Mitski Miyawaki is amazing and I would like more people to know that.
I randomly stumbled on her music earlier this year via my Vinyl Me, Please subscription. I was surfing their store one night and saw and Asian girl on the cover of a record, she sounded dope, and I bought the record without hearing a note (I do this a lot with Asian artists -- I wouldn't feel compelled to if there were more of them).
Fast forward to the end of 2016 and her album Puberty 2 landed on a ton of best album lists and I got to see her perform at the Black Cat in D.C. because we just happened to be there at the same time. All that is to say, it's totally happenstance and truly random that I kept crossing paths with Mitski all year and I also felt like she was a very personal discovery until I realized she was kind of a thing (though by "thing" I mean indie-music-sad-hipsters really dug her).
But every time I cue up her records it all makes sense. Her songs are about identity and finding your place and feeling like that place probably doesn't actually exist. Mitski is Japanese-American and so much of her world view can be summed up by "Your Best American Girl" a track off Puberty which makes me cry every time I hear the anguished line of
"Your mother wouldn't approve of how my mother raised me, but I do, I finally I do."
I mean that's an entire series of blog posts for me to unpack but it's a truth arrow shot directly through my aorta.
"I want to love that falls as fast as a body from the balcony.... I'm holding my breath like a baseball bat but I don't what I'm waiting for. I'm not gonna be what my daddy wants me to be." -- Townie
She's also a strong follow on Twitter and she's used her Twitter in very real and meaningful ways to help people. After the election she happened to be touring through the south and the Rust Belt states, so she took to Twitter to offer free tickets to the local LGBTQ youth communities to get into her shows. On top of that, she set up a system of "safety buddies" where people who felt unsafe walking the streets to her shows alone could tweet her and she'd RT it and set them up with someone who could meet up with them and act as an escort to the show. That really struck me as an incredibly thoughtful and real way to help people, and the show that I went to in November really served as a catharsis after that hellish election outcome.
you miss 100% of the jokes you don't make— mitski (@mitskileaks) December 27, 2016
in your past life you had a true love with whom you shared an omelette every morning and the habit is still in you https://t.co/o6ETRLEPGk— mitski (@mitskileaks) September 5, 2016
I've learned so much from the internet, like how there's no point to winning arguments or proving anything to strangers; the ego is a burden— mitski (@mitskileaks) December 19, 2016
the pho place near where I stay when I'm off tour sees me for 5 straight days every 2months in only 1 outfit+i wonder if im their urban myth— mitski (@mitskileaks) December 19, 2016
I just have an aversion to any and all art that's essentially a guy jerking off and trying to make you believe it is amazing— mitski (@mitskileaks) December 19, 2016
(1/2)A kind smart white girl who had traveled thru Asia said she suddenly "discovered" poverty when she saw poor children in Eastern Europe— mitski (@mitskileaks) December 18, 2016
(2/2)+I thought wow so, even some of the nicest smartest white ppl literally just...don't *see* people of color, or register their humanity— mitski (@mitskileaks) December 18, 2016
Read more about the amazing Mitski, who is currently touring in Europe, who seems to be living the right life: