We Are Dancing a Black Waltz

Tully Rohrer

December 20th, 2006

It has been snowing like I can’t believe out here in Colorado. We’ve had almost two feet on the ski mountain in the last two days, and it’s still coming down. As I hadn’t taken a picture in over a week, I had to brave the snowstorm yesterday for some new content. This is my sister Jamie being a great sport standing in the blizzard for an image. I actually would like to redo this one when it’s not a blizzard, but around here, the second it stops snowing the sun breaks through. So we won’t have the awesome monochrome feeling if we retry it. So excuse the noise - it’s just snowflakes.

If you know The Polyphonic Spree, you know some of the most annoyingly (and yet often wonderfully) joyous music in existence (see Thumbsucker Soundtrack). Which is why the sinister and melancholy solo work of Polyphonic Spree guitar prodigy Annie Clark, or St. Vincent, is so fascinating. Despite not releasing an album this year (aside from a concert-only EP), St. Vincent managed to release two of my favorite songs. One is called Paris is Burning, a sort of historical narrative in the form of a letter describing the fall of Paris. Her instrumentation in perfect accompaniment, Clark creates an apocalyptic atmosphere for her lyrics with rapid arpeggios, brooding bass, mild distortion, pounding drums, and dancing melodies. With lyrics like, “Come sit right here and sleep while I slip poison in your ear” emanating in a sultry, seductive, and yet ultimately evil intonation, Paris is Burning becomes the perfect art-pop song. I found this track in June, and have yet to take it off my daily playlists. If you enjoy hearing an artist take a concept and realize it perfectly, you’ll fully enjoy this song. Look out for the 2007 release of her tongue-in-cheekly titled debut album Marry Me - it won’t disappoint.

Bonus:
St. Vincent’s cover of Nico’s These Days is a beautiful tribute that manages to take a classic song, and, in my opinion, make it better. If I were to allow multiple tracks from artists on the top releases of 2006, both Paris is Burning and These Days would be on it…

Favorites of 2006:
#16: Islands - Rough Gem
#15: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife 3
#14: Headlights - Owl Eyes
#13: Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
#12: Thom Yorke - The Eraser
#11: Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton - Our Hell
#10: Band of Horses - The First Song
#09: My Brightest Diamond - Golden Star
#08: Danielson - Ship the Majestic Suffix
#07: Voxtrot - Warmest Part of the Winter
#06: St. Vincent - Paris is Burning

you have snow?! so jealous! I’m in Toronto and I wore shorts for part of the day last Sunday… so much for a white Christmas :(

marcDecember 20th, 2006

This is outstanding!

YvetteJanuary 14th, 2007

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