Close Encounters with Kim and the Created At The Echoplex
I get stoked whenever I know that Kim and the Created are going to play. Not just because I’m a lifetime punk that’s interested in how new talent is pushing the envelope but because I got a hunch big enough to disturb Quasimodo that someday they’re gonna be famous.
The first time I saw Kim and the Created live was her December 12th 2015 L.A. homecoming to Bootleg Bar after a European tour that sent them to France the day after the Paris Massacre. About twenty people were present at the Bootleg show, just enough to let her prowl between us and shock us awake. Her antics included pouring beer over her head, hurling bottles into the audience, crawling around on all fours, toppling over stools and tables, and getting atop the bar and kicking over the display beers until the bartender signaled the sound guy to cut the show, thankfully it this was the last song anyway. Needless to say, her May 2nd 2016 homecoming after an East Coast tour supporting the Kills had more people, both old and new fans and a new Kim.
Wu-Wu a.k.a. Ashley Rose Calhoun opened the night with a poppy, electronic call to dance and celebrate. Her music feels like the soundtrack to having the time of your life no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. Amidst her electronics she embodies a freedom and grace that make you think she’s off in her own little world. It was obvious to me she was born to be in front of crowds.
Next up were Le Butcherettes, a Mexican garage punk trio fresh off their Saturday show at the Regent and wearing bold red colors to marry their bold expression. They delivered their music with art rock fury but it was in the moments the band slowed down and Teri Gender Bender’s voice became the focal point that the band had the entire audience mesmerized and eating out the palms of their hands. Teri’s performance style was powerful enough to inspire and frighten artists and squares alike. Her intensity led her up the rafters and surfing on the crowd so gracefully that you’d think the audience and her were synchronized. She danced into every push and pull of the crowd’s tide. At one point she laid down on the stage and acted out a birth scene, delivering her screaming art to all those soft, wide open, awe struck eyes in the audience. She ended her set with a simple message: “The future is female”.
I’d like to be a good wanker and not even have to bring gender into the conversation, you know judge the art for what is it, genitals be damned but tonight was a showcase of pure feminine strength and I have to say these ladies blew almost every male act I’ve seen in the last few years clear out of the water when it came intensity, attitude, and not giving a fuck.
Enter Kim House.
If I had to describe her in a word it would be: (Fucking) Alien.
Kim House’s art walks a razor thin tight rope between Debbie Harry and GG Allin, between danger and charisma, glam and garage, dream girl and nightmarish banshee. She has that rare kind of physical charisma that glues your eye to every nuance of her movements. She gives herself totally to a performance, often leaving pieces of her body behind on stage.
This was her record release party for her new 7 inch “Get What I Want”. The 7 inch produced by Kim House and Randy Randall features two songs: “Can’t Be” and “Get What I Want”. “Can’t Be” opens with Kim howling into a straight forward head banging party jam. It’s a song about rebelling against pretty much everything as Kim delivers the lyrics “We can’t be what you want us to be”. She’s not just giving society the finger with that statement, she’s giving us the finger if we come to expect and demand the same thing out of her performance or music. “There is a place in my head that I go, you won’t see because I won’t let it show.” As a fan, the only right I have is to experience Kim’s music and if I try to step over that boundary, I’ll get checked. “Get What I Want” is a slower garage rock juke box classic that never was till now, something every gal and guy could do the twist to. The song peaks with Kim singing “But I feel that there’s one thing that you should know… I’m going to get what I want little baby, I’m going to what I need!” No matter how deep and impressive the efforts of a suitor may be, they’re not in control of shit. This track could very well subvert American patriarchy as we know it.
So with new music and a fan base that’s bigger than the band’s ever had, Kim changed it up since the last time I saw her. She went from Plan 9 From Outerspace blonde in a gold jumpsuit to Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! Kill! with jet black raven hair and black leather jumpsuit.
Kim and the Created came out with Kim violently strumming the bass and dazzling her old followers with a new set of moves. Instead of her expected unpredictable fury, we were greeted with her sultry swagger through the band’s edgy, garage rock thrill ride sound. Her strides were like a panther while her band was in pure party mode, rock and roll flowing through their veins and out their hands.
After a few songs, she laid down her bass and let it feedback and play in the Kim that reignited my faith in punk. Aliens don’t mature like we humans do, they just make better music.
The moment she doused her beloved fans with gnarly, stinking Chelada I knew I had gotten my money’s worth. Spraying us with Chelada instead of beer is FUCKED up, even for punk. My patch covered denim jacket went from smelling rancid to pure dumpster ass. Luckily, she doused us with a few more beers to wash off the Chelada and at this point, we braced ourselves for anything she had to throw at us. She joined us down on the floor and merrily hopped with us until combusting onto the floor and writhing on the ground in demonic possession. She did all this without missing a beat on the vocals and delivering the songs like a fucking professional. The set sounded like the soundtrack to the life I ought to be living, one where the man can’t touch me.
It was a night of strength and femininity but as a man I feel perfectly comfortable saying I wish I could be Kim House and do THAT. Dudes either got to step it up or give it up.
Iggy Pop once described his art as Dioynisian, “like when a bunch of people would get together and they’d erect a paper phallus, 50 feet long, and carry it around and chant to some god that they believed in,” this night’s efforts by Wu-Wu, Le Butcherettes, and Kim and the Created were the signs of the coming of a new age where the paper phallus will be replaced by the paper vag and the people will carry it around and chant “Kim!Kim!Kim!”
Kim and the Created’s next show is coming up in a few weeks on May 18th at New Sound Alliance and Janky Smooth’s Fundraiser For Bernie Sanders at the Regent where she’ll hit the stage with The Birth Defects, Death Hymn Number 9, The Garden, and Punk Rock Karaoke. MC Justin Eckley of Melted will host the night with Danny Bengston from Together Pangea DJ’ing.
Photos: Josh Allen
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5 thoughts on “Close Encounters with Kim and the Created At The Echoplex”
kim and the created are a gimmick and the music was all over the place…messy and meh after watching Teri channel the devil, anyone playing after her seems too fakeeee. plus, my fucking hair smelt like ass after being doused in beer. GIMMICK and cheap.
on the other hand, le butcherettes were beyond phenomenal!!! What a force of nature lol Teri can actually play keys/guitar and the woman can actually SING. her voice & music = versatile
they were the surprise of the night for many ppl
You’re sniffing glue! Anyone would have a tough time following Le Butcherettes but I get stoked on the intensity and simplicity of Kim and the Created. I really dig her voice and the arrangements are just basic, punk power chords but her energy at the shows is pretty epic. If the singer of the band is bleeding after almost every show then you have my respek
wish the music was thought out as much as the performance and clothing, but the article had a sentence are two about the actual music, not much to write about i guess. goes to show musical talent isnt needed to get anywhere as a band in this town, so kudos to that.
Teri is amazing.
wish the music was thought out as much as the costumes and the running around on stage.