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St. Vincent On World Cafe | September 28, 2001

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Though Annie Clark began as a member of Sufjan Stevens' touring band and The Polyphonic Spree, those experiences do little to explain the incredible things that happen on Strange Mercy, her third album under the moniker St. Vincent. As if unleashed from the constraints of her previous work, Clark straight-up shreds. Of course, the pyrotechnics of Strange Mercy might have something to do with her time spent at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, a hotbed of Herbie Hancock fanatics and guitar-tapping virtuosos, where musicians cut their teeth in basement practice rooms on deep funk grooves like those in "Surgeon."

Clark always gives the impression that she's a curious songwriter and musician, unwilling to settle for the easiest or sweetest arrangements, but this record finds her letting her hair down more than on 2009's dense and beautiful Actor. She's mentioned that her songwriting process for Strange Mercy differed from Actor's in that she began by writing whole songs, rather than gluing together interesting snippets. The songs rely less on tight, complex orchestration, while leaving more room for Clark to tear things apart. Hear St. Vincent perform songs from Strange Mercy on this session of World Cafe. (link)

Playlist

HOUR 1

Beck "Nobody's Fault But My Own" Mutations
TV on the Radio "Second Song" 9 Types of Light
Local Natives "Sun Hands" Gorilla Manor
St. Vincent "Cheerleader" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
St. Vincent "Cruel" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
St. Vincent "Surgeon" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
St. Vincent "Year of the Tiger" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Dawes "Time Spent in Los Angeles" Nothing is Wrong
Aztec Camera "Oblivious" High Land, Hard Rain
Feist "How Come You Never Go there" Metals
Josh Ritter "Girl in the War" Paste Sampler

HOUR 2

The Decemberists "Valerie Plame" Always the Bridesmaid: A Single Series, VOL 1
Michael Penn " Brave New World" March
Wilco "Art of Almost" The Whole Love
The Jayhawks "She Walks in so Many Ways" Mockingbird Time
The La's "There She Goes" The La's
Ry Cooder "No Bankers Left Behind" Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down
Randy Newman "It's Money That Matters" Land of Dreams
Fitz & The Tantrums "Moneygrabber" Picking Up the Pieces
Aloe Blacc "I Need a Dollar" Good Things
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "Same Mistake" Hysterical
Thievery Corporation "The Numbers Game" Radio Retaliation
Lisa Hannigan "Knots" Passenger
Split Enz "One Step Ahead" Best Of: History Never Repeats
Vampire Weekend "Cousins" Contra