Try this: Go to Nellie McKay
's Web site, smile at it, and immediately open it again in a new tab. "The Very Thought of You" begins automatically on both pages, creating an echo when we did it accidentally, we thought her new Doris Day tribute had gone psychedelic. We laughed maniacally! Alas, no. Normal as Blueberry Pie
finds the notoriously snarky singer playing Day as straight as she can no tripped-out overdubs, unless you create them yourself. Our love of McKay knows few bounds, because she's the girl Rufus Wainwright, she's Lucille Ball plus Janeane Garofalo, and most of all she's a mad, cracked master of lyrics. Even her hair is sarcastic. But why should a feminist be interested in Doris Day, the musician whose many layers of lacquer most exactly embody the opposite of feminism? Wait that question answers itself. And while Day was seen as just a pretty face for music played, arranged, produced, and recorded by men, McKay does most of the above either by herself or with her mom. Her arrangement of this most whitebread of all music is daring, complex, and laudably creative, yet will enchant the shit out of OG Day fans.
Howard Fishman opens.
Mon., March 29, 8 p.m., 2010