To Do This Week
Tonight, check out Jonathon Boogie Long at Tipitina’s. Tomorrow you can see DJ Soul Sister at One Eyed Jacks. Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes are the Free Friday show at Tips with Mike Dillon. Saturday, The Cult are playing Champion Square with Bush and Stone Temple Pilots. Sunday, Vacationer and Sego are at Gasa. Tuesday, J. Cole and Young Thug are at the Smoothie King Center and Kraus is at Gasa.
To Listen This Week
- Great new track from Dilly Dally via Youtube
- Aphex Twin announces new EP and single via CoS
- New track and video from Marissa Nadler via Youtube
St. Vincent at Newport Folk Fest
One of the best bits of Newport Folk is the blends of genre Jay and his team bring to The Fort. There is a little something for everyone and all of it is worth seeing. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s rare to get a standard festival set at Folk—everyone brings something a little different—a bit special. I have had the good fortune to see Annie Clark as St. Vincent three times since February and a few times over the years before that, but the vision she brought to Newport was a profound experience among the many outstanding performances that I’ve seen from her. When she visited New Orleans in February on the Fear the Future tour she was alone on stage, but surrounded by a very carefully choreographed show involving multiple costume changes and a backing track set to keep focus on her voice, movement and guitar. In May at Hangout she brought a fully dystopian vision of musicians as reduced to automatons positioned merely to amuse. For this show she brought something completely different. Despite her position as one of best guitarists on the scene, Clark chose to play this show without personally playing anything—she was simply accompanied by Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett on piano. For an artist known for her high concept stage productions, this initially struck me as odd but it was absolutely ideal for Newport. Folk has always been focused on the artistry of songwriting and the joy of collaboration. For this performance, Clark and her good friend Bartlett fully exposed St. Vincent’s extraordinary songwriting talents. Her songs as recorded are a careful balance of the surreal and the personal—her voice and her guitar are often produced as if they are in discourse with one another. Her albums like her live performances have a carefully polished veneer—a concept and theme that run through them. This show still seemed delicately assembled but the focus was the emotion and strength of the songs themselves. If there were any flaws to be found, they would have been exposed in the simple elegance of this performance. I’m not sure it is possible to see Clark perform without thinking of her as “in character”—whether she intends it or not. This performance was no different. She did not peel back the mantel of St. Vincent but she did reveal an earnest affection for simple truths that reside in her songs.
Check out her version of “New York” from the fest here: