This past weekend, St. Vincent released MassEducation, her radically reworked new version of MASSEDUCTION, the album that she released last year. Where MASSEDUCTION was an experiment in bright, intense day-glo pop music, MassEducation takes all those same songs and transforms them into minimal torch-song ballads. Both versions, it turns out, can make for some great live performances.
Every so often, Jimmy Kimmel Live decamps from its Los Angeles studio and tapes a week of shows at Brooklyn’s BAM Opera House. Kimmel is currently in the middle of one of those Brooklyn weeks, and even though St. Vincent’s not really a New York artist, she made for a pretty appropriate musical guest. She sang the reworked voice-and-piano version of the MASSEDUCTION single “New York,” and it ruled.
Annie Clark sang the song with Thomas Bartlett, otherwise known as Doveman, playing piano, and with no other accompaniment. This meant that we got to hear the clear, empathetic force of her voice. It also meant that she had to change “motherfucker” into “other sucker” on the chorus. (She tried to sneak one “motherfucker” in, but Kimmel censors never sleep.) The performance was staged in a very cool way that I don’t want to spoil. And since it double as a plug for a fancy Google camera, it also had some slick cinematography. Watch it below.
MassEducation is out now on Loma Vista.