Robyn ::: photo courtesy of Nate Watters
[Scenes of me hanging out with an unidentified friend a few weeks ago...]
Friend X: So are you going to City Arts Fest, what are you excited to see? Me: I’m really looking forward to seeing Built to Spill, Mudhoney, Shabazz Palaces, Robyn..
[Friend X bursts into chuckle that indicates spontaneous combustion is imminent after I rave about how awesome Robyn was at Sasquatch.]
Friend X: You’re wearing a Pageninetynine shirt and all you can talk about is Robyn. It’s just funny to me, that’s all. Me: Robyn is metal, think about it. She is from Sweden, the birthplace of black metal (or at least I can convince you of this), her band-mates dress like scientists. Alchemy is metal, literally. She dances in a manner that says I don’t give a fuck that is the visual definition of expressive freedom. “Metal” can be considered an expression of musical freedom. At the very least “punk” is mostly described as such. Basically Robyn is the dance-pop version of Motorhead. Mark my words, Lemmy will be on the next Robyn album. [Writer's Note: She also has metal pinwheels on-stage. If a metal pinwheel is not an instrument of death (instruments that bring about the demise of others equals "metal"), then what is?]
[Friend X is unable to speak after I almost landed a hard left hook of abstract logic across their brow. At the very least my whirling dervish of nonsense has rendered my prey defenseless and confused. Somewhere inside their head "Killed by Death" is echoing and killing brain cells.]
Fembots need love too.
Robyn is human, but only because she appears that way to the eyes of mere mortals. In terms of pop music and entertainment value, Robyn is much more T1000 than Pink (who?). She was constructed to destroy on sight.
“What, you came to my performance and your not a fan? Targeting guest. Targeting guest. Initiate sequence ‘Dancehall Queen.’”
Watch the bodies hit the dance floor. Why would anyone bother to behave in any other manner? “Dancehall Queen” is basically the Caribbean by-way-of Sweden anthem for all Seattlites (at least the ones that take public transportation). Taking the bus into town, sitting in the back with your headphones on, not talking to anyone. Did I just describe me you? Don’t be feel ashamed, I just described half of our grey city.
Unfortunately for yours truly, I could not dance. Still hobbled from a wedding reception-related injury (tequila, flip-flops, extreme karaoke and dancing do not mix well…or do they?), I was forced to perform the “The Apostatized Boyfriend” for most of the evening. Are you unfamiliar with the dance I affectionately refer to as, “The APB”? It’s a tricky number in which I fold my arms, look around and wonder how the hell did I end up wherever it is that I am standing.
When I was not engaged in inquisitive posturing “dancing without actual movement,” I enjoyed the company of those who would fancy themselves as Robyn fans. To put it simply, many ladies in the place were losing their shit were delighted to be in the same building as Robyn. Before she took the stage there was mad dash to crush any and all alcoholic beverages. It was the Churchill Downs of alcoholic consumption. No false starts, no pulling up lame. A mad sprint to the bottom of a plastic cup filled with ice. It was twentysomething pageantry and ritual at its finest. There were some ladies adorned in costumes that I had trouble taking my eyes off of at times. No, you smug bastard, I’m not talking about leggy girls in short skirts (there in abundance, Mayor McGinn please don’t fix this!). I’m talking about when you’re in the middle of watching Robyn do her thing and you see two people dressed up as skeletal Lite Brite figurines that were eerily similar to phosphorescent jellyfish found at bottom of the ocean. Still having trouble imagining what I’m talking about? Think if the weird creature from Abyss was really into Dance Dance Revolution.
Shortly after I witnessed two people evolving into sea-life, I saw a guy in jeans and a wife beater. I’m a huge fan of contrast so of course I had to write this down. The young man looked like he just finished composting when he walked into his living room into the Paramount and wondered the following, “Who are all these people? Where did they put Trixie’s cat food?” Then of course after I took my eyes off of him, and I saw some other guy do a Triple Sow Cow to a Robyn tune I can’t remember. The would-be male figure skater did not need ice nor skates, I was impressed. He must have been spent that entire week perfecting the move.
There were three things that took place this evening that stood out to me:
1. Robyn’s vocals on “Call Your Girlfriend” were stellar. I enjoy the vocals of Robyn in general but I really felt like she took it to another level on this song.
2. “Dancing on My Own” is my favorite Robyn song, because that’s kind of what I do. I dance by myself because nobody will dance with me (hear that? It’s the sounds of sympathy coming from my blogging studio audience). As I looked around at others re-enacting the subject matter of the song in such an exuberant manner, tears may or may not have formed in my eyes. “Damn I miss some of my ex-girlfriends” “I’m so happy that Robyn is making others happy” “I wish I was not a hobbled blogger and that I was dancing with someone semi-attractive right now,” I blogged to myself. Meta pity is the new thing.
3. I experienced culture shock in the restroom. As a simple kind of man (not the kind that Lynyrd Skynrd sing about), I’m not use to men’s bathrooms being a hub of preening activity. However, for the first time in my 28 years on Earth, I saw all the mirrors in the men’s bathroom being occupied by dudes who were trying to become superficially flawless. Hey, if a dude wants to peacock, let a dude peacock. That’s what I always say.
Don’t steal my phrase or I’ll fucking kill you.
Robyn ::: photo courtesy of Nate Watters