Even though it happens two days after Valentine’s Day, the solo performance by smouldering Silverlake songstress Eleni Mandell at the El Mocambo Saturday (February 16) promises to be the hands-down hottest show of the week. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. $10.50. 416-870-8000.
You’ve recently recorded en français. Plain old English not sexy enough for you?
A few phrases in French have been stuck in my mind ever since I tried learning the language four years ago. One thing led to another, and suddenly I was in a studio blowing all my money recording Dis-moi Au Revoir Encore.
How did Parisian audiences react when you performed there?
I was planning to sing La Parapluie by Georges Brassens while opening for Iron & Wine in Paris. It’s a difficult song to memorize, and I forgot the lyric sheets backstage, but I thought I’d try to wing it, believing that everyone would love me for making the effort and greet me with big hugs after the show. So I introduced the song as being by Brassens, whom I said I adored even if some younger people think he’s uncool, but I only managed to get through a couple of verses. People thought that was hilarious. Afterwards, some guy told me he was very insulted by what I’d said about Brassens during the intro.
What will your new album sound like?
It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to do on one album, from my teenage influences to the dance parties I like to put on. I feel like all my musical interests are now coming together because of my amazing band. It’s definitely a summer record, so I’m hoping it’ll be out before August.
What’s the worst Valentine’s Day experience you’ve ever had?
Well, I’ve had a lot of bad ones. Once I was dating this guy who delivered flowers for a living, and on Valentine’s Day he showed up two hours late for our date with no flowers – not a petal. By then we’d lost our dinner reservation, and of course all the other restaurants were full. A total disaster. Then, a few years later, on Valentine’s Day, I ran into him with his new girlfriend, who had clearly been crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said she’d gotten the jerk an expensive ring but he hadn’t given her anything. Some guys never change.
What constitutes a good Valentine’s Day gift?
I guess that depends on the person, but for me it doesn’t need to be anything elaborate or expensive – it’s all about the thought behind it. Just cut a heart out of construction paper and slip it under my door and I’ll be happy.