Freaks and Geeks
What's with all the craziness in Lake Worth? Bloody kid-killings, shooting sprees, supper-table massacres. Real estate prices soaring through soggy skies. Mexican food. Weird stuff up there, confirms Kenny 5, a transplanted scenester with a vividly interesting past.
"It's becoming a central location," he says. "Lake Worth has become a hub for a lot of crazy stuff. All of a sudden we're getting hip! I really think there's something going on here, and I've sort of been the pied piper."
Leading the populace away from mayhem -- at least where death is a potential outcome -- is Kenny 5, calling all South Floridians to feast upon a sort of When Artists Attack smorgasbord with an upcoming show called "Geeks, Freaks, and Mysterious Visions." Joining the fun are Lake Worth tattoo artists Mike "Pooch" Pucciarelli and Léa (of Altered State Tattoo), and world-famous ballet master Demetrius Klein. Posters and prints from Léa and Pooch will be on sale, too: Pooch's body-art and oil paintings are indebted to Giger, Frazzetta, and Dali, while Léa, a 32-year-old Frenchwoman, says she's influenced by German expressionists like George Grosz and Otto Dix. "We want to make it more like a sideshow than a boring art exhibition," she says.
Subtitled "an exhibition of bizarro art-noise-machine oddities and strange movements," the centerpiece of the carnival is Kenny's "Haunted Pyramid," which he calls a "crawl-through noise installation."
"What I'm bringing to the table has already been shown in Amsterdam and Tokyo," he carries on in his caffeine-clipped staccato. Built of cardboard fridge boxes to resemble the facade of a carnival ride, the Haunted Pyramid will be pumped full of noise. And "Demetrius Klein will hang upside down and escape from a straitjacket during his performance," Kenny promises. Infamous around town for building weird musical instruments from recycled materials, Kenny adds that attendees needn't fret that the experience will cause flashbacks, hearing damage, or anything like that.
"When you listen to the noise, half the time you don't even realize it's noise," he rhapsodizes. "It's like getting beat up by your best friend! You're getting hit but it's, like, 'I know you, so it's OK!' I don't know if that makes sense." Adds Léa, "It will disorient people. Hopefully, they will walk out of there a little dizzy."
Some fascinating background on Mr. Kenny 5: With Warren Defever, he used to be part of a Detroit-based noise/art band called Princess Dragon Mom. Defever is also known for his stints in rockabilly hellions Elvis Hitler and later with experimental/ethereal band His Name is Alive, which has released eight albums for the 4AD label.
The springboard of at least two bizarre careers, Princess Dragon Mom undertook a decade-long mission, tells Kenny, to "get up there and basically sound like World War III with anything we could get our hands on." Performances bordered on experimental theater. "Once, we had a UFO doctor and an alien," describes Kenny. "We said we found him in the Detroit River, brought him in the club, tried to resuscitate him in front of everybody, and performed an autopsy with blood and guts squirting all over."
Soon after leaving the group, Kenny signed with legendary punk-rock label Amphetamine Reptile as bassist and vocalist for something called Mog Stunt Team. The Detroit-based MC5 revivalists produced a pair of late-'90s albums that were the self-described musical extension of the National Anti-Tesh Action Society. Despite blast-furnace versions of covers of Depeche Mode's "Policy of Truth," Cheap Trick's "Hello There," and Kiss' "Parasite," Mog Stunt Team was more concept than execution; the band's ultimate achievement, after all, was the discovery of technology that combats TPR (Thought Probe Radiation), the primary technique that John Tesh uses to sap the minds of people who are exposed to his recordings -- or have seen him on Entertainment Tonight.
Need more? Fine. Remarkably, Kenny 5 and fellow South Florida noise tactician Rat Bastard have never met. After the unfortunate demise of Lake Worth Books and Records in 2001, Kenny is now running Purple Haze, a funky record store/head shop on Lake Worth Avenue and working with ass-kickin' local DJ Blacki. During the upcoming event in Lake Worth, Kenny is to be addressed only by the name of his alter ego, "Mog." It's true!
What else, you ask? Fools! You'd dare pass up an event where roams a theremin dressed as a bunny rabbit? I thought as much. Pledges Kenny, "You can come dressed as a freak if you want to. For $5, man, that's a pretty good night there, know what I mean?"
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