Last night, I saw Lady Sovereign at the Knitting Factory. Like MIA, Lady Sovereign is a fierce lil Britgirl rapper. There are so few American female MCs living in any kind of limelight these days (fewer than there used to be, even) that I am tres curious about these girls. Also I have not been able to stop singing “Ch Ching,” her Little Engine That Could single.
Jostle and I drove over the Williamsburg Bridge at an hour already past our bedtime and parked right around the corner from the club like true suburban haufraus. Then girlfriend didn’t come on until after what may have been the longest DJ set ever to precede a live act. So long that I nearly drowned in the showkid culture that doesn’t even proliferate Williamsburg in such volume: The girls growing out their bangs by combing them into poofy pompadours; still rolling up their jeans too many times. The boys in their goofy railroad conductor hats. The dancing, ever more white. I nearly decked a guy who poked me hard “as an experiment to see if I would fall.” Why not dip my braid in the inkwell, you Tom Sawyer douchebag?
But it turned out Lady Sov was worth it and then some. Tiny with a braided side ponytail and big-boy basketball sneakers and jeans, she came off like the improbable love child of a ménage a troi between the Little Rascals, Tintin and Punky Brewster. All small useless limbs and cockeyed grin and accent. Ch ching. Reeling from bad McDonald’s, she had to fit her set in between vomiting sessions, and her deejay’s equipment kept malfunctioning so badly that she stamped her tiny foot. But stylishly. If she could pull her set out from under those bad stars, she’s already a star herself. And she did. She charmed the shite out of all of us with her oddly easy chatter. Like Dean Martin she was. Even standing in the queasy upper section, far from the madding crowd, her charasma bit me pleasurably in the assma. So that I got asthma. Oy. After a while, I barely even noticed how everyone around me was dancing like they were knee-deep in aerobics class.
I mean, really. Really.