Bitches Without Britches
Chicks On Speed Records
Kevin Blechdom is Kristin Erickson. Together with Blevin Blechtum (Bevin Kelley) she recorded laptop electronic music as Blectum From Blechdom. After they stopped recording together in 2002 each have appeared on many releases. 'Bitches Without Britches' is in my opinion the finest of the crop so far.
The disc has a personal feel as if we are being invited into Kristin Erickson's world. I believe that if Ari Up and The Slits had first recorded today the result might me something like this. The instrumentation is hillbilly electronic - there is accordion, lute, banjo and guitars, along with electronics that do not dominate or put the natural instruments in a blender.
The feel of the disc is natural, and all the songs are filled with vocals. At first I had difficulty getting into the disc because I was not used to her voice. Her voice is by no means a 'good' voice, but I have always believed that the finest rock vocalists are those with voices outside the realm of traditionally 'good.' The inadequacies of her voice are plain to see on the cover of Tina Turner's Private Dancer, but that is exactly why I like the cover so much.
Private Dancer has been used by so many girls in the business that it is practically an anthem of Adult clubs. This version strips away some of the gloss, and reveals what the lyrics themselves always said in the song. Kevin Blechdom does not make the tale of an Adult dancer a downer, she just reveals that the girl has feelings she buries while working (kind of obvious I guess, but nicely done nonetheless).
She lets us into her real life on this record. Mister Miguel is a song about her relationship with Kid 606 (Miguel Trost-Depedro). He sounds like a lucky guy to be receiving the loving she sings about! She even is confident enough to say "once they had the best it must have been hard for them to settle for less" about her ex-boyfriends, stealing a line from the slogan on many pizza parlors boxes.
Use Your Heart As A Telephone is almost straight up hillbilly. It works wonderfully, and is one of my faves on the disc. Oh Oh Oh Oh Ah is the ultimate in bouncy new wave, like a hyper Lene Lovich mixed with The Phenomenonological Boys and Sparks - sublime!
I Am Nastay has a chorus you've just got to hear, and a warbling voice. It could be the favorite of many people who hear the disc. Many might also choose Binaca as a favorite. It roll calls different hygiene items that changed her life, beginning each couplet with "ever since I got..." then giving an over the top result of having whatever the item was.
Also a fave is Interspecies Love, with lyrics penned by Kevin, Blevin, and Kid 606. In it she falls in love with an alien and wonders how to get him off. Many of the songs have sexual themes, though this is not even close to booty music. The feeling is natural, not contrived.
Special mention should be made of the booklet that comes inside the package. It has a drawing for each song with lyrics incorporated into the art. The artistically illustrated lyrics provide context, and remove any doubt that this is just some product released by a musician. As I said in the beginning, we are being treated to a private glimpse inside the true mind of Kristin Erickson aka Kevin Blechdom.