Spinning heartache into gold

Saturday, September 1, 2012 12:00
Posted in category LIVE MUSIC, Upcoming Shows

Broken engagement led Tristan Prettyman to retreat, create, renew

By Marcia Manna, Special to the U-T | utsandiego.com

The video of “My Oh My” — the first single on Tristan Prettyman’s soon-to-be-released album “Cedar + Gold” — is a study in contrasts.

Through the expanding keyhole of a door, we get a close-up of the sultry Del Mar-bred troubadour in a flowing white gown, her long, dark tresses blowing in the breeze. “My Oh My” is up-tempo and infectious, contrary to the cynical lyrics delivered with a smile.

Prettyman sings “You got me under a spell / You look like heaven, but you put me through hell” as a white Bengal tiger nonchalantly saunters down a hallway and through doorways, seemingly stalking her one minute, then retreating the next.

We caught up with Prettyman in Monterey during a break from shooting a second video to support the album, due for release on Oct. 2. This shoot doesn’t use a live tiger.

“It’s a super beautiful animal,” says Prettyman, who will introduce songs from “Cedar + Gold” when she performs Saturday at KPRI’s Block Party 2 in Little Italy. “There were two on set, and they were both very well behaved. But in person, it is clear that they are wild animals and unpredictable, which is what we wanted for the music video, because that’s what it represents.”

Prettyman is referring to her unpredictable former fiancé Jason Mraz, a fellow surfer and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who will bring his Love Is a Four Letter Word Tour to the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre in Chula Vista on Sept. 29. The dozen songs on “Cedar + Gold” (Capitol Records) are all about him and the transformation that took place after he called off the wedding last summer.The couple’s on-again-off-again relationship has nourished their songwriting for years.You could feel the electricity between them in 2005, when they performed together at Lestat’s coffeehouse in Normal Heights and sang “Shy That Way,” (a cut on Prettyman’s “Twentythree” album) to each other.

And there are YouTube clips of the sexy “All I Want For Christmas Is Us,” filmed at the 2010 Feeding the Soul Foundation CD Release Party in San Diego. They shared a mic and looked into each other’s eyes and made the audience sigh out loud.

Mraz, known for songs such as “ I Won’t Give Up” and “I’m Yours,” proposed to Prettyman in December 2010. But just six months later, Mraz stood sheepishly in front of a video camera and agreed to be interviewed by a reporter from The Daily Beast, who asked him to divulge his “greatest mistake.”

Mraz stated that he wasn’t engaged anymore and whispered: “That’s an exclusive; I didn’t tell anyone that.” An absurd explanation followed. “I have a victory for my art and a great loss for my heart,” he said in that off-the-cuff casual rap that can be charming in his songs, but rather devastating as a public disclosure about breaking a wedding engagement.

 Via utsandiego.com

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