Check Yo Ponytail 2: Grimes + Blood Diamonds + Frankie Chan + LE1F + Lemonade
The Echoplex, LA, CA
Second chances are a good way to cap off a great week despite being on the verge of a very possible failure. A failure as in coming into a panic following Grimes‘ set at Make Music Festival in Pasadena. I stole a kiss from her and I’m sure it might have irked her into putting me on the wrong side of things. But I bucked up and orchestrated a second chance to snag an interview that I was eagerly anticipating. A night thrown together by Check Yo Ponytail and IHEARTCOMIX was surely a blast for a Tuesday night. Something that wouldn’t throw any individual in the employed arena into aggravation. This night wasn’t comprised of Grimes’ material but it was the night of her DJ set thrown into the mix of fellow artists: DJ/owner of IHEARTCOMIX Frankie Chan, LE1F, Blood Diamonds and Lemonade.
I was deep into Grimes’ interview and I happened to miss out on Frankie Chan’s set but I continued on through to LE1F’s performance. LE1F, a New York hip-hop act threw up the crowd as he threw out EDM beats and rhythms. Homoerotic dancing was complementary.
Blood Diamonds, made up of Michael who happens to be Grimes’ support sound whom I happened to catch at the Pasadena festival. He was using the same Roland Juno-G keyboard he brought on at Make Music Pasadena. I can see why she chose him, not only does she toss in her vocal capacity, Michael is very articulate in complementing his keys with dance moves.
And then of course there’s Grimes. We agreed to do an interview in Pasadena but shortly after her set, she needed to leave the grounds. I figured she tried to muscle out of a promised interview which is why I executed the planned “con” of sneaking a kiss on her. Apparently I was not the only one with that idea. It’s just amazing that there’s a lot of invested dedication in her to see to two shows in a single evening in two locales of Southern California. Slow-clap to that.
And then we have the West-Coast to East-Coast transplants, Lemonade, that consist of rock, electro and alternative world music. Very ethereal. They were the focus of the night’s event but weren’t my particular focus. For I, wanted to get grimey.
OK, first I’d like to start off with a sincere apology for kiss-raping you the other day.
Grimes: No, well, that’s OK. That’s a harsh term for it.
It happens a lot, I’m assuming, because I thought…
G: Actually, it only happened that day but it happened twice that day.
Yeah , no no no, because I know the guy who did that, I went to high school with him and he was trying to interview you and then he did the same thing.
G: Are you guys like… competing?
It’s funny you should say because that’s what he said. I mean, he doesn’t really remember me but I guess we’re competing because he said that. So let me start out. Grimes… or should I call you Claire Boucher?
G: You can call me Claire.
OK, perfect, I think I’ve been calling you Claire. So what hood do you represent?
G: Like, my land? In Montreal?
I guess… you live in Montreal?
G: Uh, I live here now.
No fuckin’ way?
G: I live here but I don’t actually pay rent or anything yet so I don’t know where I’m living yet. So I don’t know what hood in LA I represent.
Well, I was told by two other people during the festival that you were living in LA I was like ‘ no fucking way?’ I didn’t catch that because like many other people find you enchanting and hypnotic. Enough to keep us from taking in anything we’re told. I know about your recent release entitled Visions but I’m gonna save you the trouble of talking about it because I just wanna throw together a conversation. You’re open to that, right?
G: Oh yeah! I’ve talked about that element more than enough.
I should have said this before but I’m gonna try to keep it as informal and conversational as much as I can. This question has been bothering me but were you in LA in February?
G: Yeah, I think so, yeah.
Because I went to your after-party and I didn’t even know who you were, I just got invited to it.
G: Oh cool! It was a sick after-party.
It was a sick after-party but I was told you weren’t even there.
G: Oh I was there, I DJ’d.
No fuckin’ way? Because I was under the impression that Grimes was like a dubstep-type of artist.
G: A lot of people think that because of grime music, you know?
I mean, even the name threw me off more so because I thought you were a dude. Grimes sounds like a masculine name.
G: A lot of people think I’m like… a UK grime-rapper, you know?
I’m not even familiar with that type of genre.
G: It’s a really cool genre. It’s like um, crazy rap from the UK, I don’t know.
Well, I’ll have to check that out. (Apparently upon inspection, I’ve been listening to grime a lot) In regards to that after-party, dubstep thing, I hear you have a tour coming up in Canada with Skrillex and Diplo.
And when is that kickin’ off?
G: Um, July 10th.
Well, I’m really glad that I was able to catch you and that you’re doing this right now because I thought it wouldn’t have happened after I kissed you and having that turn you off from any potential opportunity for an interview. And plus I’m not gonna be around after this week and I thought now would be a really good chance…
G: Well I just felt bad for, um, not giving you that promised interview after saying I would because we just had to rush off.
Yeah yeah, because you had to dash off to Palm Springs, right?
G: Yeah. It was like a two-and-a-half hour drive.
I’ve been glued to your videos ever since I began listening to you after your after-party. This was in April. Not to be a creeper but I kinda watch them every few days to get my fill of Grimes. And I just think that along the iconic caliber of Prince and Björk, I find you really magnetic. Your singing chops are further augmented by your dance moves and…
G: I don’t know about the dance moves (laughs).
No way, I think that many are into it! It’s very eclectic. It’s new to me, I haven’t really seen anything like it. Especially if the crux of alternative dance moves don’t go beyond a head-bob or a toe-tap. What do you have to say about that? That wasn’t really a question.
G: That was a really poetic statement in any case! I dunno.
I certainly can’t rank up to you.
G: I’m just a bad dancer but I accept it.
To go along with Prince and Björk, I find you to be very hard working; you direct your own music videos, produce your album art and in addition to that I see that you have a chipper and bubbly aura about you. As I said, this interview was sparse on questions and weighty with complements. I have more to ask but you need to get ready for your set so I’ll cap it off there.
G: Yeah, I should go back there. What’s your name again?
G: Give me a hug, give me a hug, hey.
This will be quick. I won’t kiss you, I promise.
And so resolves a myth of misogyny that any of you may have surmised.
Photography by Caesar Sebastian
For more info on upcoming events, visit: Check Yo Ponytail