I normally leave this until the end, but Mitski’s live performance is central to this piece, so:
I really liked Mitski’s last album, even if as you can see my review was mainly made up of me bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t afforded it the time it obviously deserved and it was a far better album than its lowly placing suggested. Then I started talking about the person who murdered Jo Cox, because I’ve always found it difficult to concentrate on one thing and I’d probably read a bit about Mr. Death To Traitors, Freedom For Britain recently and I can’t help myself jabbering on sometimes and it’s getting cold but I don’t want to turn my heater on and my favourite theme song at the moment is probably Alaister Black‘s but I’m growing to love Tomasso Ciampa‘s and oh look, is that a squirrel? I went to see her at Gorilla mainly down to the fact I fancied going to a gig and she was there. I even shamefully put off buying her album until just before the gig, waiting for it to appear on torrent sites. I did buy it eventually, Ms Miyawaki, don’t worry, I just didn’t consider owning it as being that essential. Then. I saw her.
Mitski Mitawaki is one of the most engaging and inventive live performers I’ve ever seen. Seeing her in the flesh brought new meaning to the songs from ‘Be the Cowboy’, and unearthed truths about the record I had only listened to a handful of times at that point and had so far dismissed as being merely very good. You know how some performers are so adept at their craft that they can make members of the audience feel that they’re actually performing to them?? Well, imagine how jealous those pathetic losers are going to be when I tell them that Mitski actually was aiming her music at me! I was stood at the wall of a small (ish) room just off to Mitski’s right, and the positioning was such that whenever she turned her head she was looking directly into my eyes!
The thing is, Mitski wasn’t staring lovingly at my ginger features, not helplessly lost in my eyes as so many other women have been in the past. Mitski was looking accusingly at me. Mitski was not happy with me at all. Mitski wasn’t angry with me. She was just disappointed. She knew how badly I’d underappreciated in the past. But Mitski! I tried to tell her with my eyes. I do like you! I said in my review of your last album saying how you should be higher! Mitski contorted her body to the lyrics of Washing Machine Heart and scoffed. That was a dumb review! She scowled. How could you confuse me with Frankie freaking Cosmos!? I was about to retort, but she then launched into an absolutely spine tingling performance of Happy, just to emphasise what a hack I was for making a joke about the song’s innuendo that was already in the freaking song! If you were at that gig, I apologise for getting you involved in our personal drama, and I can’t imagine how the gig wouldn’t have suffered as a result, but Mitski’s point was clear. I owed her an apology for considering her so disposable, considering her just a woman with an (occasional) guitar. There’s nothing ordinary about Mitski. She’s special.
Mitski: Remember My Name
Prince and the New Power Generation: My Name is Prince
In Remember My Name, Mitski is dearly hoping to have the kind of effect on people to have them at least remember her name (yeah, yeah, remembering that you’re not called ‘Frankie Cosmos’, we get it, Mitski, I don’t know why you need to keep taking these cheap shots at me), in her owns words, “A desire for immortality in a way. Not wanting to die.” She wants the kind of status that Prince had in life, and even more so in death. Prince, though? He’s already as big as Prince, and My Name is Prince is five minutes of Him making damn sure nobody forgets quite how immortal He is. His name is Prince. And He is funky. His name is Prince. The one and only. He did not come to funk around. Till He gets your daughter I… (ahem) Till He gets your daughter He won’t leave this town. Mitski can’t really compete with that, can she? Even with the pretty horrendous rap break. Let it go, Prince, you can’t do hip-hop.
Jesus, Mitski, I’m sorry! Stop going on about it!