SHOW REVIEW: KSPC Presents TOKiMONSTA and Gavin Turek

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Gavin Turek and TOKiMONSTA kicked off this semester of Art After Hours on September 15th, bringing energy and style to Thatcher’s southeast lawn—the opposite side of Lyon Garden than last year’s Art After Hours setup, and a minor change, but one that both felt like a refreshing alteration and spared the garden’s grass by encouraging more spectators to stand along the paved walkway. Complementing the rebellious theme of the current exhibit at the Pomona Museum of Art, which celebrates the young artists whose work populated the museum between 1969 and 1973, Gavin Turek SC ’09 started the evening with her buoyant set of vibrant, danceable pop music. Her white fringed dress was a fitting costume choice for her frequent dance breaks and lively stage presence. The first song, “Tuesday”, a bitingly head-bobbing track (“you’re no good for me”) set the tone for the energetic set, and by the end of the sexy “SAMO”, Turek had the audience on their feet and irreversibly rowdy. After the fourth song, “Lady Luck”, a pulsing beat that turned the focus on Turek’s highly capable backing band, she charmingly encouraged the audience to go buy her CDs: “I made ‘em myself before I got here!” The audience, doubtless, responded after the close of her spunky half-hour set, as this particular Claremont Colleges alum quite successfully won everyone over. Headliner TOKiMONSTA (LA native Jennifer Lee), who featured Turek’s vocal talents on 2011’s Creature Dreams on the tracks “Little Pleasures” and “Darkest (Dim)”, started playing to an already worked-up audience and channeled that energy throughout a blazing, bass-heavy electronic set. Fans of Baths, who played twice at the Claremont Colleges in the last academic year, surely found a lot to like in TOKiMONSTA. Her dubstep-inflected songs galvanized the happy spectators into the sort of goofy, limb-flailing dancing rarely seen on campus outside of the dub-friendly Table Manners. When asked for a set list after the show, Lee said it was just a live set, and that about captures the feel of her show—the segue between beats was seamless, and the focused Lee wove genre-bending blends of electronic music that evoked Flying Lotus (labelmates on Brainfeeder), psychedelia, dubstep, and hip-hop. One particularly memorable sequence involved Pharaohe Monch’s “Simon Says (Get the F*** Up)”. TOKiMONSTA wrapped up before the audience’s fervor reached terminable levels, and everyone went home satisfied, rocked, and face-melted. TOKiMONSTA and Gavin Turek made for a choice first Art After Hours, setting a great precedent for the rest of the semester. This week, the film Cool School will be shown on the lawn, and the week after, KSPC will bring back live music with Pageants and Neverever.

Review by Julia Ringo.

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