After grabbing some dinner over at Pho Grand (which is not the best Vietnamese restaurant in the city, no matter what Robert Sietsema thinks), RE and I headed over to Bowery Ballroom on Friday night to see the Clientele, Beach House, and Pipas. I have to say: it was pretty friggin' wonderful. We missed most of the Beach House set, opting instead to have a relatively quiet conversation in the bar downstairs. But man oh man -- Pipas were pretty great, as were the Clientele. Afterwards the bands decamped to Heathers (I seriously had no input in this decision), where a lovely after-show party ensued. All in all it was a pretty spectacular evening.
While waiting for Pipas to come on, RE and I stood near the back of the main floor, over by the bar. And as we looked around, we pretty much came to the same realization: there were a lot of Asian-woman-with-white-boy couples in the house. A lot. And, as RE noted, there was a great deal of variety in the matchups. You had your frumpy librarian-esque couple sitting on the floor over by the side of the bar. There was the Jersey-esque Asian girl/White boy duo, complete with odd hair and unfortunate polo shirt. There was no shortage of the hipster combo, as well as the twee sets. The more we looked, the more they seemed to come out of the woodwork.
The last time I saw that many iterations of Eurasia, I was standing in line at the Landmark Sunshine Cinemas, waiting to see 2046. To be sure, a Wong Kar-Wai film is going to bring out a larger proportion of the bespectacled, liberal-arts-educated version of this, but it was still there: the slightly demure Asian woman with the know-it-all white boy. It drove me crazy. Back then, and last night at the show, I couldn't put my finger on what was so bothersome about that pairing. But I do know that in both instances, I started to feel a little aggravated. The coupling just seems so ... predictable. Cute, with a touch of the Other -- but only just a touch. The whole thing ... I dunno. Vanilla comes to mind.
And then I remembered something: I'm an Asian woman. I've only dated white men. Shit. My romantic life is my own worst enemy.
update: TK just informed me that this weekend is the 40th anniversary celebration of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage in the U.S. There's a big party tomorrow somewhere on the East River waterfront. "Maybe all the couples yesterday were here for the celebration," TK said dryly, "and decided to go see the Clientele show as part of their weekend festivities."