At close to midnight, there were twenty or thirty people inside the living room of HM157, the large, Victorian house that has become a center for the art community in Lincoln Heights and hosted Wednesday night's Church of Fashion party. Roughly half of that crowd was crammed between a doorway that divided the room between audience and band. The lighting saturated the makeshift stage in a strange, orange glow and smoke rose around the performers. Standing in the center was a ghost with exceptionally broad shoulders. The ghost began performing an aria, the haunting voice quickly quieting the room. When it ended, the specter threw off the white sheet and revealed its true identity, or at least an identity for the show, Klaus Nomi.
Knomi “Total Eclipse”
Knomi is an LA-based tribute to the singer whose alien persona and tragic story made him a legend. Ursula Knudson of Fishtank Ensemble plays Klaus spectacularly. She moves with the same stiff half-bows recognizable from his TV appearances. Her voice is frighteningly similar to his, hitting all sorts of highs guaranteed to leave the crowd speechless.
But Knomi wasn't the only highlight of Church of Fashion's party. Opening the night was Featherbeard, who, according to his MySpace page, is playing at a Palisades treehouse today. Featherbeard is a folk artist with a whimsical bent and a great sense of humor, performing what seems like a tongue-in-cheek take on filk music. The name itself appears to stem from World of Warcraft, but having managed to successfully avoid the WOW time suck so far, I'm not sure if the songs are based on the MMORPG phenomenon.
Romak & the Space Pirates, who have become regulars in LA's DIY scene over the past few years, provided the dance portion of the evening with their high energy set. The band has appeared on this blog several times before and, what makes them interesting, aside from their unusual mix of influences (Jpop, Riot Grrrl, gabber) is their knack for drawing from youth cyber culture by releasing albums on flash drives and referencing groups like Anonymous in their work. Consider them electropop for the generation that goes to fandom conventions and peruses 4chan. My only (slight) disappointment with the set last night was that they didn't “Romak Roll” the crowd.