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.)

3 Responses to “Hilly seaside town”

  1. Robyn Fleming

    “My Medea” is my favorite Vienna Teng song. She’s got a gorgeous voice.

  2. Maximum of Indolence

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

  3. Sumana Harihareswara

    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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