You"re a Big Girl Now Thalia Zedek has been making music for two decades in bands such as Dangerous Birds, Uzi, Live Skull, and Come. During a Summer 2002 heat wave, she sandwiched a few days in between European tour dates to record six songs with her musician friends in engineer Andy Hong"s air conditionless living room. The hot result: four peerless originals and two covers, one by Bob Dylan whose title she borrows for this EP. Thalia once again proves, following her first solo effort Been Here and Gone on Matador Records, that whatever she applies her voice and vision to becomes part of a body of seemingly timeless musical works. There is an air of authority in its world-weariness, a certain sang froid that resists the musical trends of the day. Her songs sound lived in, thoroughly hers and of the moment. And it is always astounding how surefooted she is in choosing cover material and making it sound as if it"s always had a place in the Zedek canon. The Velvet Underground"s "Candy Says," written by Lou Reed about Warhol-circle celebrity transvestite Candy Darling, is a natural for Thalia with its theme of alienation from the self and others. Such gender-bending subject matter plays itself out even more subtly in her moving version of Dylan"s "You"re a Big Girl Now": just make the conceptual jump to song narrator as woman. Here the theme is one of lost love, commonplace in Thalia"s originals here as well. That"s why, with such a preponderance of depressing lyrical concerns in her music, it"s such a hoot to see this package"s cover photo of Thalia lighting up a big fat stogie. You"re a big girl now indeed. Delightful, yes, but a pose also suggesting the confidence with which she tackles her own songwriting. "Everything Unkind," "No Substitutions," and "No Fire" are simply as somberly grand as anything Thalia has written. And "JJ85," despite its almost sprightly gait in comparison to the other song tempos, still sounds quite! centered as it recounts even more dire circumstance. Thalia"s band features immensely talented and long-favored folks: Daniel Coughlin from ex-band Come, Mel Lederman of Victory at Sea, and David Michael Curry of The Willard Grant Conspiracy. They impart to the material all the eloquence and gravitas needed to render these marvelous songs Zedek standards.