Music » Livewire

Nellie McKay

Thursday, March 6, at Nighttown, Cleveland Heights.

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We're convinced that piano-pounding singer-songwriter McKay will one day spend a considerable amount of time "resting" at a well-secured facility that doesn't stock sharp objects. She's bat-shit crazy, the kind of girl who'll squirt ketchup all over you at a restaurant and then call you a dickhead as she storms out. Until then, we're going to enjoy the 25-year-old New Yorker's records, like last year's Obligatory Villagers, which combines jazzy riffs, poppy melodies, and Broadway-bound arrangements. She writes and produces her own songs, which come so fast that two of her three albums are double-disc affairs. She even raps, busting rhymes like "I may listen to Enya's greatest hits/And try to control my hissy fits with pride/Won't get my hair dyed." McKay is a manic, funny, and compelling live performer. Go see her before she goes off the deep end for good.

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