My yarns will keep me warm

Kimya Dawson

Gainesville Reitz Union Amphitheater
March 21, 2008

Kimya Dawson
means business. On her massive current tour, she's playing NINE shows in the state of Florida. As I've often lamented on these pages, touring bands rarely play any shows here. And she's doing nine? This is a woman who's just appeared on a number one album, for the love of Pete! Lady sure is dedicated.

Now, many years ago I caught the Moldy Peaches at the Reading Festival, and even among my circle of friends, they really divided opinion. Some of us thought their show charming, silly and fun, while others grew bored, nauseous and borderline sociopathic at what they saw as overbearing precious people in rabbit suits playing songs about shit and piss. Seriously, my friend John would've killed Adam or Kimya if he saw them.

Since then, Kimya has put out a few solo records, which have moments of real darkness and sadness - 'The Beer' and 'Underground' are particularly intense at the show - as well as a kids album and various other projects. The set draws from many different places - no Moldy Peaches songs, though - and the audience was politely receptive the whole time, but it was clear that 99% of everyone - myself included - only really knew the 'Juno' songs. The show stayed on the right side of the charming vs. nauseating thin line - plenty of stories and jokes from the performer, she took requests only from people who raised their hands first, often giggling mid-song, and having the Paul Baribeau - as mentioned on 'Tire Swing' - came along to sing along on 'Tire Swing'.

Things went a little off-beat, though, when she invited "interpretive dancers" for one song toward the end. One girl kept opening and closing a towel. But by the finale, an almost singalong for 'Loose Lips', people were on their feet, and dancing and it was fun without feeling too cutesy. I don't know that I'd pay to see her play, but for free, at a cool outdoors amphitheater, it was a fun way to spend a Friday night.

[download Kimya Dawson - The Beer]

[Kimya Dawson myspace / official site]


Anonymous said...

there was nothing borderline about my sociopathy!

I'm better now. in all fairness the songs worked much better in the context on the soundtrack of a charming film like juno than a couple of scensters in fancy dress in a field in reading.

who'll be next on the soundtrack to oscar nominated films though? frigid vinegar? the cuban boys?

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