Recorded on June 2nd, 2011
View Allison Weiss's website
Allison Weiss was born in Michigan, and grew up in Flowery Branch, GA. (I'm also from Georgia but had to look that one up: it's kinda near Gainesville.) In 2005, when she was twenty years old (she's twenty- four now, a cold and depressing fact that this writer will deal with later over a Scotch and some arthritis medication), she moved to Athens, GA and, according to her bio, "spent the next five years in and out of various pseudo-relationships which fueled the fire for one infectious song after another*. She toured the Southeast relentlessly with friends like Jenny Owen Youngs, Bess Rogers, Lelia Broussard, and more."
By the end of 2009 she had self-released four EPs and a full-length, Kickstarter-funded** album. And in 2011, Allison moved to Brooklyn, NY, where she has been very active on the scene (she was voted Artist Of The Month in February by The Deli NYC) since her arrival.
Growing up, her earliest memories of music were "of stuff my parents liked. They listened to a lot of Beatles, The Police, Marshall Crenshaw, etc. Around sixth grade, I discovered Top 40 radio and got addicted pretty quickly. I was also a HUGE country music fan in eighth grade, and around that same time I fell in love with pop punk. My tastes are pretty broad."
Indeed. I have to admit that I half expected the second coming of Ani DiFranco when first introduced to Allison's story due to their similarities, but I get more Ted Leo-- who is a real favorite of mine-- out of her songwriting skills. (And on the tune "Ghost Stories," some Conor Oberst as well.) Of the aforementioned Top 40 radio appreciation, well, there's no denying that she's got some of those clubs in her bag. In fact-- and I don't mean this pejoratively, I swear-- if there was a songwriting portion of "American Idol," I think Ms. Weiss could be a real contender. She seems to me to be that kind of universal talent.
On the subject of universality, I asked Allison about who she hates being compared to. I got this in response, and I'll let it be the last word:
"I really dislike being compared to other girls who wear glasses. Not because I don't LOVE them though! Ingrid Michaelson is a friend of mine and a wonderful human being who makes amazing music, and Lisa Loeb is obviously SO talented, but it's weird to me when people see girls with glasses and automatically lump them into the same musical genre. Luckily I haven't gotten those comparisons as much since I cut all my hair off. Now I get Buddy Holly, which is actually amazing."
Let us know what you think.
Back to all sessions