September 24, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 15  

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Potty-mouth Holly to deliver new DVD

By Lori Mastronardi
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
I LIKE SINGING AND STUFF. Holly McNarland belts out the tunes at one of her many live performances.

"I could be a ballerina."

Despite the fact Holly McNarland doesn't dance, it would be her choice career if music fell through. However, this self-assured songstress never doubted her ability to break into the industry. "I always had a lot of confidence that I'd do okay. I never really questioned it; I was young."

McNarland endured some criticism when the rock persona off her album Stuff was replaced by the easy-listening embodied on Home Is Where My Feet Are. Holly's next album isn't due out for another few months, but she promises some tracks will really rock. Though she admits the result of change can be good or bad, she agrees that as an artist, you can't please everyone. "Artists need to evolve. I love it when artists change - it's boring to do the same old thing. You can't just go around making the same records. If you want that, go listen to Britney Spears."

Speaking of change, I can hear McNarland - not so secretly - zipping up her clothes. Realizing this, she breathlessly discloses, "Sorry, I'm just getting dressed right now." Her need to multi-task, while she mutters and curses under her breath and occasionally speaks to a third person, are sure signs she's rather distracted. Her ambivalent answers and broken thoughts reveal her disposition is similar to the harsh sounds of "Elmo," rather than the tender lyrics of "Beautiful Blue."

Responding to mainstream desires, McNarland often performs select songs that are synonymous with her name - for instance "Numb," "Elmo" and "Do You Get High?" - which all received ample airplay. The pressure to please the crowd doesn't particularly bother McNarland. "'Numb' is fun to play because the crowd gets really into it. 'Elmo' is more difficult to perform, but it's easy for the crowd to sing." However, she reveals, "I'm tired of singing 'Beautiful Blue,' because it's a hard song to sing."

McNarland tends to occasionally stray from self-penned songs during her live performances. For the past eight years, she's been heard mixing up Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight," to produce her own addictive rendition. Such impressive performances are counteracted when McNarland chooses to subject fans to initially interesting, yet overly long jams like "Where did the mother fuckin' cheese go at?" Apparently, this repetitive track (which just continually asks the increasingly tired question) was commissioned from Pizza Hut and brought to McNarland's attention when it was published in Rolling Stone.

The little flow the interview may have had is lost when another short rant escapes her lips. "Where's my jacket? Fuck. Ah, shit." Apparently, McNarland isn't overly thrilled to answer my questions. Or, perhaps common replies like "I don't know" and "I don't really think about it," merely suggest her lack of opinions, period.

With a little push, McNarland explains how she managed to entangle herself in the music industry. "Since I was a kid I said, 'This is it, this is what I'm gonna do.' I started out at bars when I was 18, then it was demos, then longer demos. If you have a couple hours I can tell you all about it."

However, McNarland doesn't really mean this - she'd much rather speed through the question-answer process. Minutes later, she mutters to a third person that it's nearly time to go. However, she ever so kindly leaves me with some closing remarks to sum up her experience.

Holly promises to stick around "for as long as I need to. I want another kid. I have no idea. I'll just wait and see and keep going until somebody kicks me out."

You can check out Holly McNarland Thu., Sep. 25 at The Embassy. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $9. Holly McNarland: Live at the Great Hall DVD will be released Halloween day.



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