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Interview with Annie Clark aka St. Vincent

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Besides being adorable and ridiculously talented, Annie Clark aka St. Vincent is a total smart ass. If we hadn't read her interview with John Vanderslice (who she is opening for tomorrow night at the Largo), we might have mistaken her flippant humor for dry insults. But no, she's being funny and we love her for that.

So we asked the former Polyphonic Spree multi-instrumentalist some questions that would throw her, but it appears that when you're a former Spreer and someone who has played in the Sufjan Stevens band, there's not a lot that some blogger can throw at you that you can't ball up and whip right back.

As you will see...

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LAist: Name someone famous you have an unexplainable crush on.

St. Vincent: Neil Young…and Crazy Horse.

Is there a summer movie you're looking forward to?

Zoe Cassavette's "Broken English," starring Parker Posey.

Where do you like to eat when you're in LA?

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I had the best sushi ever in a strip mall off of Hollywood! The place is really nondescript. So nondescript, in fact, that I can't remember the name of it.

On the road I'm sure you run across varying levels of cleanliness in the hotels. Are there certain things that you do, or avoid touching when you're in a particularly creepy hotel or motel?

Oh dear! I have seen some pretty ghastly things in my days. I recently stayed in a Microtel that had a particularly disconcerting red stain all over the sheets. I consoled myself by thinking it was just the Kool-Aid stain from a cult suicide.

You were in the Polyphonic Spree and now you're touring with John Vanderslice - is it possible to be surrounded by more friendly people? With that said, who is nicer John or the Spree?

You forgot to throw Sufjan in the mix. That's one brutal, vicious "nice-off."

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Hollywood Records is the label that the Spree was signed to in 2004 when Together We're Heavy came out. And even though that was the time that most people first heard of the band, that cd never really truly took off. Why is it that Hollywood has such a hard time breaking new bands? Have they ever had a serious hit?

Wait, didn't they Break Benjamin?

In your blog last year you mentioned that Steve Albini is a genius, did he engineer any tracks off your forthcoming record? If so what was that experience like? If not, was it because he was a meanie?

My experience with Steve Albini included gossiping about U.S.S.R.-made
tube microphones through a dense cloud of cigarette smoke. This was
heaven to me.

Are Albini and Vanderslice the premiere purist producers who charge very low fees for the projects they believe in?

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They are both ace in my book. As for their books, you'd have to ask them.

Soon you will be going on tour with the Arcade Fire. How do you plan on competing with their big huge grand show and sound?

By starting an actual fire.

The music that you have on your Myspace page is awesome. Very inventive and creative and fresh-sounding. Clearly you get your inspiration from places other than radio - care to share with us one of them that spoke to you that helped you get a song off the new cd?

Thanks very much. "Marry Me" was my stab at D'Angelo's "Voodoo." Loose Handclaps? Those kill me!

From what I can tell from photos from the Brooklyn Vegan, Mr. Vanderslice goes into the crowd from time to time to play, and we know the Arcade Fire likes to head into the audience - so can we expect you to fly into the crowd when you come to the Largo here in LA?

I'll be levitating, yes.

What's the most diva thing on your rider?

Between you and me, I specify that there be no melon on the fruit spread. (I've actually yet to receive a fruit spread, so this is rather irrelevant...) But god help the cantaloupe that dare cross my path one day...

St. Vincent plays tomorrow with John Vanderslice at the Largo and her first solo record, Marry Me, comes out on July 10th

photo by tod seelie