November 9, 2010 2 Comments
Tonight goes down in the “top five dorkiest moments of my life” list.
I was working my paying job (at a very nice, respectable natural foods grocery chain which shall remain anonymous), closing down shop, when I saw Mary Timony roaming around with a shopping basket. I assumed she was in town rehearsing with her new band, Wild Flag, as they gear up for their debut US tour. Her band mates (Sleater Kinney’s Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein) frequent the store, so I knew it was only a matter of time until I would finally spot her. Even though the band has no official recordings online (and no one has leaked any lo-fi practice recordings), I join the masses, totally stoked for their Portland performance this coming Saturday at Doug Fir.
Most of my excitement can be traced back to Mary Timony’s presence in the band. She fronted one of my favorite bands of all time – Helium – whose music has surpassed the novelty of revisiting music I listened to in high school. To me, their music is timeless. When describing the band to others, I muse upon an innovative 90′s era prog-rock band, who combined complex haunting medieval-esque themes with sophisticated shoegazey orchestration. I imagine Helium broke up long before I even discovered them, still the songwriting Mary Timony contributed to the band has stuck with me, and I consider her to be one of my favorite vocalists of all time. From my understanding, Helium reached a moderate amount of success, releasing multiple albums on Matador Records and even having a few of their videos poke into the mainstream at the justice of Beavis and Butthead. As a record collector, I made it my goal to own every record Helium ever released. I am almost there, only shy by the American Jean and Superball 7″s.
After Helium disbanded, front-woman, Mary Timony, went on to focus on her solo career, again releasing a few records on Matador. Her work has been a fountain of inspiration to me over the years, and while she may not be the most popular female singer/songwriter on earth, I hold her in my top 5…I even named my darling kitten “Timony”.
So as you can imagine, the synchronicity was too much to bear when I saw Mary Timony aimlessly walking around the grocery store. I was wary at first, since the last time I approached a celebrity at work, and lived to blog about it, was after an encounter with the infamous Dr. Laura – an endeavor that backfired once “her people” contacted my boss, inevitably sparking “a conversation”. In contrast to my love for Mary Timony’s work, I always hated Dr. Laura, so I decided to risk it.
With my best intentions, I decided to remove my chef coat, and profess my adoration to her, even at the risk of embarrassing myself in front of my fellow coworkers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as eloquent as I would like to have been remembered. I told her I owned nearly all of her records, and was excited for the debut of Wild Flag this weekend. She smiled a lot, and seemed quite down to earth. Hopefully she was not too creeped out when I told her I named my cat after her given last name.
Of course to benefit you, dearest readers, I had a couple of impromptu journalist questions. One of which was inquiring if she was doing any solo work. She responded that it hadn’t been her focus in awhile, ad that she was really enjoying her work so far with her new band, Wild Flag, due to it’s highly collaborative format.
…and that was that. Still, Wild Flag remains a mystery to us all. Stay tuned for the Outsider Music Press show review and possible live footage. Until then, check out some videos from Helium and Mary Timony. Get ready to be spellbound.
…and now a song dedicated to my cat: