Monday, April 07, 2008

Kimya Dawson @ Webster Hall (4/6/08)

Kimya Dawson has reached the pinnacle of her fame with the Juno soundtrack (although a second soundtrack is reportedly coming soon) after achieving cult status with The Moldy Peaches. Her child-like voice, her simple guitar picking and cutesy lyrical style could easily seem immature and start to become grating if you don't pay close enough attention; but if you do, and if you go along for the ride, you'll find her songs are plenty rewarding, inspiring and just plain amusing - especially in the way they address non-conformity and adolescence (such as I Like Giants - "I like giants, especially girl giants/because all girls feel too big sometimes, regardless of their size" and Eleventeen - "You may feel strange, well you are an angel/stuck in tight pants, stuck at a high school dance/stuck doing people things, not knowing you have wings").

Her show last night at Webster Hall began with a pair of opening acts that were both entertaining; first up was a French quartet called L'Orchidee D'Hawai, whose album we meant to pick up on the way out but the show ran late and Becca especially needed to get back home. L'Orchidee D'Hawai played songs in Polish, Italian and English (there was probably French mixed in there as well, but we can't exactly recall at the moment), in what they said was only their second show ever in the U.S. They combined an Eastern European/Gogol Bordello-vibe with surf rock and some kick-ass drumming by a very entertaining fellow on the skins.

Next up was Dawson's baby daddy, Angelo Spencer, who rocked out pretty hard despite playing alone and following D'Hawai. The highlight for us was "a brand new song" we would think would be titled "Music is My Sweat" which found him setting a bass guitar on fire (not literally, sadly) to an anthem tune akin to "Music is My Boyfriend" but without the bubblegum.

Kimya took the stage at about 10:45 and her entire set was acoustic and pretty quiet, certainly compared to the openers. She was joined on stage by Matt (Matty Pop Star) Tobey and Erin Tobey, who sang along, played ukulele and xylophone and also played a song or two each solo (Matty Pop Star was a bit too cute and heavy-handed in his songwriting for our taste but we came home and immediately downloaded the song Erin played, called Secret Letters, which was a bit more entertaining live than in recorded form, but a fine song nonetheless). Note: If you're a Kimya fan, these are the Tobeys Kimya refers to in Tire Swing ("I never met a Tobey that I didn't like").

For us, the highlights of Kimya's set were the segment in which she played tunes from her upcoming children's album, Alphabutt, which were hilarious, and the end of the set and encore, where musician friends of Kimya's dressed in bags joined her on stage for a choreographed dance to Loose Lips and I Like Giants, plus a series of covers including The Greatest Love of All and The Sun Will Come Out, Tomorrow (which provided the lone encore that Kimya said was unrehearsed, and featured Kimya's toddler, Panda, appearing on stage right and clapping along).

Despite some obnoxious drunks yelling for Loose Lips throughout the show (we might have run into them later on 14th St.; two young girls barely able to walk straight loudly singing the song, who told us they loved us "even more" when we surprised them by joining in for the "fuck this war!" line), it was well worth getting home in the wee hours of the morning. We always enjoy Webster Hall, the crowd skewed very young, fun and enthusiastic and though Kimya is definitely a fad at this point, we've enjoyed her music since her moldy days and expect to stick with her.

No comments: