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Tickets are $22 in advance, $27 day of show (including all service charges). They are also available through Hold My Ticket (112 2nd St SW), 505-886-1251, Monday to Friday 9 AM - 6 PM, Sat & Sun 11 AM - 6 PM.
Nellie McKay [web site | Amazon.com] began playing her own songs (and lovingly chosen covers) in clubs in downtown New York City in 2003, soon catching the attention of music writers and a number of record labels—this gal was a gifted entertainer, an impressive musician, with songs unlike anything people were hearing around town. Her first album, Get Away From Me, was produced by Geoff Emerick, the man who had engineered The Beatles' albums from Revolver through Abbey Road.
McKay and Emerick reunite for My Weekly Reader, her new album. McKay covers songs from the era of political turmoil and creative delight by Frank Zappa ("Hungry Freaks, Daddy"), Ray Davies ("Sunny Afternoon"), Paul Simon ("Red Rubber Ball"), Country Joe McDonald ("Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine"), and then some.
"It's important for us to be aware and not succumb to what (jazzman) Dave Frishberg has referred to as 'weapons of mass distraction,'" says Nellie. "These songs come out of a time of less cynicism—back in the 60's the darker things in society were balanced by a certain innocence and hope."
"The assortment of different tunes here suggests that McKay understands the complexity of the past and reveals her empathy for a more hopeful time when love and peace were fresh thoughts rather than a debased slogan," wrote PopMatters in a review of My Weekly Reader. "Like the elementary school magazine from which she took as the title to her album, the album offers a fresh and optimistic look at the world. She's not reliving her childhood, but McKay’s educating her and future generations about the not-so-distant past when life seemed more open to possibilities."
Since her last album, Nellie has indulged an extended run in the award-winning off-Broadway hit "Old Hats" and written three acclaimed musical biographies—"I Want to Live!", the story of Barbara Graham, third woman executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin; "Silent Spring: It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature," an exploration of environmental pioneer Rachel Carson; and "A Girl Named Bill: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton," named one of the Best Concerts of 2014 by the New York Times.
Nellie has previously released five full-length albums, including Pretty Little Head, Obligatory Villagers and Normal as Blueberry Pie ("among the killer overhauls of American standards"—the New York Times). She has won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of "The Threepenny Opera" and performed onscreen in the films "PS I Love You" and "Downtown Express," as well as writing original music for the Rob Reiner film "Rumor Has It" and contributing to the Emmy-winning documentary, "Gasland."
Nellie's music has been heard on the TV shows "Mad Men," "Boardwalk Empire," "Weeds," "Grey's Anatomy," "NCIS" and "Nurse Jackie," and she has appeared on numerous TV shows, including "The Late Show with David Letterman" (with the Brooklyn Philharmonic). Her writing has appeared in The Onion, Interview and The New York Times Book Review.
Opening the show is local singer/songwriter Sage Harrington. Sage's music sounds as if Regina Spektor had kidnapped a bluegrass band: she sings in her clear soprano, strums a ukulele, and secretly bows a fiddle. The silly songs she's written act as a catalogue of the mundane details of everyday life. Like refrigerator lights? Like it when soap floats? Then listen up! Local iQ says, "serious she is—seriously fun... Harrington giggles and bubbles on stage. Equal parts ukulele, fiddle, vocal range and charm..." Sage also performs in the Happy Gland Band with Jared Putnam.
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