Annie Clark (aka: St. Vincent) is known for producing intricate, cerebral indie rock albums. Listen to her in interviews and she’s very articulate, intellectual and perhaps a bit deliberate. It’s easy to get the impression that she’s the type who is going to look before they leap. Over the past couple years, however, she’s also become known for live shows where she seems to go into her own little world, shred her guitar with ferocious intensity and melt your face off.
One particular performance that got the music blogosphere all atwitter was her cover of Big Black’s “Kerosene” from the “Our Band Could Be Your Life” tribute show featuring a variety of contemporary artists including Titus Andronicus, Tune-Yards and Dan Deacon playing songs by the independent bands from the 80’s that were featured in the book that was the show’s namesake. Here’s the video from the show:
Other shows she’s done (including the Coachella set I referenced the other day) have been just as intense. The difference between St. Vincent on the album and St. Vincent on the stage is pretty remarkable, although as a former member of the Polyphonic Spree, perhaps she knows that it’s pretty much impossible to duplicate the energy of a live show and put it out on an album, so she doesn’t try to do that, instead optimizing the studio sound to maximize its advantages. I’ve love to see a little more of her punk-styled side on the albums, but even if she just keeps doing what she’s been doing, it’s worth your while to sit up and listen.
Kerosene – St. Vincent