Nellie McKay in Portland

Last night I went to Portland to hear Nellie McKay play at the Aladdin Theater. I'd heard her double-cd debut, Get Away From Me and I was very interested in what her show would be like. It was just her playing a piano onstage, with no band backing her up—not that she needs a band behind her. She sings and plays like a force of nature, it was great. As Matt mentioned the other day, her music is hard to pin down to a specific genre. After the show we were talking about it as jazzy, sometimes spoken-word, david-lynchian, satirical, doris-day-on-acid sort of stuff (if that helps at all). And to top it all off, she's only 19—straight out of high-school band to touring with her own solo show. Matt posted a photo (and another) he took last night. There was a geeky moment outside the theater that went something like this:
matt: Nellie McKay is just inside the door over there.

pb: I should buy her CD and ask her to sign it.

matt: What CD? I downloaded it.

pb: Me too. Do you think she has a PGP signature?
So I didn't get an autograph. Is this something fans have considered about their stubborn insistence on downloading music? What are music artists going to sign if CDs go away? Wake up, people! The future of autographs is at stake.
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I thought of this a few years ago with some independent musician friends of mine whose albums I'd DOWNLOADED instead of buying (I know, I know...) and we thought how funny it'd be go to up to someone whose album you'd downloaded to say "Hey, will you sign my burnt copy of your CD?" Obviously I would never have the nerve to do something like that.

As for Nellie, she's a sweetheart. When we were talking in Philadelphia, people kept coming up to her asking her to sign things-- from CDs to the little venue programs on the tables. People are crazy.
Hi! You're reading a single post on a weblog by Paul Bausch where I share recommended links, my photos, and occasional thoughts.

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