Tag Archives: Kanga

MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT Announces Spring 2023, EVIL EYE TOUR with Special Guests ADULT. & KANGA!


In celebration of 36 years, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT will hit the road this Spring after a four year hiatus. The “Evil Eye Tour” kicks off May 14th, 2023 at the Nile Theater in Mesa, AZ. The set list for the 14-date western US tour will focus heavily on the band’s early career on both the Wax Trax and Interscope record labels (1987 – 1997). Joining TKK as direct support will be Detroit’s avant-garde electronic duo ADULT. and underground pop purveyor KANGA completes the bill.

EVIL EYE 2023 Tour Dates:
05/14 @ Nile Theatre – Mesa, AZ
05/15 @ Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
05/17 @ House of Blues – Houston, TX
05/18 @ The Rock Box – San Antonio, TX
05/19 @ Mohawk – Austin, TX
05/20 @ The Echo Lounge – Dallas, TX
05/22 @ Oriental Theater – Denver, CO
05/24 @ Metro Music Hall – Salt Lake City, UT
05/26 @ McMenamins Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
05/27 @ The Crocodile Showroom – Seattle, WA
05/30 @ Ranch House – Sparks, NV
05/31 @ Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
06/02 @ Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA
06/03 @ Music Box – San Diego, CA

Additional Tour & Ticketing Info

Hailing from Chicago’s renowned Wax Trax! Records stable of artists, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT have been conjuring up sonic tales of sex, blasphemy and kitschy horror since 1987. The band helped develop the industrial music genre, yet have continued to expand their style, creating one of the most diverse repertoires in modern music. Electronic rock, heavily influenced by both disco and funk can best describe their sound, while spoken-word samples lifted from B-movies gives the band their signature mark. They have released 14 studio albums, a slew of remix compilations, and have contributed to a variety of soundtracks and film scores, including a cameo performance in the 1994 cult movie classic The Crow.

Artist Franke Nardiello and musician Marston Daley, two Chicago neighbors who enjoyed late night binges watching trashy exploitation films and horror flicks, wanted to make their own movie to be called “My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult”. While the project never came to fruition, they wrote some music to be the accompanying soundtrack. Both worked at the Wax Trax record store, and when label founders Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher heard the songs, they were intrigued. Using the film title as the name of the band, they released a 3-song EP in early 1988. The response was overwhelming, and it was clear fans wanted to hear more.

Taking the stage names Groovie Mann (Nardiello) and Buzz McCoy (Daley), the duo began to focus on music full time. They created an occult meets leather biker image to compliment the band’s name which included enlisting a bevy of voluptuous back-up singers / dancers known as the BOMB GANG GIRLZ. In June of ’88, they flew to label mate Luc Van Acker’s studio in Belgium to record their first album, I See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits. It was recorded in just ten days, and mixed in another ten days at Southern Studios in London. The fans ate it up! They followed up with two hard-hitting dance floor 12” tracks – Kooler Than Jesus (1989) and Cuz It’s Hot (1990), which features no-wave chanteuse Lydia Lunch on vocals. The New York Times wrote, “Sex, blasphemy, big beats and go-go dancing; they’re all in a day’s work for My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult”. This attracted the attention of indie fans, as well as the ire of the PMRC and conservative religious groups in practically equal measure. By the time of their sophomore release, Confessions Of A Knife (1990), they were far and away one of the biggest selling acts on the label.

1991 saw the release of their third album, Sexplosion!, a calculated sonic and visual departure from their previous work. 1950’s pin-up models replaced the demonic imagery, while sleazy stripper horns, disco beats and house diva vocals (provided by artist Shawn Christopher) took prominence over the more abrasive musical elaments.They put together a provocative stage show, complete with spinning police lights, mirror balls and a stocked bar with bartender to serve the scantily clad musicians and dancers while they performed. Alternative Press reviewed the show as “Sin-sational!”, while Melody Maker described it as “A Cabaret from Hell”. It was a huge success, and the album sold so well (fueled by the phenomenal radio hit “Sex On Wheelz”) that the group signed a deal with Interscope Records shortly afterwards and released two more albums – 13 Above the Night (1993), and Hit & Run Holiday (1995).

Hollywood also embraced the KULT, recognizing the unique cinematic aspect in their sound. Most notably, the band scored five songs for animator Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World (1992) and wrote the lap dance song for director Paul Verhoven’s saucy Showgirls (1993). Comedies BASEketball and The Flintstones Movie prominently feature songs from the Hit & Run Holiday album. They have been roasted by MTV’s Beavis & Butthead, and were written into the story line of the film Sexy Evil Genius which also features the song “A Daisy Chain 4 Satan”. Most recently the club hit “Kooler Than Jesus” can be heard blasting in Season 3 of the Netflix series Narcos.

The band moved to Rykodisc in 1997 and re-released their entire remastered / repackaged catalog, along with five more studio albums, including an homage to 70’s disco era called Gay Black & Married, and the sultry and decadent Filthiest Show In Town (2007). They also formed their own label, SleazeBox Records, in 2001, enabling the release of a growing number of side-projects in addition to new TKK material.

Today SLEAZEBOX.com boasts the complete THRILL KILL KULT catalog, in addition to related works such as Mann’s DARLING KANDIE, and McCoy’s self titled projects. They continue to work with Wax Trax! Records for the purpose of re-issuing special limited edition vinyl. Buzz and Groovie still record and perform live along with veteran band mates Mimi Star (bass) and Justin Thyme (drums), all the while making a reputation for themselves as one of the most notorious and controversial cult bands of their generation.

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PHOTO REPORT: KÆLAN MIKLA AND KANGA


Kanga (US) and Kælan Mikla (IS) graced Tampere’s Klubi with their ethereal and mystifying presence on May 4th  . I was introduced to  Kælan Mikla the last time they were in Finland, opening for Alcest right before the lockdowns in 2019. One of those bands who were way off from what I typically listened to but stuck with me afterwards and ended up being one of my favorite gigs of the year. They released a new album Undir Köldum Norðurljósum later that year, which turned out to also be one of my favorite albums, so it was needless to say I would at least attend one of the two gigs they had in Finland (though I actually ended up attending both, so I may sneak in a few comparisons).

Kanga, much like Kælan Mikla the first time around, was not music I would typically find myself searching out and getting into. It was also quite a different style gig than what I would naturally attend or write about. From what I’ve gathered, Kanga is an accomplished producer and remixer who has worked on many well known films, and is quickly gaining popularity in the darkwave and electronic scenes. My interpretation of her music would be, kinda…West Coast Pop meets the grittiest corners of dark industrial. Her performance conveyed just that. Dark, mysterious and almost melancholic while also constantly emanating the pulse of both the trendiest night club and most raw underground rave. I did enjoy the the vibe of the gig and the audience (more so in Helsinki, since the floor was packed and it contributed to the dance club vibe vs. Tampere where people were still very slowly trickling into the venue) though, at times I got more DJ vibes than performance, as if I should not really be watching her, but focusing on the music and dancing, which is a bit unfamiliar to me.  

My first thoughts of Kælan Mikla’s gig was that they had matured so much in their performance from the last time I had seen them. More polished, more in sync and seemed more confident with themselves as musicians and people. Of course, their newest album is quite a bit darker than their previous music, which was also prevalent in their stage presence, attire, and the whole atmosphere of their show.

If you aren’t aware of the meaning or source of the name “Kælan Mikla”, it is the Icelandic name for the Moomin character Jäärouva or The Lady of the Cold. This knowledge tinged my perception of their gig with a touch of frost. Laufey (vocalist), moved around the stage at times, as if she was skating on ice (and only when I got closer did I realize she was barefoot in stockings, which totally fit with the witchy aesthetic they had going on!). Her nails were also long and clear and, when caught in the light, resembled icicles. Her presence, stoic and queen-like, otherwise perfectly portrayed the mystical yet powerful essence their music provides.

The performance of “Sírenur” particularly stuck out to me, the mood and the lighting made you feel as if we were all swimming underwater, peaceful yet melancholic (not to mention the sound of waves in the background  and the fact  that the song is indeed about, you guessed it, the Sirens of the ocean). The other most memorable moments where during “Sólstöður”. There is this intense guttural, banshee type screaming on the album and honestly didn’t expect them to do it live but they did and it was soul shattering and inspiring all at once. As exhausting as it must be to do that night after night, I truly appreciated it and was in awe by its affect live! The other thing that stuck out was Sólveige (synth/keys) playing flute live during “Stormurinn”. That also gave me chills and went beyond expectation. Margrét (bass) was also incredibly inspiring to watch. I can’t really put it into word but she seemed to really connect with the music and put great energy and emotion into playing, as well as when she sang backing vocals, or contributed to screaming. I kind of wish these two would be highlighted a bit more though they all have their spotlight moments. They are all incredibly talented and passionate musicians and I am super eager to see what they do next and catch them live again!

Photos and report by Serena Solomon