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Love in 30 Seconds Flat
June 26, 2009 — 3:17 am

Toward the end of Letterman on Wednesday night, a band named St. Vincent started playing:

So, from the eight-second mark when the band starts playing, through the one-minute mark, I’m barely paying attention at all — doing something or other on the laptop. Then the horns kick in, and the singer’s fuzzed-out Sonny Sharrock–style guitar, and by the 90-second mark I’m sitting bolt upright, jaw dropped, and I’ve fallen in love. “Oh, wow, where has this band been all my life?” I’m thinking. Then there’s the guitar solo starting at 2:21, where it kinda seems like she’s channeling Marc Ribot and Adrian Belew simultaneously, layered onto a foundation of solid Sharrock. It’s as though somebody decided to reverse-engineer my psyche to create music specifically tailored to snare my affections in 30 seconds flat.

Then it’s off to Google, searching for more info about this mystery band. A quick Wikipedia scan later, and I realize that I know exactly who that is on vocals and guitar — Annie Clark. Not only that, but I’ve seen her live, six or seven years ago at the Birchmere. She’s Tuck & Patti‘s niece, and she toured with them for a while as a solo/guitar opening act. I’ve seen Tuck & Patti live several times, after becoming a fan during the late ’80s after seeing their stunning arrangement of a Jimi Hendrix medley on the long-defunct OPB show “Video Spin.” That particular video seems to be missing from the Internets, but a newer (and more complete, anyway) performance is available online:

Here’s a song that Patti wrote about her niece, which I heard for the first time that night at the Birchmere:

When I came home from work today, insisting that Justin watch the St. Vincent Letterman clip, all excited about this new band I’d discovered, he pointed out that he’d already discovered them — and so he had. But I guess I had, too, in a way, all those years ago.

I’ll conclude with this nice Annie Clark rendition of “Dig a Pony”:


— Eric D. DixonComments (0)

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Eric D. Dixon

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