QI always knew the Moldy Peaches would one day reunite on The View. What the hell was that like?
AI had tunnel vision. Basically it was just me and Whoopi, nothing else.
What's the root of your Whoopi worship?
When I was a kid, I watched her Live on Broadway special on HBO millions of times. I just always loved the way she talked about really, really heavy stuff but made it funny. Then she started doing the Comic Relief stuff, which got me started working in homeless shelters and food kitchens as a teenager. She made me realize what an important thing that was.
Did you get to tell her this?
Not all of it. I told her that she was a huge inspiration and that I loved her old show, but I didn't really get into how much.
Did The View put makeup on you?
They powdered our faces! I was very disappointed. Adam had cut himself shaving and I had a couple of blemishes and they just were like, "Oh—I'll apply a clear powder," and they totally hit us with the foundation bomb. Then they told me I couldn't say "turd"! Our song has the line "shook a little turd out of the bottom of your pants"—but they said I couldn't say "turd," so I changed it to "blew a little load."
I watched and was shocked.
I think they were not aware that it was one of the hottest terms to describe an accidental pre-ejaculate in the '90s.
I'm sure you've seen The View's onscreen mislabeling of you as "General Colin Powell, Former Secretary of State" [who'd been an earlier guest on the show].
Yeah! I'm very proud of that picture, because I actually am single-handedly responsible for starting the war. I had to start it so I could fight it. You know how that works—you have to create a good cause for yourself.
The Juno soundtrack has been packing your shows with new fans. How is that?
It's a little weird. I had two shows in a row where teenage girls with styled hair and lots of makeup at some point during my banter said, "Eew." One was a show at a record store in Boston, where some of the kids called out, "Come back to the Bike Barn in Maine." So I was talking about how I loved playing in this barn, because when you play, the bats fly overhead. And this girl was like, "Eeeww!!!" The other time I was talking about my vagina or something. I'm not used to an audience of people who are surprised or grossed out by the things I bring up between songs.
What about your regular fans? Are they being nice and welcoming?
I think most of them are. I've gotten some e-mails from some kids who are like, "I don't like this. You're my special thing." They're mad that the kids at their school are hearing the music. But, you know, everyone's got to hear something for the first time somewhere. Still, it's hard, just feeling like I have to spread myself a little thinner.
What are you doing to retain your sanity?
It's something I thought I would never do, but I just got myself hooked up with a booking agent. It's Eric, who books Bright Eyes, and he seems really excited about helping me find the kind of shows that I need to play, but also letting me still work with the people I've made connections with over the years, and allowing me to fit in house shows, and making sure everything's all ages and nonsmoking, and still finding cool community spaces and not just upping it a notch and putting me in rock clubs.
Have major labels come calling?
I got a couple e-mails from Universal wanting me to sell my soul to them or something—I think it was for publishing. My accountant seems to think that this is my prime opportunity to join the establishment and try to get some kind of deal, and I'm just not really interested. I was talking to Mariella [Luz, general manager of K Records], and she said, "I don't want you to feel trapped." And I was like, "You think I'd feel 'trapped'? You guys are my dream." The thought of finding other people I love as much as I love them is just terrifying. It's not gonna happen.
Almost a year ago, I started recording an album with Jason Carmer, who recorded Hidden Vagenda. It's a collection of songs for babies called Alphabutt. We've got 10 songs done so far, and I just got in touch with him to see if next month I can go down and finish up the album. I'm going to do a little baby book of paintings to go with it. It's songs for babies, but for big babies, too.
Kimya Dawson plays Sat Feb 9, Easy Street Records Queen Anne, 3 pm, free, all ages.