Monday, September 13, 2010

Kendra Smith - Stars Are In Your Eyes

Stars Are In Your Eyes from The Guild of Temporal Adventurers (1992)

Sometimes I wonder how long the Internet galaxy can hold up. This constantly updated and "improved" technological space probably doesn't have a long shelf life, considering you can't put it on a shelf except metaphorically. Which brings me to today's video. Kendra Smith had/has(?) one of the most haunting, ethereal voices in indie rock. She's really more of a soul-folk singer (soulk) than pop goddess. There's intriguing philosophical and spiritual questions running through her solo work. What? You don't know who Kendra Smith is? Actually, she doesn't seem to mind that, having been living in a rustic cabin in the Northern California woods for nearly 20 years. She was last heard from in 1995 when she toured exactly two dates for her solo album, "Five Ways of Disappearing."

"Under the Radar" would make a good album title for Kendra Smith. She was a founding member and played bass in one of the best Velvet Undeground-inspired bands of the 80s, the Dream Syndicate. But left that situation to start Opal with Rain Parade co-founder David Roback. This was a good thing on some levels because she started singing and her voice was much needed in the boy-world of alternative music. Unfortunately things didn't work out between her and Roback and she left the band abruptly mid-tour. He went on to form Mazzy Star with Hope Sandoval and Kendra released some solo work before disappearing from music for good.

Come back Kendra! I miss your lovely voice and deceptively simple melodies that are actually quite thoughtful and unique. Alternative music is even more boyish than ever. I need some dreamy yet grounded women singers in my life. You might too. You might not even know you need that, but I bet you do. The rumor is that Smith's house doesn't have electricity so the odds of her showing up in cyber-space are slim, and yet, here is the perfect place for a solo artist to reconnect with her fan base and find new fans along the way. Somebody track her down in the forest and tell her I said so. Thank you.

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