Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Prodigal Sister

I realized recently that I've seen Michelle Shocked in concert more than any other artist. And the trend continued Sunday night at Johnny D's in Somerville, Massachusetts, as I sat with the aged hippies, the still-hoping lesbians, and the musician geeks gathered to pay homage to our girl Michelle—icon, genius, diva.

Hey, Chel, you know it's kinda funny, we always thought you were a lesbian. There were, after all, indications early on—the references, the spiked hair, the long tall swagger, the Chuck Taylors. But, no. You went off and got all Christian on us for a while. Married a guy. Put on a dress. It was all so disconcerting. But I've made my peace with it. Come a Long Way is still a favorite anthem to rebellion. 5 a.m. in Amsterdam is still so tender. You are still a great showman, even if there are moments when you seem, uh, not quite stable. You run the stage. You boss the audience. Your music is part of who I am.

So it was like seeing a crazy ex-girlfriend, watching you up on stage again. You looked good. Tanned. Fit. Leather vest. (There you go confusing us again! And what's up with the 2005 album Don't Ask, Don't Tell? You flirt.) Tell me, what's it like to be a skateboard punk rocker? Whatever you're up to, keep on rocking, girl. Keep on rocking.

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