Concert Reviews

The message behind St. Vincent's weird, futuristic new persona

When Annie Clark of St. Vincent took the stage with the rest of her band, it was with the same kind of choreographed ritual that informed the rest of the performance. Her hair these days seems to belong to a visitor from either outer space or the future, as are her clothes and the aforementioned choreography of movement. But they're simply another expression of Clark's creative growth. Like David Byrne, David Bowie and Laurie Anderson before her, Clark has given us with her new, self-titled album, a whole creative work rather than just a new side of her songwriting or a bigger and better light show and set to go with her more expansive budget.

Her manufactured creative identity is a work of art in itself that somehow also doesn't mask the real human emotions and experiences behind the songs. In that way, like her inspirations, Clark used this rock theater to both entertain and to communicate deeply personal thoughts that might otherwise be too confessional.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.