How Robyn tackles Fembots, Oompa-Loompas, Mary Lou Retton and Lady Gaga
Published: June 8, 2011
This past Saturday night, the Wonder Twins headed to the Royal Oak Music Theatre with a throng of sweaty pop addicts to see dance-music maven Robyn rock the house. With perfectly symmetrical hair and spot-on late '80s dance moves, she easily proved she's Sweden's greatest export since ABBA. Mamma mia, indeed ...
D'Anne: Robyn's Detroit show was originally supposed to be in February, but she got sick and had to cancel.
Laura: Yes. And considering how disposable today's pop stars are, it's a testament to how great her music is that this many months later people still care about her. The place was packed.
D'Anne: There were two acts before Robyn took the stage. The show started with Natalia Kills. The first thing Ms. Kills told us was, "Hello Detroit — I'm Natalia Kills and I am here to 'break your hearts!'"
Laura: Well, every time I've had my heart broken it was by a woman with back-up dancers that she sometimes slapped and dragged around by the hair, so I was prepared.
D'Anne: She played "Mirrors," which is big on the radio right now. It goes something like, "Turn the lights out/ Burning the candles/ And the mirror's gonna fall tonight." I assume she means all the sex stuff will shake the mirror right off the wall. I just hope it doesn't fall on anybody. That's dangerous. Mirrors are very heavy. She should have secured it better. Maybe used a stud-finder.
Laura: I'm sure she appreciates your concern about her well-being, but the lyrics are "the mirror's gonna fog tonight," not fall.
D'Anne: Well, fog could still be dangerous. What if she's in a car?
Laura: She's lighting candles. She's not in a car. Jesus.
D'Anne: She'd better not be lighting candles in a car. I know her last name is "Kills," but I think she's taking things too far.
Laura: Diamond Rings played next. He's a tall, gangly dude who wears a lot of makeup and makes synthy pop music that sounds like a cross between Dead or Alive and Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. He's Canadian. And I'm kind of in love with him.
D'Anne: You totally would be. Though I really liked him too.
Laura: I had him sign my record after the show, and he wrote "Stay Fierce" on it. Which is adorably gay.
D'Anne: Diamond Rings had a really low-key stage set, so going from him to Robyn's blinding purple light show was a rough adjustment for me. The tickets seriously should have had a seizure warning printed on them.
Laura: Robyn needed that light show to separate her fans into two camps: The true fans and the epileptics.
D'Anne: Um, somehow I don't think that was her goal.
Laura: Her band came out before Robyn took the stage. Two drummers and two keyboardists. They were all wearing white lab coats. Probably because they are all actual scientists.
D'Anne: Yes. Scientists of sound.
Laura: When Robyn appeared, people went nuts. She was wearing shades and had an outfit and haircut that made her appear teleported from the late '80s or early '90s. Kind of like watching a more adult version of Kids Incorporated.
D'Anne: It looked like my 2-year-old son chose her outfit by grabbing random things out of my mother-in-law's closet.
Laura: These would be criticisms for any other human on the planet, but somehow Robyn totally owned it. Her perfectly symmetrical hair cut would make both Mary Lou Retton and Spock proud.
D'Anne: Maybe they're her parents.
Laura: Robyn's Swedish. Mary Lou Retton was born in West Virginia. And Spock is half-Vulcan. There is no way this could be true.
D'Anne: How would you know? Have you seen her long form birth certificate? I'm calling some Birther conspiracy theorists and getting them on the case.
Laura: You're the worst. Robyn opened the show with "Fembot" which is a song about how even robot ladies have needs and feelings.
D'Anne: Yes. She informs the listener "My system's in mint condition/ The power's up on my transistors/ Working fine, no glitches/ Plug me in and flip some switches."
Laura: Despite her reassurances that she's in top working order, I can't help but feel her boyfriend should have a degree in electrical engineering. Or at the very least be a handyman.
D'Anne: Wow, way to overthink it. My favorite line is "Once you gone tech/ You ain't never going back." A quick Google search for "robot girlfriend" shows there are men who indeed believe this. Many of whom are Japanese.
Laura: Yikes. So, I know everybody loves Lady Gaga because she wears bubbles for clothes or whatever, but I just don't get it. Why is she so much bigger than Robyn?
D'Anne: I dig Lady Gaga, but I agree. Why Robyn isn't just as huge is a mystery to me.
Laura: Lady Gaga is overrated and lacks Robyn's elfin-like features.
D'Anne: Since when does being elf-like have anything to do with superstardom?
Laura: Um, two words: Oompa-Loompas. Also Bj�rk.
D'Anne: Fine. I stand corrected. Robyn put on an awesome show. Her energy level is intense.
Laura: Yes. She never stopped moving and never seemed even slightly out of breath. She's not a teenager either — she's around 30 or so.
D'Anne: That's super old.
Laura: Well, in American years, yes. But I think Swedish people have a life expectancy at least double ours.
D'Anne: That would make Sweden's life expectancy 157.4 years. Wow. She's living proof that a single-payer health care system works.
Laura: Body Talk was one of my favorite albums of 2010. Most of the songs she played were from that record, but she also played "With Every Heartbeat" which was a hit for her back in the mid-2000s and one of my most favorite songs.
D'Anne: I have to admit that I'm a Body Talk-era Robyn fan. I'm not really familiar with her older stuff. But looking around during the concert just about everyone there knew every word to every song.
Laura: Especially "Don't Fucking Tell Me What to Do." She lists off a litany of things that "are killing her" in that song. For instance, "My drinking is killing me/ My smoking is killing me/ My diet is killing me."
D'Anne: So it's pretty much America's new national anthem.
Laura: True. One of Robyn's tour shirts has "My _____ Is Killing Me" printed on it. Presumably the blank is included so you can use a sharpie and fill in your own answer.
D'Anne: Yours could say "My Face Is Killing Me."
Laura: You know we're twins, right?
D'Anne: I don't know about that. I mean, I've never seen the long-form birth certificate.
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