No Relation to Ian, Far's We Know

You probably know someone who, if they were not so ferociously nice-looking, would be a giant nerd. Nellie McKay is like that; as a musician, she's also a semiclassically trained, uh-oh intelligent, and liltingly tuneful young songbird. Her sorta Tin-Pan-Alley–inspired songs recall Stephin Merritt's gleeful genre-fucking or a particularly lucid Liza Minnelli stage show. We love her so much we caused a ruckus at her last concert — think of the musicians you love that much, and how exceptional they are, and your extreme good fortune to be inside their cult. Rufus Wainwright, maybe, or a much less serious Leonard Cohen. Her new record, Home Sweet Mobile Home, is not that great, (or, quite possible with this one, maybe we and most of the critics just don't understand what she's doing) and we don't care anyway since it has the ukulele-spiced "Please" on it, a perfect confection including the lyric "Please, lady, gift me with genius not pleasure."
Sat., Oct. 30, 8 p.m., 2010

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