By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
"I'm still not that happy with certain things on it," Price says of Bronx Sity. "I wanted to spread it out more, put more odd little pieces in it that fall into the songs. Not so much the tape manipulation, but more ambient and textural pieces that would flow into one another. But anything I ever do, I'm pissed off about it afterward. I always find things that could've been done better -- or worse. You just have to deal with it."
Price prefers the A-side (or, as it's slugged on the label, the "Sui Side") of the band's 1996 EP Music for Meditation, Relaxation, and the Imminent Overthrow of All World Governments, where the dense white-noise drama of "Claudette Colbert" gives way to the aching and lovely "Holdin' Yerself," maybe the band's best moment (and a zillion times better than the tossed-off version on Bronx Sity). "That one side is definitely closest to what my vision is," Price says with mock pride.
Despite Price's self-deprecation, Kreamy 'Lectric Santa occupies an odd little place in the indie-rock landscape; its music is strangely familiar but not much like anything you've heard before. If there's a band with whom KLS shares common ground, it's probably San Francisco's Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Although they don't sound much alike, both groups are aggressively experimental and able to turn divergent influences into something that rocks with berserk abandon yet is constructed with almost obsessive attention to little details and hallucinatory flourishes.
Unlike Thinking Fellers, however, Kreamy 'Lectric Santa remains a strictly local phenomenon. Since they formed in 1993 (after the disbanding of Price and Vaughn's Prom Sluts), the band has a found a small audience in South Florida for its screwy records and chaotic live shows, and has made two treks through the South and Midwest. Typical for most avant-rock groups in the area (save Harry Pussy), hipster tastemakers of the underground-rock press haven't seemed to notice. You have to wonder, then, if a move to a more conducive aesthetic climate wouldn't be in order.
"We've talked about moving to Atlanta, but it's all up in the air," says Price, who moved to South Florida in 1983 from his native Brooklyn. "It's hard enough for us to leave the house most of the time. We think about it, though. The best thing about Miami is that because it's so separate from everywhere else you have these different subsets of bands that play together. And there's not as much stupid politics. It's there, of course, like on South Beach and in some of the more disco-y, rock-club-attitude places -- the big-money clubs. And there are no bands coming through here, the radio is shitty, and there've been a lot of shitty promoters. All of that helps to create the vacuum that is Miami. But because of that, there are good things happening. [Labels like] Star Crunch and Space Cadette and Far Out definitely got things going for a lot of people and motivated them. And if you have enough lame things, obviously there's going to be a retaliation. During the McCarthy era there were quite a few radicals, even though they were taking the chance of completely destroying themselves.