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Video: St. Vincent Rehearses For SXSW

I was never a big fan of St. Vincent, but I am now.

While attending this year's South by Southwest music conference and festival in Austin, Texas, All Songs Considered producer Robin Hilton and I trekked out to a practice space where Annie Clark and her band St. Vincent were rehearsing for an upcoming concert. It was in a dingy warehouse space that had been divided into dozens of small, mostly soundproof rooms. St. Vincent worked on new songs, including pieces that would get their first public hearing in front of an audience later that night at the Central Presbyterian Church in Austin. Musicians included Clark, singing and playing guitar, keyboards and samples; Daniel Hart on violin and keyboards; Evan Smith on clarinet, flute, saxophone and keyboards; Bill Flynn on bass and clarinet; and McKenzie Smith on drums.

I was particularly struck by how composed and orchestrated the music was. If I'd known Clark's history at the time, I'd have known that she'd attended the Berklee College of Music. She's a gifted guitarist, singer and songwriter.

What you are about to see are two new songs: "Actor out of Work" and "The Strangers." Both will be available on St. Vincent's album Actor, due out in May.

If you're a fan of St. Vincent, I'm wondering what you think of the new songs. If you're new to St. Vincent, what do you think of her music? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Bob Boilen
In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.