NPR : World Cafe

Filed Under:

St. Vincent On World Cafe

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.

This segment originally aired on September 28, 2011.

Copyright 2011 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.

NPR

A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound

It was a simple idea: Would you, our listeners, tweet us poems for National Poetry Month? Your response contained multitudes — haiku, lyrics, even one 8-year-old's ode to her dad's bald spot.
WAMU 88.5

Eating Insects: The Argument For Adding Bugs To Our Diet

Some say eating insects could save the planet, as we face the potential for global food and protein shortages. It's a common practice in many parts of the world, but what would it take to make bugs more appetizing to the masses here in the U.S.? Does it even make sense to try? A look at the arguments for and against the practice known as entomophagy, and the cultural and environmental issues involved.

WAMU 88.5

A Federal Official Shakes Up Metro's Board

After another smoke incident and ongoing single tracking delays for fixes, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a shake-up of Metro's board.

NPR

'The Guardian' Launches New Series Examining Online Abuse

A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.