Obligatory Villagers is the third studio album by Nellie McKay, was released on September 25, 2007. The album is brief compared to both of her past releases, which both had total times of around an hour. However, the total time of Villagers is roughly equivalent to that of the individual discs on both of her double-disc releases. Bob Dorough appears as a guest vocalist on several tracks. Many of the musicians on the album reside in the Poconos, particularly the Delaware Water Gap area. Having been a COTA Cat, Nellie got to know the musicians that appear on this record. Nancy Reed, a voice teacher in Stroudsburg, sings with her on "Politan." Nellie McKay was Nancy Reed's first student.
Category:Nellie McKay albumsThis text has been derived from Obligatory Villagers on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Nellie McKay (born Nell Marie McKay), is an American singer-songwriter, actor, and former stand-up comedienne, noted for her critically acclaimed albums, and for her Broadway debut in The Threepenny Opera (2006), for which she won a Theatre World Award. Her music has showcased different genres, from jazz to rap and disco to funk.
Nellie McKay was born in London to writer-director Malcolm McKay and actress Robin Pappas. While growing up, she lived with her mother in Harlem, Washington state, and rural Pennsylvania.
McKay studied jazz voice at the Manhattan School of Music, but did not graduate.
Her performances at various New York City music venues, including the Sidewalk Cafe and Joe's Pub, drew attention from record labels. She signed with Columbia Records.
Get Away from Me
The recording sessions for McKay's debut album Get Away from Me took place in August 2003 with Geoff Emerick as producer. Emerick was known for working as The Beatles' engineer on such albums as Revolver and Abbey Road. The title is a play on Norah Jones' Come Away with Me. McKay is said to be the first woman to release a double album as her first release. Originally, her contract with Columbia called for 13 songs, but McKay aggressively lobbied her label for a double album, including bottles of wine, a PowerPoint slideshow, and a mock photo of her threatening Emerick with a gun. (Allmusic).
Get Away from Me was released in February 2004. Jon Pareles of The New York Times called the album "a tour de force from a sly, articulate musician who sounds comfortable in any era." The album was included on several "Best of 2004" lists.
McKay was one of the major breakout artists from the 2004 SXSW Festival and was a finalist in the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize. She toured amphitheaters across the northern United States in July 2004 as an opening act on the first half of the Au Naturale tour co-headlined by Alanis Morissette and Barenaked Ladies.
Rumor Has It...
McKay wrote and recorded several songs for the motion picture Rumor Has It.... The songs were released on the iTunes Store on 27 December 2005.
Pretty Little Head
Pretty Little Head was released in the United States on 31 October 2006 on McKay's own label, Hungry Mouse, and was marketed by SpinART Records. The album was divided into two discs and included a 44-page color booklet. The album included the intended 23 tracks as originally planned. Release of the album in other countries, including Canada, was delayed until 21 November 2006.
After SpinART declared bankruptcy in 2007, Pretty Little Head was released by Sony.
The Threepenny Opera
McKay made her Broadway debut as Polly Peachum in the Roundabout Theatre Company's limited-run production of The Threepenny Opera, co-starring with Alan Cumming, Jim Dale, and Brian Charles Rooney. The role earned her a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance.
McKay's third full-length studio release debuted on 25 September 2007. With both of her previous albums lasting over 60 minutes and spanning two discs each, Obligatory Villagers, with only nine tracks (ten if purchased from iTunes), totalling just about 30 minutes was her shortest release to date. The album was produced on Nellie's own label, Hungry Mouse, and released by Vanguard Records.
The album was recorded at , in the Pocono Mountains, where Nellie went to high school. She chose the studio because many of her heroes and teachers record there, and used many of them on the recording.
Normal as Blueberry Pie - A Tribute to Doris Day
On October 13, 2009, she released her fourth studio album, Normal as Blueberry Pie - A Tribute to Doris Day on Verve Records. The album contains twelve covers of songs made famous by Day, as well as one original tune. Barnes and Noble booksellers feature an exclusive edition, packaged with the bonus track "I Want To Be Happy." iTunes also features an exclusive edition with a different bonus track, "I'll Never Smile Again."
Home Sweet Mobile Home
On September 28, 2010, Nellie and Verve Records released her fifth album. Home Sweet Mobile Home includes original tracks. It was produced by Nellie and her mother, Robin Pappas, with artistic input from David Byrne.
On 1 February 2007, McKay joined Laurie Anderson, Joan Osborne, Suzanne Vega and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra for Four Scored, a single performance of reworked songs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
In 2007, McKay also played the role of Ciara in P.S. I Love You, a film directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler.
She has written two Christmas-themed songs, "A Christmas Dirge" and "Take Me Away," both of which are available on her web site.
McKay is featured in the song "How Are You?" on David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim's collaborative concept album Here Lies Love. The album, which also features such vocalists as Cyndi Lauper, Santigold, Roisin Murphy, Natalie Merchant, and Tori Amos, chronicles the life of Imelda Marcos, the widow of former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos. The album was released on April 6, 2010.
Nellie, along with violinist Philippe Quint, will star in and contribute music to an independent film called Downtown Express, directed by David Grubin.
McKay is a vocal feminist, and wrote a satirical song relating to feminist issues called "Mother of Pearl". McKay also "is a proud member of PETA" (album notes); her song "Columbia Is Bleeding" dealt with the issue of Columbia University's cruelty to animals. She also wrote a 2004 song ("John John") about her feelings in favor of political candidate Ralph Nader.
She has performed concerts at benefits for the progressive radio station WBAI, Planned Parenthood, and the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, among many groups.
*2004: Get Away from Me
*2006: Pretty Little Head
*2007: Obligatory Villagers
*2009: Normal as Blueberry Pie - A Tribute to Doris Day
*2010: Home Sweet Mobile Home
Soundtracks and covers
*2005: Rumor Has It... : "Pasadena Girl", "Face of a Faith"
*2005: Monster-in-Law : "Won't U Please B Nice"
*2005: Weeds : "David"
*2007: P.S. I Love You : ""P.S. I Love You"
*2010: "Terrible Thrills, Vol. 1"
*2010: Downtown Express
*2010: Boardwalk Empire : "Wild Romantic Blues"
Collaborations and other appearances
*2005: "If I Needed Someone" off the album This Bird Has Flown - A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul
*2010: "How Are You?" off the album Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim
*"The In Crowd"
*"A Christmas Dirge"
*"Take Me Away"
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Nellie McKay on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0