knowing and deliberate, especially with Veda’s little-girl-innocence-verging-on-mischievous delivery. For example, these lines, which I love, sung in a tuneless but somehow melodic recitative:

“I met a guy named Frank Miller in front of the Waverly/ but unfortunately I lost his address….
I love him but it embarrasses me/ to walk down the street with him….
If you see him, tell him I’m in the park with my girlfriend Angela/ and I don’t want my 2 dollars back
Just him.”

Some of the tunes they did were from Veda’s latest album, Duplex, done by a group of kids from ages 3-37, featuring songs about counting pets, like one-two-buckle-my-shoe done to a rock beat, or ‘eat your salad, eat your salad, eat your salad’, and a counting song that sounds like Sharon Lois and Bram would sound after they’d given up LSD and started to come on like Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention.

It was a great show at Lula Lounge, but it was only for one night. Veda’s albums, including Duplex, which I am giving to all my pre-teen nieces, are available at

Space pop progressive folk songwriter and singer Dan Goldman opened the evening with a medley of his songs that paint “a melancholic picture of love, childhood and the wonder of existence”. He sings about a jellyfish from Doctor Seuss in a strange quiet breathy voice as if he were singing to himself, which is very attractive. He has his own intermittent way of playing his classical guitar, with short riffs, odd chords, single notes, and body taps. I liked his song to his grandfather who recently passed away with its touching refrain: “Take cover, take cover, take cover in the thought, that you are needed on the other side”. You can hear a clip of him at if you type Dan Goldman into the Artist Name Box.

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• • • • • •
Report and Photograph by
• •
Stanley Fefferman
for The Live Music Report

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