shingosays: mia show at brooklyn bowl – the perfect time to take a bathroom break.

October 13, 2010

My Afropunk kindren,
Welcome to my first bit of blogging as Afropunk’s latest nightlife correspondent! I’m your source and go-to for everything ridiculous, cool, and probably slightly dangerous. I go to shows; kinda my thing, so stick with me if you want to avoid wackness. There is too much awesome going on in this town to ever not be having a good time.

Words by Alexandria Gamlin a.k.a. Shingo

In the interest of full disclosure, you should probably know a bit about me, before you take a step into my crazy. I dance too much to be punk, but I’m way too punk to dance as much as I do. I’m a hiphop head, but apparently not hiphop at all, since I’m a little bit of a hipster. I hate fucking hipsters. I think Morrissey is rad. I’m a walking paradox of awesome and irony, and if you’re interested in the magic and majesty that is New York City, then WELCOME to my crazy ramblings about always having just “a little too much”. I’m all about it. I mix my vodka with Gatorade. Radiohead changed my life, too. I’m that black girl with the blonde afro who crashes into speakers. I throw elbows in mosh pits, but always apologize, because I was brought up to be fucking ladylike. I rage, I laugh, I listen, and I write it all down. like i said, I go to shows. Basically,I enjoy being awesome, so lets be awesome together, shall we?
It’s almost like when I was baby I feel in box of glitter; and I’ve been shining ever since.


Everyone and their mom went to HARDFEST on Governor’s island this past June, right? Boy what a time that was. I remember when Bowery Presents first announced the show in early Spring and I yelped with joy and glee at the lineup: I was SO amped for my british boys Skream and Benga to bring the Dubstep! Die Antwoord was gonna KILL, because they’re the best thing to come out of Cape Town since penguins on the beach! Sleigh Bells rock SO hard and that girl has the best jackets in the business! Ninjasonik is always a good time….MIA, whatever.

M.I.A. at HardFest – Photo by Matthew Eisman

You all remember this night. Those neon burka “dancers” who just kinda lazed and swayed in the backround. MIA floating around on stage mumbling and humming off beat for a reallllly long time. Mind you, this was 5 mins after Die Antwoord had brought the crowd to a unearthly climax of the night! high energy like I’ve never seen before! We were all ready to ride the high energy wave and dance in the mud some MORE, but THIS GIRL, ruins it. Instead of a rally, it was a reminder that we were all tired, and ready to go home. She just killed the show. God almighty himself had to shut it down with the rain, because even the Most High Lord was thinking, what we all were thinking: this chick sucks…

Well, the following is my recount of that hater-free show, last Wednesday at Brooklyn Bowl. I wanted to give the girl a chance! Maybe she was depressed from getting shows canceled and bombing on Letterman? Maybe she had learned her HARDFEST lesson, and had made some adjustments to her show? Maybe she was finally fed up with people telling her how quickly she was becoming irrelevant? Well, she hasn’t.

Rye Rye started off the show GUNS-A-BLAZING and had her hot boy dancers tearing it up. Her hardcore high-pitched flow was awesome, spunky, and just plain fun! The crowd who was all “who is Rye Rye?” 20 mins before, were suddenly jumping and bumping for the long 10 song set, that just got more and more energetic. Kids who waited in line for 2 and half hours solely for MIA, and should have been drinking, weren’t drinking because they were too busy having fun. Rye Rye commands attention, and gets it. She earned so many new fans, and that’s when there are well deserved! When you work for them!

Then MIA comes out, right…

M.I.A. at Brooklyn Bowl – Photo by Pauline Tran

Naturally, the crowd was all “WOOO!” because I assume they don’t know any better. And they were probably drunk. I took MIAs entrance as a great opportunity to go to the bathroom. No lines!

I come back and she’s got this hype-girl who was indeed, pretty hype. But, she was the hypest one on stage, and now im confused as to who she is.

–Ok, I get it, we’re supposed to be having fun, but why is hype-girl in the front of MIA? Like, who is she?—

So I’m already out of focus 2 songs in, and my attention is fading quickly. MIA continues to slink around the stage, singing every 3rd word of songs that I don’t like, and slapping 5 with some kids in the front. This is when the bar started to get crowded because everyone had the same idea: I don’t think I’m drunk enough for this.

Shots at M.I.A. show – Photo by Alexandria Gamlin

She had those neon burka dancers again, but there were only 2 of them this time, which was unsymmetrical and still just as weird and pointless as before. I took this as a great opportunity for a cigarette break.

I come back and it’s nothing of the same nothing. I was waiting for her to engage the crowd AT ALL (hands up! Come on ya’ll sing it with me! Something! Go to Hell! Kiss my ass! ANYTHING!) naw. It was more of a “watch me pretty much stand around the stage, and get out-hyped by my hype girl.” I bet that hype girl puts on a GREAT show! Does she have an album, you think?

As a girl who goes to A LOT of concerts, you learn a few things about the live music experience. Flashing lights and lasers are cool. Dancers are cool. Video screens, also cool. But when those things are gone, what’s left of your show? How do you want to communicate your music and share your energy with the people who pay for it, love it, and love you?

MIA’s answer: meh. Im just gonna go up here with my funky sunglasses on and sing paper planes again. BORING! Worst part, she HAD lasers, and dancers, and confetti, and all the other cool concert effects that distract you from actually paying attention to the act. that “OoO shiny” effect. even with all the “OOo shiny” i was still bored to death.

She did sing paper planes again. And I do like that song, so I was singing and dancing along, beer in hand. BUT THEN, the nail in the coffin, which was actually a little bit sad for me. I’ve seen it a million times, and MIA did it, which jacked her credibility completely and maybe, irreparably.

If your show has been just “ok” and you want to go out with a “bang” but you don’t know how to energize a crowd– what’s the easiest and laziest way to make a group of drunk fans scream: Invite them on stage.

So then it’s not about the song, it’s about noise. No one is paying attention to you, everyone is either trying to get on stage themselves, or saying “omg look at the dude showing his ass on stage! hahaha” It’s all about the “WOO!”

Don’t get me wrong, I love to go WOO as much as the next guy, but for me it was a clear and obvious hail mary attempt to show the crowd that she’s not as boring as she seems. WRONG, it makes you seem more boring, MIA. Like any classic chick who will blow a dude so he’ll like her, because she actually doesn’t have a personality at all. feel me?

So I’ve given up on MIA. Sorry! She had her chance, TWICE, and failed both times. But I bet you one million american, she still thinks people are hating. Guaranteed she doesn’t realize she’s making her fans look like idiots. she has no CLUE every time she bombs a show, it’s really her saying “look you punks, im gonna do whatever i want, not try at all, and you’re still gonna buy my shit and like it, suckerrrrrs!”

Well MIA, i am no sucker. so you can keep you cha-chang-a-lang-a-lang or whatever it is you’re mumbling up there.

Even Diplo, who made her, (he did, lets not get it twisted) even now says she just plain awful. And I’m not even that big of a Diplo fan, but he’s right! And that “controversial” New York Times article back in May, wasn’t even that bad. You can tell, Lynn Hirschberg is like…I cant even front…she’s kinda wack and weird, ya’ll. Hirschber could have gone IN! MIA has been proving Diplo and all of us with a sense of musical-consciousness correct for quite some time now. It may be her delusions of fame and a sense entitlement, that will keep her from reading the memo, she so obviously missed that reads: “MIA, you’re terrible. Your show is lackluster, your vocals and weird and uninteresting, and that whole avant garde fashion thing you’re doing, has gone from striking and thoughtful to plain silly. So stop it, or fix it.