Kim Deal can see the world in a cold clarity that would make most mad; a ramble pile, a mess, a happenstance, and thrives amidst the foibles by generating her own upward forward lift thrust. Bulldozing through the trials there’s no BS...
Concert Review: The Breeders, The Vogue, Indianapolis (August 6, 2009)
Kim Deal can see the world in a cold clarity that would make most mad; a ramble pile, a mess, a happenstance, and thrives amidst the foibles by generating her own upward forward lift thrust. Bulldozing through the trials there’s no BS, no plastic pleasantries, and in the rude truth of her songs (and to those who witness her life) both a love-lust attraction and a crazy fearful retreat. In the best cases the stars have aligned to make it right, shining the lights of opportunity and survival down upon her path. Her brilliance turns the wacky disaster of life into a haphazard recipe shoved right through the funnel. She churns it out of the Victrola as love letter songs for all who will listen.
Kim and Kelley Deal together are mirror statues to the road less traveled. Planted near the gates of the post-punk pantheon, they block the route with their glittering eyes, joyous appetites, and saltworn rat-a-tat-tat. Seeing them onstage is a family reunion, a non-holiday with those 2nd cousins you love but don’t see enough. Together you scurry to the basement, away from the boredom adults seem to make (but whose cigarettes you’ve stolen), and tell dirty jokes on the ping-pong table.
Don’t fuck with the Deal sisters! But as Kelley says, “…one of the things I explain to people when they’re playing is that they have to put more fuck in it.” Sisters with their particular energy light bonfires by breathing. Kim and Kelley banter on stage without pretense or care. I didn’t want their show to end. I want to preserve each glance, to press them in a butterfly book of mid-90’s alt-a-rama, keep them in a music box that when opened launches a gigglefit of screwball looks followed by a heavy metal that pounds the box from the shelf. I want to be their roadie, who sat at stage left for most of the show, half fan, half crew, bobbing his head to his favorites, then pertly tuning a guitar when Kim handed one to him. The glee Kim and Kelley exude is amplified by their ability to tap into the resonating tones that sell a million records. How is it possible? These two?
Kim’s seasoned alto voice rises feathered above the heartbeat churn of guitar driven overdrive. Sometimes Kelley joins to harmonize, a ritual. Two figures squinting their eyes above the altarfire, pounding the skins to appease the demons, we root them on. They’ve got us, tranced, we rock along the dancefloor in alt-rock familiarities of pogos and headbops. Sometimes a couple will spin-off, a time machine, and pair-up to sock-hop, while over there, near the bar, another couple will breakdance.
Their set-list mixed a range of songs from their entire songbook, with the crowd most revved when they heard the hits. At first hearing the crowd applaud the hit-song, you cringe, you don’t want to think of this band as a one-hit wonder, and you don’t want the band to think that you think of them as a one-hit-wonder, but Kim says it best, “That used to be a popular stance for indie-rockers to take. If somebody actually liked one of their songs, then they would hate the song. I was never like that.” Thank goodness for Kim Deal. As the show went on her gaze moved greater skyward, seeking the warmth of the toplights. She’s my flower, unsoured though toiled. Only the brightest flowers dip so deep, then spring back up and smile at the sun.
The pure joy emoted by the Breeders, mixed with their syrupy lag-time lyrics and thump thump of bodysoul beats, causes a relinquishing, a possession. We succumb to their elixir of agelessness, frailty, and funk. We try to squeeze all the magic potion from their presence. Being with them for that little while we too can escape, live in their smiles, and exorcise ourselves from the humdrum gravity of the rules we’ve chosen to live by.