Going Out

National gaffe to national darling — Alexis Normand returns with Rosie & The Riveters

Remember the singer who famously flubbed the lines for the US national anthem in 2013 at a hockey game? Probably not. And Alexis Normand is likely glad that you don’t.

Despite the blip that gained her national coverage, the Francophone singer-songwriter and one fourth of the quartet known as Rosie and the Riveters (inspired by the feminist icon who represented the women’s movement into the workforce during WWII), persevered with both her solo career and the group. A one-time Ottawa resident while attending U of O, she returns tonight, Friday, Oct. 23, along with Allyson, Melissa, and Farideh of the Riveters at Live on Elgin. Stop by at 7:30 p.m. to hear their uplifting sophisticated harmonies with a retro 1940’s flare. Tickets $10 in advance on the site, and $12 at the door.

Preview: their video for “A Million Little Things“.

Get to the know the girl before going out.

How did The Riveters find each other?

I’d known Farideh through the music scene in Saskatoon and met Melissa when she auditioned to be a member of the band.  Allyson and I went to high school together but hadn’t played music until she joined the band in 2013.

Your studies at U of O relate to your first, self-titled solo EP. How so?

I studied music and education at the U of Ottawa. I attended a seminar that studied the similarities between different art forms — movements, techniques, tendencies, the interaction between visual art and music, for example. This class was the foundation upon which my debut album was created as a result of collaborating with a visual artist.

Rosie and the Riveters dress in a vintage style…

As a band we’ve always incorporated vintage style into our concerts.  Our performances really are a show — we have coordinated outfits and dance moves on top of singing in four part harmony. We love to entertain and part of that is having a unique style that is visually appealing and memorable.

When you sang the US anthem in 2013 and fumbled the lines, what were you thinking in that moment? I understand there was some backlash. How did you pull through and keep going with the Riveters?

I treated this mistake like the other ones I’ve made. I owned up to my actions, apologized to those I offended, pulled myself up and dusted myself off then carried on. I learned many lessons through that experience including the fact that a person is not defined by his/her mistakes, but how she/he handles them.

Favourite performance with the Riveters?

My favourite performance to date was just a couple weeks ago, when we released our new record [which is what?] with a full-band show to a sold out crowd at Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon (our hometown). The crowd’s response was engaging, the energy on stage was electric and it sounded and looked amazing! We even had a costume change… it was a dream come true.

What do you miss most about Ottawa?

I worked at Parliament for four years while I studied in Ottawa — first as a Page in the House of Commons, then as a tour guide.  I miss the front seat to Canadian politics, the beauty and history behind every statue and stone, the noon-hour carillon recitals and the guest choirs that would sing in the rotunda. Also, I miss playing soccer on the hill on Sunday afternoons — that was a guide tradition in my day!