Kimya Dawson did just that, on Twitter. ‘Hey guys, I am having a cyst removed from my throat, it may change my voice forever… but I’m doing a European tour before the operation, this could be my last tour, come see it.’ Or letters of 140 characters to that effect.
Kimya Dawson is finally coming to the UK! The only thing that would have made this news better would have been if she’d declared Adam Green was coming with her, and they were performing under the alias of Moldy Peaches, but still… she’s my favourite of the two.
I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the last date of her tour; she had already kicked the tour off in London, then on to Brighton, travelled Europe a bit and then chose to finish it all off back in London at an amazing venue called St Giles in the Fields Church. It was an actual church, with pews and candles and an altar and all that. It was really quite beautiful, and the building bounced the sound around and added a magical touch to an already intimate gig.
A note, pews are uncomfortable, God knows (probably) why people would put themselves through it every Sunday.
I had panicked on the day of the gig, my tickets hadn’t arrived, and I really didn’t know what to do as I couldn’t get hold of the ticket office. I went onto Twitter to air my frustration, as you do, and within three minutes Kimya Dawson herself replied.
“Hey, if you don’t get the problem fixed, come to the venue anyway, tell them to find me, we’ll sort it”.
I was a little taken aback, not so much that she tweeted me, although that was pretty cool, but that she would be so accommodating, a genuine offer to help. It seems that’s the kind of woman she is, read some of her tweets [https://twitter.com/mrskimyadawson] and you will see for yourself.
Just 10 minutes later, I had a tweet from Bird on the Wire Events who were the promoters of the gig, also offering to help me out, saying they had looked me up on the ticket provider’s sales reports and would leave my name on the door
Clearly, this isn’t a review of Kimya’s gig, although it was amazing and I have everything crossed she comes out of her cyst operation unscathed for you to have an opportunity to hear such a raw and beautiful talent live (she even offers out hugs afterwards). What I really wanted to note was how social media has made artists more genuinely accessible.
Most big artists will never respond to their ‘fans’, most big artists don’t even control their own accounts, being managed by a PR bod, ensuring that everything that’s written is done so in the best interest of ensuring that the named account holder stays ‘clean’, or that they don’t write something offensive which will cause the usual media outcry we’ve become accustomed to seeing.
Kimya is a bit different, completely managing her own account, interacting with fans, asking for feedback, advice, dishing out her funny anecdotes, and – quite wonderfully – frequently talking about farts.
For all the mis-tweets and glossy personality-less accounts, this time my experience of engaging with an artist through social media provided a genuine service and an ability to get up close and personal with an individual I’m really fond of.
Providing they don’t have their heads stuck up their arses, perhaps lesser-known artists on Twitter really do appreciate us as much as we appreciate them.