Fiercely intelligent, unapologetically raunchy, funny as fuck and astutely honest, San Francisco’s K.Flay proffers a modern sort of autobiography. Yes, beat smart as all get out, saucy and sarcastic too, but where Kristine Flaherty’s footsteps trod isn’t far removed from Rousseau, Keroac and other folks willing to dig a rusty fork inside their heads and serve up what they find.
If one must put a name to her music – all available for download here, including her most recent EPs from April, I Stopped Caring In ‘96, which you can snag for free – there’s elements of hip hop, downtempo, Prince, spoken word (think The Last Poets on weed and too much coffee) and proto-electronica (more in common with Kraftwerk than Kaskade), but like kindred spirits Buck 65 and Themselves, there’s just no labeling this shit. Her flow is vicious, a brilliantly concocted word stew that’s mouth watering and thought provoking. Flaherty also swears wonderfully, as conversant in profanity as any pimp or teamster.
The music behind the voice is grimy and slippery, a fidgety sibling to K.Flay’s lyrical bounding. Her knack for unexpected pacing, beautifully timed pauses and sick breaks infuses each cut with an abundance of infectious energy that instills a NEED to get close to this music. It begs questions of us but the answers it kicks to the surface may not always be to our liking. But in her grappling with the modern condition, K.Flay emboldens one to tussle a touch more bravely, wearing our confusion and contradictions proudly, unafraid to be afraid in this everything-all-the-time age.
We’re pleased as punch that Flaherty agreed to tackle DI’s philosophical survey.
- What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you see the word “God”?
- Hmmm. Something I wished I believed in, probably. I was raised in a very non-religious household and was always fascinated by kids who went to church or temple. For so many people, God is implied from the start. For me, it’s something I can’t quite wrap my head around.
- Which has the better cosmology, Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
- I don’t know much about Star Trek beyond ‘beam me up, Scotty’ – which doesn’t seem all that cosmological – so I’ll go with Star Wars. To be honest though, I’ve only seen two of the movies. I was always weirded out by Mark Hamill. BUUUT you know what I did get into? His Dark Materials – it’s a trilogy written by Philip Pullman and it is freaking awesome.
- Name one album that has spiritual resonance for you.
- Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. My dad used to play it late at night over the speakers and there was something incredibly eerie about that record for me. I always felt like ghosts were going to come out of the radiator or something.
- Woody Allen once said, “I don’t know the question but sex is definitely the answer.” So, what’s the question?
- Why did Woody Allen marry Soon-Yi Previn?
- You can have a dinner party with any three people throughout human history. Who do you invite, what’s on the menu and what intoxicant do you share for dessert?
- I’d invite Sylvia Plath, Vladimir Lenin, and Herodotus. On the menu is a honey baked ham, sweet potatoes, and some Costco rolls. For dessert, funfetti cake.