This Video Is Why You Should Go See Kristeen Young at the Hi Hat (PREMIERE)

Kristeen Young
Kristeen Young
Courtesy of the artist

All this month, singer-songwriter-keyboardist Kristeen Young has been in residence every Tuesday night at the Hi Hat in Highland Park, debuting songs from her forthcoming album, Live at the Witch's Tit. And if you haven't gotten your ass down there yet to see her, you really should, because she's amazing.

The easiest way to describe Young's music is "Kate Bush on crack," but there's more to it than that. She uses piano, synths, a punk-rock rhythm section and her melodramatic vocals to conjure moods ranging from frantic ("Pearl of a Girl," off 2014's The Knife Shift) to defiant ("Son of Man," from 2009's excellently titled Music for Strippers, Hookers and the Odd On-Looker) to tender (the new "I Love You SOOOO Much," a Prince-like power ballad featuring Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid), often turning on a dime several times in a single song. Live, she's a theatrical presence, pummeling her keyboard and hitting high notes that her unhinged music and muscular bass/drums backing duo seems to be physically forcing out of her.

Longtime David Bowie producer Tony Visconti has worked on several of Young's albums — in fact, he was there to introduce her at the Hi Hat last week. She's also collaborated with the likes of Dave Grohl, Nick Zinner, Patrick Stump, Placebo's Brian Molko, Morrissey (for whom she's opened several tours) and Bowie himself, who sang a duet with Young on another excellently titled album, 2003's Breasticles.

If you're still not convinced Ms. Young is worth getting to know, this brand-new video she recently shared with L.A. Weekly should help seal the deal. This is a live performance of "Nice," the lead track off Live at the Witch's Tit. The video was shot at St. Vitus in Brooklyn by Byron Mansylla and the lyrics are below.

Kristeen Young's final two shows at the Hi Hat are this Tuesday, Jan. 24, with FEA, No Girlfriends and Vanessa Silberman and next Tuesday, Jan. 31, with FEA and Spare Parts for Broken Hearts. Did we mention that both shows are free?

NICE
My hero. He’s on the go. He’s got to make sure all you all do know that he’s so nice.
No no-shows. It’s not the dough. They’ll have to scrape his grip off his stage throne cuz he’s so nice.

I know who you are. I know what you do.
I know who you are. I know what you do.
I know who you are. I know what you do.
Who’re you really?

That comic couldn’t have done it. I think like two of his jokes are feminist and he’s so nice.
But, it’s all true. I know those who were attacked in his dressing room and they’d be ruined if they shed light.

I know who you are. I know what you do.
I know who you are. I know what you do.
I know who you are. I know what you do.
Who’re you really?

Witches, mystics, Disney princes, God, Lord, rock stars … got to be more than just being.
Smoke it, choke it. Don’t let you know it. Swallow, follow, numbed and hollow … but, the dream
Don’t you want to shoot this drug: Nice?
Don’t you want to always be 5?

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A palm-out is all she’s ’bout. She sees the future and it’s you funding her house but she asks nice.
Says “art.” “art.” “art.” Goes on and on. The only kind of artist she is is con but you felt nice (the first two times).

I know who you are. I know what you do.
I know who you are. I know what you do.
I know who you are. I know what you do.
Who’re you really?
I know who you are. I know what you do.
I know who you are. I know what you do.
I know who you are. I know what you do.
I know who you are. I know what you do.

Witches, mystics, Disney princes, saviors, screen stars … got to be more must believe.
Smoke it, choke it. Don’t let you know it. Block-out, knock-out, lock-out, hear only good things.
Don’t you want to shoot this drug: Nice?
Don’t you want to always be 5?


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