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Arts and Entertainment

St. Vincent @ The Echo, 08/04/07

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Last Saturday evening, the overwhelmingly beautiful, Audrey Hepburn-esque Annie Clark, a.k.a St. Vincent, performed a stellar set of songs from her latest Beggars Banquet release Marry Me. I've watched her play solo via the internet before, but her independent renditions just don't do her record justice. For the first time, Clark nearly duplicated the orchestral vibe strewn throughout her debut album, incorporating sampling and the backing of a three-piece band.

I'm beginning to believe that no single girl can out perform Clark on the guitar. She slays! As a backing musician for Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens, Clark has honed incredible musicianship that is even more apparent live than on recording. The effortless, graceful execution of rhythmically complex songs like "Now, Now" and "Your Lips Are Red" proved that she is ready for bigger things.

The seemingly older crowd demonstrated a profound respect for Clark. One man even hopped up on stage in order to rectify a mic-stand gone wrong. There seemed to be a resounding connection between performer and audience, a union solely derived from staggering music. The juxtaposition of pristine pop melodies and spasmodic fits of technical guitar lines is what makes her songs so eerily intriguing. Need I mention again that she's gorgeous?

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Other highlights included: Clark comically divulging "We're all going to hell", a freudian slip of sorts, in the middle of "Jesus Saves, I Spend", the use of a prosthetic arm device that emitted beats, lots of melodica, and mind-numbing renditions of "Now, Now", "Paris Is Burning" and "All My Stars Aligned".

Clark just landed the opening slots for The National dates in Southern California, but she'll be performing solo. I promise, she's just as enthralling. Catch her at the Wiltern on September 28th.