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Nellie McKay: Obligatory Villagers - 9/25/07

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Nellie McKay: Obligatory Villagers - 9/25/07

Old 07-17-07, 12:15 PM
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Nellie McKay: Obligatory Villagers - 9/25/07

from pitchfork:

Nellie McKay Reveals New Album Details

No worse for wear following some major label finagling, era-defying songstress Nellie McKay returns September 25 with Obligatory Villagers, her third LP and second released via her own Hungry Mouse imprint.

The idiosyncratic vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter-- fresh off a Broadway run in The Threepenny Opera-- has crafted (perhaps not coincidentally) an album filled to the brim with the flair of musical theater. From the cheeky ukulele-and-tap-shoes "dance break!" in the middle of album opener "Mother of Pearl" to the chorus of brain-hungry zombies on a finale titled, yes, "Zombie", Villagers finds Nellie and her collaborators at their most lively and rambunctious.

Those collaborators include Bob Dorough, of "Schoolhouse Rock" fame, who lends vocals to several tracks on the new record.

"I just wanted to do all these songs in the Poconos," Nellie told Pitchfork recently, referring to the Northeastern Pennsylvania mountain region where she recorded Villagers. "It's kind of a homecoming. I mean, if you want to find a good person in the world, the Poconos are a good place to start."

While the new songs seem tailor-made for some musical-in-the-making, Nellie says there are no immediate plans to translate her tunes for that sort of stage. Although anything is possible: "If someone gave me this money, you know, I could [even] turn it into a painting."

McKay (which the lady herself pronounces "mik-EYE", FYI) likes to evade when describing her own compositions. Of new track "Identity Theft", she says, "Today I think it's a rumination on cubism. I'm not exactly sure."

With "Zombie" she's more forthright, if only slightly. "I think that everyone secretly wants to be a zombie," Nellie offered. And what about those whose autopilot, consumption-based lifestyles are already halfway there? "They don't go far enough with it," according to Nellie. "[They should] have a little more fun with it, go with the flow." Well all right then.

At only nine tracks, Obligatory Villagers will be Nellie's shortest album by a long shot. Her previous long-players-- 2004's Get Away From Me and last year's much-delayed Pretty Little Head-- were both double-disc affairs clocking in at around 20 songs apiece.

This wasn't a conscious move toward brevity on Nellie's part, however. "It just kind of ended up that way," she said with a laugh. "We always aim for less than 30 [songs]."

For now, Nellie has only one live date lined up-- an appearance on "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" on July 30. While she admits she'll probably do more shows at some point, she's not terribly keen on life on the road.

"I really don't like [touring] very much," she said.

Nellie did, however, have an encouraging experience performing at last month's Hove Festival. "We were recently in Norway and, aside the fact that there was no music crew anywhere, they were very nice to us. You talk about Michael Moore and Sicko and you get cheers. That was huge. [And the crowd was] standing in the rain and their clothes were covered with mud and they were singing and clapping along."

Since she's not planning to tour, what's Nellie to do next? "I think we'll just start working on the next album, you know? Just try to put one foot in front of the other."

Nellie will also contribute a ukulele rendition of the old tune "P.S. I Love You" (not the Beatles song) to the forthcoming film titled, yes, P.S., I Love You.

Obligatory Villagers:

1 Mother of Pearl
2 Oversure
3 Gin Rummy
4 Livin
5 Identity Theft
6 Galleon
7 Politan
8 Testify
9 Zombie

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I was disappointed with her last album but I'll probably still pick this up.
Old 07-17-07, 01:35 PM
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I was very disappointed in her last album but loved Get Away from Me. I'll probably want to hear a few tracks before I pick this up.
Old 07-17-07, 02:38 PM
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I thought her first album was great and the second was very minor-hit and big-miss.

The short song listing is a bit strange. She's either a tad uninspired and just getting an album out there or she's cleaned up the fat... which should have been done with her second disc but the whole label dispute had her clinging on to a double album that shouldve been a single album and a bunch of future box set b-sides.
Old 07-17-07, 08:19 PM
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love the first album. will give her another chance!

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