Nellie McKay: Obligatory Villagers

Nellie McKay. <i>Hungry Mouse</i>.

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Throwing daggers with a smile, young New York iconoclast Nellie McKay uses a cheery delivery and bright, Broadway-friendly tunes to mask subversive intentions on her exuberant third album. The jaunty piano shuffle “Mother of Pearl” mocks antifeminists who complain, “Can’t those chicks do anything but whine?” while “Politan,” a sultry romantic ballad costarring alto sax great Phil Woods and bebop jazz vocalist Bob Dorough, conjures visions of tropical desire. McKay has a knack for sublime silliness, too, as the swingin’ “Zombie” demonstrates. But “Testify” offers something truly special, a soaring, inspirational anthem about standing up for your beliefs that doesn’t feel like a bunch of lazy platitudes.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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