From Rag to Riches

Bad news first. Ingrid Michaelson's indie-pop songs have been featured in an Old Navy sweater commercial and on the soundtracks to Grey's Anatomy and One Tree Hill. This is a slippery slope for any musician with a desire to be taken seriously.

Now the good. The Staten Island native's got some life experience (she's 27 and a former kids-theater acting coach) and a knack for writing tuneful songs with decidedly non-MOR undercurrents. She's got a sorta Regina Spektor-meets-Lisa Loeb thing going on, and her lyrics are often wry and funny, and sometimes enigmatic, though they never approach the irritating inscrutability of Loeb's pop-o-babble. Michaelson's words can also be chilling, as in the chorus from her song "Breakable": "We are so fragile/And our cracking bones make noise/And we are just/Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys."

So, is she a sellout for writing the line "If you are chilly, here take my sweater" and having a major clothing merchant snap it up? Would you turn down the money? The exposure? Sure. Right. So you say.

Tue., Nov. 6, 7 p.m., 2007