First off, I want to thank everyone who gave their opinion on the name-your-own-price Paste magazine offer. The consensus was that somewhere between $5 and $10 was pretty reasonable, so I went about halfway between those two numbers and sent in my an amount equal to my birth date (you'll have to figure that one out on your own).
These posts of mine about the 'XPN free-at-noon concerts have lately been falling into the "better-late-than-never" timespan, especially when I have more than a week between the concerts.
Not last Friday, but the Friday before that - October 26 - I went out to 'XPN to see Nellie McKay for free. I mentioned McKay's latest album, Obligatory Villagers, in my most recent "weekly" RIYL post (which - whoops - was over a month ago!) and the disc has only grown on me more since than.
McKay's songwriting is so sharp that it's easy to forget just how talented a musician she is. In concert, though, it's hard to miss - especially if you happen to be sitting about three feet from her like I was. She walks out on stage carrying a big stack of music books looking like some demure high schooler at a recital - and than goes and plays like a piano virtuoso, all the while singing those sharp lyrics of hers.
And speaking of lyrics, as sweet and innocent as she may look, McKay's latest release has a well-deserved "explicit lyrics" warning sticker on it, and it applies to most of the disc's songs. Somehow, though, so made it thought the broadcast-live-on-NPR show without needing to be beeped (not that those God-hating, youth-corrupting, amoral, commie-pinko public radio hippies would have censored her anyway) which was kind of a shame, since my favorite songs from the new disc are also some of the saltiest. Oh, well, it was still a fun (but way too short) show.