YouTube Live: St. Vincent enjoys “These Days” in Brooklyn

on July 10, 2009, 11:30am

Annie Clark, also known as St. Vincent, is a shining diamond in both the recording booth and on stage. As a multi-instrumentalist and one who can hold notes well past the city limit, St. Vincent manages to do it all. So when she tries her hand at something so simple as an acoustic rock song from the ’60s, it’s pretty amazing to witness her effortlessly revive the old.

When Velvet Underground starlet, Nico, released “These Days” in 1967 on Chelsea Girl, it was the apex of her solo career. Now that the song is over 40-years-old, this melancholy number is one of the most covered songs in rock n’ roll history. Though quite overplayed, St. Vincent twists the cliches and churns out her own unique offering, one that is worthy of anyone’s time.

Recorded live from her hometown of Brooklyn, at Atlantis Sound and Union Hall, this sit down performance is interesting because it differs from her past work. While most of St. Vincent’s tunes rely on synth lines, roaring experimental, electric guitar parts and roller coaster-like vocal ranges, she flips the coin here. As she sits poised and eloquent, almost as if she’s a porcelain doll, it all starts to feel very organic and natural — and that’s beautiful.

Looking back, a lethargic, baggy eyed and stone-faced St. Vincent reveals that you don’t have to deliver an enthusiastic stage presence to produce good music. This focused calm that she places herself in, as she delicately plucks her electric guitar underneath her warm and, dare I say it, timeless voice, suggests how appropriate it is that she’s a full-time performer.

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