It ain't easy being Lisa Germano. The sensitive, Indiana-based singer/ songwriter and violinist has faced off against ace musicians and producers, earning high praisefrom the likes of Brian Eno - not usually known as a resevoir of enthusiasm - and releasing three critically acclaimed discs on England's 4AD label. But it's still a struggle.
For one thing, the masses haven't coised up to her pale, poignant tales of introspection the way industry spin doctors, eyeballing the upward spiral of Tori Amos' career, had predicted. Her beautifully spun latest disc, "Excerpts From A Love Circus", follows the same trajectory, sampling the contented purr of Germano's cat Miamo-Tutti for good measure.
And despite her solo accomplishments, Germano can't shake the connection to former boss John Mellencamp, even though her ambient pop has more in common with Public Enemy than Mellencamp's backwards roots-rock. If Germano seems to be truly enjoying herself at the Horseshoe Saturday (September 28) opening for Weeping Tile, it's because she's playing to a crowd that couldn't care less about her past associations with the music biz's tiniest tyrant.
"My past work with Mellencamp is a complete, 100 per cent, total drawback. It's horrible," sighs an otherwise chipper Germano down the line from her home. "For some reason, everybody seems to have to mention that, as if to justify that I exist."
"It's like what if the bass player from Hootie and the Blowfish put out a solo record and it got a four-star review in Rolling Stone? If they mentioned his former band, I wouldn't read it. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm an asshole because I wouldn't care about any member of Hootie and the Blowfish. But when I see reviews about me that begin by citing my being in Mellencamp's band, I think 'Oh god, nobody's gonna read it further!'"
"Maybe," she chuckles slyly, "Mellencamp has to die. But do I shoot him or poison him?"
from Now magazine Sept. 26 - Oct 2, 1996 Vol. 16; No. 4 Toronto, CANADA Jeff Keibel Scarborough, ON CANADA [email protected]