M.I.A.’s new album is growing on me

Summertime folding over, evenings giving way to scarf weather, an end to bikini top afternoons, as if we ever had them here. I woke up in Kitsilano today, Vancouver’s gentrified neighborhood of sixty dollar tank tops that shred in the rain, yoga couture kitchenware, and all organic produce, lovingly handpicked in Venezuela by deliciously photo-shopped young girls with bleached laser light smiles. It’s like an expensive spiritualist camp for eco-hippies who guiltily grew up to be lawyers.

My friend’s apartment, thankfully, nestled in behind the doggie bakeries and out-sourced maternity fashion wear, is nicely anonymous. Crepe white walls, every light on a dimmer switch, it could be found anywhere in North America. I’m always glad to find myself there. Against the rest of the glimmering, heavily marketed neighborhood, it’s a haven.

Yesterday we were at the Fringe Festival, where I saw his show, The Kenny Rogers Experience, (which happens to be Jacques’ show, which happens to be Mackenzie’s show, which happens to be Paul’s show, which happens…), a semi-fictional tour of Kenny Rogers’s life. It starts with a well faked biopic of missing audio tapes he recorded with Jimi Hendrix and casually saunters into an uncanny valley of Country from there. Somehow, hand puppets are involved. Also, five wives. And a beard website. Just go.