Dawson, 35, a frizzy-haired guitar strummer from Olympia, Wash., is coleader with Adam Green of the Moldy Peaches. Fans of the band, which is now on hiatus, love Dawson and Green for their disarmingly silly and earnest songs of childlike grace and grown-up wisdom.
Dawson was going to perform on Late Night With Conan O'Brien this week, then decided against it when she remembered there was a picket line "I would never cross," she said on the phone from her former hometown of New York this week. She will however, be on The View on Monday, which she's looking forward to because "it's all about Whoopi [Goldberg]. I'm a huge fan, for everything she's done with Comic Relief, and also her ability to use humor to deal with tragedy."
Saturday, Dawson will perform two shows in Philadelphia, each with her one-man band, husband Angelo Spencer, opening. At 1 p.m., she'll do a sold-out show at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square that was moved from the First Unitarian Church because of a scheduling conflict. At 7, the singer, who has been inspired by her 18-month-old daughter, Panda Delilah, to make her next album a collection of children's songs, will play a free show at a.k.a. music in Old City.
The Juno soundtrack features Dawson solo songs, along with tunes she's recorded with the Peaches, and her bands Antsy Pants, mixed in with nuggets by Mott the Hoople, the Kinks and Bell & Sebastian. Dawson also wrote a song called "Urine" that did not make the cut "because it had too many spoilers in it." Like the movie, the disc concludes with Page and deadpan costar Michael Cera dueting on the Peaches' tender, kooky love song "Anyone Else But You."
Dawson's first foray into film music came about because director Reitman asked Page what music her character would most likely listen to, and the actress immediately named the Peaches. Reitman and composer Mateo Messina checked Dawson out on tour and liked the spare, acoustic sounds they heard so much that Messina based the film's score on her music.
And as for Dawson, she read the Juno script and got on board because "there's so much to like about it. It's about family and human relationships in a way that breaks down all the usual cliches. The lead is a smart, strong female character. And it combines humor and sadness and confusion, with real honesty."
It's funny: That sounds like a description of a Kimya Dawson song.
Kimya Dawson at the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, at 1 p.m. Satur- day. Sold out. Phone: 215-735-3456. And at a.k.a. music, 7 N. Second St. at 7 p.m. Free: 215-922-3855.