St. Vincent – MassEducation
Last year Annie Clark released her fifth studio album – MASSEDUCATION – this record was one of my favorites of the year. To my ear it didn’t quite reach the same heights as 2014’s St. Vincent – but nonetheless an amazing record. Clark has followed up this month with a complete reimagining of the MASSEDUCATION songs. Here she is accompanied by her longtime friend and collaborator Thomas Bartlett with little more than piano and her accompanying vocals. This is the material that Clark and Bartlett used as the basis of their outstanding Newport Folk Festival performance. I cannot stress the excellence of this recording enough. Often when musicians set about reimagining a record the results merely dilute the original meanings of the songs. Clark doesn’t fall into that trap here, the songs take on new life in these pared down versions revealing an emotional depth that is obscured by the big production sound on the earlier recordings. Certainly these recordings make a strong argument for Clark as one of the most nuanced songwriters and performers of our time. Here she is channeling these great moments of bare solo performance in the vein of Nick Cave or Cat Power. There is a rawness in the songs that is exposed through these versions. For his part Bartlett knows just how far to carry the piano arrangements. He nods to the original versions without retaining the weight of their production – and at the perfect moments he pulls back and leaves Clark to fend for herself alone with her voice and poetry. The result is stunning.
Check out the new version of “Savior” below.
Kero Kero Bonito Wednesday at the Hi-Ho
Wednesday night London based electro pop ensemble Kero Kero Bonito drops into the Hi-Ho. The group just dropped a surprise record at the start of October. Time’n’Place sees the group add a bit more of an indie rock edge to their sound but the overall effect is still very much their own. This will be a great chance to see them in an intimate setting. Check out the video for “Make Believe” below.
To Do This Week
Tonight you can catch We Were Promised Jetpacks at the Parish. Tomorrow White Denim is at One Eyed Jacks. Sunday the amazing Whose Hat Is This? are at Gasa Gasa. Tuesday Alice in Chains rolls into the Saenger while The Crooked Vines play Gasa. Wednesday Kero Kero Bonito are at the Hi-Ho.
To Listen This Week
- Watch Car Seat Headrest cover OutKast’s “Hey Ya” via Youtube
- Charlie XCX has released a great new track and video “1999” via Youtube
- New music from Speedy Ortiz vis CoS