This Sort of Happiness: The Kills

If there’s a band dirty and cool at once, that would be The Kills. The sort of dirty-cool that can only be found in a hazed up apartment with upturned couches, scattered half-lit cigarette butts, beer bottles, messy hair and artfully lazy vocals and guitar work. At 2:18 am. Listening to their 2004 record No Wow brings me to that atmosphere (it’s 10:47 on my clock). Perhaps it makes no sense that I’m fixated on this album. But don’t get me wrong. I adore the Midnight Boom era. I had “Black Balloon” on loop and I find Blood Pressures as, well, not bad.

A thought entered my head this very moment.

What if The Kills’ image and themes were the total opposite of what they are now? Can you imagine a nice, wholesome, colorful and happy Alison and Jamie? What if their name was something along the lines of The Singalong Bears? Or plain Alison and Jamie? (It has quite a ring to it.) Instead of beer, there would be milk and cookies. Instead of cigarettes, there would be candy canes. Mosshart would don a full fringe and a polka dot skirt. Jamie would be wearing a clean cut ‘do and a Hawaiian-themed button-down. With beige shorts. In place of a raw electric guitar, he’d play the accordion. Their songs would be about the family picnics at the park on Sundays (if such still exists) and playing tag with friends. Songs about playing hooky would be their most rebellious affair.

It may be a thought that only a lunatic like myself would entertain, but no. Forgive the spontaneity. I hardly have a clue about how they winded up with their posh grime aesthetic, but I welcome it all too willingly. Besides, I think cutesy is passé, even for the little ones in this day and age. Listening to The Kills – in their own skin and as they are – makes me feel great, in a twisted way. The world could use this sort of happiness.

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