Saturday, December 29, 2007

LAST KISS OR KILL SHOW

THE VERY LAST KISS OR KILL
December 12, 2007
El Cid

I happened to discover KISS OR KILL when I first started PICKSYSTICKS. In my search for bands fronted by women, Kiss Or Kill was a godsend. You name them, about every rockin’ girl band played here. Think of it as a one stop shop of great bands playing any given Wednesday night.

So imagine my disappointment when I found out Kiss or Kill announced they were closing its doors. This last Kiss or Kill show brought back band favorites, Underwater City People, Silver-Needle, MIDWAY, The Randies and Bang Sugar Bang - all of them who have been with Kill or Kill from the very beginning.

Looking for a community where musicians and music lovers alike would support each other, Kiss or Kill, named after a lyric in the X classic, “We’re Desperate,” was the brainchild of members from Bang Sugar Bang and Silver Needle. An alternative to the pay to play clubs usually found on Sunset Blvd. where fans would usually just watch one band (often their friends) and then leave, Kiss or Kill cut the $10-$15 cover charges to about $5 and guaranteed a night of great bands playing great music. And what they created was a scene not seen in Los Angeles in a long time – a scene where everyone seemed to know one another and supported every band that came through to play. First a monthly concert, it grew in popularity and it soon became a weekly event. Now, after five years, three national tours, two compilation cd’s and after creating one of the best clubs in L.A., Kiss or Kill was closing it’s doors.

Last Wednesday, I, along with hundreds of fans made a final journey to El Cid to celebrate Kiss or Kill’s five year run. As usual, we were treated to amazing music and given a sneak peak at an upcoming Kiss or Kill documentary filmed by Dave Palamaro which is due out in late 2008 or early 2009. No sad faces this night. People were there to rock and have fun! First up -



The tandem vocals of Celeste Kim and Jon Rustad is what makes Underwater City People a treat to watch. The UCP can quickly go from hard, heavy punk to a sweet alternative sound on a dime. This trio consisting of Kim of bass, Rustad on guitar and Jon Rygiewicz on drums, played their catalogue along with some cover tunes. Later in their set, they brought out Daniel Allen of “Silver Needle” to sing a few songs. It was obvious this night wasn’t about promoting themselves, every band there was there for what Kiss or Kill did for them and most importantly, did for Los Angeles.

SILVER NEEDLE

www.myspace.com/silverneedle

I may have to break my rule of just writing about gal-fronted bands and write about Silver Needle. This band is too good. This band blew me away. ‘Nuff said. Bass player, Johnny 99 co-founded Kiss or Kill. I went home that night and bought their new cd on itunes. Still trying to figure out where I can get their first two. Digging their latest songs off their third album, “Halo.” I’ll definitely be catching their next shows. I swear, this night was rock-solid, wall to wall full of awesome music it almost made my head explode!


MIDWAY featuring Jonna Apelacio



Now this was a band I was actually looking forward to seeing. Their sound could be best described as a house party in an arcade. This night consisted on what they called, “MIDWAY KARAOKE,” their way of thanking the fans that have supported the band for half a decade. Fans paid tribute by taking the mic and singing MIDWAY favorites such as PU$$Y COW’s Joe Dana opening up the set with “Order Up,” Jon Rustad (UCP) with “Shadows,” Celeste of Underwater City People singing “Off to School” and Randies’ Sienna pumping up the crowd with the Karate Kid inspired “Karate Chop.”


Emily


Sienna of The Randies sings MIDWAY'S "Karate Chop"


Cooper Gillespie (Bang sugar Bang) sings MIDWAY'S "Electricity"

It’s a testament to how contagious and fun MIDWAY’S songs really are. They created songs that were sung for the masses. Now, five years later, their songs were being sung by the masses. A shell of what they once were, MIDWAY proved why they had a large cult following and showed why they have created a permanent footprint in the L.A. music scene.



Just recently coming off their own tour and then heading off on the Vans Warped Tour in support of their second album, “Saw The Light,” the Randies proved why they’re one of the hardest working bands in Los Angeles AND one of the sexiest.

The Randies perform "Born Again."

After a few minor equipment malfunctions, The Randies show that the music is the most important thing mixing in the harsh guitars of L7 with the vocal harmonies of the Go Go’s. With Sienna DeGovia front and center on bass and Laura Cataldo and Laurita Guaico on guitars, they took the stage and charged full steam ahead, sharing vocal duties and playing songs from both their albums. The Randies have a knack for writing catchy melodies, evidenced in such songs as their hypnotic head-banging “Born Again” and their rock ballad “Up in Lights.” The sold out crowd loved every minute of their intense and electrifying set.

BANG sugar BANG



BANG sugar BANG performs "Follow The Zombies"

Just when the show couldn’t get any better, Bang Sugar Bang took the Kiss or Kill stage for the very last time. Since founding it and being the first band to play a Kiss or Kill show, it was only fitting that Bang Sugar Bang end it. And they ended it in style. Inspired by the 60’s British Invasion and the L.A. punk scene, Bang Sugar Bang epitomizes punk-rock with their anthem-like lyrics and crowd-pleasing live shows as fellow musicians and fans screamed along to every song.



As the night neared its end, Bang Sugar Bang played its final song, “Sunday Night” at Kiss or Kill. Sang hundreds of times before this night, the song took on new meaning as the levity of the night began to sink in. Driven to tears, Cooper Gillespie invited anyone and everyone on stage to take part in this historic night. During a time when no one invited them to their party, they created their own party. And now with their doors closing for the last time, they wanted to share it with their fans who supported them all these years.


BANG sugar BANG perform "Sunday Night"

Co-founders of Kiss or Kill, Cooper Gillespie (vocals/ bass player) and Matt Southwell (vocals/Guitar) and Johnny 99 (Silver Needle) have created a musical community where everyone knew and supported each other. Going to Kiss or Kill felt like a local pub where everyone knew your name, where beers were cheap and everyone stayed until the last call. It was no different this night. Not one person left El Cid, staying for the last song of the night. It was a testament to what Kiss or Kill represented. Not only did they create an invigorating scene of like-minded musicians and fans they, in a sense, created a family.

Here's the trailer for the upcoming Kiss or Kill documentary filmed by Dave Palamaro.


Check out the rest of the photos from that night HERE at www.myspace.com/picksysticks