The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black Bring Multi-Color Music Mayhem to Milk Studios and Trannyshack LA
Howie PyroKembra Pfahler (red center) and co. at Milk Studios
New York performance legend Kembra Pfahler and her band, The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, hadn't been to LA in years, but they made up for it last week, (body) painting the town like only they can, with appearances at Milk Studios and Trannyshack LA at the Echoplex.
Voluptuous Horror is not only known for its singer's signature look (naked but for bright MAC chroma-cake body makeup) but for its deceptively simple, punky music and often shocking stage antics. No surprise MAC Cosmetics has been a big supporter, and last Thursday their showcase and party celebrating Pfahler's latest music at Milk Studios,was as dark yet colorful as any fan of the freakishly awesome group might expect.
More photos from the event courtesy of Howie Pyro (who hosted the after-party at the Standard on Sunset):
Howie PyroVoluptuous babies
Though we missed the Milk event, we did get to hear a couple of the new songs ("Home of the Brave" and "Actressocracy") during her Trannyshack appearance the next night, and as has always been the case, the songs were sardonic statements.
As Pfahler told us later, she's exploring "the illusion of freedom," with her new material, and the visual elements (like a black Statue of Liberty holding a Pentagram) not only support her latest thematically, they've got VHOKB's enduringly eerie aesthetic.
The illusion of fame and beauty are have always been big themes for Pfahler as well (we cant be the only ones who think she and minions' frizzy fright wigs, bright body paint and blackened teeth are strangely sexy, can we?).
Howie PyroBody palate
The arty provocatuer, who was born in Sunny California and moved to New York in her teens, says she's also very inspired by our West Coast Culture, "drag culture, car culture, and DIY culture."
Look for a new release, titled "Home of the Brave" to be available online next month. Pfahler revealed it will be "pay as you please" and contributors on the project include Adam Cardone (Toilet Boys), Debbie Harry, theremin master Armen Ra and Spencer Sweeney (Santos' Party House in NY), the last two of whom flew out to LA for the MAC show.
All of this will be on the web soon (though not under the "Karen Black" name.... the actress apparently took back her domain recently). The horror!
Check their Myspace (which Pfahler says will be updated soon) in the meantime.
Photos from the Trannyshack set (along with some truly amazing queens) in this week's Nightranger slideshow.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.