The Cow Haus, Tallahassee, FL • May 22, 2002
She’s from Tallahassee, you know. Hometown girl makes good, in a big fucking way, baby. Wait, wait, wait. Hold the phone. She? I thought the marquee said Kevin Blechdom? Get in the game, bub, this ain’t no mere guy nor gal, this is Kevin Blechdom, one half of electrotrashin’, Olsen Twins-worshippin’, preconception-slashin’ trickster duo Blectum From Blechdom. And it looks like they’re taking their respective acts on the road, solo style, to do twice the damage.
I saw her in London, not that you care, it’s just an aside. Couldn’t get close enough to take pictures or see a damn thing then, the place was just packed out with kids of all ages rocking out as Kevin Blechdom brought the ecstatic freakiness in ways you could never even imagine. She looks deceptively normal — if not outright like a tomboyish young girl. There is no poise, no quaint, frilly notions of cool or intimidation. This is a woman immersing herself in all of the joys and tripwire dangers of solo performance — damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
So, tonight Kevin Blechdom has come back home, without the backing “band,” and she’s the support act to some hip hop acts that I’ve never heard of. Tough crowd, right? No way. She has them at the first note plucked from her banjo (yep, banjo!) by sheer force of individuality and personality. This girl is so fucking awesome. Her mom is in the audience tonight. She better be fucking proud. She raised up genius.
There are songs about sex with animals and non-animals rendered soulfully with banjo and tape loops. During this one number that sounds like a Professor Andy Matran remix, she just charges around, gushing out lyrics over circus-on-acid tape loops. The immortal keyboard-as-guitar makes a most-appreciated appearance. It ain’t a Human League cover though, rather some sick-ass pop welded to musique concrete loops. Blechdom could’ve been a laptop nerd, mind you. She makes that perfectly clear during her two equilibrium-devastating instrumental turns, deftly manipulating two laptops. But it’s only for a couple of minutes. The brilliance of Kevin Blechdom and, in a larger sense, Blechdom From Blectum, comes from their embracing three seemingly disparate tenets: technology (but not as a boffin), pop performance (they’re darling), and amateurish danger (sword of Iggy Damocles). Yes!
She (and I’ve been waiting four months now to write this) closes the show with her immortal version of Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer.” Most of the audience doesn’t know what to make of it. I didn’t, either, the first time around. Now, I’m freaking out. She pulls over a ratty old chair from the club and begins to belt out the lyrics of sexual disgust with total rock gusto. She then executes a purposefully clumsy sexy dance (virtual lap dance) making copious use of the chair prop. It then becomes clear that Britney Spears ripped off a whole fuckload of ideas from Kevy B. But back to that chair dance (it’s always about the chair dance!). The chair gets tangled in mic chord, the chair tips over, Blechdom does off-kilter upside down splits that rock the house in ways that my descendents aren’t even going to be able to figure out when they read this article hundreds of years from now. She’s screeching and she’s sprawling. Either she’s doing the best deconstruction of sex roles since Deviline from Tranzor Z, or I should be drooling about now. We’ll split the difference, okay? She rocks. When your mommy and daddy decide you can move on from electroclash, why don’t you look up Kevin Blechdom sometime and hear the real thing, okee dokee?