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Interview:
Ingrid Michaelson at the Fillmore, 5 things to know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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The first song Ingrid Michaelson wrote for her new album, "It Doesn't Have To Make Sense," came one week after her mother passed away.

Suffice to say it got a bit better from there.

The Staten Island-born singer-songwriter's seventh album deals with more weighty topics -- including various kinds of heartbreak -- as is Michaelson's wont, but is also her most musically diverse set yet. And it comes at a time when Michaelson herself is diversifying, with a lead role in the upcoming film "Humor Me" and ambitions for other acting and creative enterprises.

But music is what matters right now, and Michaelson, 36, is busy playing her tunes and not worrying about whether they make any sense or not...

"It Doesn't Have To Make Sense" is not only the title of Michaelson's new album but also the life lesson she learned while making it. "I was grieving and working through what I was working through," Michaelson recalls by phone. "I very much like to control things in life and define everything and understand everything, and I couldn't understand this concept of losing (her mother). It was all unimaginable. A little more than a year ago I realized that when you stop trying to make sense of everything, life becomes easier. So I decided to not try to make sense of everything and just accept that things...are."

"After I lost my mother, I could've stayed in a hole and could've chosen that sadness," Michaelson notes. But the album chronicles her climb out of that dark place. "Over the last two years I've been up and been down and up and down, but I've been allowing myself to feel every bit of my sadness AND every bit of my joy. So I really feel like the record became this sort of love letter to the range of emotions that humans can experience in life, and it became this group of music that in my mind didn't have to make sense. There's happy songs and sad songs and angry songs, and they can all work together.

Michaelson is stoked about her film debut in "Humor Me," a father-son comedy that marks actor Sam Hoffman's ("Moonrise Kingdom," "Madam Secretary) directoral debut and stars Elliott Gould and Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement along with Bebe Neuwirth, Annie Potts and Erich Bergen. Michaelson has a significant role as a love interest. "It's the story of a kind of down on his luck writer (Clement) and his relationship with his father (Gould), trying to figure out his life," says Michaelson, who filmed her parts during the spring while she was also working on "It Doesn't Have To make Sense." "I'm not a lead, but I'm in there enough. It was really, really fun."

Acting is just one avenue Michaelson plans to explore in the future. "I definitely have some other contacts and things in the works," she says. "I'm interested in working on a musical and working on a TV show. I have a lot of other things I'd like to do. I love music, the best. It's always going to be my first love, and I'm always going to make music. But I've done a lot of it. I've made a record nearly every two years, roughly, since 2007. So I'm excited to see where else music can take me. I really want to make sure I'm doing everything I want to do."

But don't' worry about her giving music short shrift, even in the near future. "I want to make another record, but I don't want to make another record until I do some of these other things," Michaelson says. "If the (next) record takes me a few years longer, that's OK. If i just come out with a couple singles, that's OK. The world is really changing. People are coming out with one song here, one song there. That's a freedom I haven't allowed myself to have, and it's an interesting place to be in -- being in my mid-30s, six records deep. It's time to figure out where all the pieces are going to go from there."

Ingrid Michaelson and AJR

Saturday, Oct. 8. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

Tickets are $20-$60.

Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.


Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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