Kimya Dawson to perform in Urbana

Kimya Dawson poses in this photo provided by K Records. Dawson, is featured prominantly on the soundtrack for the breakout film Juno. Photo courtesy of Rhett Nelson of K. Records

Kimya Dawson poses in this photo provided by K Records. Dawson, is featured prominantly on the soundtrack for the breakout film “Juno.” Photo courtesy of Rhett Nelson of K. Records

By Phil Collins

“I don’t see what anyone can see in anyone else … but you.”

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past three to four months, you should recognize these words from the final song in “Juno.” The film quickly became a sensation in the heart of awards season, due in part to the rapid fire dialogue, the music and overall cuteness (that last one should be added as an Oscar category any day now).

The last song, called “Anyone Else But You,” is performed my Michael Cera and Ellen Page in the film but is originally a song by The Moldy Peaches. Kimya Dawson, who lays down the female vocals for The Moldy Peaches, will perform at the Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway Ave. in Urbana, on Sunday. Dawson recorded seven songs for the “Juno” soundtrack, including the one with her band (which is now on hiatus).

“‘Anyone Else But You.’ That is one of the most beautiful songs that has ever been made,” said Jonathan Contrades, freshman in LAS.

Contrades said he had not heard of Dawson before “Juno” was released, but bought the soundtrack after seeing the film.

Her lyrics are accessible and tend to be about everyday life. Her songs maintain simplicity; she usually sings and plays an acoustic guitar. She draws people in through storytelling with her shaky voice that makes for a unique delivery. Tommy Griscom, who books shows for the Independent Media Center, said he thinks Dawson is a good match for the venue.

“We’re really pleased to have her. She’s doing really well now,” Griscom said. “I think one of the reasons to book her at the IMC is that she really fits the venue. She has that alternative sound; a lot of her recordings sound like they were recorded in a bedroom with a four track recorder.”

The show will be at the Independent Media Center but is presented by the Canopy Club. Griscom said Seth Fein, who books for the Canopy Club, offered to host this show and next Friday’s Islands show at the Independent Media Center. Griscom said the venue is expecting about 300 people for the Kimya Dawson show.

“Hopefully, it will help introduce the venue to some people who didn’t know it existed,” he said.

An off-campus venue inside an old post office is not the most conspicuous location for a musical stage. Inside, the Independent Media Center hosts student art, movie nights, listening parties and shows. Griscom said it is quite different from the typical bar setup. There are many nooks and crannies, and the furniture is movable based on whether and where people want to sit.

“Everybody sort of fills out the space in different ways depending on the music and the audience and what they want to do with it,” he said.

Emily Maskey, sophomore in FAA, said she thinks Dawson’s music would sound even better in a live performance.

“She’s kind of hard to describe, which is one thing I kind of like about her,” Maskey said.

“She’s acoustic. She’s on her own, but it’s different than lots of the things you hear. Her lyrics are more like stories, which I like.”

Dawson is on tour with her husband, Angelo Spencer, who will open for her at the Independent Media Center.

They have a one-year-old daughter named Panda Delilah. Both Maskey and Contrades said Dawson looks a lot different than she sounds.

“I kind of expected just like an awkward little white woman, and she’s like a big black woman,” Maskey said.

After watching 90 plus minutes of Ellen Page being delightfully awkward, people might expect Dawson to look the same.

Her monstrous hair loudly proves them wrong. However, her lyricism will likely stand out instead of her hair at Sunday’s show.

“The thing about Kimya Dawson is that the songs of hers are kind of outlandish in that she talks about a lot of crazy stuff going on, yet it’s very down to earth,” Contrades said.

Kimya Dawson’s show with Angelo Spencer and L’Orchidee D’Hawai starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday at the Independent Media Center.

It’s an all-ages show and costs $13 in advance or $15 at the door.