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Hilly seaside town


On the way home from the East Bay today, I turned on the radio in time to hear the end of the chorus of a song I hadn't encountered before:

You've never seen a sight so fine

as the love that's gonna shine

at City Hall.

I thought, "Huh, that could almost be about same-sex marriage."

And then I listened to the rest of the song, and yup, in fact, that's exactly what it's about; more specifically, about a couple who've been together for ten years, traveling to San Francisco in 2004 to get married. It turns out to be called "City Hall," and it's by singer/songwriter Vienna Teng. I had never heard of her, but apparently she got a lot of attention around here when she first started performing, while she was still a Stanford student. She's got a couple of albums on the iTunes Store now, featuring nice vocals, pretty melodies, solo piano (and sometimes other instruments), good lyrics, and occasional harmonies; very much my kind of thing. I've now bought two of the albums, and am considering the third.

Of the songs I've listened to so far, I particularly love "Lullabye for a Stormy Night."

I'm no good at describing musicians in terms of other musicians, but in case this might make anyone more interested in following those links to hear samples, I might place Teng somewhere in the Tori Amos/Suzanne Vega/Jane Siberry/Dar Williams/Susan Werner spectrum. (I don't know if those people actually have anything at all in common with each other or with Teng, but it makes sense in my head.)


"My Medea" is my favorite Vienna Teng song. She's got a gorgeous voice.

I love Vienna Teng -- she performs the Bay Area fairly regularly and is also wonderful live.

She is awesome! And geeky! She left a job at Cisco to do music fulltime! I first saw her at an Asian American Theater Company event in Japantown in February of 2003, when I thought she was Dar-y and another friend thought she sounded like Paula Cole. Since then I have seen lots of YouTube videos of her that are ALMOST as neato as seeing her live. Thank you for alerting me to her new album.

"Lullabye for a Stormy Night" reliably makes me tear up, about as reliably as Dar Williams's "The Christians and the Pagans."

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