All Saints Day: St. Vincent's Proposal to the 7th Street Entry

Daniel Corrigan

Better Than: A Saint Vitus show? St. Vincent is the solo project of one Annie Clark, a Texas girl with a very Texas-sounding name. She has translucent skin, and tonight, she wears a shapeless white shift—the impression is that she might be an angel, fresh from the tuberculosis ward. This tour, she brought a band along; Clark is a crackerjack multi-instrumentalist, but it's nice to see her up there with a fiddle player who can give her chiming guitar a slinky partner for a pas de deux. This girl's soprano whispers are filled with instinctual wisdom and a cutting sense of self-possession—but when she feels the music driving up the tension around her, she jitters and jerks while thrashing on her guitar like a rock-besotted kid. "Marry me John/Marry me John/I'll be so good to you," promises Clark as she sings the torchy ballad of a title track from her new album. Later, one of many would-be grooms in the audience call out,"I'm John!" Though she's not jaded, Clark seems like a lady who's heard it all before. Looking down at her guitar, she responds absent-mindedly: "Oh, who isn't John?" "We've playing a lot of songs tonight that are about love, and so is this one. I mean murder. I get them confused," she says before starting into "Bang Bang." She must be one of the coolest, driest things in her hometown of Dallas. Critic's Notebook Personal Bias: I'm also madly in love with Regina Spektor, Feist, and Nellie McKay, so there are certain predispositions at work here. Random Detail: St. Vincent used a mannequin arm as a percussive device at one point. Did Saint Vitus ever do that? Okay, they might have done stuff with an entire mannequin, but I don't really want to know about it. By the Way: The lass occasionally plays guitar with the Polyphonic Spree—she's toured with 'em, and is on their latest album.

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