Kimya In Portland

In Photos, Slice of Life, Video on January 17, 2011 by ryepdx Tagged: , ,

There is probably just one person alive today who can turn me into a giant, raving fanboy.

I went to see Kimya Dawson with my bandmate last Saturday. She was playing at Backspace, the same place she played last time she was in town. It was, as always, an incredibly inspiring experience. At the risk of reverting to my primitive fanboy persona, I must say that she’s the only artist alive today whose music expresses almost perfectly the way I feel about things these days. Unfortunately, the song of hers which resonates most with me and which I’ve now heard just twice has not yet wound its way in its entirety onto the Internet. A small clip of it can be found here, though.

She touches briefly on the same themes found in that song in another song called Enema, which has still yet to make it onto a CD. I imagine it’ll be on her next album which I hear will be called “Thunder Thighs.” The lyrics in question:

Was it an Olympian hippie or a New York City hipster?
What’s the difference? ‘Cause we all try hard to make this world better.
If it’s thrift or if it’s vintage, it is still your grandpa’s sweater.
Either way, three cheers for you, ’cause it’s better to reuse
Than to support the corporations buying crap they mass-produce.
You think, you think, you think
You think I’m preaching to the choir
But I am not, I’m not,
I’m singing with the choir.
We are all birds, birds of a different feather;
We each sing the way we sing and we are all in this together.

We arrived at Backspace at 7pm, the time displayed on the website. Unfortunately it turned out the website was wrong: the show started at 6:30pm. And Kimya was opening.

So, after standing in line for ten minutes with the rest of the misinformed, we finally got in. The first song she played after our arrival happened to be her first public attempt at a rap song. It was good, honestly, and it expressed a lot of the “live-and-let-live” philosophy that I touched on earlier. This song also will reportedly be on her new CD.

Afterward, Defiance Ohio played. They were good, though I likely feel this way because of their violinist. I’m a sucker for a bands with violinists. My bandmate thought they sounded like Flogging Molly; I thought they sounded like the Dropkick Murphys without the bagpipes. I got a headache from headbanging.

While headbanging, I happened to see Kimya pass by. I’m pretty sure I made the scariest face a celebrity could ever hope to see: my eyes went huge, my jaw dropped, a huge, goofy grin spread over my face, and I did this palms-up, arms-open greeting I often do which is sometimes mistaken for an invitation to an embrace. She begged off, saying she was looking for someone, and I, somewhat embarrassed at my behavior, nodded as if I knew how it was and let her be.

Finally, when the crowds began to die down, I saw my chance. There was a window of time when nobody was at Kimya’s table. I’m not sure all of what happened or what I said, but I’m somewhat aware of saying something like “I love you” and “can I get a picture?” I’m pretty sure it was only one of many such awkward moments in the poor girl’s life. She obliged and gave her best for the camera. I spent a good half hour after that in a sort of euphoric, fanboy stupor.

On the way home, we danced the night away.


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