Photo By Gary Miller
Scout Niblett Buffalo Billiards, Friday, March 19
She's a princess, and queen of everything that bubbles and burbles behind your eyes, behind your heart, little pumping chunk that it is, seething, loving, weak and then strong when the worst and the best happens. It's far too easy to describe Scout Niblett as "Cat Power with drums," so we won't, but they do, and too often. Cheap is a word she never learned to spell. Even in the simple, frighteningly accurate lyrics of "Texas" ("Texas is hot, even when driving at night, and Texas is sci-fi, and Texas is plain"), you can feel the sweet dirty sunshine heat on the back of your neck, hairs a-rising, like Niblett's voice before she hits the drums. And she did, with full force, grace, and glamour. Opening with a guitarist accompanying her thinly veiled, powerful voice (OK, she does
sound like Chan Marshall, but this was a whole different heartache), Steve Albini's best discovery grabbed an entire unwitting crowd in her semi-acoustic paw and made even the most jaded of music yobbos stare downward at their John Fluevogs, wondering why it all went right. There are precious few singer-songwriters who can lay claim to the phrase "indie godhead," and even fewer who can throw their heart against the wall and make it stick. It's peas and cake to craft a beautiful song out of a broken heart and the yearning for more, but Scout Niblett drums in hand and drunks in the audience restores meaning to the very idea of hopeless hopefulness.