This is a past event.
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Ssion, House of Ladosha, Big Dipper, Teen Witch Fan Club (DJ set) 

When: Tue., Oct. 9, 9:30 p.m. 2012
Price: $12

These days Kansas City has at least two things worth bragging about: the megafast Internet service that Google is beta testing in town and Cody Critcheloe, the multimedia artist behind Ssion (pronounced "shun"), who was born there and still makes it his home part-time. The group first came on the scene in the early aughts—helped by a boost from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, for whom Critcheloe designed the cover for Fever to Tell—with audiovisual extravaganzas that were like an electroclash band colliding with a VHS copy of Rocky Horror and a stack of riot-grrrl fanzines. In the years since, Critcheloe has refined and focused his vision, and it's improved everything. His latest album, 2011's extremely excellent Bent (Dovecote), is a loving evocation of 80s and 90s club music as well as a tribute to the era's gay club culture—Critcheloe sings about poppers and talk-raps about safe sex over beats equally indebted to the Pet Shop Boys and Deee-Lite. And the look he's been rocking lately—which I can only describe as "90s club kid meets 2012 rapper with a dash of leather daddy"—is utterly mind-blowing.

Music journalists are justifiably excited about the number of very out, very proud, and very talented gay rappers in New York City right now, but in their excitement many have forgotten that "gay rapper" isn't a genre—Le1f doesn't sound anything like Mykki Blanco, who doesn't sound anything like Zebra Katz, who doesn't sound anything like House of LaDosha. Actually, little else does. What rapper Dosha Devastation and producer Cunty Crawford LaDosha bring to the table are hilariously profane lyrics, beats influenced by or borrowed from rap radio, and uncut drag-queen fierceness. On "Eat, Eat" Devastation raps over the instrumental to the smash "Pop That" by French Montana, Rick Ross, Drake, and Lil Wayne. On one level it's an interesting study in juxtapositions—here's a six-foot-four gay man dressed as a woman singing about getting her pussy eaten, accompanied by the beat from an anthem to heteronormativity—and on another level it just bangs like a motherfucker. —Miles Raymer Ssion headlines; House of LaDosha and Big Dipper open; Teen Witch Fan Club spins.

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