Quick: Who is the most distinctive singer you admire?
The qualities of a vocal performer are manifold, of course, but we're talking about those singers who are instantly identifiable, either by their voice or style or the feel of the song. Identifiable in mere seconds.
It's the tallest of orders for even the most seasoned songstress, but we'll put LA's own Petra Haden at the lead of that particular pack. She's deftly put her stake in the world of a cappella interpretations, and her complicated, many-toned takes on The Who's "I Can See for Miles" and Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" certainly have set her view counter a-spinnin'.
So the chance to see her perform her a cappella live is a treat, especially given that we're in a moment where a cappella is a bit in vogue ("Pitch Perfect" recently celebrated it on the big screen). The ancient art form should remain in vogue, of course, but perhaps Ms. Haden can lead that movement.
She'll be harmonizing with a 16-person choir at The Getty on Saturday, Jan. 26. Theme? Movies. Yep, she covers the theme to "Psycho," and once you hear her take on the intense cinema classic, sans instruments, you'll likely never see, or hear, rather, the Bernard Herrmann gem in the same way again. (We'll add that Ms. Haden's all-movie a cappella album debuts a few days ahead of the concert.)
It isn't just a treat to see this singular songstress up on the big hill, live. She's kicking off the institution's "Saturday Nights at The Getty" for 2013. This free event used to be called "Friday Nights at The Getty," we should note, so it isn't a major leap to remember the new name of the monthly series. Also? It is indeed free, but parking costs ten bucks.