The allegedly 21-year-old, certainly talented singer-songwriter Nellie McKay ('mi-KAI') has two strikes against her in one month. First, a few new tunes go to waste in the awful movie Rumor Has It, and, reports the NY Times, she's the latest musician to be told by the suits that she doesn't suit their biz plans.
Notably, she concedes that despite a recent spate of firings at Columbia, the label which also was instrumental in delaying Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine," the ruckus has less to do with the album and "had more to do with my personality."
As the Times puts it, "McKay, a young singer-songwriter whose 2004 album, 'Get Away From Me,' was one of the most acclaimed pop debuts in recent years, says she has been dropped by Columbia Records just as her follow-up was scheduled to reach stores... Ms. McKay had been negotiating for some time with the label over the length and final song selection of 'Pretty Little Head,' ...which was supposed to be released today...The London-born, Harlem-based Ms. McKay had been fighting with the label over her insistence on a 23-song, 65-minute version of the album; Columbia was pressing for a 16-song, 48-minute version... At recent shows, Ms. McKay had given out the personal e-mail address of the [now-fired] Columbia chairman, Will Botwin, from the stage, encouraging fans to lobby [for] the longer album. "I thought we had resolved things favorably," Ms. McKay said. "We were just finalizing the artwork." She's one of the more electric performers I've seen in ages; the streaky pic is from Sundance 2005, where a breathless McKay ran through her wordy, verby songbook at a singer-songwriter showcase that also featured Yo La Tengo. Frantic, frazzled, political, talky and in gorgeous voice, she was easily my favorite bad motherfucker of that festival.