Kevin Shields’ Perplexing Decolletage

“And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like I love you.”

I guess I knew this song existed. I mean, I’d heard references to it and I’d heard tell of it. It’s Sinatra for God’s Sake.

But right now, as I am sitting in the Nightlight, listening to it and recognizing the lyrics, it’s jarring to me that I have never actually heard it until now.

I just got off the phone and a roach just flew into my arm and I was so startled by it that I made no sound at all, which is odd for me.

My roommate Dave just plopped a pack of earplugs onto my laptop. I thought they were mints. The package looked like mints. I just so happy for a second, then I realized what they were. What they weren’t were comestibles.

We are here, at the tiny, tiny, Nightlight club, to see Kevin Shields of former My Bloody Valentine fame, who is apparently performing a solo-noise-act. Dave is very excited about this. How cool is this? To see Kevin Shields in as intimate an environment as this?

There are four people here, and this perplexes me. Aren’t there more My Bloody Valentine fans in these parts?

We are here for an electronica show– Kevin Shields and Guests. I suppose the eletronicaicians (electricians?) are testing their sound levels. And I suppose that the test track that they’re playing is just a neverending loop of the sounds of people puking backwards. I suppose the reverse bulimia dry heaves are interspersed with carnie calliope music and mongoloid screams and troll cackles and Mothership Mind Control EKG waves and pirated 8-track recordings of ritualistic sacrifices from the Island of Misfit Toys played through distortion. It sounds like Courtney Love singing through a vocoder, recounting tales of Muppet funerals.

This kid Josh I know just walked past me carrying a midi keyboard, a tiny cactus, and a silver goblet. I heard someone ask what the goblet is for. “Yerba Mate! Duh!” was the explanation Josh threw over his shoulder as he breezed past.

This town is bizarre.

I am busying myself with flyers.
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While I’m in the middle of the flyer-drawing, some skinny scene kid with cutoff jean shorts and a sweatband on his head and a penchant for scowling announces that Kevin Shields is next. Dave gets his video camera ready. I look up for .002 seconds and then go back to my picture. A ponytailed girl in a Bedazzled miniskirt walks out and starts banging on a vintage keytar. She does this for six minutes and stops. All four people clap wildly. I think maybe she’s the girl who introduces Kevin Shields. We wait.

She then hunches over a set of old knobs and makes a bunch of staticky noise. I don’t get it. I think of my friend Bryce, and I figure he can probably explain the phenomenon of experimental noise music to me. I wonder where he is?  Doesn’t he like My Bloody Valentine?  Why isn’t he here?

So the girl finally finishes. Everyone’s clapping. Where is Kevin Shields? Dave wanders over to me with a sheepish grin and whispers, “I finally get it. I had an epiphany. It’s ‘Kevin Shields.’ I get it.”

I don’t get it. I stare at Dave blankly and then. . .suddenly. . .I GET IT. I cover my mouth with my hand and mumble, “OOOOH. He got a SEX CHANGE!!”  I say this very loud, and at that precise moment, the entire bar shuts up and everyone looks at me, perplexed.

Dave just stares at me.

“No, you weirdo,” he says. “No. ‘Kevin Shields.’  That’s just the girl’s stage name.”

We are embarrassed though no one knows of our faux pas. We leave immediately and go to Fuse. Then to Wendy’s. Then home.

As I am scraping the horrid mayonnaise off of my spicy chicken sandwich, Dave absentmindedly mutters, “Why would Kevin Shields come here and play for four people? God, we’re idiots.”

“I dunno,” I think to myself, as I curse Wendy’s for never getting my order right.




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