Anya Marina

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Courtesy of Franchesca Winters Asst. Entertainment Edtor

Anya Marina’s Myspace

I tend to look at shows as once-in-a-lifetime events, so when one of my favorite bands brought its New York indie-funk to the Drunken Unicorn on Sunday night, I wasn’t going to miss it. Despite having a meeting at 8:00 the next morning, I braved the deafeningly loud and suffocatingly smoky underground lair of the Drunken Unicorn with only one desire: to watch former Playlisters The Virgins strut their stuff to the sound of “One Week of Danger.” Little did I know that I was going to walk out of there with a newfound respect for sweet-voiced singer-songwriters.

With only her guitar and her iPod, opening act Anya Marina magically compelled a visibly bored crowd to sing, laugh and dance to her raspy, childlike coos – all while admittedly dazed by a sore throat and a Percocet.

The platinum-haired California native, who is featured in the current issue of SPIN, is more than just your typical triple-threat. With a resume that includes acting, comedy and being a radio show host, Marina is more than just a chick sitting on a stool, strumming a guitar and whining about inconsiderate ex-boyfriends. Instead, her live performances are rife with witty rants and hilarious side-stories about the wheat-grass shake lifestyle of the West Coast.

But don’t get me wrong, the girl’s got talent. The slow, breathy title track from her 2005 full-length debut Miss Halfway was featured on the second “Grey’s Anatomy” soundtrack and her songs have been used on the show since season one. Her newly released sophomore album, Slow and Steady Seduction: Phase II, features playful, raspy tracks like “Vertigo” and “Move You.”

Marina has done it all, but with light, breathy lyrics about relationships gone wrong (and right), she proves that “songstress extraordinaire” should be at the top of her list of talents – and that maybe a once-in-a-lifetime show is a couple shows too few.

—By Asst Entertainment Editor Franchesca Winters

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