Founded as a studio experiment by Conrad St. Clair and Mike Stehr, Kicksville has grown into a musical collective, artistic movement, and multimedia freak show.
That's the promo blurb, anyway. Basically, we make music. And visual art. And poetry. And, well, pretty much anything from Dada theater to technical sound design. There's a core group of roughly 15 people (we call 'em the City Council), but as you can see from the list over there on the right, there are a LOT of people in our happy little collective.
For probably the most comprehensive explanation of what the hell the deal is with Kicksville, check out this interview Conrad did with the Belgian arts journal, ReMue HERE.
And here's how Brian Baker (Cincinnati City Beat, Amplifier Magazine) put it:
"Depending on temperament and circumstance, Kicksville could alternately be described as an African Pop band, a Jam/Prog outfit, Adrian Belew at his most Zappaesque or Beefheartian, a collaboration between Peter Gabriel and Natasha Atlas, a full-throttle Metal assault, Tom Waits banging away on a carnival-in-a-tool-shed short story, or Ministry after a Clockwork Orange session with the new Phish album. And at some point, any or all of those descriptions fit Kicksville like a brand new black concert T-shirt....
The band is more conceptual than actual, although there are nine members (known as The City Council) who ultimately translate the studio work on stage. Kicksville calls itself a collective and claims over 70 'citizens' from around the world who contribute to the whole in significant ways, which might partially explain Kicksville’s wild diversity.
What’s clear...is that few of the aforementioned sonic reference points serve as actual influences and any sounds that can be attributed to Kicksville are among the most fascinatingly original that are being foisted upon an unsuspecting world. Edgard Varese said it, Frank Zappa lived it and Kicksville puts their own twist on it: 'The modern day composer refuses to die.'"
Here are some more random press quotes just for giggles....
"Hybrid soundtracking built for artistic insurrection..." - Wired.com "It's unlike anything I've ever heard..." - Skope Magazine "Kicksville is the future, no matter how you look at it..." - GBH.tv "Wild...weird...visually stunning..." - Jambase
BTW, these bits are not edited just to make us look good ;-)
Kicksville at a Glance!
Population: 87 City Council: Mayor Mike Stehr, Commissioner Conrad St. Clair, Beaker Parpovich, Chris Huntington, Lou Caldarola, Tone Deaf, Aya Peard, Georg McKee, Andy Ewen, Geoff Brady, Biff Blumfumgagnge, Jamie England, Maggie Weiser, Pablo Ben Surman Poet Laureate: John Beecher Citizens: Denise St. Clair, Tani Diakite, Jay Corey, Kraig Greff, Anna Purnell, Geoff Burrell, Mookie Siegel, Priest Da Nomad, Shady Bastard, Tim Steele, Cheryl Nystrom, Tim Gruber, Mark Thorp, John Ware, Anatol Lieven, Dan Leonard, Randal Harrison, Denise Henderson, Gary R, Aaron Konkol, Hilel, Anatole Malukoff, Paul Schaefer, Mario Benavidez, Nafeesa Nichols, Djam Vivie, Edi Gbordzi, Scott Spelbring, Kristie Parpovich, Ras Kickit, Burton Grey, Curt Sorenson, Sky Cleven, Greg Silver, Wes Cash, Ethan Eichrodt, Dave Park, Bill Yarrington, Amir Alam, Paka, Skinny Gaviar, Dreamjo, Nora Nutter, Perry Serpa, Matt Rockwell, Jay Frigoletto, Brent Davies, Jason Fassl, Kitty Zombie, Rebel Rouzer, Timmy Schmidt, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Sihle Ngema, Shauna Lisse, Vusi Mhlongo, Johnny Awful, Eric Strom, Andrew "Dros" Liposcak, Kia Karlen, Albano Ruela, Gorka Samos, Annette Marx, Murielle Ikizek Jorgensen, Bob DeGroof, Joe Myers, Terry Flowers, Jo Hubert, Robert Varlez, M.Nomized, Alain Adam, Jill Krynicki-Dutcher, Ankur Malhotra