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The Volcano Diary: Lightning Seed

Alicia Dara is the sublime voice and guiding intellect behind the currently unsigned Seattle band The Volcano Diary whose self-titled debut album is reviewed at Elsewhere.

She was born in Vancouver, Canada, studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, worked in theatre and cabaret, and has released solo albums prior to forming the electro-acoustic Volcano Diary whose album was produced by Steve Fisk who has worked with Low, the Posies, Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Soundgarden, Damien Jurado . . .

Here she undertakes Elsewhere's fast 15 questionnaire. 

The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

We Shall Overcome, a classic American folk song about striving for social justice; (also) Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, Beau Soir, an art song by Debussy and Nothing Compares to You sung by Sinead O'Connor (written by Prince).

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

Not at all embarrassing! My first role model was my dad, a career musician with a master's degree from Julliard, who just retired after 40 years in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Sinead O'Connor, Kate Bush and Ani DiFranco were all early role models.

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z

Robert Plant, Prince, PJ Harvey, and Nina Simone!

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

Painter, pie-maker, or public servan

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . 

Revival, Lightning Seed, and Volcano (all mine).

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home

Concert programs from my very fist performance with the Vancouver Bach Children's Chorus, when I was 7.

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .141565

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play . . .?)

Bettye LaVette, and I'd play tambourine on whatever song she told me to!

The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

Holy Smoke (Dir. Jane Campion), Laurel Canyon (Dir. Lisa Cholodenko), and White Oleander (Dir. Peter Kosminski) and Stranger Than Fiction (Dir. Marc Forster). I realize that's 4, but I could have gone on forever!

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

All Days are Nights: Songs for Lulu by Rufus Wainright.

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .

This Woman's Work by Kate Bush

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

A painting of Jeff Buckley (a gift from a friend) by Casey Brookbush.

You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .

The earth seen from a long way off... a tiny dot!

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?

With my family, playing music, and my nephew, teaching him about leading a band and writing songs. In Paris!

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”

Its restrained beauty is its secret weapon. Repeated listenings deepen its impact. It is a narrative artistic statement, from start to finish. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases: it will never pass into nothingness...."  -- John Keats

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