If you go
What: Kitty Crimes tour kick off / Werk Out Palace DVD release
When: 9:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: hi-dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver, 303-733-0230
The most fun you're likely to have this weekend will be with Maria Kohler and her friends.
Actually, you probably know the whole crew. When Kohler isn't performing as her hip-hop alter-ego Kitty Crimes, she's shock-rocking with Harpoontang — a band made up of the women of Paper Bird and Laura Goldhamer. Both are performing at the hi-dive on Sunday as a DVD release party for Werk Out Palace.
Allow Kohler to explain.
"Werk Out Palace is a club aerobic workout dance troop," she said. "Oh my gosh, I just spent 20 hours editing this thing. It's awesome — it's a workout video that's all done on green screen. Piper Rose, who's a yogi/famous lady and also my partner, came up with the idea. It's like a workout video for fringe folk, for people in communities that aren't' associated with working out."
In honor of the DVD's release, and to kick off a Kitty Crimes tour with Werk Out Palace (yes, it's also a live performance) the ladies are performing at the hi-dive. It'll be a grab-bag show, despite the creative overlap.
"Harpoontang is the love of my life," Kohler said. "It's Esme, Genny and Sarah from Paper Bird, Laura and me, and we span the genres and we turn jokes into music for our own entertainment. The music writing process in Harpoontang is one of the funniest I've ever experienced. It's so candidly automatic to us. One person says something that makes us laugh and it's in the song. Then another person makes us laugh and that goes in, too."
It's something you need to hear and see to truly appreciate. Start with "I Want My Hymen Back."
And though Kohler is making beats and rapping as Kitty Crimes, the writing process is similar. She said she writes something she enjoys and that's that. Done. Hip hop comes naturally after years and years of practice.
"I kind of remembered that hip hop was the one thing that I've loved for the longest. I started developing musical tastes at, like, 15, and got more and more progressively into more and more rock 'n' roll and subversive types of music. But, initially, I was making freestyles at 13 and making beats, so when I got Ableton on my computer I just went buck wild at making beats again. It was kind of like reconnecting with the younger part of my self. Also I was giving myself and outlet to practice confidence and practice showboating."
If you want to see some Kitty Crimes showboating, watch any of her music videos. The video for "Find A Penny," for instance, which plays out as an all-female, hip-hop rocky remake, plus a helicopter ride over Denver. It looks like it was about as fun to make as any Harpoontang song.
"It was a riot," Kohler said. "Looking back on it when I was finished — that in itself was so funny to me, that so much epic shit happened to make that whole video go down with not too much of an investment that needed to be made. The real investment was the time and effort of the people who made it."
There's little doubt, given the quality and entertainment value of that video, that the Werk Out Palace DVD will be fantastic. Get to the hi-dive and find out.