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Music - Cover
by Aubrey McInnis
LULLABY BAXTER TRIO
July 22 & 23
Its an inside joke among graduates of local independent-study high school Bishop Carroll as to what they did between morning check-in and afternoon check-out. Gutsy teens drove to Banff, some hid behind the school shed and smoked, and some actually studied. If youre former Calgarian Lullaby Baxter (or Angelina Iapaola on the grad wall), you may have snuck away to a McDonalds or listened to a car radio in the parking lot avoiding the watchful eye of Mr. Potts.
As soon as Lullaby Baxter a name Angelina appropriated from the 1960 film finished her studies in Calgary in 89, she was off to Montreal to complete a BA in womens studies. A couple years later, she was recording the soft and smooth Capable Egg, a nostalgic album that was released in February on Warner Music and which has earned her praises and comparisons to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Her enchanting, buttery voice paired with bossa nova and blues nuances is an enchanting mixture, and her songs illustrate that shes a creatively playful wordsmith, or as Lullaby explains, an "artist masquerading as a musician."
Before she zips into town to appear at the Calgary Folk Music Festival days after celebrating her 30th birthday shell finish an eight-night run at the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival doing the Lullaby Baxter Trio Capable Egg Cabaret. In true eclectic fashion, she decorated the space to look like her living room and set up Christmas lights, lamps, pictures of religious figures, jars containing coloured water, and tall votive candles. To top it all off, a telegram delivery boy runs in to deliver messages every so often.
While Lullaby is smitten with another time and has received rave reviews for her nostalgic sound, she says it isnt a conscious effort.
"I dont go out there and go, I only want 50s things or I only want this or that. Its more of an esthetic thing. Im into all this really colourful, sorta candy-looking, gaudy stuff. At the jazz festival (I set up) all this stuff that doesnt really match, but looks great together and evokes the 50s, but in a way thats what Lullaby Baxter does it evokes nostalgia, but for a time that never existed. Its really neat cause people love it in that way that its familiar, but nothing theyve ever seen. Its still something brand new.
"There is a little bit of twist on these old things, these old styles and then the lyrics themselves are... old words, but there are twisted images, there are new twisted images on these old words. Its sort of like people getting shot from cannons, but they have other weird oddities going on with them.
"Its our take on old-style things."
To help accentuate the unorthodox nature of her music, she made the album with that impressive gang of jazz virtuosos, Oranj Symphonette.
"They have ideas for days (and) theyre totally bent in the head cause thats what their music is," she gushes.
She felt that they were perfect for her album and they, in turn, loved her lyrics and her naïveté. Together, they had a ball and she feels blessed for being able to work with them.
Now that Lullaby Baxter is returning to Calgary, shes looking forward to presenting her show to new fans, old friends and family. Not only is she enthusiastic about catching up with everyone, she can hardly wait to present her show in the way shes always dreamed.
"We even have a slide show beforehand and a beautiful, amazing lounge DJ that has a sampler and hes screwing with all his loungey records," she says. "I just want to give more. I go to shows and I find that its boring. I thought, What if you make it a totally interactive, interesting thing? Im following what Ive wanted to do from forever, since I can remember. Ive been sticking to what Ive always wanted (to do) and its finally happening.
"And theres a few other people who I still know from high school," she adds, "Im sure theyve been hearing about me going, What the hell is she up to? Oh my God!"
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