That line is from Kimya Dawson's awe-inspiring "Zero or a Zillion," a song about liking whatever music you like and not falling prey to I-liked-them-before-they-were-huge bullshit, off of Thunder Thighs. Regina Spektor and her opening act/husband Only Son (Jack Dishel, formerly of the Moldy Peaches when they were a sixsome) played the Paramount last night, and Kimya was in the audience. She's playing a couple dates with them on this tour (only in California, dang it), but tonight she was just watching.

With teacup, band, and crickets.
  • ANNA MINARD
  • With teacup, "band," and crickets.
Only Son, whose wonderful fuzz halo and mockery of between-song patter were very endearing, played with his guitar and his iPod, which he introduced as his band. (I told my companion that they were married, and she asked, "She can't afford to get him a band? I believe if you're married, legally her band is his band.") Also, he sipped some tea and introduced a song with "This song features crickets. Very much." And it did! And also some bird noises. I hope when he plays with a full band, he also has a tiny cage of live crickets. Then when he finished playing, he said he was going to "do my impression of God." And he turned off the nature sounds. GREAT JOKE!

My favorite song of his set was "It's a Boy," about designer children: "Six two with perfect vision/Good teeth with even skin/Block the addiction gene/And quarantine his temper if you can..." (Video embedded at the bottom/after the jump.) He seemed to meander off into total goof land when, after plenty of normal-to-mildly-weird comments/jokes, he suddenly went, "Whoah. I just thought I saw a squirrel" and then proceeded to call himself a "crazy old coot." Then, after closing with his explodey and enjoyable noun-filled "Stamp Your Name on It" (possible excellent name for a rubber-stamp/stationery store?), he let everyone know he'd be hanging out in the lobby "if you wanna say hi." Hi from the internet, dude!

I am clearly an excellent concert photographer.
  • ANNA MINARD
  • I am clearly an excellent concert photographer.
Regina Spektor, I explained to Megan when she asked if I wanted to go to this show, is the only musical artist that makes me want to get a full body tattoo of her lyrics, face to feet (except maybe Kimya Dawson. Eh, one for the front, one for the back I guess). My love for her runs deep. When she came onstage, I was sitting pretty damn close, and I loved my job so hard I felt squooshy inside.

She opened alone in a spotlight with "Ain't No Cover," her microphone finger-taps the only beat. She's tiny, y'all! And quite shy-seeming. Her "banter" consisted mostly of a whispered "thank you" after every song. In that Kimya Dawson song I mentioned, she says of Regina, "I saw that little weirdo walk into the open mic/Sit down shyly at the piano and then start," and it's a good image, her paleness and tininess, the way she nervously fixes her dress, and then how when she sings, the level of weird and awesome that comes out is shocking.

She ran through a refreshingly long set conspicuously devoid of her biggest hits, leaving most of Begin to Hope alone (except for my favorite, "On the Radio," which is my next face tattoo for sure). When a dude yelled out in a quiet moment, "Regina, do you take song requests?" she said, "Um, I do have a set list. Here's proof" and held it out. He yelled something anyway, and she said, "Um, that was a no? I try to be polite. But I'm a New Yorker. So no." Everyone cheered. Other than that minor interaction, she just played and sang and "thank-you"ed her way through the night.

How does she manage songs that require both piano playing and hand clapping? She's a little ball of secrets. She and Only Son/Jack Dishel sang a duet in the middle, sweetly, with no acknowledgement that they knew each other. At the end, everyone stood for an encore, and it seemed to take forever to call her back. The balcony (cheap seats peeps are the best!) started stomping and chanting her name, and when she finally came back, she acted like she'd never gotten an encore before. "That was fucking amazing," she giggled. And then she busted out "Us," "Fidelity," and "Samson," like she knew everyone had been waiting and they'd finally earned them.