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Nellie McKay: Sweet And Sour In Equal Measure

Singer Nellie McKay has also worked as an actress and stand-up comic; she co-starred in a revival of <em>The Threepenny Opera</em> alongside Alan Cumming and Cyndi Lauper.
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Singer Nellie McKay has also worked as an actress and stand-up comic; she co-starred in a revival of The Threepenny Opera alongside Alan Cumming and Cyndi Lauper.

Singer Nellie McKay's musical influences run from vaudeville to hip-hop, and often mix innocent-sounding lyrics with a sardonic awareness.

That winking irony lies at the center of McKay's perspective as a songwriter, but she insists that on some level, songs like "I Wanna Get Married" are sincere.

"You can criticize something you strive for, and you can avoid something you dream about," McKay tells Fresh Air host Terry Gross. McKay visited the studio in 2007 to play songs from her album Obligatory Villagers.

McKay's debut CD was titled Get Away From Me, a play on the Norah Jones album title Come Away With Me. Her latest album is Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day. Tracks include "Do Do Do," "Crazy Rhythm" and "Sentimental Journey."

This interview first aired on Nov. 21, 2007.

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