The long-awaited album Love This Giant from David Byrne (of the Talking Heads) and St. Vincent (I’ve mentioned her here just a couple of times) will drop in eight days on September 11 and to get ready for it’s arrival, NPR posted the entire masterpiece online for eager fans to stream. Be sure to check it out and if you’re into it consider pre-ordering the album through their website.
This year I made it to a point to go to a lot of shows. Some were awful, most were good, but there are a few that really stood out. Here are my nine favorites from this year:
1. Bon Iver- My thoughts on the show
2. My Brightest Diamond- My thoughts on the show
3. St. Vincent- My thoughts on the show
4. Son Lux- My thoughts on the show
5. The Welcome Wagon- My thoughts on the show
6. Kopecky Family Band- My thoughts on the show
7. The Civil Wars- My thoughts on the show
8. Lord Huron- I saw these guys back in April opening for Rural Alberta Advantage, and I cannot wait to see them again. The already small set was cut short due to technical difficulties, but the songs they did get to play pulled me into their folksy beach tunes right away.
St. Vincent - She Is Beyond Good and Evil
(NPR recording of D.C. 9:30 Club show 11.1.11)
So if you all recall, I mentioned this song in my little concert review a couple weeks ago…
Now you may have a better idea of how crazy this song really is if you haven’t yet had the chance to see it performed live.
Please, if you love St. Vincent, watch this.
(Photo by Fally Afani)
Summing up this show is proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be, hence the lateness. Forgive me if it’s a bit cloudy.
Cate Le Bon opened the show, yet another opener who happens to be a female guitar playing, singer-songwriter. I’ve said it before, I’m not against these types of acts, and I won’t deny that Cate (or any other female, guitar-playing opener I’ve seen recently) has a beautiful voice or talent, but they all seem so similar to me and overall, just kind of uninteresting.
As for St. Vincent (or as I like to affectionately call her- “St. Vinny”), well she was great, and the audience loved her. Her band was very clean, stoic, business-like, and focused, whereas her fans (maybe just intoxicated…) were quite boisterous and didn’t hold much back to show their undying love for Annie.
Throughout the show I heard many “Marry me Annie!”, “I love you”, and “I want to have your children” type comments, which is always entertaining. Annie remained unfazed though…I bet she’s used to it.
Annie went from song to song with ease and executed them all just about perfectly. She paused between songs every now and then and kept us enthralled with her stories. She told us about how her sister went to college in Lawrence and at one point exclaimed “I spent at least seven nights of my junior high and high school career very drunk here” -which of course brought a round of snickering from the audience.
Before they began playing “Just The Same But Brand New”, Annie shared a little story about her interior designer friend who once had a client who was a very old lady. This lady hadn’t redecorated her home since the 1950’s, so when Annie’s friend asked the old lady what she wanted in the new decor, she simply replied that she wanted everything “just the same, but brand new”. Annie left the story at that, but it made me want more stories, more talk. She’s such an interesting person.
Eventually the band got to a song that was arguably one of my favorites of the night- The Pop Group cover of “She Is Beyond Good And Evil”. Annie’s set was pretty intense overall, but this grungy cover bumped up the rock’n’roll feel of the show a considerable amount. I loved the blinding strobe lights, hazy smoke machines, and nasty guitar licks…they added to the raw atmosphere of the show in the best way possible.
As I watched the organized chaos in front of me, all I could think about was St. Vincent’s evolution from Marry Me to Strange Mercy, to this cover. My theory is that if she continues to progress in the way that she has with each of her albums, getting a little bit more intense and cutting each time, her next album may be as aggressive and as bold as her Pop Group cover.
After a couple more songs she exited the stage and the crowd began the most raucous encore cheer I think I’ve ever heard. Everyone was cheering of course, but then everyone began the stomps and claps that grew faster with each moment. She and the keyboard player returned to the stage and as he played, Annie sang “The Party” to us in the most gorgeous, dreamy, and euphoric way possible. The rest of the band returned to the stage to close out the night with “Your Lips Are Red”, leaving the crowd pleased, but ready to go home and sort out the cacophony of the evening.
It was a show I won’t soon forget, and one that jogged me a bit (in a thought-provoking way). If you have a chance to catch her on this tour, check her out. St. Vincent won’t disappoint.
See the Setlist here
Here’s my “official” playlist for you all. It’s got a hodgepodge of artists, but it mostly sticks to a mellow/folksy/occasional electronic theme.
If you aren’t familiar with some of these bands, check them out. Good music for a nice Fall day! (or evening)
"Proven Badlands", written by Annie Clark, performed by yMusic from their new album Beautiful Mechanical.
A few months ago, the yMusic sextet (comprised of CJ Camerieri, Rob Moose, Clarice Jensen, Nadia Sirota, Alex Sopp, and Hideaki Aomori) completed their first album and used Kickstarter to raise money to officially release the seven song masterpiece.
I figured the album was going be good since it had songs written by Shara Worden, Son Lux, Annie Clark, Judd Greenstein, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Gabriel Kahane, but even with the impressive line up of composers, I still wasn’t sure what to expect. I weighed the options of donating vs. not donating to the Kickstarter fund, and decided it would probably be a good choice to donate because really, with all of these people involved in making the album (even down to DM Stith creating the artwork for the cover), how could it be bad?
Fast forward to September 10, when I received the e-mail with the downloads. Within the first 45 seconds into the first track, Son Lux’s “Beautiful Mechanical”, I was blown away by how beautiful it was. These songs each stand on their own as very distinct pieces, but come together to create a gorgeous collection of modern-classical orchestrations. I love that with each piece, the writer’s personality and style comes through to create something unique from the previous song.
The album, aptly titled Beautiful Mechanical conveniently comes out in two days on September 27 for your listening pleasure. Make your Sunday great and preorder it on Itunes.
St. Vincent’s new video for “Cruel”. Her new album comes out September 13, and I must say, I am pretty excited.
I’m loving this song today…the jazzy-bluesy guitar reminds me of Kings of Convenience a bit. And the trumpets, the trumpets are just lovely.