Live: St. Vincent @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 4.06.09

St. Vincent
All photos by David Greenwald

On a brief promo tour for Actor, her long-awaited (by me) sophomore album, Annie Clark of St. Vincent stopped off at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Masonic Lodge to play a solo set. Surrounded by vintage movie posters and, beyond the cavernous room’s stone walls, thousands of wormy dead people, Annie played a spirited 40 minutes of soon-to-be-classics and a pair of golden oldies. While I’ll save my Actor review for its own post (spoiler: It is tremendous), the new songs are slippery, dark-bottomed wells of music requiring more than a few listens — and probably the immediacy of a live band. Annie’s more than charismatic, but there’s only so much passion you can you imbue a pre-recorded loop with if you’re not Jon Brion. In better gears news, it seems she’s picked up a few new guitar pedals since 2007′s Marry Me, all valuable additions — she was at her most commanding when she tore into the breakdowns, exhorting monstrous noises and glistening chimes out of her instrument. But the night’s highlight was a slow, simple performance of “Marry Me,” the gorgeous piano ballad that remains her best song. Joined by a violinist, she toyed with the melody and pondered over the chords with Socratic patience; would that she’d given a few of her recent numbers the same treatment. Until she’s on MTV Unplugged, though, we’ll just have to wait until she’s back in town on the official tour in May.

St. Vincent

St. Vincent – “The Strangers”: mp3

Previously: New St. Vincent Videos: “The Strangers” and “Marrow”

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Enterprising readers may have noticed an attempt at this post with a non-Thickbox clickable photo gallery earlier, but unfortunately the Picturesurf Gallery plugin was distorting my images, even after resizing — if anyone can recommend something that basically does the exact same thing without making the photos look shitty, I’m all ears.

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