With her sweet, gossamer voice, vivacious smile, blond curls, and affection for Doris Day, Nellie McKay would seem to be the epitome of the ditzy, amiable lightweight. But McKay, an actress, former standup comic, multi-instrumentalist, and razor-sharp lyricist, takes her music seriously and often readily subverts her gee-willikers image with lacerating satire about the troubled state of the world. Her savvy, irony-free arrangements of Day's canon and just-sly-enough, supple voice put Normal As Blueberry Pie on many 2009 album-of-the-year lists. McKay's followup, the all-originals Home Sweet Mobile Home, widely roams from '50s pop to indie rock via reggae, trad jazz, Latin, blues, and soul, while she coyly rails about shadowy dark forces and injustice. She returns to the Dakota, leading her own versatile sextet for the first time. (Photo by Rick Gonzalez)
Thursdays, Fridays, 7 p.m. Starts: Jan. 20. Continues through Jan. 21, 2011
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