It was a good weekend for little girls. At Saturday’s Index Festival in Deep Ellum, GZA of Wu-Tang fame brought nine-year-old Abigail onstage before a crowd in motion.
“When you do this,” GZA said, taking the tiny blonde’s fist and raising it in the air, “they do it too.”
And there were four-year-olds – literally, and in spirit – onstage Sunday night at McFarlin Auditorium. Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent, greeted her hometown alongside the legendary David Byrne during a knockout performance the two shared of songs from Love This Giant. (See Cary Darling’s review for the Fort Worth Star Telegram and Andy Odom’s thoughts for DC9 At Night for more.)
Clark brought her four-year-old niece Stella onstage and led her in circles as the she, Byrne and their band closed the show with the Talking Heads’ “Road to Nowhere.” It turns out Clark first heard the song “Burning Down The House” – and David Byrne — when she was 4, while watching the scene in Revenge of The Nerds when the Alpha Betas set fire to their frat house.
Clark marched around with Stella, crouched low to stay at the child’s level, her knees loose as horn players trailed them. It was easy to see her as a wiry ’80s kid roused by such a subversive groove. It was palpable, the awe Clark must feel at sharing a record and a stage with Byrne: the two of them were a strange and wonderful match, and it seemed he was just as impressed to be at her side.
Their apt team-up for Talking Heads staple “This Must Be The Place” was so grounding and powerful, we’re still thinking of songs they’d do perfectly well to cover as duets. Here are two:
Brian Eno, “I’ll Come Running To Tie Your Shoe” Another Green World, 1975
This ballad is subtly bleak, like the idyllic but always admittedly allusive pursuits in both St. Vincent and Talking Heads songs. Imagine that harmony in the chorus.
Nina Simone, “My Baby Just Cares For Me” ‘Little Girl Blue’ 1958
Grandiosity validated by self-consciousness translated into adorable here. And that’s pretty much what David and Annie have going on as a duo.