Fri May 3
Remember how simple and weirdly pixilated video games used to be, vintage-Atari era? It seemed every game was about a duck or an alien, and instead of the elaborate, graphically correct role-playing games of today, the only thing those video games ever did was get faster and faster. Kevin Blechdom, with her little playful laptop music, sequences like pixels; all of her songs sound like variations on the quacking of pixilated ducks. And yes, Kevin is a girl.
The "Blechdom" part of the amazingly creative Bay Area duo, Blectum from Blechdom, Kevin is like your cool best friend in sixth grade--the really smart, mischievous one who drew dirty comics and made up cool words. (Coincidentally, Kevin is still drawing dirty comics, on
www.kevyb.com, about humans who have to screw or they will die and little birds looking inside their own vaginas.) And actually, all her art is like that--kind of fantasy-dirty, in a cute comic book way that is crazy and inventive, without concern for stupid day-to-day shit like paying the water bill on time. Like a kid.
Only, a really arty kid. Kevin's accomplished a lot, such as being recognized by all kinds of fancy European art museums, putting out a 7" with Fred Frith and Adult Rodeo, releasing a brilliantly minimal solo 3" called The Inside Story on everybody's favorite record label, Oakland's scrappy Tigerbeat6. (Check out the above article for another great Tigerbeat6 band, Numbers.) But anyway, her music is another thing. It can sound primitive, but never retro--more like a vessel for her comic characters. Her beats twitch and chirp like real living things, computer-whales keening, or like the noises made by cute vaginal birds, woozy from drunkenness and snaus-style reproduction. (A snaus is a Kevin-created animal belonging to the bat family. It reproduces by biting off people's toes.)
Though all of these attributes are impressive, the biggest reason to love Kevin Blechdom so much is because she is proof that being extremely arty can also be extremely fun (as do her billmates, members of the Anticon collective). More people should clue in on that shit.