with special guests
Madison local band
Two years ago, Annie Clarks recorded debut as St. Vincent, Marry Me, gave immediate notice that a dizzying new talent had emerged from the flatlands of Texas. Critics from all points of the cultural compassfrom Pitchfork to Spin to the New York Times Magazinewere entranced by the albums precocious arrangements and elegant lyrics, and the steadily growing crowds at St. Vincents live shows were astonished by Clarks gargantuan musical chops and her magnetic stage presence. No small number of St. Vincent fans took the title of Marry Me literally, had their hearts duly broken, and wouldnt have had it any other way. The record was heralded as a remarkably successful entrance and Clark capped a year of international touring by winning the Plug Awards Female Artist of the Year.
Actor, St. Vincents beguiling, sophisticated new record, takes that debuts ambition as its starting point and never looks back. The arrangements are more masterful, the songwriting grander, the performances ever more confident and inspired. Clark developed an idiosyncratic writing process for Actor, immersing herself in some of her favorite filmsBadlands, Pierrot le Fou, The Wizard of Oz, Stardust Memories, Sleeping Beautyand beginning each song as a secret film score, then slowly giving it independence as its structure and lyrics came fully into focus. The resulting eleven tracks are as cinematic as pop songs can be, but the movie is a private one, revealing its storyline in hushed, cunning couplets and cascades of scathing guitar.
Here is a record to listen to with your eyes closed. Melodies are transposed and inverted. The fantasy of Disney is juxtaposed with the sweep of Morricone, David Mamets unsettling dramatic form and the alienation of Philip Roth. Igor Stravinsky scores Roger Cormans horror flicks.
The Strangers starts off as a deceptively dulcet elegy for a lost love, then suddenly capsizes under a flood of distortion. Actor Out Of Work is a devastating sonic kiss-off, complete with slyly poisonous lyrics and steamrolling guitars. The strings and woodwinds at the opening of Marrow might be escorting Dorothy to the Emerald City, or straight into the flying monkeys clutches. The crackerjack band, including supporting turns by McKenzie Smith and Paul Alexander of Midlake, has the crunch of a tank and the grace of a chamber ensemble.
If Marry Me served as the worlds introduction to Annie Clark, Actor may prove to be her coronation. As the terrifyingly beautiful movie inside Clarks head flickers across the screen, we can all feel privileged to be in the seats.
High Noon Saloon
701 E. Washington Ave
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|