Unlike many of her girl-and-her-piano contemporaries, Alison Scott looks past Tori Amos for inspiration and into the golden age of the singer-songwriter, when Carole King, Stevie Wonder, and many others hammered out a more timeless brand of piano ballad, one that could conjure up your own real emotions instead of asking you to identify with theirs. Sure, the Amos acolytes have their place and some have even improved on the Amos business model, but Scott's songs seem to be designed to cast a wider net and are deceptively damaged and clever, sneaking up on you quietly instead of just bashing you over the skull. Her output is nothing spectacularly innovative, but where exactly is it written that you have to be innovative to be enjoyable? The hipsters looking for the next thing to latch onto (only to discard it weeks later when it becomes popular) won't like it, but Scott doesn't seem remotely interested in such considerations. Indeed, this show is free, giving no one person or group of people special treatment—a mighty slap in the face to the many Minneapolitans who bask in their "VIP" status, and a warning shot intended for those who expect it. 21+.
Wed., Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., 2008