Most red-blooded American boys I know would trip over themselves to spend a Saturday evening in a carriage house at Fort Missoula with three foxy rock 'n' roll chicks. Especially if I told these boys that the girls would pass out refreshments, and scream, shriek, squeal, and slam their way through a private set of noisy, metallic pop songs. However, after spending one such evening with the chicks from Knot Knocked Up!, I should pass along a caveat to those boys: These girls is straight-nasty. Not only that, they are nastier than you. And it is a bracing delight.
How nasty? I'll tell you. But allow me first to admonish members of the Baptist Women's Auxiliary, the Missoula Easily Offended Workers Union, and all the dudes who think periods are either a unit of time or syntax, that they are about to be ushered into a world where anything goes verbally, physically, and musically. Anything, including the song "Cunt Puddle." Especially "Cunt Puddle." Not to mention, "Bovine Face Fuck," "Zombie Rape," and the a capella jam "Hump-town."
Before we get into all that, let's meet the band. KKU is fronted by lead vocalist/yelper/ squealer Mikki Lunda. Allison Goodnight is a multi-instrumentalist and owner/operator of the Power Circle (more on that later). There is the tambourine virtuoso, whose moniker, Bitch Never Comes to Practice, sums up the group's feelings about her as well as her own notions about band practice (BNCP was not at the practice I attended, nor has she ever been to one. She is strictly a live musician). Last, and certainly eight months pregnant, we have drum-settist Mariah Lara, the sole reason for the reunion show after their two-and-a-half year hiatus.
"We always said we'd play a reunion show when one of us was eight months pregnant," says Lunda.
"But we thought it was a joke," Lara says.
"We thought none of us would ever get pregnant," Lunda wryly adds. Lunda and Goodnight go on chanting "loser" at Lara. The reunion-causing baby had its name chosen many months ago by Lunda and the baby daddy during an evening of dubious funny business, whereupon Lunda stated, "The baby shall be called Mikolet, regardless of gender." It turns out that "Mikolet, Regardless of Gender" is one of the band's favored new tracks and will be the name of the baby upon its arrival.
During a recent rehearsal the band played a new song, "Bovine Face Fuck," based on an incident that occurred on a drive to Kalispell for Lara's baby shower. "Me and Mikki we're driving and we saw these two cows having sex on the side of the road," says Lara, "As we drove closer we realized that one of the cows had mounted the other cow's face. It was humping the other cow's face." And so a song is born. And, other than an a capella version featuring the phrase, "Cock in your face / Cock in your face/ Cock in your face" performed for Lara's mother, I was the first soul outside the KKU universe to hear it. The song features cowbell—obviously—and Lunda forlornly mooing: "Moo, I'm a heifer for your love." The song really kicks it up during the chorus with, "I don't want no bullshit / I just want some bull dick," and the aforementioned "cock in your face" outro is quite frenzied and an unfortunate earworm. It also features some nice xylophone work from the Power Circle by Goodnight.
Said Power Circle is an enchanting place that may appear to be a maze of tossed off junk in some shut-in's kitchen. However, that is anything but the case. The lithe, surprisingly demure, and aggressively-dressed Goodnight surrounds herself with loud, non-traditional instruments beginning with a weed-eater inside a garbage can, a belt sander grinding against the can's base, a coffee can rattler filled with glass and bolts like a WWI trench bomb, corrugated tin, Ruby (squeeze box), floor toms and cymbals, the Osimo 5000 (a fan cowl), cast iron pans, meat tenderizers, xylophone, and—duh!—tap shoes. When asked how she chooses what part of the circle to use during a given song Goodnight explains, "If this is a 'swooey' song I'll play some sweet beats on the xylophone. Or if the song sounds metal, I'll play some metal. I'll think 'I haven't played much sander these days...'" So she does.
The upcoming reunion show will be the last chance folks have to see KKU live. "Your one and only chance, motherfuckers," says Lara. So what can the audience expect? Certainly classics like "Zombie Rape" and soon to be classics like "Hump-town." Lunda says attendees "Should take their clothes off and let us write 'Cunt' in red lipstick on their chests." We'll see. Also, for the first time the band will be fully mic'd up and electric because of, you know, the weedeater and sander.
KKU is going out on its own terms. "Sometimes people say 'You guys are doing such good things for women,'" Goodnight says. "And I think, 'You mean by standing onstage and yelling "cunt" and talking about period blood?'"
Lunda doesn't want you to make her band your senior thesis.
"We fucking hate feminists," she says.
"Besides," adds Lara, "we're not feminist; we're just vulgar."
Knot Knocked Up plays Zoo City Apparel Saturday, June 25, at 8 PM with the Atrocity Singers and Bad Naked. All ages. $5 suggested donation.