This blog topic has been on my “bubbling under” list for ten days or so, and today it seems to have bubbled its way to the top. Throughout the past couple of weeks, during the endless unpacking of stuff in my apartment, one thing that had eluded me until last night was the power supply for my Bose computer speakers. Thus, I had been listening to YouTube and CDs on the tiny (and tinny) built-in laptop speakers, all the while aching for some higher-fi tuneage. Once I figured out the wiring connections (although the power supply turned up, the instruction manual appears to be MIA), the first thing I called up on the YouTube playlist was the Mona Lisa Twins, specifically their video of the old Beatles’ chestnut, Blackbird.
I ran across the pair for the first time last week, while looking for an obscure live version of the old Scott McKenzie tune “San Francisco”, the one that exhorts listeners to “be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” The Mona Lisa Twins’ version appeared in the queue, and I clicked on it just for grins and interest; I was quite taken with it, I have to say. The harmonies are spot on, as if they were channeling the Everly Brothers (I know, the Everly Bros aren’t dead, but you know what I mean…). So I did a bit of investigation, locating their website (www.monalisa-twins.com), and a plethora of other YouTube vids. There is a page on their website with links to a number of their videos and concert footage as well: http://www.monalisa-twins.com/Videos_MonaLisa_engl.html
They are indeed twins, and really named Mona and Lisa, apparently. They are sixteen now, and have been performing together since they were little tykes. They are from Austria, and they sing (in charmingly accented English) cover versions of songs I grew up with: California Dreaming; Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door; Mr. Tambourine Man; Wild World; Love Is All Around.
I mentioned them in passing to a friend of mine a few weeks ago, wondering if she had ever heard of them, and she said (with a distinct “duh” in her tone, I thought) “Of course I know them; they are huge in Japan! Everybody waits for their new videos on YouTube.” If that’s true, I can certainly see why. The twins are pretty in a wholesome and unaffected sort of way (think: a younger Claire Danes, or rather a matched pair of younger Claire Daneses), they quite clearly love what they are doing, and they are talented to a degree well beyond most sixteen-year-olds.
Perhaps you already know the Mona Lisa Twins, and I am the last person on earth to have heard of them; as I get older, that seems to happen with rather alarming frequency. That said, if you haven’t run across them yet, check out their video of Blackbird, either on their website or on YouTube. Chances are it will make you want to see more.