Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Bad Night To Be A Hipster

Last spring, I had the privilege of seeing Kimya Dawson in concert.  If her name doesn't ring a bell, you might know her as the quirky hippy lady that does the music for "Juno."  Anyway, I might be romanticizing things, but that concert was a catalyst for all sorts of life changes.  Meaning I returned my business suit, started a blog called "TRASH ROCK TOUR" (which would later be known as "lauren vs. reality"), and decided to pursue my dreams.

That's a very simplified explanation, of course.  I can't blame Kimya for my entire journey down this bohemian rabbit hole, but she definitely played a part in my detachment from "balloon world."  So when I found out she was going to be in town playing at Backspace again last night, I called Ryan (a.k.a: Kimya's #1 Fanboy) and we bought tickets.  Anticipating another magical evening of inspiring folk music, we jumped on a MAX train after band practice.

The trip downtown took a little longer than we anticipated and the MAX was full of awkward characters (i.e:  a wannabe gangsta with a speech impediment, a woman who was going to pop out of her itty bitty tank top at any second, etc.).  When we finally got to Backspace, it was almost time for the show to start and there was a line of Kimya fans stretched out down the sidewalk.

Reluctantly, we got in line.  There were more boys in line than there were last time.  There were also more heterosexual couples.  Last spring, it was a bit of a lesbian festival. 

Anyway, as we got closer to the door, we noticed a few things:
1)  A sign that said completely different information than what was on the site we bought tickets from, including the start time of the show and the fact that Kimya Dawson was the opening act for a folk punk band.
2)  Kimya was already onstage playing "The Beer" (one of her best songs and we missed it!)
3)  We had missed half of Kimya's set!

I think it was at this point that I said something melodramatic along the lines of, "Ryan, if we don't get inside in time and miss all of Kimya's set, I might just cry!  I might just cry right here on the sidewalk!"

Fortunately, we made it inside before there was any crying on the sidewalk.  But the room was packed and there wasn't really a good place for us to sit/stand.  We settled on a spot near the bar.  People kept pushing to get past us and I could see the top of Kimya's poofy hair at best.

But the music was still wonderful, despite all of the disappointments.  "Loose Lips" still made me grin and "Walk Like Thunder" still gave me goosebumps.  I love how raw and honest her songs are.  I think I've said this before, but it's the kind of music that reminds me why I insist on playing the piano instead of getting a "real" job.

Her set was over way too soon.  I went to go order a drink to cope with my post-Kimya depression.  I quickly discovered that they were out of PBR.

It was a bad night to be a hipster.

On top of that, I kept losing Ryan because he took off in the direction of Kimya whenever he spotted her poofy hair.  The number of times he attempted to ambush her like an awkward fanboy was downright comical.  

Ryan in fanboy mode while I'm busy being an angry hipster

The punk-ish band took the stage and they weren't bad.  They were called "Defiance Ohio" and reminded me of Flogging Molly (but less edgy and not quite as wonderful...yes, I went through that celtic punk phase in high school along with the rest of the universe...don't judge...).  The music was fun to dance to but I probably won't run out and buy all of their albums.

Just watch, Defiance Ohio will become the next big thing and then this blog post will be right up there with the journal entry from the summer of 2004 in which I describe skipping band camp to go see They Might Be Giants at a music festival with my dad.  And I quote, "A band from Seattle called 'Death Cab For Cute' played before them.  We hung around for some of that so we could get prime spots for TMBG.  The place was packed so we didn't actually get to see Death Cab, but they sounded pretty good.  Finally, they ended and all these pierced punk rockers came pouring out.  All the nerdy, intellectual TMBG fans piled in!"  I then go on to describe how "beautiful" and "freak'n awesome" the TMBG show was.  Oh Teenage Lauren, you are so funny without even trying.  I think if I could relive that moment in time, I would put more effort into watching Death Cab.  I would also put more effort into removing the word "freak'n" from my vocabulary.

But I digress.  Back to things that are relevant.

I left to go to the bathroom in the middle of Defiance Ohio's set.  There are only two bathrooms at Backspace and they are both oners, so I found myself waiting in line for awhile.  The line was right by the Internet cafe part of Backspace.  It was also by an arcade-style game called "House Of The Dead 4."  Some guy in tight pants and a band t-shirt got in line behind me.  He wasn't completely gorgeous or anything, but he wasn't bad looking.  He starts talking to me and the conversation goes like this:

Guy:  I can't believe that people are back here on computers when there is a punk show going on!  What's up with that?
Me:  I know!  They really should be out there dancing.
Guy:  Yeah, for real!
*awkward silence*
Me:  Though are you sure you wouldn't rather be back here playing House Of The Dead 4?
Guy:  *laughs*  It's tempting, but I'm more of a House Of The Dead 2 type of person.
Me:  Personally I'm all about House Of The Dead 3.
Guy:  Rock on.
Me:  Yeah, House Of The Dead 3 is where it's at.
*awkward silence*
Me:  I'm kidding.
Guy:  What?
Me:  I'm kidding about House Of The Dead 3.  I'm not actually into it.
Guy:  Haha, yeah, you totally fooled me.
Me:  Yeah, I know.  Oh look, the bathroom is open!
*end of conversation*

Ugh.  When will I learn that trying to charm strangers with my neverending wit is usually a bad idea? 

The concert ended and we were able to successfully hunt down Kimya (I don't think Ryan was going to leave the venue until he was able to meet her).  We told her how much we loved her and snagged this wonderfully awkward photograph:

This is a happy picture.

I thought about taking a picture with her as well, but she didn't seem that into it and I didn't want to be too annoying.

So we left Backspace and ventured into the rain.  The trip home took longer than it should have because we lost track of where we were and we rode the wrong MAX to the wrong stop.

But that didn't stop us from dancing all the way home.

So last night ended on a high note.  I have always wanted to dance in an empty train car and now I can cross that off of my bucket list.

And that's all I've got for today.  Hope everyone is having a great Sunday!  Peace.


  1. 1) I love concert stories

    2) That video made my night, but also made me TASG video is going to suck :(

  2. 3) Love teenaged Lauren and her knowledge of Death Cab for Cute

  3. OH MAN. I love Defiance, Ohio. I'm was already jealous that you saw Kimya Dawson (I mean really. 'Sunbeams and Some Beans' is one of my favorite songs ever), but then you just mention that you happened to also see Defiance, Ohio? Ugh, Reason #576 I Belong in Portland.

  4. Haha, I like that pre-fame Death Cab story. All the pierced kids went out, all the nerds went in... six years later, TMBG are still legends, and Death Cab are... goodness, I don't even know if they're famous anymore.

    Nice video, too. Reminded met that, contrary to its portrayal on Portlandia, the city is more than just a bunch of passive-aggressive sketch comedy characters.

  5. I'm super jealous. I love Kimya Dawson! It looks like you had an amazing time!


  6. I have a question regarding your celtic punk phase.

    I was wondering earlier whether Ireland enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in the early 2000's. Ireland was cool, no? This came about because I revealed the first band I ever saw live was the Corrs (don't look it up, it's embarrassing) and I protested that I wasn't ashamed because everything Irish is effortlessly cool.

  7. TbR - My best friend loves the Corrs and saw them live

  8. TbR: Don't be ashamed. It's true. Everything Irish is effortlessly cool. :-3

    Matt: So move on up here! What are you waiting for? :-D


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