I'm one of the people who can say I knew Kimya Dawson way back when. Not that I really knew her, but she was a year ahead of me in the same brick drab high school in suburban New York, which for all you fans of progressive rock and county government is also the alma mater of our Clerk & Recorder Bob Balink.
This is just the scenic route to saying that shy Kim Dawson (the "ya" came sometime in college) wasn't the classmate I'd expect to see blown up on a full page spread of the New York Times Magazine, as part of an expos on emerging artists.
That was three years ago when Dawson's band The Moldy Peaches was exploding in New York's folk-rock underground. They had a simple, unpretentious sound that banked on Dawson's lyrics that are both plaintive and straight-up silly. I'd quote a few, but context is key, especially as Dawson has a knack for finding sweet ways to talk about not-so-sweet things.
Asked how she went from shy, quiet, high school-cafeteria wallflower whose rebellion took the form of blowing bubbles in the hallway -- she got two days detention when the assistant principal slipped on her suds -- to professional rocker, Dawson says: "When I lived in Olympia I started drinking a lot." Dawson attended Evergreen University in Washington state, which has spawned such creative types ranging from The Simpsons' Matt Groening to Seinfeld's Kramer (actor Michael Richards).
"I was like waaaaaaoooo, look at me. Hi everybody!"
For the last two years, Dawson has been springboarding from Moldy Peaches fame to a successful solo career that includes three albums, and perpetual touring in her gold Mazda MPV minivan with a "mom's taxi" bumper sticker.
Like David Hasselhoff, she's big in Europe, where she often tours. What her Manitou Springs following looks like will be witnessed tomorrow night at the Business of Art Center.
"With my solo stuff I say more things that I wouldn't necessarily say out loud with somebody else in the room." Dawson notes.
photo by Kimya Dawson
Kimya Dawson, Solvents, Jack Medicine, Jade Nuss and Fag Team
Venue 515 at the Business of Art Center, 515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs
Friday, May 14, 8 p.m.; $8