My Brightest Diamond still shining

Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond incorporates theatrical elements into her latest album, A Thousand Shark's Teeth.

When you grew up with an accordion-expert dad, a classical organist mother, and grandma was an Epiphone player, you just might end up with an eclectic vision. And with the June release of her sophomore album, A Thousand Shark's Teeth, Shara Worden, now helming a project called My Brightest Diamond, presents audiences with the operatic evidence.

"This album is full of instrumentation, with over fifteen people playing on the record and a lot of different kinds of sounds," Worden says of the new strings-heavy composition.

Her first album as MBD was the more spare and rocking Bring Me the Workhorse, from 2006.

"On that album," Worden says, "I wanted to be very focused in the production. In order to prevent putting too many ideas in one pot, there was limited instrumentation to the rhythm sections and strings."

Heading up a tour in support of the new material, Worden introduces Charlottesville to her theatrical, instrumentation-drenched folk-indie-rock confection.


The Hook: What were some of your influences for A Thousand Shark's Teeth?

Shara Worden: I was really influenced by Tom Waites, the theatrical style and vaudeville elements. I really gravitated to magic tricks, strings, puppet shows for this tour.

The Hook: What were themes were you trying to convey?

SW: A lot of the songs were influenced by children's fairy tales. Musically speaking, we arranged the record in such a way that songs were split into earth and sky songs–- earthier ones used wooden instruments, super earthy sounds and sky songs were ethereal, untouchable, intangible, with the harp, string octet.

The Hook: What was your inspiration for doing this new all-strings album?

SW: In the beginning of MBD, I was in a new place musically and had developed a good relationship with some string players, so I thought– how do I work with strings, what do I want them to do? Should they sit on top of the arrangements structurally? I did a lot of experimentation with that relationship, and a group of sixteen to seventeen songs developed at the same time.

The Hook: What do you want audiences to take from this opera-influenced style?

SW: The thing that attracted me to opera was the melding of art forms into one. Hopefully, it's kind of a transportive and magical experience for people.

The Hook: What's coming up next once this tour wraps?

SW: I want to be more in the present, not feel like I have to represent these old ideas. I hope to be recording next fall.


My Brightest Diamond performs at Gravity Lounge on Wednesday, December 10. The show starts at 7:30 pm, and tickets are $15.


Morgantown road is far from upscale.

And so much sad confusion here. People are forgetting that the big trucks are driven slowly by drug-tested, class A CDL drivers. That means more than 1 ticket and its back to school.

The trucks are slow and you can here and see them coming. Compare to residential traffic comprised of speeding, distracted drivers on cell phones. If anything, the large trucks will have a traffic calming effect.

And also bear in mind, the heavy equipment seldom comes back to base. Falconer is so busy building the roads we all enjoy, that equipment is typically moved from job to job. Faloconer makes no money driving dozers back to Morgantown Rd.

We need to preserve industrial zoning near railroad tracks like we need to preserve farmland. Like farmland, rail shipment will again become very important for things like transfer of recyclable materials to distant markets. If you build residential in areas that should be industrial, you isolate the community ecomomically to the point of losing diversity of employment opportunity.

Not everywhere can be up-scale. It is time for Ivy to pay respect to Falconer for the huge taxes they pay, jobs created, and roads created. Neighborhoods like Ivy and Belmont have deep a deep history of industry co-existing with residence. In these times of high gas prices, living very close to work is a very good thing and should be embraced.

NIMBY is dead.

Wheeler and the Squeaky Wheels.....hey that could be the name of a band....could pay Falconer to improve Morgantown road.

And what about the hundreds of miles of other narrow roads school buses travel every weekday in contact with all types of traffic as they collect and discharge children?

This is why people like Wheeler end up living in a shack. Good intentions only go so far. It takes good sense, too.

Let's see how many Faulconer administrative staff and employees buy or build next to or near the sight. If they really want to prove that they're all about community building and that they're environmentaly safe and good neighbors, let's see if Jack Sanford encourages his folks to join the community. I bet he continues to import his people from Orange and Louisa. Jackie, you once lived in Peacock hill and claimed you loved the area.