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Regina Spektor @ Town Hall: Moscow on the Hudson
The mighty Regina Spektor returned to her homebase tonight after continuing to conquer the world with her witty lyrics and lush piano playing. It seems that our own little Russian red head is starting to become immensely popular with the general public. I can of like her at her popularity now -- not big enough to headline amphitheaters and too big to play small venues.
Before you know it, she'll join the ranks of other well-publicized singer-songwriters like Tori Amos, Fiona Apple and Sarah McLachlan (Norah Jones can still stuff it).
* Ain't No Cover
* The Flowers
* Small Town Moon
* Baby Jesus
* Ode to Divorce
* Pound of Flesh
* Poor Little Rich Boy
* Human of the Year
* Music Box
* The Wallet
* Bobbing for Apples
* That Time
* On the Radio
* Sailor Song
* Apres Moi
* Carbon Monoxide
* Your Honor
* ENCORE:Ghost Of Corporate Future
* Hotel Song
The Regina Spektor we find on Begin to Hope is ready to rock out and embrace guitars, strings and some drums. The results are pleasantly assuring that she won't go all out pop queen. I think it was important for her to break out of the female singer-songwriter piano genre. A whole album of piano-based, jazz, classical and cabaret music works, but a second time it wouldn't seem fresh. Songs such as "Better" and "On the Radio" has more straight forward pop sound, but they don't loose her knack for crafting involving lyrics.
Her new live show tonight builds upon the "her and the piano" concept she's displayed when I saw her open for Keane last year. The night began with her and microphone, then she did her thing that she's known for on the piano. It's a true performance from her tonight. I know she's bashful on stage, but it makes it all the more charming. She'll be heavily into a song, stop, look around, giggle to herself and then continue. Tonight, she asked if there was a cop around. When nobody came forward, she explained, "Okay then. Will the person smoking pot please stop? It's making me ill." That's awesome. Not as good as when she told a guy to "fuck off" at Radio City, but memorable.
I'm glad she mixed things up now, alternating between her on piano, her of guitar and her with a three-piece backing band. My limit for her and a piano is probably at an hour, after that, I would have gotten fidgety. She has such a wealth of material from two studio albums and her early work that it's important that it's new and exciting for her to as well as her adoring fans.
I think the reason I dig Regina and I have her in my top 5 favorite current singer-songwriters is that she can take such an ordinary occurrence or image and a complete song will come of it. "Music Box" is a playful song about somebody playing in a bath. "Bobbing for Apples" is about people fucking to her song. My first question to her if I ever interview her is what song are people fucking to.
The local gal played for almost an hour and 45 minutes, never a dull moment since her songs are snappy and not-too flowery. It easy to see why she has a strong fan base, her lyrics aren't pedestrian. You can tell she puts a lot of thought into each song.
So Regina has grown out of the local anti-folk music scene in New York and no longer needs The Strokes to tout her goods. Hopefully, she remain true to her sound and not enlist Timbaland to producer her next opus.