Based on the albums Annie Clark released under the name St. Vincent, I thought she was an incredibly impressive and intricately inventive musician. Then I saw her play live — during the tour to support the utterly magnificent St. Vincent — that I realized she was a bona fide rock star. I’m not sure anything Clark has ever put on record fully prepares a person for the experience of seeing her nonchalantly create sonic genius with her guitar.
If I had any hesitation whatsoever about Clark’s talent (and I didn’t), the doubt would have been erased by her appearance at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Nirvana was among the honorees, and they adapted to the sad absence of lead singer Kurt Cobain by inviting a series of women to handle lead vocal duties during the obligatory live reunion performance. The other guests were fine, but Clark absolutely owned “Lithium,” respectfully celebrating the original while added her own icy intensity to it. If the performance had been immediately followed by a spontaneous announcement that Clark, drummer Dave Grohl, and bassist Krist Novoselic were taking their newly-formed trio on the road, I would have followed them like a vintage Deadhead who never lost site of the tailpipe of Jerry Garcia’s tourbus. In my fantasy, they called the group NirVincent.
I tap out these memories as prelude. I’m seeing St. Vincent perform live tonight. I couldn’t be more excited. It’s not often in this day and age that I get to see a real, vital rock star on stage.
Listen or download –> NirVincent, “Lithium”
(Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge, the above track has never been officially released in a way that it can be purchased, at least not in a manner in which the original performers and the proprietor of your favorite local, independently-owned record store both make a reasonable amount of money. The track is shared in this space with that understanding. Even so, I know the rules. I will gladly and promptly remove this file from my little corner of the digital world if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)