MIA. Holy motherfucking shit. That good. When the album first came out, I wasn't won over. In fact, all the hype made me resist it even more. I mean, it was good, but I wasn't going to throw all the great adjectives at the album that every white music critic was doing. I get nervous with things like this and worry about the quick embrace shown to pretty much any mildly cool non-white musician, that the embrace is too quick, and especially in MIA's case, there is some bit of exoticizing of the musical product that really disturbs me. Any non indie rock album that Pitchfork embraces definitely makes me nervous for reasons that it probably should, but also reasons that I probably exaggerate out of nervousness that this indie rock authority can predict which are the few hip hops albums I will enjoy. Are my tastes that predictable, are all of ours? And is that a bad thing, especially if it might be good taste? But yes, the past month I have decided that I love her and that she is the fucking shit, everything everyone said she was.
I met up with Joe, everyone else cancelling - Ethan being wiped from the night before and Niki claiming cramps. We got in the insanely long line stretching a few blocks, eventually got in and secured a place on the lawn part and waited through so much mediocrity and badness. Mr. Vegas, the opening act, was some loud reggae star who sung other people's songs. So painful and so long. And then even after that, there was another hour delay, MIA apparently MIA (har-har), and Diplo having to spin dance songs for an hour. Finally though, the stage was setup with these really funny props, a cardboard tiger, a hanging helicopter, palm trees. Really, she is a design genius. Half of her appeal is this aesthetic that seems to borrow from everything but seems so uniquely her. Lots of eighties color combinations, graffitied stencils, and that whole guerilla chic aesthetic that I can't decide if it's really cool or really awful.
She had two backup dancers in some skanky leopard print clothes, and for this tiny woman, she had such a commanding stage presence that the large, muscular Mr. Vegas was unable to muster despite his many efforts to do so. I am really intrigued with her and what it means for someone who makes such blatant pop records to have these vaguely radical lyrics embedded in them. In that way, she seems connected to Le Tigre's efforts to make radicalism danceable. And man, it was fucking danceable, even more so, live. I got so sweaty. We were toward the back of the field and everyone ahead of us, the entire crowd, they were all dancing like maniacs for MIA. It was so good to see and to be a part of, that mass of dancing fools. I don't know how else to say it, but she is amazing! That is what I kept exclaiming to Joe after just about every song. God, isn't she amazing? She's so cool! Even though I had lost most of my excitement in the two hours waiting for her to come on, she managed to revive that lost excitement so easily, with the first beats played.
Afterward, I showered and went to bed at something close to seven o'clock. That's pm for those of you wondering.
And I have now made it to that other site also. Check and check. Now, hopefully my obsession with these photo sites can end. Probably not, though.