Posted Monday, April 16th, 2007
Elope with the Kid
Sometimes there is too much fun. Like when the relaxation of unemployment drags on for a month too long and the bills start to catch up with you. Or when you fall down drunk on a city street for the fifth time and look up from the pavement and realize your friends are nowhere to be found this time. How did you get there? Where are you going? And in music, too, sometimes there is too much fun. When the guitar solo wails like a hippie banshee into a sweltering, patchouli-clouded infinity. That’s when it’s time to rein it all in because the plum is rotting with ripeness. What is more interesting in music is packing emotion into structure and limitation, controlling your flirtatious instincts, blending classical instruments with computers, never letting a musical idea stretch any longer than 4 minutes, and having an electronic drumbeat instead of a drummer because you like to use what you have on hand and last time you checked, you didn’t have a drum kit stored in the kitchen pantry.
In the lingering heat of Fall 2005, we found ourselves as two roommates in a sprawling apartment with not too much to do. Though both musicians, somehow it hadn’t occurred to us at first that forming a band together would be a great idea. But Elena’s search for potential band mates on the treacherous internet was proving a fruitless search, and I started to realize that perhaps violin can be played savagely. What we had was a bass, violin, keyboard, and some beats. All that was needed were some lyrics about tight pants and Minotaurs (hey, it’s not rocket science…though I think there is room for a song about astronauts somewhere) and the idea for Kid Moxie was born.
The Kid was born somewhere east of Hollywood in the warmth of the Cave of Creation (the new name for the living room) while our monitor recorded every moment of it. Once just roommates, we shed the skin of our former bland personalities and assumed a more perfect form. I transformed from Erica into Giggles, zapping gloomy naysayers with my infectious powerlaugh. Elena transformed into EuroMoxie, adding the dazzling flash of an impulsive St. Tropez holiday to the Moxie sound. There was one aim that was certain, and that was to help turn Los Angeles into one big sweaty dance club.
But first the living room, or Cave of Creation. It can be difficult to turn a normal unassuming living room into a CoC, especially since the noise complaints are probably going to start pouring in from your downstairs neighbor. Our downstairs neighbor was also our landlady, so it might seem we were boldly risking eviction to plug in. But she was also past ninety, and we were told that she was mostly deaf. The evidence backed up that statement, and by evidence, we mean the bedroom floors vibrating with the muffled drone of inane sitcoms blasting from her TV at one in the morning. If she was able to fall asleep to the set on its highest volume, and we had to suffer from nights of Charlie Brown’s homeroom teacher emanating out of the floorboards, then she probably wouldn’t hear us playing music in the place in early evenings.
The first songs were structured around lipstick, mythological creatures, and mythological creatures wearing lipstick. “Write what you know” sometimes takes on bizarre forms, but it was a good foundation because pop songs about heavy political issues never seem to come off right anyway. Pop is about a sense of humor, so if you have that aspect nailed down, you can sing about whatever you want. Lyrics about Jack the Ripper are good as long as they’re saucy, and lyrics about becoming disillusioned with what once seemed important are only good when sung with wry sweetness. Within the span of a year, we brought together a set of songs and performed at dive bars for audiences of retired gang members; in upscale supper cabarets; during Gay Pride weekend; in East Side clubs where the snobby, stylish cools like to skulk around in; and at a goth S&M fashion show where the club promoter wore nothing but electrical tape over her nips and where a man who looked suspiciously like Ozzy Osborne nodded along to the music before stumbling away.
But too much fun often catches up with you; either that or we magically restored a dying woman’s sense of hearing with the power of our fuzzy synth patches and disco bass. Yes, sometimes one’s invigorating sense of fun is in the danger of being quashed by a decrepit landlady. Though it wasn’t technically an eviction, just a termination of a month-to-month lease, and we were given no technical reason why we were getting kicked out, it was clear that those noise complaints were what was behind the matter. Fortunately, though loud music at 2:00 PM on a Saturday may have been too much fun for a plum already well-ripened beyond sweetness, it was nowhere near too much for us. Someday we will turn this town into a big, sweaty disco, but hopefully not one that you stumble out of alone.
Related Links:Kid Moxie's MySpace page
Comments [post a comment]
Posted by Donia Carey on Monday, April 16th, 2007 at 7:59 AM
You just proved that there can't be too much fun. Rich, rollicking story whose beat and color carried me along like a piece of music. Good job!