Kevin Blechdom, Goodiepal | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Kevin Blechdom, Goodiepal 

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Kristin Erickson (aka Kevin Blechdom) and Bevin Kelley (aka Blevin Blectum) studied music at Oakland's prestigious Mills College, where the academic rigidity drove them to some serious silliness. In their duo, Blectum From Blechdom, formed in 1998, they applied their compositional smarts to puerile pop songs, often with scatalogical lyrics. While most electronic music uses sequencing software to keep the various elements in perfect sync, Erickson (who programs her own software) and Kelley (who manipulates samples) blend their sounds by ear, giving the music a decidedly unsterile quality. Last year they won an Award of Distinction in Europe's highbrow Prix Ars Electronica competition, then caused a sensation by performing at the event with strap-on keyboards. Erickson has since left San Francisco for her native Florida, and the duo's future now seems up in the air, but both members have released solo material this year. Erickson turns out to be the bigger goofball of the two: The Inside Story (Tigerbeat6) is a three-inch CD that contains nine instrumentals, most under two minutes, in which dissonant electronic harmonies, jagged programmed beats, and singsongy melodies are assembled to evoke the simplicity of children's music. More blatantly absurd is I Love Presets, a new five-song collection of frothy electronic pop. There's a torpid cover of Tina Turner's "Private Dancer" that revels in the pathos of the lyrics, and "Mr. Miguel," an homage to Tigerbeat6 owner Miguel Depedro (aka Kid606), goes in part: "Mr. Miguel / We're just doing swell / And it's only getting better / Because my pussy's getting wetter." Her solo sets reportedly mix such pop tunes with her computer music, some banjo playing, and a few dance routines. Opener Goodiepal is Danish electronic musician Kristian Vester, who cloaks everything he does (under various monikers) in mystery and misinformation; he's closely aligned with British electronic pranksters V/Vm, and his music bears some resemblance to Blectum From Blechdom's in its drive to tip sacred cows. Vester allegedly works for an advertising company, composing music for clients like Nokia and Warner Brothers. Some of the pieces on his recent CD Narc Beacon (Skipp) toss elements from those compositions into the mix with video-game melodies, arpeggioed lute, sci-fi effects, and white noise. Misty Martinez headlines. Thursday, September 5, 9 PM, Big Wig, 1551 W. Division; 773-235-9100.

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