Watch St. Vincent Perform “Cheerleader” on Conan

01/17/2012 1:28 PM |

Okay, so aside from being super pretty, super smart, an amazing guitarist, and whatever other qualities Annie Clark possesses that make everyone love her (and sort of hate her for being so unattainably, annoyingly perfect *cough*), she can also make jokes. Jokes that maybe not everyone in the audience understands, but good jokes nonetheless. Last night on Conan, Clark performed her track “Cheerleader” off the latest St. Vincent album, Strange Mercy, but not before referencing a famous 1977 Elvis Costello television performance on SNL.

After 30 seconds of playing “Less Than Zero,” Costello cut off the band and launched them into “Radio Radio,” a song that L Mag critic Josh Kurp noted last week contained “anti-media lyrics [that] didn’t go over well with NBC.” Clark pulled the same shtick, then broke into what could be considered her own “anti-media” or maybe “anti-heteronormativity” anthem. “I’ve played dumb when I know better,” Clark sings. And later, “I’ve seen America with no clothes on.” Watch Clark be anything but a dumb cheerleader in the performance above.

Follow Sydney Brownstone on Twitter @sydbrownstone