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Riot Girl

Kitchen-sink revolutionary M.I.A. has the beats to make you bang

Maya has found the audience response to her own music both surprising and gratifying. "It's so strange to spend so much time in a room with strangers who know so much about you. Before I started doing live shows, I had no concept or awareness of who was gonna get it. Before that, the reaction was a mishmash, really. I mean, I got the recording contract, so there's that. But otherwise it was just fuckin' around with market researchers, you know. Not really people."

Who needs a proper singing voice when you're M.I.A.?
Mike Schreiber
Who needs a proper singing voice when you're M.I.A.?

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Saturday, September 17. For more information, call 713-654-7846.
The Engine Room, 1515 Pease.

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Interscope's publicist abruptly breaks into the conversation to tell Maya that our time is up, and also that they need to "have a little talk" before moving on to her next batch of interviews. It seems like this hotted-up street waif with the homemade clothes and rebel background might not be doing a good enough job of toeing the publicity line to please the suits. But she seems to know it and not be all that concerned. "Everything I own is on IOU," she chant-sings toward the start of Arular. "But I'm here bringing y'all something new."

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