PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Events

Alice Smith: 5 February 2013 - New York

At Alice Smith's show, one fan exclaimed she would win a Grammy after witnessing her dynamic songwriting capabilities, on songs like "Ocean", "Shot" and "Another Love" from her forthcoming album She.

Alice Smith

Alice Smith

City: New York
Venue: Rockwood Music Hall
Date: 2013-02-05

PopMatters had a terrific interview with Alice Smith after a brief residency at Joe's Pub at the end of last year. This year, Smith decided to further test drive songs off her forthcoming album She, an album that she successfully raised funds for through Kickstarter, after leaving a major label. This time she chose another intimate venue, Rockwood Music Hall, for an opportunity to speak and sing directly to her fans.

Smith's humorous banter reflected this connection. Despite knowing beforehand there was a small hole in the stage, she explained she chose to wear high heels anyways. And she regularly checked on how the audience was doing. She may have wanted to ask again after her performance of "Cabaret". The song was sweltering, at first teasing the audience with Smith's acapella intro then, as the beat drops, the song really starts to swing and the repetitive funky rhythms carry her soaring voice.

As Smith prefaced the first single from She, "Ocean" she said asked press not to judge her incorrectly, as it was her first live performance of the song. To be fair, it had become my favorite song on the new album, and her performance of this resplendent love song was very dutiful, but when she asked for feedback at the end, I wasn't willing to share more than cheers. One fan (her "new friend" as she called him) wasn't shy though and made some suggestions about the last part, to which Smith replied, "See? That's why I asked."

On another one of the new songs, "Shot", Smith had a bit of difficulty recalling the lyrics, but the music didn't stop as she glanced at her guitarist mid-song for help before a gleeful look appeared on her face as the words came back to her. The staccato of her voice as she sang "shot in the hea-heart", gave the added punch to the rousing song. This dynamic capacity of Smith's voice is demonstrated well across the new material, which is probably why her "new friend" exclaimed she should win "a mother-fucking Grammy" after the song "Another Love". Smith laughed, along with the audience, at comment off brushing aside the cursing with a joking "you did not". This was the same song she suggested could be her favorite.

Following a cover of Nina Simone's "Work Song", Smith reached the conclusion of her set with the title song "She". This near riotous piece is an affirmative work that reaches to the core of Smith's gut and ended with a wrenching cry. The powerful songs on She show how much breadth Smith has and how, as PopMatters' reviewer put it, can satisfy many musical appetites. The vitality of her live performance is unencumbered by the weight of expectations from a record label, so now Smith is free to either rain fire and brimstone down on an audience or to seduce them as she sees fit.

Check out a larger gallery of images over at PopMatters' Facebook page!

Setlist:

Break

Overboard

Cabaret

Dream

Martha

Ocean

Far Away

Shot

Be Easy

Fool for You (Cee-Lo Green)

Another Love

The One

Love Endeavor

Work Song (Nina Simone)

She

* * *

Alice Smith concludes her residency at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City tonight. Tickets may still be available here. If you aren't sure if you want to go, visit the OkayPlayer website and listen to "Ocean".

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.