Too often in music gender plays a role in how we perceive what we hear. Without second thought, we are quick to compare artists of the same gender. It’s natural–but it’s unfortunate. There is no better instance of this paradigm than tonight’s performance by St. Vincent and tUnE-yArDs at the Fox Theater. Both women are exceptional artists that are redefining music norms.
When St. Vincent, or Annie Clarke, debuted with her album, Marry Me, with a single of the same name–her sweet and delicate voice called to “John to marry me.” The lovely lullaby coupled with the album’s cover featuring Clarke’s gorgeous face and big doe eyes portrayed her like an elegant 50s housewife singing for her man to come home. If that’s all you knew of Clarke, than certainly you missed the eerie march of “Jesus Saves, I Spend” or darkly cruel tones of “Your Lips Are Red.” Her following album continued this stark contrast of sweetness dissolving into chaotic messes with dissonance guitars swirling into a frenzy on “Actor” and “Laughing With A Mouth of Blood.” A suitable comparison, Jimmy Page.
Then there is the Bay Area based Merril Garbus or tUnE-yArDs. Her booming voice not only distinguishes her, but defines her. At times her vocals serve as percussions or alarming tones. On “Gangsta” she mimic a cop’s siren, and later makes “bang bang” noises like gunshots. On “Yes You Are” her voice is at best softer, but remains as commanding as her lead single “Bizness” where she blurts midway “Lift up, dig up, lift up, dig up and bleed for me!” A suitable comparison, Jim Morrison.
You can catch a rare treat and see both artists tonight at the Fox Theater. Enjoy it, but whatever you do–don’t say “Wow! I didn’t expect that from her.” Find tickets to tonight’s show on our app.
Listen to St. Vincent’s “Cruel” below and tUnE-yArDs “Bizness.”