jueves, 9 de abril de 2009

Las Kellies

Aerobics instructors, escaped mental patients, Goths, Teddy Roosevelts on safari: the communal closet of Las Kellies must look like the Halloween store near my childhood home in New Jersey. When I would pass by, let’s say, in the sweltering asphalt summers of August, I would inevitably wonder, “Do people really buy this crap the other 11 ½ months of the year?” Well, yes, they do. They buy everything in the store. And they wear it on stage in Buenos Aires.

Las Kellies (conveniently sharing the same surname: Cechi Kelly: vocals, guitar, percussion; Silcho Kelly: vocals, drums; Betty Kelly: vocals, bass; Solchu Kelly: vocals, percussion) began playing a little over three years ago after meeting at a local show and, as Silcho Kelly explains, “immediately realized that we had to start a band together.” The fact that their musicianship was limited in the beginning, or that the idea of a band precluded the artistic execution proved to be no hindrance, as the women began writing songs and learning to play at the same time á la The Ramones.

This kind of outsider/insider music making has had interesting musical implications for Las Kellies: part minimalist girl punk and part irreverent garage, the band seems to be more indebted to the B-52s or perhaps Television in their more pop moments than to other oft-mimicked girl punk outfits like The Slits or Sleater-Kinney. Deftly using a reduced palate where each instrument has its own particular voice and seldom overlaps with the others, Las Kellies are able to squeeze everything a song should have into 2 minute thought fragments with 3 part harmonies in German or French or most any other Western European language, and all this with incredibly frenetic patience.

Las Kellies are currently finishing up their second album, Kalimera, with the help of Nacho Rodriguez (Onda Vaga, Doris), due out in a few months time, before they embark on their first European tour.

The tour “is a long time fantasy of the band, and suddenly it seemed silly to put it off any longer,” explains Betty Kelly. Starting in Barcelona, Las Kellies will be playing at weddings and on boats in various well-mapped rivers, among other venues, and will also have a single released by Parisian label Legrandbag (Mark Gardener, The Willowz, et al).

This Friday, Las Kellies can be found performing at Ultra Bar (San Martin 678). “Last time we played loads of business-boys turned up in school uniforms,” says Betty Kelly. “That was fun! This time we'll be calling for them to take their clothes off!”

Las Kellies
Friday April 10th – Ultra Bar – San Martin 678 – 9pm
Saturday April 18th – Moonrock –Juncal 1773 – 10pm

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