Mindie Lind, champion of Cripp Culture and smoky-voiced singer in the band Inly, found out about a month ago that, out of the hundreds of videos submitted to an open call, she had been selected as Seattle’s opening musical act for Lena Dunham when she comes to town on Oct. 18 to promote her new book. Since then, the provocative news outlet Gawker out-ed Dunham, writer and director and star of HBO’s Girls, for “not paying” the opening artists, after which Dunham reversed course and decided she would compensate the performers opening the readings for her new memoir Not That Kind Of Girl. While we wait for the big day to arrive, Mindie chats with us about her love for Lena, her Girls dreams, the recent Gawker controversy and more.
Lena Dunham: what does she mean to you?
The reason I became quickly obsessed (I am not using this word lightly) with Lena Dunham is because she focuses on these characters that are obviously creative as hell but don’t have all that “put together sense of self-worth” that we are told strong/Feminist ladies inhabit. Her characters have such great drive and talent, and then they call boys that don’t deserve it and put up with stuff that just doesn’t make much “self-love” sense, but man, it feels so real. It’s embarrassing and destructive and messy and not really all that adorable and I’ve never met a character that I’ve identified with more. Also, of course, it’s all packaged in this “look” that we aren’t used to feeling friendly toward or attracted to and I find it inspirational as hell.
Also, some friends say I look like her, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Can you describe the moment when you found out you’d be opening for Lena when she comes to Seattle?
I was at work when I found out, via email, I’d be opening for L.D. The spooky thing was, 15 minutes before I got the email, I sent no less than 12 emails to made up variations of ‘Lenadunham@lenadunham.com’ basically saying, “Did you see my video because I loooooooove you” and every single one was returned via mailer daemon. Then a few minutes later, I got the email saying I won. It was a weird Internet synchronicity.
There actually was one email that did make it. The response was, “This isn’t Lena, but the producer of Tiny Furniture. I liked your submission and would be happy to put in a good word for you.” I told her thank you but I already got the gig.
What are you going to perform?
I’m going to perform a few songs solo on the piano. “Lowlands” (from the video I entered) will be one for sure.
What were your thoughts regarding the Gawker article making Lena out to be a monster for not paying her openers?
The Gawker article….oof. I don’t know. I didn’t enter my video to make money. I did it because L.D. is an idol of mine. I didn’t feel slighted in any way. She could pay me in shit and shoes (I don’t need any more shit and have no use for shoes) and I’d still be pumped to be involved. That may not be the most politically OK opinion as an artist, but it’s for realz. I do very much dislike the opinion that people are just supposed to know exactly the right thing to do, and do it flawlessly every time. Sounds like L.D. heard the criticisms, agreed that they made sense and learned from it. I read people saying shit like, “The only reason she is paying people now is because of the backlash.” It’s like, well, what the heck else should she have done? I think we need to allow more space for people to learn from their mishaps.
If you were to be included in a Girls episode what would you want the plot to be?
Some kind of body image episode? A chick with no legs shows up and swipes a guy from the body-perfect Marnie which sends her into some, “What do I have to offer men” spiral. Oh god…. that’s ridiculous. I’d also settle for L.D. just tripping over me on my skateboard in passing, and then whining about it later to her parents, all self-involved and tormented.
What are your hopes for the performance and after show?
Probably the same as every other time I play, I’d like to not fuck up and have it mean something to someone. Also, maybe some charming back and forth with L.D. after the show!
See Mindie Lind and Lena Dunham at University Bookstore at University Temple United Methodist Church on Oct 18. Photo by Lou Daprile.