An amazing, unexpected fate befell Kimya Dawson earlier this year: The squeak-lunged, anti-folkin' woman-child hit the big time. A fresh-faced crop of admirers may've gotten hip to Dawson's affectingly unvarnished warble recently by way of the Juno soundtrack—and body-slammed her with more MySpace friend requests than she could handle—but she's been on the indie grind all decade. Dawson and fellow absurdist Adam Green performed together as the Moldy Peaches before putting the group on "hiatus" and going their separate, solo ways in 2004. Since tracking her earliest, post-millennium recordings, Dawson's bounced her rudimentary songwriting Super Ball between ragged, devastating displays of over-empathy; snotty eff-Bush, eff-bullshit activist polemics; precocious/profound familial asides; gushing paeans to friends; and the kind of nursery-rhyme-ish kindergarten anthems adults can relate to. How—and whether—this proud mom and notoriously shy and generous performer capitalizes on her present visibility is an open question. The just-released Alphabutt (K Records) is more kiddo-friendly detour than anything else, but let's hope Dawson eventually delivers an album-length statement that fully crystallizes her so-open-hearted-she's-bleeding appeal. All ages. $12/$15 at the door. 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.338.2674.
Fri., Nov. 28, 2008