Keren Ann: 8.Dec.2010 – New York

Keren Ann’s entire set list Wednesday night at Joe’s Pub in New York City was an arc—a long crescendo, and then decrescendo, sustained by her dynamic vocals and small trio. Beginning in a near whisper with “All the Beautiful Girls”, and then growing gradually with “Chelsea Burns”, Ann was leading three-part harmonies and strumming a reverbed Les Paul by her third number, “The Harder Ships of the World”. Trumpet player Avishai Cohen seemed to struggle with the delicate tone demanded by her songs. Likely not warmed up (Ann had mentioned arriving at JFK hours earlier), he simply was incapable of playing cleanly and softly. (This didn’t stop the crowd from whooping when he later added wah-wah effects to some more animated songs and lines.)

“Blood on My Hands”, a bold new number from Ann’s pending Spring release 101, was playfully macabre. It prompted an admirer from the bar to loudly compliment all night, which she coyly absorbed the rest of the night. Ann’s demure attitude seemed to bolster the cunning tone of many her new upbeat numbers—namely “My Name Is Trouble”. It also emphasized the malleability of her vocals. Ending the evening, she played two acoustic solo songs. The first, John Lennon’s “Love”, was appropriate not only for the 30-year anniversary of his death, but also for her moptop. She closed with an early original, “Where No Endings End”.


All the Beautiful Girls

Chelsea Burns

The Harder Ships of the World

It Ain’t No Crime

Lay Your Head Down

Blood On My Hands

Sugar Mama

Not Going Anywhere

In Your Back

For You and I

My Name Is Trouble

Sail and Widow


Love (John Lennon cover)

Where No Endings End