Story last updated at 2:41 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2002

Love brings uplifting sound
by Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: entertainment
  Photo provided
Laura Love, center right, and her band, will play in Home on Friday at 10 p.m. at Alice's Champagne Palace  
Discerning music fans who saw Laura Love the last time she came to town say the show was literally uplifting, as in get-off-your-butt-and-dance kind of uplifting.

According to reviewers, her past Homer performance was just an example of Love's exceptional style of entertainment and doing what comes naturally for the former Nebraska kid.

Despite disappointments over record label mergers and some challenges early in her career finding out what she was really doing up on stage, Love has chiseled, or perhaps more correctly, hip-checked out a name for herself in the funk-folk-worldbeat mosh pit of a music genre.

Laura Love and band, Afro-pop, worldbeat

* Where:
Alice's Champagne Palace, Pioneer Avenue

* When:
10 p.m. Friday

* Tickets:
$23 general admission, $21 KBBI members

* Call:

What exactly that name is, however, seems to be anyone's guess. So people keep making up words, like Afro-Celtic and hipalacian.

"My mission in life is to put the 'yo!' back in yodel," Love said in a release. "It feels really good to put a Middle Eastern melody with an Afro-pop groove; they flow together naturally."

Love started her career at the tender age of 16, singing to the not-so-tender audience at Nebraska State Penitentiary. She moved on to college clubs, developing her vocals and bass performance.

In the late '80s, she settled in Seattle and became the founding member of Boom Boom G.I., a band that received decidedly varied reviews. After one critic tagged her as wasting her talent in an "annoyingly pointless" band, Love did some reflection, and the resulting sound can be heard today.

Love was picked up by Mercury Records in 1997 and released "Octoroon" to rave reviews from bigwigs like the New York Times, People and Time. It even topped the noncommercial radio charts for weeks. Another recording followed in 1998, but a corporate merger of her label left Love out on the street, despite her earlier success.

Love, however, doesn't go quietly into any night, and a word-of-mouth following sprang up in place of the label promoters. Festivals and a rigorous touring schedule don't hurt either.

But most important to Love and her eclectic collection of band members, who will be touring to Alaska with Love this trip, is having a good time with their music, no matter if that means the occasional failure along the way.

"They're not overly self-conscious," Love told one reviewer. "Having fun is important to everyone (in the group)."

Love's latest album, "Fourteen Days," on the Rounder Records label, touches on some heavy issues, like the World Trade Organization "battle in Seattle" and other social issues, but it is all done with Love's special brand of humor in the face of reality.

It's a mix that caused the New York Post reviewer to dub Love "one of the most promising new female artists of the last few years -- a singer-songwriter in the same class as Sarah MacLachlan and Alanis Morissette."