Another year and the 2011 New Yorker Festival proved to be as successful as ever. With appearances by Zach Galafanakis, St. Vincent's Annie Clark and Junot Diaz, just to name a few, the festival had panels for every taste. One of the most awaited guests this year was journalist Janet Malcolm, author of Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession, In The Freud Archive and The Journalist and The Murderer. The discussion was led by Ian Frazier who's worked with Malcolm in The New Yorker and is best known for his contribution for "The Talk of the Town" and his best-selling book Travel in Siberia.
The El Rey, one of Los Angeles' more intimate venues, is the perfect backdrop for St. Vincent's performance. I was lukcy enough to experience this first hand at the concert last week. Though the location is standing room only, the sparkling chandeliers and dim lighting suggest elegance and charm that compliment the singer's dreamy, down-tempo vocals.
St. Vincent, the stage name of talented musician Annie Clark, is diminutive and humble, her only hint of defiance are the wild curls that cascade around her shoulders and bounce rebelliously in her face. The impressive voice that we were introduced to a couple of years ago when touring with Sufjan Stevens proves to be only more melodious in concert. What most were not aware of, however, is how talented and versatile, not only her band, which includes three men who alternate between violin, bass, flute, clarinet, saxophone, drums and woodwinds were, but St. Vincent herself, who expertly strums an electric guitar during vocal breaks and instrumental rifts. St. Vincent is not an emotionally devoid guitarist either, she seems to curl into her instrument, falling to her knees a couple of times, as though the emotion in the song were punching her in the abdomen.