The Onion A/V Club has got the goods on St. Vincent’s nod and wink to Elvis Costello last night on Conan.
See, this is why we love St. Vincent: During last night’s appearance on Conan, Annie Clark made a clever allusion to one of the most famous musical performances in late-night history, starting off with an abbreviated take on Elvis Costello’s “Radio Radio” before stopping abruptly and launching into “Cheerleader” from last year’s A.V. Club Top 10 album Strange Mercy. Clark, of course, was referencing Costello’s 1977 appearance on Saturday Night Live, when he suddenly stopped playing “Less Than Zero” and then tore into “Radio Radio.” Clark even mimicked Costello’s quick inter-song aside—”I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, there’s no reason to be doing this song here”—though the context was a bit different. (“Less Than Zero” was a song about British politics and therefore had little resonance for an American audience, whereas “Radio Radio” tackled the more universal topic of bland, crappy broadcasting.) At any rate, you can check out both performances below.
The only downside to a stunt like this is that I kind of wish she’d kept playing ‘Radio Radio.’