Last night was the official start of NXNE, but I actually spent much of the evening at a non-NXNE show, seeing Karen Elson at the El Mocambo. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect much from Elson to begin with; she’s got the double whammy of being a model and being Jack White’s wife working against her. The Ghost Who Walks surprised me though, with its dark country tones and pretty vocals. It held up very well live; Elson’s voice is impressive and she definitely has stage presence, I’m sure helped in no small part by her years on catwalks and in New York City’s the Citizens Band. She also seemed like a sweetheart, thanking the crowd for their enthusiasm and laughing when someone suggested she ditch White and run away with him instead. Keeps one from being bitter at the fact that she’s rich, gorgeous, talented AND hitched to Jack White.