The Echoplex was hosting Kim and the Created’s record release party on Monday night, but it was a night celebrating women. ‘The Future is Female,’ shouted Teri Gender Bender of the band Le Butcherettes, and this may very well sum up everything about this night.
First was Wu-Wu, a funny name for a girl with a synth and a weird experimental electronic number. She didn’t stay a second at the same place, she was dancing and bouncing over disorienting and dissonant electronics, sometimes abruptly evolving, a strident amalgam of sounds and vibrations with an auto-tune à la Kanye West and a sonic collage work à la Ariel Pink. It was certainly weird and playful, glitch-y and often short with synth swirls, echoed vocals and R&B snippets, but totally unique and ready for a ADD generation unable to concentrate too long enough on a part. She often looked like an excited cheerleader, who has found a new synth, but joke apart, she brought a bit of mystery around her number. Ashley Rose Calhoun (her real name) has released an EP, ‘Limelite’ on Burger Records, of course.
I have to admit it, I went to the show to see Le Butcherettes again, I can see Burger Records bands all the time, but the Mexican garage punk band from Guadalajara, is a bit rarer, although they had another date in LA last Saturday. Teri Gender Bender has to be the wildest, rawest, craziest, and certainly greatest frontwoman I have seen for a long time, I discovered her a few years ago when she opened for Iggy Pop, and since that time, I have never stopped to be impressed by her theatrical performance, her hypnotic presence, her magnetic stare, her wacky and ballsy moves, her politics and over-the-top feminism,… I love everything about this woman.
The first time I saw her she was wearing an apron covered in blood, to symbolize women condition, but she doesn’t need blood anymore, she is now completely dressed in red, head to toe, and she ‘bleeds’ bright red all over the place with an aggression obsessed by death and oppression. I see her as a new surrealist, her songs and performance are like something orchestrated by Luis Buñuel or Salvador Dali with the excess of a punkier Nina Hagen. You just have to check out what she said about ‘La Uva’, a crazy song she sings in duo with Iggy Pop on her last album ‘A Raw Youth’… La uva ‘represents a fragile being that can be stepped on. But, the ink from its body stains and is seen by other people. So, there can be a sort of union in death.’
On stage, she was this wild fury, stabbing herself with the mic, fast talking in Spanish between songs, taping the floor like a untamed horse or kicking the air with her red high heels, spreading her legs far apart, giving birth to an imaginary child with great pain, climbing at the top of the stage scaffolding and of course, crowd surfing a few times. She lost one shoe but didn’t even slow down, kept going like a mechanical doll with crazy eyes and ferocious antics. It was all drama and violence over punk rock energy and metal riffs, and if you could catch her smile, the next second she looked again like this red demon ready to eat us alive with her mouth wide open and eager to suffer for our entertainment as if her life depended on it.
She gave us ‘Burn the Scab’, ‘Demon Stuck in your eye’, ‘They fuck you over’, ‘Shave the Pride,’ ‘Stab my back’ among other songs, with the same insane energy, and crashed on the front row without breaking her back. Her performance was all blood and aggression without any blood spread, it was all excess and fury and it was simply great.
But it was Kim’s night, and she must have been out of her mind when she invited Tery Gender Bender,… how could she possibly follow an act like this? No worries, Kim was a ball of fire too, and she had decided to play it very rock ‘n’ roll this time. It was the release of ‘Get What I Want’ and she surely got everything she wanted.
She had blackened her eyes and her usually blonde hair, she had squeezed her lean and long body inside a black leather skin-tight suit, and, for the first time since I have followed her, she was holding a guitar like a menacing weapon. She was acting as if she was possessed by the demon of rock ‘n’ roll, with the appropriate acrobatic stage antics. Like a black rebel motorcycle club member, in full aggression mode from start to finish with the roaring sound of her guitarist, she gave us true rock ‘n’ roll, trashing the place as if there was no tomorrow, throwing liquids over our heads – and I can assure you these water bottles did not contain only water. It was a new look and a new act for the blonde Kim, more aggressive and even more over the top than before if such a thing was possible, it was a very loud mess, a liberating therapeutic mess as a punk rock show should be.
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