Grimes

2012-8-7

Montreal's Queen of GarageBand plays the second of two sold out shows in London.

One can easily imagine that if the world was more like the dystopian futures depicted in films like Blade Runner and Dune, a lot of people would be listening to Grimes. Her music belongs more to worlds of flying cars and Bene Gesserit witches than it does to our comparatively mundane present.

This disconnect is something Grimes plays with in her video for Oblivion where she wanders in a trance through Molson Stadium, the sports and half-naked men barely even register to her as real. This is continued in the video for Genesis, in which a pink-haired space lady wanders Los Angeles with a giant morning star and Grimes herself plays with a snake, like the replicant Zhora Salome in Blade Runner.

Her live show is similar to her videos in that it doesnt really fit into the context of the contemporary night club venue. She has to bring her own stripper pole, on which an impressively muscled gentleman surprised us throughout her set in the same way that Sting surprised us with his appearance as Feyd-Rautha in Dune.

Its a great show from someone who basically plays with computers. Computer nerds generally are getting much better at bringing energy and showmanship to their performances, and Grimes is fun to watch with her translucent hoodie and golden ponytail exaggerating her motions. Its only afterward, when the lights go up and, instead of being ejected onto some lunar landscape with a flying car ready to speed you home, you find yourself on the streets of London facing a long double-decker bus ride, that one feels a bit disappointed.

It's great that computer nerd fantasies can be brought to life in music, videos, and performance, but its still a little hollow. If we are so good at realizing these fantasies in art, why are they so difficult to actualize elsewhere?


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