"Which should we fear more? The future or the present? Well I love presents and presenting, so maybe the future."
Jan. 20, 2018. 8 p.m.
Annie Clark - aka St. Vincent - delivers these lines in a steely deadpan in a promotional video for her Fear the Future tour, in which she satirizes the banal and unimaginative questions artists and musicians are often faced with in promoting their work. With Clark, it's often hard to decipher the line between ironic self-deprecation and soul-bearing sincerity.
St. Vincent is bringing her boundary-pushing one-woman show to Portland's Keller Auditorium on Jan. 20. She will play through a chronological selection of fan-favorites from previous albums, as well as the entirety of her latest record "Masseduction."
Many fans of Clark's music are excited about the prospect of seeing her play older songs and deep cuts before plunging into newer tracks. "I’ve loved St. Vincent for a few of her albums (really since 'Marry Me', her first full length release in 2007) and 'Strange Mercy' is one of my all time favorite albums," said Brenna Intemann-Milligan, a student at Reed College. "I’ve been really impressed with Annie’s work as a guitar player and also with the guitars she helped create, so I’m really excited to see her play in person and hoping she plays some of her classics as well as some of the new songs!"
Clark, a virtuosic guitar player and multi-instrumentalist, has been a critical darling since her debut solo album "Marry Me" in 2007, and breaking through into the mainstream when her 2014 self-titled record won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. She has released an album with David Byrne of the Talking Heads, and in 2013 received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Performing Arts.
The new album, "Masseduction," continues this winning streak as it debuted at the number ten spot in the US Billboard 200 and appeared on dozens of 2017 best-of lists. An amalgam of electropop, glam rock, and new wave with a dash of psychedelia, "Masseduction" explores themes of sexual power dynamics, drug abuse, and imperiled relationships through Clark's personal brand of black humor.
"I really thought 'Masseduction' was a unique album, especially for Clark, as the synth overtones and psychedelic rock as well as dream pop really combined to make this album her most gritty as well as her most dream-like," said Avantika Vivek, who is a long-time St. Vincent fan and attending the Jan. 20 show.
Clark has called this record her most personal to date. "Every record I make has an archetype," she said. "Strange Mercy was Housewives on Pills. St. Vincent was Near-Future Cult Leader. Masseduction is different, it’s pretty first person. You can’t fact-check it, but if you want to know about my life, listen to this record."