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June 27, 2007


Continuing what is apparently a week of Canadian female singers, here's kd lang singing Neil Young's "Helpless" at the 2005 Juno Awards; seems that Young was supposed to be there but was ill and in the hospital, which explains lang's intro. However, if you're going to have to get someone to fill in for you, you're not going to get much better than this.

Man, what a voice. Also for those of you who are live performance-minded, check out kd lang's total microphone awareness. The song, if you didn't know, is available on lang's hymns of the 49th parallel album, which has her covering Canadian songwriters, and really is excellent.

Posted by john at June 27, 2007 08:00 AM

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Amanda | June 27, 2007 09:28 AM

Oooh, I remember that. That was the year the Junos were in Winnipeg (Yay 'Peg City!). Neil had to undergo emergency surgery - I want to say it was something to do with his brain - and couldn't make it.

kd lang did an awesome performace - I love her voice. Something haunting about it, especially when she sings songs like this.

JD | June 27, 2007 09:38 AM

I am sorry, I am going to have to ask for clarification. What is "microphone awareness"?

Patrick Nielsen Hayden | June 27, 2007 09:41 AM

Hymns of the 49th Parallel is one of my favorite albums of the last several years. Lang is astonishing.

John Scalzi | June 27, 2007 09:45 AM


She knows where to put the microphone so that the volume of her voice neither overwhelms or is overwhelmed by the rest of the music.

Bill | June 27, 2007 09:55 AM

Wonderful! She is amazing! And I agree, 'Hymns of the 49th Parallel' is a wonderful cd. Singing 'Crying' with Roy Orbison, in my mind, really established her as an earth-shaker.

JD | June 27, 2007 09:59 AM

Well no wonder I didn't know what it was. Almost none of the singers I know have it. Most seem to think the microphone is made of tasty chocolate.

Amanda | June 27, 2007 10:18 AM

Mmm, tasty chocolate microphone..

mote | June 27, 2007 10:25 AM

What an amazing performance! She's one of my favourites.

If you're looking for awesome female Canadian singers, you might enjoy Sarah Slean if you haven't already checked her out...

Sean | June 27, 2007 12:21 PM

Over the Rhine also has a lovely version of this song, recorded as the singer's mother was quite ill.


Sean | June 27, 2007 12:32 PM

And if we're talking about Crying, don't forget Rebekah del Rio's Spanish-language a capella version, Llorando, from Mulholland Drive:


sxKitten | June 27, 2007 04:09 PM

Speaking of Canadian music ... take a minute to listen to Allison Crowe singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.


Dean | June 27, 2007 06:56 PM

Oh yeah. Best version of 'Hallelujah' ever.

Maria Lima | June 27, 2007 07:08 PM

Hymns of the 49th Parallel is one of my top CDs of all time.

This live version of Helpless gave me chills.

What an amazing woman.

jeff ford | June 27, 2007 09:36 PM

Saw KD Lang in Philly at the Mann Center last week. She sang Helpless from the 49th P and also that Leonard Cohen one, which is great. She looks like she's been to the WaWa for a few fatties lately but her voice is like a force of nature. I wouldn't say this about most singers but the studio (even though I very much enjoy her cd's) detracts from her voice -- live it's amazing.

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