The guitar hero plays an intimate show at the Old U.S. Mint Saturday night and we've got tickets.

photo of Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern made her name as an indie guitar hero, but her most recent album, The Chronicles of Marnia, shows growth in her songwriting. Charlotte Richardson Andrews writes in The Guardian:

 Like all voyaging heroes, Stern is tested, lamenting sombrely on Proof of Life: "All my life is based on fantasy, and all the gods have stopped talking to me." But witness her rise to meet the challenge! Semi-autobiographical crises may drive these songs, but a defiant hope pervades them: Year of the Glad's sunbursts and Immortals' ascending riffs are dazzling. Expect no pyrrhic victory here: this is joyous, hurtling guitar glory – Stern's brilliant paean to survival.

Mike Powell writes at Pitchfork:

 If Marnie Stern has a cycle, it's this: Fall down, then pick yourself back up-- and up! And up! And UP! Her music-- a frantic, precise sound that can resemble excerpts of Van Halen looped at high speeds-- combats bottomless self-doubt with limitless hope. Nearly every song in her catalog is some reiteration of the idea that even you can do it, probably with an exclamation point. 

Ian Port of the San Francisco Weekly reviewed her SXSW performance:

Her presence is utterly disarming, and after about the first two songs, we're enthralled. People in the crowd are singing along with her soaring melodies. The guitar playing is technically fantastic, but never flashy (insofar as finger-tapping can be unflashy). Marnie Stern's records often sound like they were made by a small army of angry fairies, so watching her reproduce that music onstage with only two other people is quite impressive.

Stern plays the Old U.S. Mint with Habitat opening Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., and My Spilt Milk has a pair of tickets to give away. Register here to win. The contest closes Friday at noon.