THE KRAMPUS BALL
On St. Nicholas Eve, as the sun sinks behind the Alps, the saint begins his gift-giving rounds. Not quite the “jolly old elf” of the American poem, this stern medieval bishop arrives with modest gifts for the well-behaved child, while the naughty are threatened by the switch-waving tantrums of a shaggy devil known as the KRAMPUS.
Of course things are different in balmy southern California, but with the creation of LA’s first Krampus troupe, LA’s notoriously naughty citizens are no longer safe from this seasonal menace. Tonight you are invited to seek safety in numbers, gathering for an evening of Krampus-themed entertainments designed to appease the punishing beast, and – perhaps – stave off his attack.
Our setting, a Hollywood set-shop, should provide a certain measure of comfort with his cozy ersatz old-country charm including fake medieval masonry and collections of glittering chandeliers. To add a little authenticity to our celebrations, we have invited the Bavarian music and dance group, G.T.E.V. D’OBERLANDLER to present genuine Schuhplattler dances. You likely don’t recognize the word, but you’ve seen the folk dance – it’s a traditional courtship dance involving men in lederhosen lustily slapping the soles of their shoes, and in some cases jumping on wooden benches or whacking logs with axes in ¾ time. They’ll also perform live music on accordion, a musical array of cowbells, and the awesome 10’ alpenhorn, a deeply resonant horn once used for communication in remote mountain regions and now unfortunately better known for appearances in Ricola cough drop commercials.
We understand that the more self-consciously hip among you, may not regard Schuhplattler dancers, as a slightly quaint way to German on. In appeasement we offer the olive branch of Krautrock. Kraftwerk, the mother of all Krautrock, will be run through the infernal synthesizer of composer, performer, and impresario EGO PLUM, remerging as the fearsomely hybridized spectacle of: KRAMPWERK. A film composer, and collaborator with artists including David J, Frank Black, Gidget Gein, and Genesis P. Orridge, Ego Plum is perhaps best known as the mastermind behind the Ebola Music Orchestra: a 10-piece audio/visual ensemble known for its herky-jerky cartoon-inspired sound.
Another musical treat in the collective stocking we are dubbing SANTA KLAUS NOMI will be a specially commissioned Krampus-themed set by post-punk glam band TIMUR AND THE DIME MUSEUM. This highly theatrical ensemble is fronted by Timur, “the extravagantly transgressive tenor” (LA Times) from Kazakhstan. The band has appeared on America’s Got Talent, Redcat Theater, Prototype Festival, Joe’s Pub, Miami Light Project, and LAX 2013 Festival, among many others. They will be joined by the Klaus Nomi key collaborator KRISTIAN HOFFMAN, who has also contributed some of the original songs, which the band will premiere tonight.
A brief, but surely memorable appearance will also also be made by postmodern pop/porn star ACTUALLY HUIZENGA, who ever since 2007 has been inextricably linked to Krampus thanks to her earwormy viral video Krampus Christmas.
And our final bit of musical fury will be unleashed by members of the perpetually cartoonish and surreal RADIOACTIVE CHICKEN HEADS (with guest vocalists from 45 GRAVE, ROSEMARY’S BILLYGOAT, and HAUNTED GARAGE) transforming themselves into Lux and Ivy’s shaggier and hornier alpine cousins, THE KRAMPS performing “bad music for bad children.”
Presiding over night of Teutonic tomfoolery will be “FESTMEISTER HANS” a.k.a. John Baumgaertner, comedian, singer, actor and emcee for the oldest and largest Oktoberfest in California at Alpine Village.
We cannot guarantee, of course, that these musical offerings will stave off the appearance of a pack of wild Krampuses said to have taken up residence in a cave on Mount Lee. That’s not to say, you won’t be safe, but…
In any case, please do come in costume. St. Nick will have some prizes on hand for noteworthy efforts. Anything goes: something wild, something horned and/or festive, dirndl, lederhosen, or just devilishly sexy, but please – no Krampus cowbells, as these would interfere with others’ enjoyment of the music. Expect spooky alpine atmosphere aplenty with deliciously obscure and exotic Krampus-oriented DJ audio and projected imagery to entertain you between acts.
Parking along Coylton (please note peculiar spelling!) and adjacent streets is free and safe, and for those who want to make an evening of it, there’s Urth Cafe around the corner, as well as other nearby Arts District hangouts and eateries of adjacent Little Tokyo.
RSVP or see which of your friends are going on Facebook.