Sunday, February 6th, 2011
"Pissing In A River"
Nicole Atkins covers Patti Smith
Frank YangTexas in September is hot. The shade-deprived Zilker park in Austin, Texas where they hold the Austin City Limits festival each Fall, is very hot. Zilker Park at high noon during what would be called a heat wave by any non-Texan standards, is holy-shit-I’m-going-to-spontaneously-combust hot. And yet there I was, on the third and final day of the festival in 2007 before noon instead of safely ensconced in my air conditioned hotel room, all to see Nicole Atkins.
But the heat stroke was worth it. Her set was as good as anything anyone would perform the rest of that day or night, including a scorching rendition of punk legend Patti Smith’s “Pissing In A River” that showcased Atkins’ rawer side. It’s something that her debut Neptune City, for all its merits, didn’t do proper justice to and which her more stripped-down second album Mondo Amore goes some distance in rectifying.
Mondo Amore is out on Tuesday and her Kickstarted North American tour kicks off on Wednesday, eventually winding its way to The Horseshoe in Toronto on February 26. There’s interviews with Atkins at My Central Jersey and IFC has premiered some short film/videos/trailers for Mondo Amore with more to follow this week. Patti Smith released her last album Twelve in 2007 and last month revealed to The Guardian that she was writing a detective novel. Austin City Limits, after having the good sense to move to slightly-cooler early October for the last few years, is back in mid-September this year. If you’re thinking of going, pack your SPF 101000.