When Mirah answers her cell phone, she's looking for the green room at the Bottom of the Hill, or any other quiet place she can do an interview before what will end up being a sold-out show. Her current tour will take her out to Texas, back west to Berkeley's 924 Gilman this Sunday night, and eventually back up to her Portland home. And despite the fact that her third proper album, May's C'mon Miracle, became a favorite of media outlets from Salon to Entertainment Weekly, the performer once said to possess the "sexiest voice in Olympia" hasn't noticed a change in her audience. "Not so much," she says, "but I think it's because I still play at the same kinds of venues. Not even just the same kinds of venues, but the same venues. I was pretty surprised when my dad called me and said there was a review in Entertainment Weekly right between George Michael and, like, the new Beyoncé album."
So you haven't noticed anybody who obviously read about your record in the dentist's office?
"Not really, no, but you know, everybody goes to the dentist."
C'mon Miracle has many shades, but Mirah's tenderly frank lyrics and breathy, expressive voice ties it all up in a luscious, characteristic bow. Much credit, as usual, can be given to the dense, idiosyncratic production work by Phil Elvrum (Microphones/Mt. Eerie) -- this time joined by K Records honcho Calvin Johnson -- but some of the album's finest moments were recorded during Mirah's time in Buenos Aires. And audiences on this tour will get to hear her translate those sounds with her biggest band ever, a five-piece traveling in a borrowed van. But it may be hard for her to squelch her solo performer instincts: "I don't really like cars and I don't know much about them. ... if something went wrong, the first thing I'd do is leave it by the side of the road and hitchhike."
Mirah performs with Dear Nora, Athens Boy Choir, and Bye and Bye at an all-ages show beginning at 5 p.m. $5 cover, 924Gilman.org or 510-525-9926.
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